QATAR

Qatar Flag
Country Description: Qatar is a traditional emirate, governed by the Al-Thani family in consultation with a Council of Ministers and a legislative Advisory Council. Islamic ideals and beliefs provide the conservative foundation of the country's customs, laws and practices. Qatar is a modern, developed country, and tourist facilities are widely available. Qatar is not a signatory to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations nor to any other bilateral or multilateral consular accord.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: Passports and visas are required. For further information, travelers can contact the Embassy of the State of Qatar, 4200 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 200, Washington, D.C. 20016, telephone (202) 274-1600.

Medical Facilities: Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in the government-run hospital and health centers in Qatar. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. Supplemental medical insurance with specific overseas coverage has proven useful. The international travelers hotline at the Centers for Disease Control, telephone (404) 332-4559, has additional useful health information. The CDC has a page on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: Crime is generally not a problem for travelers in Qatar. The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on safeguarding valuables, protecting personal security, and other matters while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlets, "A Safe Trip Abroad" and "Tips for Travelers to the Middle East and North Africa." They are available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402.

Drug Penalties: Travelers are subject to the laws and legal practices of the country in which they travel. Penalties for possession, use or trafficking in illegal drugs are strict in Qatar and convicted offenders can expect jail sentences, lashings, and/or fines.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Travel by road in Qatar is generally safe. Roads in Doha and Qatar's highway system are well planned and engineered. Informal rules of the road and local customs, however, may prove frustrating for first time visitors.

Registration and Embassy Location: U.S. citizens are encouraged to register at the U.S. Embassy and obtain updated information on travel and security within Qatar. The U.S. Embassy is located at 149 Ali Bin Ahmed St., Farig Bin Omran, in Doha, Qatar (opposite the TV station), P.O. Box 2399, Doha, Qatar. The telephone number is (974) 864-701/702/703; fax number is (974) 861-669. The workweek in Qatar is Saturday through Wednesday.

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