Driving Rules and Regulations

Traffic regulations have been incredibly lax in Qatar over the years due to the low strain on the country’s passenger traffic. There are quite a few road rules, with the key major rules as given in the link below:
  • You must be at least 18 years old to drive in Qatar.
  • Qatar has a zero tolerance policy concerning alcohol. Do not bend this rule as a non-Muslim expat in Qatar, as expats in particular will face immediate deportation.
  • Qataris drive on the right-hand side of the road.
Some of the other important rules to follow are;
  • It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving
  • Wearing seatbelts is compulsory for front-seat passengers
  • A valid licence is required for all drivers, and all vehicles must be registered with the Ministry of Interior’s Traffic Department. Registration is valid for a year and then must be renewed annually
  • Insurance is mandatory for all vehicles, and must be purchased in order to register the vehicle
  • Driving licence and registration documents must be carried in the vehicle at all times
  • Police must be called whenever an accident occurs, although vehicles can be moved to the side of the road in the case of minor collisions. Traffic police determine who is at fault in minor collisions
Although implemented all across Qatar, speed limits appear to be optional; however, due to the increase in accidents and the awareness of police officers, speed cameras have been implemented along most roads around Qatar. Be sure to read speed limit signs along the road, as the fines for speeding are (very) high.Another important bit of information concerning driving in Qatar which could be called an “unwritten rule” is road rage. Being very prevalent, you should be very careful not to succumb to road rage. Due to the vast cultural differences, you may quickly end up having offended another driver without having meant to; therefore, while driving, it is best to be calm and not let yourself get carried away. Furthermore, it should be noted that in Qatar, flashing of headlights by another car usually means ‘get out of my way’ rather than ‘after you’.

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