How you can discover Qatar by metro, taxi, bicycle and automobile

It’s not onerous to discover far and extensive in diminutive however thrilling Qatar. It ought to come as no shock that this an oil-rich nation, many locals desire to drive, usually behind the wheel of eye-wateringly costly sports activities automobiles. But a budget and environment friendly Doha Metro makes getting round this Gulf nation’s comparatively small capital and sister metropolis Lusail a breeze for guests, with a authorities bus community serving locations farther away.

Taxis and ride-hailing companies are surprisingly inexpensive, whereas guests can hire bicycles and electrical scooters to discover Doha’s sweeping Corniche and past. 

Listed here are the very best methods to get round Qatar, a quickly growing nook of the Arabian Peninsula.

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Embrace the dazzling Doha Metro

With 37 eye-catching stations impressed by conventional caravansaries, the Doha Metro, opened in 2019, is likely one of the world’s most architecturally placing subway methods. It’s additionally ultra-cheap, with all journeys costing simply QR2 and whole journey prices capped at QR6 per day. Intersecting at Msheireb within the coronary heart of Doha, the system’s three traces (purple, inexperienced and gold) provide common and dependable companies. The driverless, largely underground trains usually run each jiffy from 6am to 11pm Sunday to Wednesday, till midnight Thursday and Saturday, and from 2pm to midnight on Friday, with working hours usually prolonged throughout particular occasions.

A regular Qatar Rail journey card prices QR10 and might be topped up at metro stations or by way of the Qatar Rail app (minimal QR5). It’s also possible to use the journey card on the Lusail Tram, which is linked to the Doha Metro. The tram has an orange line in service, with three extra traces in growth. For those who stump up QR100 on a Goldclub journey card, you’ll be enjoyable in bigger, extra comfy seats in a devoted carriage for the journey worth of QR10.

Taxis and ride-hailing companies are plentiful and surprisingly inexpensive in Doha © Jayskyland Photos / Alamy

Taxi and ride-hailing companies are useful for touring past metro stops

Managed by Qatar’s government-owned transport firm Mowasalat, turquoise-hued Karwa taxis are clear, inexpensive and strictly metered, with the flag fare on the airport beginning at QR25 after which QR1.6 per kilometer. Inside Doha, the fare begins at QR4, with a further QR1.6 per kilometer. Exterior Doha, you’ll pay QR1.9 per kilometer. You’ll be able to pay with money or card or utilizing the Karwa app (for iOS and Android).

Even cheaper and infrequently extra handy are Qatar’s essential ride-hailing companies Uber and Careem, with rides usually costing much less per journey than you’ll pay in most developed international locations, partly due to low gasoline costs. Although each companies at the moment settle for money, most customers pay via the app. Hardly ever (if ever) will you be matched with a driver who doesn’t communicate at the very least some English.

Several turquoise blue buses are lined up on a road with towers seen beyond in Doha, Qatar
The general public bus community connects Doha with cities round Qatar © Philip Lange / Shutterstock

Public buses are helpful for out-of-town journeys

The fashionable and environment friendly Karwa bus system (additionally run by Mowasalat) connects Doha with nearly each city past the town limits. (There aren’t lots of them.) Nevertheless, journey might be gradual going due to decreased velocity limits for buses on main highways.

A Karwa Smart Card is required for journey. Costing from QR10 for 2 journeys inside a 24-hour interval, the playing cards might be bought at ticket merchandising machines at Hamad Worldwide Airport, bus stations, The Pearl, Mall of Qatar and associate retailers. 

Qatar is an surprising biking vacation spot

Whereas Doha’s essential streets are usually not designed to be shared with cyclists, there are a variety of devoted areas for a secure, leisurely pedal, together with Doha’s 7km (4.3-mile) seafront Corniche and the sprawling adjoining Al Bidda Park, with bike rental accessible from the likes of Saikl Bike.

Dockless electrical scooter rental is more and more accessible round Doha from corporations together with Loop Mobility and Mowsalat-owned Falcon Ride. Merely obtain the related app, register your particulars and head off. 

Extra-serious cyclists can sort out Doha’s 33km (20.5-mile) Olympic Biking Observe. Opened in 2020, the world’s longest steady biking path hyperlinks Doha with the small coastal metropolis of Al Khor to the north, with 29 tunnels and 5 bridges permitting cyclists to pedal its complete size with out stopping. For the reason that bulk of the path hugs the freeway via the desert, there’s not a lot to pause for anyway.

Renting a automobile is an possibility for exploring farther afield

Whereas latest statistics counsel that Qatar’s roads have gotten safer, driving a rental automobile could be a irritating endeavor in a rustic the place dashing and tailgating are frequent, and switch alerts appear to be optionally available. For those who’re a assured driver, nonetheless, renting a automobile is a good way to go to distant sights that aren’t effectively served by public transport resembling Al Zubarah Fort and the mysterious Al Jassasiya Rock Carvings, particularly in case you desire to go out by yourself as an alternative of on an organized tour.

Vacationer eligibility to drive in Qatar varies by nationality, so do your homework earlier than you propose to zoom off. And remember the fact that the penalty for operating a purple gentle is a hefty QR6000.

Accessible transportation in Qatar

Pedestrian walkways – not to mention accessible pedestrian walkways – are nonetheless a piece in progress in Qatar. However its state-of-the-art metro and tram methods cater effectively to vacationers with restricted mobility and different accessible travel wants. 

All metro and tram stations are spacious, with platforms all wheelchair accessible. Audio and visible bulletins are made at every cease, and all trains and trams have house for handbook and electrical wheelchairs, together with devoted seating areas and drop-off areas for passengers with restricted mobility. Tactile paths are designed to help with navigation for riders with visible impairment, and bogs that cater for vacationers with disabilities can be found at each station. 

Karwa buses are wheelchair accessible, and Karwa taxis function a small fleet of autos geared up to accommodate two to 3 wheelchairs in addition to different passengers. 

Interior view of tiled arches and vaults at the Msheireb metro station, Doha, Qatar, Arabian Peninsula
The spectacular stations of the Doha Metro take inspiration from conventional structure of the area © Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy

Why the Doha Metro is my favourite option to get round Qatar

The place else on this planet are you able to get to and from a serious airport with ease for lower than a greenback? In a rustic the place sustainable journey is especially difficult, the low value of touring on the Doha Metro is one other nice incentive for utilizing this carbon-friendly various to taxis. 

With visitors congestion turning into extra frequent in Doha throughout peak durations, catching the metro can be usually sooner than driving. I really like the calming impact of the pearlescent tiles splashed all through the interiors of the stations. If companies started earlier on Fridays, the Doha Metro could be virtually good.