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Doha (DOH) Stopover Tips

AFF Editor

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This thread is a place to share tips and recommendations for stopovers at Doha's Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Qatar. You can discuss things like:
  • How to get from the airport to the city
  • Things to do (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Where to stay/hotel recommendations (both near the airport and in the city)
  • Your favourite DOH airport lounges
  • Airport facilities such as luggage storage and showers
  • Any other destination-specific tips or "hidden gems" you've discovered that could be useful for someone stopping over
Do you have a great tip that other travellers might find useful when stopping over in Doha? Add your suggestions to this thread, and your advice could make it into an AFF Stopover Guide article!

Update: Read the AFF guide here - The Ultimate Doha Stopover Guide
 

cove

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Yesterday my youngest son flew in on Qatar first class and found he was the only one in the spacious Doha lounge when his onwards Flight to Madrid was delayed. I think he enjoyed the experience. Of cours the delay meant he was going to miss the first soccer game in Madrid.
 

RooFlyer

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CITY
Frankly there isn't too much to do in Doha if you have an inconvenient 6-8 hour stopover. The top sight in my opinion is the Museum of Islamic Art . The 'Falcon souq and the Waqif Souq are also worth a look if you are stuck in Qatar for a day.

DOH Airport
Forget duty free shopping at DOH. I have priced a camera and some binoculars there and both were (fractionally) more expensive that Aussie retail !!

The airport is very efficient at transits though. You have to clear 'transit security' but always very quick in my experience.

The QR business lounge is very large and pretty nice. If you want a shower, go straight there (opposite the entrance, you have to navigate across the 'island' of seating) and book, as waits can be lengthy if the lounge is busy.

Two eating options - the better is upstairs. Much reduced service and no alcohol served during Ramadan.

Good business centre, but they don't let you take drinks in (not even coffee).
 

potm

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I have a 20 hour layover in Doha flying QR F. I’ll be arriving late at night and departing the next evening.
Ideally I’d want to head to the F lounge and sleep in one of the rooms and then head out and explore the city in the morning.
Will this be posible or once I go through transit to enter the lounge, I will be stuck airside?
 

pyne

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Our best ever stopover was at Doha, Qatar are a wonderful airline and our stay at Sharq Resort was unforgettable
 

Renato1

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Taxis are fairly cheap over there, though the minimum amount is 10 Riyal for a trip (about A$4). And there is a 25 Riyal surcharge when catching a taxi at the airport.

So for example,
Taxi from airport to Islamic Art centre or Souq Waqif will cost around 50 Riyals, but trip back will cost around 25.
From Islamic Art Centre/Souq Waqif to Katara Cultural Centre or Katara Beach or Villagio Shopping Mall will cost around 25 Riyals.
From Islamic Art Centre/Souq Waqif to City Centre Mall will cost around 15 Riyals.
Note: Villagio Shopping Mall is much more impressive than the City Centre one.

When going to get a taxi at the hotel or shopping centre, someone will inevitably approach you about whether you want a taxi - and it turns out they aren't really a taxi, but just people using private cars - who will usually try to charge you double what the taxis charge. Tell them to get lost.

If going to Souq Waqif because you want to eat there, tell the taxi driver to drop you near the restaurants - else you may wind up walking all over the place through bird cages and spice stores trying to find the eating area. Souvenirs are much cheaper at Souq Waqif than at Villagio.

Katara Cultural Centre (which is not yet complete) has people giving free golf buggy rides around the centre and beach area showing you the place. And they take photos of you with your camera if you ask them.

When arriving back at the airport with suitcaes, people come along and load your suitcases on an airport trolley and push it to the check-in area. All for free - they refuse any tip.

Regards,
Renato
 

kiwitripper64

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I have a 20 hour layover in Doha flying QR F. I’ll be arriving late at night and departing the next evening.
Ideally I’d want to head to the F lounge and sleep in one of the rooms and then head out and explore the city in the morning.
Will this be posible or once I go through transit to enter the lounge, I will be stuck airside?
Will QR offer a hotel for the layover, so you could leave the airport and got to a hotel first. The transit F rooms are nice, but no windows or natural light. And if they are all full you,re stuffed
 
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We are finishing a two night stopover in Doha today. We took advantage of the $80 night hotel rooms, at Crowne Plaza as Marriott didn’t have availability. We were very pleased to be given access to our room at 6am.

We opted for the hop on bus which in pleasant weather, was a good initial look at the city. It also included a night tour, which we did too. Have used lots of taxisto get around, cheap and easy to find.

Day 1 was pretty much covered, with dinner in a lovely restaurant at Souk Waqif.

Day 2 included a morning visit back to the souk for breakfast and a wander. We spent several hours at both main museums, leaving the Museum of Islamic Art until dusk, great advice picked up in various places. We were also given a guided tour of the Alain Ducasse 3 Michelin Star restaurant on the top floor though weren’t able to eat there.

One drink in our hotel bar and we were ready for bed.

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a couple of days here to break the journey if time isn’t of an essence.
 

bookworm

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We are finishing a two night stopover in Doha today. We took advantage of the $80 night hotel rooms, at Crowne Plaza as Marriott didn’t have availability. We were very pleased to be given access to our room at 6am.

We opted for the hop on bus which in pleasant weather, was a good initial look at the city. It also included a night tour, which we did too. Have used lots of taxisto get around, cheap and easy to find.

Day 1 was pretty much covered, with dinner in a lovely restaurant at Souk Waqif.

Day 2 included a morning visit back to the souk for breakfast and a wander. We spent several hours at both main museums, leaving the Museum of Islamic Art until dusk, great advice picked up in various places. We were also given a guided tour of the Alain Ducasse 3 Michelin Star restaurant on the top floor though weren’t able to eat there.

One drink in our hotel bar and we were ready for bed.

We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend a couple of days here to break the journey if time isn’t of an essence.
Good Day and thank you for the lovely tips.

Can you tell me how you booked the hotel?

Is this pricing available if on on OWA? Qatar website requires a ticket number beginning with "157".

I have a 3 night stopover planned in October.

Thank you very much.
 
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Good Day and thank you for the lovely tips.

Can you tell me how you booked the hotel?

Is this pricing available if on on OWA? Qatar website requires a ticket number beginning with "157".

I have a 3 night stopover planned in October.

Thank you very much.
We actually booked via a TA but our friends did their own so I’m probably not the best person to advise. I’m sure others will. It’s an absolute bargain. Movenpick hotel was offered and I think it’s in a better location than Crowne Plaza was. Taxis were cheap, so with 4 of us, it wasn’t a problem.

Really thought it was a good couple of days.
 

bookworm

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Thank you for your instant reply.

Can anyone else on this forum can please help?" Greatly appreciated.
 

RooFlyer

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Has anyone stayed at the Oryx hotel airside at DOH? Would be ideal for me as I have an evening arrival then a 7:30am departure next day, but its really expensive :eek: Any experiences?
 

Stealthflyer

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I had a stopover of just over 5 hours, which is the minimum they require for transit visas according to the Qatar airline website (at least at the time). I had planned to see the Museum of Islamic Art (I even has a comp ticket waiting for me), but immigration wouldn’t let me out! They said it was too short. It was the most depressing 5 hour stopover of my life.
In summary: don’t assume you’ll be allowed out of the airport on a long transit, even if it’s over the minimum timeframe.
 

cjd600

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Has anyone stayed at the Oryx hotel airside at DOH? Would be ideal for me as I have an evening arrival then a 7:30am departure next day, but its really expensive :eek: Any experiences?
We have a midnight arrival, and 8am departure, but am spooked by the cost of the Oryx (especially if we 'declare' the 2 kids when booking!
 
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I had a stopover of just over 5 hours, which is the minimum they require for transit visas according to the Qatar airline website (at least at the time). I had planned to see the Museum of Islamic Art (I even has a comp ticket waiting for me), but immigration wouldn’t let me out! They said it was too short. It was the most depressing 5 hour stopover of my life.
In summary: don’t assume you’ll be allowed out of the airport on a long transit, even if it’s over the minimum timeframe.
Oh I hadn’t even considered that possibility. We have a 19 hour transit so have booked and paid a hotel, presumably with only hand luggage.
That would be a very long stay in a lounge if we can’t go out 😳.

Our travel buddies came into the lounge with us on the way to Spain and flew home yesterday. No lounge access. They were shocked to find two coffees were $16.... made them appreciate the club more!
 
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Has anyone stayed at the Oryx hotel airside at DOH? Would be ideal for me as I have an evening arrival then a 7:30am departure next day, but its really expensive :eek: Any experiences?
We have a midnight arrival, and 8am departure, but am spooked by the cost of the Oryx (especially if we 'declare' the 2 kids when booking!
Oh I hadn’t even considered that possibility. We have a 19 hour transit so have booked and paid a hotel, presumably with only hand luggage.
That would be a very long stay in a lounge if we can’t go out 😳.
I used to reject the Oryx for the same reason. I used to go to the Doubletree Old Town which was about a 15 minute drive. I had an issue once where the immigration official wasn't going to let me through. I had a print out of the reservation and said that I couldn't afford the airport hotel and he acquiesced. This was three years ago now so things could have changed.
 

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