Qatar is rich without showing off: an excellent beach holiday on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, well-trained hotel staff, inexpensive and high-quality shopping. Entertainment – safari, diving and camel racing, excursions to the Bedouins and sheikhs. All about Qatar: visa, road, tours and prices.
Qatar is similar to the United Arab Emirates, only without pathos: luxurious beaches of the Persian Gulf, futuristic skyscrapers, impressive dive sites, fashionable hotels – and at the same time no arrogance and unnecessary boasting. And, by the way, there is something to brag about: oil and natural gas have made the Middle Eastern state the richest on the whole planet. GDP per capita is twice as high as in the UK, and prices are miracles, and only an order of magnitude lower than in the same Dubai.
Local residents are extremely hospitable, they honor ancient Islamic traditions, but they also respect other people’s way of life. Doha does not claim to be a champion, but surprises guests with eclectic architecture and colorful entertainment such as camel racing and falconry. And in 2022, Qatar will host the 22nd FIFA World Cup – a great reason to hurry up and lift the veil of secrecy over one of the most beautiful countries of the East before anyone else.
Cities and resorts of Qatar
According to baglib, the capital is Doha, where the past is intertwined with the present in a colorful Persian carpet. The area between the desert and the sea has been inhabited since the 4th millennium BC. e., but began to develop in the 18th century, turning from a modest fishing village of Al-Bida into an oasis of prosperity and prosperity. Impregnable forts and ethnic museums remind of the old times. Bedouins still live in the vicinity, acquainting strangers with traditional life.
Over the past decades, bizarre skyscrapers, the best hotels in the country, restaurants and shopping centers have grown along the coast, many of which are concentrated on the artificial island of Qatar’s Pearl.
El Wakra is a former pearl fishing center where you can admire the old fortress, the Sheikh’s House and the mosque, taste seafood at the fish market, and a stadium, parks and entertainment will appear for the championship. Al-Khaur, in the middle of oil fields, is famous for its temples, secluded beaches and a hotel in the building of a chic palace. And not far from the port of Messaid, a large recreational park and a reef for diving with flooded boats, cars and a school bus have been created.
Look for a complete list of cities in the country on the page cities and resorts of Qatar.
Climate of Qatar
The climate in Qatar is continental tropical, extremely arid, unbearably hot in summer: the air often heats up to +50 °C. At the same time, humidity, especially on the coast, reaches 90%, although the annual rainfall is only 80 mm. But from December to March it is cooler, the average temperatures are +20… +30 ° C, so it is better to relax here at this time.
Actual information: weather forecast for the main resorts of Qatar for the coming days.
Visa and customs
A visa is required to travel to Qatar, Russian citizens can apply for it right at the airport, but tourists from the CIS countries will have to contact consulates. It will not be superfluous for your own peace of mind to issue a travel insurance policy, which, however, is not asked when entering the country.
Under the ban are weapons, explosives, ivory and rhinoceros horn products, pork, animal skin, drugs and psychotropic substances.
The import of printed publications and audiovisual products with materials that are contrary to the cultural traditions of the country is prohibited. The import and export of national and foreign currencies is not limited, it is allowed to import items for personal use, perfumes and tobacco in reasonable quantities. Wines and other alcoholic drinks – only with special permission and only for employees of diplomatic missions.
Communication and Wi-Fi
The monopolist in the mobile communications market is Ooredoo, tourists can purchase a prepaid Hala card for 10-60 QAR with free calls to local numbers, 100-250 MB of Internet and calls to Russia at 0.99 QAR per minute. To connect, you need a passport, there are discount codes on the provider’s website.
Pornographic, extremist, Islamic and government-critical websites are blocked in Qatar.
Payphones installed everywhere are also suitable for international calls, payment cards are sold in stores. Doha has many points with free Wi-Fi: in hotels, restaurants, parks and public institutions.
Hotels in Qatar are gorgeous, sultan-like residences with helpful staff, state-of-the-art facilities, swimming pools, restaurants and gyms. Most are located in Doha, on the Corniche, the west coast of the bay and the island of Pearl Qatar, but decent housing can also be found in El Wakra, Messaida and El Howrah.
Qatari mains voltage is 240V, three-prong D and G sockets require adapters.
There are several democratic hotels in the capital with double rooms from 90-120 QAR per day. Accommodation in standard “three rubles” costs from 160 QAR, and in fashionable “fives” – only from 220 QAR for two per night. If you want something more exotic, you can rent a tent-bungalow right on the beach for 600 QAR or a luxurious chalet for 30 people for 3500 QAR per day.
The monetary unit of the country is the Qatari rial (QAR), in 1 rial there are 100 dirhams. Current exchange rate: 1 QAR = 15.83 RUB (1 USD = 3.64 QAR, 1 EUR = 3.83 QAR).
Currency can be exchanged at banks that are open all days except Friday, from 7:30 to 13:30, but numerous private offices offer a more favorable rate (their opening hours are from 8:00-9:00 to 20:00-21: 00, 13:00-15:00 – lunch break, Friday is also a day off).
Tipping is rarely included in the bill, but if the service is really liked, the staff will not refuse 10% over the amount.
Large hotels, shopping centers and restaurants accept credit cards of international payment systems, as well as traveler’s checks (mainly in US dollars and pounds sterling). Many shops, hotels and banks have ATMs.
How to avoid problems
Qatar is a safe country: the crime rate is low, you can safely walk even in the evening. The locals profess Islam, but without extremes: women are allowed to drive a car and participate in society, the attitude towards non-believers is loyal, most hotels and restaurants sell alcohol, but it is strictly forbidden to take it outside, transport and drink it in public places. It is wiser for girls to refuse a frank mini and neckline – at least out of respect for a foreign culture.
It is forbidden to take pictures of airports, police and military installations, interiors of mosques. Men without their permission, women and clergy are also undesirable to shoot.
Tap water is drinkable, but due to the specific mineral composition, it is better to buy bottled water. Milk, meat, fish and vegetables should be consumed after heat treatment, and fruits should be thoroughly cleaned. The sun is extremely active, so you can’t do without SPF products and hats. Before the trip, vaccinations against typhoid and hepatitis B will not interfere.
- How to choose clothes for holidays in Doha
Useful phone numbers
- Embassy of Qatar in Moscow: Cow Val, 7, of. 196-198; tel. (495) 980-69-16, 980-69-18
- Embassy of Russia in Doha: New Doha, area No. 66, street No. 804, villa No. 8; tel.: (44) 836-231, 836-821.
- Police, Ambulance, Firemen: 999
- International airport (inquiries upon arrival/departure): 435-15-50
- Representative Office of Aeroflot: 443-71-86
Qatar cannot boast of an abundance of historical sights; all the most interesting things in this country are happening here and now.
The beaches of Qatar
The best beaches are concentrated in Doha: sandy, well-groomed, equipped with all amenities. Most of the plots are owned by hotels, and outsiders have to pay for entry, so it’s more profitable to live in a hotel on the first coastline. The only public beach is Katara Beach with umbrellas, sun loungers and entertainment, but it is also paid – 100 QAR per day, and women are not allowed to sunbathe in bikinis.
Outside the capital, Sealine Beach with sand dunes in Messaid, deserted Umm Bab in the west, Fuwayrit in the north and Dukan, beloved by snorkelers and families with children, are good.