If you have a trip to Doha coming up you may be doing some final research to help eliminate those pesky last-minute costs that pop up. If you’re anything like me you might have a little (or a lot) of apprehension about driving yourself around a foreign country. Maybe you have decided to opt for getting around by taxi, which is a very reasonable decision for traveling around Qatar. If you’ve decided to go this route it’s important that you budget for it appropriately.
So, how much are taxis in Doha? The most popular taxi company in Doha is the Karwa taxi (although Careem and Ubers are widely used, too). Karwa operates on a metered basis and has a minimum requirement of 10 QAR. Other than that, the rate starts at 4 QAR with a cost of 1.60 QAR per kilometer for daytime rides and 1.90 per kilometer during the night, inside Doha city limits.
If you plan to leave the city you can expect a rate of 1.90 per kilometer no matter the time of day. You can negotiate a flat rate with the driver prior to disembarking (make sure you have QAR currency in hand), but if you prefer not to do that, you will need to ensure that the meter is running once the trip has started, so there is no issue once you arrive at your destination.
Is it safe to take taxis in Doha?
Yes, it’s very safe to take taxis in Doha. It’s best if you stick with the three companies mentioned above (Karwa, Careem, and Uber) since those that work for those companies have GPS on their vehicles. It’s not only safe, but very easy to book, too. Each company has their own phone number to call to order a car, or even an app. If you’re already used to Uber and have the app installed on your mobile phone, you will be happy to know that it will work in Qatar, just as it does at home.
If you do feel uncomfortable at all, or just want to be precautious, you can always take down the license plate number of the car you ride in and even the name of the driver, which should be on display when you get in the car. This may also come in handy if you happen to forget something in the vehicle, which has actually happened to me before.
The crime rate in Doha is very low, which applies to violent crimes (which rarely occur) and petty theft. Use common sense and you will be perfectly fine, no matter what type of transportation you choose to use, including taxis, buses, and other popular options.
Is there a more economical way to get around Doha?
It’s important to note that taxis, Ubers, and car rental prices fluctuate, day to day, and even hour by hour. During peak times you may come across inflated prices. Some say that taxis in Qatar are more expensive than Ubers. If you’re used to taking Ubers you may opt to just stick with that anyway, for comfort’s sake.
Besides taking taxis everywhere you go, you can choose to take the Doha Metro or any of the other public transportation options, including the buses. This may not work with your schedule, however, since taking a taxi or Uber allows you to set the time you want to be picked up.
You could also, depending on just how long you plan to be in Doha, rent a car. The gas in Qatar is cheap and the rates per day for an economy vehicle are usually only about $40, so it may work out to be cheaper in the long run. If you’re not going to be in town too long and prefer to not drive with the locals, hiring a taxi is probably your best bet.
Any other tips about taking taxis in Doha?
With all things being equal taking taxis in Doha should not break the bank, especially if you include it in your vacation expenses and budget for it. Stick with the turquoise-colored Karwa taxis or Ubers and you will be perfectly fine. One other tip I can give, especially if it’s your first time in Doha, is to make some small talk with your driver. They know the lay of the land like the back of their hand and can offer some amazing insight and recommendations that will help to enhance your Doha vacation.
If you end up liking the driver you get you may also ask for a direct contact to reach out to them if/when you need to go somewhere else. While most companies prohibit their drivers from sharing those details, some still do it. If you make reservations on the phone you may also request a specific driver, although it’s not guaranteed that you will get them again.