Driving in Qatar

Updated 2018-07-09 14:44

If you have queries about driving in Qatar, here are some tips regarding the driver's license and advice on staying safe on the road.

If you are traveling to Qatar for a short-term stay, you can drive in the country with your national driving license for a period up to 14 days. Your national driving license must be recognized by the Qatari authorities; the list of eligible nationalities is available on the Ministry of Interior of Qatar website.

Temporary driver's license

After 14 days in Qatar, you need to apply for a temporary driving license. The temporary driving license is required if you do not permanently reside in the country. In order to apply for a temporary driving license, go to the Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department with the application form duly completed (in Arabic), your national driving license, proof of identity (your passport) and a copy, and 3 photographs. Fees apply. A sight test will be performed. Note that in most cases, driving tests are not required.

Exchanging your driver's license

If you permanently reside in Qatar, you can show proof of your national driving license or your temporary Qatari driving license to exchange it for a full Qatari driving license. The cost for non-Qataris is 250 QR and is valid for 5 years. The document checklist includes:

The application form duly completed (in Arabic), your national driving license, your No Objection Letter from your employer, an ID (passport) plus a copy, and 3 passport-sized photographs. A sight test will be performed. It is recommended to complete the sight test at an optician or eye doctor prior to arriving at the ministry.

You may also need a valid debit or credit card to pay the licence fees.

If your national driving license is not recognized by the Qatari authorities, driving tests are required. Up until this year (2018), UK and EU citizens were able to transfer their licence without having to do further tests. However, this has now changed. Please contact the ministry or your home embassy on 44330000 for more information about this. If a test is required, the ministry will be able to provide details of driving instructors.

The Traffic Department is located on Khalifa Street, Madinat Khalifa and is open from 7 am to 11 am and 4 pm to 7 pm.

Good to know:

They drive on the right side of the road in Qatar. Zero tolerance is applied in Qatar for drunk driving. Note that the roads can be very dangerous in Qatar. Driving mortality is high in the country and the greatest caution is required! Quiet times to drive are during prayer time on Friday between 11-1pm and rush hour times are between 7-9am and 5-7pm. Avoid driving in the far left lane when you first start driving here. This is considered the fast lane and it is common to see drivers ignore the speed limits set on the roads. The fines can be considerable for speeding (500 QR) and driving through red lights (6000 QR).

Useful links:

Apply for a driving licence
Qatar Ministry of Interior
Qatar Traffic Department
Qatar News Agency

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