Qatar - Frequently Asked Questions
For all those things you haven't found out in our generic description and introduction to Qatar (or in our different travel guide sections) and you might be confused on or simply wondering about; this list of most commonly asked questions on Qatar aims to answer every concern or query.
We aim for our Qatar FAQs to be the most complete and useful but if you can't find the answer to your particular question here or our answer doesn't fully resolve your riddle, you're more than welcome to give us a call and we'll put your unsolved concerns at ease. Browse through the list of questions here first and see if we can immediately answer what you're most intrigued about.
Table of contents
- When is the best time to go?
- Do you need a visa?
- How can I get there?
- What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
- What is there to see and do?
- Is there anything to do at night for entertainment?
- What is there to eat in Qatar?
- Is there anything I should be sensitive to in Qatar?
When is the best time to go?
Qatar is one of the hottest countries on the planet, with the temperature regularly exceeding 40 degrees C in the summer months. The best time to visit is from December to March, when the average temperature is usually in the low 20s. This means the weather will still be nice and warm, but not oppressively hot.
Do you need a visa?
British citizens require a visa to visit Qatar and you will be able to purchase this upon arrival in the country. Payment is accepted via credit or debit card only. Your passport will need to be valid for at least six months after your date of arrival.
How can I get there?
All flights to Qatar land at Hamad International Airport, located in the capital city of Doha. Flights to the country are available across the UK, although only the London airports, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester tend to offer direct services. Direct flights take just under seven hours, while those with stops can take anywhere between nine and 15 hours on average.
What is the local currency and what currency should I take?
The national currency in Qatar is the Qatari riyal. It's advisable to exchange some money before travelling, but cash machines and money exchange services can be found in many locations. Most shops and restaurants accept major credit and debit cards.
What is there to see and do?
As a small country - it's total landmass is just over half the size of Wales - Qatar's attractions are easy to reach. Doha provides plenty of opportunities for shopping, eating and culture. The city is home to a number of museums and art galleries, with the Museum of Islamic Art definitely worth a visit. Souq Waqif provides an insight into the traditional commerce, architecture and culture of Doha, while the Doha Corniche promenade offers fantastic views of the city. There is plenty to see outside of the capital. The deserted 18th century Al Zubarah Fort is located on Qatar's north-west coast and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Taking a tour of the desert that covers much of Qatar is a must for any visitor and the spectacular views available at the inland sea of Khor Al Adaid are not to be missed. Qatar's coastal location and crystal clear seas makes it ideal for watersports like sailing, water skiing, canoeing, jet skiing and windsurfing, while its sandy beaches are the perfect place
Is there anything to do at night for entertainment?
Nightlife in Qatar is more limited than in western countries due to the strict rules concerning alcohol. Tourists are permitted to drink, however, and the majority of bars are based in hotels. Perhaps the best way to spend the evening in Qatar is to visit one of the country's many restaurants. Find out more below.
What is there to eat in Qatar?
Qatar has a varied culinary scene, offering a combination of local foods as well as cuisines from all over the world. If you'd like to sample some Qatari cuisine, the national dish of the country is machbus, a meal that consists of rice, meat and vegetables mixed with spices. Another speciality is balaleet, a noodle dish cooked with cinnamon, saffron and cardamom, and often topped with an omelette. If you prefer to stick to food you already know, there is no shortage of restaurants serving western-style meals.
Is there anything I should be sensitive to in Qatar?
There are no set laws surrounding clothing in Qatar, but it is advisable to be aware of local sensitivities. Both men and women should keep their shoulders, thighs and abdomen covered when in public places. Swimming clothes are acceptable for hotel pools, but should be avoided on public beaches to be on the safe side. It is also advisable to avoid public displays of affection with your partner.
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In their quest to diversify Qatar’s economy away from oil and gas, officials are continuing to bet big on the emirate’s tourism sector. At the Hospitality Qatar 2016 expo, it was announced that Qatar’s hospitality sector would receive $40bn in investments over the next 15 years, which would result in an additional 105 hotels.
Airports can often be the dullest places to hang out with long queues at check-in and security, and then a just few shops and restaurants when you finally get through. However, many airports are now striving to offer passengers more when they travel, and Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar has been named as the "coolest" airport in the world by the deals website Travelzoo.
The Qatar Tourism Authority has announced it will implement a new grading and classification system for hotels. The environmental sustainability and management of the hotels will also be evaluated for the first time, and properties will be graded using a star-rating system that will rate the public areas, accommodation and facilities.