In this page:
Entry Requirements |
Organising Your Trip |
Living Conditions |
Organising Your Trip
Transportation From Airport to City Centre:
Hamad International Airport (Doha)
15 km/9.3 miles
QAR 40-50/15-25 min
Different Forms of Tourism
The four main historic sites of Qatar to visit are the Barzan Towers, Al Wajba Fort, Al Koot Fort and the Al Jassasiya rock carvings. The Barzan Towers, built in the early 20th century, is believed to have served as a lookout location to protect the water source from the Ottomans. The Al Wajba Fort, built in 18th or early 19th century, served as residence for sheiks in the past and is best known as the location of the battle in 1893 where the Qatari forces defeated the Ottomans. The Al Koot Fort, built in 1927, served as a police station and a jail. The Al Jassasiya rock carvings, discovered in 1957, is composed of 874 carvings dating back to the Neolithic time.
With an extensive portfolio of fine museums and galleries, Qatar ranks among the Gulf's leading centres of art and culture. The main museums include The Museum of Islamic Art, Msheireb Enrichment Centre, Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, Al Markhiya Gallery, Al Riwaq Doha, Souq Waqif Arts Center and the Doha Fire Station artists’ community.
The Al Zubarah archaeological site is Qatar's only UNESCO World Heritage Site. A coastal town along the Persian gulf that served as a trading centre from the 18th century to the early 19th century, and is a excellent example of a centre that served as an independent state outside the control of large empires like the Ottoman.
The Katara Cultural Village - built in traditional architectural style - offers theatres, galleries and performance venues stage a varied year-round programme of concerts, shows and exhibitions.
Qatar has a lot to offer in nature tourism. The most popular is the Doha desert that remains largely untouched by human interactions and is often toured in the form of a desert safari. The Aspire Park in Doha is the largest park in the country, with much to offer in terms of tracks for outdoor activities and open space for sports. Tourists can visit the high dunes of the desert, the beaches and the coastal mangrove lagoons, and wind sculpted rock formations.
The major religious sites to visit are the Qatar State Mosque, Fanar-Qatar Islamic Cultural Center and the Katara Mosque. The Qatar State Mosque, officially known as the Iman Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque, opened in 2011 serves as the country's national mosque. The Fanar Qatar Islamic Cultural Center, known also as Bin Zaid, is a Islamic cultural centre that provides a wide variety of services. The Centre provides lessons in Arabic and Islam, hosts a library and publishes studies. The Katara Mosque is found in the Katara cultural centre, that provides an opportunity to experience different cultures. It is advised that one dress conservatively to visit the Mosques as the Mosques have strict dress codes.
As other Arab countries, Qatar has a large number of “hammam”, a traditional type of public bathing.
Qatar is host to 560km of coastline and several beautiful beaches. The most popular tourist beaches are the Al Ghariya beach, Khor Al Adaid, Ras Abrouq, Maroona and Fuwayrit. The Al Ghariya beach is located just 4.5 kilometres from Fuwairit. The Khor Al Adaid beach is located at in the south eastern part of Qatar and shares a coast with Saudi Arabia. It is unaccesible by road and the journey to get there is quite difficult, there are guided tours that make day and night trips there. Ras Abrouq located 70 kilometres west of Doha is frequented by weekend campers. Maroona beach is located 80 kilometres south of Doha. The Fuwayrit beach is located 80 kilometres north of Doha and is home to beach side cliffs.
- Winter Sports
Being a desert country, Qatar does not offer winter sports activities. However, the City Centre Mall has an ice skating rink.
- Outdoor Activities
Qatar's outdoor activities range from spending the day at the beach to riding a 4x4 across the desert. However, during the summer season the weather is often very hot and it is unadvised to walk long distances.
The Katara Cultural Village offers a public beach with water sports.
Doha offers a wide array of shopping outlets, including the “souqs” (local traditional markets) with their multiple small shops, stand-alone retail outlets, showrooms and several shopping malls. The latter feature department stores, brand name boutiques and individual shops offering a vast range of both regional and international products.
The main shopping malls are Mall of Qatar, Villaggio, Doha City Centre Mall and Doha Festival City Mall.
Time Difference and Climate
- Time and Time Difference
It is %T:%M %A In Doha (GMT+3)
- Summer Time Period
Qatar does not apply any Daylight Saving Time clock changes.
Map of the Time Zone
- Type of Climate
Being a small and flat country, Qatar has a uniform climate throughout its territory. The country has a desert climate, with a very mild winter and a very hot and sunny summer.
There are two main seasons: a cooler one from December to February (the best to visit the country), and a hot season from April to October, which includes a very hot period from May to mid-October. March and November are transitional months, hot but without excesses.
In Doha, the daily average temperature goes from 18.5 degrees Celsius (65 °F) in January, to 37 °C (99 °F) in July. The scarce rainfall are concentrated in the winter months, amounting to less than 100 mm per year.
- Hotel reservation websites
Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar Meteorology Department
Average Annual Temperatures and Rainfall
- Food Specialties
Qatar is primarily desert so the number of foods locally available is quite limited. Qatari cuisine consists of traditional Arab cuisine. The national dish in Qatar is called Machbūs, a meal containing rice, meat and vegetables. Seafood and dates are a fundamental part of the country’s dietary habits. Other main dishes include Kabsa (similar to biryani or pilaf), Balalet (noodles cooked with sugar, cinnamon, saffron, and cardamom, often with an omelet on top), Shawarma (spit-roasted meat shavings, usually served in pitta bread) and Ghuzi (a whole roast lamb served over nutty rice).
In Doha it is possible to find any type of cuisine.
Qataris drink large quantities of coffee and is considered a staple of Qatari culture. Qatari coffee is usually mixed with cardamon and sugar.
Qatar is officially a “dry” country, which means that there are no traditional alcohol drinks. Alcohol is available at licensed hotel restaurants and bars, and expatriates living in Qatar can obtain alcohol on a permit system. It is an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public.
Most restaurants offer fresh juices, especially the lemon-mint juice, made with orange blossom water, fresh mint leaves and lemon juice.
- Dietary Restrictions
Muslims are not allowed to eat pork (unless it is “halal”, which means it is permissible or lawful in traditional Islamic law) or drink alcohol.
In conservative homes and even some restaurants, it is not acceptable to eat with a person of the opposite sex unless it is your child, sibling, or spouse.
- Domestic Currency
- ISO Code
- To Obtain Domestic Currency
ATMS are easily accessible and can be found all over the country. Some taxis and local establishments may not accept credit cards, but exchanging foreign currency for local currency is not difficult. Currency can be exchanged at the Doha airport, most hotels and city-centred banks.
- Possible Means of Payment
Some local establishments and taxis may only accept cash as payment, however Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted at larger establishments and hotels.
- Official Language
- Other Languages Spoken
- Business Language
English and Arabic
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Latest Update: September 2023