Qatar Driving Advice and Car Hire Info

Driving in Qatar-

Qatar drives on the right and I have seen it stated that you can use the photo licence of any country to drive here for up to 7 days, but only in a rental vehicle. However, other sources, inclduing the UK Foreign office state that you require an International Driving Permit plus your own licence, which allows you to drive for up to 6 months. After that time you will need to apply for a Qatar licence. I would advise checking requirements with your car rental comapny before you travel. Speed limits are 120kmh on highways, 100km on rural roads and 60kmh in urban areas.

Qatar has a well developed and efficient road system consisting of 1250km of roads, 98% of which are paved. The country has many fast, mulit-laned highways. Main roads in the country are-

Orbital Highway  / Al Majd Road is the longest highway in Qatar, running for 195 km from Mesaieed on the coast South of Doha and extending north around Doha towards Ras Laffan Industrial area on the North East coast. Other key routes are –

Al Shamal Highway: Doha – Ar Ru’ays.

Doha Highway: Doha – Mesaieed.

Garafat Ar Rayyan Highway: Doha – Dukhan.

Al Khor Highway: Doha – Al Khor

Salwa Highway; Doha – As Salwa.

Umm Bab Highway: Dukhan – Salwa

Roads are in good condition and most are multi lane highways. There are currently no toll roads in Qatar but some raods have toll plazes constructed and it seems that tolls will be introduced at some point in the future.

Driving standards will often be lower than those in Europe or USA but compared to other countries in the region, the majority of drivers are slightly fast and aggressive, but abide by most road rules. Obviously expect some driving too close, non existent lane discipline and weaving between traffic lanes though. Accidents are common-If you have a motor accident its an offence to leave the scene so you must stay with the vehicle.  All vehicles must carry a minor accident form too, so make sure your rental car has one. Road rules are strictly applied, though speeding is a regular occuarence. Tolerance of drink driving is zero and if you’re caught you should expect a heavy fine or worse.

If you plan to drive in the desert make sure you have an adequately equipped 4WD vehicle. Try to travel in convoy, take a supply of water and a mobile phone and leave travel plans with your hotel or the car rental company. Beware of wandering goats and camels in all rural areas, and be mindful that after heavy rain, dry river beds can quickly flood, affecting roads which cross them.

Although I try and keep the information in the site updated as much as possible, in a rapidly moving world, situations can change daily. Therefore please use the site as an approximate guide, and in conjunction with other resources in order to form your view on driving conditions, roads, safety etc.

Qatar Car Rental –
Sixt, Hertz, Europcar, National,  Avis, Budget,  all operate in Qatar.

We currently have no local car rental partners in Qatar. If you are a local car rental company who would like to feature on please check details on our Partnering page or contact us on

Qatar Self Drive Rules –
None of the rental companies seem to allow vehicles to be taken outside Qatar.


Leave a Reply