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The Basics
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Qatar Travel Guides

The Basics:


Electrical current is 240/415 volts AC; 50Hz. Round pin plugs with grounding and rectangular blade plugs are in use.


Arabic is the official language, but English is widely used.


A service charge of 10% is usually added to hotel and restaurant bills in Qatar, in which case tipping is not necessary. However if there is no service charge a 10% tip is appreciated. Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, but it is good to round off the amount due.

Safety Information

Safety in Qatar is generally not an issue but the country, like most in the Gulf Region, is rated as being under high threat of indiscriminate terrorist attacks against western interests. Visitors should therefore be vigilant in public places. There is a low incidence of crime, but women are advised to take care when travelling alone at night.

Local Customs

Qatar is an Islamic state, which prohibits drinking alcohol in public other than at licensed hotel restaurants and bars. Religious customs should be respected, particularly during the month of Ramadan when eating, drinking and smoking in public are forbidden by Muslim Law. Intimacy between men and women in public can lead to arrest, and homosexuality is illegal. Visitors should dress modestly and respect local customs. The right hand should be used for everything, including eating and the giving and receiving of things, as the left is considered unclean. The import of pornographic material, non-Islamic religious material, alcohol or pork products is strictly prohibited.




The international access code for Qatar is +974, and the outgoing code is 0, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 027 for South Africa). City/area codes are not necessary. There are numerous Internet cafes in Doha. The country is well covered by the Q-Tel GSM 900/1800 mobile phone network. As of July 28th 2010, telephone numbers in Qatar gain an extra digit by repeating the first number (ie. 522-2222 becomes 5522-2222).

Duty Free

Travellers to Qatar do not have to pay duty on tobacco products and perfume for personal use. Alcohol may not be imported under any circumstances. Prohibited items include wild birds, without an import authorisation from Ministry of Agriculture and Municipal Affairs (MMAA). Travellers are also prohibited from importing pork-related products and pornographic or sexually explicit material. Luxury NEWS >