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Home : Holidays : Asia : Qatar : Qatar as a Tour Destination

Qatar as a Tour Destination

Qatar is an oil-rich peninsula jutting out into the Gulf between Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. The majority of the country consists of sand dunes and salt flats. The city of Doha combines a rich mixture of traditional Arabic and modern architecture. The Grand Mosque with its many domes and the Abu Bakir al-Siddiq Mosque are particularly interesting. The north contains most of the historic sites, including Umm Salal Mohammed, a relatively large village dominated by the ruins of a 19th-century fort. Al Khor is the second-largest city, situated around a natural shallow harbour. On the west coast there are fine beaches at Umm Bab (??The Palm Tree Beach??) Dukhan and Salwah near the Saudi border. The south is a region of sand dunes and beaches, offering opportunities to go pearl hunting, or to practise any of a number of watersports. Public entertainment can be rather limited. Live entertainment is infrequent, but some international artists do perform in Qatar

Qatar Social Profile

Driving in Qatar

The road system is fair, but conditions are poor during the wet season. Driving is on the right. Bus: No organised public bus service. Taxi: These have black and yellow number plates, are painted orange and white, and are metered. Taxis can be hired on an hourly basis. Car hire: Available from local companies at the airport and hotels. Documentation: An International Driving Permit is required, but a temporary licence can be obtained on presentation of a valid UK licence.

Food & Drink: While the best food is generally found in hotels, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Thai, US and Western cuisine is also available. All the major hotels have good public restaurants and most offer outside catering of high quality; waiters, crockery and cutlery will be provided on request. There are a reasonable number of places to eat in Doha, including snack bars serving fast foods, as well as the traditional Levantine shawarma and Egyptian foul and taamiyeh. Restaurants are scarce outside the capital.
Alcohol is prohibited and should not be consumed in public, though some international hotels may serve alcohol.

Nightlife: Public entertainment is rather limited. Doha has a cinema showing English-language films, and there is also the National Theatre. Live entertainment is infrequent, but some international artists do perform in Qatar.

Shopping: There are several large modern malls, with cinemas, restaurants and other facilities as well as brand shops. The old souks remain popular for bargains. Shopping hours: Generally Sat-Thurs 0800-1200 and 1600-1900 or later, with the malls open until 2100 or 2200. Some shops close on Friday.

Special Events: Qatar??s festivals and events are primarily Islamic celebrations.
The following is a selection of special events occurring in Qatar in 2005:
Jan Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Mar Qatar Masters (golf), Doha. Jun-Aug Qatar Summer Wonders Festival of Fun. Nov Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan).

Social Conventions: The visitor should be fully aware of Muslim religious laws and customs. Women should always dress modestly. It is also worth noting that, while it is acceptable to cross legs, showing the sole of the foot or unknowingly pointing it at a person is considered an insult. At business and social functions, the traditional Qatari coffee, in tiny handleless cups, will invariably be served. This is a ritual of welcome with strict rules: guests are served in order of seniority ¨C a few drops at first, then, after three or four others have been served, the server returns to fill the first cup; always hold the cup in the right hand; two cups are polite, but never take only one or more than three. For more information, see the World of Islam appendix. Tipping: Taxi drivers do not expect a tip. A service charge is often added to bills in hotels and most restaurants, otherwise 10 per cent is appropriate.


Visitors arriving at Doha International Airport on Tourist Visas have to show US$.1370.00 in cash or equivalent in foreign currency to be eligible to enter the Qatar.

If visitor does not have the required money with him, he has to present an internationally valid credit card.
People arriving on tourist visas also have to show a hotel voucher with confirmed booking in one of Doha??s recognized hotels to be able to get tourist visa.

If approval, a printout of the Visa page can be used for reference and presentation upon arrival at the Doha Airport.


Qatar has been able to offer a straight forward tourist or business visa simply on arrival at Doha International Airport for persons from the following 33 countries:

USA, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Finland, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea.

If you are not from one of the countries listed above, then you can apply for visas in the following ways:

Applications for tourist visas are submitted to the Immigration Department (Airport Visas Section) by one of the registered hotels. Visas are usually given within 24 hours and are valid for 14 days. They can be extended for another 14 days. Discuss with the hotel where you have a reservation.

Important Notice: Please Note that these regulations are changed on a regular basis by the different governments, can not be liable for any information that could have been changed since we checked it. It is the responsibility of each passenger to check the different conditions of entry to the desired country.