Most people get around by car in Qatar. Limited public transport is available, but not widely used. Metered taxis are abundant, however you will not find them waiting in front of Shell housing or office, therefore it is advisable to book your trips in advance. Roads in Qatar are quite busy and there are some aggressive drivers on the road. Navigating the big round-abouts can be quite daunting at first, therefore we advise to first take driving trips in Doha on a Friday morning, when the roads are quiet. Shell provides employees and spouses with a Defensive Driving Course, which is mandatory for employees and highly recommend for spouses.
For employees, Shell offers transportation from the main Shell compounds and hotels to the Shell locations.
Pick up locations as of Feb 2016 are: Qipco compound, Porto Arabia 2, Al Rayyan Village, 9 Pearls, the following hotels: W, Marriott Courtyard, Ritz Carlton, Grand Hyatt Hilton and Intercontinental the City or Barwa Village, ICC/E-ring, Ezdan Mall, Al Saad/Bin Mahmoud/Bin Omraan, Al Khor. Please contact us for a recent overview of the bus services.
Metered taxis are abundant; they are clean, well maintained vehicles and safe to use. For the most part, drivers speak English and are knowledgeable. However, in your first weeks, we recommend you to show your destination on google maps or to carry a map so you can point out exactly where you want to go. Taxis can be hailed on the street, but don’t expect to see them queuing near any of Shell’s compounds. Therefore it is advisable to book your trips in advance. Booking taxis can be done by calling one of the companies, or booking through apps like Uber and Careem.
There are a few options:
To obtain a driving license in Qatar a theory and road test will have to be taken after the Residence Permit has been issued. The whole process will take approximately 4 weeks if the test is passed in two attempts.
With an international driving license, people who are still on a tourist visa will be allowed to drive in Qatar. However as soon as the Residence permit is issued the international license will no longer be valid.
If you drive a company vehicle or private vehicle on company-related business, you must ensure your defensive driving is up-to-date. Defensive driver training is available for Shell employees and their spouses. The course consists of a theory session and a practical driving session, in which you will receive tips to drive safely in Qatar. Your Defensive Driving Certificate is valid for only two years. To find out available timings and to book a Defensive Driver Training or Defensive Driver Refresher course, please contact: J.Lazarevski@shell.com
Please find below a list of car rental companies. You will need your passport, driving licence and credit card to rent a vehicle. Avis offers Shell discount. It would be worthwhile to ask the others for discounts too.
Avis Rent a Car: www.avisqatar.com
Al‐Muftah Rent a car: www.rentacardoha.com
Oasis Cars: www.oasiscars.net
FOX Transportation: www.foxtransport.net
Hertz Almana Rent a Car: www.hertz.qa/rentacar/reservation/
Prestige Rent a Car: www.prestigecarsco.com/
Sixt Rent a Car: www.sixt.com/car‐rental/qatar/doha
Thrifty Car Rental: www.thrifty.com
Budget Rent a Car: www.budgetqatar.com/
Purchasing a car in Qatar is relatively easy. Things to consider:
There are 4 driving schools in Doha for those who require driving lessons (a must for people arriving with certain driving licenses). Outpost Qatar can provide the details of these schools. The driving test contains both an oral test and a road test. The test is taken in a manual transmission car.
There is very limited public transportation available in Qatar.
Public bus transport through Mowasalat is available, but is not widely used yet. For more information, please visit: Mowasalat bus services
Within West bay, there is a West Bay Bus shuttle which runs every 15 minutes and stops at all the major hotels, malls and office and residential building in West Bay. For more information, please visit: West Bay Shuttle
For tourists, there is a Hop-On-Hop-Off system called Doha Bus
Qatar currently has no rail system but is in the process of constructing one.
Dual career families with children, often consider hiring a driver for the school run and daily commute. These drivers will receive a monthly salary, will generally be available from 6am until 6pm to drive for the family and will drive the family car. For more information about hiring a driver, please contact Outpost Qatar.