Qatar is a fantastic destination for a break. Beaches, deserts, incredible heritage and culture, futuristic skyscrapers, and ultra-modern malls: it has them all. And if that’s not enough, it’s also hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022 from 20th November to 18th December.
If you’re considering traveling to Qatar for the World Cup (or just for a break), you might have a few questions. Is Qatar safe? What about the weather in Qatar; what clothes should you pack? Does Qatar have any travel restrictions or Covid restrictions?
Don’t worry! We’ve answered all these questions and more. Here’s what you need to know before you travel to Qatar.
1. Where to Watch World Cup Matches in Qatar
There are eight stadiums hosting World Cup matches: Stadium 974, Education City Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium and Kahlifa Stadium in Doha, Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan, Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, and Lusail Stadium in Lusail. The match schedule and this clickable map can help you plan your itinerary.
No alcohol will be allowed in the stands. It’s likely Qatar will follow its recent model for other sporting events, though, and provide specified areas away from the stadiums where alcohol can be enjoyed before and after the matches.
Anyone under fifteen must be accompanied by an adult whilst at the stadiums and surrounding areas.
2. Top Places to Visit When You Travel to Qatar
Even if the World Cup is your main reason for visiting, don’t miss Qatar’s other attractions. The Doha Corniche is a 7km-long crescent-shaped boulevard fringed with palm trees. It offers fantastic views of the waterfront in one direction and the city skyline in the other. Running from the pyramid-shaped Sheraton Hotel at its northern end to the Museum of Islamic Art at the south, it passes numerous clubs, restaurants, parks, and cultural attractions.
Qatar’s other highlights include:
Its many museums, including the Museum of Islamic Art, an architectural gem on a purpose-built island
Katara Cultural Village, lying between the mountains and the beach, which boasts beautiful mosques, galleries, restaurants, a planetarium, and a high-street packed with top-class stores
Historic souqs and fortresses, such as Souq Waqif and Al Zabarah Fort
Top-class spas and wellness resorts
Sports such as dune bashing, scuba diving, rock climbing, skydiving, kitesurfing, quad biking and wakeboarding
Camel rides and sunset dinner cruises
High-class malls, such as Doha’s City Centre Mall
The biggest activity park in the region: Desert Falls Water & Adventure Park
Vibrant nightlife, with some outstanding clubs and restaurants
Luxury beach clubs and the exclusive Banana Island resort
3. Is Qatar Safe for Tourists?
Qatar is ranked as the safest country in the region and is in the top 20 globally. Aided by a high police presence, its crime index is 12.13, ‘very low’ (for comparison, the US crime index of 47.81 is ‘moderate’. However, there are a few things to be aware of:
While drinking alcohol is allowed, you must be 21 to buy it, and drinking or being drunk in public is illegal. There is zero tolerance for drink driving. If you’re caught driving under the influence of any alcohol (the legal limit is zero), you can get a prison sentence of up to 3 years, a large fine, or both.
Road discipline is erratic, and accidents are very common. Using a mobile phone while driving is against the law. You should only use registered taxis.
You should ensure your knees and shoulders are covered, and women should avoid tight clothes. Women should also avoid being out alone at night (more to avoid harassment than danger).
Swearing or making rude gestures in public may get you imprisoned or deported.
On desert excursions, only travel in a 4x4 vehicle, always with other cars, and inform someone of your travel plans. Take a charged mobile and a good supply of water and snacks.
Don’t take photographs of religious sites, constructions sites, or military sites—or of local people unless you’ve gained their permission.
Public displays of affection such as kissing are illegal, as are homosexual relationships.
While there have been no recent terrorist attacks in Qatar, you should stay alert when in places that are likely to be targets (e.g., western businesses, religious sites) and follow official advice on threats.
4. Qatar Travel Restrictions and Covid Restrictions
Like all countries, Qatar has restrictions on entry for security and health reasons. So, can Americans travel to Qatar?
The answer is yes, providing they:
Have at least six months left before their passport expires
Have at least two blank passport pages
Have a tourist visa
Are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (including having received a booster if vaccinations were more than six months ago). You should check your exact vaccination status against Qatar’s list of approved and conditionally approved vaccines.
It’s worth noting that Embassy Doha will be closed from November 13th, 2022 to January 2nd, 2023 due to the World Cup. Only emergency services will be provided, and passport renewals will only be processed for humanitarian and medical reasons.
Qatar’s Covid restrictions aren’t too onerous, but due to a recent rise in cases, mask-wearing is mandatory again for anyone aged six or above in closed public spaces. This includes mosques, healthcare facilities, workplaces, public transport, gyms, malls, shops, and cinemas. You will also need to download Ehteraz, Qatar’s contact tracing app, either before or on arrival, and take your Smartphone along when you go out. The app is compulsory if you’re over 18 years of age, or over 12 years if you’re traveling/accessing locations without an adult. Violating the mask or app rules could incur a hefty fine and/or a prison sentence of up to three years.
Look for the Qatar Clean certificate when booking or arriving at a restaurant or hotel. Held by more than 90% of all hotels and restaurants, it guarantees they’re using specified expert sterilization and disinfection protocols to ensure hygiene and cleanliness.
5. Is the Weather in Qatar Always Very Hot and Dry?
No, but it doesn’t really get cold, and rainfall is minimal! Minimum temperatures only go below 21° for four months of the year and reach 29°, and maximum temperatures are from 22° to 41°.
Planning to arrive for the start of the World Cup? The weather in Qatar in November is beautifully warm and sunny! Temperatures will vary between a pleasant 23° and a toasty 32°.
Arriving for the final or staying until Christmas or New Year? The weather in Qatar in December is a little rainier than in November. However, December still has fine days, with temperatures between 15° and 25°.
6. What’s the Best Way to Fly to Qatar?
With thousands of people flocking to Qatar and commercial airlines suffering constant delays and cancellations at present, it’s best to fly private. Forget fitting your plans around limited commercial flight timetables; chartering a private jet to Qatar means you can arrive when you want. Flying privately also guarantees a comfortable, luxurious journey with no queues and reduced Covid-19 risk. Bespoke catering and private lounges will make your trip a pleasure rather than a chore.
Private Flights from the United States and Europe to Qatar
Why not fly private from airports across the US to Doha, Qatar’s vibrant capital city (and the heart of the FIFA World Cup action)? Fly to Hamad International Airport (DOH), and you’ll land just south of Doha, previously known as New Doha International Airport.
You can fly to Qatar from airports throughout Europe, including principal cities such as London, Amsterdam, Paris, Milan, and Berlin. Fly to Doha or choose another of Qatar’s airports if it’s closer to your destination. Al Khor Airport (OTBK) in north-eastern Qatar is a 45-minute drive from central Doha—and just a 10-minute drive from Al Bayt Stadium.
Al Udeid Airport (OTBH) is a 30-minute drive from Doha.
Your Luxury Break to Qatar
For high-class facilities and shopping, amazing beaches, and culture, plus plenty of sports and winter sun, Qatar is hard to beat. If you’re heading there this winter, fly private—and tune into Qatar’s luxury vibe the minute you step on the plane!
To book your private jet charter to Qatar, get a quote or contact the Paramount Business Jets team to discuss your requirements. Just call +1-877-727-2538 ext. 1 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can arrange a trip that’s perfectly tailored to your requirements.