The work week is from Sunday to Thursday, with most offices closed on Friday (the Islamic holy day) and Saturday.
Government offices open and close early – generally from around 07:00 to 14:00.
Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters.
Mean temperatures in September and October range from mid-twenties at night to high-thirties in mid-day.
Rain is infrequent, averaging 70 mm per year. It falls mainly in brief showers between October and March.
Visitors with a Disability
Leading hotels, the airports, shopping malls, larger banks and other new or recently-restored public buildings offer wheelchair access, disabled toilets and allocated parking, but visitors with special requirements are advised to check accessibility at other locations.
The attitude to dress in Qatar is quite relaxed, but visitors (men as well as women) should show respect for local culture and customs in public places by avoiding excessively revealing clothing.
Context is important. Bikinis and beachwear are acceptable by the hotel pool but not in public places in the city.
Business visitors should dress as they would do in their home countries.
Qatar has a first class well signposted road system; finding your way around is simple.
Doha’s main streets are mostly wide dual carriageways.
Driving is on the right-hand side of the road as in continental Europe or the USA.
220/240 volts AC 50Hz.
Socket type is square three-pin 13 amp (as used in the UK).
Female visitors, whether travelling alone or in a group, experience no special restrictions of dress or behaviour in day-to-day life in Qatar.
Women play a full and active part in the life of the country and foreign women visitors can be assured they will be readily accepted and welcomed.
Important Telephone Numbers
Directory Assistance: 180
Hamad International Airport: +974 4010 6666
Qatar Tourism Hotline: +974 4444 4106
The official language is Arabic.
English is widely spoken and understood.
A wide range of European languages are spoken within the hospitality industry.
There are no major health risks and no special inoculations required by visitors.
The quality of healthcare is generally very high and visitors should have no problem obtaining appropriate treatment and advice either in a private clinic or, in case of an emergency, in a government hospital.
There are many well-stocked pharmacies, with English speaking staff, throughout Doha city, including some open 24 hours.
Money, Currency & Credit Cards
The monetary unit of Qatar is the riyal (abbreviated to QR or QAR).
The exchange rate is fixed at US $1 = QR3.64
There are no foreign exchange restrictions and the currency is freely convertible.
Doha has an extensive network of local and international banks, foreign exchange bureaux and ATMs.
National Profile – Key Facts
Qatar became an independent sovereign state in 1971.
The country comprises an 11,500 sq km peninsula extending northwards into the Arabian Gulf. It has a land border with Saudi Arabia and 563 km of uninterrupted coastline.
Qatar’s population stands at 2.56 million (August 2018) and its capital city is Doha.
Qatar tops the rankings of the world’s richest countries in terms of per capita GDP (c $100,000).
Photography of military installations, government buildings, police facilities, airports and other sensitive locations is prohibited without prior authorization.
Photography of local citizens without their permission is not permitted.
Qatar is an Islamic country and Islam plays an integral role in the life of its citizens.
Prayers take place five times per day – at dawn, around midday, in mid-afternoon, at sunset and about two hours after sunset.
Other religions are respected and Doha’s cosmopolitan population supports many places of worship from Hindu temples to Christian churches.
Qatar benefits from one of the lowest crime rates in the world. It is a safe destination with religious and political stability where the community lives in peace and harmony.
The country code for Qatar is +974. Telecom providers Ooredoo and Vodafone offer pre-paid and post-paid mobile services.
Mobile phone reception is generally good in the main population centres.
Wi-fi broadband hotspots are available across the country and are easily accessible at hotels (in-room and public areas), malls and parks.
Qatar local time is GMT/UCT + 3 hours. There are no daylight-saving adjustments.
Many restaurants include a service charge with the bill but an extra 10-15% will be appreciated.
Tipping in hotels follows the same pattern as the rest of the world. A tip of about QR10-20 ($2-$3) for porters and doormen is appropriate, and the same per day for housekeepers too.
Around QR80 per day is suitable for tour guides and drivers and QR20-40 per journey for taxi drivers.
10-20% of the cost is normal for hair salon staff.
All non-GCC nationalities require a visa to enter Qatar.
Thanks to a host of visa facilitation measures, Qatar is now the most open country in the Middle East. Visitors from all around the world can now enter Qatar either visa free, or by filling out simple online applications, depending on the passport they carry.
Nationals of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) do not require a visa to enter Qatar.
Nationals of more than 80 countries are eligible for visa-free entry into the State of Qatar, with varying allowable lengths of stay. Nationals of the eligible countries do not require any prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival to Qatar.
Individuals who are not eligible for visa-free entry, but who hold a valid residence permit or visit visa to either Schengen countries, Australia, Canada, UK, USA or New Zealand, can obtain an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) free of charge by completing an online application prior to travelling.
Individuals not eligible for visa-free entry or ETA can apply for a Tourist Visa online. Visitors to Qatar travelling on board any airline may apply for a Tourist Visa through the Qatar Visa Service.
Residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries who hold positions in approved professions and those accompanying them may obtain a GCC Resident Visit Visa on arrival in Qatar.
For more information on visa requirements to Qatar, visit https://www.visitqatar.qa/plan/visas-requirements.html and www.qatarvisaservice.com