Arriving at Doha Airport
Doha Airport: Arrival, Transport and Facilities
Full name: Doha International Airport
Doha Airport: Arrival and Departure Times for up-to-date times for flights to and from Qatar Airport
Doha Airport (currently the only one in the country) was due to be replaced by late 2009. However, there have been delays and it is now believed the airport may not be ready until 2011.
The Qatari state has already expanded and improved the existing airport, and the place has been improved greatly, with an increased number of gates, check-in desks, self operating kiosks, wireless internet in departures, a children's play area and an enlarged sitting area.
Qatar airport itself is a pleasant enough place - far more relaxed than London's Heathrow Airport, although not matching up to the likes of Kuala Lumpa in Malaysia. One thing you don't need to worry about is being overwhelmed with a foreign language you don't understand - all information is provided via plasma screens in both Arabic and English.
Most major carriers have flights to Doha and it is wise to shop around for the best plane tickets to find the cheapest ticket.
Arrive at Doha Airport and you could be forgiven for thinking that you are in a bustling metropolis. However, you'll probably find most of those people are transit passengers and will shuffle on past you as you turn towards immigration itself.
As for immigration - it may be very busy or very quiet - it's pot luck. The immigration process itself is usually fairly painless.
Note that your bags will be x-rayed before you are allowed to leave the airport. Neither alcohol nor pork may be brought into the country.
Visas can now be bought upon arrival for the residents of 33 countries. See Qatar Visas for more information.
There's a range of options for getting into the city. There is a taxi rank outside the arrival lobby, and there larger taxis are available for those with a lot of baggage. There are also a row of kiosks where you can hire a car - although we recommend a period of adjustment before you get into a car in Doha, at least if you are from a country where the driving is a little less hectic!
Hotels such as the Marriot and the Ritz Carlton offer either a courtesy pickup or a shuttle bus, while the airport runs a limousine service. The good news is that when the traffic is good you can get almost anywhere in the city in fifteen minutes.
Also see: Getting around in Doha and Qatar
If you want a really smooth arrival the Al Maha meet and greet service will meet you at the aircraft. They will take care of all your needs while you relax in their lounge with a drink. Al Maha also helps with departures and transfers.
Tel +974 44 656 672
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
You can also book them through any Qatar Airways office outside the country.
Leaving the Airport
Qatar Airways, along with most other airlines, advises passengers to confirm their flights at least 72 hours before departure. To confirm flights with Qatar Airways (leaving Doha) ring (+974) 44 496 688. To confirm flights with other airlines use the numbers given below.
Confirming your flight in Doha
Air France/KLM/North West: +974 44 321 208
Air India told Qatar Visitor that it it not necessary to reconfirm, although according to their website: It is not necessary to reconfirm if you are not breaking journey beyond 72 hrs. at any point i.e. it is necessary to confirm after 72 hours. You could try ringing their contact number on +974 44 418 423 - maybe you will have more luck than us.
Qatar Airways: +974 44 621 681
Biman Bangladesh Airlines: +974 44 433 117
British Airways: +974 44 321 434
Emirates: +974 44 384 401
Gulf Air: +974 44 998 000
Indian airlines: +974 44 356 020
Iran Air: +974 44 323 666
Oman Air: +974 44 320 509
Saudi Arabian Airlines: +974 44 440 121
Sri Lankan Airlines: +974 44 446 345
For airlines not on this list contact Qatar directory enquiries on 180 for the correct flight confirmation number.
Remember that workers and male relatives of workers need an exit permit to leave the country. This is now computerised, so you don't actually have to hand over any paper - although we advise keeping a paper copy just in case something goes wrong. See Qatar Visas for more information.
Qatar Airways now operate e-gates. Residents and Qataris can now obtain immigration cards. Instead of going through normal immigration procedures, participants can now punch the card in a gate at immigration and place their index finger on a biometric scanner. To obtain the e-card, simple visit the Airport Immigration and Security Office (across the car park from the airport) with your ID card - no application form required!
Qatar Airways is currently introducing an on-line check-in system for passengers departing from Doha, allowing travellers to check 2-36 hours before departure. Passengers will be able to get a printout of their boarding card and choose their seats. Those with hand luggage will then be able to go directly to immigration while those with baggage will be go to a fast-drop area. The service is available via Qatar Airways Check-In.
Book Flights to Qatar
There is a Business Lounge which is open to Qatar Airways Business class customers and silver and gold members of their privilige club. Free wireless access is available, and there is a free children's play area. There are several restaurants available, and a 24 hour post office although only Qatar riyals are accepted at the post office. Money can be withdrawn in riyals or dollars from ATM's, and you can, of course, exchange money.
Doha Airport operates an excellent and cheap porter service. There is a desk where you pay, and a porter will then be assigned to you, or you can just catch the eye of a passing porter when you are dropped off and pay as you pass the desk.
Check in desks open an hour before flights and close an hour before for economy passengers - 45 minutes for business and first class passengers. First class and business passengers carrying hand luggage in can use a telephone check in between 6 hours and 90 minutes before departure. Call 44 656 676, and make sure you arrive 45 minutes before departure to finalise things at the Quick Bag Brop Desk.
With Qatar Airways at least, normal baggage allowance is 20 kg for economy passengers, 30 kg for business passengers and 40 kg for first class passengers. Privilige club members at bronze membership or above get additional baggage allowance. It is worth checking your tickets, though, as sometimes your baggage allowance may be more.
In common with other international airports, you are now only allowed 100 ml of fluid to take on board - in a clear container. However, you may buy further drinks in the duty free area.
Duty free is available in the internet, and in addition to perfumes and make-up, you can also buy alcohol. You may not be able to take alcohol into the country, but you can certainly take it out!
There are 60 short term and 600 long term parking spaces available. Charges are reasonable compared to other international airports. Parking is not normally a problem.
Also see: Doha Airport: Official Site