Qatari riyal (QR)
Qatar is a relatively expensive destination. With the few budget hotels being swept away in the name of development, accommodation costing less than US$100 per night is hard to find. Factoring in cheap options (around US$10) for eating and the cost of a sight or an activity, a minimum daily cost with transport comes to around US$150. This rises to US$250 if you're staying in midrange hotels; for a top-end hotel with car hire, US$400 is nearer the mark.
Bargaining is expected in the souqs and, although Western-style shopping centres have fixed prices, it’s still worth asking for a discount in boutiques and smaller shops.
ATMs widespread; credit cards widely accepted.
ATMs & Credit Cards
All major credit and debit cards are accepted in large shops. Visa (Plus and Electron), MasterCard and Cirrus are accepted at ATMs at HSBC, the Qatar National Bank and the Commercial Bank of Qatar, which also accepts American Express and Diners Club cards.
The currency of Qatar is the Qatari riyal (QR). One riyal is divided into 100 dirhams. Coins are worth 25 or 50 dirhams, and notes come in denominations of one, five, 10, 50, 100 and 500 riyals. The Qatari riyal is fully convertible.
The riyal is pegged to the US dollar. For current exchange rates see www.xe.com.
Currencies from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are easy to buy and sell at banks and moneychangers. Travellers cheques can be changed at all major banks and the larger moneychangers. Moneychangers can be found around the Gold Souq area of central Doha. There is little difference in exchange rates between banks and moneychangers.
A service charge is usually added to restaurant (and top-end hotel) bills. Local custom does not require that you leave a tip and, although it is certainly appreciated, there is a danger of escalating the habit to the detriment of the workers involved (some establishments reduce wages in anticipation of tips that may or may not be forthcoming). It is therefore recommended that local custom is followed, unless exceptional service or assistance warrants an exceptional gesture.