The public transportation system in Qatar has improved considerably over the years, thanks to the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. There are so many transportation options to choose from to get around Qatar.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team has put together a guide so travelling within Qatar becomes easier. We've divided the article into different sections:
Please note that the information is based on the latest updates from Mowasalat, Qatar Rail, Doha Metro & Lusail Tram, Msheireb Properties etc and is subject to change or updations. Kindly refer to the respective websites and social media pages for the latest information.
Recently, through the brand name Sila, the State of Qatar brought its transport modes into one network. Currently, it includes the metro, bus, tram and taxi.
Download the Sila app here: Apple Store (iOS) and Google Play (Android).
Karwa Bus, the public air-conditioned bus, connects Doha and major places around the country. The buses are operated by the government-owned Mowasalat, the major transport services provider in Qatar.
Currently, there are more than 50 routes available, with the buses operating from 4 am and the last buses timed to depart around 11 pm. Most of the routes operate from Doha Bus Station near the Gold Souq, as per Mowasalat.
Space for wheelchairs is available on most types of buses. Mowasalat advises passengers to procure the “KARWA Smart Card” which is a cashless, ticketless card.
Fares can go from as little as QR 2.50 (short trips) to QR 9 (to Al Shamal and Abu Samra - the Saudi border) per single ride.
You need to purchase the Karwa Smart Card because this is what you'll be using to pay for your bus fare. The Karwa Smart Card has to be tapped during onboarding and while getting off the bus.
To check the bus routes and timings, it's best that you download the Karwa Bus app - details below.
According to Mowasalat, you can choose from the Classic Card, Limited Card, or Unlimited Card.
Karwa Smart Card can be purchased and recharged at Doha Bus Station, Karwa Bus Stations, through Ticket Vending Machines, select merchants, and Ooredoo Self Serving machines with the Karwa Smartcard logo. Click here to see the full list.
Ticket Vending Machines (TVM) is available at Hamad International Airport, Doha Bus Station, Karwa Bus Station, and The Pearl-Qatar.
You can also recharge your Karwa Smart Card via Ooredoo Money. According to Ooredoo, you can use the Ooredoo Money app or the USSD menu (*140#) to add QR 5-QR 500 to the Karwa Smart Card. You have to enter the first 10 digits of your card number to recharge or top-up.
The Red, Green, and Gold of the Doha Metro are currently operational. An integral part of the Qatar Rail network, Doha Metro connects different suburbs of the capital and the nearby municipalities. It has both underground and elevated (above-ground) stations, with Msheireb station connecting all three lines.
Did you know that you can easily access Hamad International Airport, Katara Cultural Village, Qatar National Library, National Museum of Qatar, Souq Waqif, and more by taking the Doha Metro?
Yes! Doha Metro users can avail themselves of complimentary internet for 30 minutes per day inside stations and trains.
As of February 2022, the Doha Metro schedule is as follows:
Each station has its own specific timings for the first and last train. If you want to make sure that you will be on time for the train and your destination, scroll down to see the Doha Metro train schedule and Metrolink bus schedules below.
Trains run approximately every 5 minutes. The last recommended interchange at Msheireb station is at 22:25 pm (Sat-Wed) and 23:25 pm (Thu - Fri). Check out the first and last train timings here!
Here are the costs for the reusable Standard Travel Card and Goldclub Travel Card.
|Single Journey||QR 2||QR 10|
|Day Pass||QR 6||QR 30|
|Travel Card Cost||QR 10||QR 100|
You can purchase Standard Travel Cards from any of the following retailers: Al Meera, Lulu, Carrefour, Family Food Centre, or Jumbo Electronics. Goldclub travel cards are available from dedicated gold club offices at all Metro stations.
Due to COVID-19, paper tickets are not available.
You can easily top-up Travel Cards at the machines at any of the stations, through the website or you can also top up through the Qatar Rail app using your credit/debit card.
According to Qatar Rail, Metrolink is a feeder bus network providing first and last-mile connectivity to Qatar Rail customers within a 2 to 5-kilometre radius of the Doha Metro stations while Metroexpress is a free trial ride-sharing service that can be booked through its designated app. metroexpress services Al Qassar, Katara, Legtaifiya, Qatar University, DECC, and West Bay areas.
You can track the metrolink buses and routes through the Karwa Bus app. Check the Metrolink routes here: https://www.qr.com.qa/metrolink
Download Metroexpress app here: Google Play | Apple Store
Of the 25 stations, that make up the Lusail Tram network, the first phase of the Lusail Tram features the operation of part of the Orange Line with 6 stations.
The Legtaifiya station connects Lusail Tram to the Doha Metro. Check out the complete Lusail Tram guide here.
To get around Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD), you can take the free Msheireb Tram. The electric-powered tram cars are air-conditioned and have special light-filtering glass panels. The stops as listed on the Msheireb Properties app are as follows:
Msheireb Downtown Doha is within walking distance from Msheireb Metro Station.
Want to know more? Check out our guide to Msheireb Tram and Msheireb Downtown Doha!
Qatar Foundation (QF) launched its own electrically-powered tram system in 2019 that goes around QF's 'Academic Loop'. With 24 stations, it enables car-less, park-and-ride connections between schools, universities, centres, and other facilities at QF.
Easily noticeable because of their turquoise green colour with the Karwa logo, their only difference with each other is the colour of their roof. All Karwa taxis are also fitted with automatic tamper-proof meters. Did you know that they have five colours?
You can easily hail one by directly booking through the Karwa Taxi app or dial 800-TAXI (8294) to book. Download the app here: Google Play or Apple Store.
For Karwa Taxi with special-needs accessibility, call the toll free number 800-TAXI (8294).
How much is the taxi fare?
The Karwa cars are all fitted with automatic tamper-proof meters. The flag fall rate for Karwa taxi within Doha starts at QR 4 and QR 1.6 per km while outside Doha is QR 1.90 per km (also applicable to the nighttime fare). The minimum flag fare from the airport starts at QR 25.
Uber and Careem are the main players in Qatar when it comes to ride-hailing services. With Uber, you can book the following rides: UberX, Comfort, and UberXL while Careem has CareemGO, Comfort, Max, and Cruiser.
How to book Uber or Careem?
You can easily book through the respective apps which you can download here:
How much is the fare?
The fare for UberX starts from QR 8 and CareemGO from QR 7.5. The final fare will vary depending on the distance, peak hour, and traffic along the way.
You can pay for your Uber ride using your credit or debit card, PayPal, cash, or Uber Cash. Careem accepts cash, credit or debit card, and Careem Pay.
Mowasalat's luxury fleet of limousines includes Impala, Passat, Audi, and Mercedes Vitto. You can book by calling 800-LIMO (5466) or 800-TAXI (8294) or through the Karwa Taxi app. You can also hire/rent a limousine through the Mowasalat website.
The use of e-scooters or electric scooters has been gaining popularity in Qatar. There are many new start-ups and companies providing these ride options for the people here. Click here to learn the different options available, fares, rules and more: E-scooters in Qatar: Where to buy, rent, and what you need to know
Visiting Qatar for the World Cup? Check out our dedicated page HERE!
Find everything from news, guide, tips, match info, all the fun things to do in Qatar and more!
References: Mowasalat; Qatar Rail; Msheireb Properties
Written by Darlene Madrid, updated by Vrinda Abilash
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