Qatar travel information
Qatar imposes an entry ban on all non-Qatari
nationals from March 18 to April 1. For more information
about coronavirus and entry, see the section Health.
Traveling in Oatar is considered relatively safe.
There is little crime and theft, but travelers should
nevertheless be cautious, take good care of passports
and valuables, and use safes whenever they can.
As a result of recent events in Iraq (January 2020),
there is a tense situation throughout the region.
Norwegians traveling in Qatar are vigilant, keeping
abreast of developments via media and avoiding public
gatherings. All Norwegians are also encouraged to post
and update information about their travel and stay in
Qatar on the website (about travel registration)
The authorities in Oatar take security issues very
seriously. The security measures have been strengthened,
partly as a result of the regional situation. All
countries in the region are considered to be potential
terrorist targets for Islamist extremists.
Photography of oil and military installations, as
well as other infrastructure in the Gulf, may at worst
cause arrest. In April and May 2015, several Western
journalists were arrested for illegal filming of foreign
workers in connection with the construction of
facilities for the World Cup in 2022.
Transportation: The roads in Qatar generally have a
good standard, but high speed and unruly driving style
can lead to road accidents. It is recommended to drive
defensively and pay close attention when traveling in
traffic. Many motorists do not pay attention to
- Countryaah: Doha is the capital
of Qatar. Check to find information of population, geography, history,
and economy about the capital city.
The main roads between Saudi Arabia and Qatar may
occasionally be closed during the rainy season (December
The taxi industry is closely monitored and considered
safe. Make sure the tachometer is turned on.
For desert excursions, several cars with four-wheel
drive should run together. It is important to bring the
necessary equipment, including water, food, maps, mobile
phone and shovel. Travel plans should be shared with
family or friends before departure.
Natural disasters: The probability of major natural
disasters (earthquake, flood, monsoon) is small.
Sandstorms and fog occur, and can result in greatly
reduced visibility and dangerous traffic situations.
Poorly developed drainage system means that even less
rainfall can cause flooding. You should avoid driving in
such conditions and exercise great caution if you are
still on the roads.
Crises and Travel Registration - The Embassy will
encourage Norwegians who are staying or traveling in
Qatar to register with their names and contact
information at http://www.reiseregistrering.no/. This
will give the embassy the opportunity to get
information, and get in touch with Norwegians quickly in
the event of a crisis.
See "Practical Information" for emergency numbers.
Please note that entry regulations may change. The
Foreign Service is not responsible if the following
information on entry regulations or visa requirements is
changed at short notice. It is the responsibility of the
traveler to ensure that travel documents are valid for
entry and to familiarize themselves with the current
entry rules for each country.
In connection with breaches of diplomatic relations
between Qatar and neighboring Bahrain, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt and Yemen, the United Arab Emirates has decided to
close its airspace, airports and ports for all
Qatar-based means of transport, effective June 6, 2017.
The Ministry has not received information on how long
the situation is expected to continue.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have a
complete overview of which transport routes are
affected, and Norwegian citizens who have booked tickets
or are planning trips to the area must contact the
carrier or travel agency directly.
The Norwegian embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs are closely monitoring the situation
and are considering this on an ongoing basis.
Those planning to travel to Qatar, or the countries
around the Persian Gulf, are advised to keep up to date
on information issued to travelers by local authorities,
in addition to the UD's travel information at
www.regjeringen.no. At the same time, it is important to
follow the developments in the news picture.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs can provide advice
and guidance, but cannot guarantee that a specific
destination is safe. The individual Norwegian citizen
must therefore take responsibility for the choices made
when traveling abroad, including considering whether a
destination is justifiable for himself and his family.
As a traveler, one must take the necessary
precautions before and during the trip, including making
sure that you have adequate travel insurance, sufficient
funds for travel and accommodation, passport with
sufficient validity and visa where necessary.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommends travelers
to register at www.reiseregistrering.no.
Reiseregistrering.no is an offer to Norwegian travelers
who wish to register their contact information with the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This will make it easier
for the Foreign Service to contact you in case something
serious should happen where you are. In a crisis
situation, the Foreign Service will have the opportunity
to contact you via email, sms or phone.
Norwegian citizens traveling on regular passports and
diplomatic passports can stay visa-free in Qatar for up
to 90 days in a 180-day period. The passport must be
valid at least 6 months after the date of entry, and it
must be possible to present a return ticket or air
ticket to another country upon entry.
Provisional passport (green color),
emergency passport (orange color), refugee travel
document (green travel document) or travel document for
people on humanitarian grounds (blue travel document)
are not accepted as an entry document in Qatar.
In the case of a stopover, emergency passports can be
used, but you will not be able to leave the
international zone for example. delays or cancellations.
You can be denied entry if you have an Israeli visa
or stamp in your passport.
For more information on issuing/renewing passports
etc. see the police websites.
Under the local sponsorship system (kafala), it is
common for employees to hand over the passport to their
employer. If this is to be the case, it is important to
keep a copy of the passport. Foreign workers, including
Norwegians, can be denied leave without their local
Norway does not have an embassy in Qatar, but covers
the country from the embassy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates. This results in somewhat longer processing
time for consular matters (eg emergency passports).
Import regulations: Import authorization for animals
must be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Vaccination certificate against rabies must be
submitted. A commercial license must be submitted for
the import of fruits and vegetables.
Coronavirus (covid-19): Qatar
introduces entry ban on all non-Qatari nationals from
March 18 to April 1. Own citizens may enter the country,
but must quarantine for 14 days. The entry ban also
applies to people with valid tourist visas, business
visas and valid residence permits.
International air traffic to Qatar will be halted
from March 18 to April 1. Qatar Airways will continue
international flights and transit passengers to other
destinations will still be able to pass through Doha
International Airport during the period March 18 - April
Norwegian travelers should keep abreast of the
development of the corona virus. Feel free to follow the
local authorities' advice, guidance and instructions on
how to deal with the situation. See, for example, the
Ministry of Public Health's websites Coronavirus
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not create
travel advice because of the risk of infection. It is
the Public Health Institute that provides health advice.
You can find more information and guidance from
Norwegian health authorities on the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Norwegian citizens should familiarize themselves with
local conditions and take the necessary precautions
before and during the journey.
In the summer months the climate is characterized by
very high temperatures - up to 40-50 degrees - and very
high humidity. This can cause health stress. It is
important to get plenty of bag and protect yourself from
direct sunlight. Drinking water is recommended purchased
on a bottle.
Qatar has a functioning control system that ensures
that food and eating places normally maintain good
Doctors and hospitals generally have a good standard.
Advance payment may be required for hospital visits.
It is a high standard in most doctors and hospitals.
Prepayment may be required. Valid travel insurance is
required to guard against expensive hospital stays.
Note that many travel insurance policies do not cover
damage that occurs when you are intoxicated.
There are no vaccination requirements for travel to
Qatar. Norwegian health authorities recommend certain
vaccines for longer stays, especially outside the
cities. For further information see the Public Health
Negative HIV/AIDS test is required when applying for
a residence permit. This is done after arriving in
Prescription medications: Prescription medications
should be stored in the original packaging and carried
in the hand luggage. Prescriptions translated into
English and authorized by Norwegian health authorities
must be brought along. Some medicines that are approved
in Norway, such as certain morphine-based preparations
and medications for psychiatric disorders, may be
prohibited from taking with you into Qatar.
See more information from the Qatar Ministry of
Health about the country's health services. For further
information in Norwegian see the website of the
Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Qatar is a peninsula in the Persian Gulf. Doha is the
capital. It is mainland connection to Saudi Arabia in
the south. Bahrain is located a few miles east.
Qatar is a modern and developed country with tourist
facilities readily available. Arabic is the public
language, while English, Hindi and Urdu are widely used.
There is a great international presence in Qatar.
Emergency Phones -
Emergency Phones: 999
UD's Operational Center: (+47) 23 95 00 00
The climate is very hot and humid in summer. In the
period May to October, temperatures reach 45-50 degrees
and humidity 90-100%. From November to April, however,
you can expect nice Norwegian summer weather.
Currency unit and credit card - The currency unit is
the Qatari riyal, which has a fixed exchange rate
against the US dollar of USD 1 = QR 3.64. One riyal is
There are many ATMs, and most debit and credit cards
are accepted in major stores and hotels. Visa and
Mastercard are more common than Diners and Amex. Some
credit cards from Norway have zone protection which
means that they cannot be used without contacting their
Norwegian bank to have the zone protection lifted.
Transport - Public transport is poorly developed in
Qatar. It is usual to rent a car or take a taxi. Taxis
can be flagged on the street.
Addresses are rarely used. Landmarks and known
buildings are mainly used for orientation.
International driver's license is a prerequisite for
renting a car. This can be obtained by contacting NAF
before departure. The driver's license is valid for one
year from the stamped date. For permanent residence in
Qatar, a local driver's license must be obtained.
If you get into a traffic accident it is a
requirement that you stay at the car to the police have
come and made an investigation. Without this
investigation, car repair shops cannot repair the
Opening hours for shops, banks and public offices -
The work week in Qatar is from Sunday to Thursday. Most
shops are also open on weekends. Banks and public
offices are normally open from 08:00 to 12:30 - 14:00.
Stores are normally open from 08:00 to 13:00 and 1600
to 23:00, and shopping malls from 10:00 to 23:00. During
the fasting month of Ramadan (which is shifted about 12
days from year to year), shops and malls usually extend
National Holidays - National Day is December 18th.
Muslim holidays are moving from year to year. The
weekend is Friday and Saturday.
The power supply is at 220 V voltage. British plug
(three plugs). Adapter should be brought.
Good GSM coverage. Norwegian phones can be used.
Time difference to Norway - + 1 hour at summer time
in Norway, + 2 hours at winter time.
Customs and rules: Qatar is a Muslim
country and local laws and customs should be respected.
Dress code: You can initially dress as you like, but
it is appreciated if you dress more conservatively than
in the West, and cover your shoulders and knees. This is
especially true during Ramadan and when traveling
Food & beverage: Alcohol can be enjoyed in the
restaurants and bars of the major hotels, but one should
not be visibly intoxicated outside the hotel area. In
the event of accidents, arrests or the like, you can
risk fines and, in the worst case, jail, if it turns out
that you have alcohol in your blood. This also applies
to traffic accidents that are not your own fault.
With a valid residence permit (not a tourist visa),
you can apply for an alcohol license that can be used at
selected alcohol outlets.
Public behavior - Some Western behaviors may be
perceived as offensive to religion or culture. One
should act with respect and familiarize oneself with
local conditions. Cursing and abusive gestures are
considered obscene and may result in imprisonment or
deportation. This is especially true in the face of
police and other government officials.
Showing love or affection in public should be
avoided. Married couples can hold hands, but there are
several examples of arrests for kissing (and more
performing activities) in public.
Non-marital relationships - It is forbidden to stay
with, or share a hotel room with, a person of the
opposite sex if you are not married or have a close
relationship with them. This is more strictly practiced
in Qatar than in other Gulf countries (except Saudi
Arabia). You run the risk of imprisonment and/or fines
There is also a risk of prosecution for extramarital
sex, which is illegal. Furthermore, doctors are obliged
to report to the authorities if they are sought by
unmarried, pregnant women. This is true regardless of
the reason why the woman goes to a doctor.
Ramadan: During the fasting month of Ramadan, one
should pay particular attention to the local rules of
conduct. Non-Muslims are expected to show respect for
the fasting. You should avoid eating, drinking, chewing
gum and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset.
Furthermore, one should be extra careful about wearing
The working hours and opening hours of restaurants
and malls change during Ramadan.
The entertainment offer is very limited.
In 2016, Ramadan is expected to last from June 6 to
July 5, but the date is first set in what one sees the
new moon. The fasting month comes approx. 12 days
earlier each year on the Gregorian calendar.
Homosexuality: Homosexuality and transvestitism are
illegal, and gay partnerships are not recognized.
Drugs: The authorities have zero tolerance for
drug-related offenses. The possession, use or smuggling
of illegal drugs, even in small quantities, is
prohibited and can result in severe penalties. This also
applies to certain drugs classified as narcotic drugs.
If in doubt one should investigate further.
Public censorship exists and freedom of expression is
curtailed by the demonstrations in North Africa and the
Middle East in 2011. The World Cup 2022 is a very
Passports are used as credentials at many hotels and
checkpoints on various routes in Qatar. Therefore, take
your passport both on shorter and longer trips.