Qatar is a peninsula located halfway down the west coast of Arabian gulf and bordered by Saudi Arabia in the south. It is approx. 180 km north to south and a mere 85 km wide. It has an area of some 11,400 sq km. Qatar’s landscape is very much highlighted by sandy desert patterns. Qatar has a subtropical arid climate. It has a year round sunny skies with rain being a very rare occurrence with winter months November to March, the most suitable for tourist and temperature averaging 75 degree fahrenheit.
Doha is the capital city of Qatar with 70% of the nation’s population residing in Doha. 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 India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Nepal, with large number of expatriates also coming from the Levant Arab countries, North Africa, and East Asia.
At first glance the Doha city presents a predominently modern face and an everchanging skyline of new developments. 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.
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.
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. ASPIRE Academy is a sports academy which aims to create world-class athletes. It is situated in the Sports City Complex, which also includes the Khalifa International Stadium (the main venue for the 2006 Asian Games), 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.