Getting around Qatar is still possible even if you don’t have your own car. There is public transportation that you can use. You can have buses and taxis to get to your destination.
Mowasalat, a government-owned organization, runs the bus network. It also oversees the taxi service in the country, under the Karwa banner.
photo credit: Khalid Albaih under Creative Commons license
Available public transportation in Qatar
1. Bus – there are numerous routes going around Doha, which also connects to other parts of Qatar. If you have your regular route, you can go to the Mowasalat website so you can familiarize yourself with the bus schedule, bus route and route map. Bus operations are available from early morning to midnight.
The Mowasalat fleet of buses are modern and air-conditioned. The front seats are reserved for women and children. Bus fare around Doha is around QR 3 to QR 4. Outside the city, the fare ranges from QR 4 to QR 9. You need to buy a Karwa Smartcard, which normally costs QR30. You can buy this at the main bus station in Old Ghanim and in several small grocery stores. And you can replenish card credit at Ooredo’s self-serving machines or the outlet where you bought the card. On the other hand, you can still ride the bus if you do not have a Smartcard. You will pay a “no card fee” upon boarding, which is Q 10 in cash.
However, one of the feedbacks in riding the bus is that it can take a lot of time since it involves bus transfers and waiting for the bus to arrive.
2. Taxi – there are many taxi companies in Qatar. You can usually hail a taxi along the street. However, during peak hours or if you are in a remote area, you might find it difficult to get one. If you request for a taxi pick, you may have to wait for quite some time before it arrives. A more reliable way of getting a taxi is by going to taxi bays in mall or hotels. Sometimes, the line will be long. But you can be sure that a taxi will come along eventually.
Among the most well-known companies are Karwa, Careem and Uber. These three companies have also developed a Mobile app to help a passenger book a taxi at an additional charge.
The Karwa taxis are considered as the most comfortable taxis in Doha because their cars are new, clean, safe and spacious. You have probably seen these blue taxis on the road. Karwa also offers the Doha Limousine Service which can be found in Hamad International Airport and at major hotels in Qatar.
Careem taxis are chauffeur-driven private car. You can request a ride by logging in to Careem’s website or mobile app. You can specify for immediate or late scheduled rides.
Uber taxis are reliable rides that can be requested through their app. These taxis are cashless payments as well.