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Transport

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Brilliant news, the Qatar Metro has launched and is running. But what does this mean for visitors? Well the first thing I must point out is that for the moment only the Red Line is operating, and it’s in ‘Preview Mode’ with reduced days/hours and stations. The service is currently operating Saturday to Thursday, 6am until 11pm, Fridays operate from 2pm until 11pm. And there are 5 stations that although not open yet, will be in the near future.

A Summer 2019 Metro Map with most of the Red Line Stations operating
Summer 2019 Metro Map with most of the Red Line Stations operating

How to Use the Metro Red Line for Visitors

You can buy a reusable or single use tickets at any of the stations. There are plenty of really helpful staff around to ensure you don’t have any problem doing this.

Metro Rail Pricing
Metro Rail Pricing

Please see the Metro website for more information: https://www.qr.com.qa/static-content?code=AboutTravelCards

Southern stations are not so interesting for visitors

You can split the Red Line into North and South with Msheireb Station in the middle. Msheireb is the central and main station servicing all lines (when they open). To the south of Msheireb are: Doha Jadeda, Umm Ghuwailina, Matar Qadeem, Oqba Ibn Naif, Free Zone and Ras Bu Fontas. Terminating at Al Wakra. All of these stations seem to be orientated towards commuters as their locations and shuttle bus services focus on residential and work locations rather than places of interest.

However I do recommend riding between Oqba Ibn Naif and Wakrah because you switch from underground to over ground rail, and it’s well worth the views. Watch the video below:-

Msheireb and to the North

It’s the stations to the North of Msheireb that really have interest value for visitors to Qatar. And I must also stress that Msheireb station itself should be on your list of places to visit. So, I’m going to start here.

Msheireb Station

Within easy walking distance of Msheireb Station are Msheireb Downtown Doha and the Msheireb Museums . And as long as you don’t get lost, you may also like to walk around the old Doha areas adjacent before they get redeveloped as well. This will give you a feel for Doha in later decades.

Msheireb Station with Msheireb Development in background

And if you use the free shuttle bus (which runs every 12 minutes), you can take a short ride to the MUST SEE ‘Souq Waqif

Al Bidda Station

Al Bidda Park is really quiet something. It’s a large expanse of green grass, trees and leisure facilities overlooking Doha bay (Corniche). It’s free to enter and is just a beautiful place to chill, relax, BBQ (there are free BBQ stations), walk, run exercise…. Whatever you like to do in a park. And Al Bidda station has an entrance\exit that brings you up directly into it. You may consider visiting in the evening when it’s cooler especially during the summer.

Al Bidda Metro Station has three points of entry/exit. One on either side of Al Rayan Road, and one in Al Bidda Park. This is the Entrance within Al Bidda Park, which brings you right up into the park itself.

Al Corniche

The two main things accessible from Al Corniche Station are the General Post Office, and The Corniche. As a visitor I think you are most likely only going to visit the Corniche, but if you are into architecture or need to post a letter, then the GPO (General Post Office) is worthy of a quick walk.

Very close, and an easy walk to the GPO (General Post Office)

The Corniche is quite simply stunning. And is most definitely a Qatar MUST SEE. When you emerge from the station you will see two decorative above land tunnels. Take the one to the left and you will arrive at the GPO. Take the one directly in front of you and you will arrive on The Corniche.

When you exit Al Corniche Metro Station you will see two above land tunels. One takes you to the GPO, the other to the Corniche

When you cross the road (please be very careful doing this) on the Corniche you will find my favourite restaurant ‘The Al Morjan’. I strongly recommend sitting on the Al Morjan terrace and enjoying a delicious meal while taking in the breath-taking views of West Bay and the tranquillity of the sea.

Emerging from the Corniche Metro Station tunel onto the Corniche

West Bay Station

Located within West Bay, this station is very useful for getting to Ezdan Hotel. And could be used for for visiting Qatar Sports Club which is within walking distance (about 10 mins walk). Other than that it’s commuters who would get most use out of this station. As it’s perfect for several large office towers and complexes. But not much to see as a visitor unless you like walking a lot.

West Bay Metro Station. Good for Ezdan Hotel and offices.

DECC

DECC stands for Doha Exhibition and Conference Centre. And the station is right outside the entrance to the DECC. The station is in very easy walking distance to one of Qatar’s major malls ‘City Centre Mall’ as well the Gate Mall and numerous hotels and office buildings (for which there is a free shuttle bus). If you are not visiting an exhibition or conference, then a visit to ‘City Centre Mall’ is well worth stopping at this station for some retail therapy anyway. The mall also has a very large supermarket if you are in need of supplies.

Doha Exhibition and Conference Centre. Also good for City Centre Mall

Al Qassar Station

Al Qassar station is within walking distance (hot walking distance) of the InterContinental and St. Regis hotels. It’s also right next to the Qatar International Exhibition Centre.

But for the moment its greatest value to visitors is for accessing Katara Cultural Village. Which is another one of Qatar’s MUST SEE locations. https://www.visitqatar.qa/discover/tourist-hotspots/katara-cultural-village.html

Sometime soon the Katara Metro Station will be open. But until it does Al Qassar serves the purpose very well. But be sure to use the underpass that will deliver you safely from Al Qassar station directly into Katara without having to cross a major road.

The two types of Standard Class disposable tickets are; ‘Single Use’ which costs QR 2 (GBP 43p, USD 54 cents) and will take you from any station to any station (but not back again). And ‘Day Pass’ that will allow you to ride all day long (within a calendar day) getting on and off wherever you like as many times as you like for QR 6 (GBP £1.29, USD $1.64). Both can be bought from machines located within the stations using cash (QAR only I’m afraid) or card. Help is available, you will not have a problem.

A Rechargeable Standard Class Travel Card costs QR 10 and you can add as much credit to that as you like. It will then deduct QR 2 for each journey you make. However, the maximum it will debit per day is QR 6. After QR 6 you ride for free within the same day.

Travelling in style with ‘goldclub’

If you want to ride in the Gold Class carriage, your going to need a ‘goldclub’ card. And that will cost you QR 10 (GBP £2.15, USD $2.74) per journey. However if you are using a rechargeable ‘goldclub’ card which costs QR 100 (GBP £21.58, USD $27.47) to buy (before you add credit), or a ‘Gold Day Pass’ which costs QR 30 (GBP £6.47, USD $8.24) you can ride all day and pay only a maximum of QR 30.

Gold Class cards are also available within the stations, and in fact there are special Gold Class offices, so you even get special treatment buying your cards.

Please see the Metro website for more information: https://www.qr.com.qa/static-content?code=AboutTravelCards

A very affordable and convenient way to sightsee in Doha, is to jump on a number 777 bus. It doesn’t have too many stops and travels from Doha International Airport, along the Corniche, through West Bay and on to the Pearl. The route takes in some of the must see sights of Doha.

The bus stop in front of City Center Mall for route 777
The bus stop in front of City Center Mall for route 777

The 777 route is circular, so it will bring you back to wherever yo get on. Unless you get off at any of its interesting stops. And buses run at a frequency of 20 minutes. So you never have long to wait for one to come along if you do get off.

You can buy a Karwa Smartcard on the bus. But they only accept local currency. And they are an absolute bargain at just QR 10. Even better is the fact that you can use them for up to two rides. So if you do get off. You can get back on and ride on the same ticket again. But you can only do that once. Or you will need to buy another ticket.

The service starts at 5am and ends at 11pm seven days a week. So there is plenty of opportunity to take a ride. Please take a look at our YouTube video below, to get a good idea of what you will see.

A quick video showing what you can expect along the route

You may also be interested in Catching a Bus from Doha International Airport Qatar

For more information on the Karwa public bus service, please visit:
Mowasalat-Karwa

Most visitors arriving at Hamad International Airport will just want to jump into a taxi and quickly get to where they are going. But if you are not too tired, can easily handle your luggage and have a little more time on your hands. You can elect to take a bus for a fraction of the cost. Getting around Qatar can be very affordable using the Karwa bus service.

Bus tickets cost between QAR 2.50 and QAR 7.00 but can only be paid for by cash (local cash). Single journey tickets can be bought on the bus.

You can also buy Smart Cards at a machine located in the Bus Terminal at Hamad International Airport. The machine accepts local currency or a credit card.

KARWA SMART CARD

Public transport smart cards are needed to ride Karwa public bus. Top-up amount in multiples of Qr.10. Buy and top-up Karwa smart card at ticket vending machines at Hamad International Airport, Doha Bus Station, The Pearl Qatar and Qatar Mall, also partner merchants.

Three types of Karwa smart card:

  • Classic Card, (Cost: QR.30): Rechargeable card for long term.
  • Limited Card, 24hr (Cost: QR.10): Good for two journeys within 24-hrs of purchase.
  • Unlimited Card, 24hr (Cost: QR.20): Good for unlimited journeys within 24-hrs of purchase.
Sample Exchange Rates0.210.270.2414.44
QRGBPUSDEURPHP
Limited Card, 24hr102.082.752.41144
Unlimited Card, 24hr204.165.494.82289
Information on Karwa Bus Smart Card Machine

For more information and to check the information being given in this article is still up to date and correct, please go to www.mowasalat.com or call Qatar (+974) 443 66 053

Routes and time

Public Bus Routes from Hamad International Airport
Bus No. 777
Bus No. 777 runs from 5am until 11pm every day
Bus No. 109 runs from 4:33am until 10:50pm every day
Bus No. 737
Bus No. 737 operates 24hrs a day
Bus No. 727
Bus No. 727 runs from 4:10am until 10:10pm
Bus No. 747
Bus No. 747 runs from 4:50am until 11:50pm
DOH Airport Bus Terminal
DOH Airport Bus Terminal

Doha Bus Hop On Hop Off- The easy way to get around Qatar’s top tourist destinations

Qatar Quick RecommendedOne of the best ways of getting around some of the top tourist destinations in Qatar, is to use the Doha Bus ‘Hop on, Hop off’ service. You buy a 24 hour or 48 hour ticket and then literally hop on and off the bus whenever you want (9am – 6pm). You also get a bonus free Night Tour thrown in.

Doha Bus Tour Map
Doha Bus Tour Map

Doha Bus have three tour routes (Red Line, Green Line and Orange Line). All three are available to you and you simply have to decide which tourist attractions you want to hop off at. No parking issues, no hailing taxi cabs, just wait for the next bus on the route to pick you up when you have finished (approximately every 20 mins).

You can buy tickets online or at ticket sales kiosks located in prime locations around Doha. The tickets represent exceptional value starting at QR 90 for a child, QR 180 for an adult and QR 455 for a family (24 hour period).

Visit their website https://dohabus.com/ for more information, or call them on +974 4442 2444