Sep 302007
 
qatar map

Qatar Location

Qatar has strong historical and cultural ties to the sea. Pearl fishing was the traditional mainstay of the economy until oil and gas took over when it was first discovered in the early 1950’s. Although ‘pearling’ as it is known, is no longer Qatar’s key economic driver, it has left a legacy of skills, stories, music and art that is a source of identity and pride for Qataris today.

Ruled by the Al Thani family since the mid-1800s, Qatar was occupied first by the Ottomans in the 18th Century and then by the British who continued to rule the country as a ‘Protectorate’ state until 1971. During this time, the economy was badly damaged with poor economic direction.

After independence and through the 1980’s and early 1990s, the Qatari economy continued to stagnate under the unimaginative rule of the then Emir, Shaikh Khalifah, who overthrew his uncle in 1972.

Shaikh Khalifah himself was finally deposed in favor of his son by an internal Al-Thani family council in June, 1995. The new Emir, Shaikh Hamad bin Khalifah Al Thani, quickly inaugurated a far reaching and extremely progressive program to modernize Qatar politically, socially and economically.

This modernisation programme is still active today, turning Qatar into a modern, desirable community not only within the Gulf Region but for International Expatriates and tourists alike.

The significance of this development is reflected by the Qatar Tourism Authority whose work goes beyond that of many tourist authorities. Their work includes turning Qatar into a leading quality destination for business, culture, education, sport as well as health tourism.

The Tourism Masterplan released in May 2004 highlighted new projects worth in excess of US$ 15 billion, the long term aim being to reduce the economies reliance on Oil and Gas.

New project include the New Doha International Airport, new museums, cultural sites and the increase in hotel rooms to 10,000 by 2010. By increasing hotel space and improving airpoert facilities, Qatar aims to position itself as a key business hub to rival Dubai.

The ‘Qatar experience’ as it is called, will become a unique blend of adventure, leisure and Arabian tradition, from desert dune driving to exciting water sports, from fascinating museums to traditional markets. Qatar offers world-class hotels, restaurants and spa facilities and activities for all the family in a safe and secure environment.

The Pearl of Qatar sees the countries first true International Building Project – a man made island that invites all nationalities to participate in Qatars growth.

Today, Qatar is an excellent example of a country that can punch well above its weight and in conjunction with its oil revenues, Qataries enjoy the higest Per Capita income of almost anywhere in the world at almost $40,000 per head.

Conclusion: Qatar will soon be spoken of in the same High regard as it Gulf competitor, Dubai!

Some Useful Social Conventions

Visitors should be fully aware of Muslim religious laws and customs. Women should always dress modestly. It is also worth noting that, while it is acceptable to cross legs, showing the sole of the foot or unknowingly pointing it at a person is considered an insult. At business and social functions, the traditional Qatari coffee, in tiny handleless cups, will invariably be served. This is a ritual of welcome with strict rules: guests are served in order of seniority – a few drops at first, then, after three or four others have been served, the server returns to fill the first cup; always hold the cup in the right hand; two cups are polite, but never take only one or more than three.

 2:56 pm  Property
Sep 302007
 
The Pearl Qatar luxury property and investment

The Pearl-Qatar is a multi billion dollar man made island spanning nearly 4-million square meters of reclaimed land off the Arabian Peninsula state of Qatar. The island is just 20 kilometres north of the city of Doha and the new Doha International Airport. The Pearl-Qatar is Qatar’s first international real estate venture, its largest ever [READ MORE…]

 2:31 pm  Property
Sep 282007
 
Yacht Clubs of note in Europe

Here’s a selection of notable yacht Clubs around Europe. try and visit them if you get a chance. These clubs are  in England, Italy, Spain, France and Germany. Steeped in yachting history Real Club Nautico Valencia The Club was founded in 1903 as a private sports association to promote the culture of the sea and [READ MORE…]

 5:00 pm  Yachts
Sep 212007
 
Crystal Cruise

The Vintage Room, a unique dining experience offered on both Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, was created as a venue for promoting wine appreciation and the vast range of wine selections offered on board. This unique enrichment experience focuses on wine, with food specially prepared and paired to complement the specific fine wines selected for [READ MORE…]

 10:28 am  Travel
Sep 202007
 
Manufacturers turn their backs on additives and preservatives

Worried about the unseen nasties lurking in your food? Well, this could well be a thing of the past as food and drink manufacturers go ‘au naturel’ and launch more new ‘additive- and preservative-free’ products than ever before. Riding on the wave of interest in all things natural, latest research from the MINTEL Global New [READ MORE…]

 11:35 am  Gourmet Food
Sep 202007
 
Luxury tableware by Merdinger

Merdinger is a third generation jeweller and designer of luxury artefacts. His identity is shrouded in mystery, known only to a few close associates. Merdinger is quoted as saying: “It is not me that is interesting, but the message I bring to the world. The message of unity, friendship and peace is far more important [READ MORE…]

 8:55 am  Tableware
Sep 132007
 
£12 million facelift for Cowes

Cowes, home of the world‘s most famous yachting regatta, will soon offer sailing enthusiasts even better facilities. The Isle of Wight town, home to the Royal Yacht Squadron since 1833, is set to undergo a £12 million facelift in the course of the next seven years. Plans for the future, which include a sheltered outer [READ MORE…]

 4:22 pm  Yachts
Sep 122007
 
Oman Air Commences Flights From London

Oman Air, the national airline of the Sultanate of Oman has announced its plans to start non-stop services from London, providing its first direct link between London and Muscat. Oman Air will commence scheduled services from London Gatwick airport (North Terminal) to Seeb International Airport, Muscat beginning in November 2007. The airline will operate daily [READ MORE…]

 10:39 am  Travel
Sep 062007
 
 Online Forum Unites UK Blood Pressure Sufferers

Known as the ‘silent killer,’ high blood pressure is a rising epidemic which can lead to strokes, heart attacks and kidney failure. Nine out of ten Britons are likely to suffer from ‘hypertension,’ as the number of sufferers worldwide is expected to soar past the billion mark in the next 20 years. With the Blood [READ MORE…]

 10:31 am  Health & Beauty
Sep 052007
 
Best Family Resorts in South East Asia

As recommended by Agodo, an online travel and discount hotel bookings website, has released its list of ‘Best Family Resorts in SEA’ to highlight hotels that specifically cater for children.   Agoda’s Best Family Resorts in SEA are: 1. Ramada Karon Beach Resort Phuket, Thailand This family resort opened last year and literally is, as the [READ MORE…]

 9:52 am  Travel