Connecting to a phone network in Qatar

arab woman using phone
Updated 2018-07-09 15:08

Qatar has a highly developed telecommunications network, with Ooredoo being the first telecoms provider in the world to launch a 5G service. However, your choice is limited to only two providers.

Like most Gulf countries, Qatar has a highly developed telecommunications network which will allow you to make and receive calls and text messages easily. You can decide whether you prefer a fixed line, mobile phone, or both according to your needs. Due to the duopoly of only two providers, prices would be considered expensive for calls and data compared to places such as the UK.

Good to know:

Ooredoo, formerly Qatar Telecom (Qtel) had monopolized the country's telecommunications market for a long time before Vodafone recently joined the game.


To obtain a landline, simply visit any Ooredoo branch with your identification documents, that is your ID card, your passport, and your residence permit. You will be given a form which you will have to duly fill in and sign. You will also need to provide your bank account number if you wish to settle your bills by direct debit. By choosing Vodafone, on the other hand, you will also be required to produce a copy of your lease documents.

Once these formalities have been completed, you will receive a customer number. A technician will call by the following week for the installation. However, don't hesitate to give them a reminder phone call. Note that fees apply.

Good to know:

Landlines in Qatar are bound by a minimum of three months duration contract. But it can vary depending on the length of stay in the country.

Useful numbers

Emergency services: 999

Ooredoo call centre: 111

Information Service: 180

Calling abroad from Qatar: dial 00, country code, area code or city code, and then the phone number without the initial "0".

Mobile phones

Mobile phones are more popular than landlines in Qatar, especially among foreigners. You can choose between a prepaid package and a subscription. The prepaid SIM card, which is also known as the 'Hala Card' is available at Ooredoo branches. Documents to be produced are your ID card and your residence permit. On buying the 'Hala Card', you will be entitled to some free airtime.

To activate the service, you need to call 121. Once your credit has run out, you can buy 'Hala' refills.

If you prefer a subscription, you will be entitled to a minimum of three months period contract. But you also have to pay a monthly subscription fee apart from communication charges. However, calls and short texts are cheaper. As regards to phone bills, these can be settled at Ooredoo branches, post offices, or online.

Good to know:

Qatari mobile phone numbers usually start with 33, 55, 66, or 77 while landline numbers start with 44.


The use of VOIP services such as Whatsapp and Viber has been limited. Messages can be sent but there are issues with calls made using these services. You may need a VPN connection to access these. You should arrange this before you come to Qatar if possible.

Useful links:


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