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I'm looking at flight options for a trip I intend to take. The cheapest option involves changing planes in Doha, Qatar. The options are very similarly priced, one with a 3 hour layover and another with a 9 hour layover.

My nationality is such that I can get a Visa on Arrival (another question might be how much this costs?!). Am I permitted (as a male over the age of 18, not-resident in Qatar) to leave the airport when transferring from Qatar Airways to Qatar Airways flights? Given that I will arrive at 5AM and leave the city around 11AM, would there be much to see/do in Doha? Will heat be an issue in mid-May?

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Note that the tours described below are suspended until at least August 31, 2021 due to COVID restrictions.


Qatar Airways offers tours of Doha for passengers on layovers:

Enrich every step of your journey with a complimentary tour of Doha, courtesy of Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism Authority. Visit four key landmarks including: The Pearl-Qatar, for the finest quality shops and restaurants; Katara Cultural Village, a centre dedicated to celebrating arts and heritage; Souq Waqif, for traditional jewellery, spices and handicrafts; and the Museum of Islamic Art, for its stunning architecture and beautiful seaside park. All of this, while you wait to connect with your next flight.

There are six tours per day (the first departing at 8 AM), and each tour lasts about two hours and 45 minutes.

At one point these tours were complementary, and the visa-on-arrival fee was included; but this no longer appears be the case.

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  • Many thanks Michael. Do you know (from experience or otherwise) how long the lines tend to be? And if it is a 'whistle stop' tour or one where one can walk about a bit/take pictures? – Richard Dec 1 '16 at 0:25
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    @Richard: No clue — I've never been. I just knew that the flag carriers for the Gulf states work closely with their countries' tourism boards. If someone comes along with more detailed and/or first-hand information, you should feel free to re-assign the best answer. – Michael Seifert Dec 1 '16 at 3:14

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