Qatar is a relatively new tourist spot, but travellers boarding flights to Qatar arrive in a country full of lavish new hotels, ancient architecture and some of the best scenery in the region. Historically a country that kept to itself, Qatar witnessed the money that tourism brought its neighbours and decided to open its doors to travellers.
Qatar’s capital city Doha is less travelled and remains a quiet location in the area. Travellers 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 artefacts that tell the story of this quiet country.
Today, Qatar has become a popular tourist destination thanks to the opulent five-star hotels and tax-free shopping available to travellers. As the country boasts its tourism industry, new hotels and attractions are constantly being built and cheap flights to Qatar are always easy to come by.
The sun shines year-round with temperatures that range between 25 and 45 degrees. In July and August, temperatures can soar past 50 degrees. Humidity will often be at 90 per cent in the summer months. Temperatures plummet over night and it can be bitterly cold. Qatar sees very little rain, about 7.5cm per year. When it does rain, showers are torrential and afterwards temporary lakes appear in the desert. For a short time, Qatar turns green.
The best time to book a flight to Qatar is between October and April. Winter-sun lovers and divers should note that the sea is coolest in December and January.
The Eid al Adha, or the feast of sacrifice, Ramadan and Eid Al Fitri are all important religious events in Qatar.
July and August are low season times in Qatar when it is simply too hot for most Western visitors. However, if you’re a keen diver it’s a great time to go.
There is only one airport, Doha International Airport, for travellers taking flights to Qatar.
The Qatar Transport Company (Arabic name is Mowasalat) operates taxis, known as Karwa, throughout Doha, the capital. The taxis can be booked in advance or hailed from the street or at a taxi rank.
The best way to get around Qatar is by car, either 4X4 or with a car and driver. Cars can be rented easily at the airport (Avis, Hertz, Sixt, Thrifty, Budget, Europcar, Mustafawi) and taxis are a cheap option too. As befits an oil-producing nation, petrol is inexpensive.