The capital and largest city of the Arabic peninsula nation of Qatar, Doha has undergone formidable growth in the past 20 years, making it one of the most important regional and international business centers. Because temperatures in the summer often head north of 100 degrees, Doha compensates with event venues that include indoor, air-conditioned stadiums, and a huge ice-skating rink, along with a re-creation of Venice's Grand Canal and the four-mile-long Corniche.
There is only one airport in Qatar: the 60-gate Hamad International Airport (DOH), which serves cities all over the world, with direct flights from Chicago, Houston, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and others. The airport is five miles southeast of the Doha city center.
Chief among the capital's meeting venues is Qatar National Convention Centre, which opened in December 2011. It has nine exhibition halls, two auditoriums, a 2,300-seat theater, 66 meeting rooms, and a 4,000-seat conference hall.
Hotel venues in Doha are magnificent as well. Among the stars are the 371-room Sheraton Grand Doha Resort and Convention Hotel, which has 26 meeting rooms for up to 5,000 guests; the 579-room Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, which has 15 meeting rooms, including the Al Areen Grand Ballroom for up to 700 guests; the 340-room Grand Hyatt Doha, which has 13 meeting rooms and a 16,000-square-foot ballroom; the 225-room La Cigale, which has nine meeting rooms and two ballrooms; and the 375-room InterContinental Doha, which has six meeting rooms and the Al Wajba Ballroom for up to 800 guests.
Doha also has some special event venues. Choices include the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I.M. Pei, which occupies a private island with spectacular views and contains two floors of galleries, a five-story main building, the two-story Education Wing, and a 170-foot-high domed atrium; Aspire Zone, home of the Aspire Dome, which is billed as the world's largest indoor multipurpose dome and has 15,500 seats in 13 halls; and The Torch Doha, a 1,000-foot-tall hotel with breathtaking, 360-degree views and a ballroom for 270 people.