Doha Airport Transit Requirements And Procedure (2024 Guide)

Doha Guides Team regularly reviews this article to ensure the content is up-to-date and accurate. The last editorial review and update were on 02 February 2024.

Flying on a connecting flight and airport transfer can be quite a hassle for most travellers. Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) is among the region’s busiest airports and sees millions of transit passengers annually.

This article will explain Doha Airport transit requirements and procedures to be followed. It will also brief the facilities available for passengers and the frequently asked questions about transfer through Hamad International Airport.

About Hamad International Airport

Hamad International Airport (DOH), with an annual capacity of 35 million passengers, is the principal international airport in the State of Qatar. It is certified by Skytrax as a 5-star Airport for facilities, comfort, cleanliness, shopping, food & beverages, staff service, and security/immigration. The airport saw 7.14 million passengers in the first quarter of 2022.

During the last two years, HIA has been named the World’s Best Airport at the Skytrax World Airport Awards. It is also the first Middle Eastern airport awarded Skytrax’s World Best Airport.

Since 2014, HIA has been home to Qatar Airways, a 5-star Airline that has been voted six times as the World’s Best Airline by Skytrax. Qatar Airways connects more than 140 destinations worldwide, and a large number of its passengers are transit passengers.

Doha Airport Transit Visa

One of the most common questions is whether you need a transit visa for connecting flights through Doha Airport. The answer is no, you do not need a transit visa if you are not planning on leaving the airport.

Here is a tweet from Qatar Airways on 18 July 2022 to confirm this:

Qatar Airways Tweet About Transit Visa for Transit Passengers

Earlier Qatar Airways travellers could apply for a free 96-hour transit visa that would allow them to visit the city. However, this service is currently suspended; instead, eligible travellers from 90+ countries can use Qatar’s visa-on-arrival facility.


Doha Airport Transfer Procedure

Doha Airport makes it easy and convenient to transfer to your connecting flight. There is only a single passenger terminal at HIA, which means you can arrive, transfer and depart in the same terminal. You do not have to worry about changing the terminal building,

The terminal building has three levels and five concourses: A, B, C, D, and E. Each of these has several passenger gates connected to jet bridges. The below map will give you a rough idea of the airport layout.

Doha Airport Map

Below are the steps on how to transit at Doha Airport:

Step 1: Exit the aircraft

For most flights, you can access the terminal through jet bridges. During peak hours, you may be required to use a bus, which will be guided by staff.

On arrival, Al Maha customers, special assistance travellers, and unaccompanied minors are met by airport staff.

Step 2: Proceed to Transfer Halls

Upon exiting your aircraft, follow the “Transfer” signs. These signs will lead you to the Transfer Halls on the concourses.

Directional signs are available in English and Arabic; some even have estimated walking times.

Please follow the ‘Transfers’ sign for transit, not the ‘Arrivals’ sign. If you wish to exit the airport, please approach the transfer desk for assistance.

Step 3: Collect the Boarding Pass if required

Most airlines will issue you both boarding passes at the first check-in point (country of origin). If you already have the boarding pass for the next flight, you can proceed to the Departures Hall.

However, for some flights, you may be required to collect a new boarding pass from Doha. In that case, go to the transfer desk, and the staff will assist you.

The staff at the desks can answer any questions you may have. They can also help you reschedule or rebook flights, upgrade seats, obtain boarding passes, and exit the airport if you plan a stopover.

Step 4: Go through security screening

Before entering the Departures Hall, you must pass through a security screening. Your hand baggage will be screened for potentially dangerous items. Also, you will be required to pass through metal detectors.

Doha Airport Security Screening

Make sure your baggage does not contain any prohibited items.

Step 5: Check the gate number for your next flight

Several electronic screens with Flight Information can be seen in the Transfer and Departures Halls. Check the screens for your next flight number and the corresponding gate number.

Doha Airport Checking Flight Information Gates

You may not see your gate number if your flight is after a few hours. In that case, you can relax, dine or shop at the terminal. We will discuss those options later.

Step 6: Proceed to your gate

Once your gate information is available, proceed to the gate. You can use the shuttle train service inside the airport for some concourses. If you need help navigating around the airport, ask at the information desk or use the airport maps available throughout the airport.

Doha Airport Finding Gates

Moving walkways are also available on most routes. Along the way, there are plenty of toilets to freshen up. Below is a video by HIA on how to transfer through Doha Airport.


Time Required For Transit At Doha Airport

Most passengers often wonder how much transit time you need for connecting flights at Doha Airport. There are several factors to consider here:

a) Boarding Pass: If the boarding pass for the second flight is issued from the first airport (point of origin), you can proceed to security check and move to your gate. If not, you will have to queue up at the transfer desk and wait for your turn to collect your boarding pass.

b) Distance Between Gates: Doha Airport is an integrated facility inside a single terminal building, but it is not a small airport. The walking distance between some gates can be up to 15 minutes.

c) Flight Arrival: You also need to consider the possibility of your first flight landing late. If you have a very short connection time, say 1 hour, even 15 15-minute delays in your flight can create havoc on your plans.

d) Disembarkation Time: Even if your flight arrives on time, you may not be able to leave the aircraft at the next moment. Usually, you have to wait 10-20 minutes to leave the aircraft through the jet bridge. It may be longer if you need to take a bus from the aircraft.

e) Gate Closing Time: Remember that gates close 20 minutes before departure time.

f) Seasonal Rush: During peak seasons like holidays, FIFA World Cup, etc., you can expect some delays in security screening.

Considering all these scenarios, a safe margin would be three hours. Shorter durations, like 1.5 to 2 hours, may be doable but can be a risky call. We wouldn’t advise anything below 1.5 hours.

Below are the estimated walking times from Transfers Hall to the gates in each Concourse.

From Transfers AFrom Transfers BFrom Transfers DFrom Transfers E
To Concourse A1-5 min2-6 min10-14 min10-14 min
To Concourse B4-6 min3-5 min11-14 min11-14 min
To Concourse C2-8 min2-8 min1-6 min1-6 min
To Concourse D10-11 min10-11 min1-3 min1-3 min
To Concourse E9-11 min9-11 min2-3 min1-2 min
Doha Airport walking times (minutes) from Transfers to Gates

In the unfortunate situation of having missed your connecting flight, please contact the transfer desk. The staff will assist you with re-booking a later flight.


Doha Airport Transfer Desk

You can visit one of the transfer desks if you need assistance with your onward flight, including boarding passes, rescheduling flights, or general inquiries.

The transfer desks can also assist you if you are on an extended stopover and wish to visit Qatar before boarding your onward flight. It is important to check visa and immigration requirements before beginning your journey to avoid disappointment and delays.

Relaxation Facilities At Doha Airport

Hamad International Airport has some of the world’s best facilities for relaxing and refreshing during your transit journey.

There are several world-class travellers’ lounges at the terminal. They offer complimentary food, shower facilities, business rooms, and luggage lockers. Depending on your ticket or privilege club membership, you may be entitled to complimentary lounge access, or you can pay to access the lounge.

There are also quiet rooms offering recliners and soft lighting where you can relax.

Doha Airport Restaurants

The airport features a wide variety of restaurants and coffee shops to suit international travellers. There is a common food court area near departure (near the Giant Teddy), and coffee shops and restaurants spread all over the duty-free area. Below are some of the dining options available at Doha Airport.

  • Azka Restaurant
  • Burger King
  • Brioche Doree
  • Camden Food Co
  • Coffeeshop Company
  • Costa Coffee
  • Del Monte F&B
  • Emporio Armani Caffe
  • Evergreen Organics
  • Great Eastern Market
  • Harrods Tea Room
  • Harvest Market Restaurant
  • Illy
  • Jamocha Cafe
  • L’ETO
  • Le Grand Comptoir
  • Negroni
  • Red Restaurant
  • Red Mango Yogurt & Smoothies
  • Spizzico
  • Starbucks
  • The Burger Federation
  • Yumcha

Shopping At Doha Airport

The award-winning Qatar Duty-Free (QDF) shopping emporium is one of the largest in the world. It is home to around 100 retail outlets and restaurants across 40,000 square meters of combined retail, food, and beverage space. Among its many products are designer labels, electronics, gourmet foods, and much more.

The prominent luxury brands at QDF include Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Bulgari, Hermès, Hugo Boss, Moncler, Rolex, and Harrods. If you are in a hurry, express stores are also available.

Sleeping Options at Doha Airport

Sleep ‘n fly Sleep Lounge is located within the main duty-free area within HIA’s transit terminal and offers a selection of sleep pods and cabins that can accommodate up to 50 adults and four children. The sleep units provide a soundproof, air-conditioned space where you can relax before or between flights and pay by the hour.

You can choose from the following accommodations at Sleep’n Fly:

  • FlexiSuite Sleep Pods (one person)
  • YAWN Double Cabin (max. two persons)
  • YAWN Double Cabin with kid’s pull-out bed (max. two adults and one child <115 cm)
  • YAWN Bunk Cabin (max. two persons)

The average two-hour rates are USD 48 (one person) and USD 77 (two persons).

You can make online reservations at www.sleep-n-fly.com
For assistance, call +974 4467 8993 or email [email protected]

Doha Airport Hotels

Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA) has two hotels for transit passengers:

Oryx Airport Hotel

Oryx Airport Hotel is conveniently located inside Hamad International Airport’s passenger terminal, offering guests a wonderful place to relax, unwind and recharge before their next flight. The hotel offers hourly rates, fitness facilities as well as spa services for the convenience of every guest.

Daily rates for Superior Rooms start at QR 1,290 (USD 350). To know more about hourly rates, contact the reservations team by email at [email protected] or call +974-40108100.

You can see the hotel reviews and book on TripAdvisor.

Oryx Garden Hotel

The Oryx Garden Hotel is HIA’s newly inaugurated airport hotel located in North Plaza. A total of 100 rooms are available, ranging from king beds to twin beds and suites. All rooms are conveniently located within the terminal, near boarding gates. Bookings can be made around the clock for a maximum of 24 hours.

A variety of retail and culinary options are conveniently located near the Oryx Garden Hotel, as well as complimentary new-generation wireless internet throughout the premises.

Luggage Storage at Doha Airport

Currently, the Hamad International Airport storage lockers are not in operation due to health and safety concerns. However, Tawfeeq Travel offers luggage storage at their Travel Hub inside the airport Metro station. You can find more details about luggage storage here.

Doha Airport Wifi

HIA provides complimentary wireless internet WiFi access throughout its passenger terminals. You can sign up for complimentary WiFi by searching for “HIAQatar Complimentary WiFi”.

There are also internet kiosks and desks with screens and keyboards that offer free web browsing. Kiosks are located throughout the passenger terminal (near the boarding gates).

Purchasing a prepaid calling card from Qatar Duty-Free lets you make international calls anywhere in the world. There are telephone booths throughout the passenger terminal (including at the boarding gates).

Other Facilities

The passenger terminal has smoking rooms, prayer rooms, and phone/laptop charging stations.

Six foreign exchange stores and multiple ATMs are located throughout the passenger terminal. Travelex offers currency conversion of over 40 currencies. There are play areas and activity nodes for children. Complimentary baby strollers and parents’ rooms are also available.

Doha Airport Transit Tour

If your transit is more than 8 hours, you can join a city tour or adventure tour by Discover Qatar. There are three types of tours available. Below are the details:

Tour ThemeTour DurationPriceTimings
Discover Doha – City tour3 hoursQR 9508:00, 13:00, 18:00, 21:30
Discover the dunes and inland sea4 hoursQR 36707:00, 14:00
Discover the dunes and inland sea (Private – 5 persons)4 hoursQR 73406:00, 14:00

For more details and booking, check Discover Qatar Transit Tours.

Qatar Airways Stopover Program

You can explore Qatar by booking a stopover holiday with Qatar Airways. Packages start from $14, including luxurious accommodation at 4-star and 5-star hotels. For more information, check the Qatar Airways Stop Over Package.


Doha Airport Transit Requirements During COVID

  • A Transit Visa is NOT required for transit passengers who do not plan on leaving the airport terminal.
  • Ehteraz pre-travel registration is NOT required anymore. Qatar has completely removed the Ehteraz pre-registration requirement from 1 November.
  • A vaccination Certificate and COVID-19 PCR Tests are only required if your destination country requires these. If your country of arrival does not demand these, you do not have to present them for transit.

The above information is already available on the Qatar Airways website. Below is a tweet from QA on 07 August 2022 to confirm:

Qatar Airways Tweet About covid test for Transit Passengers

You can check your destination country’s requirements using this tool on Qatar Airways.


Covid Hygiene at HIA

HIA takes extreme care of hygiene, especially after the pandemic breakout. It is mandatory to wear masks and to maintain social distancing inside the airport. It is only permitted for staff members and passengers with valid flight reservations to enter the airport terminal.

265 hand sanitiser dispensers have been strategically placed throughout the terminal. Each passenger touch point is sanitized regularly, and all baggage trolleys and tubs are regularly disinfected. UV disinfection tunnels were installed to disinfect all luggage arriving at the airport.

Other security measures include mobile disinfection robots, plexiglass shields, thermal cameras, contactless elevators, and contactless payment methods. As a result of its efforts, HIA has become the first airport in Asia and the Middle East to receive a COVID-19 5-Star Airport Safety Rating from Skytrax.

READ NEXT: Qatar Visa on Arrival: Complete Guide


FAQ On Doha Airport Transfer


Is a Covid PCR test required for transit through Doha Airport?

No, a Covid test is not required for transit unless your destination country requires an RT-PCR test.

Is it easy to transfer through Doha Airport?

Transfer through Doha Airport is not difficult, as it is an integrated airport with arrival, transit, and departure facilities inside a single terminal building. Signages are well-marked, and all modern facilities for passengers are available.

Is 1-hour transit enough at Doha Airport?

The transit time of one hour may not be enough at Doha Airport, considering that the distance between some gates can be up to 15 minutes. You should also consider the possibility of flight delays, security screening, and gates closing 20 minutes before departure.

Is alcohol allowed at Doha Airport transit areas?

You can carry alcoholic beverages purchased from the duty-free along with your hand baggage, but drinking in public is not allowed. Alcoholic beverages may be available in some lounges.

Related Articles:

  1. Luggage Storage At Doha Airport: Location and Rates
  2. Qatar Customs Prohibited Items To Avoid
  3. Complete Guide To Visiting Qatar
  4. Guide On Carrying Medicines To Qatar
  5. Driving in Qatar: Guide For Visitors And Residents

Copyright © DohaGuides.com – Full or partial reproduction of this article in any language is prohibited.

Images and video courtesy: Hamad International Airport, Qatar Airways


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140 thoughts on “Doha Airport Transit Requirements And Procedure (2024 Guide)”

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  1. Hi there, amazing article! I am flying home to sweden and will transit in doha. Im going home to renew my passport that expires in august (I travel in june). I called Qatar airlines a while ago and she said it wont matter as i dont leave the airport but I went back down the rabbit whole and im now worried i wont be allowed to do transit without 6 months left on my passport… i am so stressed and full of anxiety, i have email and called Airports on both ends with no further respons… please help if you can, thanks you kindly

  2. Hello,
    I will be flying to New York from Delhi via Doha with a short stopover. Can I carry alcohol while transiting through Doha?
    Thanks!

    1. Hello. I am Mongolian citizen. i will flying from Azerbeijan to Istanbul pass through Qatar, with an 8 hour layover in Doha. I booked two differents ( Air arabia and Turkish airline) airline and we will collect checked in baggage from belts outside immigtlration. Can we get visa on arrival?

      1. Doha Guides Team

        Hi Orgilmaa, Mongolian citizens are not eligible for visa on arrival. You will have to apply for Tourist Visa in advance.

  3. Question: I am looking to travel with my two cats from Australia to Finland. I will be booking my first flight with Qatar through their website – flight arrives 6am and the only option for the cats us to travel as checked baggage.

    my second flight I am booking with Finnair, Finnair flight leaves at 8am and I would like to transit my cats to carry on baggage as this is much cheaper.

    questions: is 2 hours enough time to transit?
    if not, is there somewhere my cats can stay in the airport to avoid needing an import permit and having to adhere to Qatar additional vaccine requirements.

    hope to hear from you soon,

    jess

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Jess, There are a few issues with this arrangement. Since you have booked with two different airlines, you will be required to pass through the immigration check, collect your checked-in baggage, exit the arrival area, and check in again through the departure area. If you are an Australian citizen you may get a visa on arrival, so immigration won’t be an issue. Two hours can be a bit tight because HIA is a big airport and you have to pass through immigration, baggage collection and check-in. Remember that normally gates close 45-60 minutes before departure. Secondly, your cats will need an import permit to enter the country. Qatar Airways may ask for that before you board the airline from Australia (because your journey with them ends in Doha). So please contact Qatar Airways as soon as possible and discuss the situation.

  4. is there anywhere for my pets to stay in Doha Airport so that I do not require a import permit. my flight has a 2 hour lay over which isn’t long enough to transit the cats between flights from luggage to carry on.

  5. I am in transit through Doha airport for a connecting flight to Cape Town. Will I be allowed to carry my vape in my hand luggage or will it be confiscated.Many Thanks Susan Lines

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Susan, E-cigarettes are not allowed inside the terminal. So carrying in hand baggage may not be a good idea. Please check with your airline.

      1. Hi Doha Team Guides.

        This is dangerous advice – vape devices almost always include batteries containing lithium, most carriers specifically advise these are not carried in checked-in baggage due to fire risk, and ask that they ARE brought in hand baggage. E-cigarettes are not permitted, nor is smoking, in the main terminal areas of Hamad airport (standard almost everywhere in the world) but there are smoking lounges in the airport. Whether vaping is permitted in these is unclear due to the blanket ban on vaping in Qatar – which I suspect is partially what Susan’s original question was actually about.

        The blanket ban came in back in 2014 but I have been unable to find clear advice on this, as to whether transit through Doha Hamad airport (i.e., not actually leaving the airport, so not ‘entering the country’) has the same regulation around it, so whether the vape devices would be confiscated on the security check even for someone who is only transferring. Do you have any specific advice on this?

        1. Doha Guides Team

          Hi Geff, Thanks for explaining this in detail. We have edited our earlier response. Apologies for the confusion. We have heard that usually they get confiscated during security checks. For those in transit, please confirm with your airline.

  6. Hello,
    We plan to have a stop of 10 hours in Doha between 2 flights with Qatar airlines. We are from Switwerland.
    Can we have the transit Visa for going in the city by ourselves ?
    How can we do for having these visas ?
    Thank you in advance
    Stéphanie

  7. Hi, I will be travelling from Amsterdam to Phuket with an 8,5 hour layover in doha. Ive booked the connecting flights on the qatarairways website. Am I understanding it correctly that I only need to check in my luggage once (in Amsterdam), and don’t need to collect them and re check them in doha, if I stay inside the airport in doha?

    Since I have an 8,5 hour layover, I understand I can request transit accommodation to a hotel. Does this change anything regarding having to collect check-in luggage or not?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Lisa, In most cases, you won’t be required to collect the check-in luggage since it is for a short duration. However, this will depend on your airline policy. Kindly discuss this with your airline.

  8. Hi, Im booking flight from Chennai to Birmingham via Doha, first flight is Indigo from chennai to doha and a lay over of 2 hr 15 mins, later i have a qatar flight from Doha to birmingham. Is the lay over time enough between the flights?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Bryan, If you have booked both flights with the same airline (code-sharing option), then you will not have to collect your baggage or do the check-in again. You will be within the transit area only. In that case 2.15 hours may be just enough (could be tight, but possible). If your book with different airlines, then you will have to exit the arrivals area, collect you baggage and check-in again through departure gates. In this case 2.15 hours may not be enough.

  9. James W Wolterman

    How do I handle a checked bag if I am only transiting through Doha and have 2 non-connecting flights in and out. Flying into Doha on Qatar airways and departing on Rwanda airways 4 hours later. Do i need a visa to get my luggage then check back in at Rwanda air or how would I do this?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi James, If you have booked separate flights you will need to collect your baggage on your own and re-check. This means you will need some kind of visa to exit the transit area.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Graham, Please inform your airline in advance. They can help you. Most airlines have this option on their ticketing website.

  10. Hallo,
    i will arrive in 2 days in Hamad airport from Istanbul with Pegasus airline, after 2h i want to transit witch Nepal Arlines flight to Kathmandu, i will not have check in bagage with me, do i need to make a visa in this case?

      1. With all respect,
        but are you sure?
        from this article it seems that to acces lugage i need to leave transit zone, but what if i will follow the sign “Transit” and enter security check? They will say that i have to leave the transit zone? They will not allow me to flight?
        I saw it on this video from aiport for example:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFIqU2403gU

        1. Hi Stan, Yes, if you need to collect you baggage you have have to leave transit zone and go to arrivals. In this case you will need a visa.
          However what you need to check is whether you should collect your baggage yourself or the airline will do that.
          (1) If you have booked a code-sharing flight (you paid only to Airline X but they scheduled a connecting flight with Airline Y), your airline X will transfer your baggage to Airline Y (this happens in 99.9% cases).
          (2) If you have booked two separate flights (paid Airline X and Airline Y separately), airline is not responsible for your baggage. You have to collect your baggage yourself, which means you need to leave transit zone and go to arrivals. In this case you will need a visa.
          Hope you are clear now. We cannot advise without knowing how you have booked the tickets. Hence we explained both cases. If you are still not sure, kindly contact your airline to check.

  11. I am travelling to Perth via Doha on a BA codeshare flight (despite the intial booking being QATAR all the way) and transferring to a QATAR flight at Doha. If the BA flight is late who is responsible for re booking my Perth flight ?

  12. I’m planning to exit the airport as I have a 16 hours layover and head to an hotel outside (already booked through discoverqatar.qa) to catch a sleep and a quick tour in the morning before my next flight. Do I understand correctly I need to proceed to “Arrivals” and not to “Transfer” then? Thanks for clarifying

    1. Hi Andy, Yes, you need to proceed to Arrivals. However please contact a transfer desk to double check about your checked-in baggage. You can see transfer desks before the Arrivals sign.

  13. Hi

    We are Travelling from Heathrow to Melbourne via Doha. We have 26 hours between arrival and departure times. The UK Govt website says you can’t stay ‘in transit’ for more than 24 hours in Doha airport. Does this mean we have to exit the airport and can’t stay in transit hotel?

    thanks

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Andy, If your nationality is eligible for a visa on arrival (e.g., UK), you can leave the airport and stay anywhere in Doha.

      1. Hi,
        About the same question as above:
        I am travelling as “standby” (staff).
        If there is no place in a flight I have to wait for the next one.
        That means I have then to wait more than 24 hours ‘in transit’
        in the HIA airport. Maybe a few days.
        Could this be a problem ?
        thanks

        1. Hi P.G. You need to discuss this with your airline. The standard rule is that you transit passengers cannot stay for more than 24 hours inside the airport. This may be relaxed in some cases.