Best Time to Visit Qatar – 2024 Guide

Qatar sits in the heart of the Arabian Gulf (Persian Gulf). A small peninsula, it’s connected by land to Saudi Arabia and in close proximity to the Tropic of Cancer.

Qatar experiences a desert climate with sunshine almost year-round, and the occasional dust storm thrown in. So when is the best time to visit the city of Doha and the tiny nation of Qatar?

Best Time to visit Qatar  - dhow boats over Doha skyline

Qatar Climate

Visitors should expect long, hot summers followed by mild winters. There are no 4 seasons in Qatar, just summer and winter (also known as hot and really hot!). But does that mean you can only visit Qatar during the cooler winter months?

Certainly, the cooler months from late October through to April are the most pleasant for visiting Qatar. However, increasingly, there are more attractions open year-round, and Doha has its lights on year-round, 24/7, thanks in no small part to being the hub for the international airline Qatar Airways.

In this post, we will talk you through what to expect throughout the year, both in terms of climate in Qatar, as well as local holidays and events to be aware of.

How hot does Qatar get in the summer?

Peak summer temperatures in Qatar can average 45°C (113°F), so it’s a case of life moving indoors during those hottest months; outdoor activities during the peak of the day in Qatar are all but unbearable. 

You will find a lot of the expat population use this time to leave the country, and everything really slows down across the city.

That said, it’s also your best opportunity to snap up a bargain-priced resort or short getaway.  DOH airport still runs at its busiest, with Qatar Airways ferrying passengers across the globe over summer. You will still find plenty of things going on in Qatar that make it worth a stopover in Doha, even in summer.

The iconic highrise skyline of Doha

You will find there is quite a dry heat at the start of summer, changing to ultra-humid and sticky as August and September roll on. There is sudden relief come mid-October and temperatures will drop.

Note that sea temperatures in Qatar are very warm as well in summer. You can expect Gulf water temperatures as high as 34°C (93°F) so don’t go planning a refreshing ocean dip mid-summer (and check your hotel has a temperature-controlled pool!)

Qatar in the Winter

Qatar, in the cooler winter months (broadly November to April), can be a beautiful place to be. Without a doubt, this is the best time to visit Doha and all that Qatar has to offer.

Doha makes for an ideal mid-winter escape over the Christmas break, and is still quite pleasant during school term breaks too; the end of October autumn half term for many schools in Europe and the Spring Break in later March are the perfect times to plan a visit.

Daytime temperatures in Qatar really start to fall back to the low 30’s by the end of October, and to around the mid-20s by December/January.  These pleasant conditions last until around the end of April; by the end of May things really heat up again to 40°C+.

Be careful when planning anything to do with the resorts or beaches through mid-winter; you may find the water is a little on the chilly side (though coming from the coldest parts of Europe, it will probably feel tropical!!)

Al Zubarah Fort

Winter is the perfect time to head out to some of the more remote parts of Qatar, including the inland sea, or north to visit some of the historic points, such as Al-Zubarah Fort.

We have a great guide here on things you can do all around Qatar.

The springtime also sees the Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) – and in 2024, this is taking place as part of the EXPO 2023 exhibition in Al Bidda Park.

More Qatar Climate FAQs

We have more frequently asked questions about the climate in Qatar here to help you plan your trip:

What is the best month to visit Qatar?

If you love a bit of sunshine and warmth thrown in, our favourite months to visit Qatar are November and March.

Does it rain in Doha?

Yes! It might take you by surprise, but rain is possible over the cooler winter months in Doha, Qatar (or it could stay completely dry!)

We wouldn’t recommend packing your umbrella just in case – but do expect sheer pandamonium if it does as buildings are put to the water-tight test; roads become easily flooded and most drivers don’t know how to react. Best to stay in place if a rainstorm does hit, it will soon pass.

Does Qatar get dust storms?

Very much so.  These occur largely in the spring to summer period but can occur at any time of year. Qatar can be susceptible to the Shamal – a northwesterly wind that blows over Iraq and the Persian Gulf states.

Those with respiratory conditions such as asthma should keep abreast of the AQI if it’s dusty out.

Has it ever snowed in Qatar?

Real outside snow? No. The coldest it’s ever gotten in Qatar is 5.6°C.

What month is the hottest in Qatar?

Qatar hits its peak temperatures for the year in July, though August can often feel hotter due to the rising humidity later in summer. Expect July average high temperatures of 42°C (108°F), but highs as much as 50°C (122°F) are not unheard of.

Keep your eye on the “feels like” temperature or heat index, as well as the temperature in Celcius/Fahrenheit.

Public and school holidays in Qatar

Although the country follows the Gregorian calendar (January through December), the Hijri calendar is observed for religious occasions.

You can see a calendar of current religious holidays for this year here.

Religious holidays in Qatar

The main observances are:

  • The holy month of Ramadan
  • Eid al-Fitr
  • Arafat Day & Eid al-Adha
  • Hijri New Year
  • Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif – the Prophet’s birthday

These dates move forward on the Gregorian calendar approximately 10 days each year.

Actual dates are not confirmed until the moon is sighted, and the Government may move the actual dates that the public holiday is observed, normally to align with a weekend.

Doha Mosque

Qatar also celebrates:

  • New Year’s Day on 1 January
  • National Sports Day on 13 February
  • Qatar National Day on 18 December

School holidays in Qatar

School holidays are set by the Supreme Education Council and the Ministry of Education. Most schools run on a three-term calendar.  They will have a winter term, and take a few weeks off over mid-December to January (coincidentally Christmas, it is not formally marked).

Term 2 then runs through until late March. There is a spring break in early April (again, it’s only a coincidence if it’s at Easter), then a longer summer break over July and August.

You can check current year dates here.

Also, note that the weekend in Qatar is Friday/Saturday, making these days much busier than during the week, Sunday through Thursday.

Check out this bumper list of ideas of family things to do in Doha & day trips around Qatar

What to expect in Qatar during Ramadan

It’s important to note as a visitor when the Holy Month of Ramadan will occur as there are slight modifications in behaviour required. The 9th month in the Hijri calendar is a period of deep religious reflection for Muslims and is strictly observed.

Ramadan in 2024 will start approximately 11 March and end 9 April.

The most important thing to observe is fasting, with no eating or drinking permitted in public.  There should also be no public displays of affection, and ensure you are dressed modestly – more so than usual.

The other thing you may observe is that businesses and attractions are closed during the day and only open in the evening. That said, most tourist attractions are now keeping normal operating hours during the holy month. It is more so local businesses, government offices and schools that are impacted by the change in hours.

There is no reason not to visit Qatar during Ramadan. It can be a great time to enjoy the local culture, join in with a traditional Iftar (the evening breaking of the fast) and overnight festivities that last well into the night, especially on weekends. But please note the change in hours and dress code. 

It is still a more conservative place than Dubai, for example, so expect hotels to have covered dining areas and no alcohol to be served during Ramadan.

Future Ramadan dates in Doha

All subject to moon sighting for the actual start and end dates, you can expect Ramadan to fall:

  • 2025 – March 1 to March 31
  • 2026 – February 18 to March 29

Sporting events in Qatar

There’s a growing lineup of annual sporting and international events on the Doha events calendar, including;

Read more about visiting Qatar and Doha:

Save this for later

When is the best time to visit Qatar? A detailed guide to understanding the seasons, jsut how hot does it get in summer and when do the religious holidays fall.

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Family Travel Middle East
Family Travel Middle East

The Family Travel in the Middle East team of travel writers are all parents based in the Middle East, sharing first hand experiences and reviews from across the region to help you plan your next family adventure.

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