Currency in Qatar: Qatari Riyal. For those who only need this information, you can stop reading here. For everyone else, let me tell you about the exchange rate, where to change money, what currency to bring with you to Qatar, and what the 22 riyal banknote looks like. You’ll get plenty of useful advice and information that will help you save both time and money.

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Hotels in Doha

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Tours and Activities

Currency in Qatar: general information

Here are the main points you need to know about currency in Qatar:

  • The currency of Qatar is the Qatari Riyal, not to be confused with the Spanish “Real” used in football.
  • The abbreviation for the Qatari Riyal is QAR or QR.
  • Exchange rate: 1 USD = 3.64 QAR
  • Paper banknotes in circulation: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200, and 500 riyals.
  • Coins (dirhams): 1, 5, 10, 25, and 50 dirhams, but only the 25 and 50 dirham coins are widely used. Most shops round up to the nearest riyal, and coins smaller than 1 riyal are not used.
Currency in Qatar
This is what the new Qatari Riyal banknotes look like, introduced in 2020

Interesting fact:

Qatar’s economy is so stable and inflation is so low that the exchange rate has not changed in the last 10 years. 10 years ago, 1 USD was worth 3.64 QAR, and today it’s still the same. Imagine that in your own country.

In 2017, the Qatar diplomatic crisis erupted when the country’s neighbors imposed an economic and trade blockade. For a small desert nation that imports almost everything, this was a major blow to the economy. The riyal temporarily fell to 3.65-3.7 (by 1%), causing panic among the local population.

If you’re interested in the history of the country, there’s a separate section about the 2017 Qatari Crisis in the link.

All about currency exchange in Qatar, in Doha.

Good to know:

Qatar’s currency is only the riyal – nothing else. No matter what you pay for – a taxi, a tour, souvenirs at the market – they only accept riyals. For those who try to use dollars, there are hefty fines and penalties.

Only banks are authorized to exchange currency in Qatar. There are many of them, with teller windows and ATMs in every branch. You can exchange cash for dollars or euros, or withdraw riyals from your card. Here’s what you need to know:

  • You can fly to Qatar with either dollars or euros, there’s no difference.
  • The exchange rate is the same throughout the country, in all banks, even at the airport. The maximum difference may be one dirham. It could be 3.65 somewhere, and 3.64 somewhere else.
  • There are no exchange fees anywhere, except at the airport. If you’re in Qatar for a couple of days and need to exchange money, it’s better to take the metro to Doha (buy a metro ticket with a card), and exchange currency without commission at any bank in Doha.
qatar exchange rate
This is the airport exchange rate, which is exactly the same as everywhere else in the country. Please note the fees at the bottom: 5 riyals if you exchange currency up to 100 riyals. 15 riyals if you exchange up to 500 riyals, and so on.

Important note:

In Qatar, you can only exchange currency with your passport. It’s also better to keep the name of your hotel in mind because they may ask for it. Don’t throw away the receipt they give you. If you have remaining riyals, you can exchange them back to dollars or euros only with that receipt.

Currency exchange is absolutely safe. There are no scammers, thefts, or any other currency-related frauds. Therefore, any bank will exchange your currency at the highest level. For more information on safety in Qatar for tourists, dress code for women, and things to watch out for, please check out the article via the link.

Qatar’s currency: 22 riyals

You all know that the 2022 World Cup was held in Doha, Qatar. To commemorate the event, the country’s mint released a super cool banknote worth 22 Qatari riyals. Here’s what you need to know about it:

  • It’s a real banknote that can be used in stores.
  • You can buy it at any bank, right where you exchange your money. But you need your passport 🙂
qatar money
Look for a poster like this near banks and exchange offices. This means that they have all the Qatari banknotes, including the 22 riyals.

Good to know:

If you’re a collector and transiting through Doha without leaving the airport, you can buy 22 riyals at any exchange office inside the airport, even in the transit area.

Even after more than half a year since the World Cup, these banknotes are still being sold. I regularly buy them for friends who ask for them. And judging by the quantity of them in banks, they’ll probably sell them for another couple of years.

  • The 22 riyals in banks are packaged like all other currencies, in bundles of 100 with a rubber band. If you want a branded envelope, you need to ask for it, as they always forget to give them.
22 riyals banknote
If you don’t ask for the black branded envelope, like in the photo, you’ll receive the 22 riyals without it.

The best business in the world:

In any Qatari bank, 22 riyals is worth 75 riyals (~$21). The envelope is given for free. Perhaps that’s why Qatar is the richest country in the world? Check out this interesting article on why Qatar is the richest.

This is precisely why the 22 riyal banknote cannot be found in circulation. Even if it appears, the locals immediately withdraw it because its value is 3.5 times higher than its face value.

doha currency exchange
They also give you a receipt, which is important for collectors, stating where, by whom, and when this banknote was purchased. It also confirms that it is not a forgery printed on a printer.

Where can I pay with a card?

Qatar is a civilized country where technology and progress are advancing rapidly. Bank card payment is already implemented almost everywhere. However, there are some places where it’s better to have cash as they won’t accept cards:

  • For excursions, if you’re buying from private guides rather than online.
  • In the market, if you’re buying souvenirs. What to bring as a gift from Qatar.
  • Small Pakistani cafes, where you can eat cheaply. Or where they sell shawarma. Actually, even in such establishments, card payment terminals are available today, but not everywhere.

In all other places, you can always choose to pay by card or cash. And there is one place where a card is mandatory.

  • When renting a car from any car rental company in Qatar, the deposit is only payable by bank card. However, you can pay for the rental itself in cash. Everything about renting a car in Qatar: personal experience and pitfalls.
doha banks
In any bank, and there are many of them in Doha, you can exchange currency. You can also withdraw money from an ATM there.

Travel tips

There is a stereotype that prices in Qatar are very high and that it’s an expensive country. Yes, there are places where you can spend an extra $5-10-20k in one evening. But in reality, prices here are quite reasonable for most goods and services that are of interest to tourists. And the reason why people think it’s expensive is that Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world, and its citizens are all millionaire sheikhs.

And here are some main tips:

  • Come to Qatar with dollars or Euros, preferably in cash.
  • The currency in Qatar is riyals. You can get them at any bank in exchange for your dollars. The exchange rate is the same everywhere.
  • There is only a fee on currency exchange at the airport.

In conclusion: Qatar’s currency is one of the most stable currencies in the world. The exchange rate hasn’t changed in 10 years. Inflation is at a very low level. The country’s economy has a huge budget surplus. And rare fluctuations in the exchange rate of the national currency by 1-2 dirhams (1-2 cents) cause panic among the local population. They don’t know what rising prices for products or gasoline are here.

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Qatar

  • Flights at the best prices with discounts
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars
  • Hotels and apartments in Doha:
    • Hotellook – compare prices when booking around the world.
    • Agoda – the best selection of hotels in Qatar.
    • Booking – the main competitor of Agoda.
  • Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
    • GYG – more than 400 tours
    • Viator – excursions and activities throughout the country
  • Travel insurance: EKTA
  • Airport transfer: Intui
  • Internet and Calls: