Haj pilgrimage package rates for 2011

Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs yesterday announced Haj pilgrimage tariffs for 2011.

Category C (by road)

Category C (by road) – Makkah and Madina – QR12,000 (against QR9,200 last year)

Category C (by road) – Makkah only – QR10,000 (against QR8,120 last year)

The package includes accommodation, services at the holy sites, Mina camping, food and transportation and accommodation in a hotel with a minimum three star facility for three nights. The amount also includes charges of the unified agents office.

Details for category (C) are as follows: QR 4,200 For accommodation in Makkah, QR 2,000 for accommodation in Madina, QR800 for shrines services, QR2,200 for camping in Mina, QR800 for food and QR2,000 for transportation.

Category A (by air)

Category A (by Air) – Makkah and Madina QR16,000 (from last year’s QR15,100)

Category A (by Air) – Makkah only , QR12,800 (against QR12,460 charged last year).

The package does not include air tickets but cover all other services available to Class C plus accommodation in a hotel with a minimum four star facility for three nights.

A third category (Category B) for pilgrims travelling by air that offered lower fares compared to Category A has been abolished this year. Fares for Category C has now become almost similar to that existed in Category B (QR12,400) last year.

Details of the tariffs for category (A) are as follows: QR 5,100 for accommodation in Makkah, QR 3,200 for accommodation in Madina, QR1,200 for shrines services, QR 2,900 for Mina camping, QR1,800 for food and QR1,800 for transportation.

The Haj and Umrah Department at the Ministry has urged all aspiring pilgrims to register online between July 2 and September 13.




Obtaining International Driving License in Qatar


I’ve got another IDL for the second time; now directly from Qatar Automobiles & Touring Club (QATC). Unlike the previous one, the new IDL comes in a smaller size and more handy. The fee is 100QR and it takes only 5 minutes.  Requirements are still the same: Qatari Driving License & 2-passport size photos. I’m not sure about opening hours  but when I visited them on Saturday, 10:40am, they were open.


Opposite Doha Petrol Centre (petrol station) on C-Ring Road; between Gulf Cinema signal and Toyota Signal. QATC is located on the ground floor (end of corridor) of a building sharing with Aswan Trading & Contracting Co. If you pass QNB or Commercial Bank, you’ve driven too far. Taking parallel slip road is recommended.

Wikimapia Map

Coordinate: 25°15’51″N 51°32’45″E

New Qatar International Driving License
New Qatar International Driving License

QATC Building


I just obtained an international driving license for the purpose of driving in a foreign country for this upcoming vacation. Obtaining one is not a hassle. While Qatar Automobiles & Touring Club (QATC) is the sole authority in Qatar to issue International Driving License, you can obtain the same from any major travel/car rental agents in Qatar (I read that it can be obtained at the following*: Al Muftah Rent A Car, Ali bin Ali Travel, Sulaiman Travel, Aamal Travel). *Note: Not an exhaustive list.

I obtained mine through Aamal Travel & Tourism in City Center. No specific reason except it is conveniently located at City Center (don’t tell me about the parking though:) ). I submitted a copy of Qatar driving license, two photographs (any color), and QR100. The license is ready the next day. Some said that it should have been ready within an hour.

The international driving license is valid for one year from the issuing date. the license contains information on personal identity, type of vehicle for which the license is issued, and driving license number.

International Driving License issued in Qatar

Total Lunar Eclipse June 2011

I managed to take some pictures from the recent total lunar eclipse. With limited lense, it’s not quite stunning, some were even bit shaky. Probably the reason to buy 800mm?

A total lunar eclipse is taking place on June 15, 2011. It is the first of two such eclipses in 2011, the second occurring on December 10, 2011. This is a relatively rare central lunar eclipse where the center point of Earth’s shadow passes across the Moon. The last time a lunar eclipse was closer to the center of the earth’s shadow was on July 16, 2000. The next central total lunar eclipse will be on July 27, 2018.

When an eclipse of the Moon takes place, everyone on the night side of the Earth can see it. The eclipse will begin at around 9:23pm (local time) partially and move to a total phase at 10:22pm, according to NASA’s eclipse predictions. The total phase will end at 00:03 while the partial stage will come to an end at 1:02am. The total eclipse will be at its peak at 11:13pm. In the totality phase of the eclipse, the moon will appear to darken and turn a deep red before eventually returning to normal. This is because of the filtering and refracting effect of light in the Earth’s atmosphere, without which the Moon would appear completely dark during a total eclipse. The Moon takes on a range of colours from dark brown and red to bright orange and yellow in this period. The exact appearance depends on how much dust and clouds are present in the Earth’s atmosphere. Total eclipses tend to be very dark after major volcanic eruptions since these events dump large amounts of volcanic ash into the Earth’s atmosphere. The total lunar eclipse will be seen from the eastern half of Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and Western Australia. While, Europe will miss the initial stages of the eclipse, east Asia, eastern Australia, and New Zealand will miss the last stages, though the total phase will be seen from most of these regions.

15 June 2011. 21:07pm


15 June 2011. 21:17pm
15 June 2011. 21:26pm
15 June 2011. 21:42pm
15 June 2011.22:00pm
15 June 2011. 22:12pm
15 June 2011. 10:22pm - Full Eclipse


Really true! The below wise words from Mario Teguh pacifies me whenever bad behaviors from others done to me. Like for example when I am being humiliated or intimidated on road here 🙂 by those who give flashing from behind though I am obeying speed limit or just 200m from roundabout, those who are cutting the lane abruptly, and those road users that have no sense of respect.

What harmful from
the bad behavior of others done to you,
is not the behavior, but their impact
to your peace.

… Your frustation and angry 
can ruin the mood,
and encourage you to
be as bad as them
with plans to retaliate.


Some of us is just a test for us.

Live for your better future,
although without them.

Be patient.


Yang membahayakan
dari perilaku buruk orang lain kepada Anda,
bukanlah perilakunya, tapi dampaknya
kepada kedamaian Anda.

…Rasa kecewa dan marah Anda
bisa merusak suasana hati,
dan mendorong Anda untuk
menjadi seburuk mereka
dengan rencana untuk membalas.


Sebagian dari kita adalah cobaan bagi kita yang lain.

Hiduplah untuk masa depan Anda yang lebih baik,
walau tanpa mereka.


A bucket in the bathroom: back to traditional way of taking a bath

“Ouw….hot….it’s hot”, scream my kids one weekend noon.

Though the tap handle has been placed rightmost, water is still flowing hot. It’s still early June but we already feel it’s coming. Summer is officially started from 16 June, yet mercury has been upward trajectorily. The last few days show average temperature in the range of 41 C to 46 C.

So back to the story, taking a bath during summer is tricky one. It may be okay for such activity in the morning or later in the evening but not during noon…ppsssst…our common habitual weekend activity when getting up late is rather must 🙂

And here we are now, putting a big bucket or super-size unused cooler box in the bathroom. Filled it with water night before so that it is temperate enough for taking a bath at noon. Scooping water from the box or pail, showering on top of my head and body, it reminds me the traditional way of taking a bath. Back to the old days, when I was kid, I had a big concrete bathtub in our bathroom. Where pressurized piped water was a luxury, we used to use a well as a source of water to our bathroom. From it water is pumped manually, and hiks, it was my job to make sure that it was always full for use by all family members.

Taking a bath by bathtub or scooping water is criticized for not environmental friendly, but in this hot summer, I rather keep it aside. Convenience prevails! What to do yanni 🙂

Shop the World, Doha Trade Fair, 4-13 June 2011

Shop the World is the tagline of 2011 Doha Trade Fair, to be held on 4-13 June 2011 at Doha Exhibition center. That’s probably too exaggerating but participating countries include QATAR, China, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Egypt, Bahrain, KSA, Kuwait, Oman, Syria, UAE, Yemen, Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Canada, Italy, USA, Spain, Lebanon, Morocco, Turkey, Iran, Jordan, Kenya.

The fair will start from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm daily except for Fridays when it will start from 2:00 pm up to 10:00 pm. There will be 570 stands within the 15,000 square meters of the exhibition center. For 10 days, an array of products and goods coming from many different countries from all over Asia, Europe and America will be showcased for customers to buy:

clothing, abayas, shoes, bags, accessories, beauty products, make-up, gadgets, toys, small home appliances, home decoration, gift items, souvenirs, packed food products, handcrafted products, silver wares

Doha Trade Fair's Shop the World

One of the crowd puller and an interesting agenda of the fair is The Largest Monopoly in the World. So in attempt to break the World Record on the largest monopoly in the world, DTF will be releasing a huge monopoly on the 4th of June, 2011. Guinness representatives will be available to monitor and register this event. Over Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/dohatradefair , DTF will be selecting 48 couples to play with this monopoly game.  A competition will be held and the winner of the game will go home with a brand new car!

How is like winning a brand new car from playing monopoly?

On the same Facebook fan page there is also a daily competition by naming the country to where the picture belongs. More than 165 coupons will be given to the winners. Quite interesting.


 Email dtf@qmediame.com

Phone +974 4428 2828, +974 4428 2894

Website: http://www.doha-tradefair.com