Qatar Safety, security and travel insurance

Safety and Security

No country in the world, including Qatar, is risk-free for travellers, so everyone flying in the country should be aware of the level of threats in the country. Moreover, since it is an Islamic country, it will have specific laws that all tourists should adhere to. On top of that, it is essential for families visiting Qatar as a travel destination to follow the government warnings, if any. 

Here, we will discuss some steps and precautions to consider before travelling to Qatar with your family.

Crimes in Qatar

Qatar has a diverse cultural background, and the country is stable since wealthy individuals and foreigners populate it. The capital of Qatar has seen some petty crimes against tourists and the country's locals. Some crimes in Doha include pickpocketing and theft. But if you keep your luggage and belongings in a safe place, there should be no issue.

Reports show that the travellers either lose their credit and ATM cards or feel someone stole them. This is widespread theft in any bustling city worldwide, and Qatar is no different. So if you are travelling with your family, it is better to check your pockets often to ensure your valuables are safe. Moreover, if you withdraw money from ATM, see that there are no scanners on it.

Warnings and Dangers in Qatar

The location of Qatar is volatile in the Middle East, so there are always some warnings and dangers linked to this country. It is essential for travellers coming to Qatar with their families to be aware of the risk level for the following categories:

  • Overall Risk

The overall risk regarding the safety of travellers is low, which shows that Qatar is very safe to travel to. However, there are some natural threats related to climate and weather that you should watch out for. Other than that, you or your family should not concern yourself about your safety. The government does introduce precautions and warnings for visiting families to ensure they are safe and sound.

  • Transport and Taxis Risk

The risk related to transport and taxis is medium, but it is a little heightened when it's the tourist season in the country. Sometimes drivers drive their vehicles rashly, leading to incidents in different cities. Although these aggressive drivers driving at high speed are penalised, they come at the cost of some accidents. Also, the roads outside the capital vary in conditions and are not appropriately illuminated.

  • Pickpockets Risk

Even one of the safest countries in the world has a pickpocket risk, but it is relatively low. Since Qatar is a famous travel destination where people come from worldwide, pickpocket incidents will happen. So if you are in a public place, be vigilant and check your pockets frequently for wallets and other valuable items. Most incidents occur at tourist landmarks, so remain sharp in crowded places.

  • Natural Disaster Risk

Natural disasters are unexpected so they can happen anytime. Qatar's natural disaster risk is medium since the country's temperature conditions can reach extreme levels. Moreover, Qatar is in the Middle East, where dust storms and sand storms are expected. Qatar is also known to have aggressive thunderstorms. This may look like a natural disaster for a tourist, but for Qatari people, it is common.

  • Mugging  Risk

Mugging risk in Qatar is very low as it is quite rare since there are no cases of missing persons. Since kidnapping does not happen in Qatar, you should not concern yourself with it. However, it is better to take precautions, travel in a group, and avoid late-night hang-outs. If you are on vacation with your family, always tell someone about your whereabouts.

  • Terrorism Risk

In the past, the Gulf region has seen some terrorist attacks. Since these attacks are unannounced, they can happen anywhere, including tourist landmarks. So the probability of another attack is always lingering. If you are coming to any Gulf country, particularly Qatar, it is better to prepare for unexpected circumstances.

Local Laws and Customs in Qatar

Since Qatar is an Islamic country, there are various laws that you should know of to avoid getting into trouble. If you do not follow these laws and commit an action against them, that will be illegal, and you may face severe consequences. Some of these laws include the following:

  • Women should dress moderately as Qatar is a Muslim country. You cannot wear shorts, short skirts, sleeveless shirts, etc.
  • During Ramadan, you must pay special attention to what you wear outside. This month, it is not allowed to eat in public. Only certain restaurants are open at this time of the month.
  • Qatar has zero tolerance for obscene language, insulting someone in public or committing an accident. Many travellers have been penalised if they do not obey the law.
  • The legal age to drink in Qatar is 21, and you can only find alcohol at restaurants or hotel bars.
  • You cannot drink in public or use and sell drugs to anyone in Qatar. If you are apprehended, severe actions will be taken against you.
  • Qatari law is very stiff when it comes to drinking alcohol and use of drugs.
  • Any homosexual activity will not be tolerated; under Qatari law, you will be punished severely.
  • Public affection like kissing and sex is illegal, especially in family-friendly places.

Qatar is a safe place to visit with your family. Still, just like in any country, you must stay cautious about luggage and valuables. The country reports the lowest crime incidents so you can travel to it without fear. The government has stiff laws that you should follow to ensure you have a great time at this travel destination.

Health and Medical Emergencies and Insurance

Tourists visiting the Gulf region often travel to Qatar as it is a unique destination. Full travel insurance is critical as it will cover your and your family's health for the duration of your trip to the country. Qatar has a very harsh climate, so it is better to be vaccinated before you leave your home country. Many families get flu vaccinations before travelling to protect them from the country's climate.

So, we will discuss Qatar's healthcare and medical emergencies that will prepare you and your family for the trip to this country.

Healthcare in Qatar

Qatar has a well-renowned healthcare system where patient care and medical services are treated with high standards. Since the Qatari government has invested much in the country's public health sector, most hospitals and medical centres in Doha and other major cities meet international health standards. Gender inequality displays barriers to receiving medical attention from the Qatari healthcare system.

All travellers must have sufficient funds to pay upfront fees and travel health insurance for their vacation. Many hospitals and medical centres in Doha and other cities around Qatar will ask you to pay cash upfront for the treatment, even if you have travel health insurance. If you or your family face a medical emergency, the ideal step would be to contact your travel health insurance company.

Pharmacies and Medications

Pharmacies in Qatar are widespread across all the major cities and some minor (less travelled) cities. You can easily locate a pharmacy by asking a local or checking Google Maps. You can conveniently buy medicine at the counter and may not require a doctor's prescription. However, the pharmacies sometimes ask for a prescription before selling the medication.

All travellers should check with Qatar's embassy regarding the medications they can bring to Qatar without a prescription. If you carry some medication, it is better to have your doctor's prescription if you are stopped at the airport. Pharmacists in Qatar are well-trained to handle the patients, but their quantity is low. Perhaps this is why the waiting time is longer when you are called at the counter.

Emergency Departments

The government-owned public hospitals have emergency departments free of charge for many services they offer. These services may include heat stroke, diarrhoea, flu, etc. If you are a tourist visiting Qatar and need some medical attention, these emergency departments will help you out. Moreover, if the attending doctor feels you should be admitted, the first 48 hours will be free of charge.

Al Gharrafa Primary Health Care Center has an around-the-clock emergency department that provides a lower level of emergency care. Similarly, suppose you travel with your family outside Doha but need medical attention. In that case, you can visit the Al Wakra, Al Khor, and Dukhan hospitals, whichever is nearest to your hotel. And, if it is difficult for you to call a taxi or uber, dial 999 to call an ambulance.

Vaccinations in Qatar

Like every other country, Qatar also has a list of compulsory vaccinations if you are planning to come to the country. If you plan to go to this country with your family, they must have those recommended vaccinations. Since the vaccinations needed to travel to Qatar may differ from one person to another, the country has segregated the Vaccination category into three branches which include:

  1. All travellers

According to Qatar's Ministry of Health, all travellers going to Qatar must keep themselves up-to-date with routine vaccinations, including Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella.

  • Most travellers

Most travellers' category consists of those who already got the recommended vaccines but will need a booster vaccine to keep them safe from various illnesses. If you got vaccines for Hepatitis A and Typhoid long ago, it would be better to get a booster of such vaccines before you travel to Qatar.

  • Some travellers

Some travellers consist of those that come from nations where illnesses like Rabies, etc., are common. These travellers are advised to get vaccines for Rabies, Japanese Encephalitis, and Hepatitis B.

Middle East