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Qatar Airways Launches Free Doha City Tour For Transit Passengers

Old Jan 6, 16, 1:46 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: remdk
Trip report of the tour with pictures and answers to some ambiguity.

http://focusedflyer.com/2016/01/06/qatar-airways-free-doha-city-tour-review/

In post 135 of this thread Brighterside suggests that the free tours have been replaced by tours costing QAR 40. This has yet to be confirmed but be warned that changes may be happening right now.
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Qatar Airways Launches Free Doha City Tour For Transit Passengers

Old Apr 10, 15, 9:49 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by zehbra View Post
combination might be difficult since the two are handled separately...
For STPC you don't go through transfer security screening, but head to the transfer accommodation counter -> Al Maha -> hotel

For the city tour you usually go through security and then to the city tour counter. I imagine it's too much for them to combine.

But at that time of day, I suggest you just head out on your own, either to the museum of islamic art if it's still open, or to suq waqif for evening stroll and dinner. The suq is basically the highlight of the city tour, but with limited time there - so just do it on your own and take as long as you want/have some food if anything seems appealing.
Thanks, will do on my own then :-)
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Old Apr 10, 15, 10:02 am
  #47  
 
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If we have heavy hand carry luggage, what do we do about them if we want to go for this tour?

Do we leave it on the tour bus?

Or we should get a transit hotel room and store it?
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Old Apr 10, 15, 11:00 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by ZenWorld View Post
If we have heavy hand carry luggage, what do we do about them if we want to go for this tour?

Do we leave it on the tour bus?

Or we should get a transit hotel room and store it?
We left our rollaboard bags in the locked lockers in the Al Mourjan lounge. If you don't have access to the lounge, I'd ask the folks at the city tour registration desk; but, I'm pretty sure you can bring them on the bus. Several folks on our tour did and the tour guide and driver just used 2 seats to stack all of the luggage on. The driver never leaves the tour bus.
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Old May 9, 15, 5:21 pm
  #49  
 
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To be eligible for the tour, do both your inbound and outbound legs have to be on QR, or is an outbound leg on QR and inbound on another OW airline sufficient? I'm planning to fly in from AMM on RJ and then departing for Asia on QR after an 8 hour layover.
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Old May 11, 15, 4:58 pm
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by AwardBee View Post
To be eligible for the tour, do both your inbound and outbound legs have to be on QR, or is an outbound leg on QR and inbound on another OW airline sufficient? I'm planning to fly in from AMM on RJ and then departing for Asia on QR after an 8 hour layover.
I think that should be fine as long as you have a QR onward boarding pass . I'm sure that and passport were all we had to show .
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Old May 14, 15, 1:04 am
  #51  
 
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Had a boarding pass for QR First class to DXB in late April and was told at the desk that regional Middle East flights passengers are not accepted for this tour.
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Old May 14, 15, 3:36 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by sfosuw View Post
Had a boarding pass for QR First class to DXB in late April and was told at the desk that regional Middle East flights passengers are not accepted for this tour.
Where were you connecting from? I am flying Cairo-Doha-Abu Dhabi in F in a few days and was hoping to take advantage of this. Anyone else have a similar experience? It is not really listed in the terms and conditions.
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Old May 14, 15, 6:58 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by serchjos View Post
Where were you connecting from? I am flying Cairo-Doha-Abu Dhabi in F in a few days and was hoping to take advantage of this. Anyone else have a similar experience? It is not really listed in the terms and conditions.
Connected from HND J class. Apparently the Al Mourjan lounge staffs don't know about this policy either as they were the ones who suggested for me to take the tour and directed me to it.
At the desk, I was asked to present my passport and the staff told me about the "Middle East flights" policy after seeing that I am connecting to DXB on my boarding pass. I ended up going thru immigration and paid the 100QAR ($27USD) visa fee and headed into down by myself.
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Old May 16, 15, 9:36 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by sfosuw View Post
Connected from HND J class. Apparently the Al Mourjan lounge staffs don't know about this policy either as they were the ones who suggested for me to take the tour and directed me to it.
At the desk, I was asked to present my passport and the staff told me about the "Middle East flights" policy after seeing that I am connecting to DXB on my boarding pass. I ended up going thru immigration and paid the 100QAR ($27USD) visa fee and headed into down by myself.
That really stinks. Thanks for the info.
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Old May 17, 15, 5:30 am
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by sfosuw View Post
Had a boarding pass for QR First class to DXB in late April and was told at the desk that regional Middle East flights passengers are not accepted for this tour.
I've never heard of this rule and it's not stated in the rules and conditions on the web page concerning free city tours. Either they recently changed the rules or the people you talked to were wrong.

I personally was connecting FROM a Middle East flight (Saudi) to a longer haul (USA) flight and it wasn't a problem. You were connecting from HND. So even though it's going to the Middle East I would think that having a longer haul flight coming or going would be good enough.

Maybe they were confusing the rules of the stopover with the rules for STPC, the paid hotel stopover. For that one it's clearly stated that most Gulf destinations except Saudi are not eligible.
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Old May 18, 15, 10:27 am
  #56  
 
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I detailed our experience of the Free Doha City Tour in my recent Trip Report here (which has a lot of pictures).

We were happy to get a free tour; but, there were definitely aspects of the tour that could be greatly improved.
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Old May 18, 15, 11:12 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by arabiamark View Post
I've never heard of this rule and it's not stated in the rules and conditions on the web page concerning free city tours. Either they recently changed the rules or the people you talked to were wrong.

I personally was connecting FROM a Middle East flight (Saudi) to a longer haul (USA) flight and it wasn't a problem. You were connecting from HND. So even though it's going to the Middle East I would think that having a longer haul flight coming or going would be good enough.

Maybe they were confusing the rules of the stopover with the rules for STPC, the paid hotel stopover. For that one it's clearly stated that most Gulf destinations except Saudi are not eligible.
Update: I'm at DOH right now as part of my CAI-DOH-AUH itinerary and was initially denied from joining the tour because my continuing flight was in the region and was told priority goes to those connecting to longer flights. The guy had me come back at check-in to see if there were spots left and ended up letting us join the tour.
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Old May 23, 15, 8:54 am
  #58  
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Originally Posted by sfosuw View Post
Connected from HND J class. Apparently the Al Mourjan lounge staffs don't know about this policy either as they were the ones who suggested for me to take the tour and directed me to it.
At the desk, I was asked to present my passport and the staff told me about the "Middle East flights" policy after seeing that I am connecting to DXB on my boarding pass. I ended up going thru immigration and paid the 100QAR ($27USD) visa fee and headed into down by myself.
wow, that blows, i purposely scheduled a 7 hour layover from HND to DXB (same J-"F") in July, and was looking forward to the tour.
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Old May 26, 15, 1:43 pm
  #59  
 
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Tried to do this tour last week on a flight DAR-DOH-PHL with a 8 hour layover between DOH-PHL. When we arrived around 6pm for the 7pm tour, all the spots had already been filled and they also were no longer taking people for the wait list. There were two other groups in line with us who were also similarly denied due to lack of space.

Not sure if we were there on a day that just happened to be busier or if the tour has gotten more popular as more people hear about it. Regardless, try to arrive at the desk right when sign-ups begin for the tour you'd like to go on, or risk it being full.
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Old May 30, 15, 6:30 am
  #60  
 
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Yesterday (Friday) I did the Free Doha City Tour. Last month I managed to book a flight from HKG to MXP via Doha, planning a 14 hours long layover in order to benefit of this tour. It was my first flight via DOH and also my first on QR.
I located the Doha City Tour desk at midnight, shortly after my arrival, but there were no infos about schedules or opening times of the desk (I learned all the main infos reading this thread). So I decided to go to the desk at 5.50am and there were 12 passengers already waiting (a few of them with several passports in their hands). At 6.20 arrived the Doha Tourism representative and in 20 minutes precessed all the bookings. I only had to show passport and onward boarding pass and opted for the 8am tour. I was instructed to be back at the same desk at 7.15. When I arrived, at that time, a last minute passenger was allowed to fill the last available place for the 8am tour and quickly processed with the documents.
The Doha tourism representative escorted the group to the immigration and then to the exit of the airport, where our guide was waiting for us. No visa fee or any particular formality.
At 7.40 we left the airport. The bus used was small, with about 25-30 places, and was full also in the jump seats. I don't remember the exact number of participants but the only free seat was the one beside the driver, used for bagagge storage.
Being a morning holiday the traffic was nonexistent and in few minutes we reached the first stop, at a marina facing the modern Doha downtown and the Banana island resort private pier for a 10 minutes photo session, then we continued on the corniche to modern Doha and the beaches. We had a 10 minutes stop at a mosque, then at the Pearl Marina. Last place was the souq in the old town for a 30 minutes stop. At 10.30 we were back at the airport with the Doha tourism representative waiting for us. He only instructed the group to go to the immigration for the formalities and disappeared. All the group went to a long immigration and security queue, but I managed to go to the emptty premium pax desks for First/Business and OWE/OWS passengers and in a couple of minutes I was airside.
The tour was quite tiring because the temperature was high (at 7am 35 C, at 10.30 around 38 C) and the guide offered a bottle of chilled mineral water to everyone.
With this tour I learned I had to keep my expectations about Doha low: the town is quite small and there are no significant places of interest so the tour is for the most part a bus ride around the modern city. On departure I was lucky to have a window seat on the left side of the aircraft, so I was able to have a better view of all the places visited during the tour.
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