National profile: The State of Qatar is an independent sovereign country since 1971. The population stands at 2.55 million and the capital city is Doha.
Climate: Qatar has a desert climate with year round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Mean temperatures range from 17°C/63°F in January to 36°C/97°F in July, reaching highs of 40°C/104°F+ during the summer. Rain is infrequent, falling in brief showers mainly in winter.
Dress: The attitude to dress in Qatar is quite relaxed, but visitors (men as well as women) should show respect for local culture and customs in public places by avoiding excessively revealing clothing. Context is important. Bikinis and beachwear are acceptable by the hotel pool but not in public places in the city. Women do not need to cover their hair.
Language: Arabic is the official language however English is widely spoken.
Time: Local time is GMT +3. There are no daylight savings adjustments.
Currency: The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR) with an exchange rate fixed at NZ $1= QAR 2.53.
Business hours: The working week is from Sunday to Thursday, with most offices closed on Friday and Saturday. Most attractions are closed on Friday morning.
Qatar Airways, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines offers direct flights to over 150 destinations. Some 50 other international airlines fly into Qatar. Qatar Airways has received six 'World’s Best Airline' by the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards. Qatar Airways’ hub is Hamad International Airport, opened in 2014 and ranked fifth best airport in the world by Skytrax.