Marhaba Information Guide, Qatar’s premier information guide, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2019. In this 74th issue, published on 1 April 2019, Marhaba celebrates 25 years of Marhaba Information Guide.
On the realisation that there was a need for an information/tourist guide in Qatar, Marhaba Information Guide was established in April 1994 by Hilary Bainbridge, who has called Qatar home for over 30 years.
The Marhaba brand includes not only the ever-popular Information Guide, but also Pocket Maps, the Marhaba Dining and Shopping Guides, Marhaba Calendars and the souvenir books, Qatar Kaleidoscope and Qatar Image.
Marhaba Information Guide
The Marhaba Information Guide was created with the mission to fill an information gap and provide comprehensive, accurate and interesting information about Qatar for the community at large. In its quest to provide this service, since its inception 25 years ago, Marhaba has produced in excess of one million books.
The first edition contained 32 pages and had a print run of 12,000 copies. Today every issue contains 450+ pages and has a per-issue print run that almost doubles the original one. Most of the advertisers from the first issue still advertise with Marhaba today – which must mean something!
The book provides information and editorials on Qatar’s various sectors such as tourism, hospitality, shopping, sports, education, health and beauty, banking and commerce, motoring, oil and gas, infrastructure and more. Over 450 pages of everything you need to know about making the best of your stay in Qatar, whether as a visitor, coming to live here for the first time or as a long-term resident who needs to keep up to date with new developments.
Marhaba Information Guide is available fully customised for corporate clients. It can be found for purchase at QAR20 at all the major supermarkets and bookshops in Qatar.
Marhaba Pocket Map
Marhaba Information Guide included a map of Doha from the first issue. A truly original work, the Marhaba Pocket Map has grown mirroring the growth of Doha City itself over the years. The separate Marhaba Pocket Map was created out of the original Marhaba Information Guide map. Customised Pocket Maps were first produced for the 2006 Asian Games, which was held in Qatar in December 2006. Since then Marhaba has produced customised maps for many hotels, banks, private companies, and the 2006 Asian Games.
Doha has grown tremendously is recent years. We can now show the newly important Lusail, Al Wajba and Al Wakra areas where so much infrastructure is being constructed, It also includes new and very convenient superhighways – the Orbital Road and the G Ring Road. Map features also include Map of West Bay, Map of Industrial Area, Map of Greater Doha, Map of Souq Waqif, Map of The Pearl-Qatar, and Map of Katara Cultural Village.
Bought once a year but enjoyed throughout, Marhaba Calendars are available in desk and wall formats, featuring stunning photographs of Qatar’s wildlife, architecture, history and culture, with accompanying bite-size chunks of information.
Qatar Image, featuring the iconic landscapes of the country. Qatar Image was launched in 2013 as a striking coffee table book full of cultural knowledge, from the history of Qatar to arts and nature of the country. Beautifully laid out, it features hundreds of iconic photographs of wildlife, flora and fauna, architecture – a perfect souvenir gift, for a quick dip or in-depth read. Marhaba has published three issues of Qatar Image with the latest issue coming out in late 2018.
Many Marhaba products find their way overseas; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs distribute them to Qatar’s embassies. Many companies consider them essential background information as part of their recruitment packages. Marhaba produces Information Guides and booklets for many organisations in Qatar, including National Tourism Council (NTC), formerly known as Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
Marhaba Dining and Shopping Guides
Marhaba produced the official 2006 Doha Asian Games Dining Guide. The Marhaba Dining Guide came into being to fill the gap after the Asian Games and the updated second edition was published in 2008. With eight editions to date, the Marhaba Dining Guide includes nine appetising sections packed with information of where and what to eat.
With a limited amount of space available in the Marhaba Information Guide and a thirst for more information by the general public, Marhaba produced its first dedicated Shopping Guide in 2008. With four editions to date, the Marhaba Shopping Guide is a comprehensive and updated guide with the latest malls, stores, souqs, fashion, furniture, jewellery, electornics, gifts, souvenirs and more.
In late 2008, the Marhaba editorial department gathered the material and produced an eclectic mix of our most interesting stories, designed to be a souvenir of Qatar for visitors and residents to treasure forever. Qatar Kaleidoscope was published in June 2009.
With changing times and a more online world, Marhaba needed a presence. Beyond printed books and maps Marhaba now has an online reach of at least 1 million online readers in Qatar and beyond per month. Marhaba online includes the Marhaba website, eGuides, and its social media channels. Most recently, Marhaba branched out to more than providing information but also to provide a link between job seekers and those looking to hire, with its Marhaba Resume Database, available through the Marhaba website. The Marhaba Resume Database now has hundreds of resumes ready for prospective employers to look at.
The Marhaba website publishes daily news about Qatar, regarding the country’s various industries including hospitality, tourism, healthcare, education, oil and gas, and other industries. Our Events Calendar includes events, conferences, festivals, concerts and more. The Marhaba Weekend Guide is the ultimate guide to the weekend to various events happening across Qatar from Thursdays to Saturdays, where the Cinema Listings lets you know what are the latest movies in the cinemas in Qatar along with trailers, timings and locations. Those who subscribe through our website receive the Marhaba Newsletter, which goes out to more than 27,000 subscribers weekly.
Marhaba’s social media channels include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, to name a few. Marhaba social media is rich with daily updates of Qatar’s events, conferences, festivals and more. Marhaba will share news from its website on social media as well as live posts from media events they attend using the hashtag #MarhabaNow. On occasions, Marhaba will share public events, special offers and news on their social media.
A note from Hilary Bainbridge
It is really quite amazing to think I’m talking about this 25th anniversary of Marhaba. When Marhaba first started, we were producing a small publication with a handful of advertisers and listings. From this we have grown into a substantial guide to life in Qatar, with a fabulous website and a high profile social media presence. This couldn’t have been done without the continued support of local companies and entities, as well as all the members of the team that have worked for Marhaba over the years. We are still here after 25 years, and I look forward to seeing how Marhaba continues to evolve in the future!
We are informed and hardworking yet relaxed and easygoing – just like our products. Constantly at the forefront of life in Qatar, the Editorial team deliver an array of entertaining and informative features on all the latest developments, mixed in with enlightening sections on everything from Living in Qatar to Motoring, giving our readers the confidence to go about their daily lives. Equally, the Sales and Marketing team can show our advertisers and corporate clients how they can fully maximise their advertising potential.
We continually work to update our products – the Marhaba Information Guide, Shopping and Dining Guides, Qatar Image and Maps – but we are always open to undertaking new projects, as per our clients’ requirements.
It is through the dedication and hard work of the whole Marhaba team of 15 members over the years that Marhaba products have achieved their leading and respected position in the market.
Elizabeth Wardle Walker:
‘Marhaba Information Guide was invaluable to us when we first moved to Qatar and still is today. We were given our first Marhaba by my husband’s company and it made the moving in process a smooth one. Many people think that there’s not much to do here in Qatar, but your eyes will be opened with the many recreational options listed that you can do in your spare time and there is a calendar of events provided too. All you need to know really when making a move to Qatar and to use during your time here. The price of Marhaba Information Guide (at only QAR20) is great too and very affordable for everyone to buy when each new edition comes out.’
‘Marhaba Information Guide is absolutely crammed full of information about Qatar, and is very comprehensive. It is pretty useful for when new in town. I would love to recommend new expats do the same. Buy a new copy everytime, it’s worth it overtime.’
‘One of the best websites in Qatar where you know the latest news happenning in Qatar.’
‘No sooner I arrived in Doha, my friend handed me my first copy of the Marhaba Information Guide at the airport and told me carry it along with me whereever I go. Indeed it had information about people, culture, shopping, food, and maps. I have always kept myself updated with a copy and bought the latest edition and made sure to give it to friends who arrive new to help them explore Qatar much better.’
‘The most reliable information guide of Doha.’
‘Great website and book. A ‘must have’ if you live or are visiting Qatar.’
Mohammad Daoud, Gulf Warehousing Company (GWC):
‘Marhaba is one of our favourite media outlets in Qatar. It’s informative, up to date and consistent over the years. Working with the Marhaba team is always a pleasure. They are a team of committed and purposed professionals.’
Ritika Ramani, Fraser Suites West Bay-Doha:
‘The Marhaba Team is one of the best creative talents I have ever come across – topped with an excellent attitude and work ethic. Working with them has been a truly gratifying experience and I look forward to continuing our ongoing relationship with them for years to come.’
Rula Ramahi, ACS Doha International School:
‘Every academic year we hand Marhaba Information Guide to our new teachers for a full picture on everything they want and need to know upon their arrival to Qatar. We are proud to be working with Marhaba since our establishment year in 2011 and we are looking forward to foster our relationship with Marhaba while we are moving to a new campus in North Doha in August 2020.’
Christelle Bou Chebl, The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa:
‘Since the opening of The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa in 2016, we have been constantly working with Marhaba, we have a pleasant overall business experience with them, their campaigns are very well organised and they have the right expertise to target the right audience when it comes to online campaigns and advertorials. The team is very professional and friendly. Thus, we are very happy with the outcome and would recommend working with them.’
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