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Posted On: 14 October 2020 01:00 pm
Updated On: 16 November 2021 02:15 pm

Your guide to public transportation in Qatar: how to get around

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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 Doha and Qatar. It has become easier for visitors and residents to explore more of this beautiful country.

The (ILQ) team has put together a guide so travelling within Qatar becomes easier. Check it out below!

By bus

Karwa Bus, the public air-conditioned bus, connects Doha and major communities around Qatar. 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.

How much is the bus fare? Fares can go from as little as QR 2.50 (short trips) to QR 9 (to Al Shamal and Abu Samra) per single ride.

What you need to know before riding the Karwa Bus: You need to purchase the Karwa Smartcard because this is what you'll be using to pay for your bus fare. The Karwa Smartcard has to be tapped during onboarding and alighting the bus.

To check the bus routes and timings, it's best that you download the Karwa Bus app.

Your guide to public transportation in Qatar: how to get around
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Karwa Smartcard

Three types of Karwa Smartcard:

According to Mowasalat, you can choose from the Classic Card, Limited Card, or Unlimited Card.

  • Classic Card: Long-term rechargeable card which costs QR 30.
  • Limited Card: Good for two journeys within 24-hrs of purchase and costs QR 10.
  • Unlimited Card: Good for unlimited journeys but only within 24-hrs of purchase and costs QR 20.

Where to buy and top-up Karwa Smartcard?

Karwa Smartcard 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 Smartcard via OoredooMoney. According to Ooredoo, you can use OoredooApp or the USSD menu (*140#) to add QR 5-QR 500 to your Karwa SmartCard. You’ll simply need to enter the first 10 digits of your card number to recharge.

    By train and tram

    Your guide to public transportation in Qatar: how to get around
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    Doha Metro

    Doha Metro, which started its Phase 1 operation in 2019, currently has three lines operational - Red, Green, and Gold. 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.

    Legtaifiya Station was the last one to open this 2020, completing the 37 stations of the Doha Metro Phase 1. This station is one of the interchange stations with Lusail Tram.

    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?

    Find out the places you can go to using the Doha Metro here:

    Is there free Wi-Fi in Doha Metro stations?

    Yes! Doha Metro users can avail of complimentary internet for 30 minutes per day inside stations and trains.

    What are the operating hours of Doha Metro?

    • 06:00 to 23:00 from Saturday to Wednesday
    • 06:00 to 23:59 on Thursday and
    • 14:00 to 23:59 on Friday

    Check out the first and last train timings here!

    How much is the fare for Doha Metro?

    Here are the costs for the reusable Standard Travel Card and Goldclub Travel Card.

    Single JourneyQR 2QR 10
    Day PassQR 6QR 30
    Travel Card CostQR 10QR 100

    How to buy a Metro ticket/How to get a Doha Metro card?

    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.

    How to top-up your Doha Metro card?

    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.

    Download Qatar Rail App here: Google Play | Apple Store

    Find out the Do's and Dont's of riding the Doha Metro here:

    What are Metrolink and Metroexpress?

    Your guide to public transportation in Qatar: how to get around
    Editorial credit: Photo Play /

    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-kilometer 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:

    Download Metroexpress app here: Google Play | Apple Store

    Read more about Doha Metro here:

    Msheireb Tram

    Your guide to public transportation in Qatar: how to get around
    Image source:

    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. You can hop-on and hop-off at any of its 9 stations:

    • Sahat Al Nakheel Station
    • Wadi Msheireb Station
    • Galleria Station
    • Msheireb Prayer Station
    • Heritage Quarter Station
    • Al Baraha Station
    • Sahat Al-Masjid Station
    • Al Kahraba Street Station
    • Al Mariah Street Station

    Msheireb Downtown Doha is walking-distance from Msheireb Metro Station.

    Want to know more? Check out our guide to Msheireb Tram and Msheireb Downtown Doha!

    Education City Tram

    Qatar Foundation launched its own electrically-powered tram system last 2019 that goes around QF's 'Academic Loop'. "With a total of 24 stations, it enables car-less, park-and-ride connections between QF’s schools, universities, centers, and facilities," according to QF.

    Future plans: Lusail Tram

    Currently under development is the Lusail Tram network that will serve destinations within Lusail and will be connected to the Doha Metro. It will have four lines and 25 stations once completed.

    By taxi, limousine, and ride-hailing services

    Your guide to public transportation in Qatar: how to get around
    Editorial credit: EQRoy /

    Karwa taxi

    Easily noticeable because of their turquoise green color with the Karwa logo, their only difference with each other is the color of their roof. All Karwa taxis are also fitted with automatic tamper-proof meters. Did you know that they have five colors? Check out: Your all-in-one guide to the different colors of the Karwa taxis!

    How can I book a Karwa taxi? You can easily hail one from the street, by booking through 800-TAXI (8294), or you can book directly through the Karwa Taxi app. Download here: Google Play (Android) or Apple Store (iOS).

    For Karwa Taxi with special-needs accessibility, call the toll free number 800-TAXI (8294).

    How much is the taxi fare? 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 night time fare). The minimum taxi fare trip starts at QR 10 (including the first 5km). The minimum flag fare from the airport starts at QR 25.

    Ride-hailing apps

    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 minimum ride fare for UberX and CareemGO is QR 8. 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.

    Find out which taxi suits you best: Battle of the taxis: Qatar Edition


    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.

    Looking to rent a car? Check out these articles!

    References: Mowasalat; Qatar Rail; Msheireb Properties

    What can you say about public transportation in Qatar? Which is your favourite mode of transportation? Let us know in the comments! If you found this post useful, don't forget to hit like and share - it keeps us going!