Single parents or adults travelling alone with children should know that some countries require documentary evidence or parental responsibility prior to allowing lone parents to enter the country, or, in some cases, prior to permitting the children to leave the country. For more such information, contact your nearest Qatari embassy.
Travelling will be easier if children know what to expect. Check-in early and reserve a window seat, as watching the world from as high as 35,000 ft could be fascinating for a child. Although, majority of the airlines supply kids entertainment onboard, you children may find it more enjoyable when you bring in some books, games, toys and other necessities.
Women travellers should take care when travelling alone in Qatar, particularly at night. Single women travellers are sometimes vulnerable to harassments, and may sometimes experience incidents of unwanted attention, but they may not be of threatening nature. When travelling alone, the taxi used should be from one of the reputable taxi/limousine companies.
In comparison to western countries, driving standards in Qatar are lower, and at times speeds are high and minor accidents to happen. If you are involved in a motor accident, remain with your vehicle, as it is an offence to leave the scene of accident, although no one has been injured in the accident. A Police report may be required before you proceed with repair works on your vehicle or claim against your insurance.
Driving on rural roads could be dangerous in Qatar, due to unsafe driving practices, insufficient lighting and presence of wandering animals. Hence, take the help of a reputable tour organizer to deal with risks associated with trips to such places.
Tours should be undertaken only in well-equipped four-wheel drive vehicles with food provisions, sufficient water and a mobile phone. Travellers entering Qatar by sea should be aware of the fact that there are several areas that are sensitive in relation to territory and security.
Significant penalties have been introduced for traffic offences, including not wearing a seatbelt. The law stipulates that driver and the front seat passenger should wear seat belts all the time. Even minor expressions of road rage, can draw significant penalties. Penalties are also levied for use of mobile phones. Drinking and driving is strictly not permitted in Qatar.
Visitors can drive on their home country license for maximum of seven days or on an international driving permit for six months following their arrival in Qatar. A temporary Qatari license with three month validity is a must before applying for a permanent driving license.
Qatar serves variety of international cuisine, including Pakistani, Western and Indian. Curries are common, as is rice, biryani, chicken, potato plate, fruit juices and soft drinks readily available, as is gahwa, strong and spicy Turkish coffee. If you like a European cuisine in a fancy setting, a hotel like the Ramada or the Marriott would be ideal, while for true authentic Thai cuisine, try Thai twin or Thai snacks. Indian and Pakistani food, are found throughout the city. Even the Middle Eastern cuisine is found everywhere, and can be purchased cheap from take-outs too. Sometimes, a meal at the Souqs would also be a unique experience in an authentic setting.
Visitors to Qatar do not require any specific vaccinations, but immunisation against Hepatitis A and Typhoid are recommended. Doha has good medical standards and care and medicines are readily available. Usually hospitals and doctors expect cash payment for the services rendered. Comprehensive travel insurance is strongly recommended to cover any unanticipated medical expenses or emergencies. To avoid risk of Traveller’s diarrhoea, carry bottled water with you.
When planning your activities in Qatar, be aware of the kind of places known to be terrorist targets and security levels provided. Usually public and commercial areas, frequented by westerners and key transport installations such as airport premises, hotels, clubs, cinemas, theatres, supermarkets and shopping areas, schools, places of worship, outdoor recreation events and tourist areas are vulnerable to theft and terrorism.