I am not an electrician. I do not understand electrical currents and voltage. I do, however, realize that different countries use different plugs. If you’re planning a holiday from the United Kingdom to Qatar, you may be wondering if the UK plugs for your electrical devices will work in Qatar.
Does Qatar use UK plugs? Yes Qatar uses UK Plugs. Qatar uses plug type D and plug type G (most common). For the most part, as long as the plug fits, the voltage is similar (standard voltage in Qatar is 240V), and the frequency is around 50 Hz, it should work.
It is recommended that you invest in a generic adapter just in case. If you’re a frequent international traveler it is likely to come in handy at some point anyway. For Qatar you will want to get a Type G plug adapter.
What does a power adaptor do and where can I get one?
A power adaptor does not change the frequency or voltage of an outlet or device. Simply put a power adaptor changes the plug so that it fits into the receiving outlet. With that being said it’s important that you know the voltage of the devices you intend to plug in. Qatar’s outlets typically run at 240 volts, so if you have a device that is considerably lower than that, say 100 to 120 volts, you may need to also look into a power converter.
These power adaptors and power converters are very popular and they’re fairly inexpensive. If you’re a planner it’s easy to find them online. If you are reading this from your hotel in Qatar, you can find one at any electrical store there or even at the airport upon arrival. I’ve been in that situation before, on my first trip to Doha, and I phoned the front desk to ask for their help, and they actually had a couple that people had left behind. That phone call saved me lots of stress and a little bit of money.
If you are traveling with a large party and/or have a lot of devices to keep charged you may even want to invest in a travel power strip. This will allow you to charge multiple electronics simultaneously. This will likely be a lot more time and cost effective.
If you plan to be out and about for the majority of your trip, you may even want to take your charging game to the next level and get a portable charger. This will help ensure that your devices stay full even when you’re on the road. There’s really nothing worse than your phone or tablet power going out just when you’ve come across the perfect photo opportunity or need to research something quickly.
How do I know the voltage needed and what happens if I use the wrong voltage?
You do not want to plug a low voltage device into a high voltage outlet. This can severely damage the electronic and it’s unsafe for you, too. Luckily most (if not all) electrical devices have a label on them to indicate what the safe voltage levels are for it. Also, some electronics are dual voltage meaning they can operate on different voltages. You will know if the device is dual voltage or not by reading the “input” level. If there’s a range, say 100-240V, it’s dual voltage, however if there’s only one number then it’s not and it’ll need to be 240V to be compatible with the outlets in Qatar.
If your electronic goes up to 240V, then you will not require a power converter, if anything you’d only need a travel adaptor. The easiest way to find out for sure would be to contact the hotel you plan to stay at and ask about the outlets (don’t worry it’s not a weird question). Ask what type of outlet they have (most likely they will say Type G) and ask the voltage (most likely they’ll say 240 volts). With that knowledge, and by checking the devices and electronics you plan to bring and knowing exactly what voltage they require, you should be able to easily locate the extra components you’ll need, if any.
What if I’m coming from the United States to Qatar?
All of the same applies if you are coming to Qatar from the United States, however you will have to get an adaptor AND a power converter. The US uses plug types A and B, not G, and run on half the voltage (120V) than Qatar’s 240V. If you try to plug any US device in it won’t work and will likely fry the electronic, if you are able to even force the plug into the outlet somehow.
It’s important that you NEVER force a plug into an outlet if it doesn’t fit easily, no matter what country you’re in. As mentioned before, I’m no expert on electricity, but I know enough to understand that it can be dangerous if it’s not used correctly. There have been reports that the adapters made and sold in Qatar have been known to catch fire, so your best bet, if you’re planning a visit to this gorgeous country, is to prepurchase your adapters and converters prior to your trip.
There are many different adapter sets (some that even come with converters) available on the market, and if you travel to lots of different countries, you may want to find one that is compatible with multiple plug types and voltages. It’s easy to find out what countries use what plug types and what their single-phase volts are with a quick search online.
When you think about it, it’s a very little investment to make to ensure your safety and that you have power for your electronics while traveling abroad. This is especially true if you travel frequently and get to use it more than just once or twice. Many of the adapters available online even come with a neat carrycase that allows you to keep the different plug adaptors and pieces together in one convenient place.