Essential info for Qatar

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Official flag of the State of QatarOfficial name: the State of Qatar

Population: About 2.04 million

Major religion: Islam

Capital city: Doha (also largest city)

Other major cities:  Al Rayyan, Al Jamaliyah, Al Khor, Al Wakrah

Neighbouring countries: Situated on the northeastern coast of the Arab peninsula, Qatar is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the West, with the island state of Bahrain to the northwest. Across the Persian Gulf to the northeast is Iran, while the United Arab Emirates is situated to the southeast.

Political system: Constitutional monarchy

Main languages: Arabic (official), English

Time: GMT +3

Electricity: 240/415 volts AC; 50 Hz. Rectangular-blade plugs (three flat pins in a triangle) and round-pin plugs (three round pins in a triangular pattern) are used most often.

Internet domain: .qa

Currency: The Qatari Riyal (QAR), divided into 100 dirhams.

International dialling code: +974

Money: The Qatari Riyal (QAR), which is divided into 100 dirhams. Expats are able to open a bank account in Qatar, but will need their employer to provide a "no objection" letter for their application. ATMs are widely available. 

Tipping: A 10 percent service charge is often added to hotel and restaurant bills, and remains the expected amount when service hasn't been charged for. Taxi drivers also expect a small gratuity, and rounding up the due amount is often enough.

Emergency numbers: The general emergency number for police ambulances and fire services in Qatar is 999. Operators will often speak English.

Transport and driving: Traffic in Qatar drives on the right. Expats should drive defensively because the country is known for having accident rates. Taxis are available in certain areas but buses are scarce and the rail network is only due for completion in 2030.

Education: Most  expat parents send their children to private international schools, a large portion of which are of world class standard.

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