Flights to Qatar

Qatar Airways is the state-owned flag carrier.  Its services covered over 140 destinations so you can always find a flight to where you want.

If you are member of the OneWorld Alliance, please be reminded that Qatar Airways is a member of it, which means if you are members of one of these airlines you can also enjoy the facilities of Qatar Airways.  Here is a list of OneWorld Alliance members (as of 2015):

Air Berlin
American Airlines
British Airways
Cathay Pacific
Finnair
Iberia
Japan Airlines
LAN
Malaysia Airlines
Qantas
Qatar Airways
Royal Jordanian
S7 Airlines
SriLankan Airlines
TAM Airlines

 

Stopover

Flying from Chicago to Singapore? Why not make a stopover at Doha?  You may make a short stay of 2 to 3 days or merely a 8-hour transit, just pop in to say hi to Souq Waqif!  Qatar Airways has a easy to use Stopover booking system.

 

 

Opening Hours

Don't forget to check the opening hours of Souq WaqifHere is the opening hours of shops and restaurants in Souq Waqif.

 

Shops:

Most shops operate from 10:00 am. to noon. Re-open at 4 p.m. till 10 p.m.

 

Restaurants:

Most restaurants open all day, from 8:00 a.m. to midnight. Some may even open 24 hours.

 

Banks:

Click here for list of banks and their opening hours.

 

While the souq is closed, you may always other attractions nearby. The Corniche, Museum of Islamic Art and Qatar National Museum are all great choices.

 

 

Currency

Qatar Riyal (QAR or QR) is divided into 100 Dirham.

Riyal was pegged with USD at US$1 to QR 3.64.

The nomination is as follows:

  • 1 Riyals
  • 5 Riyals
  • 10 Riyals
  • 100 Riyals
  • 500 Riyals

 

  • 1 Dirham
  • 5 Dirhams
  • 10 Dirhams
  • 25 Dirhams
  • 50 Dirhams

ATM machines are easily accessible. In fact, Souq Waqif is very close to many banks, including the Central Bank.  See list of banks here.

 

 

 

 

Attractions Nearby

Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)

Museum of Islamic Art Centre (MIA) in DohaWithin walking distance to the souq, next to the Corniche Promenade, the Museum of Islamic Art is well worth visiting.  Every Thursday and Saturday starting 2p.m., you may join their highlight guided tour for free if you are in a hurry. The tour takes 40 minutes.  The museum features glass, metalwork, fabric, ceramics and manuscripts from ancient to modern times. You also have a choice of quick bite in the museum cafe or fine dining at the IDAM Restaurant with their alcohol-free menu designed by the Michelin 3-star chef Alain Ducasse.

Opening hours:

Sunday 10:30am to 5:30pm
Monday 10:30am to 5:30pm
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10:30am to 5:30pm
Thursday 12pm to 8pm
Friday 2pm to 8pm
Saturday 12pm to 8pm

Please check the MIA official site for latest events and Ramadan arrangements.

 

The Corniche Promenade

Corniche Promendade DohaThe Corniche Promenade or Doha Corniche is a 7km long boulevard lined with palms and greens together with modern architecture along the sea front. Al Corniche Street, parallel to the Doha Corniche, join the Hamad International Airport to the West Bay new business district.  This promenade is loved by joggers and anyone who enjoy a pleasant walk along the sea. Monuments like The Pearl, landmarks like Qatar National Theatre and Museum of Islamic Art, modern skyscrapers, parks and playground can be all found along here. Don’t forget to take an evening boat trip to enjoy the wonderful skyline of Doha.

 

Gold Souk

Gold Souq, a souk that is full of gold, pearl and jewellery.  Completed in 2012, the new Gold Souq follows the traditional Qatari architectural design, the two-storey building provides premises to over 40 jewellers. A must-see no matter if you love golden jewellery or not.

 

Katara Village DohaKatara Cultural Village

Located next to the Katara Beach, Katara is a unique cultural place rich with many arts displays events. It functions as a city hall which hosts different cultural events and art festivals, both free and paid. Completed in 2008, the beautiful Katara Amphitheater is a must-see. It combines both classic Greek theatre idea and Islamic features under the blue sky of Qatar. The Katara beach and cafes are also great choices for relaxing too.

 

Qatar National Museum

The Fariq Al Salatah Palace, formerly Museum of Heritage, is now surrounded by a new and modern structure to form the current Qatar National Museum. Award winning architecture Jean Nouvel was hired to design a brand new face for it. Travellers s who arrive from the airport may be puzzled by this big ring of interlocking discs pavilions occupying over 1 million square foot of space, not knowing that it houses both the history and modern life of Qatar. Those who are interested in the traditional dhows (vessels with one or more masts and lateen sails that used in Arabian region) should not miss this museum too.

The museum is undergoing construction and schedule to open in early 2016.

 

 

Attractions

Souq Waqif literally means “standing market”.  It’s a market so shopping is the main activity here. If you are not from the Gulf region then everything here is enough to enchant you.

Shopping

Shopping in Souq WaqifExplore different alleys to find more shops and stores that sell traditional goods, from daily necessities like spices to fabric, fashion, handicrafts and Shisha pipes.  The souq is not very big, though if you think “I will come back later to get it.”, you may not be able to find it again.

There is also a bird market and various pet shops selling chicks, rabbits and all kinds of pets. (Read more)

Art Gallery

Al Markhiya gallery, DohaSouq Waqif Art Centre

The Souq Waqif Art Centre was opened in 2008.  It started off with some small artistic shops and workshops offering art class. But it was closed 2 years later when the rental contract was not renewed.  In 2012, it was re-opened. And it does not only showcase local artists’ work but also holds exhibitions for global artists. The Art Centre now aims to preserve and inspire both local and Middle Eastern artists, and share ideas and knowledge among anyone who loves art and culture.

Al Markhiya Gallery

This oldest art gallery in Doha exhibits modern artworks from both local artists and the Gulf region. And it’s not far from the Souq Waqif Art Centre.

Festivals and Performances

Souq Waqif Spring Festival

Souq Waqif Spring Festival has become a recurring event each year. The 15-day festival scatters all over the Douq.  There are shows at Al Rayyan Theatre, games and activities at the Games Village at Al Almed Square, circus, clowns and street performers at the souq alley and art workshops at the Souq Waqif Art Centre. Don’t forget the dolphin shows too. The festival is for everyone!

Monuments

Al Khoot Fort aka Doha Fort (museum)

Situated next to the Camel Souq and Souq Waqf, the Doha Fort has undergone multiple conversions throughout its lifetime.  It was first build as a military barracks in 1880 under Ottoman occupation. It was then convert into a police station, a prison in 1906, a fort in 1927 and finally a museum in 1978. The museum now houses both traditional Qatari crafts like gold works, wood works, history and Bedouin handicrafts together with military arms that were once used in the fort.

 

 

 

 

Banks in Doha

Opening hours:

Sunday~Thursday: 7:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.

Some banks may open in the late afternoon, say, 5:00p.m. – 7:00p.m. and Saturday 7:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.  Please check with individual bank for up-to-date opening time.

 

List of Banks in Qatar

  • Qatar Central Bank
  • Arab Bank
  • Bank Saderat Iran
  • Barclays Bank
  • BNP Paribas
  • Commercial Bank of Qatar
  • Doha Bank
  • HSBC Bank Middle East
  • International Bank of Qatar
  • Mashreqbank
  • Qatar International Islamic Bank
  • Qatar National Bank
  • Standard Chartered Bank
  • United Bank Limited

 

ATM

ATM machines near Souq Waqif:

  • Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) ATM at Souq Waqif (zoom in to see the location)
  • Atrium of Museum of Islamic Art

 

New to Doha?  Other useful information can be found here.

 

 

Weather in Doha

Street view of Souq WaqifRainfall

It is dry in general from January to August with September being the wettest season.

 

Annual Temperature in Doha

January is the coolest month and rain stops.  January to March is probably the best.  Then November and December are cooler too if you don’t mind occasional rain.

Average Lowest Temperature (Celcius) Average Highest Temperature (Celcius)   Average Lowest Temperature (Fahrenheit) Average Highest Temperature (Fahrenheit)
January 14 22 57 71
February 15 23 59 74
March 17 27 63 81
April 22 33 71 91
May 27 39 80 102
June 29 42 84 107
July 31 42 87 108
August 31 41 87 106
September 29 39 83 102
October 25 35 78 96
November 21 30 70 85
December 16 25 62 76

 

Foreign to this country? See how should you dress here.

 

 

QPost Branches

Post services in Qatar is provided by QPost.  This is a quick reference for you find the nearest QPost branches. For more up-to-date information, please refer to QPost’s web site.

List of QPost Branches:

  • General Post Office
  • Najma
  • Qatar Foundation
  • Lulu Hyper Market
  • Khalifa Town
  • New Mansoorah-almeera
  • Al kharthiyat
  • Industrial Area
  • Al Shahaniya
  • Al Azizya
  • Al Muntazah
  • Mesaieed
  • Teyseer
  • AlKhor
  • Souk Al Ali
  • Al Ghuwairiya
  • Al Shamal
  • Aumm Salal Ali
  • Wakra
  • Rayyan 1
  • Umm Bab
  • Rayyan 2
  • Dukhan
  • Qatar University-Girls
  • Al Jumailiya
  • Woqod-Hilal
  • Woqod-Gharafa
  • Woqod-Rayyan
  • Woqod-Industrial Area
  • Woqod-Muaither East
  • Woqod-Muaither South
  • Woqod-Rawdat Rasheed
  • Woqod-Al Daayeen
  • Woqod-Al Sheehaniya
  • Woqod-North University
  • Woqod-Umm Salal West(Bu Fesseela)
  • Woqod-Umm Salal East(Rawdat Al Hamama)
  • Qatar Technology Park
  • Ezdan, Wakra
  • Katara
  • Immigration Office_Metrash

 

Useful Information

Visa

Visa on arrival for tourists is available for over 30 countries. Or you can always apply at the embassy at your country. A typical tourist visa allows one month stay.

Expatriates with family status can get up to 6 months visa for their family members like parents or siblings.

For more detail, please check the latest visa application requirements here.

Language

Official language is Arabic though fluent English is spoken in many places.

Currency

Currency used in Qatar is Qatar Riyal (QAR or QR) and each Riyal is divided into 100 Dirham.

The Qatari Riyal is pegged to the US dollar at a fixed exchange rate of USD 1 = QR 3.64 in 2001. <read more>

Banks

Banks opening hours: Sunday – Thursday 7:30a.m. – 1:00p.m.  Certain banks may open from 5p.m. to 7p.m. from Sunday to Thursday and also Saturday morning.

Click here to see more about banks and ATM in Qatar.

Weather

Qatar is hot in general.  Best months to visit are November to April with temperature ranging between 21 – 30C in November or 14 – 22C in January. Rainy season starts from September to December.

Best time to visit depends where do you come from and what’s the hottest temperature you can bear.  Click here to see the annual monthly average temperature of Doha.

Clothing

The general rule is not to show too much skin in public places, as a courtesy to both Qataris and Muslims. For both men and women, tops should cover the shoulders and upper arms. Shorts or skirts should at least cover the knees. Women do not necessarily cover their hair. Though it is particularly important to be modest in the Holy month of Ramadan.

Beachwear and swim suits are for hotel beaches only.

Postal Services

There are over 200 post boxes in Qatar. You can easily find them in museums and tourist attractions like Katara. See list of QPost branches here.  More information can be found at Qpost.

 

 

Other souqs

Souq Waqif is certainly the most attractive and vibrant souq in Doha, not to mention its historical status. It’s not just a tourist attraction but locals come to look for traditional Qatari goods as well. (See “What can you buy in Souq Waqif“) However, there are souqs that specialize in different merchandise which also make them one of a kind. Here are some other souqs.

Falconry in QatarFalcon Souq

The Falcon Souq is yet another amazing experience that you shouldn’t miss.  Falconry is one of the favourite hobbies of Qatari men. It can get rather obsessive.  In Falcon Souq, you can buy anything from the falcons to all rearing and training equipment.

Gold Souq

The Gold Souq is very close to Souq Waqif. A few of the shops still sell bullion though most other shops focus on gold and silver jewellry with or without precious stones. All golden jewellery sold has a government stamp to prove its purity.  It’s well worth a visit even you don’t intent to buy. The shopkeepers are not pushy.

Opening hours: Saturday~Thursday 9a.m.- noon, 4p.m.- 8p.m.  Friday 4p.m. – 8p.m.

Omani Souq

 Located behind the Salwa Central Market, Omani Souq is small yet comprehensive.  It sells a big range of goods – from spices, nuts and dried fish, to perfume and incense burners. Camel sticks and other household items can be found here too.

Another Souq Waqif, Al Wakrah

After the big success of the original Souq Waqif in Al Jasra, the government has decided to replicate it and build another one in Al Wakrah. It was designed to be a mix of the original Souq Waqif and Katara Cultural Village.

 

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