Qatar Airways and the Qatar Tourism Authority offer free tours of Doha for people with a long layover at the Doha airport. This is definitely not a peer-to-peer tour. But my post about free tours from the Narita airport is quite popular, so I think people appreciate information on free tours.
Obviously the tour is meant to give you a good impression of Doha. But I’m fine with a city putting its best foot forward. As the tour material explains, you visit:
- The Pearl-Qatar, for the finest quality shops and restaurants;
- Katara Cultural Village, a centre dedicated to celebrating arts and heritage;
- Souq Waqif, for traditional jewellery, spices and handicrafts;
- The Museum of Islamic Art, for its stunning architecture and beautiful seaside park.
There are four tour times daily: 7am, 10am, 3pm and 6:45pm. The tour runs for 2 hours and 45 minutes and they recommend a minimum of 5 hour layover to do the tour. I’ve heard that the guides have the flexibility to extend the tour if everyone’s schedule permits. Tours include a complementary visa, English speaking guide, and bottle of water.
To find the tours, after your flight arrives stay in the airport following signs for transfers. At the center of the Doha airport is a giant stuffed bear lamp. And just to the side of that is the B wing. The tour desk is just past that big yellow letter B in my picture above. It looks like this:
On my last Doha layover I arrived at the tour desk at 6:50pm (my flight was longer than scheduled due to airspace politics for Qatar). There were about 30 people hanging around waiting impatiently. The operators told me the tour was full. I’ll try again on my next transit through Doha. I’m expecting typical tourist stops, but never having visited Qatar outside of the airport, I’m excited about the opportunity for a free tour.