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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In post 135 of this thread Brighterside suggests that the free tours have been replaced by tours costing QAR 40.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 Jul 28, 16, 4:15 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Programs: AA LT GLD
Posts: 49
I don't think these questions have been answered yet, but forgive me if I've missed them:

I have a 26-hour layover (0630 on a Friday to 0850 on a Saturday), so was planning to leave the airport and stay at an off-site hotel. (Getting out and seeing the city is the main reason I booked the longer layover.) Both flights are on QR, but I don't know whether I'll be able to take the tour due to the length of my layover, and/or the fact that I'll be exiting the airport anyway (that is, not technically "in transit"). It seems that my alternatives are to arrange my own tour or to stay "in transit", stay at the airport and hopefully take the tour. So, my questions are . . .

Given the 26-hour layover, is the tour/staying "in transit" even an option?
If not, does anyone know of a comparable half-day tour that I can book on my own? Or is it easy and safe to just go the museum and souk on my own?
It will be Friday -- it seems like things generally will be open, but I wanted to confirm.

Thanks.
DNM50 is offline  
Old Jul 28, 16, 5:36 pm
  #92  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,944
DNM50 26 hours is a long time to spend at the airport.
One very important piece of information is the cabin class(es) of your flights. especially your departure Cabin class. This determines lounge access If it is an F departure then you will have access to Al Safwa. If J then you will have access to Al Mourjan. Both of these lounges have 'rooms' available for resting/sleeping.
The City tour starts from and finishes airside at the airport so you cannot 'pick it up' anywhere else.
Since your transit time is over 24 hours you may have to collect your luggage in DOH and can first check it in again three hours before departure, otherwise you will have no access to it.
Regarding the city tour I would suggest you try for the second or third tour of the day since the first and especially the last are often full.
With regard to leaving the airport and making your own city tour there are a number of posts on this thread with suggestions. Remember that it is Friday and thus a number of small businesses will close to attend Friday Prayers.
By all accounts Doha is a safe city to explore.
remdk is offline  
Old Jul 29, 16, 2:07 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Programs: AA LT GLD
Posts: 49
remdk: Thanks for your thoughts.
Arriving F, departing J, so I'll have access to at least one of the lounges.
I have the option to do a 2 hour layover, rather than 26, but I've never been to that part of the world before, so thought it was worth stopping over for a day to explore. Also, I'll be on the way from New York to Tanzania, and the trip will be in February. I really, really don't want to miss my connection and in February there is more than a small possibility of weather-related delays coming out of JFK, so wanted to build in a cushion. Sounds like it really isn't worth trying to do the tour -- I'll just get a nice hotel room in Doha, explore on my own on Friday afternoon/evening and head back to the airport Saturday morning.
DNM50 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 17, 12:08 am
  #94  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: CA
Programs: AA PLT / MR LTPP 1/1/19 / Hilton Diamond
Posts: 517
My flight arrives at 18:00. Anyone know the chances that I'll be able to catch the 20:00 tour? Check-in for this tour is at 16:00 so I'll definitely be one of the last probably to check-in.
araknis is offline  
Old Jan 18, 17, 12:28 am
  #95  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,944
araknis welcome to the QR forum.
While check-in closes at 18.45 the last tour of the day is usually filled by those waiting in the queue at 16.00! So your chances of getting a seat on the tour are very, very slim! Not completely impossible BUT!
remdk is offline  
Old Jan 18, 17, 4:43 pm
  #96  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 686
Hello

i have a just under 12 hour transit in Doa airport in March travelling in J. I arrive from India at about 5.30am and have booked a room at the transit hotel (gives you access to the pool and a few hours hopefully good shut eye). I would like to do the 11am tour - is this normally busy or would I be able to check myself onto it at 6am and then go to the hotel to sleep? Is it worthwhile doing the tour or should I just loiter around the airport? Thank you
CharlotteC is offline  
Old Jan 18, 17, 4:59 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 553
Originally Posted by araknis View Post
My flight arrives at 18:00. Anyone know the chances that I'll be able to catch the 20:00 tour? Check-in for this tour is at 16:00 so I'll definitely be one of the last probably to check-in.
we arrived at 17:30 and was afraid it would be full. The woman said there were plenty of open spots. Great way to see the city and Souq Wakif.
Fyi. The passport control lines were insane. Th y give you an hour to get through the lines. So theoretically the tour starts at 20:00 but you meet at 19:00 to go through immigration. We stood in like over an hour and a half. Which meant that instead of the tour starting at 20:00 it started at 20:45 making some of our stops really quick because they still have to be back by 22:00.
Hope that helps
lovefly88 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 17, 11:53 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: CA
Programs: AA PLT / MR LTPP 1/1/19 / Hilton Diamond
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Originally Posted by lovefly88 View Post
we arrived at 17:30 and was afraid it would be full. The woman said there were plenty of open spots. Great way to see the city and Souq Wakif.
Fyi. The passport control lines were insane. Th y give you an hour to get through the lines. So theoretically the tour starts at 20:00 but you meet at 19:00 to go through immigration. We stood in like over an hour and a half. Which meant that instead of the tour starting at 20:00 it started at 20:45 making some of our stops really quick because they still have to be back by 22:00.
Hope that helps
I arrive on a Friday if that matters. I guess I need to make back-up plans in case the free tour is full. Not that big of a deal since the transit visa is free now and Uber is available in the city.
araknis is offline  
Old Jan 27, 17, 4:55 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,944
araknis alas as indicated on another thread you do not qualify for a free transit visa. look at https://www.moi.gov.qa/site/english/...sec748/748.htm to see if you can purchase a Visa on Arrival instead.
remdk is offline  
Old Jan 29, 17, 5:56 am
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 11
Is it possible to join the tour to the city but not come back to the airport with the group if I wanna spend more time and catch up with a friend who lives in Doha? Got a 15-hour layover and I want to spend only 4 hours in the lounge.
aschroder is offline  
Old Jan 29, 17, 6:25 am
  #101  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,944
aschroder welcome to FlyerTalk and especially to the QR forum.

Since you are escorted to Immigration at the end of the tour the answer is no, at least not as far as I know.

You would probably be better served getting either a Visa on arrival if you are a national on one of the 33 countries listed on https://www.moi.gov.qa/site/english/...ec748/748.html or as has been recently pointed out a "citizens from Poland, Hungary, Montenegro, Cyprus and Belarus may be eligible for a visa on arrival, subject to certain conditions."
OR a free 96 hour transit visa if there is time enough to apply (you don't say what date you are flying). See the http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/qatar...r-visa-10.html for details.
remdk is offline  
Old Feb 26, 17, 8:06 am
  #102  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: HH Gold, Marriott Gold, PC Plat, Emirates Silver
Posts: 2,597
We arrive at 06:30 and leave at 02:30. We are on AA award tickets in J.

From the reports, it is unlikely that we will be at check-in in time to get the 8:00 tour. Check-in closes at 06:45 and it may be full by the time we get there. It seems 4 hours is a long time to wait to get the 11:00 departure tour. The 2 things I would want from the tour are the free visa and the possibility to remain in town after the last stop and not go back to the airport, if possible.

My thought is to try for the 96 hour visa (on AA award ticket so may not be eligible) or just pay for the visa and get a room in town near Souq Waqif to see the sights on our own and get some rest.

Is this a reasonable plan?
mileshound is offline  
Old Feb 26, 17, 8:31 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 3,944
mileshound welcome to the QR forum.

Because your AA reward flights are on AA ticket stock you will not qualify for the free 96 hour tourist visa. When the scheme started it was permitted but alas no longer.

Your plan is a good one so I say go for it.
Do remember that because your transit is under 24 hours you cannot check your baggage to DOH only. It will be through checked to your final destination and you will not be able to access it in DOH. Everything you require during your transit needs to be carried in your hand luggage.
remdk is offline  
Old Sep 12, 17, 10:07 am
  #104  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ORD
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Originally Posted by remdk View Post
mileshound welcome to the QR forum.

Because your AA reward flights are on AA ticket stock you will not qualify for the free 96 hour tourist visa. When the scheme started it was permitted but alas no longer.

Your plan is a good one so I say go for it.
Do remember that because your transit is under 24 hours you cannot check your baggage to DOH only. It will be through checked to your final destination and you will not be able to access it in DOH. Everything you require during your transit needs to be carried in your hand luggage.
I am looking at doing a similar long connection at DOH as mileshound did. Does the new change in visa policy by the Qatari government eliminate any concern about visas for the Doha tour?
cheltzel is offline  
Old Sep 12, 17, 10:36 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 73
Originally Posted by remdk View Post
mileshound welcome to the QR forum.

Because your AA reward flights are on AA ticket stock you will not qualify for the free 96 hour tourist visa. When the scheme started it was permitted but alas no longer.

Your plan is a good one so I say go for it.
Do remember that because your transit is under 24 hours you cannot check your baggage to DOH only. It will be through checked to your final destination and you will not be able to access it in DOH. Everything you require during your transit needs to be carried in your hand luggage.
hello,

1) i also have an award ticket from AA.
can anyone share the experience with visa on arrival process?

2) also, I have elite marriot/spg gold and hilton gold,
I welcome suggestion which property with better lounge and access to mall and the grand market place.

Thank you,
Smurfettepharoh is offline  

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