Qatar Weather, climate and geography

Weather & climate

Best time to visit

Qatar has a dry, subtropical desert climate, with low annual rainfall and intensely hot and humid summers. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit Qatar, when temperatures are warm but not hot and the evenings can be pleasantly cool. June to September is oven-temperature hot and best avoided. - the average temperature for June, July and August is around 42ºC (108ºF), buts it’s not unusual for the mercury to reach an eye-wateringly high 50ºC (122ºF). In the winter months, temperatures are cooler but still warm, with the average around 23ºC from December to February. Almost all rainfall occurs during the winter months, mostly in heavy cloudbursts and thunderstorms. Because Qatar is such a small country, there is little regional variation in the weather, although coastal areas may be slightly cooler than inland.

Required clothing

Lightweight cottons and linens are recommended during summer months but avoid wearing silk, which sticks to the skin with the humidity. A cardigan is useful for over-cooled malls in the summer and a jacket is a must for cooler evenings during the winter. If you intend to take a camping trip in spring or autumn, you'll be glad to have packed an extra layer of clothing at night.

Geography

Qatar is an oil-rich peninsula jutting out into the Gulf between Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, with just one border, at the south of the country, with Saudi Arabia. The peninsula is just 160km (100 miles) north-south, and apart from the capital, Doha, most of the towns are oil-company compounds. The coastline stretches for 563km (350 miles), with a scattering of sandy beaches – the best of which are in the north and west.

Much of the country consists of sand dunes and salt flats across a low, barren plain, although towards the north of the peninsula there is scattered vegetation.  There is also a small range of hills in the north-west, the highest of which is Qurayn Abu al Bawl, which reaches just over 100m (328ft) and is part of the Jebel Dukhan range. The country's most distinctive geographical feature is in the south of the country close to the border with Saudi Arabia; a wide area of rippling dunes surrounding an inlet of water from the Persian Gulf. Known as Khor al-Adaid, it is a favourite spot for jeep safaris and day trips from Doha.

Visa and passport information is updated regularly and is correct at the time of publishing. You should verify critical travel information independently with the relevant embassy before you travel.