top view from people in the water with many large building far in the background and the sun setting in between them

Qatar

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WHAT TO FIND IN THIS VISIT QATAR PAGE

Snapshot | When to visit Qatar | Cost to visit Qatar | Films to watch | Blog Posts

flag of qatar

Qatar is a small country located in the Middle East, bordered by Saudi Arabia to the south and the Persian Gulf to the north, east, and west. It is known modern architecture, including the iconic skyscrapers of Doha and vibrant souqs. Despite its small size, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world, with its economy based on oil and natural gas exports. Only about 11% of the country is a Qatari citizen. The rest of the population is made of more than 50% labouring skilled asians and about 30% skilled foreigners, mostly from UK and US.

Snapshot of Qatar

Capital: Doha
Population: 2.8 million (2021) (23rd)
Rank in territory: (166th)
Currency: Qatari Riyal
Currency to US$: approx 0.27
Rank in GDP: 59th (198 billion USD)
Electric socket: 240V (50Hz) three prong plug (type D and G)

Safety

Qatar is generally considered a safe country for residents and visitors. The crime rate is low, and violent crime is rare. In general, Qatar has strict laws and regulations regarding public behaviour and decency. Individuals who do not adhere to these standards can face legal consequences, including deportation. Just be aware of and respect cultural and social norms of Qatar to avoid any legal or social issues. Women should dress modestly and be respectful of local customs and traditions, especially when visiting religious sites. It is also recommended to avoid walking alone at night and to use reputable transportation options, due to safety concerns such as potential harassment or assault. And always, we recommend to travel insured!

Language

Arabic – It's relatively easy to get by in English, especially in tourist areas and in the business world. However, it would be nice to learn some Arabic phrases.

Religion

Islam (65%), Christianity (15%), Hinduism (5%), others/none (15%)

Regions and cities

Qatar can be classified as one-city country as 90% of the population lives in its capital city, Doha. Nevertheless, Qatar has 8 municipalities:
  • Doha, Al Rayyan, Al Wakrah, Al Khor, Al Daayen, Umm Salal, Al-Shahaniya, and Al Sheehaniya.
  • Doha is the most populous city in Qatar
  • Al Wakrah is known for its beautiful beaches and historical sites
  • Al Khor is a coastal city with a rich history in the pearl trade

Visa

Visitors from many countries can obtain a visa on arrival at Hamad International Airport for a stay of up to 90 days, while others may require a visa in advance through Hayya Card. The visa on arrival can be obtained by presenting a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket. See more details here.

Click here to see the countries eligible for up to 90 days visa on arrival and visa valid for 180 days from the date of issuance
Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine

Click here to see the countries eligible for up to 30 days visa on arrival and visa valid for 30 days from the date of issuance
Andorra, Australia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Georgia, Guyana, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela

Click here to see the countries eligible for Qatar-Oman joint tourist visa valid for 30 days, for multiple entry to both countries and is extendable for an additional 30 days for a fee
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Vatican City

When to visit Qatar

* Best time to visit Qatar is October, November, March and April *

Weather in Qatar

Qatar has a desert climate, which means that it is hot and dry for most of the year. Summers (June-Sept) are extremely hot, with temperatures up to 50°C. Winter is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C from December to February. Spring (March to May) and autumn (October to November) has warm temperatures and lower humidity than in the summer. However, there can still be occasional sandstorms during these seasons.

Approximate temperature in Doha in °C
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAgoSeptOctNovDec
181922273236373735302319

Seasons

The summer months, from June to September are extreme hat. In winter (Dec-Feb), the weather is more comfortable for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Spring (March to May) and autumn (October to November) are great to visit Qatar because the weather is nice and you will escape from the crowd and higher prices.

High season: December to February
Mid season: March to May and October to November
Low season: June to September

graph for the best season to travel in Italy

What to pack

In general, you want to make sure your clothes are light and breathable. Don't forget you sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, comfortable shoes, a shawl (scarf) to cover your body for visiting religious sites, beach swimsuit and a power adapter.
If you are going in the winter, don't forget to pack a jacket or a sweater as it will get quite cold, particular in the desert.

Cost to visit Qatar

Low budget vs luxury

Qatar can accommodate both low-budget and luxury travel, but generally, the country is known for luxury tourism. Prices can be relatively high compared to other destinations in the region too, but with some planning and research, it's possible to find affordable options.

Accommodation

accommodation logo

budget - about $60/night
average - about $170/night
luxury - about $400/night

FOOD

food logo

kebab (mostly shawarma) - about $2
average (normal restaurants) - about $15
luxury (nice restaurants) - about $60+

TRANSPORT

logo of train

metro or buses - around $0.3
uber - about $5
Karwa taxis - about $10

What to see in Qatar

Art and history

art and history symbol

Katara Cultural Village
Al Zubarah site
All the museums

SPORTS AND WELLNESS

sports and welness symbol

Golfing (Doha Golf Club)
Horse and camel racing
Spa treatments

CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

culture and entertainment symbol

Desert safari
Souq Waqif
The Pearl

What to eat in Qatar

Machboos
Balaleet
Grilled meats

Films to watch

Film The Challenge poster

Challenge

Documentary film by Italian filmmaker Yuri Ancarani. The film follows a group of wealthy Qatari sheikhs as they participate in a traditional falconry competition in the Qatari desert. The film showcases the extravagant and opulent lifestyles of the sheikhs, as well as the intricate and ancient art of falconry in Qatar. Throughout the competition, the sheikhs display their wealth and power by showcasing their prized falcons, custom-made luxury vehicles, and lavish tents in the desert. "The Challenge" offers a glimpse into the culture and traditions of Qatar, as well as the unique sport of falconry that is still very much a part of the country's heritage.

Film The Workers Cup poster

The Workers Cup

Documentary film directed by Adam Sobel that explores the lives of labourers in Qatar who are building the facilities for the 2022 World Cup. The film follows a group of workers from different countries who are competing in a soccer tournament called the "Workers Cup." Through their participation in the tournament, the workers find a sense of camaraderie and escape from their grueling work schedules and poor living conditions. The film also delves into the broader issues surrounding labor rights and exploitation in Qatar, and raises questions about the human cost of hosting mega-events like the World Cup.

Film And Then They Burn The Sea poster

And Then They Burn the Sea

Qatari documentary short film directed by Majid Al-Remaihi. The film is a poetic exploration of Qatar's relationship with the sea, its history, and its culture, told through the eyes of the fishermen who work its waters. The film also delves into the rapid modernization and urbanization of Qatar, which has dramatically changed the lives and traditions of the people who once relied on the sea for their livelihoods. Through stunning cinematography and intimate interviews with the fishermen and their families, "And Then They Burn the Sea" offers a powerful and poignant meditation on the enduring ties between a people and their land and sea.

Film Black Gold poster

Black Gold

Film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, which tells the story of two young Arab princes, Auda and Saleeh, whose father rules a desert kingdom that sits on top of a massive oil reserve. As the world becomes increasingly dependent on oil, the princes find themselves at the center of a power struggle between the corrupt Emir and his ambitious younger brother. Auda is sent to study in England and becomes deeply disillusioned with the way Westerners exploit the Arab world for its resources. Meanwhile, Saleeh stays behind and becomes involved with a group of Bedouin rebels who are fighting against the Emir's oppressive regime. As the two brothers become more estranged, their kingdom is torn apart by violence and greed, until they are finally forced to confront each other in a deadly showdown.

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