According to many international financial institutions, Qatar is the richest country in the world as per capita income. Despite the title of being the richest country, I found it very easy and affordable to explore Doha the capital of Qatar. To be very honest, it was even cheaper than Dubai. I visited Doha in November 2016, and spent 3 days there. I’m going to share my personal experience and information throughout this post.
Qatar Visa + Airline Ticket
Qatar has recently announced a very liberal visa policy in collaboration with its own Qatar Airways. Anyone from any country can get a 4 days transit visa to Qatar, and I’ve explained that in my this Qatar Visa Post. It’s free and very easy process to get a Qatar Visa online.
For flights to Qatar, I’ll recommend you Qatar Airways, as it’s cheaper than all other airlines (For Qatar Only), and Qatar Airways operates direct flights to Qatar from more than 150 destinations around the world. I booked my flight from Karachi to Doha 7 days before my arrival. It cost me exactly $160 from Karachi to Doha for one way ticket, as I had to go from Doha to my next destination which was Bahrain.
Cheap Accommodation in Doha
As a regular traveler, I always try to save money by booking low-price hotels and hostels. I even use AirBNB for saving money, cheaper rooms with great hosts. But for booking hotels, I always recommend Agoda.com where you can search for your desired destination and you can find a list of hotels from very cheaper options to luxurious ones.
I’m using Agoda.com for nearly 4 years now, and it always worked for me the way I wanted. For my recent stay in Doha, I booked my first hotel in OLD city area which is not very far from the city center, and it’s very near the famous Corniche side (Beach Side). I booked my hotel few days ahead of my tour, and the first hotel that I booked for two days was “Diamond 2 Hotel“, and for last day I booked “Al Mourouj Inn” which was located in the same area.
The first hotel Diamond 2 cost me $47 per night (in November 2016) and the second one cost me $62 per night. Furthermore, both the hotels had basic facilities such as WiFi, drinking water and TV etc.
Transportation & Foods + Shopping
Doha is not a big city, you can explore it even by walking around. However, transportation is very easy to get and go around the city. You can find metered Taxis everywhere, and those will cost you approximately $3 for a 5 KM ride. If you want to explore the whole city at once then there is a City Tour Bus service too. Buses also run in the city to/from different places including the Hamad International Airport.
Almost every Cuisine exists in Doha, you can find small restaurants on the streets to eat something cheaper like a burger or sandwich only for $1 or $2 dollars. But if you visit brands like McDonald and KFC then that will cost more.
Shopping is very easy in Doha, there is a city center in the down town (West Bay), you simply go there and you’ll find everything what you need to buy from Cameras to Jewelry and everything between (I bought a camera there). But honestly speaking, Doha is not a cheap place in terms of shopping pricing. I’d rather go to Dubai for shopping, as I got a GoPro Camera in Doha which cost me 1600 Qatari Riyal, and the same thing I found at Dubai airport for 1200 Dirham, that’s a huge difference. May be, this is only for electronic items.
Tourist Attractions in Doha
There are many tourist attractions in Doha city and around Qatar. If you are here for a simple holiday, then you might probably be interested in city sightseeing, for which I recommend the City Bus Tour. And a few attractions I visited in Doha were Souq Waqif (A traditional Market for Shopping), Arab Museum of Modern Art, Old Doha City, West Bay, City Center and the famous Beach Side (Corniche) which is a long walking track.
The city is a traditional Arab city with modern infrastructure in place. If you are a history lover like me then you’d love exploring the traditional spots.
Overall, my 3 days stay in Doha was very sweet and interesting, as it’s a quite and peaceful city in the middle east. You can enjoy your time while having a taste of local foods as well as walking on the beach side starting from the old city and ending in the west bay. watch the videos below I recorded in Doha for more details.