Car Hire from Doha Airport
Beaches, deserts and futuristic cities typify Qatar. It’s a peninsular country, full of contrasts, culture and history. If you choose to hire a car from Doha Airport, also known as Hamad International Airport you’ll find it easy to discover more of this incredible place and take in a good selection of its sights.
Where to hire a car at Doha Airport
The car hire desks at Doha Airport are located in the Ground Transportation Centre, which can be found opposite the main terminal building. Passengers should exit the terminal and cross the road to reach the car hire offices. Companies based at the centre include Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Sixt, Budget and Al Muftah. Cars are located at Car Park C.
Petrol Stations near Doha Airport
If you need to refuel your car before returning it you will find the closest petrol station to Doha Airport is located around 10 minutes’ drive away from the terminal building. It’s called Airport Petrol Station and can be found just off the F Ring Road on Al Wakra Road.
Driving around Doha Airport
The F Ring Road provides the main route to and from Doha Airport. From the F Ring Road you can pick up Ras Abu Abboud Expressway heading into Doha centre, Al Wakra Road heading south towards Al Wakra and Salwa Road (or route 5) which heads south west towards Salwa.
Tourists can drive in Qatar using just their UK driving license for up to seven days, starting from the date they arrive in the country. If you’re planning a longer journey, you’ll need to apply for an International Driving Permit before you leave the UK. You can apply to the RAC, the AA or at a large post office and will receive a permit valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
Traffic in Qatar can be a little chaotic with high speeds on the roads. It’s important to adhere to road rules in Qatar as even a minor infraction can attract a significant penalty or fine. Driving without a seatbelt, using a mobile phone, drinking any alcohol before driving and aggressive road rage can all be penalised.
If you’re planning to travel into the desert, it’s best to travel in a 4WD vehicle. It’s also wise to inform friends or family of your proposed trip, travel in convoy if possible and take a large supply of water.
Getting to your destination
Hiring a car from Doha Airport is a great way to get around. Here are just a few destinations it’s easy to get to when you have your own set of wheels:
Doha is a rich and modern city with plenty of modern shopping malls, exclusive restaurants and state-of-the-art skyscrapers. Visitors will also find historic sites like the Souq Waqif, the Arabic market quarter that has been renovated and which sells everything under the sun, some ancient forts and the Doha Heritage Village where you can watch traditional arts, crafts and sporting activities.
It takes just 12 minutes to drive from Doha Airport to Doha city centre. Drivers should take the F Ring Road and then the Ras Abu Abboud Expressway north. It’s a good idea to take it easy on Doha’s roads and try to expect the unexpected. Other drivers can be aggressive, distracted and pay little attention to the rules of the road. More positively, roads around the city are in good condition and there are plenty of places to park too.
Qatar has a spectacular coastline and Al Ghariya is one of its gems. The white sandy beach is big enough to provide secluded spots and the water is crystal clear. Visitors are often treated to BBQs and music and there are plenty of picturesque picnic spots. There is also a large resort based at the beach for anyone who wants to stay the night.
Al Ghariya can be reached in around 90 minutes from Doha Airport, taking the F Ring Road and then the Doha Expressway (or route 1) north. Parking spaces along the beach are easy to find.
Al Dakhira Natural Reserves
These natural reserves, located north of Doha Airport, are home to salt flats, mangroves and a variety of birdlife. It’s a great escape from the city, providing spectacular scenery and great bird-watching opportunities.
Al Dakhira Natural Reserves are around an hour’s drive north of Doha Airport, taking the F Ring Road then the Ras Abu Abboud Expressway through Doha centre before picking up Al Jamiaa Street northbound. It’s a good idea to park by the dry riverbed (unless you’re travelling in a 4WD) and always stick to well-defined tracks.