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Call 1300 555 135
Call +61 2 6261 3305
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Full travel advice: Safety
Full travel advice: Health
Full travel advice: Local laws
Full travel advice: Travel
There have been several terrorist attacks in the Gulf region in recent years, though none of these have been in Qatar. These have occurred at places Westerners visit.
Terrorists may intend, and be able to, carry out attacks throughout the Arabian Peninsula.
International terrorists have called for attacks against Western interests. This includes residential areas and places linked with the military, oil, transport and aviation interests.
Terrorists also target:
To stay safe:
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 draw large groups of people are rare.
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.
If you're a woman travelling on your own, you may experience verbal and physical harassment. Take extra care, especially at night.
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.
Rain and thunderstorms can lead to flash flooding.
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.
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 1000s 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.
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 any medicine you're carrying, or that may be detected in your system, carry a copy of your prescription letter from your doctor stating:
Get medical documents authenticated by DFAT in Australia if needed.
Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus are reported in:
Other countries have reported imported cases from returned travellers.
Avoid contact with camels. Don't consume 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 is high by global standards. Dust storms and sandstorms happen often. They can worsen breathing issues.
If you're concerned about the affects of pollution, or dust and sandstorms, speak to your doctor before leaving Australia.
Public medical facilities in the major cities of Qatar are adequate. Services may not be available in remote areas.
If you don't have travel health insurance, hospitals need a guarantee you'll pay.
You need to arrange this before starting treatment. Costs can be high. Costs vary depending on what you need and how long you stay in hospital.
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.
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, Qatar authorities may not notify the Australian Government. Ask police or prison officials to tell 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 won't get bail for crimes involving fraud.
Child custody laws are based on Islamic law.
If you have a job in Qatar, you need 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.
It's illegal to:
It's illegal to:
If you're a victim of sexual assault in Qatar, you may face arrest, detention or criminal prosecution for having sex outside of marriage. It depends on the situation of the assault.
If you're sexually assaulted in Qatar, contact the Australian Embassy in Doha or the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra. 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, the If you're a dual citizen, this limits the consular services we can give if you're arrested or detained.
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 strong Islamic codes of dress and behaviour in Qatar.
Dress modestly with loose clothing to cover the shoulders and knees.
If you're at 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.
The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan will be from late April to late May in 2020. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.
It's illegal to eat, drink or smoke in public between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan in Qatar.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders.
Make sure you meet all entry and exit conditions. If you don't, the Australian Government can't help you.
You can get a free 30-day visa when you arrive, if your passport has at least 6 months validity. You also need a confirmed onward or return ticket.
You can apply to extend your visa for up to 30 more days through the Ministry of Interior Immigration Office.
Entry and exit rules can change at short notice. For details about visas, currency, customs and quarantine rules, 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.
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.
The local currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR).
Change currency only at commercial banks and official exchange bureaus.
Qatar has banned Israeli currency.
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.
Be careful driving on rural roads. They can be dangerous because of:
Sandstorms and dust storms often 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 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.
Only use registered taxis and limousines. Arrange these through your accommodation. Avoid shared taxis.
While Qatar has a well-developed bus transport network, these are not widely used by Western tourists and expatriates.
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.
Contact your provider with any complaints about tourist services or products.
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:
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