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Travel Insurance Qatar


Qatar Country Guide

  1. Country Facts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Middle East
Full Name: State of Qatar
Capital City: Doha
Language Spoken: Arabic (official), English commonly used as a second language

Qatar Travel Insurance

Get travel insurance to Qatar from Direct Travel Insurance. We offer low cost and high quality travel insurance to Qatar and most of the world.

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Geographic data

25 30 N, 51 15 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Persian Gulf 0 m highest point: Qurayn Abu al Bawl 103 m

Land boundaries

total: 60 km border countries: Saudi Arabia 60 km

Natural hazards

haze, dust storms, sandstorms common

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, fish

Land use

arable land: 1.64% permanent crops: 0.27% other: 98.09% (2005)

Environmental current issues

limited natural fresh water resources are increasing dependence on large-scale desalination facilities


Summer (June to September) is very hot with low rainfall. Winter is cooler with occasional rainfall. Spring and autumn are warm and pleasant. Required clothing Lightweight cottons and linens are worn during summer months, with warm clothes for cooler evenings and during the winter. Rainwear is advisable during winter.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+3


885,359 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.4% (male 105,546/female 101,371) 15-64 years: 73% (male 446,779/female 199,133) 65 years and over: 3.7% (male 24,059/female 8,471) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 31.7 years male: 37.1 years female: 22.7 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

2.5% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

15.56 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

4.72 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

14.12 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 2.24 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 2.84 male(s)/female total population: 1.87 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 73.9 years male: 71.37 years female: 76.57 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

2.81 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Meetings are typically formal with visiting businessmen expected to wear lightweight suit and tie. Politeness and patience in business dealings are needed. Arabic is the official language of Qatar, but English is widely spoken and is generally acceptable in private and public sectors. Office hours are 0730-1230 and 1430-1800 Saturday to Thursday. Government office hours are 0600-1300 Saturday to Thursday


Crimes against the expatriate community are currently confined to burglary and petty theft. Assaults against foreigners are rare but they do occur. Violent crimes such as rape, murder, aggravated assaults are confined to the poorer minority ethnic community and "guest workers" from South Asia. Street crime is rare in most sections of Doha but does take place in the poorer areas of the city. With the increasing flow of foreign workers into Doha, there is an increasing number of prostitutes and the crimes they bring with them. Recently several foreign nationals have been assaulted while in the company of a prostitute.


There are also a number of business class hotels offering reasonable accommodation. Advanced booking is strongly advised.


Telephone IDD service is available. The country code is 974. There are no area codes. The outgoing international code is 0. Qatar enjoys excellent local and international telecommunications facilities. A second earth satellite station was completed in 1988 and mobile telephone services (using the GSM system) were inaugurated in February 1994. Automatic telephone and fax dialing is available to more than 150 countries worldwide.


is 240/415 volts AC, 50Hz. Electricity 220-240 volts AC, ord=adDateTimeStamp;url=adCountryStamp;document.write('); 50Hz.

Plug Types


Food And Dining

While the best food is generally found in hotels, Chinese, Indian, Persian, Thai, US and Western cuisine is also available. All the major hotels have good public restaurants and most offer outside catering of high quality; waiters, crockery and cutlery will be provided on request. There are a reasonable number of places to eat in Doha, including snack bars serving fast foods, as well as the traditional Levantine shawarma and Egyptian foul and taamiyeh. Restaurants are scarce outside the capital. Alcohol is prohibited and should not be consumed in public, though some international hotels may serve alcohol.

Taxi drivers do not expect a tip. A service charge is often added to bills in hotels and most restaurants, otherwise 10 per cent is appropriate.

Public entertainment is rather limited. Doha has a cinema showing English-language films, and there is also the National Theater. Live entertainment is infrequent, but some international artists do perform in Qatar.

Entry departure requirements

Restricted entry The Government refuses entry and transit to holders of passports issued by Israel.

Visa immigration information


Passport valid for at least six months required by all.


Required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates;
(b) transit passengers whose tickets show they intend to continue their journey from the airport within eight hours.


(a) All visitors require onward or return tickets and sufficient funds for the period of stay. Visa requirements are subject to change, and travelers are strongly advised to contact an Embassy or Consulate of Qatar for up-to-date information.
(b) Nationals of Andorra, Australia, Brunei, Canada, EU countries, Hong Kong (SAR), Japan, Korea (Rep), Liechtenstein, Malaysia, New Zealand, San Marino, Singapore, Switzerland and USA can obtain business and tourist visas upon arrival at the airport in Doha for 50 Qatari (?10-12).

Types of visa and cost

Prices vary according to nationality. The following prices are for British nationals: single-entry: US$62 ; multiple-entry: US$86 (six months), US$122 (two years), US$223 (five years) (depending on validity).


All children included in the same passport of applicant traveling to Qatar must pay the same fees.


Single-entry visas permit stays of up to three months. Multiple-entry visas permits stays of up to six months, two years and five years.

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy); see Passport/Visa Information for details. Nationals of countries where Qatar has no diplomatic representation should apply for visas through their hotel in Qatar, which will arrange for the visa to be collected on arrival at the airport. Those wishing to visit friends or relatives in Qatar should ask them to apply to the immigration authorities in Qatar on their behalf for a visa. For longer-period visas apply to the Immigration Department, Ministry of the Interior, PO Box 115, Doha (tel: 465 7802). There is now a facility to book all visas online through the Ministry of Interior's website.

Application requirements

(a) Completed application form. (b) Valid passport. (c) Two passport-size photos. (d) Fee (postal order or company cheque only). (e) Name and address of sponsor in Qatar and for American nationals and EU passport holders except nationals from Ireland and the UK. Business visas need to be accompanied by an invitation letter from company and confirmation of hotel booking. (f) Stamped, self-addressed envelope for postal applications.

Working days required

One although it could take as long as three weeks depending on nationality. Applications should be made well in advance of the intended departure date.

HIV entry requirements

Test required for anyone applying for a residency permit and for visitors staying longer than I month

Departure tax



Embassy of the State of Qatar in the UK

1 South Audley Street, London W1K 1NB, UK
Tel: (020) 7493 2200.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1600 (1000-1400 during Ramadan); 0930-1230 (visa section).

Embassy of the State of Qatar in the USA

4200 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20016, USA
Tel: (202) 274 1600/3.
Also deals with enquiries from Canada.

There is a high threat from terrorism in Qatar. Al Qaeda continues to issue statements threatening to carry out attacks in the Gulf region. These include references to attacks on Western interests, including residential compounds, military, oil, transport and aviation interests.
Travelers should review their security arrangements carefully. They should remain vigilant, particularly in public places.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office


US Department of State




Qatari Riyal (QAR) = 100 dirhams. Notes are in denominations of QAR500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 dirhams; however, only the 50 and 25 coins are in wide circulation, minting of the rest ceased in the 1970s and smaller denominations are becoming ever-scarcer. Note The Qatari Riyal is tied to the US Dollar.

Currency restrictions

There are no restrictions on the import or export of either local or foreign currency. Israeli currency, however, is prohibited.

Banking hours

Sat-Thurs 0730-1330.

Currency exchange


Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

Widely accepted. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travelers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Pounds Sterling.


  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreaks
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Reasonable dental care can be found in Doha

Medication Availability

Some international medication is available from the larger pharmacies and hospitals in the larger towns and cities.

Blood supplies

Screening is inconsistent in Qatar, therefore blood supplies should be considered as unsafe

Medical facilities

: Basic modern medical care and medicines are available in the government-run Hamad General Hospital in Qatar.

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured.


Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Rabies: Preexposure vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 30 days who are expected to be at risk to bites from domestic and/or wild animals (particularly dogs), or for persons engaged in high risk activities such as spelunking or animal handling. Need for vaccination is more important if potential exposure is in rural areas and if adequate postexposure care is not readily available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

The general state of public health in Qatar is fair to good, although rodents and parasites abound and control of vermin remains a problem. Due to the crowded conditions in Doha and a continuing influx of expatriates from affected areas, outbreaks of cholera or typhoid are always possible. See following: Insect-borne illness: these do not generally pose widespread hazards to the traveler. Leishmaniasis (cutaneous) - occurs Leishmaniasis (visceral) - occurs Tick-borne relapsing fever - occurs Typhus (including murine and tick-borne) - occurs Food-borne and water-borne illness: pose a major hazard in most areas. Brucellosis - prevalent Cholera - occurs Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) - occurs Guinea-worm infection - occurs Hepatitis - common Schistosomiasis - occurs Taeniasis - occurs Typhoid fever - common Other hazards: High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although no cases have been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends from November to April. Trachoma and animal rabies may be problems.

Entry requirements


Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

Al Ahli HospitalP.O. Box 6401 Ahmed Bin Ali Street Wadi Al Sail Doha
Al Emadi HospitalAl-Hilal West Mall roundabout, behind petrol Al Sakr station P.O. Box 5804 Doha
American Hospital of DohaPO Box 22314 Al-Muntazah Doha
Apollo Clinic - QatarP.O. Box 23656 Near Al Hafza signal Al Mumtaza Street 320 Masoura Area Doha
Clinic Dr. Salim MohammedNo. 4 Al-Nakheel Street Mezzanine Floor of Qatar Pharmacy, beside National Showroom P.O. Box 875 Doha
Doha Chiropractic CentreVilla 15 D Ring Road P.O. Box 76 Doha
Doha Clinic HospitalNew El-Merqab Street Fariq Al-Nasr PO Box 9958 Doha
Dr. Nawal Alem Chaarani ClinicP.O. Box 3585 Ahmed Bin Ali Street Bin Omran Area Doha
Hamad General HospitalAl Rayyan RoadPO Box 3050Doha Doha
Qatar Medical CentreSalwa Road between Ramada traffic light & Medmac roundabout P.O. Box 6904 Doha
Specialist Medical CenterAl Musheira Street, 1st Floor, above Hala Pharmacy Pharmacy & Trust E Opposite Sofitel Hotel P.O. Box 37166 Doha


There has been no censorship of the media since 1995. Qatar television has been renowned worldwide since the launch of Al Jazeera in 1997, which is extremely popular in the Arab world.
Press: English-language newspapers include the Gulf Times and The Peninsula. The main dailies are Al-?Arab, Ar-Raya and Ash-Sharq.
TV: Al Jazeera is a satellite broadcaster financed by the Qatar Government; Qatar TV is state run.
Radio: Qatar Broadcasting Service (QBS) is state run. The BBC World Service (website: can be received on FM in Doha.