|Umm Şalāl Muḩammad||$710|
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.
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.
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.
(prices quoted are from London)