Irish citizens, either visiting or residing in Qatar, are strongly advised to register their details with the Embassy of Ireland in Abu Dhabi. Please click here to do so.
The Department of Foreign Affairs strongly recommends that comprehensive travel insurance, including medical insurance, is obtained before travelling to Qatar.
Travellers should note that the Irish government does not provide funds for emergency medical repatriation or for repatriation of remains.
Safety and Security
Most visits to Qatar are trouble-free and there is a relatively low incidence of crime.
However, you should be aware of the threat from terrorism generally in the region. Attacks could be indiscriminate, and against Western interests.
Road safety: Road travel can be dangerous due to unsafe driving practices. Roaming animals and drifting sands are additional road hazards. Off road driving can be hazardous. You should ensure that your vehicles are well-equipped and properly maintained.
There is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol. Offenders may be detained, fined and banned from driving.
Excursions to the desert can be hazardous unless undertaken in an adequately equipped 4 x 4 vehicle. Always travel in convoy with other cars, take a supply of water and a mobile telephone if you have one and leave travel plans with friends or relatives.
Local Laws and Customs
Qatar is a Muslim country in which Islamic law is enforced.
The importation of narcotics, alcohol, pornography, pork products
and religious books and material is forbidden. DVDs and videos are
subject to scrutiny and may be censored. In particular, the
penalties for possession of or trade in drugs are severe, often
resulting in prison sentences. It is a punishable offence to drink
alcohol or be drunk in public. Offenders may incur a prison
sentence or deportation. Alcohol is, however, available at licensed
hotel restaurants and bars, and expatriates living in Qatar can
obtain alcohol on a permit system. You should not carry alcohol
with you, including in your car (except to take it on the day of
collection from the warehouse to your home).
You should dress modestly, behave courteously and respect local customs and sensitivities.
Any intimacy in public between men and women (including teenagers) can lead to arrest.
Homosexual behaviour is illegal in Qatar.
There have been 40 cases of novel coronavirus reported worldwide (17 May 2013), including 20 deaths. Cases are associated with travel in the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan.. The WHO advises no travel or trade restrictions in relation to novel coronaviruses. However, Irish citizens travelling to the Arabian Peninsula and neighbouring countries should be aware of the presence of novel coronavirus in this geographical area and of the small risk of infection. Travellers should follow standard good hygiene practice including hand washing with soap and water following contact with animals. Further information can be found on the Health Protection Surveillance Centre website (www.hpsc.ie).
Natural Disasters and Climate
The climate in Qatar is hot and dry most of the year. Visitors should take appropriate precautions to prevent sun burn and should also ensure they do not become dehydrated, remembering that during Ramadan it is an offence to eat or drink in public between sunrise and sunset.
There are occasional sand storms but although they may restrict visibility, they are not usually of a severity to affect daily life.
Additional Country Info
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