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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.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Hamad International Airport (DOH)
Hamad International Airport, formerly known as New Doha International Airport, is the principal and only international airport in the capital. It is home to Qatar Airways and hosts numerous other airlines from around the world. The airport offers a wide variety of transport options, ranging from luxurious, chauffeur-driven limousines to convenient and affordable taxis to public bus service. With several world-class duty-free shops, Hamad International Airport provides endless opportunities for shopaholics. The airport also has many dining and relaxation options that help make your travel a smooth and effortless experience.
A huge bus network connects the different parts of Doha, as well as all the other cities of Qatar. The company that currently runs Doha's public transportation, Mowasalat Karwa, has rapidly expanded the bus system. It is not only economical but also saves you from traffic congestion and stress. Smart cards can be purchased at Mowasalat's main bus station in Old Al Ghanim, as well as several small grocery stores. They can also be topped up at Ooredoo's self-service machines. If you want to ride the bus without a card, you usually need to pay a flat fee.
Car rental service providers offer a mix of leasing services on models ranging from regular sedans to high-end luxury cars. Visitors can choose from a variety of car brands, vehicle models, packages, and extras.
Mowasalat Karwa removed the original privately-owned orange taxis in the city and replaced them with their own, the new turquoise taxi sedans. The fleet consists of modern, air-conditioned vehicles — essential in the hot climate of Doha. The taxis are metered and have a fixed initial charge per kilometer, which can vary during different times of day or on long-distance journeys.
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