What are the available means of transports in Qatar? How does the transportation system operate? Find the answers in this article.
Unlike Middle-East and other countries worldwide, Qatar does not have a very developed public transport network. But you can still access public transports in some regions, including the bus. The setting up of a subway system will still take some time. On the one hand, the use of taxis and limousines, as well as car rental are very widespread. Hence, traveling from one region to another should be quite easy. To travel to neighboring countries, you can choose between buses or airlines, depending on your financial means.
Good to know:
If you prefer to rent a car, make sure that your driver's license is recognized in Qatar.
The public bus network is run by the Mowasalat, which is the national transports company and it offers a quite satisfactory service. Buses are not very popular with expatriates living in Qatar, but these buses serve almost the entire country regularly. There are three types of buses across the country, namely the Karwa Bus, the West Bay Bus and the Mathaf Bus.
To travel aboard the Karwa Bus, you must first purchase a Karwa Smart card which is available as from RQ 30 at Ooredoo and Al-Ghanim bus station vending machines. Thereafter, you simply have to swipe your card on boarding and when getting down. The travel fare will be automatically calculated and deducted. The West Bay Bus, for its part, provides several lines across Doha seven days 7 a week as from 6 am till midnight. Mathaf buses are available from Wednesday to Sunday and are free of charge.
You will have no trouble finding a taxi in Qatar if you prefer to travel more comfortably alone or with your family. Indeed, the country hosts many taxi companies which are available 24/7. Mowasalat, which is the national transports company, also provides taxi and limousine services throughout the country, especially near places of attraction, shopping malls, hotels, etc.
Good to know:
Some taxi companies have also launched a special service for women with female drivers so as to enhance their safety and comfort.
Note that Qatari taxis are usually equipped with a meter. Fares start as from QR 4 with an additional charge of QR 1.20 for each kilometer. At night, rates start as from QR 1.80 per kilometer. In case of advance booking, you will pay additional QR 4. Otherwise, you can also hire them in the streets, but this can be quite complicated during peak hours.
Most expatriates in Qatar prefer to rent a car so as to travel comfortably instead of taking the bus. You can rent a car if you have an international driving license which will be valid for a maximum period of 7 days. If you plan to stay longer, you can request a temporary license which will be valid for 6 months.
Qatar has a national airline company as well as two other luxury airline companies which are more popular with Sheikhs and other Qatari officials. Note that the Doha International Airport is served by many local and international lines besides Qatar Airways.