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File: Doha Qatar

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Doha CityscapeDoha ("the big tree") is the capital city of the state of Qatar.

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Located on the Persian Gulf, it had a population of 998,651 in 2008, and is also one of the municipalities of Qatar. Doha is Qatar's largest city, with over 60% of the nation's population residing in Doha or its surrounding suburbs, and is also the economic centre of the country.

Doha also serves as the seat of government of Qatar, which is ruled by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. Doha is home to the Education City, an area devoted to research and education. Doha was the site of the first ministerial-level meeting of the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations. The city of Doha held the 2006 Asian Games, which was the largest Asian Games ever held. Doha also hosted the 2011 Pan Arab Games and most of the games at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup. Doha will also host a large number of the venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Doha is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. The World Petroleum Council held the 20th World Petroleum Conference in Doha in December 2011.

Doha International Airport is Qatar's only international airport. It is the hub of Qatar Airways, and is served by many other international airlines. Because of the rapid growth in Qatar and the rapid growth of Qatar Airways, many now consider the airport too small and unable to properly handle all of the traffic that goes through the airport. This problem was recently addressed with a large expansion that was made in anticipation of the 15th Asian Games. In order to accommodate increased traffic, the airport's facilities were expanded significantly, including the construction of a separate terminal dedicated to first and business class passengers, and expansion of the current terminal. Furthermore, new stands have been constructed on the opposite side of the runway to handle additional air traffic. These changes have temporarily eased the problem, but because of the airport's small size and limited space for expansion, this has not been enough to permanently solve the problem of the airport crowding.

A new airport, the New Doha International Airport, is being constructed near the existing airport (about 3 miles east), and should solve the problems the current airport has. The first phase of the airport should be completed in late 2009 or early 2010 along with the second phase, and will be able to accommodate 25 million passengers annually. Upon the completion of the third phase in 2015, the airport is expected to be able to handle up to 50 million passengers annually. The new airport is located further away from the central areas of the city than the current airport, reducing noise and environmental pollution. The projected total cost of the New Airport is $22 billion.

When the airport is completed, it will cover 2,200 hectares.

The Al Udeid Air Base, a major U.S. Air Force airbase, is located southwest of Doha.

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