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From top: Qatar University, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Skyline, Souq Waqif, The Pearl
Location of the municipality of Doha within Qatar.
Coordinates: 25°17′12″N 51°32′0″E / 25.28667°N 51.533333°E / 25.28667; 51.533333Coordinates: 25°17′12″N 51°32′0″E / 25.28667°N 51.533333°E / 25.28667; 51.533333
Country Qatar
Municipality Ad Dawhah
Established 1850
 - City 132 km2 (51 sq mi)
Population (2004)[1]
 - City 339,847
 Density 2,574/km2 (6,690/sq mi)
 Metro 998,651
Time zone AST (UTC+3)

Doha (Arabic: الدوحة‎, ad-Dawḥa or ad-Dōḥa, literally: "the big tree" or "the sticky tree") is the capital city of the state of Qatar. Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008,[2], and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar. Doha is Qatar's largest city, with over 80% of the nation's population residing in Doha or its surrounding suburbs, and is also the economic centre of the country.

Doha also serves as the seat of government of Qatar, which is ruled by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Doha is home to the Education City, an area devoted to research and education. Doha was the site of the first ministerial-level meeting of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. The city of Doha also held the 2006 Asian Games, which was the largest Asian Games ever held.



The Emiri Diwan.

In 1825, the city of Doha was founded under the name Al-Bida. The name "Doha" came from the Arabic ad-dawha, "the sticky tree." The reference is to the fact that they smoked a lot of sticky tree in the original fishing village, on the eastern coast of the Qatar peninsula. It might have been derived from "dohat" ,Arabic for bay or gulf,referring to the doha bay area surrounding corniche. In 1825, during the war between Qatar and Bahrain, Doha had been severely damaged and Abu Dhabi was helping Bahrain. The following year, the Ottomons made Sheikh Thani bin Muhammed the Hakim of Doha, and he ultimately became Hakim of Qatar.[3] In 1882, al Rayyan built the Al Wajbah fortress, in southwestern Doha. The following year, Sheikh Qassim led a Qatari army to victory against the Ottomans.

The city was made capital of the British protectorate of Qatar in 1916, and when the nation gained independence in 1971, Doha remained the capital of Qatar. The British placed the Al Thani family in control as they were traditionally the administrators and clerks of the city, much to the distaste of another prominent family; the Al Kawaris. Based in Al Wakra, Al Kawari claimed to be descendant the "first son" of Muhammed, and rightful rulers. This claim was backed up by the fact that "Thani" of course is derived from the Arabic word for two, "Ethnain", and as a result they were more entitled to the throne than the Al Thani family. However such a claim has never been proven.

In 1917, the Al Kout fortress, which is located in the center of the city, was built by Sheikh Abdulla Bin Qassim Al-Thani. Still, during the early 20th century, much of Qatar's economy depended on fishing and pearling, and Doha had about 350 pearling boats. However, after the introduction of the Japanese cultured pearls in the 1930s, the whole region, including the town of Doha, suffered a major depression and Qatar became a poor country, plunged into poverty. This lasted until in the late 1930s, when oil was discovered. However, the exploration and exportation was halted due to the second world war. Today the nation as a whole produces over 800,000 barrels of oil daily. In 1969, the Government House opened. Today it is considered to be Qatar's most prominent landmark.

In 1973 the University of Qatar opened, and in 1975 the Qatar National Museum opened in what was originally the ruler's palace in 1912. The Al Jazeera Arabic satellite television news channel began broadcasting in 1996, with headquarters and broadcast center in Doha. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani currently rules in what some consider to be Qatar's most beautiful city.


Doha features an arid climate. It is situated in the Arabian Peninsula, and as such its climate is very hot. Temperatures average over 40 degrees Celsius (104 °F) from May to September, and humidity is variable. Dewpoints can reach above 25 degrees Celsius in the summer. During the summer months, the city averages almost no precipitation, and less than an inch (25 mm) during other months.[4] Rainfall is scarce (average 70 mm per year), falling on isolated days mostly between October to March. During cool winter nights the temperature can rarely drop below 7 degrees Celsius.

Climate data for Doha
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 22.0
Average low °C (°F) 12.5
Rainfall mm (inches) 12.5
Avg. rainy days 4 4 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 24
Source: Allmetsat[5] July 5, 2008


Fanar Islamic Centre, Souq Waqif

The demography of Doha is unusual in that the majority of residents are expatriates, with Qatari nationals forming a minority. The largest portion of expatriates in Qatar are from South Asian countries, mainly Pakistan, India, Srilanka, Nepal, Philippines, Bangladesh and Indonesia, with large amounts of expatriates also coming from the Levant Arab countries, North Africa, and East Asia. Doha is also home to expatriates from the United States, Canada, France, South Africa, United Kingdom, and Australia as well as many other countries from all over the world.

In the past, expatriates in Qatar were not allowed to own land; however, now people who are not Qatari citizens can buy land in several areas of Doha, including the West Bay Lagoon, the Qatar Pearl and the new Lusail City. Ownership by foreigners in Qatar entitles them to a renewable residency permit, which allows them to live and work in Qatar.

Each month tens of thousands emigrate to Qatar, and as a result, Doha has witnessed explosive growth rates in population. Doha's population currently stands at around one million [6], with the population of the city more than doubling in the past decade. Due to the high influx of expatriates, the Qatari housing market saw a shortage of supply which led to a rise in prices and increased inflation. The gap in the housing market between supply and demand has narrowed however, and property prices have fallen in some areas following a period which saw rents triple in some areas [7].

Several churches have recently been constructed in Doha following decrees by the Emir for the allocation of land to churches. In March 2008, the first Catholic Church in Doha, Our Lady of the Rosary, was opened. As a sign of respect to the local population Christian symbols are not displayed on the outside of the building. Today, several churches exist in Doha, including the Malankara Orthodox Church, Marthomite Church, CSI Church, Syro-Malankara Church and the Pentecostal Church.

Year Population Metro
1986 217,294[3]
1992 313,639[3] [8]
2001 299,300[9]
2004 339,847 [10] 612,707
2005 400,051[11][12][13]
2008 998,651[14]


The following is a list of some of Doha's more prominent districts:

Doha's skyline seen from the south side of Doha Bay, with the Museum of Islamic Art in the foreground.


Construction along the Doha Corniche

Much of Qatar's oil and natural gas wealth is visible in Doha, which is the economic centre of Qatar. Doha is home to the headquarters of the country's largest oil and gas companies, including Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas and RasGas. Doha's economy is built on the revenue the country has made from its oil and natural gas industries, and the Qatari government is rapidly trying to diversify the Qatari economy in order to move away from this dependence on oil. As a result, Doha is currently experiencing a very large boom, with the city developing very rapidly - this is mostly the result of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa's modernization program.

Like the nearby city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, Doha's economy is moving away from its dependency on the oil and natural gas industries, although unlike Dubai, Doha's main focus is not tourism. Doha is seeing huge amounts of growth, with the population of the city increasing by more than 30,000 between 2004 and 2006; this has caused a boom in the real estate sector, with real estate prices skyrocketing [15]. According to the BBC, as of late January 2007, Doha is now a more expensive city than Dubai in terms of real estate prices. This rate of growth has led to projects such as the Lusail City project, which is being constructed north of Doha and will eventually house 200,000 people. Construction is also booming in Doha, a result of increasing corporate and commercial activity in Doha. This is most visible with the changing skyline of the city, as Doha has over 50 towers currently being constructed, the largest of which is the Dubai Towers. At the same time, 39 new hotels are joining Qatar's booming tourism market, adding about 9,000 new rooms by 2009.

Qatar Airways is headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha.[16]

Some key projects in Doha include:


The city of Doha in Qatar has recently been undergoing a huge expansion to its transportation network, including the addition of new highways, the construction of a new airport, and the planned construction of a metro system. This has all been as a result of Doha's massive growth in a short space of time, which has resulted in huge congestion on its roads.



Doha has a comprehensive road network made up primarily of two and three lane dual-carriageways. As a result of Doha being a relatively young city, Doha's roads are wide and usually include service roads and large central dividers. While traditionally roundabouts have been used as intersections in the city, this has recently changed as a result of the huge load on the city's road networks. Many major roundabouts have been removed and instead either replaced with traffic lights or with underpasses and overpasses. Furthermore, many major thoroughfares in the city are being converted into highways in order to accommodate the huge increase of traffic on the city's roads.


There are five main highways connecting Doha to its neighboring cities. These are the Dukhan highway to the west of the city, the Al-Shamal Road, connecting Doha to the north of the country, the Al-Khor Expressway, connecting Doha to the northern town of Al-Khor, and the Wakrah/Messaid Road, connecting Doha to the south of the country. Finally, Salwa Road runs through south Doha and connects the city to the Saudi border to the south of the country.

These highways are all currently undergoing expansion, and are being expanded within Doha itself.

Doha Expressway (D-Ring Road/Al Shamal Road)

The Al Shamal-Road has traditionally connected to the D-Ring Road in Doha, a three-lane dual carriageway that connects the city on a north-south axis. However, as a result of congestion, the D-Ring Road is being converted into a major highway through the city, and its name has been changed to the Doha Expressway, connecting Doha as a whole and connecting Doha with the north of Qatar. Several phases of the Expressway have been completed, including the Al Shamal Bridge, the Landmark Interchange, the Gharaffa Interchange, and the Midmac/Salwa Road Interchange.

The Al Shamal Road is also undergoing significant expansion as part of the Doha Expressway project. The Road is being expanded into a four-lane highway (a total of eight lanes) with major interchanges which will better serve the country than the existing two-lane dual carriageway. Furthermore, the new Doha Expressway will connect Doha with the planned Qatar-Bahrain Friendship Bridge at al-Zubarah, connecting the two Gulf states in a similar manner Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are currently connected.

Lusail Expressway

The Lusail expressway is expected to connect the new city of Lusail, currently being constructed north of Doha, to central Doha, along with connecting the Pearl to the mainland. The expressway is expected to take the path along the former Istiqlal Road, now Lusail St., and will be a 4-lane dual carriageway passing through the city. The expressway will extend from Lusail City, through Rainbow roundabout, Qatar Sports Club roundabout, and the fire department roundabout.

Dukhan Highway

The existing Dukhan highway has been undergoing a reconstruction project for several years, with new interchanges having been constructed and the road being significantly expanded. In the future, it is planned to expand the highway so that it connects directly into Doha through a system of underpasses and overpasses, with plans to replace the Tilted Roundabout, the Markhiya Roundabout, and the TV Roundabout, all major roundabouts in Doha, with underpasses and overpasses.

Salwa Highway

The Salwa Highway project's first phase has been completed. This phase involved the expansion of the highway, which connects Doha to the southwestern town of Salwa on the Saudi Arabian border, into a four-lane highway with grade separated interchanges. The rest of Salwa Road is expected to be expanded and upgraded, from the recently completed Industrial Interchange to the Jaidah flyover, including the construction of an underpass at the Ramada signals, Doha's busiest traffic light intersection. This project is not expected to commence until after the completion of the Doha Expressway.

F-Ring Road

The F-Ring Road will be the sixth ring road in Doha, and is being constructed as part of the transportation network leading to the New Doha International Airport. The new highway will connect the airport to the Corniche at the new Ras Abu Aboud interchange, currently under construction, and will involve a new ring road south of the E-Ring Road.

Bus System

An extensive bus system, operated by the government-owned Mowasalat company, currently operates in the city of Doha. The bus system covers many areas of the city, and there are stops throughout the city. The bus system is mainly used by lower-income groups, and does not attract many from the higher-income groups in the city, which has resulted in increased congestion on the roads of Doha, as most people prefer cars.

The main bus station is located in the Souqs area of downtown Doha, and services operate to all major towns in Qatar.


The Mowasalat company operates all taxis in Qatar under its Karwa brand, with thousands of taxis operating in the capital. There are many taxi stands in the city, and while in the past difficulties arose in finding taxis due to the small number of taxis on the roads following the launch of the company, today this has become less of an issue.

Fares start at QR5.00, and the majority of taxis are well-equipped, comfortable sedans including cars such as the Toyota Camry and the Ford Mondeo.

Airport taxis, found at the Doha International Airport, are also available, in the form of the Ford Freestar.


The Doha Port is among the country's largest ports, and is located just off the Doha Corniche. The port is the main seaport servicing Doha, although plans for a new port are underway due to the port's location in central Doha and the resultant traffic and pollution problems, the proposed location of the port is near the town of Al Wakra, just south of the New Doha airport.


Doha International Airport is Qatar's only international airport. It is the hub of Qatar Airways, and is served by many other international airlines. Because of the rapid growth in Qatar and the rapid growth of Qatar Airways, many now consider the airport too small and unable to properly handle all of the traffic that goes through the airport. This problem was recently addressed with a large expansion that was made in anticipation of the 15th Asian Games. In order to accommodate increased traffic, the airport's facilities was expanded significantly, including the construction of a separate terminal dedicated to first and business class passengers, and expansion of the current terminal. Furthermore, new stands have been constructed on the opposite side of the runway to handle additional air traffic. These changes have temporarily eased the problem, but because of the airport's small size and limited space for expansion, this has not been enough to permanently solve the problem of the airport crowding.

A new airport, the New Doha International Airport, is being constructed near the existing airport (about 3 miles east[17]), and should solve the problems the current airport has.[18] The first phase of the airport should be completed in late 2009 or early 2010 along with the second phase, and will be able to accommodate 25 million passengers annually. Upon the completion of the third phase in 2015, the airport is expected to be able to handle up to 50 million passengers annually.[19] The new airport is located further away from the central areas of the city than the current airport, reducing noise and environmental pollution.[17] The total cost of the New Airport is $22 billion.

In comparison with other major airports around the world, it will be one of the largest in the world:[17]

  • Charles de Gaulle - 3,254 hectares
  • New Doha International Airport - 2,200 hectares
  • Hong Kong - 1,225 hectares
  • Heathrow - 1,210 hectares
  • Narita - 1,065 hectares

The Al Udeid Air Base, a major U.S. Air Force airbase, is located southwest of Doha.


Education has been a major focus of the Qatari government in recent years. In addition to Qatar University, established in 1973, the government has solicited other universities to establish campuses in Doha, most notably at Education City.

Education City is one of the main project of the non-profit organization Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. It has also launched the World Innovation Summit for Education - WISE - a global forum that brings together education stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision makers from all over the world to discuss educational issues. The first edition will be held in Doha, Qatar from November 16th to 18th 2009.

A key player in the educational field in Qatar is the Supreme Council of Communication and Information Technology ictQATAR. Through its e-education program, ictQATAR is bringing together the power of education and ICT in Qatar.

Doha is also home to many international schools established for its expatriate communities, with dozens of different private schools currently operating in the city, such as

Schools within and around Doha:

Universities/colleges within Education City: (See Education City)

Other Universities/colleges around Doha:


Jet ski riders, a common view near the Doha Corniche during evenings
Jassim bin Hamad Stadium, the venue for the final match of Asian Games Football Tournament
View of the ASPIRE dome

Doha is home to a number of sports stadiums, many of which were renovated in preparation for the 15th Asian Games, held in December 2006, which Doha spent $2.8 billion for preparation. Doha also hosted the 3rd West Asian Games in December 2005. Doha is also expected to host the 2011 Asian Indoor Games; Doha will also host the finals for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Qatar is aiming to be the region's sports capital. Doha's major football club are Doha Red Feet - who play at the 22,000 capacity Grand Marha Stadium. They are managed by ex Everton player Roger Kenyon.

Sports venues in Doha and its suburbs include:

ASPIRE Academy, launched in 2004, is a sports academy which aims to create world-class athletes. It is situated in the Doha Sports City Complex, which also includes the Khalifa International Stadium, the Hamad Aquatic Centre and the Aspire Tower.

The MotoGP motorcycling grand prix of Doha is held annually at Losail International Circuit, located just north of the city.

Under-construction stadiums/sport facilities:

The Wall Stadium would become the world's largest underground stadium, dwarfing the Fjellhallen ice-hockey arena in Norway, and would be the main venue for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup[23]. The stadium is estimated to cost 20 million dollars. The stadium will have the latest technology and roads leading to the stadium will be easy. While the New Paralympic stadium south of the new City of Lusail will be the most advance Paralympic stadium.

In 2001 Qatar also became the first country in the Middle East to hold a women's tennis tournament: Qatar holds both the Qatar Open for Women and the ladies ITF tournament. Since 2008 and at least for 3 years, the Sony Ericsson Championships (equivalent to the ATP's season-ending Championships) takes place in Doha, in the Khalifa International Tennis Complex, and features record prize money of $4.45 million (check of $1,485,000 for the winner, which represents the largest single guaranteed payout in women's tennis today [24]).

Doha submitted a bid for the 2016 Olympics.[25] It already had more than 70% of the venues ready that were used during the Asian Games in 2006. If Doha had won, an olympic village would have been constructed and would have had the shape of a dove and been 67 hectares in size with a capacity of 18,000 people, housing officials, athletes and coaches.[26] (See Doha 2016 Olympic bid) On June 4, 2008, the city was eliminated from the shortlist for the 2016 Olympic Games.

In November 2009, Doha will host the The Oryx Cup World Championship. This is a hydroplane boat race in the H1 Unlimited season. The race will take place in Doha Bay on the Persian Gulf. The H1 Unlimited and the Qatar Marine Sports Federation (QMSF) agreed to have the final race of the 2009 H1 Unlimited unlimited hydroplane season in Doha. Ten of the fastest racing boats in the world will travel to Doha November 2009 for the inaugural Oryx Cup event—the H1 Unlimited World Championship—as a result of an Agreement in Principal reached January 9 between the ABRA and the QMSF.

In May 2000, Qatar placed a bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, seeking to bring the event to the region for the first time. As a result of Qatar's harsh summers and the small population of the country, the bid contains several unique elements which are unprecedented in World Cup history. The bid proposes that all stadiums constructed to host the World Cup would be built as air conditioned indoor venues should Qatar win the bid, in order to ensure that the event can be held in summer. Furthermore, the bid proposes that all venues would be located within Doha, as Qatar's other cities and towns are too small to be capable of handling the influx of people which accompanies the World Cup.

Twin towns

See also


  1. ^ Qatar 2004 Census
  2. ^ Doha 2016 Summer Olympics Bid
  3. ^ a b c Doha - Britannica Online Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Doha weather information
  5. ^ "Climate". Allmetsat. Retrieved July 5, 2008. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Capital Doha Population 484
  9. ^ Doha
  10. ^ Sudan Airways - Doha
  11. ^ Sheraton Doha Hotel & Resort | Hotel discount bookings in Qatar
  12. ^ - Capitals of the World - Qatar, Doha - Doha capital city of Qatar
  13. ^
  14. ^ Doha 2016 Summer Olympic Games Bid
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Worldwide Offices." Qatar Airways. Retrieved on 9 February 2009.
  17. ^ a b c Global Perspectives - Qatar's New Doha International Airport
  18. ^ New Doha International Airport presents credentials at leading industry forum, AME Info, 2006-09-26
  19. ^ Information on the New Doha International Airport
  20. ^ SkyscraperCity - View Single Post - U/C: the Wall Stadium (MZ& Partners)
  21. ^ SkyscraperCity - View Single Post - Doha votes to host the olympics 2016 !!!
  22. ^ - Olympic Bid News and Information Website
  23. ^ SkyscraperCity - View Single Post - #News: Qatar bids to host 2011 Asian Cup
  24. ^ "Season to End in Doha 2008-2010" on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour website
  25. ^ Information on 2016 Olympic Games Bids
  26. ^ Doha 2016

External links


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