Fire and rescue services
Call 999, or go directly to the hospital.
Call 999, or visit the nearest police station.
Exercise normal safety precautions in Qatar.
Exercise normal safety precautions in Qatar.
Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
Full travel advice: Local contacts
There have been several terrorist attacks in the Gulf region in recent years. These have occurred at places visited by foreigners. Take official warnings seriously.
Attacks could occur at any time and could target:
If there's an attack, leave the affected area straight away if it's safe to.
Terrorism is a threat worldwide.
Public protests and events that attract large groups of people can occur with little notice.
Conflict in the Middle East and Gulf region could affect Qatar.
To stay safe:
If civil unrest disrupts your travel, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for help.
Qatar has a low crime rate.
Pickpocketing, bag snatching and other petty crime is rare but can happen. Keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded places.
Banking and credit card fraud can occur. Always keep your credit card in sight.
Unaccompanied women can be vulnerable to harassment. Women should take care when travelling alone, particularly at night. You should pay attention to your immediate surroundings and exercise judgement.
You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you’re connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.
Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.
Transport and tour operators don't always follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes 4WD adventure activities in the desert.
If you plan to do a tour or adventure activity:
If proper safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.
Qatar often experiences extremely high temperatures. From June to September, the temperature can be higher than 50°C.
To avoid heat stroke and dehydration:
Sandstorms and dust storms occur often.
Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave.
Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.
From 1 February, all visitors must purchase health insurance for the duration of their stay in Qatar. You can purchase insurance from companies approved by the Qatari Ministry of Public Health at a standard cost of 50 Qatari Riyals per month prior to or on arrival in Qatar. Further details can be found here: Ministry of Public Health – Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme (moph.gov.qa). Health insurance policies purchased outside Qatar may not meet Qatari entry requirements – please check with MoPH if in doubt. If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.
If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.
Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
See your doctor or travel clinic to:
Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.
If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.
Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.
If you plan to bring medication, check if it's legal in Qatar. Take enough legal medicine for your trip. For more information check the Ministry of Public Health Guideline of controlled drugs for travellers [PDF 614KB].
For any medication you're carrying, or that may be detected in your system, carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating:
Get medical documents authenticated by DFAT in Australia if needed.
Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus have been reported in Qatar.
There may be a small risk of contracting MERS via ongoing physical contact with camels. To minimise this risk, avoid consuming raw camel milk, undercooked camel meat, or anything contaminated with camel secretions.
Get medical advice if you have a fever, cough, breathing difficulties or diarrhoea.
The level of air pollution in Qatar is high by global standards. Dust storms and sandstorms happen often, which can worsen breathing issues.
If you're concerned about the effects of pollution, or dust and sandstorms, speak to your doctor before leaving Australia.
Public medical facilities in Qatar are comparable to those in Australia.
You may need to be evacuated if you become seriously ill or injured. Medical evacuation can be very expensive.
There are big differences between laws in Australia and Qatar. Behaviour that could be considered offensive or anti-social, but not criminal, in Australia could violate Qatari law.
You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
If you're detained or arrested, ask police or prison officials to inform the Australian Embassy in Doha.
To meet Qatari requirements, your Australian documents may need extra legal approval before you can use them overseas. Check the rules with the nearest embassy or consulate of Qatar.
Penalties for drug offences include long jail terms. Authorities could charge you with possession if they can detect illegal drugs in your body.
Medications that are available over the counter or by prescription in Australia may be illegal in Qatar.
Authorities can detain and deport you if you carry medication to treat HIV and hepatitis. This can also happen if you test positive to either illness.
There are significant differences between Australia's and Qatar's laws on commercial, civil, family and employment matters.
If you become involved in local family law matters such as divorce, child custody and child support:
If you're involved in a commercial civil dispute, local firms or courts may take your passport.
Authorities can stop you leaving Qatar until the dispute is resolved.
If you owe money, you may be jailed until you settle your debts.
Authorities can arrest and jail you for fraud if you:
Authorities may detain you when you arrive if you have debts or criminal charges in Qatar. This can happen even if you're only transiting through Qatar.
If you're not a resident of Qatar, you may not get bail for crimes involving fraud.
Child custody laws are based on Islamic law.
If you have a job in Qatar, you may require an exit permit from your employer to leave the country.
It's illegal to:
Expats living in Qatar can buy alcohol on a permit system.
Alcohol is currently only available to visitors at licenced hotel restaurants and bars. The legal drinking age in Qatar is 21. It is an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in a public place.
The importation of alcohol into the State of Qatar is illegal. You will not be able to purchase alcohol from duty free in airports.
It's illegal to:
It's illegal to:
Depending on the situation, victims of sexual assault in Qatar, may face arrest, detention or criminal prosecution for having sex outside of marriage.
If you're sexually assaulted in Qatar, contact the Australian Embassy in Doha or the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra immediately. Ask for guidance and information on support services.
Consular officers can't provide legal or medical advice. They can provide lists of English-speaking service providers who may be able to help you.
Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.
Qatar doesn't recognise dual nationality.
If you're a dual national and authorities arrest or detain you, our ability to deliver consular services may be limited.
Always travel on your Australian passport.
The children of Qatari fathers automatically receive Qatari citizenship at birth. Qatari fathers can stop their children from leaving Qatar.
There are conservative codes of dress and behaviour in Qatar. Visitors must cover their shoulders and knees when visiting public places like museums and other government buildings. If you plan to visit tourist attractions, shopping malls and other public places, check the specific dress codes. Look for details on display at the venues or on their websites. Take care not to offend. If in doubt, seek local advice.
Avoid commenting on Qatari culture, government policy or services, and commercial enterprises online while in Qatar. This includes reviewing hotel or restaurant experiences on social media. These activities could be considered slanderous or cyber-crime offences in Qatar.
Swearing and making rude gestures are considered obscene acts and you can be fined, jailed and/or deported. Take particular care when dealing with the police and other officials.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is observed in Qatar. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws during this time.
During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during the day. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence.
Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering.
If you have an existing Hayya Card obtained for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, you can use it to enter Qatar until 24 January 2024, provided you meet other entry requirements such as proof of accommodation, health insurance and onward travel. You can no longer apply for a Hayya card to enter Qatar.
If you don't have a Hayya card, you'll need a visa to enter Qatar. You may be eligible for a visa on arrival. The type of visa you need will depend on your country of residence and the purpose of your travel.
You may be asked to show proof of your accommodation for the duration of your stay in Qatar on arrival at Hamad International Airport.
From 1 February, all visitors must purchase health insurance prior to or on arrival in Qatar. Visitors can purchase insurance from companies approved by the Qatari Ministry of Public Health at a standard cost of 50 Qatari Riyals per month. Further details: Ministry of Public Health - Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme (moph.gov.qa). The medical component of travel insurance policies purchased outside Qatar may not meet Qatari entry requirements – check with MoPH if in doubt.
Entry and exit rules can change at short notice. For details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine regulations, contact:
Qatari authorities won't issue visas in an Australian emergency passport. You can only use an emergency passport to leave or travel through Qatar.
Transiting through Qatar is permitted if you meet the requirements of your final destination country. There are no additional requirements for transiting passengers, even if you choose to use the transit hotel within the airport. Further information about transiting through Qatar can be found on the webpage for Hamad International Airport and Visit Qatar.
For more information, call 109 from inside Qatar or +974 44069999 from outside Qatar, or contact the nearest Qatari embassy or consulate.
Some countries won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave that country. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over.
Some foreign governments and airlines apply the rule inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.
You can end up stranded if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months.
The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport.
Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.
Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.
If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:
The Australian Embassy can't issue a new passport in the airport transit area. If you're in the transit area without a passport, you'll need to return to Australia. In Australia, you'll need to apply for a new passport.
Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.
The local currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR).
Change currency only at commercial banks and official exchange bureaus.
Most businesses that deal with tourists accept international credit cards. ATMs are widely available.
Ask your bank if your cards will work in Qatar.
You can drive in Qatar with:
Get your IDP before leaving home.
If you hold a residence permit, you'll need a Qatari driver's licence.
Traffic accidents are a leading cause of death in Qatar. It's challenging and dangerous to drive due to road construction and high speeds.
If you have a non-Qatari licence, you can rent a car if you are 25 years and above and have held a valid driving licence for at least 12 months. The availability of rental cars is likely to be low due to the high demand in Qatar.
Visitors or business visa holders with a driver's licence from their home country can drive for up to 15 days from the date of entry into Qatar. You'll need to apply for a temporary Qatar driving licence to extend this.
If you have an international licence, you can drive for up to 6 months from your date of entry into Qatar.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) residents with a GCC driver's licence can drive for up to 3 months from their date of entry into Qatar.
Be careful driving on rural roads. They can be dangerous because of:
Sandstorms and dust storms occur. This can significantly reduce visibility and lead to road accidents.
Rain can cause dangerous road conditions and flash flooding.
You can only move your vehicle off the road if there are no injuries from the accident.
It's also illegal to use obscene language and hand gestures in traffic. This includes responding to other drivers' poor driving or traffic incidents.
If you plan to drive:
If you have an accident, contact the police and stay with your vehicle if it's safe to do so.
Check if your travel insurance policy covers you when using a motorbike, quad bike or similar vehicle.
Always wear a helmet.
Avoid touts and only use registered taxis and limousines. Arrange these through your accommodation. Avoid shared taxis.
Ride-sharing applications such as Uber are used extensively by the community, particularly in Doha.
Qatar has a well-developed bus transport network and metro system. Information and timetables can be found online at Mowasalat
Taxis and ride share vehicles are widely available in Doha.
Many areas of the Gulf are sensitive to security issues and territorial disputes.
Disputes about sea boundaries can occur. There are disagreements about the sea boundaries and control of Abu Musa and Tunbs islands in the Southern Gulf.
Authorities can inspect your vessel, and detain or arrest you if you're in sensitive waters.
DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.
Check Qatar's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.
Depending on what you need, contact your:
Call 999, or go directly to the hospital.
Call 999, or visit the nearest police station.
Always get a police report when you report a crime.
Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact the Australian Embassy in Doha.
The working week is Sunday to Thursday.
Check the Embassy website for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.
In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:
Be the first to know official government advice when travelling.