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Zubara fort, Qatar
Zubara fort is one of many
tourist attractions outside
the capital, Doha.

Qatar Travel Fast Facts

Getting there: regular flights from major cities to Doha International Airport

What to see:
Doha, Palm Tree Island, Aladdin's Kingdom, Umm Sala Mohammad, Khor Al Adaid Desert

Currencies: Qatari riyal

Official language(s):

Opening its doors to tourism in 1989, today Qatar is growing as major Mideast destination.

Home to historic forts and modern luxury hotels, spectacular seascapes and sand dunes, Qater is also home to the headquarters of Al Jazeera, the Arab world's answer to CNN.

The bad news is that the capital city of Doha has earned its reputation as one of the most sedate (and that's putting it mildly) places in the Mideast if not on the planet.

The good news? Much more exciting attractions await just outside the city.

Take a boat ride around the bay, or take the 10-minute shuttle to nearby Palm Tree Islands offering a popular beach, a variety of swimming pools and a selection of restaurants.

If you have a gaggle of kids in tow, take the five-minute drive from Doha to family-friendly Aladdin's Kingdom, one of the few amusement parks located within the entire Persian Gulf.

Less than an hour's drive outside the city, also be sure to visit the historic 19th century forts in the Umm Sala Mohammad area as well as Qater's No. 1 must-see, the Khor Al Adaid Desert featuring unforgettable skyscraper-like sand dunes leading down to the sea.

DID YOU KNOW? Qatar Travel Fun Facts

What goes around? The Three
Sixty Restaurant in Doha.

• .For a bird's-eye view of Doha go to the Torch-Doha Hotel and take the elevator to "Three SIxty", the city's only revolving restaurant located on the 47th floor.

• In oil-rich Qatar, fuel is so cheap that you can spend more for a cup of coffee at Starbucks than a gallon of gasoline at the pump.

• Like most Muslim countries, Qatar's workweek is from Sunday to Thursday and many shops are closed on Friday and Saturday.

• Due to the country's hight temperatures, local shopkeepers take a long lunch break in the afternoon and only open again in the early evening -- when it's cooler.

• Doha boasts the Aspire sports dome, the world's largest indoor sports arena.

More about Qatar travel & tourism around the Web:

Qatar Tourism
- Check out the official tourism site with more information on major cities and attractions, historical sites, sports & leisure activities, weather facts, and an event calendar.

Qatar Vacations - Trip Advisor members have personal recommendations on where to go and what to see.

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