The government-run national bus company provides comfortable city services around Doha in environmentally friendly, battery-powered and LPG-fuelled vehicles. Timetables are displayed at each of the sheltered bus stops.
Karwa Public Bus (www.mowasalat.com) operates buses every 15 to 30 minutes along many city routes; most start from Al Ghanim bus station and have stops every 750m. To travel by bus, you must purchase a Karwa Smartcard. Without a card, there’s a QR10 fee for a single journey. Cards are available at the bus station and at some supermarkets. Check online for details (www.karwasmartcard.com). The free West Bay Shuttle loops through the West Bay area and can be handy for getting from one end of West Bay to the other. Route maps are posted at bus stops and are available on www.mowasalat.com.
Most public buses begin their route at Al Ghanim Bus Station.
There are a string of car rental companies in the arrivals area of the airport.
Driving in Doha is easy enough if you watch out for impatient drivers overtaking on both the left and right, honking the horn at roundabouts and at free-roaming pedestrians. Parking, except in the souq areas, is not too much of a problem: most hotels and malls have car parks or parking services. A lack of street signs can make navigation difficult and most people navigate by landmark not by road sign.
Despite the efficient bus system, most people get around Doha by taxi, using apps from Uber (www.uber.com) or Careem (www.careem.com).
If you don’t use an app, in theory taxi journeys cost QR4 plus QR1.200/1.800 per kilometre during daylight/night-time hours, although very few taxis use their meters these days. Waiting time costs QR8 for each 15 minutes. In practice, agree a price before getting in. The minimum fare is QR10.
The bright-turquoise cars can be hailed by the side of the road or found at the airport and outside malls and hotels.
Money and Costs
Qatari riyal (QR)
Qatar is a relatively expensive destination. With the few budget hotels being swept away in the name of development, accommodation costing less than US$100 per night is hard to find. Factoring in cheap options (around US$10) for eating and the cost of a sight or an activity, a minimum daily cost with transport comes to around US$150. This rises to US$250 if you’re staying in midrange hotels; for a top-end hotel with car hire, US$400 is nearer the mark.
Bargaining is expected in the souqs and, although Western-style shopping centres have fixed prices, it’s still worth asking for a discount in boutiques and smaller shops.
There are plenty of moneychangers just south of Doha Fort. ATMs that take Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Maestro and Amex cards are available throughout Doha.
Thanks to Lonely Planet for information about Doha