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World Travel Guide > Guides > Middle East > Qatar

the fp is getting-around

Getting Around Qatar

Air

Doha has Qatar’s only international airport and there are no internal flights.

Road

Qatar itself is very easy to explore by car as it’s a tiny country. The drive from the Saudi border in the south to Madinat ash Shamal in the very north of the country is only 160km (100 miles), taking around 2 hours 30 minutes. Most roads lead to and from Doha; route 1 leads north to Madinat ash Shamal, the Dukhan Highway leads west to Dukhan and route 5 heads south to the Saudi border.

Side of the road

Right

Road Quality

Because of the cheapness of petrol, almost everything in Qatar moves by road and there is an advanced road system which, nonetheless, is still undergoing extensive upgrades. New expressways are being built to link Doha with other areas, and there are new road works springing up all the time. This can make it a confusing place to drive. Driving in Qatar is something of a competitive sport; speed and unpredictability are the two main characteristics. Areas of sabka (salt flats) make leaving the road to access the coast a hazard in many parts of Qatar, even in a 4-wheel drive vehicle. It's best to stick to prior tracks.

Road Classification

Major driving routes are motorways and dual carriageways.

Car Hire

Available from local and international companies at the airport and hotels. The minimum age for driving in Qatar is 18, although some car hire companies may demand drivers are at least 21. Seat belts must be worn. Large on-the-spot fines are issued to anyone not wearing one or not carrying a driver's licence.

Taxi

There is a choice between the old orange and white cars or newer, slightly more expensive sea-blue taxis. Both have meters. Taxis can be hired on an hourly basis, but if that’s the case it's better to negotiate the fee in advance. Taxis are the main source of public transport within Doha.

Bike

The chaotic traffic in Doha and throughout Qatar makes cycling inadvisable.

Coach

Mowasalat (www.mowasalat.com) runs a public bus service from Doha to all areas within Qatar.

Regulations

On motorways and dual carriageways out of the city the speed limit is 120kph (75mph). Within the city on smaller roads the speed limit ranges from 50kph (31mph) to 100kph (62mph).

Breakdown services

There is no national breakdown service but private companies do operate. Try Arabian Automobile Association (tel: 4481 0500; www.aaaqatar.com) if assistance is needed.

Documentation

An International Driving Permit is required, but a temporary licence can be obtained on presentation of a valid national licence. Your driving licence must be kept in the car at all times.

Urban travel

Doha is Qatar’s main city, and traffic can be frenetic and heavy. Mowasalat (www.mowasalat.com) runs a taxi and limousine service.

Rail

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