While travelling to the Philippines from Norway, we decided to travel with Qatar Airways for two reasons. Firstly, the price was affortable. Secondly, we were curious to see Doha. We therefore decided to have a longer transfer in the country for 16 hours.
Before leaving, I read several blog-posts by other travel bloggers about if a transfer was worth it and how much it would cost, and it seemed pretty expencive.
However, what we did not know in advance and none of the articles mentioned was that we could get free accommondation, transportation forth and back to the hotel, food, and visa during our transfer from the airline. This we found out due to a coincidence.
Due to my husband being Bolivian, he needs to apply for a visa in advance to entry to Qatar. He therefore called the aircompany for ask for their help. Since our tickets were over 400 USD, they informed us that they could pay for our transfer. One day later they sent us the comfirmation on email.
The travel with Qatar Airways
The flight to Doha was comfortale and the staff polite. When we arrived there were several staff that directed us to the Qatar Airways help desk. Politly they helped with the visa, which would cost around 27 USD if we had to do it ourself. Thereafter we where directed to immigration. Outside after a bit of waiting we were picked up by the free bus that took us to an amazing and luxurious five star hotel named Melia. We got a room that cost 137 USD per nigh.
Furthermore, we got to eat a delisious buffet at the hotel, all for free.
After the meal, we decided to see a bit of the capital. We took a taxi to Souq Waqif (something we had to pay ourself). This was an interessing experience, and we walked around for some hours.
We arrived right in the celebartion Eid al-Fitr. This is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan. Families were therefore gathered in the area and there was entertainment in the streets.
Afterwards, we went to the bay, where there were several party boats, music and friends gathered in the park for celebrate. Here we also got an beautiful veiw of the city.
Being 45 celsius degrees, even in the night, it was the warmest I have ever experienced. Furthermore, I had to cover up from head to toe due to Qatar being a conservative muslim country with most women in Burqa and I wanted to se respectful. We therfore came back to our comfortale hotel wet of sweat, took a cold shower and got a good night sleep before being picked up at the hotel and taken back to the airport for flighing to the Philippines.
So was enterying Doha during a long transfer worth it? Absolutly! I would do it even if needed to pay myself! But with the great service of Qatar Airways: Without a doubt!
Just to mention, back home from Bangkok we went with the Emirates. Not were our tickets even more expensive, than with Qatar Airways even for a shorter distance, Emirates did not offer the same services. In Dubai we had to pay everything ourself. The hospitality of Qatar airways cannot be compared!