Country-specific safety information
In view of the ongoing tensions and events in some countries in the Middle East, travelers to Qatar should appear cautious in public, show consideration for Qatar’s religious, cultural and social traditions and stay away from demonstrations or protests.
1 Qatar riyal = 100 dirhams. Currency abbreviations: QR, QAR (ISO code). Banknotes are in circulation in denominations of 500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1 riyal; Coins with denominations of 50 and 25 dirhams. The Qatar riyal is pegged to the US dollar.
American Express, MasterCard, Diners Club and Visa are accepted in shops and restaurants. Details from the issuer of the credit card in question.
EC / Maestro card / Sparcard
cards with the Cirrus or Maestro symbol are accepted throughout Europe and worldwide, in Qatar at a few ATMs, more in shops. Further information from banks and credit institutes.
Attention: Travelers who pay with their bank card abroad and want to withdraw money should find out about the possibilities of using their card from their bank before starting their journey.
Bank opening times
- General Sun-Thu 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
Foreign exchange regulations
No restrictions. The Israeli currency is not allowed to be introduced.
We recommend that you bring US dollars with you. Euros can now also be exchanged in exchange offices without any problems.
The following articles can be imported into Qatar duty-free:
400 cigarettes and items for personal use such as a laptop, camera, mobile phone, etc.;
Gifts / other goods up to a total value of 3,000 QR.
If prescription drugs are to be imported for personal use, the medical prescription (preferably in English) should be carried with you.
Firearms may only be imported with prior special permission from the Ministry of Defense.
All types of alcohol are prohibited, pork, magazines and books that might be considered permissive.
The shops are open Sa-Thu from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Shopping centers don’t close until around 9pm or 10pm. Some shops open on Friday evenings.
Haggling is common practice, but not to the same extent as in other countries in the Middle East; Price reductions of around 20% are common. One should ask for the ‘best best price’ ; trying to push the price even further is considered impolite.
Shopping is the most popular pastime in Qatar, a country located in Asia according to transporthint. Qataris spend much of their free time in Doha’s huge shopping malls. Luxurious fashion from Dior and Chanel can be found in the Porto Arabia Mall on the man-made island The Pearl. In the huge City Center Mall in the West Bay district there are branches of both western and Arab retail chains.
But even those who are looking for a less westernized shopping pleasure will find it: The Souk Wagif in Doha was successfully rebuilt in the 1970s, the atmosphere and ambience of the 1930s have been preserved. Locals and tourists alike come here to buy everything from nuts and spices to gem-studded abayas or chess sets made from onyx. Even bizarre salt and pepper shakers in the form of two people dressed in Arabic can be found here. Animal lovers should better avoid the animal souk.
The Doha Souk is the best place to buy fabrics and clothes. There are tailors here who can make everything from suits to evening dresses. The Gold Souk is well worth a visit; Even if you are not planning to buy anything here, you should not miss the shimmering sheen of the 18 and 22 carat jewelry. And the good news for tech geeks is that cell phones and tablet computers in Qatar are very cheap and tax-free (they’re even cheaper than in Dubai). However, you should make sure that the devices will work at home before buying.