For your convenience, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha has provided the following information to help you plan for and enjoy your stay with us.
Qatar is on a peninsula located 11,512 sq km in size, located on the west coast of the Gulf and neighbors Saudi Arabia. The State of Qatar, gained independence in 1971, is currently a constitutional emiri ruled by The Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani. The total population is estimated at more than 1.7 million and is expected to continue to increase as the country offers vast opportunities within various sectors in the economy.
Local time of Qatar is GMT plus 3 hours throughout the year.
Before You Come To Doha
- The weather in Doha is generally sunny all year round with the temperature ranging from an average high of 31 degrees Celsius during the day to 22 degrees Celsius at night. Qatar’s subtropical desert means it becomes very hot and humid from June to August, with temperatures reaching upwards of 40 degrees Celsius. During the winter months from November through February however, the country’s weather is extremely pleasant. Rainfall is rare (falling on isolated days mainly between October and March).
- Cotton or lightweight clothing is suitable for daywear
- Proper evening attire is recommended when dining in restaurants
- Skirts or shorts above the knee should be avoided, as should sleeveless tops that expose the shoulders or upper arms. Very tight or revealing clothing should also be avoided.
- Rules and regulations concerning the issuing of visas vary depending on nationality, and because details can change with little warning, it is worth checking before traveling.
- Applications for tourist visas are submitted to the Immigration Department (Airport Visas Section) by one of the registered hotels. Visas are usually given in 5 working days and are valid for 14 days. They can be extended for another 14 days.
- The following countries offer visas on arrival: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA and Vatican City
- A company or a recognized establishment submits an application to the Immigration Department (Airport Visa Section). Visas are usually given in 5 working days and are valid for 14 days. They may be extended for another 3 months.
GCC Residents Visa
- GCC residents are granted a visa at the airport. The visa is valid for 14 days and may be extended for another 14 days. Having a valid residence visa in any GCC country is a precondition.
As our guest, we can make the visa arrangements for you. For more information or assistance, please contact our reservations department.
- No health certificates are required for entering Qatar, except for visitors arriving from cholera or yellow fever infected areas. It is recommended that visitors to Qatar are immunized against typhoid and hepatitis A as a precaution.
- The national language of Qatar is Arabic
- English is widely spoken throughout the State of Qatar, especially in Doha.
- Doha International Airport accommodates over 20 passenger airlines and is currently undergoing an expansion program to cater to the growing number of visitors to Qatar. The new airport is being constructed, ready to offer state of the art facilities to airlines and passengers. The old airport is 40 kilometers and 25 minute drive away from The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and transport can be organized directly with our concierge.
- Airport –General Enquiries +974 4465 6666
- Airport Immigration/Passport Control +974 4462 1276
- Complimentary Hotel Shuttle is available for hotel guests. Terms and conditions apply, for more information please contact Concierge on +974 4484 8118 or visit the Concierge Desk in the hotel lobby. Reservations are required.
- There is currently one taxi company operating in Doha; Mowasalat-Karwa (green taxis). Karwa taxi meters start at QR 4 and run at QR 1.2 per kilometer inside Doha and QR 1.8 outside of Doha.
- Al Mowasalat/Karwa-taxi +974 4458 8888
- Most of the internationally known car-hire firms are represented in Qatar, with offices at the airport and in hotels. There are a number of local firms offering car rental too, with competitive prices to match the recognized companies. Rental can be just for one day or for weeks or months at a time, and a wide range of cars is available. Expect to pay from around QR 300++ per day.
- Car parking is widely available around Qatar and in most parts of Doha, although some parts of the capital are becoming increasingly congested, resulting in the introduction of parking meters on the city's streets. Most shopping centers, office blocks and residential buildings have free parking facilities.
- Mowasalat operates a large fleet of air-conditioned public buses that runs several routes in and out of Doha from its City Center hub, Al Ghanim Station (located at Grand Hamad Street and Al Ashat Street). Bus service is available every 20 minutes daily between 5 am and 11 pm, with stops every 750 meters. Fares are QR 2 for an inner city ride and up to QR 7 for long-distance journey to towns outside of Doha.
- There is no train transport system currently in place in the State of Qatar.
- The electric supply operates at 220-240 volts and 50 Hz. both two and three-pin plug mains are operating, and adapters are available in most supermarkets and other corner shops.
- Transactions are done in the Qatar Riyal (QR). QR 3.65 is equivalent to US$ 1
- A currency exchange service is available at the hotel’s front desk
- You may also change your money or cash travelers checks at banks
- Remember to bring along your passport to help facilitate exchanges
- The country code is 974; there is no city code
- International calls are made by first dialing 00 followed by the numbers
- There are two phone companies operating in Qatar where you can buy prepaid calling cards that are available in denominations of QR 30, QR 50 and QR 100
- Mobile users on a short visit to Doha can switch to the local network if your GSM service provider has roaming service, or purchase a pre-paid number when visit one of the two phone companies with a valid passport copy
- For local directory assistance, call 180
- Most hotels offer internet connenction. The Ritz-Carlton, Doha offers wired and wifi internet access throughout the hotel, with 1-hour complimentary wifi in our public areas for all our guests.
- A number of cafés and parks in Doha also has internet hotspots with free wireless access.
Qatar Tourism Authority
P.O. Box 24624
+974 4441 1555 (telephone)
+974 4437 2993 (fax)
Emergency Phone Numbers
- Police, Fire, Ambulance 999
- Hamad Genereal Hospital +974 4439 4444
Public HolidaysThe two major public holidays in Qatar are religious ones: Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha.
- Eid al Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Because this calendar is based on the lunar months and dates are therefore not fixed, holidays will only be determined 24 hours in advance. Eid al Fitr is marked by a three-day celebration where almost every business in the country shuts down.
- Eid al Adha follows approximately 70 days after Eid al Fitr and is marked by a four-day celebration.
Besides these two religious celebrations, there are three other fixed holidays:
- National Sports Day, 2nd Tuesday of February
- Accession Day, June 27
- National Day, December 18
Hours of Work/Business
- The working week in Qatar runs from Sunday to Thursday with Friday (the holy day for Muslims) and Saturday off. However, some businesses choose to take only Friday off, or give just a half-day on Thursday.
- Government offices work between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. Commercial offices have two shifts, the first from 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and then from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., though his may vary.
- Timings change during the holy month of Ramadan with government offices working two or three hours less. Some commercial offices observe the Ramadan working hours also.
- Banks open from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., although some branches, especially those located in shopping centers, also open in the evenings.
- Major shopping malls are usually open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m., but the majority of them close on Friday mornings. Timings for independent shops vary but are generally from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and then 4 p.m. until 9 p.m.. Many are closed all day on Friday, although some do open late afternoon.
- Timings change during the holy month of Ramadan with commercial shops usually closed during Iftar (the breaking of the fast just after sunset) and re-opening later in the evening. Shopping malls that remain open during the day (without serving any food or beverage between dawn and dusk) close later than usual-sometimes as late as 2 a.m..
- Tipping is most common in restaurants, averaging 10%, although some establishments automatically add a 10% service charge, but this should be stated on the menu.
- Taxi fares are generally minimal, so tips are quite common.
- Tipping for tour guides is subjective, but is good practice considering the average salary of most guides.