A house is a property that is usually set out over two or more floors. In Qatar, houses are usually referred to as villas, although it is possible to also find townhouses too. There are two kinds of villas: either standalone villas or compound villas. A standalone villa is defined as a house that has boundary walls and stands on its own private land as a detached and separate entity. A compound villa is defined as a house that is located within a residential compound or "neighbourhood/society". Compounds vary in size and can be anything from a handful of houses to hundreds in the much larger compounds. Both have their benefits and drawbacks for example, standalone villas offer more privacy for their occupants and compound villas usually benefit from many more amenities, security and maintenance.
A townhouse is a type of terraced housing often referred to as "row houses" as they are constructed in rows and stand side by side with shared walls usually to both sides. Most townhouses typically have more than 2 floors and commonly three in most regions. There is a wide variety of houses available in Qatar with varying amenities and suitable for most budgets.
Al Shahaniya is bordered with the Al Khor municipality to the north, the Umm Salal municipality to the east and Al Rayyan municipality to its south. Formerly, Al Shahaniya was part of the Al Rayyan municipality but was later made independent. It is known for its large plains and sunken land-surfaces. The majority of activity associated with camel racing and oryx breeding in Qatar takes place in Al Shahaniya.
The south of Al Shahaniya is scarce in agricultural land due to harsh dessert conditions and the lack of groundwater. Its largest city is Dukhan, located on the far west coast which is considered the most important western city in Qatar. The industrial city of Umm Bab lies south of Dukhan and is home to the first non-oil related industry, a cement processing facility which began operating more than 50 years ago. Dukhan Road is the main road serving the municipality and is a highway which runs all the way from Dukhan to the capital Doha.
Al Shahaniya City is home to the public defence complex. The Shahaniya Services Centre which manages passports and travel documents and the Shahaniya Civil Defence Centre are located in the city.