Qatar is a relatively new tourist spot (it’s only been issuing tourist visas since 1989), but travelers boarding flights to Qatar arrive in a country full of lavish new hotels, ancient architecture and some of the best scenery in the Middle East. Historically a country that kept to itself, Qatar witnessed the money that tourism brought its neighboring destinations and decided to open its doors to travelers.
Qatar’s capital city Doha is less traveled and remains a quiet location in the Middle East. Travelers heading to Doha should visit the National Museum before heading back to their resort towns. The museum is located inside the palace of former ruler Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohammed and boasts a large aquarium and Qatar artifacts that tell the story of this quiet country.
Today, Qatar has become a popular Middle East tourist destination thanks to the five-star hotels and tax-free shopping available to travelers. As the country boasts its tourism industry, new hotels and attractions are constantly being built and cheap flights to Qatar are always available.
Qatar is very sunny and sees very little rain, averaging only 3 inches each year. Summer temperatures can reach 104 F and it doesn’t get much cooler in the winter. You’ll notice the days become a bit cooler and the nights cool to a slight chill, but that’s the only difference.
Best Time to Fly to Qatar
While summer time can bring humidity and sandstorms, fall and winter are the perfect times to book flights to Qatar.
Peak Season: Most vacationers plan flights to Qatar between October and April, (except for Ramadan) when mild temperatures and cooler conditions are constant. Snorkelers and divers beware – the ocean is at its coolest between December and January.
Off-peak Season: Although people rarely consider it an off season, there are fewer travelers booking flights to Qatar between May and September because of the increased humidity. Another low travel time is between December and January, when the few annual raindrops make their appearance. If the wet weather doesn’t scare you, the winter months are the best times to find cheap flights to Qatar.
Getting around Qatar
Although there is only one airport in the country, it’s unlikely you’ll need any domestic Qatar flights with the easy network of public transportation. The Qatar Transport Company (called Mowasalat) operates taxis (karwa) in Doha. For tourist convenience, they can be booked in advance, hailed from the street, or acquired at a hotel platform.
If you’re interested in more independent forms of Qatar travel, renting a car or a 4X4 is easy to do once your flight to Qatar arrives at Doha International Airport. Companies like Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Thrifty, Budget, Europcar, and Mustafawi handle all the details, and since gas is so inexpensive, it the cost of petrol won’t make a big dent in your budget. Drive on the right side of the road, and be very mindful of all road laws. Police are known to stop incessantly for speeding, lack of seat belts, and suspected drunk driving. Lastly, make sure your driver’s license is on you at all times. If the rules and regulations seem too much to handle, you can also hire a driver.
Outside of taxis, cars, and 4X4’s, Qatar is in the process of developing a new bus system that will center many air-conditioned buses around the Central Bus Station in Doha.
Qatar Travel Information
- Annual Doha Cultural Festival: If you’re booking flights to Qatar in March, you’ll be able to see the Annual Doha Cultural Festival, which is the biggest celebration of the year. Filled with music, poetry, theater, and dance, the cultural promotion revolves around photography and art galleries that brim with tourists and locals alike. If the kids are in tow, be sure to see one of the many theater performances that explain the history and culture of Qatar at a level for children to understand and appreciate.
- Corniche Bay: Stretching 4 miles along the coast of the Arabian Gulf, Corniche Bay is the perfect play to walk, cycle, or rollerblade while catching amazing views of the horizon. With close proximity to Palm Tree Island, it’s easy to take advantage of water sports, shoreline activities, and seafood restaurants. If you’re looking for a little tranquility in your Qatar travel, head to the nearby Al-Rumaila Park, where fresh air and greenery creates the perfect peaceful space to avoid the buzz of the city.
- Qatar National Museum: On the eastern end of Corniche Bay is the Qatar National Museum, which won the Aga Khan award for its Islamic architecture restoration. The largest museum in the country, it has an exclusive collection of Islamic artifacts and relics that delve deep into the history of early oil exploration and the start of its maritime economy. Open 7 days a week, history buffs planning flights to Qatar should head straight for this well-known attraction.
- Al Bida Park: If you’re looking for an outdoor fitness area during your travel to Qatar, head to the Al Bida Park, where the lush span of greenery and paved pathways allow for walking, jogging, and cycling overlooking the Doha seafront. Much quieter than the rest of the city, the remote space attracts runners and outdoor yoga advocates alike, and if you work up an appetite during your workout, various food options are just around the corner.
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More useful information about Qatar
- May to September is the monsoon season for several Asian countries.
- Rail travel is the best way to see most Asian countries.
- If you book one way flights to Asia, be sure to book your return or onward ticket before you leave.
- Last minute flights to Asia can be rewarding if you have family or friends established in Asia.