I apologize for not mentioning the Doha Metro article, as 90% of travelers specifically search for the Qatar Metro. Below you will find the most comprehensive information about the metro in the capital of this eastern country. You will learn about fares, types of passes, operating hours, which cars not to enter, and much more useful information.
It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Qatar without these websites
Table of Contents
Qatar Metro: General Information, Brief History
In short, the basic points are: Qatar is a country, and the capital of Qatar is Doha. The metro in Qatar is only in Doha, which is the only city with over a million inhabitants in the country. If these points were not obvious to you, and you are planning to fly to Qatar, I recommend a useful article: 50 facts about Qatar, where you will find all the general information about the country for tourists. Many of your questions will be answered there.
Now let’s focus specifically on the Qatar Metro. In brief, the main points are:
- The Doha Metro is ultra-modern. It is only a few years old, and the first lines were built for the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar.
- The first section of the Red Line, with five stations, opened in May 2019. Prior to that, there was no metro in Doha.
- Today, there are already three lines and 37 stations. The launch of a fourth metro line is planned for 2025-2026.
- Trains run frequently, every 2-4 minutes.
Interesting to know:Author’s personal opinion (mine): if there is a metro from the airport to the city center, it demonstrates the country’s development and shows that there is excellent transportation. The Doha Metro goes directly to the airport. In 30 minutes from the center and for $2, you are in the main aviation hub. It’s cool when you don’t have to spend 2 hours on a $20 bus to get to the airport.
As the Doha Metro is very young, Qatar had the opportunity to build it from scratch, taking into account all the global experience and technologies that existed at the beginning of construction:
- The metro is fully automated. Tickets can only be purchased from a machine. All trains are computer-controlled. Live staff work as assistants whom you can ask for something, but not more.
- It is impossible to fall onto the tracks, as sliding doors are installed on all platforms.
- Trains travel at a speed of 100 km/h.
- The computer fully controls everything without human involvement: train movement, opening and closing of doors, and all possible emergency situations.
The official Doha Metro website is https://www.qr.com.qa/home (very convenient and intuitive).
The map and stations of the Doha metro
As I mentioned earlier, there are currently 37 stations and 3 lines operating, covering a total distance of approximately 85km. By 2026, the opening of 4 more lines is planned.
It’s interesting to know thateach line currently has 10-14 stations, while the project includes 30-40 stations, with a total of around 100 stations planned for Doha. I don’t know when this project is scheduled to be completed, but based on the pace of construction in my country, it would take about 2000 years to finish. Here, they will probably do it all in 20 years 🙂
Looking at the map above, I want to draw attention to those who have a short layover in Doha and are wondering how to explore the capital in one day. Here’s what you need to know:
- The Red Line of the metro is the most important for tourists. It runs from the airport and passes through the entire center of Doha. 80% of the city’s attractions are located along the Red Line.
- What to see in Doha in one day, or the coolest attractions of the capital of Qatar.
Doha Metro operating hours
There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your trip:
- The usual operating hours of the Qatar Metro are from 5:30 am to midnight.
- But on Fridays, the metro operates from 2 pm. Yes, this is not a mistake, from 2 pm! Keep this in mind, especially for tourists who arrive and depart on Friday morning.
- Qatar is an Islamic country, and Friday is their day off. On this day, all establishments work on a non-standard schedule, and many are closed. Even banks where you need to exchange money may not be open. Read more about this in the article: Time in Qatar.
- On Saturdays, the metro operates from 6 am.
- And on Thursdays and Fridays, it operates until 1 am.
- Also, during the month of Ramadan, operating hours may change. Since the dates of Ramadan are different every year, check the current schedule on the metro website, the link to which was provided at the beginning of the article.
Metro to the airport
As we’ve mentioned four times already, there is a metro to the airport. It is the last stop on the red line, and it is called Hamad International Airport. However, there are a few things tourists need to keep in mind:
- Follow the signs and navigation arrows to get to the metro from the airport, which is approximately 500-700 meters away.
- You can buy tickets with either a card or cash. If you don’t have a card or it doesn’t work, you’ll need Qatari riyals. They do not accept any other currency.
- You can exchange money at the airport, where there are many currency exchange offices. The exchange rate is the same as in the city, but there is a fee for the exchange. This fee is only charged at the airport and not at any other exchange office in Qatar. Therefore, it’s more cost-effective to exchange money in the city, but if you have no other options, exchange at the airport. You can learn more about currency in Qatar, including the size of the fee.
- The ticket vending machine (pictured above) gives change but only accepts a maximum of 50 QAR bills. When exchanging money, ask for small bills, or better yet, a sum without change. That way, you can avoid the inconvenience of trying to break large bills while in the metro. You’ll have to walk 500 meters back to the airport to exchange the bills.
An important note for those traveling to the airport from the center of Doha:If you look at the metro map above, you’ll see that the red line splits at the end. There are two end stations: Hamad International Airport and Al Wakra. Pay close attention to the display board on the platform when boarding the train. They alternate between one or two trains. Usually, there are two trains to Al Wakra and one to the airport.
If you board the wrong train, don’t worry. The ticket is a single, unlimited pass, and there are no zones in the Doha metro. You can return to the station and wait for your train.
Ticket prices and passes: how to buy
Let’s start with the fact that “how to buy” I hope is already clear to everyone. The explanation was above. Ticket machines are located at every station, buy your ticket there. The menu is intuitive. There is always a station staff near each machine, if you get completely confused, you can ask them for help.
Now let’s understand the prices together. This chapter is especially loved by those who want to save a little and calculate which ticket is more profitable for their travel plan. Below are the prices for metro tickets in Qatar, but explanations will be needed, as not everything is obvious.
In the photo above, you can see three types of tickets: Limited-Use Pass, Standard Card, GoldClub card. Let’s consider only the first two to avoid confusion. Only rich sheikhs ride in the gold car (GoldClub), so a separate ticket is required to enter. We are ordinary people and can travel in a regular car. This will be discussed in more detail in the section below. 🙂
- Limited-Use Pass. The ticket costs 6 QAR for 1 day, just under $2 (here and further the exchange rate is 1$ = 3.64 QAR) or 40 QAR for 7 days.
- This is a pass for an unlimited number of trips on the Qatar metro.
- One person, one ticket.
- It cannot be topped up, there is no deposit. When the ticket runs out, it is thrown away and a new one is bought.
- The trickiest part of this ticket is that it is valid until the end of the current working day of the metro. If you arrive in the evening, say at 10 pm, buy such a ticket, it will stop working at 00:00 or 1:00 (depending on the day of the week) when the metro closes. It’s not valid for 24 hours from purchase moment, but only until the end of the current working day!
- Standard Card – a standard rechargeable pass. Money is deducted from its balance for each trip. But there are also some nuances:
- The card costs 10 QAR. When purchasing a card with a balance of 0, it needs to be topped up. This can easily be done at the same machine. But this is not a deposit, the 10 QAR cannot be returned.
- The card is valid for 5 years, and can be topped up an unlimited number of times.
- One card per person!
- One trip costs 2 QAR. There are no zones in the Doha metro. It doesn’t matter if you are going to one station or to the airport at the end, the price is always 2 QAR.
- But all trips during the day starting from the fourth are already free. Even if you need to make 10 metro trips in one day, you will spend a maximum of 6 QAR per day on this card. So, have you already imagined what is more profitable? 🙂
Which ticket is more profitable to buy in the Doha metro?
I’ll make the calculations easier for you. In fact, everything is very simple. If you are in transit in Qatar for less than 4 days, it is more profitable to buy the first type of ticket daily, which costs 6 QAR – the Limited-Use Pass. And it doesn’t matter how many times you plan to ride the metro per day, 1 or 5. But if you are here for a long time, at least for a week, or maybe a month, then the Standart Card is better.
It is designed this way: Limited-Use Pass for tourists for a couple of days, Standart Card for those who are here for a long time.
Types of cars in the Doha metro
And now, the most unusual part of the Qatar metro. Read this section if you don’t want the morality police to come after you. Of course, I’m joking, but there are people in the Doha metro who walk through the cars and check if everything is in order in their cars.
There are three types of cars in the Doha metro:
In fact, everything is clear and obvious from the names. But let me explain, as there are some Arabic subtleties here.
Let’s start with the simplest, the Gold car. Above was a photo with prices. In fact, the Gold or Goldclub car is not at all a golden car, there is just more space, the fare costs not 2 QAR, but 10 QAR (3$). And most importantly, children are not allowed in this car, but women are (forgive me, feminists).
A standard car, anyone can ride this car, but usually only men ride here.
The standard and family cars look exactly the same, there are no visual differences.
And now, more about the Family car and who is allowed to enter:
- Family (father, mother, child)
- Father with child
- Mother with child
- Men are allowed to enter only if they are traveling with a woman
- And of course, if a woman is traveling alone, she can also enter this car.
Good to know:In fact, only men who travel without women and children are not allowed in the family carriage, they can only travel in the standard carriage or the Gold carriage if they have the money.
I’m not sure what other advice to give you, as I’ve already told you everything in detail about Qatar metro. But here are a few more points to keep in mind:
- The Limited-Use Pass is made of cardboard but cannot be folded in half, as it will stop working. You will need to buy a new one.
- The same Limited-Use Pass is activated at the time of purchase, not at the entrance to the metro. You do not need to buy two passes for today and tomorrow; everything you buy today will expire today.
- You need to use your ticket to enter and exit the metro. Try not to lose it during your trip.
- If you accidentally enter the wrong carriage, no one will beat you with sticks forty times. A polite staff member will approach you and ask you to go to appropriate carriage.
- The Qatar metro has 5G internet, even between stations. By the way, he is already working in all of Doha. How and where to buy a local SIM, how much does it cost in the article: Internet in Qatar
In conclusion, Qatar metro is one of the most important benefits for tourists today. The metro makes it fast and cheap to travel between attractions in the city. And the fact that it goes to the airport is just amazing; not every European capital has such a luxury for less than $2. Thanks to the metro in Doha, even tourists who have short (5-7 hour) transit through Qatar can see the center of Doha.
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