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Qatar

QATAR TRAVEL GUIDE

Qatar is a peninsular Arab country whose terrain comprises arid desert and a long Persian (Arab) Gulf shoreline of beaches and dunes. Qatar is a pint-sized country in the Middle East, but what it lacks in size it makes up in energy. This extremely progressive country is trying to accomplish in decades what some countries have attained in centuries.

 

One of the first Gulf countries to discover oil, Qatar’s reserve today is modest, but its natural gas reserves rank it as a very resource-rich nation. Also on the coast is the capital, Doha, known for its futuristic skyscrapers and other ultramodern architecture inspired by ancient Islamic design, such as the limestone Museum of Islamic Art. Not exactly a tourist hotspot yet, the country welcome the traveller with its magnificent hotels, glorious beaches and enthusiastic water sports.

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QATAR QUICK FACTS

  • Capital: Doha
  • Government: Traditional monarchy
  • Currency: Qatari riyal (QAR)
  • Area: 11,437 km2
  • Population: 2,782 million (2018)
  • Language: Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language
  • Religion:Muslim 67% (Christianity and Hinduism both at 13.8%)
  • Electricity: 240V/50Hz (UK plug)

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QATAR PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 2nd Tuesday of February, National Sports Day
  • 3 September, Independence Day
  • 18 December, National Day

Also, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

FESTIVALS IN QATAR

Qatar

BEST TIME TO VISIT QATAR

Qatar has a desert climate with hot, dry summers and warm winters. There are only two main seasons in Qatar: a hot summer season and a warm winter season.

 

  • Summer in Qatar runs from May to October and is characterized by high temperatures that can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). The summer months are also the driest, with very little rainfall.
  • Winter in Qatar runs from November to April and is characterized by cooler temperatures and higher humidity. The average temperature during this time is around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit), although it can drop to as low as 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) at night. Winter is also the rainy season in Qatar, although rainfall is still relatively low compared to other parts of the world.

Overall, Qatar has a warm and sunny climate year-round, with temperatures rarely dropping below 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

The best time to visit Qatar depends on your personal preferences. The coolest time of year is from November to March, which is also the peak tourist season. If you don't mind the heat, you may prefer to visit in the summer months when temperatures are at their highest, as this is the best time to enjoy water sports and other outdoor activities. Regardless of when you visit, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated!

QATAR WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Qatar has a desert climate. The country experiences long summers from May to September characterised by intense dry heat, with temperatures rising above 45°C. Winter temperatures are mild but may fall below 5°C. Rainfall is only experienced during the winter with the northern parts of the country receiving 30% more rainfall than the south. Qatar is impacted by Shamal winds, which cause sand and dust storms throughout the year.

Qatar

QATAR TOURIST SEASONS

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

Read more...

Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

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FEBRUARY

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MARCH

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APRIL

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MAY

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JUNE

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JULY

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AUGUST

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SEPTEMBER

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OCTOBER

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SPORT & ACTIVITIES

SNOW SPORT IN QATAR

HIKING & CYCLING IN QATAR

Qatar's climate is not very well suited to hikers. Summers are scorching and humid, while winter is only a little cooler. The most popular outdoor activities are "dune bashing" by 4 wheel drive or quad bikes.

BEACH OPTIONS IN QATAR

If you're visiting the beaches in Qatar, be aware that you may need to wear appropriate clothing ie nothing too revealing. Some of the most popular beach resorts are: Banana Island Resort Doha, Katara Beach, Simaisma and A Murwab Resort.

SURFING IN QATAR

KITESURF IN QATAR

No matter whether you are an advanced kitesurfer looking for a challenge, or a beginner that is still learning the skills, Qatar will have what you are looking for. With mostly shallow open water, plenty of space without any traffic and mild temperatures that won’t scare you away! The season is generally from January to June.

For more details on kite surfing in Qatar expand this section!

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN QATAR

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance

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HEALTH RISKS IN QATAR

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Qatar

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

QATAR TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Qatar will depend on a number of factors, including the time of year you go, how you travel, where you stay, and what you do while you are there. Here are some rough estimates to give you an idea of the costs involved:

  • Flights: Round-trip flights to Qatar from the United States can cost anywhere from $700 to $2,000 or more, depending on your departure city, the time of year you travel, and how far in advance you book your tickets.
  • Accommodation: The cost of accommodation in Qatar can vary widely, depending on where you stay and the type of room you choose. Budget options such as hostels and budget hotels can start at around $30 per night, while more upscale options like 4- and 5-star hotels can cost $100 or more per night.
  • Food: The cost of food in Qatar will depend on where you eat. Dining at local restaurants and street food stalls can be very inexpensive, with meals starting at around $5. However, dining at more upscale restaurants and hotels can be much more expensive, with prices starting at around $20 or more per person.
  • Activities: The cost of activities in Qatar will depend on what you want to do. Many popular attractions, such as the Museum of Islamic Art and the Katara Cultural Village, are free to enter. However, other activities, such as dune bashing and camel riding, can cost anywhere from $50 to $100 or more.

Overall, you can expect to spend at least a few thousand dollars on a trip to Qatar, although the exact cost will depend on your individual circumstances.

QATAR TRAVEL TIPS

Here are a few travel tips for Qatar to help you make the most of your trip:

  • Respect local customs and traditions: Qatar is a Muslim country with its own set of customs and traditions. It is important to respect these while you are visiting. This includes dressing modestly, avoiding public displays of affection, and avoiding alcohol in public.
  • Stay hydrated: Qatar has a hot, dry climate, and it is important to stay hydrated while you are there. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times, and be sure to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: The sun in Qatar can be very strong, especially during the summer months. Be sure to use sunscreen, wear a hat, and seek shade during the hottest parts of the day to protect yourself from sunburn and heat stroke.
  • Learn a few phrases in Arabic: While many people in Qatar speak English, it is always appreciated when travelers make an effort to speak a few phrases in Arabic. A few useful phrases to know include "hello," "thank you," and "excuse me."
  • Carry cash: While credit cards are widely accepted in Qatar, it is still a good idea to carry some cash with you, especially for smaller purchases.
  • Be mindful of Ramadan: If you are traveling to Qatar during the month of Ramadan, be aware that this is a time of fasting and reflection for Muslims. It is important to be respectful of this, and to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours.
  • Dress appropriately: Qatar has a conservative dress code, especially in more rural areas and outside of the major cities. It is important to dress modestly, especially for women, by covering your shoulders and knees.

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF QATAR

Qatar is a small country located on the Arabian Peninsula in the Middle East. It is made up of several regions, each with its own unique character and attractions. Here is an overview of some of the main regions of Qatar and the highlights of each:

  • Doha: Doha is the capital and largest city of Qatar, and is home to many of the country's top attractions. Highlights of Doha include the Museum of Islamic Art, the Souq Waqif, and the Katara Cultural Village.
  • Al Wakrah: Al Wakrah is a city located just south of Doha. It is known for its beautiful beaches, including Al Wakrah Beach and Al Thakhira Beach, as well as its traditional dhow boats.
  • Al Khor: Al Khor is a city located on the east coast of Qatar, about an hour's drive north of Doha. It is known for its beautiful beaches, including Al Khor Beach and Fuwairit Beach, as well as its mangrove forests and birdwatching opportunities.
  • Al Ruwais: Al Ruwais is a small town located on the northwest coast of Qatar, about a two-hour drive from Doha. It is known for its beautiful beaches, including Al Ruwais Beach and Al Thakhira Beach, as well as its dunes and camel farms.
  • Al-Shahaniya: Al-Shahaniya is a town located about an hour's drive northwest of Doha. It is known for its camel racing tracks and its camel market, as well as its beautiful desert landscapes.
  • Umm Salal: Umm Salal is a town located about an hour's drive northwest of Doha. It is known for its ancient tombs, including the Umm Salal Mohammed Fort, as well as its beautiful parks and gardens.

Qatar is a small country with a lot to offer travelers, from its rich cultural heritage and modern cities to its beautiful beaches and desert landscapes. Here are a few of the best things to see and do when visiting Qatar:

  • Explore the capital city, Doha: Doha is the largest city in Qatar and is home to many of the country's top attractions. Some must-see sights in Doha include the Museum of Islamic Art, the Souq Waqif, and the Katara Cultural Village.
  • Visit the Pearl-Qatar: The Pearl-Qatar is a man-made island located just off the coast of Doha. It is home to luxury apartments, shopping centers, and a variety of restaurants and cafes.
  • Go dune bashing: Dune bashing is a popular activity in Qatar, where travelers can take a 4x4 vehicle out into the desert and ride over the sand dunes. It is a thrilling and unique way to experience the desert landscape.
  • Visit the Inland Sea: The Inland Sea is a natural feature located in the southeast of Qatar. It is a beautiful spot for swimming, snorkeling, and picnicking.
  • Go camel riding: Camel riding is a popular activity in Qatar, and is a great way to experience the desert landscape and learn about traditional Qatari culture.
  • Visit the Falcon Souq: The Falcon Souq is a traditional market located in Doha where visitors can see a variety of falcons, as well as shop for traditional Qatari souvenirs.
  • Relax on the beach: Qatar has a number of beautiful beaches where travelers can relax and enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. Some of the best beaches in Qatar include Al Wakrah Beach, Al Khor Beach, and Al Ruwais Beach.

Qatar

WHAT TO EAT IN QATAR

Qatar has a rich and diverse food culture, with a range of dishes influenced by both Middle Eastern and South Asian cuisines. Here are a few traditional dishes that you should try when visiting Qatar:

  • Machboos: Machboos is a popular dish in Qatar made with rice, meat (usually chicken or lamb), and a variety of spices. It is often served with a side of vegetables and a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Shawarma: Shawarma is a popular street food in Qatar made with grilled meat (usually chicken or lamb) that has been marinated in a variety of spices. It is often served in a pita bread with vegetables and sauce.
  • Kabsa: Kabsa is a traditional dish made with rice, meat (usually chicken or lamb), and a variety of spices. It is often served with a side of vegetables and a spicy tomato sauce.
  • Falafel: Falafel is a popular vegetarian option in Qatar made with ground chickpeas or fava beans that have been seasoned and deep-fried. It is often served in a pita bread with vegetables and sauce.
  • Karak chai: Karak chai is a traditional Qatari tea made with black tea, cardamom, and spices. It is a popular drink in Qatar, and can be found at many cafes and restaurants throughout the country.

LGBTQ IN QATAR

Qatar

WHERE TO STAY IN QATAR

There are a number of places to stay in Qatar, ranging from budget hotels and hostels to luxury resorts and apartments. Here are a few options to consider when planning your trip:

  • Doha: If you want to be in the heart of the action, staying in Doha is a good option. There are a wide range of accommodation options available, from budget hotels to luxury resorts. Some popular areas to stay in Doha include West Bay, The Pearl-Qatar, and the Corniche.
  • Al Wakrah: Al Wakrah is a city located just south of Doha that is known for its beautiful beaches. If you want to be close to the beach, staying in Al Wakrah is a good option. There are a number of hotels and resorts located in the city.
  • Al Khor: Al Khor is a city located on the east coast of Qatar, about an hour's drive north of Doha. It is known for its beautiful beaches and mangrove forests. If you want to be close to the beach and enjoy a more laid-back atmosphere, Al Khor is a good option.
  • Al Ruwais: Al Ruwais is a small town located on the northwest coast of Qatar, about a two-hour drive from Doha. It is known for its beautiful beaches and dunes. If you want to experience a more traditional Qatari town and be close to the beach, Al Ruwais is a good option.
  • Al-Shahaniya: Al-Shahaniya is a town located about an hour's drive northwest of Doha. It is known for its camel racing tracks and its camel market. If you are interested in experiencing traditional Qatari culture and seeing camel racing, staying in Al-Shahaniya is a good option.

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