Suggested Length of Stay
Doha makes a fantastic stopover destination with stays from 1 day to 5 days for a good overall feel for this beautiful desert nation.
Modes of transport
Driving in Qatar is on the right-hand side. Numerous petrol stations are located around Doha, but there are few along the highways.
Authorities are strict with anyone caught speeding, running a red light, not wearing a seat belt or not carrying a driving licence: heavy on-the-spot fines are handed out freely.
The public bus system operates from Doha's central Al Ghanim Bus Station, with air-conditioned services to Al Khor, Al Wakrah and Mesaieed among other destinations.
The Doha Metro is a rapid transit system in Doha, Qatar's capital city, that became operational on 8 May 2019. It will have four lines with an approximate overall length of 300 km and 100 stations.
The easiest way to catch a taxi is to ask your hotel to arrange one, although technically you can wave one down from the side of the road.
There are no internal flights in tiny Qatar.
Qatar has a dry, subtropical desert climate. The sun shines virtually every day and rainfall is almost non-existent, averaging about 80mm a year and falling only in winter. Summers (June to September) are sizzling hot by day, and warm at night, with temperatures often hitting 40°C or above. Winters are only slightly cooler by day but can be very chilly at night. The best time to visit Qatar is between October and April, when daytime temperatures are bearable and there is little threat of sandstorms.
Take out comprehensive travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. Make sure your policy includes adequate coverage for any pre-existing conditions.
Food and Drink
Doha is a world-class dining destination, with some of the most esteemed chefs on the planet heading up restaurants in the city. Along with excellent high-end dining options, there's affordable and delicious Middle Eastern food, with flavours from throughout the region on offer. Meanwhile, the malls are filled with international food outlets for all budgets, from fast-food burger joints to high-street pizza restaurants, hailing from Europe, the US and beyond.
The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR), which divides into 100 dirhams. Money can be exchanged at banks, the airport and exchange dealers. The main bank branches are on Grand Hamad Street in Doha. Banks are open Saturday to Thursday 8am to 1pm and some are open into the evening. ATMs are available on the main streets of the cities and towns, at banks and in shopping malls. Most shops, hotels and restaurants accept international credit cards.
Local time is GMT +3.
You're eligible for a 30-day visa-on-arrival, provided your passport has at least six months validity and you have a confirmed onward ticket. The visa-on-arrival is free of charge and may be extended for up to 30 more days.
Australian Embassy & Consulate contacts in Qatar
Majlis Al Taawon St
Ph: +974 4007 8500
Qatar Embassy & Consulate contacts in Australia
Embassy of the State of Qatar
10 Akame Circuit, O'Malley, ACT 2606
Ph: +61 02 6152 8888
Electrical current is 240 volts, 50Hz. Round pin plugs with grounding as well as rectangular blade plugs are in use.
Getting there (stopovers)
Qatar Airways flies to Doha daily from Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth and Sydney.
A service charge of 10 percent is usually added to hotel and restaurant bills in Qatar, in which case tipping is not necessary, although for exceptional service many people add a bit extra. If there is no service charge, a 10 to 15 percent tip is appreciated. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip but it is polite to round up the fare.