Qatar (State of Qatar)

Languages: Arabic

Currencies: QAR · Qatari riyal (ر.ق)

Capitol: Doha

Continents: Asia

Borders: Saudi Arabia

More useful information

Area: 11,586km2

Population: 2,881,060

Traffic/driving side: right

Landlocked country: No

Independent country: Yes

United Nations member: Yes

IDD Prefix: +974

Timezones: UTC+03:00

Last updated on October 26, 2023

Qatar travel guide - everything you know before you go.

Qatar is one of the smallest countries in Arabian Peninsula. Thanks to its masive oil and gas recourses, it remains extremely wealthy, conservative and hugely innovative. It went through a development era thanks to 2022 Fifa World Cup. The goverment used this opportunity to make lots of investments in the country infrastructure, stadiums and tourism.

The country is only 190km long, located in Arabian Gulf it shares landborder with only one neighbour – Saudi Arabia. 

Doha - visa on arrival.

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For 101 countries (2023) there is visa on-arrival available in the Immigration Counter at the airport.

Visa free entry means Visa-on-arrival.

Other countries can apply online for e-visa through platform.

ENTRY VISA FEE is 30$. Make sure your passport is valid at least for 6 months – this is an entry rule for the most countries in the world. Most countries which qualify for visa on arrival would get 180 days visa (without extention possibility) or 30 day visa.

How to get from Hamad International Doha Airport to the city center?

Hamad International Airport is located 15 km from Doha city centre. It may normally take 20-30 minutes to get to the city centre but I landed evening time and it took me almost an hour by taxi. There are few transportation options to get to Doha city centre:

  • TAXI (around 20$) – depends on a traffic!! – which can be really heavy in the afternoon and evening time,
  • There are few shuttle buses during day time running from the airport to Doha city centre,
  • Public buses: 777, 747 and 109 will take you from the airport to the city,
  • IF Doha is your transit airport you can get a free visa on arrival and a shuttle bus which takes you around the city. Ask for directions at the airport. I wasn’t aware this option is available and I paid for both – visa and city transfer. 

Renting a car in Qatar.

Renting a car in Qatar is a very good option for traveling around and exploring the country outside of Doha. 

DISCOVER CARS is the best an award winning car rental, with best rates, no hidden cost and free cancellation (World Travel Awards, Financial Times 1000).

Health insurance is mandatory for all Qatar visitors.

Visitors to Qatar are now required to have a health insurance policy. You should never travel without insurance policy and according to new rules you need to obtain one for Qatar. Visitors Coverage is highly rated and recommended travel insurance with very affordable options:

  • Complete range of travel medical insurance and trip insurance solutions globally
  • Top-rated Customer Service team
  • Simplified purchase experience — quote and purchase in less than 5 minutes

If you don’t have pre-purchsed health insurance for Qatar, you will be able to purchase on arrival.

Public transport in Doha city.

There are regular buses from the airport to Doha city center. You need to buy a smartcard and charge it (you can buy it at the airport). There are also about 3 shuttle buses during day time taking you from the airport to the city center of Doha. Public bus number 747, 777 or eventually 109. They all will take you to Doha city centre. It was late afternoon for so I took a taxi to reach the city as fast as possible. The city skyscrapers looks unbelievable during night time. The night was warm, very quiet on the streets despite lots of construction sites. Since I’m an adventurous traveler, exploring the darkest corner of the city and local sights, I had a feeling like someone was constantly watching me when I was walking the streets. Well except of hundreds of workers around the area. Perhaps it was just an issusion but few luxury cars stopped asking me what I was doing in the area. 

Qatar travel guide - best adventures!

Inland Sea Safari, Sandboarding and Desert Tour - top one adventure in Qatar!

Inland Sea Safari tour is an authentic experience and one of the most incredible adventures in Qatar.

  • Duration 5 hours,
  • Pick-up from Doha Hotels,
  • Lots stopovers in key landmarks for photo oppotunities,
  • Guided Tour across the desert in a 4DW Land Cruiser driver,
  • Camel riding,
  • Dune bashing
  • Sandboarding

Don’t forget to wear comfortable clothes, sun glasses and sun protection. 

Inland Sea (Khor Al Adaid) adventure.

Inland Sea is a lovely spot in Qatar for number of unique attractions:

  • Flamingos migration – during winter time you can watch hundreds of flamingos migrating to Inland Sea shores,
  • Amazing sunset spots,
  • Dune bashing.

City Centre Doha.

There is a huge shopping mall located just in the heart of Doha. I took few kilometers walk along the bay. I guess one day (and night) is definitely enough for exploring the famous Doha. Of course Doha has much more to offer. Especially if you want to see amazing Losail International Motor Racing Circuit, which you can find on my picture from the plane perspective. You can escape the city taking one of the highways, leading to some absolutely amazing and empty beaches. The question is whether you are able to cope with incredible heat usually way above 40 degrees.

Best chilled tours for nature lovers.

Top rated city tours:

Doha beyond the scope.

Hanging around the city don’t be surprised to be stopped by different people – both locals or foreigners (there’s probably more foreign people than locals)! I was stopped number of times – twice by a luxury shining jeep with dark windows (like a security patrol), who were asking simple questions, what I am doing in Doha and where I am going. They were all hugely interested in the Nikon camera I was carrying. 

Doha best hotels to stay in.

What to wear in Qatar and can you drink alcohol?

Conservative outfit is recommended, but Doha is a multicultural city and there isn’t specific street dress code in place. Stay respectful toward local laws by covering your shoulders and knees, and avoid provocative, transparent clothing. In 40 degrees I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Many people were out running in a sport outfit. 

More than 60% of the country population are Muslims. Alcohol is strictly forbidden in Qatar, except restaurant and bar areas in luxury hotels. Night views of the city are memorable.

Sassari Sardinia

Hey - I'm Eva!

Hiker, adventurous traveler and the author of this blog. My biggest joy is mountaineering and writing reportage travel stories here on this blog, to help you create a unique travel experience. Traveling is freedom, allows you seeing the world truly, meet communities, grow. Taste it!

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