Qatar

Qatar

Use Normal Level of Caution

The State of Qatar is located in the Middle East on a peninsula that protrudes into the Persian Gulf and shares a border with Saudi Arabia. This small country covers 4,416 square miles and has a population of about 2.3 million people. With a political system that is an absolute monarchy, the Al Thani family has ruled Qatar since 1825. This country’s constitution states that Qatar’s religion is Islam and Shari'a law is a main source of its legislation.

There was no strong central government in Qatar until the late 18th century when Saudi Muslims gained control. Ottoman Turks occupied this region until 1916 when Qatar became a British protectorate. Qatar became independent in 1971

Qatar was once one of the poorest states in the Gulf. Oil was discovered in the 1940s and brought great wealth to the country. Oil and natural gas revenues have funded improvements in transportation, housing and public health.

Qatar is home to Al Jazeera, the popular Arabic satellite television network.

Qatar offers many points of interest for the traveller, such as the market area, Souq Waqif; the Corniche, a waterfront promenade in Doha; the State Grand Mosque, and the Khor Al Udeid beach area with its remarkable sand dunes that rise as high as 40 meters. The capital city, Doha, is known for skyscrapers and modern architecture, and the Museum of Islamic Art.

Currency QAR: Riyal
Language Arabic (official) ; English is commonly used as a second language
Capital Doha
Recent Alerts 1
Latest Alert June 05, 2017 - Middle East countries sever diplomatic ties with Qatar affecting travellers

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Qatar. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a risk of hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B

There is a risk of hepatitis B.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in this country, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where water and food may not be safe.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever may occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Qatar.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis A; therefore vaccination against hepatitis A is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to hepatitis B; therefore vaccination against hepatitis B is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities, rural areas, or staying with friends and family.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Qatar.

None required.

Safety and Security in Qatar

Emergency Numbers

999

If you become a victim of sexual assault, contact your own embassy as soon as possible.

Personal Safety

The crime rate is low in this country, and most travellers have no trouble. Women travellers should exercise greater caution when travelling alone, particularly at night. Unaccompanied women are occasionally harassed. Qatar is an Islamic country and travellers should wear modest, conservative clothing. Shoulders should be covered. Avoid sleeveless shirts, tank tops, short skirts or shorts. Athletic clothing should only be worn in public when engaging in sports activities. The penal code in Qatar punishes and forbids the wearing of revealing or indecent clothing.

Intimate behaviour between men and women of any age in public can lead to arrest.

Homosexual relations/behaviour is illegal in this country and penalties are severe.

Always have a copy of your passport in your possession for proof of identity, or authorities can and may detain you for questioning.

Proselytizing is against the law and the penalty can include deportation or imprisonment. Any behaviour that appears as an attempt to convert someone to another religion or even sharing information about your faith can be considered “proselytizing.”

Respect local customs, laws, traditions and religions at all times. Be mindful and avoid any actions that might offend the cultures or religious beliefs in Qatar.

It is illegal to import drugs, alcohol, religious materials/books, pornography or pork products. Luggage is scanned on arrival. The penalties for drug offenders are severe.

It is illegal to drink alcohol or be intoxicated in public. There are severe penalties for public drunkenness or other alcohol-related offences. This country has a zero-tolerance policy for driving and drinking.

Incidents such as obscene language or gestures or even insulting comments can lead to fines and/or arrest and overnight imprisonment.

Be aware that one could be arrested for being a potential witness to a crime (including traffic accidents that involve injuries, slander, etc), road rage, for being a relative of a suspect, or a crime suspect. You may not have access to legal counsel. Even rude gestures can result in major penalties. You could be imprisoned and barred from leaving the country until your case has been resolved. Serious cases could take as long as six months to resolve.

Use only registered taxis. Do not take a taxi late at night unaccompanied.

Qatar has a very high road accident fatality rate. Drivers may not follow standard rules of the road and may drive at high speeds. Rural roads may be poorly lit, and animals may wander onto roads. If you are involved in a vehicle accident, do not leave the scene of the accident. If there are no injuries, you can remove your vehicle to a safer place if necessary. Seat belts must be worn at all times. Do not use cell phones when driving.

Extreme Violence

Terrorist activity is low in Qatar. However, Islamist extremism is a threat throughout the Middle East. Some extremist organizations have called on supporters to attack foreigners wherever they are. It is prudent to exercise caution with respect to safety in any foreign country.

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