10 Tips for Indian tourists planning a trip to Doha, Qatar.

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1. Visa process for Indian Tourists – Qatar provides visa on arrival for Indian tourists. There are certain guidelines which you have to keep in mind. Read our detailed visa Guide here .

2. Visit Souq Waqif for Shopping and Dining – Souq means marketplace. Souq  Waqif is the most interesting and happening place in Doha. Especially after evening, this place becomes very lively. You will see people dining, shopping at the local stores, smoking Shisha. You can find different cuisine like Indian, Lebanese, Syrian and many more here. If you want to buy spices, nuts or dates, this place has many stores where you can buy them.

3. Extreme Temperature – Qatar is known to be a hot country. We visited Doha in October and the temperature was around 45 degrees Celsius during day time. It was extremely hot and humid during night time as well. We have been to Dubai and Abu-Dhabi around the same time in 2018 but Doha felt hotter and more humid than UAE. So do remember to take sunglasses, an umbrella or a hat/cap and sunscreen with you. When you are travelling in the city, keep water bottles with you always and drink lots of water. Visit attractions like cornice which is in open during early morning or late afternoon to beat the heat. Many tourist attractions(like museums, libraries) have air conditioning and malls/stores/cafes are air-conditioned. Plan to visit them during daytime.

4. Traffic – Doha is infamous for its traffic. When we visited Doha, the World Athletic championship was being hosted in the city due to which many roads were closed near the stadium in the evening. If you are planning to stay in west bay, you will definitely face some traffic during office hours (9-11 am and 6-8 pm). You may find some roads are blocked or diverted due to some ongoing construction work causing the traffic to choke up. So if you have a flight to catch in Doha during peak hours, keep some time in hand and leave early for the airport .

5. How much money to Exchange – We ended up spending 400 USD during our 4 night trip to Doha for 3 people. If you are family of two, then you can take 250-300 USD with you to Doha for a 4 night’s trip.

You can convert USD to Qatari Riyal at Doha airport. If you convert 300 USD in Doha, you will get around 1000 Qatari Riyal. We could not get Qatari Riyal at a good conversion rate in Mumbai and had to take US Dollars. But if you can find Qatari riyal in India with a good conversion rate, then do take Qatari Riyal with you to save the double conversion charges (INR to USD then USD to QAR). If you don’t want to take any USD with you, then you can withdraw Qatari Riyal directly from ATMs in Doha. But keep in mind if you are asked for any evidence for your expenses in Doha by Indian immigration/airline then you should have some evidence with you to support that (like bank statement or debit cards or credit cards in your name).

6. Transportation – Taxi/Cab/Uber are the main modes of transportation in Doha. We used Uber a lot during our stay Doha. You can pay using cash or your credit/debit card in Uber.

There are public buses in Doha as well. Locate the nearest bus stop, check the route of the bus and board it. Doha has been building its underground metro system and Doha Metro was opened to public in 2019. When we visited, only 1 or 2 lines were operational and the airport line was in the testing phase. When you visit Doha, definitely check out which all places you can go via metro. Metro is the cheapest mode of transport in Doha and you can reach your destination in a few mins. Doha metro and metro stations are quite modern and massive and should be in your itinerary.

7. Indian Restaurants –  You will find Indians and Indian restaurants almost everywhere in Doha. There are plenty of good Indian restaurants near every tourist attractions and in shopping malls. We would recommend one restaurant which we liked the most in Doha – MRA Bakery.

8. What to Wear – In this section our recommendation is based on two aspects. First, dress modestly, especially when you are visiting a mosque or a religious place. For ladies, your head, shoulders and knees should be covered. For men, knees and shoulder should be covered. When you are in other places we would suggest men and women to cover your shoulder and knees. As Doha is prepping for FIFA 2022, they are relaxing few rules and becoming more open. We saw a few people in shorts as well, but it was a little awkward.

Second part of what to wear is related to the extreme temperature in Doha. You should carry light clothes, preferably cotton for your stay in Qatar. If you are planning to visit during winter, just carry a light jacket as temperature doesn’t dip below 20 degrees Celsius even at night.

9. Travel Insurance – Although Travel insurance is not mandatory for travelling to Qatar, it is definitely good to have travel insurance with you when you are travelling to any foreign destination. You can easily get travel insurance within 1000 Indian rupees for a family of two for a week’s stay in Qatar.

10. Don’t forget to have Karak – Last but the most fun tip, do try Karak during your visit to Doha. Karak is like the masala tea version of Qatar. It tastes real good, somehow cools you down in the scorching heat of Doha. Also if you are fan of Hooka or Shisha , then do try that as well. In Doha specifically in Souq Waqif you will find many shisha places.

Karak-tea-Qatar

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