The Doha Metro is undeniably the most unique and sophisticated project fulfilled in Qatar over the last decade. It was designed to be one of the most state-of-the-art railway networks in the world as a preparation part for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With around $40 billion investments, Qatar’s underground transit system succeeded in becoming a highly efficient and reliable means of transport. At the same time, it is only a connecting link within a much more prodigious plan to integrate several more extensive railway systems across the Persian Gulf.
The Metro, which started functioning two years ago, serves as the mainstay of the public transit system in the Greater Doha Area and has been designed to encourage the use of public transport as a fast, convenient, and eco-friendly alternative to private vehicles.
So, to keep you up-to-date, we have decided to gather 10 most significant things you should know about the Doha Metro, from tickets and timings details to numerous perks available to every passenger.
When introduced in May 2019, it became clear that the Metro operates as a fully automated driverless railway system. Capable of accelerating to 60 mph, the Doha Metro is among the fastest driverless underground networks on the planet. All the stations are equipped with platform screen doors to provide an advanced level of safety. Besides, several world-known industry giants did their best to merge the most state-of-the-art technologies resulting in an impeccable rail transport network. Japanese Mitsubishi and Kinki Sharyo were responsible for track and power supply, while Hitachi operated the part connected with the testing and maintenance tasks. Thales of France provided a high-level CBTC (communications-based train control) signaling, telecommunications and security systems, an operations control center, and others.
By the way, the Doha Metro project has been granted a World Record for using the largest number of tunnel boring machines working together. With this achievement, Qatar Rail broke the former record when the project required 19 units of TBMs operating together.
Moreover, in 2017, the company got the distinguished ITA award by participating in the “Projects exceed 500 Million Euros” category and won the first prize leaving behind its rivals from several other countries. The ITA award is regarded as one of the most eminent in the sphere of tunneling and underground construction.
In 2013 the Emir of Qatar personally selected the look of the future metro system out of six other projects. The Doha Metro design concept resulted in the “Vaulted Spaces” solution to bridge the past and the present. With such an extensive underground network, the designers focused on creating a consistent identity for each station while following the unified concept for the entire network.
The interior design was inspired by traditional Qatari patterns interpreted in a modern way. It was decided to use materials that will imitate the daylight and produce a mesmerizing glowing ambiance. Moreover, the inner shapes of the construction provide an extra layer of light and ventilation to give its passengers incredible comfort during the trip.
The triangular wall ornaments resemble oyster pearls that have significant value in the country’s culture; that’s why the company responsible for the design selected them to maintain the overall illuminating concept.
The three lines of the Metro (the fourth line is currently under construction) promote a link between the most popular sites in and off Doha, such as the National Airport, the eco-friendly city of Lusail, West Bay and Education City, major business and conference centers, and the 2022 FIFA World Cup stadiums.
Indeed, the Doha Metro is a minor element within the larger Qatar Railway system, including long-distance trains for passengers and freight, connecting Qatar with the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Lusail light rail network.
Current Lines and Stations
The Doha Metro consists of three fully operational lines comprising 37 stations opened to the public within Phase 1 in 2019.
- The Red Line, or the Coast Line, stretches from south to north, from Al Wakra to Lusail respectively, and covers 40 kilometers with 18 stations, including Msheireb transferring station and Hamad International Airport.
- The Green Line, also known as the Education Line, runs from Al Riffa to Al Mansoura along the western part of Doha, embracing the 22-kilometer way with 11 stations. The most popular stops are Hamad Hospital, Qatar National Library, and Education City.
- The Gold Line (the Historic Line) is the east-to-west 14 kilometers way connecting Ras Bu Abboud and Al Aziziyah. The line includes 11 stations, including Sport City, Souq Waqif, and National Museum.
When you change stations, it’s not necessary to tap out. Nevertheless, there is a 1.5-hour limit on traveling by the Doha Metro, and you are required to pay again after spending over 1.5 hours inside the network. However, 1.5 hours is more than enough time to reach any possible location by the Doha Metro, and there should not be any issues even if changing the trains, especially during peak hours.
Doha Metro Phase 2 Line and Stations
The entire metro rail project has been divided into Phase 1 (completed in 2019) and Phase 2, which will be introduced to the public by 2026. Phase 2 will open the 17.5-kilometer Blue Line, or City Line, with fourteen new stations to connect the city center and the suburbs, embracing such significant locations as the West Bay and Airport City North for easy access and convenience of the citizens.
Besides, the second phase will extend the existing three lines and increase the number of stations up to 60, making the overall 300-kilometer network.
Tickets and Card System
Types of Cards
To use Doha Metro (or Lusail Tram), you need to buy a pass card. There are two types of cards available for passengers:
- Standard Travel Card – a rechargeable travel card valid on standard and family carriages. The card itself (not the trips) costs QR 10.
- Gold Club Travel Card – a rechargeable travel card valid on gold-class luxury carriages. The card itself (not the trips) costs QR 100. The Gold Club Travel Card is an excellent option for those tired of the crowded standard-class carriages, especially during peak hours.
Previously, it was also possible to buy Limited Use paper tickets. However, due to sustainability, they are no longer available.
Standard Gold Club
Single Journey QR 2 vs. QR 10
Daily Pass QR 6 vs. QR 30
The cost for a journey remains the same regardless of your destination. The Travel Card is scanned twice during any trip: first, when tapping in and then when tapping out. If you exceed your time traveling underground, you will be charged again when exiting the station.
Where to Buy a Card
Standard Travel Cards can be obtained via any vending machine or licensed retailer like Al Meera, Lulu, Jumbo, and Carrefour.
Gold Club Travel Cards are available only at Gold Club offices located on all Metro stations.
Where to Top Up a Card
To top up a Standard Travel Card, you may use a vending machine, a mobile app, or an official website.
If you are a Gold Club Card owner, you may top it up via all vending machines, Gold Club offices, or via the Qatar Rail website and mobile app.
A reusable travel card can be recharged over and over again as it remains active for five years. Therefore these cards are a preferable option for those using the underground on a regular basis rather than infrequent passengers.
Traveling with Children
Children under the age of five don’t need a travel card. They are required, however, to be accompanied by a fare-paying adult. Children aged five and above are required to obtain a metro pass to enter a station. All children must be accompanied by a person at least 16 years old. Ticket prices for children and adults are the same.
Doha Metro Timings
The Doha Metro operates seven days a week:
- From Saturday to Wednesday, the trains operate from 6 am till 11 pm.
- On Thursday, the Metro runs between 6 am and 11.59 pm.
- On Friday, the stations are open from 2 pm till 11.59 pm.
Trains arrive every six minutes, and the journey between stations lasts around three minutes.
8. Numerous Extra Perks
Free Wi-Fi Connectivity
In order to add an extra layer of convenience, the authorities decided to provide all the stations and lines (Red, Green, and Gold) with free Wi-Fi connectivity. The Metro customers may use free Internet for up to 30 minutes per day throughout their journeys.
The connection becomes available once the passenger enters the station and lasts until they leave the tube.
A customer needs to sign in using their mobile phone, Facebook account, or email address to set the connection. Once they receive a confirmation message, they need to enter a one-time password, and that’s it. Registration is required for each user.
By the way, it is possible to buy various subscription plans under the ‘Add-Ons’ tab on special Wi-Fi monitors at the stations.
Free Shuttle Buses
To make the metro system more passenger-friendly, Qatar Rail and the Ministry of Transport developed a particular plan to coordinate various means of public transport.
Metrolink buses run around the areas not directly covered by the Metro network like Qatar Financial Center or Doha Golf Club. The buses are free of charge, and the stops are all pinpointed on the Qatar Rail mobile app. However, to freely use the service, a customer needs to obtain a Qatar Rail account.
The Metrolink service is available during the following intervals:
- Saturday to Wednesday from 6 am till 11 pm.
- On Thursday from 6 am till 11.59 pm.
- On Friday from 2 pm till 11.59 pm.
Metroexpress is another service that runs around several areas nearby Metro stations. It has numerous vans, each with a maximum capacity of seven passengers. However, the number of passengers has recently been reduced to 5 passengers per vehicle due to Covid-19 measures.
Metroexpress facilitates more versatility than a regular bus network, as the service works upon request via the Metroexpress Doha app.
The only drawback of the service is that it is available only for registered Metro customers and can only be used for the subsequent metro journey.
The service works during these intervals:
- Saturday to Wednesday from 5.45 am to 11 pm.
- Thursday from 5.45 am to 11.59 pm.
- Friday from 2 pm to 11.59 pm.
Plan My Journey Opportunity
Whether you are a regular Metro passenger or an occasional traveler, the Doha Metro offers a helpful service to plan a journey around the city. To use the service, you need to download the mobile app from Google Play or App Store or visit Qatar Rail’s official website. Once you have done that, enter your initial point and the destination, and the service will plan the most convenient route.
Doha Metro Helpline
In any case of emergency, the Doha Metro offers a customer care helpline on 105 available 24/7.
Lusail Light Rail Transit (LRT)
As part of an integrated railway plan, Qatar Rail decided to run a unique Lusail Tram system to link the transport network of the new city of Lusail and Doha. The Tram will be connected to the Doha Metro Red Line through two interchange stations at Lusail and Legtaifiya. The network will consist of four main lines (Pink, Purple, Orange, and Turquoise) that cover a 19-kilometer way and have 25 tram stations both aboveground and underground.
It’s interesting that every Doha Metro passenger may use their Travel Card on both trams and trains, although the Lusail tram has no Gold Club class.
Indeed, trams are considered more eco-friendly and efficient in terms of harmful emissions and replace 40 cars that cover a larger space on the road. Since the city of Lusail is being built according to the sustainability strategy, the tram system seems to be the most suitable means of public transport to serve citizens’ needs around Doha and its suburbs.
The light rail network is scheduled to open this year; however, the due date is currently unavailable.
The Doha Metro Covid-19 Safety Measures
Currently, the Doha Metro is not operating at full capacity due to the Covid-19 safety measures. In order to protect citizens from Covid-19, the authorities have obliged all the passengers to follow several precautionary rules. According to them, the metro user should:
- Enter the stations only with “green” status on the Ehteraz app.
- Be with facemasks on.
- Take thermal scanning, and keep social distancing.
- Note that smoking areas temporarily remain closed.
- Know that eating and drinking are not allowed on all Metro stations.
The Doha Metro Map
The Red Line Map
• Al Bidda ( Interchange station)
• QIC West Bay
• Al Qassar
• Hamad Intl. Airport T1
• Qatar University
• Al Wakra
• Ras Bu Fontas
• Free Zone
• Oqba Ibn Nafie
• Old Aiport
• Umm Ghawalina
• Al Doha Al Jadeda
• Msheireb ( Interchange station)
The Green Line Map
The green metro line runs from Al Mansoura to Al Riffa. There are eleven stations along the green line and these include:
• Al Mansoura
• Msheireb ( Interchange station)
• Al Bidda ( Interchange station)
• The White Palace
• Hamad Hospital
• Al Messila
• Al Rayyan Al Qadeem
• Al Shaqab
• Qatar National Library
• Education city
• Al Riffa
The Gold Line Map
Finally, the gold line metro line extends from Ras Bu Aboud to Al Aziziyah area with eleven stations running through this metro line which includes:
• Ras Bu Abboud
• National Museum
• Souq Waqif
• Msheireb ( Interchange station)
• Bin Mahmoud
• Al Sadd
• Al Sudan
• Al Waab
• Sport City
• Al Aziziyah
Qatar Metro Rail Full Tour (11 mins)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where can I get a pass to enter the metro stations?
You can purchase Standard Travel Cards via all metro stations vending machines or licensed retailers like Al Meera, Lulu, Jumbo, and Carrefour. Gold Club Cards can be obtained via Gold Club offices only.
What are the Travel Card prices?
Without travel credit, the Standard Travel Card costs QR 10, and the Gold Club Travel Card costs QR 100.
Can I buy a single/daily pass?
Yes. A single journey will cost QR 2 for Standard Card owners and QR 10 for Gold Club Card owners.
A daily pass will cost QR 6 for Standard Card owners and QR 30 for Gold Club members.
Should children obtain an individual Travel Card?
Children under the age of five are not required to have a Travel Card to enter the Doha Metro, while children aged five and above must obtain an individual pass. The cost for the Metro Travel Cards for adults and children remains the same.
Where can I top up my Travel Card?
Every passenger can recharge their Travel Cards via the Doha Metro Vending Machines, Qatar Rail official website, and the mobile app.
What are the Doha Metro working hours?
Doha Metro is open from 6 am till 11 pm (Saturday to Wednesday), from 6 am to 11.59 pm on Thursday, and from 2 pm to 11.59 pm on Friday.
Is free Wi-Fi connectivity available at the Metro Stations?
Yes. However, the connection is limited to up to 30 minutes per day. Besides, every passenger wanting to use free Wi-Fi needs to register.
Are there any Covid-19 restrictions on the Doha Metro?
Yes. In order to enter any station, every passenger is required to obtain “green” status on the Ehteraz app, wear a facemask, take thermal scanning and keep social distancing.