Public transport in Doha is under development. Major highways already been built in the country, a metro is being built in the capital, and the development of railway transport is planned. Nowadays public transport represented by buses and inexpensive taxis. Locals prefer to travel by their own cars.
Buses in Doha
Given the underdevelopment of other modes of transport, the capital Doha has an expanded network of bus routes. The buses numbered – knowing the number of the route you need, you will not get lost. Buses in Doha are modern, clean and air conditioned. Bus stops in Doha can be either fully indoor and air-conditioned or open.
A special travel card Karwa Smartcards used to pay for the fare. There are several types of this card, depending on the length of your trip: Tourists can use the $ 3 Limited Card for 2 trips within 24 hours (for example, from Doha Hamad Airport to the city and back) or the $ 5 Unlimited Card for unlimited travel for 24 hours … When boarding and exiting the bus, the card must be attached to the card reader.
In addition to city buses, shuttle buses run through Doha’s West Bay business district. Shuttle opening hours: from 06:00 to 21:00, every 15 minutes. Major stops along the shuttle route: Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, The Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC), Sheraton grand Doha resort and convention center, City Center Mall.
An up-to-date bus route map for Doha is available below.
Doha Hop On Tourist Buses
Like many tourist cities, Doha has a Hop On Hop Off bus. The concept of such buses is simple – on the way, they make stops at major attractions. You can get off at any stop, and then go back in – and all this within 24 hours. In Qatar, these are tourist double-decker buses in bright yellow. The second floor covered with a canopy to protect from the local scorching sun.
The bus stops at the following major points of interest: Souq Waqif (Market), Islamic Art Museum, Qatar Traditional Village, The Pearl of Qatar, Science City, Grand Mosque, Doha Waterfront (Promenade), Qatar Convention Center. The cost of the Hop On Hop Off bus ride is QAR 180 ($ 50) for an adult, QAR 90 ($ 25) for a child.
Taxi in Doha
Taxis are the most convenient and safest means of transport when moving around Doha. A municipal taxi company Karwa runs around the city. The taxi operator is the state-owned Mowasalat company. Taxi cars are easily recognizable by their blue body color. Taxis can take from a parking lot in the city – next to large malls and shopping centers – or hailed on the street. Taxis in Doha represented by Toyota Camry and Škoda Octavias sedans. There are also Ford Freestars taxis from Doha Airport. In addition to the official carrier, the Uber taxi system operates in Qatar.
Some taxi rules and rates in Doha:
- Landing cost: QAR 4 ($ 1.1)
- Fare 1 km: QAR 1.2 ($ 0.3) within Doha, QAR 1.8 ($ 0.5) outside Doha
- If the driver refuses to turn on the meter, then by law the trip should be free.
- In Doha, many taxi drivers refuse to unlock the passenger door or open the trunk until the passenger pays an additional fee. In this case, call the police immediately on 999.
- Local taxi drivers – mostly Pakistanis and Filipinos – speak English.
The demand for a taxi significantly exceeds the supply, and even a local taxi ordered in advance may not arrive at the right time. Therefore, I recommend booking a taxi with a trusted company online . You will immediately pay the amount of the trip, and the driver will drive up to your hotel at the agreed time and take you to your destination. It is especially important to book your taxi well in advance when traveling to the airport.
Car rental in Doha
Tourists rarely rent a car in Qatar. Those who fly here for an exhibition or conference take a taxi. They do not need to rent a car. However, if you still need a car, I will tell you about local roads.
There are five main highways connecting Doha with neighboring cities. Qatar is a very small country, so the length of its longest route does not exceed 100 km. I will list the main routes of the country:
- Road to the city of Dukhan in the west of Qatar
- The road to the city of Esh-Shamal in the north of the country
- Route along the coast to the municipality of Al Hawr
- Highway to Al-Wakrah / Mesayed in the south of Qatar
- Salva Highway to the Saudi Arabian border
Driving in Doha, especially during rush hour, is stressful. I recommend taking this into account and not going out on the road during busy hours. On the ground, Qatar borders only with Saudi Arabia, the border with which currently closed due to tensions between the two countries. Therefore, driving abroad from Qatar is not possible.
In Qatar, you can rent and drop a car in several places – at Doha Airport, in the center of Doha and in the city of Ras Laffan.