Transportation in Qatar

getting around in the desert
Updated 2023-06-11 14:22

If you're about to relocate to Qatar, understanding the transportation options and infrastructure will undoubtedly contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable experience. In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of transportation in Qatar, exploring the various modes of travel available and highlighting the key features of the transportation systems.

Air travel in Qatar

International flights

Hamad International Airport, in Doha, is a major hub for international travel, offering connections to numerous destinations worldwide. Qatar Airways, the national carrier of Qatar, operates a vast network of international flights, serving destinations across six continents. It provides flights to major cities in Asia, Europe, Africa, the Americas, and the Middle East. Other international airlines also operate flights to and from Doha, connecting Qatar with various global destinations.

It's important to note that flight schedules, routes, and availability may vary based on airline operations and global travel conditions. It is advisable to check with the respective airlines or consult a travel agency for the most up-to-date information regarding domestic and international flight options in Qatar. Additionally, it's important to be aware of any travel restrictions or entry requirements imposed by the authorities in both Qatar and the destination country before planning your travel.

Domestic flights

Domestic flights in Qatar connect Doha with other cities within the country. Qatar Airways operates domestic flights to several destinations in Qatar, including flights to and from Al Khor, Dukhan, and Mesaieed. These domestic flights are relatively short in duration, typically lasting less than an hour.

Taxis in Qatar

Taxis are readily available in Qatar, particularly in urban areas like Doha. Both regular taxis and luxury taxis (limousines) are available. Taxis can be hailed on the street, booked through mobile apps, or found at designated taxi stands. Karwa is the main taxi service provider in Qatar.

Taxis in Qatar, commonly referred to as "Karwa" taxis, have some distinctive features:

Colors: Karwa taxis in Qatar are typically maroon in color, making them easily identifiable.

Meters: Taxis in Qatar are equipped with meters, and fares are calculated based on the distance traveled and time taken. The meters are visible to passengers, ensuring transparent pricing.

Taxi hailing: Taxis can be hailed from the street, or you can find them at designated taxi stands throughout the city. You can also book taxis through the Karwa mobile app or by calling the Karwa hotline.

Female passengers: Female passengers traveling alone may prefer to use the "Ladies Taxi" service, which provides female drivers exclusively for female passengers. These taxis are easily recognizable, as they are painted pink.

As for pricing, here are some approximate fare estimates for taxis in Qatar:

  • Flag fall: QAR 4 (includes initial distance traveled)
  • Distance rate: QAR 1.20 per kilometer
  • Waiting time: QAR 0.60 per minute

Please note that these fares are subject to change, and additional charges may apply for certain circumstances, such as airport pick-ups or traveling during peak hours. It's always a good idea to check the official Karwa Taxi website or contact their customer service for the most accurate and up-to-date information on fares, services, and any specific requirements or guidelines.

Useful links:

Karwa Taxi Website

Karwa Taxi Mobile App: Available for download on iOS and Android platforms.

Ride-hailing services in Qatar

Qatar has its own local ride-hailing service called "Kahramaa Taxi”. Kahramaa Taxi is a government-operated service that provides transportation within Qatar, similar to other ride-hailing platforms like Careem and Uber. These services allow you to book a private car through a mobile app and pay for the ride electronically.

Kahramaa Taxi offers competitive prices and convenience for passengers. The service can be accessed through a mobile app, and it operates with licensed drivers and vehicles. The fares for Kahramaa Taxi are generally comparable to other ride-hailing services in the region.

For specific pricing information and to stay updated on the current rates, it is recommended to download the Kahramaa Taxi mobile app or visit their official website. The app will provide you with real-time fare estimates based on your trip details.

By using Kahramaa Taxi or other reputable ride-hailing services, you can enjoy the convenience of booking a ride, transparent pricing, and reliable transportation options within Qatar.

Buses in Qatar

The public bus system in Qatar is operated by Mowasalat (Karwa). Buses serve various routes across the country, including major cities, residential areas, and commercial centers. The buses are air-conditioned and offer an affordable mode of transportation. Bus schedules and routes can be found on the Mowasalat website or through their mobile app.

Here is some information about buses in Qatar:

Bus colors: Buses in Qatar are predominantly turquoise blue in color, making them easily recognizable.

Bus stops: Bus stops in Qatar are marked with signs displaying the bus route numbers and names. They are typically located at regular intervals along the roads and near major landmarks, residential areas, and commercial hubs.

Ticket prices: The ticket prices for buses in Qatar are affordable and based on the distance traveled. The fare structure is divided into different zones, and the cost increases as you travel across more zones. The exact fare can vary depending on the distance traveled and the type of ticket purchased.

Here is a general overview of the ticket prices in Qatari Riyal (QAR) for buses:

Standard adult fare:

Within 3 zones: 2 QAR

Between 4 and 6 zones: 3 QAR

More than 6 zones: 4 QAR

Children (ages 5-18) and students:

Within 3 zones: 1 QAR

Between 4 and 6 zones: 1.50 QAR

More than 6 zones: 2 QAR

Please note that these fares are subject to change, and it's advisable to check the official sources or contact Mowasalat (Karwa) for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding bus fares in Qatar.

Ticket purchase: Tickets for bus travel in Qatar can be purchased from self-service ticket vending machines located at major bus stations. You can also buy tickets directly from the bus driver when boarding the bus. It's important to have the exact change as drivers may not always have change available.

Useful links:

Mowasalat (Karwa) Bus Services - Provides information about bus routes, schedules, and ticketing.

Mowasalat (Karwa) Mobile App: Available for download on iOS and Android platforms. - Allows you to check bus routes, track buses in real time, and access ticketing information.

Ministry of Transport and Communications: Official website with information on public transportation services, including buses.

It's always recommended to check the official websites or contact the relevant authorities for the most up-to-date information on bus routes, schedules, ticket prices, and any specific guidelines or changes related to public transportation services in Qatar.

Metro in Qatar

Qatar's state-of-the-art metro system, known as Doha Metro, offers a convenient and efficient way to travel within Doha. The metro consists of three lines (Red, Green, and Gold), connecting major residential, commercial, and entertainment areas. The Doha Metro is fully automated and provides a comfortable commuting experience.

The Doha Metro in Qatar operates on a modern and efficient ticketing system. Here is some information regarding purchasing metro tickets, prices, time schedules, and useful links:

Where to buy metro tickets:

  1. Ticket vending machines: You can purchase metro tickets from self-service ticket vending machines available at all metro stations. These machines accept cash and card payments.
  2. Mobile app: The Doha Metro mobile app allows you to buy and store metro tickets digitally on your smartphone. You can use the app to plan your journey, view schedules, and purchase tickets.

Metro ticket prices:

The metro ticket prices in Qatar are distance-based and categorized into three zones. The prices for a single journey are as follows:

  • Within 3 Zones: 2 QAR
  • Between 4 and 6 Zones: 4 QAR
  • More than 6 Zones: 6 QAR

Please note that these fares are subject to change, and it is advisable to check the official sources for the most up-to-date fare information.

Metro time schedules

The Doha Metro operates from around 6:00 am to 11:00 pm on weekdays (Sunday to Thursday) and from around 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm on Fridays. However, it's important to note that these timings may vary, and it's recommended to check the specific schedules for each metro line and station.

Useful links:

Doha Metro Website - Provides information on ticketing, fares, timetables, and other services.

Doha Metro Mobile App - Available for download on iOS and Android platforms - Offers real-time train information, ticket purchase, and journey planning features.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on metro ticketing, prices, schedules, and any changes or updates, it is advisable to refer to the official Doha Metro website or contact their customer service directly.

Trams in Qatar

The Lusail Tram is another mode of public transportation in Qatar. It serves the Lusail city development project, located north of Doha. The tram system is designed to provide transportation within Lusail's residential and commercial areas.

There are three tram systems in Qatar: Lusail Tram connects to the metro via Legtaifiya Station (Red Line). Education City Tram connects to the Green Line. Msheireb Tram connects Msheireb Metro Station to landmark locations within Msheireb Downtown Doha.

The cost per journey on the Lusail Tram is QR 2. The day pass for the Lusail Tram is QR 6. Kindly note that the tram has no gold club (gold club is one of the three classes of travel, apart from the Standard and Family, on the Doha Metro). Kids below 5 years old won't need a Travel Card to board the Lusail Tram.

The existing Travel Card is valid on both the Lusail Tram and the Doha Metro with no additional costs.

If you're on the Doha Metro, you can transfer to the Lusail Tram at Legtaifiya metro station.

You can also use the metroespress service to and from the Lusail Tram stops. This free ride-sharing service connects the nearby areas to the tram stations.

Passengers who wish to avail of the Metroexpress services would have to download the Karwa taxi app and click on the Metroexpress tab for them to use Metroexpress as usual. Doha Metro & Lusail Tram notes that the Metroexpress is free to use by passengers of the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram.

The tram's service will operate as follows:

  • Saturday to Wednesday:

    • First tram: 6 am

    • Last tram: 11:10 pm

  • Thursday:

    • First tram: 6 am

    • Last tram: 12:10 pm

  • Friday:

    • First tram: 2 pm

    • Last tram: 12:10 pm

Car rental in Qatar

Renting a car in Qatar is a popular option for both residents and visitors. Several international and local car rental companies operate in the country, offering a wide range of vehicles for short-term or long-term rentals. Keep in mind that you will need a valid driver's license and may require an International Driving Permit to drive in Qatar if your license is not in English or Arabic.

Here are some well-known car rental companies in Qatar, both international and local:

Hertz Qatar

Budget Qatar

Al Muftah Rent a Car

Al-Khayarin Group

Please note that availability and specific terms and conditions may vary between companies. It's always recommended to visit their websites or contact them directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding car rental services in Qatar.

When parking a rental car in Qatar, it's important to follow the local parking regulations and be aware of the designated parking areas. Here are some general guidelines:

Public parking: In urban areas, you'll find designated public parking spaces where you can park your rental car. These parking areas may require payment, especially in busy commercial areas. Pay attention to any parking meters or payment machines and follow the instructions for payment.

Parking garages: Many shopping malls, hotels, and commercial buildings have parking garages where you can safely park your rental car. These facilities often charge parking fees, but they provide convenient and secure parking options.

Street parking: Be mindful of street parking regulations. In some areas, there may be designated parking zones or restrictions during specific times. Look for signage indicating parking rules, such as parking duration limits or resident-only parking areas. Violating parking regulations may result in fines or towing.

Valet parking: Some hotels and upscale establishments offer valet parking services. You can leave your rental car with the valet attendant, who will park it for you. Keep in mind that valet parking may incur additional charges.

Off-street parking: If you are staying in a residential area or have access to private parking facilities, make sure to utilize the designated parking spaces and adhere to any parking rules or permits required by the property.

It's important to note that parking regulations and availability may vary depending on the specific location in Qatar. Always be attentive to parking signs, follow local rules, and park in authorized areas to avoid fines or inconvenience. Additionally, it's advisable to consult with the rental car company for any specific instructions or recommendations they may have regarding parking the rental vehicle.

Cycling in Qatar

Qatar has been increasingly promoting cycling as a means of transportation and recreation. Many areas have dedicated cycling lanes and bike-sharing programs are available in certain locations, such as the Education City in Doha.

There have been stores across town that allow you to rent these bikes and take them for a run on the tracks.

Walking in Qatar

In pedestrian-friendly areas, walking can be a pleasant way to get around, particularly for short distances. Many areas, such as the Corniche Promenade and Souq Waqif, are pedestrian-friendly and offer enjoyable walking experiences.

It's important to note that Qatar has introduced transportation regulations to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers. For example, it is mandatory to wear seat belts in cars, and fines can be imposed for violations. It's also advisable to familiarize yourself with local traffic rules and regulations.

In Qatar, the traffic rules and regulations are enforced by the Traffic Department, which is a part of the Ministry of Interior. These rules are in place to ensure road safety and smooth traffic flow. Here are some key points to be aware of:

Driving license: To drive in Qatar, you need a valid driving license. Expatriates can use an International Driving Permit (IDP) along with their original driving license from their home country, or they may be required to obtain a Qatari driving license.

Driving age: The minimum age for driving a car in Qatar is 18 years old.

Seat belts: It is mandatory for all passengers to wear seat belts while in a moving vehicle.

Speed limits: Speed limits are enforced in Qatar, and they may vary depending on the type of road and location. Speed limits are typically posted on road signs, and it is important to adhere to them for safety.

Mobile phones: The use of mobile phones while driving is strictly prohibited, except when using hands-free devices.

Drinking and driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is zero.

Traffic signals: It is important to obey traffic signals and signs, including traffic lights, stop signs, and yield signs.

Roundabouts: Qatar has many roundabouts, and it is crucial to follow the appropriate lane markings, yield to traffic already in the roundabout, and use turn signals when exiting.

Overtaking: Overtaking should be done safely and within the legal limits. It is important to use indicators when changing lanes.

Parking: Parking regulations and restrictions are enforced in various areas. Pay attention to designated parking zones, parking meters, and signs indicating parking restrictions or time limits.

It is important to note that traffic rules and regulations may be subject to change, so it is always advisable to refer to official sources such as the Traffic Department of Qatar or consult the relevant authorities for the most up-to-date and accurate information. For more detailed information on local traffic rules and regulations in Qatar, you can visit the official website of the Traffic Department or contact them directly for guidance.

Additionally, it's always a good idea to check for any updates or changes to transportation services, routes, and schedules, especially during events or public holidays. Official websites and mobile apps of the relevant transportation authorities can provide up-to-date information on routes, timings, and fares.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.