Traffic is feral these days all over the country and works of construction are nonstop. The whole country is turned to a huge worksite. Driving has become an unbearable burden and drivers can never be sure which road to follow. Diversion signs are all over the city making everyone’s life difficult.
You might follow a certain direction in the morning and by the time you return home from work you have to take a different route.
There are times when you have to make a circle to reach your destination which might happen to be on the opposite side of the road. This is not exaggerating because it was happening to us. We had to drive 15 minutes making a whole circle to reach a point opposite the road where the house was, only to get to the supermarket. Before the works in Lusail it was just a 3 minute drive. Check the link on the tip to get an idea of how the area will look like in a few years from now.
What is happening in Doha is madness because construction is taking place all over the country at the same time.
Check the link though to get the picture of what the City will look like in some years from now!
Public transport in Doha is better developed than in other Gulf countries, but it is still worse than in Dubai or in Western countries. There are bus lines linking the most important points of Doha, but the system is still in progress of becoming reliable and prices are more oriented on European than on Gulf state fares. 10 Riyal for a ride along the Corniche is what I would pay to a trip into the city in most German towns. That said, the bus system is OK, but don't rely on it too much.
In July 2012 I flew to Doha with Qatar Airways from Frankfurt in Germany. Doha's International Airport is located only about 4 km south of the city centre.
As it can't handle the ever increasing number of passengers anymore, especially transit passagers, the airport is planned to be replaced in 2013 by the New Doha International Airport (NDIA), which then can be found another 4 km south.
The airport seems to be served by public bus #119 at least hourly. Another option is of course taking a taxi, but most major hotels also offer shuttle services to and from the airport. A taxi to the city centre should set you back approximately 40 QAR.
Doha's city centre along the Corniche can still conveniently be explored on foot, although during the summer months most people don't really walk longer distances outside. Life then happens inside in air conditioned places.
Although I haven't really used public transport in Doha, I noticed that a network of public buses exists and therefore this info might be helpful to other travellers.
Since 2004 Qatar's public bus service is run by the company Mowasalat. Fares for buses within the city are 3 QAR, to outlying districts like Al-Rayyan 4 QAR and to any other city in Qatar up to 9 QAR.
Doha airport is great for a quick stopover, which you will do if flying Qatar airways. Even in the middle of the night all shops and restaurants are open. Of course I went to Costa. Money wasn't a problem as the airport take US dollars as well as Qatar riyal.
Trapped in Doha Airport? Long layover, but not enough time to get out of the Airport? Or do you just want to look cool being greeted at the Arrivals Hall with your name on a sign held by a beautiful young lady. And you get to jump the entire queue at Security! If that was not all, you get all the food and drink you want, comfortable sofas, free internet services and you can sleep stretched out. The price is economical as well.
The Bad Part
• They do not make it easy to book. The booking form is hellish and you have to send a copy of your Credit Card, front and back!
• NO ALCOHOL. How bizarre. You can buy loads in Duty Free which is all of 3 meters from the door. Sneak it in. I did. Just watch out. Some staff enforce the rules more that others! And they do not have a corkscrew for wine.
PLEASE NOTE: You can book the Lounge even if you fly Economy
Qatar airways is one of the worlds fastest growing airlines and a major reason why Qatar is growing as a tourist destination.
It's a very nice airline with brilliant service onboard and they serve an increasing number of destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways might be an arab airline with many arab features, which is something i personally like, but they are also making sure to be an international airline catering to everyone, so you get your beer and wine for free there aswell as your mecca finder.
This is really a nice airline that i can only recommend.
I flew from London to Bali return on Qatar Airways, changing planes at Doha. The check in was quick and easy, all the flights were on time and the connections in Doha went smoothly.
The crew on the flight were friendly and attentive. Inflight entertainment was excellant with a wide range of TV, movies and music on demand.
We have an office there, so someone from ym firm travels there almost all the time. They will usually take it. They will obviously always take an International Driver's license. But whatever you do, do not rent a car from Hertz in Doha. I am a Hertz Gold Member, but I will never rent from them again, and my company is seriously thinking of taking them off of our list of acceptable rentals. In Doha, they have a policy of overcharging their customer with all osrts of erroneous charges. See my posting of "Do Not Rent a Car from Hertz in Doha"
This has been my first time travelling with Qatar airways. To be honest, I have been a bit disappointed as, I heard so many excellent comments about it. Flights were all ok, but nothing more than standard. What instead impressed me was the small stick you can put on your seat asking to be awaked for meals or not to be disturbed, this is the first time I see something like that and I loved the idea.
I visited Doha during my 12hours stop over on my way back from Malaysia. Doha airport is very small, so, if you have enough time, I'd advice to go out. You'll probably need to buy a visa which costs 21 euro and it must be paid with credit card. You do not need to claim your lagguage before going out. Regular taxis are outside of the exit and the cost to the souq is about 5 euro and about 15 to Villaggio shopping mall, depending on the traffic.
If you are too tired to talk, or your destination is far, getting around Doha becomes a bit of a pain. The infamous bus 76 that should cover the central area exists (we saw it!) but we never managed to figure out the timetables or where it stopped... moreoever I think that you can't buy a ticket on board but you need to purchase a pre-paid card at the bus station in the centre.
The remaining alternative is taking a taxi - which are quite cheap, by the way. However they are often difficult to find: Karwa taxis are light blue and nowhere to be seen, unless you are really lucky and patient. It's not a problem at shopping malls, but otherwise it's best to phone and order one. You'll need a telephone number where the operator can reach you, and you'll have to wait 30 to 60 minutes. So plan your next move well ahead and call them on 4588888.
If you are anywhere in town and there's no taxi in sight, your only option is to walk into any good hotel and ask them to call you one - which they won't. However they will offer you their limousine service... which costs 4 times more than karwa taxis but which will also get you to your destination fast.
I was a little scared having a 6hr stopover in Doha, especially after the reviews of the airport I found on the net.
Well. Things are going better. Maybe thanks to the Asian Games of 2006, but the airport now is clean, and western standard.
Not a huge one, but enough space to host the lot of travellers trapped there for a stopover.
Well, forget the Dubai airport, actually this is a lower level. But there is all you need.
Also a quite useless duty free.
We spent the evening into the airport, so we got a voucher for a free dinner at the local self service.
The dinner was worthing exactly what we paid for it.
But there are a few other alternatives.
(I sneaked for a while into the Golden Lounge, and that's the best alternative!)
Waiting embarking time there are plenty of seats. And also a quiet room, easy to find following the sign.
There are also the Golden Lounge, the Silver Lounge, and the Oryx Lounge.
I've heard about the last one. So I've tried to book via their website one week before departing. I am still waiting their reply :-(
ps: If you are plannig a trip to Maldives I advice you to take the direct fly. No stopover in Doha is priceless!
I flew with QA from Milan to Maldives via Doha. The flights were quite comfortable. The staff on-board was in the normal range of kindness. The on-flight entertainment has a quite wide range of good choice. Unfortunately, is not the same for food.
All in all the professed five stars seems to me too optimistic. I rate QA just in the average, compared with western standard.
The only inconvenience was a 2hr late departe on the way back from Doha to Milan. So I had no need to argue with QA staff in the airport.
Qatar Airways has no business claiming to be a five-star airline. After I arrived in India, I received an email stating that the airline had cancelled my reservations for my return flights. Customer service in India was simply horrible. It was the worst service I have ever received from not just any airline, but from any kind of business anywhere in the world. It almost seemed as if their ultimate goal was to make this entire affair as difficult as possible for me. They simply informed me that there was not sufficient time for my transfer in Doha and left it at that, as if they just expected me to stay in India for the rest of my life. Never at any point did they do anything helpful at all. Rather than looking for solutions, they simply threw up more and more roadblocks. They could have found alternate routes, booked me for an overnight stay somewhere between flights, or any of a number of other solutions. Instead, they said I had to fly out of a different city than the ticket I bought. One city was 6 hours away by bus, while the other was 16 hours away. And they said I had to get myself there.
Finally I gave up and emailed my wife in the US to have her try her luck with the New York office. They got me on a return flight, but back in India the insisted that I sign an indemnity form releasing the airline of all liability for costs I would incur because of the change in itinerary. They treated me like a criminal, not a customer. When I finally did get to Doha, the employees there were equally unhelpful. I told them the least they could do is give me a complimentary upgrade to business class, but they balked at every turn and acted like they owed me nothing. Finally one employee at check-in counter went out of her way to get me an upgrade, but she actually disobeyed her supervisor in doing so.
I will never, under any circumstances, fly Qatar Airways again. And I highly recommend that other travelers avoid them at all costs. It is the most unprofessional business I have ever dealt with in my life.