Visiting Qatar

While visiting Qatar, whether you’re looking to explore Qatar’s rich culture, take in its natural beauty, or shop till you drop, this country has something for everyone.

And with Qatar Airways – the national carrier – now flying direct from London Heathrow to Doha’s Hamad International Airport, it’s easier than ever to get there.

Qatar is a remarkable nation, reigning as the richest country in the world. This small peninsula situated in the Arabian Gulf between Bahrain and UAE exhibits almost perfect rectangular features that make it unique among its neighbors.

Its capital, Doha, is widely considered the business hub of the Middle East and a paradise for shopping enthusiasts.

But before you book your ticket, there are a few travel tips and things you should know before you visit Qatar…

Read on for our top tips on what to expect (and how to avoid any potential pitfalls) when planning a trip to this fascinating corner of the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East.

How safe is it to visit Qatar for travelers?

Qatar is a safe destination for travelers, with extremely low crime rates and a strong sense of community. It is known for its hospitality and warmth, making visitors feel welcome and secure during their stay.

The government’s commitment to ensure safety and security extends to both citizens and international visitors alike.

Although it may be more conservative than some western countries, visitors are encouraged to respect local customs in order to fully enjoy the experience this rich Arab culture has to offer without fear or intimidation.

Do I need a Visa for Visiting Qatar?

Residents of more than 95 countries can travel to the State of Qatar with visa free entry. The length of stay you are granted will vary depending on your country, so it is best to check ahead with an approved source for accurate information since each nation has its own terms and conditions.

For those that require a Visa, there are two main types of visas available: a tourist visa and a business visa. Tourist visas can be obtained from your local embassy or consulate prior to departure, and are generally valid for up to 30 days.

Business visas require an invitation letter from a company or organization based in Qatar, and usually last for up to 90 days.

Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)

You can get your Qatar tourist visa using Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). 

The ETA system was designed to simplify the entry permit process. With a few clicks, you can complete the application process online. It’s easy to use and saves time.

When applying for an eVisa, you’ll need to provide some personal information. You’ll also need to provide a copy of your valid visa. In addition, you’ll need to pay a processing fee and upload the necessary documents.

As part of the visa system, you’ll also need to provide a copy or a picture of your return ticket. Once you’ve uploaded the necessary documentation, you can apply for your ETA online. After submitting the form, you’ll receive approval. Afterward, you’ll need to present your ETA to an immigration officer at the airport.

If you’re a national of a country that has a visa waiver program, you can get a single-entry ETA. Alternatively, you may need to apply for a more traditional visa. For information on which countries qualify, check the official website of the Ministry of Interior.

What is the weather like in Qatar?

Qatar has a warm desert climate, with temperatures ranging from highs of around 35°C in summer months to lows of around 25°C during winter.

Rainfall is extremely rare, and it can be very dry at times – especially during the peak summer months of July and August. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and a hat if you plan to be outdoors for long periods in the sun.

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What is the average budget for a trip to Qatar in the Middle East?

Traveling to Qatar can be a great experience, so it’s important to make sure you know what kind of budget you’ll need. When planning your trip, the average budget for Qatar should include the cost of flights to the country, food and drinks while there, along with any activities like sightseeing or shopping that you may engage in.

Take a 7-day excursion to Doha for an unforgettable experience! On average, solo travel costs around $1,296; couples typically spend about $2,328; and families of four can anticipate shelling out approximately $4,364.

Accommodations range from economical hotels at merely$15-$151 per night with the median price being around $97 per night or rent a whole vacation home ranging from 100 – 440 dollars nightly. Find popular hotels in Qatar right now.

To keep under budget during your stay in Qatar, take advantage of the many cultural attractions that are available free of charge. Be sure to also research items that have high taxes, like alcohol and luxury items as these can significantly increase costs.

With just a little bit of preparation, you’ll be able to enjoy your time in Qatar without breaking your budget!

Souq Waqif Qatar
Souq Waqif Qatar

What are the best things to do in Qatar?

Qatar is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience. From desert safaris, to historic souks and ancient fortresses, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this enthralling country.

There are endless chances to absorb Qatari culture and heritage and get a taste of its history while you’re visiting!

Highlights include the incredible Souq Waqif, a mix of old and new shops selling everything from spices to souvenirs; wandering around the stunning Museum of Islamic Arts; sampling local dishes at the amazing food stalls; immersing yourself in desert safaris and stunning natural landscapes; and exploring traditional forts including Al Zubarah.

Shopping enthusiasts will be able to browse traditional markets including Villaggio Mall, Wad Al Souq and Souq Waqif, while art aficionados can take part of Qatar’s rapidly growing cultural scene in the many lauded galleries across the country.

Those seeking souvenirs may appreciate Qatar’s vibrant history through craftworks made by local artisans found at bazaars across the capital city of Doha in the city centre. With its rich culture and diverse attractions, there is something for all travelers in Qatar.

Be sure to visit the Museum of Islamic Art for its impressive collection of Islamic art and artifacts, or explore Qatar’s beautiful coastline with a boat trip to Doha Bay.

The outdoor activities available in the country are also worth checking out, including sand-dune bashing, fishing and camping trips.

What is the general tone of voice and atmosphere in Qatar like for visitors and tourists?

Qatar is a vibrant and exciting destination to visit, with a tone and atmosphere that any and all travelers would feel at home in. From the awe-inspiring streets lined with modern architecture to the bustling markets of Old Town Doha, travelers will find every day something new to explore.

The locals are typically very welcoming and keen to share their Islamic culture and history with visitors, giving people unique insight into Qatari life. Additionally, Qatar is considered extremely safe for tourists, making it a perfect spot audiences looking for a worry-free experience.

In conclusion, Qatar is a safe place for tourists of all backgrounds, with plenty of activities and attractions to keep visitors busy. The country offers an interesting mix of culture, history and natural wonders, making it well worth a visit for any traveler looking for an enriching experience.

Have you been to Qatar? Maybe you were there for the FIFA World Cup? If so, we’d love to hear about your experiences – be sure to let us know what your favorite thing was!

FAQ’s about Visiting Qatar

Q: Are there any cultural considerations I should be aware of?

Qatar is an Islamic country, so visitors should make sure they are aware of local customs and traditions before visiting. This includes dressing modestly, avoiding public displays of affection and not consuming alcohol in public.

Q: Is it safe to travel in Qatar?

A: Yes, Qatar is a very safe place for tourists to visit, with low crime rates and a welcoming atmosphere. Be sure to practice basic safety precautions like avoiding dark alleys at night and not walking alone in unfamiliar areas.

Q: What is the currency used in Qatar?

A: The official currency of Qatar is the Qatari Riyal (QAR). Major credit cards are widely accepted, and many international banks have ATMs located throughout the cities.

Q: What is the best time of year to visit Qatar?

A: The best time to visit Qatar depends on what you’re looking for. If you want cooler weather, November through March is ideal. For beach-goers, May through October is the best time to visit.

Q: What about visiting Mosques?

A: Qatar is a predominately Muslim country, so it’s important to respect their customs and local laws when visiting mosques. Visitors should dress modestly and cover their heads when entering any mosque, as well refrain from taking photos without permission. Most mosques are open for tourists during the day, but check with local authorities before entering.

Q: What about solo female travellers who want to visit Qatar?

A: Qatar is considered safe for solo female travellers and there are no restrictions on women travelling in the country. It’s important to keep in mind that conservative Islamic customs should be observed and respected, such as dressing modestly and avoiding public displays of affection.

Women are expected to wear clothing that covers their shoulders and avoid skirts of a shorter length. Men and women should also be wary about wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts when entering governmental offices, health centers, or shopping malls.

If your attire is deemed immodest by personnel at one of these locations, you may not only be asked to leave but potentially denied entry altogether.

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Q: What about drinking alcohol?

A: Alcohol is allowed in Qatar, though it’s only served at certain bars and restaurants. It is illegal to drink publicly outside of these establishments, so be sure to follow the local laws when consuming alcohol.

Q: What about LGBTQ visitors?

A: Homosexuality is not accepted or legal in Qatar, so LGBTQ visitors should be cautious about public displays of affection. Additionally, same-sex marriage certificate or civil unions are not recognized in Qatar.

Q: What are some budget-friendly activities for budget travellers in Qatar?

A: There are plenty of free and low cost things to do in Qatar! Be sure to check out public parks like Al Corniche Park or Barzan Tower Park for great views of Doha.

You can also explore the Souq Waqif and Villaggio Mall for some bargain shopping, or take a stroll around Education City to admire its stunning architecture.

Q: What is the largest city in Qatar?

A: The largest city in Qatar is Doha, with a population of over 1.5 million people. Doha is the country’s capital, and the center of government, finance, and culture. It is home to many attractions like the Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif , and Katara Cultural Village.

Q: What kind of food can I find in Qatar?

A: You’ll find an eclectic range of cuisine and international dishes in Qatar, from traditional Middle Eastern fare to international restaurants. Popular dishes include kabsa (lamb and rice dish), hummus , falafel, shawarma, and machboos (mixed rice dish). You’ll also find many seafood dishes due to the country’s proximity to the Persian Gulf.

Q: What outdoor activities can I do in Qatar?

A: Qatar is home to many exciting outdoor activities, such as dune bashing, fishing and camping trips. Desert safaris are a popular pastime for visitors, offering an exciting chance to explore the country’s stunning sandscapes. Other activities include hiking, kayaking, and scuba diving.

Q: Is Qatar a good place for shopping?

A: Absolutely! Qatar is home to many upscale shopping malls, as well as traditional markets for bargain-hunting. Popular malls include Villaggio Mall, Doha City Centre, Landmark Shopping Mall and Mall of Qatar. Souq Waqif is a popular place to find traditional handicrafts, spices and jewelry.

Q: What language do they speak in Qatar?

A: The official language of Qatar is Arabic, however English is widely spoken as well. You may also hear people speaking Hindu, Farsi or Urdu in some areas.

Q: How long does it take to get from the airport to downtown Doha?

A: Depending on traffic, the drive will usually take 30-45 minutes from Hamad International Airport (DOH) to most places in downtown Doha. You can also take the Doha metro, which takes around 20 minutes.

Q: When was the FIFA World Cup held in Qatar?

A: The World Cup 2022 was held in Qatar from November 21-December 18, 2022. It was be the first time that Qatar tourism industry has hosted a FIFA World Cup and it will also be the first ever tournament held in the Middle East and Arab world.

Q: Is Qatar a good destination for a romantic getaway?

A: Qatar is a great destination for couples looking to get away. From luxurious resorts to beautiful beaches and stunning desert landscapes, the country has a variety of romantic settings for you to choose from. You can explore Doha’s cultural attractions like Souq Waqif or take a sunset camel ride in the desert before spending a night in a luxury hotel.

We hope this guide has been helpful in planning your next visit to Qatar.

Kyle and Jo