Getting Around in Qatar

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The new blue Karwa taxis are good but in short supply at present. Private taxis will stop and offer you lifts - although you are then uninsured, sometimes this is the only way to get around. A more expensive alternative are Limos - these start at around 30 Riyals (having recently increased in price).


Buses costs 2 riyals per trip in the city, and 7 riyals outside the city. According to the Gulf Times you should watch out for pickpockets at peak times.


Driving licences

You can use your national driving licence for one week, after which you will have to change it a Qatari licence. Alternatively, you can use an International licence for 6 months.

Qatari Driving Licence

You can obtain your Qatari driving licence from Madinat Khalifa Traffic Department. Take three photographs, your own driving licence (if you don’t have one you will need to take a test), your passport with residence permit or identity card, your sponsor’s ID and photocopies of everything. If you require glasses, you must be wearing them in your photo.

When you arrive, someone will appear from nowhere and offer to type the necessary form for you in Arabic (in the unlikely event that they do not, you can find people to do this in a row of small open offices along the side of the road.) This normally costs five riyals – you can also have photographs taken. The form then needs to be signed by your sponsor.

The same person who types up your form will probably also offer to organise everything for you. He will name a fee – this will be negotiable. In the driving centre itself you will need to take an eye test.

Not all nationals are allowed to exchange their licence. Those who can't have to take a driving test. Students are tested on their ability to drive on a main road, to ‘pocket park’ and understand road signs. The test is difficult, and many people fail on their first attempt.

Road safety  

In Qatar there are many different nationalities all, it seems, with their own idea of how to drive. Perhaps this is why Qatar has a huge death rate on the roads. Roundabouts are especially dangerous, and seem to have their own unique set of rules. The government places policeman on roundabouts at busy times, and is slowly replacing these roundabouts with traffic lights. There is currently a huge road improvement programme going on, but some of the smaller roads in and out of the city are badly maintained.   


Congestion is bad and getting worse. The situation is exacerbated by the major work being done on the roads prior to the Asian Games. When the work is complete congestion should improve. Traffic is at its worst during the rush hours. There are four of these due to the structure of the working day.


If you have an accident, stop and do not move, even if you are blocking traffic. Call the police and wait for them to arrive. The police will issue with a report, without which you cannot get your car repaired. You may only leave the scene of the accident if everyone agrees on who is to blame.

That was the old law. Today in Qatar you can be fined for disrupting traffic flow in case of a minor accident. In the event of death, injuries or involvment of illegal things like alchool leave the cars where they are. If you flee the accident scene without a police report, even if you agreed with your counter part on who's fault it is it could be diffcult to obtain the report you need to get the car fixed.


Renting a car

There are numerous car rental places. Normally the minimum price is 1500 a month. Bargaining may secure you a better price. Excess on insurance starts at around 1000 riyals.

Traffic offences

Qatar is strongly committed to improving road safety, and slowly increasing the number of speed and traffic light cameras on the roads.

A full list of traffic offences and their penalties can be found on the .

You can find out if you have committed a traffic offence online at .  


There is zero tolerance of drink/driving. Any alcohol in your blood will mean a court case in the event of an accident. You may not leave the  country with a court case pending. The penalty for Muslims is whipping.

Car Rental (A few of many)  

You don't need to reserve a car (you can get them at the airport) but if you want to check prices here are some contact details.

Al Muftah Rent a Car: Tel: 4328100/4442003 Fax: 4414339



Doha Rent a Car and transport:

Tel: 4354577/4316213 Fax: 4328795

PO Box:16055


National Car Rental:

Tel: 4871995 Fax: 4881695

PO Box:23005

January 04, 2007 change by giorgio
October 02, 2006 change by qatar guest

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ajayan rent acar

Edit This

one of the best rent a car in qatar

World66 rating: [rate it]
tel:+974 4582888
address:doha qatar slwa road

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