Want to experience the beauty and cultural haven of Qatar soon? See the best time to visit Qatar for every type of trip, from the overall best season to when it’s cheaper or less busy to visit.
Whether you’re interested in the peak Qatar experience or just looking for the seasons to avoid, you’ll find all the info you need below as we look at the best time to visit Qatar.
Why You Should Visit Qatar
Modern and sleek while remaining true to its traditional Islamic roots, Qatar is a stunning destination for world travelers with sprawling deserts and sand dunes, sunny beaches, and rocky hills creating scenic surroundings.
Qatar is safe to visit and there are no elevated travel advisories issued for travelers heading here. In fact, the 2023 Numbeo Crime Index ranks it as the safest country in the world!
Stunning Desert and Coastal Landscapes
Qatar is a peninsula in Persian Gulf that shares a border with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Most of the country is flat and covered in sandy desert, but a 335-foot plateau stands near the center with hills along the coasts.
Visiting Qatar is a unique experience for travelers who want to take in the culture, scenery, and lifestyle of the Middle East. But if you’re picturing endless deserts without much infrastructure, think again!
Qatar, especially its capital Doha, is highly developed and modernized with futuristic skyscrapers that contrast beautifully with the country’s historic architecture and natural building materials.
Nearly 350 miles of coastline on the Persian Gulf create about 16 public beaches to enjoy while relaxing under an umbrella, swimming, trying water sports, or watching traditional dhow boats glide through the water.
Variety of Activities and Attractions
Qatar’s prime location on the Persian Gulf makes it a hotspot for marine life. Coral reefs just off the coast are favorite spots for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Get a sense of the culture by haggling at the Souq Waqif (market) in the capital, Doha, and try perfectly-spiced foods and teas as you wander the city’s bustling streets lined with shops and restaurants.
Adventurous travelers will enjoy off-roading among the sand dunes and salt flats, riding camels through the desert, visiting off-shore islands, diving, and camping in the desert.
Thriving Islamic Culture
As a traditional Islamic country, Qatar follows a strict set of cultural customs and laws that should be observed and respected by tourists.
Avoid public displays of affection, revealing clothing, bikinis on the beach, and shaking hands with the opposite sex upon greeting.
Prayers are an integral part of daily life for locals, occurring 5 times daily at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset, and evening.
When you visit Qatar, you’ll see people stop what they’re doing to offer prayers, even shutting down businesses during prayer time on Fridays.
It can be a stunning place to visit, but it’s always better if you know the right time of year to go. Next, we’ll highlight the best time to visit Qatar along with the cheapest, least busy, and worst times to go!
What Is the Best Time to Visit Qatar?
- Overall best time to visit: November-March
- Cheapest time to visit: April-May
- Least busy time to visit: September-October
- Worst time to visit: June-August
Qatar’s desert climate is dry, hot (sometimes unbearably so), and can be quite humid. It’s important to know the best time to visit Qatar to avoid the worst of the heat and humidity.
The overall best time to visit Qatar is between November and March, when the heat subsides and gives way to pleasantly cool temperatures that reinvigorate the country with life and activity.
The cheapest time to visit – the months of April and May – see rising temperatures that aren’t yet sweltering and rock-bottom prices on hotels and flights to the country.
Come during September or October to get the Qatar experience sans big crowds of tourists. This is the low season and ideal for travelers seeking a laid-back trip with affordable prices.
Try to avoid visiting Qatar during the hottest season from June to August. This is when daily highs soar past 100 degrees, rainfall is rare, and sand storms are common.
We’ll take a closer look at the best time to visit Qatar for every type of trip next!
Overall Best Time to Visit Qatar
November to March is the overall best time to visit Qatar with temperatures on the warm side of cool and very little rainfall to get in the way of vacation plans.
Temperatures in Qatar from November to March range from 64F (January) to 77F (November), which is a wonderfully cool alternative to the sweltering heat from May to October.
Cool breezes off the Persian Gulf make travel to Qatar especially pleasant during the late fall, winter, and early spring. This is the ideal time to sightsee, walk the city streets, and have outdoor adventures.
This popular period is Qatar’s peak season for tourism and crowds are unavoidable. But while dealing with crowds can be frustrating, you’re also getting to experience the best this country has to offer at this time of year.
Festivals, street markets, and cultural events are in full swing during the cooler peak season, giving you the best chance to get a taste of the real Qatar and its deep cultural roots.
Camel racing events are fun to catch outside of Doha from October to February, complete with modern remote-controlled jockeys!
You’ll run into some of the most expensive months to visit – November and December – but prices drop dramatically in January, February, and March.
Here’s a look at the average nightly rates for hotels in Qatar during the best time to visit:
- November: $86-$227/night
- December: $147-$388/night
- January: $59-$155/night
- February: $59-$155/night
- March: $57-$150/night
On either end of this season – November and March – temperatures are slightly warmer, around 77F and 72F, which can make for really pleasant days at the beach or your hotel pool.
March marks the start of Ramadan, when things will quiet down throughout the country. It’s genuinely the best time to go if you want the top-tier Qatar experience!
Cheapest Time to Visit Qatar
April to May is cheapest time to visit Qatar, offering warm to hot temperatures and lower hotel rates and airfare than you’ll find throughout the rest of the year.
In spring, April and May see average temperatures from 80F-90F with highs closer to 90F-100F. It’s hotter than spring in most areas with temperatures that feel more like summer.
April and May don’t receive much, if any, rainfall. That can be great if you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors and don’t want sudden showers to derail your plans.
But the lack of rainfall combined with the rising heat can make Qatar much less pleasant at these times of year, which could be the reason for the cheaper prices in April and May.
April and May are also the months when sand storms are most common – triggering breathing issues, limited visibility, and making outdoor plans challenging.
April is the overall cheapest month of the year to visit Qatar with the lowest rates on hotels and airfare. Kayak found that airfare is lower in April and Google Hotels data shows hotel rates as low as $52/night this month.
Here’s a look at the average hotel rates per night throughout Qatar in April and May:
- April: $52-$137/night
- May: $54-$142/night
While April is a little cheaper than May, both months offer excellent and affordable prices on hotel rooms throughout the country. If you want to save a few bucks on your trip to Qatar, springtime is the perfect time to go.
Least Busy Time to Visit Qatar
The least busy time to visit Qatar is September to October, the fall shoulder season. This is a time for warm weather, cultural holidays and festivals, and smaller crowds.
Temperatures start dipping around September, though it’s still pretty hot in Qatar with average temperatures around 92F and highs still hitting 100F.
In October, things cool down a bit more to 86F. Highs can reach 94F this month, but it’s a welcome break from the 100+ temperatures in June, July, and August.
The real draw to visiting in September and October is the lull in tourism. You’ll find fewer people visiting the country during this time of year.
That means more hotel and flight availability and shorter lines with smaller crowds everywhere you go. It’s the perfect time of year to spend time outdoors in the mornings and evenings.
Hotel rooms are moderately priced during this less-busy time of year, with rates from $55-$62 on the low end of average. On the higher end, you could pay as much as $146-$164/night.
- September: $55-$146/night
- October: $62-$164/night
There aren’t as many festivals and celebrations happening during this 2-month period, but that’s ideal if you’re looking for a more laid-back, less-crowded Qatar experience.
Worst Time to Visit Qatar
June to August is the worst time to visit Qatar due to sweltering hot temperatures, lack of rain, and high humidity.
June’s average temperature in Qatar is around 95F with highs reaching near 105F. July and August’s average temperatures range from 95F-97F with highs around 104F-106F.
In short, it’s hot-hot-hot in Qatar during this season. Locals know it, tourists know it, and things hit a lull as people stay indoors more to avoid the punishing heat and humidity.
Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and even organ failure can be consequences of the extreme heat and humidity in Qatar during morning and mid-day between June and August.
Shamal events, which are strong, hot, dusty winds that last for a few days – are common during this time and are really unpleasant for travelers spending time outdoors.
Shamal winds can create blustery sand and dust storms that limit visibility to just a few feet and can cause breathing issues that have landed locals and travelers in the emergency room.
While this isn’t the only time these events happen, they seem to be stronger when the heat is at its peak. It’s another reason June-August is the worst time to visit Qatar.
Hotel rates aren’t bad from June to August, somewhere between the cheapest and most expensive time to go. Here’s a look at what rooms cost per night during this season in Qatar:
- June: $55-$146/night
- July: $55-$144/night
- August: $54-$142/night
August is when you’ll find better deals on hotels, but it’s not much cheaper than June and July and remains very hot. If you can, wait to visit until the fall or winter when things cool off.
Things to Consider
Visiting Qatar can be really exciting, especially if you’ve never been to the Middle East. What else should you know to make your trip a success?
Here are our best travel tips for Qatar to help you make the most of your trip.
- Mind the dress code. There’s no official dress code for tourists, but as an Islamic country, Qatar expects tourists to cover their shoulders, midriff, and knees while out in public – even at the beach. Men and women should wear shorts that cover the knees if not wearing pants and tank tops, crop tops, and strapless tops are considered disrespectful.
- Rules change at private beaches. Some private beaches at resorts in Qatar will allow Western-style swimwear, like swim trunks and one- and tw0-piece swimsuits. Check sites like Booking.com to find top-rated resorts in Qatar with private beach areas where you may be able to sidestep the traditional beachwear rules.
- Many people speak English, too. Arabic is the official language in Qatar, but it’s very common for locals to speak English as well. You may find it easy to communicate with staff at the airport, hotel, restaurant, and souq markets in English while you’re here!
- Exchange your currency for the Qatari Riyal. The only currency accepted and used in Qatar is the Qatari Riyal (QR). You’ll need to exchange your own currency for QR at an ATM or choose an exchange facility located in a mall, hotel, or bank wherever you go.
- Stick with bottled water. While about 99% of the drinking water in Qatar is considered safe and drinkable, it’s very common for travelers and even locals to choose bottled water instead. It’s widely available throughout the country, so if you order water, make sure you ask for bottled.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re thinking about visiting Qatar soon, you’ll want answers to all your lingering questions. Take a look at the most frequently asked questions from fellow travelers to learn more!
How many days is enough to see Qatar?
Plan on spending at least 3 days in Qatar or up to 5 if you’ll be traveling outside of the capital, Doha.
Qatar is roughly the size of Connecticut, so it’s a small country that doesn’t take a week or more to see in full.
What is the most hot month in Qatar?
July is the hottest month of the year in Qatar, reaching highs around 106F on average and only dipping to 88F at night. June and August are nearly as hot as July with average daily highs around 104F-105F.
It’s one reason July is part of the worst time to visit Qatar, along with June and August. It’s hot enough to cause heat stroke and potentially organ failure with the high levels of humidity.
When to go to Qatar?
The best time to visit Qatar is during the cooler peak season from November to March. The weather is excellent and dry with lots of festivals, outdoor activities, and sightseeing opportunities.
November and March are the warmest months to visit during this cooler peak period, so choose either of these months if you want to head to a Qatar beach or enjoy your hotel’s pool.
What is the coldest month in Qatar?
January is the coldest month in Qatar, though it’s not actually cold at all with average temperatures around 64F. Lows can hit 58F and highs may reach 71F during the month of January.
Can you drink alcohol in Qatar?
Public drinking is not allowed in Qatar, but many hotels and restaurants serve alcohol at private bars. Drunkenness is not tolerated, so be mindful of how much you imbibe - you could risk arrest for public drunkenness.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Qatar?
Overall, aim to visit Qatar sometime between November and March for the best experience. It’s cool, dry, the peak tourism season, and perfect for any outdoor and indoor activities you’re hoping to squeeze in.
April and May are ideal if you’re looking for a cheaper trip, since hotel rooms and flights can be scored on the cheap during this time of year. It’s hot and dry, but temperatures aren’t yet at their peak.
Try going to Qatar in September or October to avoid big crowds, since this is low season when fewer tourists arrive. Temperatures are very warm and still great for beach and pool time.
June, July, and August may be the worst time to visit Qatar, with the highest annual temperatures that surpass 100F along with high humidity and a lack of rainfall.
With beautifully modern and historic architecture, beautiful beaches, and towering sand dunes across vast deserts, few locations are as incredible as Qatar.
The only question left to consider is which season will be just right for your visit!