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QATAR            Middle East & Mediterranean Enquiry Form

The peninsula of Qatar is centrally located on the west coast of the Arabian Gulf. Historically important, Qatar archaeological inscriptions and artefacts show that seafaring inhabitants populated the land as early as the 5th century BC. These seafarers played an important role in the propagation of Islamic civilization within the region.

Today, Qatar plays an equally important role as a provider of natural gas, oil and refined petroleum products. Doha, the capital, is a modern, exciting city with world class shopping, museums, galleries and sporting facilities available to the visitor.

Qatar holidays
Qatar holidays
WEATHER                  Back to top

The sun shines virtually every day in Qatar, and rainfall is almost non-existent, averaging about three inches (80mm) a year, this falling only in winter. Summers are sizzling hot by day, and warm at night, temperatures often hitting the 104°F mark (40°C) or above. Winters are only slightly cooler by day, but can be very chilly at night.

GOOD TO KNOW    Back to top

Approximation of what things cost?

  • Meal in hotel restaurant:       QR25
  • Glass of wine:                      QR15
  • Beer:                                  QR10
  • Bottle of water:                    QR2
  • Coldrinks:                            QR2.50
  • Light lunch:                                     QR11

Time: GMT +3.

Electricity: Electrical current is 240/415 volts AC; 50Hz. Round pin plugs with grounding and rectangular blade plugs are in use.

Money: The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR), which divides into 100 dirhams. The Riyal exchange rate is pegged to the US Dollar at QR 3.65. Money can be exchanged at banks, the airport and exchange dealers. The main bank branches are on Grand Hamad Street in Doha. Banks open mornings, and are closed on Fridays and Saturdays. 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 and travellers cheques are also largely accepted.

Approximate Currency Exchange Rates

QAR 1.00 =

USD 0.27

GBP 0.15

CAD 0.31

AUD 0.37

ZAR 1.96

EUR 0.22

NZD 0.45

Note: These rates are not updated daily and should be used as a guideline only. Please go to our Currency Converter for the latest rates.

Approximation of what things cost?

  • Glass of wine:                      EU2.5  - EU3
  • Beer:                                  EU1.5 - 4
  • Meal:                                  EU9  - EU9
  • Bottle of Water:                   EU0.70 - EU0.70
  • Restaurant:                         EU12  -EU12   

Language: Arabic is the official language, but English is widely used.

Passport/Visa Note: Visitors on tourist visas must use Qatar Airways to enter the country. Visitors should have tickets or documents for return or onward travel and sufficient funds to cover their stay. All require passports valid for at least six months. Those arriving with visas for Oman do not require an additional visa for Qatar.

Health: No vaccinations are a requirement for entry to Qatar, but it is recommended that visitors be immunised against hepatitis A and typhoid. Modern medical care and medicine is available in Doha. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for medical services. Traveller's diarrhoea is a risk, therefore visitors should drink bottled water and avoid under-cooked food and unwashed fruit and vegetables, particularly outside of the hotels and resorts.

Tipping: A service charge of 10% is usually added to hotel and restaurant bills in Qatar, in which case tipping is not necessary. However if there is no service charge a 10% tip is appreciated. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip.

Qatar holidays
Qatar holidays

Safety: Most visits to Qatar are trouble free, but the country, like most in the Gulf region, is rated as being under high threat of indiscriminate terrorist attacks against Western interests. The most recent event was a suicide bomb blast in Doha in March 2005, in which a British national was killed. Visitors should therefore be vigilant in public places. There is a low incidence of crime, but women are advised to take care when travelling alone at night.

Customs: Qatar is an Islamic state, which prohibits drinking alcohol in public other than at licensed hotel restaurants and bars. Intimacy between men and women in public can lead to arrest. Homosexuality is illegal. Visitors should dress modestly and respect local customs.

Communications: The international direct dialling code for Qatar is +974, and the outgoing code is 0. There are numerous Internet cafes in Doha, charging QR10 per hour online. The country is well covered by the Q-Tel GSM 900/1800 mobile phone network.

Duty Free: Travellers to Qatar do not have to pay duty on tobacco products and perfume for personal use. Alcohol may not be imported under any circumstances. Prohibited items include wild birds, without an import authorisation from Ministry of Agriculture and Municipal Affairs (MMAA).


Please complete the Middle East & Mediterranean Enquiry Form and we'll come back to you with ideas and costs for a wonderful holiday in Qatar.
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