Qatar is a peninsular Arab country extending into the Persian Gulf, located to the east of Saudi Arabia, East of Bahrain and West of the Emirates. It is an extremely rich country due to its strong economical status related to its oil reserves. Many tourists come to visit Qatar solely for the experience of seeing such a developed, rich country, in which shopping itself may turn into a completely new experience, as well as simple sightseeing of futuristic and breathtakingly designed skyscrapers and other contemporary architectural wonders.
But it’s not the only thing that attracts tourists. Its vast deserts and dunes with their spectacular views are an unforgettable attraction for recreational safaris that all visitors enjoy. Qatar’s largest area of sand desert lies to the south-west of the capital, offering, to those not interesting in safaris, a wonderful view of this country’s landscapes mostly consisting of the desert scenery that continually changes depending on the time of day and light conditions.
Warnings & Dangers in Qatar
OVERALL RISK : LOW
Qatar is, generally, very safe to travel to. Apart from some natural threats to watch out for, you should have no worries about your safety. Crime rates are low and few precaution rules should go a long way.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
There is a heightened risk when it comes to transport in Qatar. Drivers may maneuver their vehicles erratically sometimes, and there are even some aggressive drivers driving at high speed. Also, keep in mind that outside of the capital, roads vary from good to very bad and some of them are poorly illuminated at night.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
As a tourist destination, it is expected that there is some pickpocketing in public places. You should still remain vigilant in crowded places and public places near tourist landmarks.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
Keep in mind that temperatures can be extreme in Qatar, reaching as high as 50C. Haze, dust storms and sandstorms are common and even severe thunderstorms may occur.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Mugging and kidnapping is also a very rare occurrence in Qatar, so it shouldn't be on your list of worries.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
There have been terrorist attacks in the Gulf region, and the possibility of another attack is heightened. Attacks could occur anyplace, even at locations frequented by foreigners.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
Even though Qatar is not known for scams, in tourist destinations you should always be cautious when receiving change, negotiating rides or any kinds of services, and also never pay for anything upfront.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM
Unaccompanied western women in Qatar may experience harassment. Generally, Qatar is safe for women, but you may encounter some whispers, catcalls, or receive unwanted attention in any other way which is usually annoying than it is dangerous.
So... How Safe Is Qatar Really?
Qatar is a very safe country to travel to. Its crime rates are low, including violent crimes that are extremely rare, especially towards foreigners. Petty theft exists, but is not common although there have been some reports concerning credit card scams, so avoid using ATMs outside.
Western women might experience some harassment, but the harassment will probably just be annoying and won’t represent a danger for anyone. Examples of this are men circling around your block while you walk down the street, catcalling on the street or whispering at you to get your number. Bear in mind that, since Qatar is an Islamic country, prostitution is strictly illegal, so it’s best to avoid it while staying here. Another issue for tourists in Qatar is that homosexuality is also illegal, and can be punishable by 5 years in prison. Public displays of affection are also frowned upon.
Areas to avoid in Qatar are continually growing slums at the outskirts of cities. Poorly paid work force can’t afford decent housing so they started building slums with tin roofs and mattresses on floors. It’s best to avoid these areas since they have higher crime rates.
- Visas - There are 33 nations that can obtain a one-month visit visa upon arriving at Qatar, and many countries have downgraded their friendships with the country, including some that have even placed a diplomatic embargo between them and Qatar, so if you are not sure about your visa status, it is best to visit www.doyouneedvisa.com which will let you know whether or not you need visa for Qatar.
- Currency - Qatari Riyal is the official currency in Qatar. ATMs are widespread throughout the country and credit cards are widely accepted. Tipping is appreciated but not expected.
- Weather - Qatar is exposed to extremely high temperatures, especially during summer that lasts from June to September. Generally, it is warm in Qatar year-round.
- Airports - Hamad International is the busiest international airport of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. In 2014, it replaced the former Doha International Airport as Qatar's principal airport.
- Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Qatar, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems, but also theft and loss of valuables.