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Qatar Layover: The best things to do in Doha While on a Transit

By Kach Umandap August 30th, 2019 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Best Luxury Hotels, Destination, Travel Blog 6 Comments

Are you going on a flight with transit/stopover in Qatar soon? Check out the Qatar layover deals with Qatar Airways and you can enjoy so many cool things to do in Doha!

When we talk about Qatar, the first two things that come to our mind is oil and money. I know this very well because I’ve worked in one of the biggest oil industries in Iraq where I’ve met a lot of expats who came to the Middle East for the same thing– career and money. I even lived and worked in Kuwait too! 

Transit In Qatar The Best Things To Do For A Long Layover

As I went out of the Airport in Doha, Qatar, everything felt familiar. The Middle East had been my home for quite some time and I feel very much acquainted to the busy atmosphere. The difference is that this time, I’m not here for work or money, I’m here on a 20-hour layover and I’m visiting as a tourist 🙂

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Knowing that there’s a lot of Filipinos working here, I also organized a meet-up with our readers. In fact, Ate Analiz and her daughter were kind enough to pick me up from the airport and drove me to the hotel. Anyway, here’s what you can do on a long layover in Doha! 


For this long layover, I was hosted by Alwadi Hotel Doha – MGallery in a very nice suite. I was received very well by their staff and their king-size MyBed™ totally felt like I’m lying down on clouds! This is perfect since I’ve been traveling non-stop for the past few weeks. 

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They also have an ala carte Breakfast for all the guests, separate living area, Free WiFi, Two TVs, Nespresso machine, BOSE docking station, spacious desk (which is perfect since I am still working even on vacation), Minibar, separate shower and bathtub, Premium bath amenities exclusive to the hotel, bathrobes and slippers sized for each guest, Makeup mirror and Salon-quality hairdryer.

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You can also nourish your mind, body, and soul at their M Spa or burn the stress away at their M Fitness Center. Oh, what about lounging in their pool area? 🙂

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Another thing is that it is located in the heart of the city and is conveniently next to Souq Waqif where you can shop and dine. Oh, have I told you that this hotel is licensed to sell alcohol?? This is one of the best things here, so this place is perfect for expats and tourists to just drink the night away! 

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For those whose traveling with the same airline for your onward flight, you might want to check with them if they’d be paying for your accommodation. Other airlines have that! Otherwise, I recommend you book Alwadi Hotel Doha – MGallery.


1) Go on a Desert Safari and Camel Ride– Aside from meeting some of our lovely readers in Doha over drinks and dinner, I also went on a Desert Safari and Camel Ride with Ate Analiz and her daughter all arranged by my favorite experience giving website, Tinggly Experience.

Our tour started with a hotel pick-up and we traveled all the way to Khawr al Udayd, the famed ‘inland sea’ that is an inlet of the Persian Gulf and was once a notorious settlement of Arabic pirate.

This is a true Arabian experience as we drove up the sand dunes with a 4×4 and learned about the desert’s history from our knowledgeable tour guide. We then had a magical camel ride (too bad it ain’t a magic carpet haha). Seeing this beautiful place as a tourist is something I’d love to do all over again!

2) For Filipinos, eat at Jollibee!- For Filipinos based abroad (just like me), I know that the famous Jollibee Chicken Joy and Spaghetti is something you always miss from back home. This is the perfect opportunity to have that sumptuous food we’ve always been craving for! 

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3) Visit the  Katara Cultural Village, The Pearl, Museum of Islamic Art, and the Souq Waqif- Did you know that when you have a 6-hour layover in Doha with Qatar Airways, you can tour the city with them for just more or less 20 USD?? It’s gonna be one heck of a memorable layover as you embark on this historical tour.

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Katara Cultural Village features wonderful walking areas lined up with pretty restaurants and cafes taking you to a wondrous historical, artistic, and luxurious getaway. Watch out for workshops, events, and concerts that you might encounter while you’re here! 

Photo by Minas Stratigos CC BY 2.0

The Pearl is a man-made island and is the most glamorous address in the Middle East. This place boasts luxury in every corner as you see branded stores, yacht-lined marinas, towering residential towers, and upscale hotels. It’s not hard to see why this is also called the Arabian Riviera. 

Photo by Nami1pk CC BY-ND 2.0

Another stop is the Museum of Islamic Art where you’ll get to see marvelous art pieces from 3 continents which date as far back as 1,400 years ago. Its famous collection includes metalwork, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, textiles, and glass.

Photo by Still ePsiLoN CC BY 2.0

Finally, the Souq Waqif where you can just wine, dine and watch the world go by. This is the perfect place to shop for souvenirs, spices, fabrics, and perfume! 

That’s it for this post! I hope you enjoy your long layover as much as I did. To all our wonderful readers in Qatar, thank you for meeting me and thank you for always inspiring me! 🙂 

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6 thoughts on “Qatar Layover: The best things to do in Doha While on a Transit

  1. My wife and I will have a 9-hour layover in DOHA on our flight back to Manila, what is the best thing to do while as a transit passenger in DOHA terminal?

  2. I am planning to fly Qatar Airways to visit Chicago (USA) during early June 21 and will try yo get a 11 hour lay over in Doha.
    Help me plan for the trip within a slim budget for two persons. Do i Have to take out my luggage during this transit ?

      1. I have an 8 hr layover in Doha next month and this is what I found out today at the Qatar airways website… https://www.qatarairways.com/en-no/visa-free-arrival.html

        Nationals from more than 80 countries* can now take advantage of visa-free entry into Qatar, thanks to our new visa waiver upon arrival. Citizens of these countries will not need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued at the airport, upon presentation of a valid passport (valid for a minimum of six months) and a confirmed onward or return ticket.

        1. But if you can see, Philippines passport holders is not on the list because we need a visa. Another option for you – you can apply for e-visa (very quick) if you have valid visa USA, Canada, Schengen, Australia etc

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Written by Kach Umandap

Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 151 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro where she's enjoying her expat life and living on a gorgeous Stonehouse. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.