Visiting Qatar

Sat 08 Mar 2014 Source: HUKOOMI

Qatar is centrally located on the globe, close to Europe, Africa and Asia. Airplanes from around the world touch down on Doha International Airport every day, making Qatar the perfect place for layovers and visits.

Qatar is also an important business hub, most notably for its robust oil and gas industry. Many trade shows and business conferences take place in Doha throughout the year.

In planning a trip to Qatar, it is important to acquire a valid visa. The application for this visa can be completed through Hukoomi or the Ministry of Interior. Visa types include tourist, business and resident (look under Visa on the page). If you already know what kind of visa you require, go ahead and type the name in the search box on the top right corner of Hukoomi to find it quickly.

The local currency is the Qatari Riyal, which is pegged to the US dollar at QR3.64 = $1. Banks and ATMs across the country take major international credit cards and debit cards.
How to Get Here

The easiest way to reach Qatar is by air. The national carrier is Qatar Airways. It connects Doha with more than 100 popular destinations around the world.

City center is just 15 minutes from the airport by car. Abundant taxis await visitors just outside the arrival gate. It is possible to rent a car at the airport or at hotels. An international driving license is required.

Sea traffic is mostly commercial. Qatar’s biggest ports are Doha and Umm Said.

With the exception of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE residents, visitors entering Qatar by car through the Qatar-Saudi border must have a visa for both countries. A new road linking Bahrain and Qatar will be ready in 2012.
Local Customs and Tips

Qatar is a very tolerant and welcoming society. However, visitors are asked to respect some of its local customs. 

Women are not required to wear the hijab or veil their heads in public. However, Qatar is an Islamic country, so it's simply more respectful to dress modestly.

Summer in Qatar can get very hot, sometimes approaching 50C in July and August. It's important to wear sunblock, cover yourself and drink plenty of water when going outside. Temperatures are mild and comfortable from November to April.

Most shops and offices change their hours during Ramadan. Visitors should refrain from eating and drinking in public, except in hotels, during the hours between sunrise and sunset.

Alcohol is strictly regulated in Qatar. Visitors arriving in Doha are not allowed to bring alcohol out of the airport.