Sign in Register
Posted On: 14 October 2020 01:00 pm
Updated On: 24 March 2022 04:22 pm

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

ILQ Staff
ILQ Staff
Discuss here!
Start a discussion
Your-guide-to-public-transportation-in-Qatar-how-to-get-around

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:

  • By bus
  • By train & tram
  • By taxi, limousine, and ride-hailing services
  • By e-scooters

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).

    By bus

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

    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.

    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 - the Saudi border) per single ride.

    What do you need to know before riding the Karwa Bus?

    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.

    Karwa Smart Card

    Image credit: Mowasalat

    Three types of Karwa Smart Cards:

    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 Smart 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.

      By train and tram

      Doha Metro and Lusail Tram
      Image credit: Doha Metro and Lusail Tram

      Doha Metro

      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?

      Doha Metro and Lusail Tram
      Image credit: Doha Metro and Lusail Tram


      Is there free Wi-Fi in Doha Metro stations?

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

      What are the operating hours of Doha Metro?

      As of February 2022, the Doha Metro schedule is as follows:

        • Saturday to Wednesday: 6 am- 11 pm
        • Thursday: 6 am – 11:59 pm
        • Friday: 2 pm – 11:59 pm

      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!

      How much is the fare for Doha Metro?

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

      StandardGoldclub
      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.

      What are Metrolink and Metroexpress?

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

      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

      Read more about Doha Metro here:

      Lusail Tram

      Doha Metro and Lusail Tram
      Image credit: Doha Metro and Lusail Tram

      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.

      1. Legtaifiya
      2. Marina
      3. Marina Promenade
      4. Yacht Club
      5. Esplanade
      6. Energy City South

      The Legtaifiya station connects Lusail Tram to the Doha Metro. Check out the complete Lusail Tram guide here.

        Msheireb Tram

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

        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:

        • Sahat Al Nakheel Station (not yet operational)
        • Wadi Msheireb Station
        • Galleria Station
        • Msheireb Prayer Ground Station (not yet operational)
        • Heritage Quarter Station
        • Al Baraha Station
        • Sahat Al-Masjid Station
        • Al Kahraba Street Station
        • Al Mariah Street Station (not yet operational)

        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!

        Education City Tram

        transport guide qatar
        Image credit: Qatar Foundation

        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.

        By taxi, limousine, and ride-hailing services

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

        Karwa taxi

        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?

        How can I book a Karwa taxi?

        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.

        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 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.

        Limousine

        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.

        By e-scooters

        transport guide qatar
        Image credit: Shutterstock

        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

        Looking to rent a car? Check out these articles!

        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

        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!