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
Table of Contents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Official website of Ooredoo (you can not only see prices, but also where the telecom stores are located): https://www.ooredoo.qa/web/en/
- Official website of Vodafone: https://www.vodafone.qa/en/home
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:
- COMBO30: 3GB for 30QAR (8.5$) for 30 days
- COMBO60: 8GB for 60QAR (17$) for 30 days
- COMBO+300: Unlimited internet for 300QAR (85$) for 30 days
- Current tourist rates from Ooredoo:
- Visitor SIM: 2GB for 35QAR (9.5$) for 7 days
- Super Visitor SIM: 20GB for 150QAR (42$) 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.
If you think the internet in Qatar is expensive, read an article about the cost of independent travel to Qatar.
5G internet in Doha: general information
A brief, as everything is simple here.
- Both operators have a good 4G network throughout the country. Even in the desert, as shown in the photo above, we can make video calls home. Although it is at least 7 kilometers to the nearest road. And the cities are even bigger.
- Today, a commercial 5G network is operating in Doha. The coverage is excellent; it even works in the subway, even between stations.
If your phone has never tasted real 5G, you can see the speeds below:
In Qatar, 3G is an outdated technology of the past.
International travel SIM cards and eSIM in Qatar
For those who have just arrived in Qatar for a day, internet is a must-have, but there is no time to look for a local SIM card and top up the balance. However, there is an excellent solution.
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.
- For new customers a 15% discount is available until Decenber 31st using the promo code DEC15, and for existing customers a 10% discount can be applied with the promo code DEC10 (limited to the first 5000 orders).
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. But to connect to these Wi-Fi networks, you need to verify your number. This means your SIM card must have roaming enabled, which is already expensive. And if you have purchased a local SIM card, then why do you need Wi-Fi? Well, you get the idea.
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.
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.
- We share our personal experience and pitfalls of renting a car in Qatar in this article.
- And here are the top 10 attractions in Qatar outside Doha, which will make you understand why a car is necessary. Qatar is more than just Doha, as many people think.
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: Discovery Cars (cheaper – only by bus)
- Hotels and apartments in Doha: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card with internet in Montenegro