In this article, you will not only learn that local operators are already working in 5G, but also where to buy a SIM card and the available tariffs. You will find all the necessary information about local internet in Doha and Qatar as a whole. I will tell you about Wi-Fi networks, internet speeds in Qatar, and there is something to be surprised about.

It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Qatar without these websites

best hotels in doha for tourists
Hotels in Doha

rent a car for tourists in doha cheap
Rent a car

tours and activities in qatar doha
Tours and Activities

Mobile communication and internet in Qatar: general information

Qatar is a place where progress and technology are at the heart of the country’s development. They are implemented here with lightning speed and scale. This fate has not bypassed the country’s mobile communication. Today, a commercial 5G network is operating in Qatar. The coverage is excellent; it even works in the subway between stations and even in desert.

Details on tourism trends in Qatar today, about beach and excursion activities. What to expect from this country.

In summary, here are the main facts about internet in Doha and Qatar:

  • There are two mobile operators in the country:
    • Ooredoo – an operator in the whole region, present in almost every Persian Gulf country and even operates in the Maldives.
    • Vodafone – one of the largest operators in the world, present in many European countries.
  • Coverage for both operators is the same – 100% of the country’s territory. Stable internet works even deep in the desert away from roads. Personally tested.
  • The subscriber base is also approximately equal.
  • Internet speeds, as well as tariffs and prices, do not differ much.

Useful to know:

It doesn’t matter which operator you buy a SIM card from in Qatar. Just go to the store that you find first.
vodafone in qatar
Here are what Vodafone stores look like in Doha. The Ooredoo store was in the photo above. Both operators have a corporate color of red.

I am often asked about roaming. Check the rates for roaming with your operator in Qatar. With my home operator, 1 MB costs around $15, and 1 minute to Qatar costs $2. If you need internet in Qatar, roaming will be the last option on the list of available communication methods.

Where to buy a SIM card and top up your balance

There are some nuances to keep in mind when purchasing a SIM card in Qatar.

You can only buy a SIM card from one of the two operators in their respective stores. One downside is that there are not many of these stores in Doha, but both are located in the largest shopping center, City Center Doha Mall, in the tourist area of West Bay at coordinates 25.32514724194675, 51.5306602754242 (see map). There are also small sales points at the airport.

  • Doha overview: about the most popular areas for tourists, how to get around the city, where to exchange money, and much more.
  • In order to purchase a SIM card, you will need to provide your passport. With one passport, you can buy up to three SIM cards.
sim card in qatar
Both operators provide a universal SIM card. Tourist rates are only prepaid – you cannot go into negative balance.

How to top up your balance:

Telecom stores do not top up your balance. They will give you a selected SIM card with a selected plan (more on that below) for free. The balance will be zero riyals and zero megabytes. To activate it, you need to top up the amount corresponding to the tariff plan. The SIM card will be activated automatically.

You can top up your SIM card in Qatar at stores that sell phones, cases, and accessories. Just go in and ask if they top up the balance. The logic is as follows: you give them money, they give you a receipt for the same amount (without fees). Enter the code from the receipt as USSD request on the phone with the local SIM card, and this amount will immediately be on your balance. The scheme is the same as for top-up cards, for those who have used them.

top up balance qatar
Here is the receipt you will receive when topping up: 1. USSD request to top up the balance *127*PIN# (for Ooredoo). 2. The PIN itself, which you need to enter. 3. This is the amount you are topping up, you do not need to enter it anywhere. Literally 10 seconds and you will have internet activated.

The top-up points are absolutely different, from Pakistani stalls in the market to chain stores. Personally, I top up at Starlink network stores. Starlink, by the way, is also in the same mall.

internet in qatar
I always top up in this store – Starlink. By the way, they have nothing to do with Elon Musk ^_^

Mobile rates and internet in Qatar

Rates, packages, and prices are constantly changing. I try to keep the information up-to-date and update this article 1-2 times a year. But it’s best to check current rates on the official websites of operators before your trip, or the consultants on-site can tell you. Both operators have similar prices and packages.

So, the internet rates in Doha:

On both websites, choose Prepaid tariff available to tourists. It’s impossible to go into the negative on such tariffs; once the package’s validity period ends, you throw away the SIM and leave the country. There will be no debts.

  • Current tourist rates from Vodafone:
    • Visitor Pack 35: 5 GB for 35 QAR ($10) for 7 days
    • COMBO 35: 3 GB for 35 QAR ($10) for 30 days
    • COMBO 65: 8 GB for 65 QAR ($18) for 30 days
    • COMBO+ 300: Unlimited internet for 300 QAR ($85) for 30 days
  • Current tourist rates from Ooredoo:
    • Visitor SIM: 5 GB for 35 QAR ($9.5) for 7 days
    • Visitor SIM Plus: 10 GB for 65 QAR ($18) for 14 days
    • Visitor SIM Pro: 25 GB for 150 QAR ($41) for 30 days

Good to know:

You can share the internet with everyone. This means that you can buy one SIM for 2-3 people, as long as you have enough traffic.
mobile coverage in qatar
There is good internet in Qatar even in places like in the desert, far from any roads, as shown in the photo. This is an installation of a well-known American sculptor called East-West/West-East. There is an article about this place in this guide.

If you think the internet in Qatar is expensive, read an article about the cost of independent travel to Qatar.

International travel SIM cards and eSIM in Qatar

You can buy an internet SIM card in Qatar even before your trip. There are tariffs that are definitely not more expensive than those of Ooredoo or Vodafone, and they may even be cheaper. These are international tourist SIM cards. I won’t go into detail about them, as it’s easy to figure out on your own. I’ll just say the benefits of such a SIM card:

  • As soon as the plane touches down, you already have internet on your phone. You can write home, call a taxi.

Today, there are two services that sell such SIM cards. They are a little different for different types of tourists and tasks, but they are very convenient SIM cards.

  • Drimsim – a SIM card that works in 200 countries. One account, one number. In Europe or the Middle East, the rates are very cheap, 1 cent per 1 MB. There is no expiry date or subscription fee. It’s convenient for those who travel a lot, constantly need internet during transit in a country or at the airport. This SIM card is convenient to use not as the main one, but as an additional one, or if you are in the country for 1-2 days, so as not to buy a local SIM card.
  • Airalo – these are eSIM cards (if your phone supports it, you know about it) from the virtual operator Pearl Mobile of the Persian Gulf. The SIM card only works in Qatar. And the rates are even lower than those of Ooredoo and Vodafone.
    • 10% discount with the promo code travel4fun.
esim in qatar
Pearl Mobile – a virtual operator in the Persian Gulf region. You can buy an eSIM specifically for Qatar, and the prices are very affordable.

Free internet in Qatar and Wi-Fi networks

In brief, as there’s not much new to say, it’s the same as anywhere else in the world.

  • Free Wi-Fi is available in any hotel. The speeds are good, and even YouTube works well.
  • There is free internet in Doha city center, in the metro, in museums. To connect to these Wi-Fi networks, you need to verify your number.

Travel tips

If you’re in Qatar for just 1-2 days, don’t plan on leaving Doha, and don’t need to be always connected for work, you can skip buying a local SIM card altogether. Free Wi-Fi in the airport or hotel will suffice.

But for everyone else, internet is a must, especially for those planning to rent a car and explore the amazing attractions Qatar has to offer.

mobile internet in doha
In places like the ones in the photos, you can’t get by without a car. It’s essential to have a working SIM card with you, just in case. We had a flat tire in the desert and couldn’t remove the bolt ourselves because it was so tightly stuck. It would be silly to die like that 🙂

Qatar is a desert, with temperatures reaching up to 45°C in the summer. God forbid something happens, as there are no people or cars outside the city. Mobile communication is a must.

As for which internet provider to choose in Doha, it’s up to you. If you’re staying for 5-14 days and need to use the internet actively, look into Ooredoo and Vodafone SIM cards.

If you travel a lot, consider getting a Drimsim card. It’s cheap, doesn’t require activation, and will come in handy more than once. It can sit unused for years, but when you need internet in a critical moment, you’ll be glad to have it 🙂

And lastly, Airalo’s eSIM (Pearl Mobile) is extremely convenient. You’ll have local internet even before leaving the plane.

In conclusion, internet in Doha has been 5G for a long time, and there is internet coverage throughout Qatar, even in remote areas. SIM cards are reasonably priced, and there is no reason to limit yourself with the incredibly fast internet in Qatar. You definitely won’t be left without communication 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: