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Qatar- Opulence is the Specialty

Situated in a peninsula in the Persian Gulf, Qatar has rich reserves of oil and natural gas. The country is a monarchy and its capital is Doha. Explore the regal charm of this region still kept alive in the sport of sheiks including camel racing, enjoy the sand dunes and the beaches or a camp stay at night. The fishing towns and the pearl industrial hamlets are some of the other must see spots in this magnificent land. Let us move ahead to guide you through Qatar, before you actually visit it!

History
Once ruled by Bahrain from the 1700s until the mid-1800s, w it became a British protectorate from 1916 till it became independent in 1971, when it became independent. The present emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, wrested power in 1995 after ousting his father. In the late 1990s Sheikh Hamad eased press censorship and promoted democracy. In 2003 a constitution was established with a largely elected advisory council having power to pass laws, subject to the emir’s approval.

Popular places:
There are many places of tourist interest including the recently set up Museum of Islamic Art. Designed by the famous architect IM Pei, it is famous for its postmodern windows and virtual moat.  The Qatar National Museum is another must see. Located in Fariq al-Salata Palace, it is a spectacular testimonial of traditional Arab architecture. Charter an overnight trip to Khor al-Adaid to explore the salt beds and sand dunes and to enjoy sun rise and sunset over the inland sea at its pristine glory.

Getting around:
There is no bus or service-taxi system in Qatar, and the only travel option is to rent a car. Cars can be rented on most foreign licences. The transport services of Mowasalat under the brand Karwa operates about 1,800 new taxi sedans including the airport taxis.

Places of Entertainment:
Qatar has many hotels and restaurants to pamper the taste buds of the discerning visitors. Though there are a few night spots where you can dance and have fun, there are restrictions on using alcohol.  No visit to Qatar could be complete without a shopping spree. It has more than its fair share of shopping options while considering its small size. There are high end shopping malls and designer wear stores that would leave you flabbergasted.  Experience pure shopping bliss at Villagio designed in an Italian theme with magnificent Gondolas that would remind you of Venice. Offering 130,000 square metres of retail space, it has 3D cinemas, ice-skating rink and even a roller-coaster to add fun to your shopping experience.

Accommodation   Options:
Qatar has an impressive line up of accommodation options. From plush 5 star hotels to budget hotels and resorts there is something for every budget here, like youth hostels, guesthouse, budget hotels. The alfresco travellers could check out the exciting camping and caravan accommodation options in the desert near Khor al-Adaid.

Currency:
Qatari Riyal is the currency in Qatar. The various denominations in notes include QAR 50, 10, 500, 100, 5 and 1. The coins of Qatar money include 10, 5, 50, 25, and 1 dirham. Check internet or news for the latest rates.

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