Qatar

Qatar

Middle East
LAST UPDATED 18/02/2008
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Level of surfing

Beginner

Quality of surf

Average

Call code

974

Net code

qa

Area

11437

Coastline

563 km

Climate

Arid, mild winters, hot summers

Hazards

Extreme Heat, Severe Storms, Coup / Civil Unrest

Best Months

November - January

Population

841000

Currency

Riyal (QAR)

Time Zone

AST (UTC+3)

Special Requirements

Private Beaches, Special Pass / Permits, Lengthy VISA Process, Non tourist Friendly, Strict Religious Observance, No Alcohol allowed

introduction

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Ahoerstemeier: Location of Qatar, 14 December 2004

Qatar is an Arab emirate in Southwest Asia, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the larger Arabian Peninsula. On the south, it is surrounded by Saudi Arabia, and otherwise the Persian Gulf surrounds the state.

With a population of 907.229 inhabitants (2007), Qatar is well known as having the highest GDP per capita in the world - according to the CIA World Factbook.

surfing

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Jaw101ie: Skyline of the Qatari capital Doha; 2006

Qatar's coastline is entirely within the Persian Gulf. Persian Gulf swells are a real rarity that occurs with rideable results maybe twice a year. Standard weather patterns will not produce rideable surf within the Gulf. What you are looking for is a stray system from the northern Indian Ocean or the Arabian Sea to go spining out of control and sit at one end of the Gulf for a few days. If the system sits to the north then the UAE, Western Iran, Saudi, Qatar and even Bahrain will have something small but rideable. If the system sits south then the UAE will be a howling offshore sandstorm with Qatar, Saudi and even Kuwait getting a wave.

The northern approaches to Al Ruwais will be your best bet. There isn't a lot of infrastructure around here with major LNG ports either side well down the coasts. al Ruwais has a nice blend of sand bank and reefbreak, the only element so often amiss is swell. If there is a windswell blowing in the gulf however there will be a point here somewhere with a wave, chances are at least somewhere will be offshore or sideshore at worst as well.

where to stay

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Jaw101ie: Modern Structures in Qatar's oil rich capital Doha, 27 March 2006

Hotel prices are on the rise in Qatar, and you can expect to pay as much as US$100 for an ordinary double room in a mid-range hotel. It will be very hard to find a budget accommodation in the capital of Qatar, Doha, infact, it does not seem to exist!

The one and only hostel is very hard to find and even taxi drivers at the airport may have troubles.

what to pack

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Flashdance: A pair of very simple Moroccan flip flops called "Cabjuks"; 25 May 2007

Trainers, loose clothing - everything for the hot weather. Definitely take along some bug repellent spray, good sunscreen and sunglasses! And take a good protection for your camera from the sand.

Make sure you bring everything you may need for your camera with you, just to prevent yourself from unpleasant surprises when you suddenly need to buy something.

A good sunscreen and insect repellent wouldn't hurt much. Comfortable walking shoes, as there are many places to see. Don't forget to bring any medications that you need! You can also take some stuff to give away to locals (for example, pencils or some sport equipment for kids).

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