Docking at Doha

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There are five such airports in the world in which you understand that a long connection is not at all a reason for frustration.

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There are five such airports in the world in which you understand that a long connection is not at all a reason for frustration. Furthermore, I have information (who knows for sure, confirm or deny) that some airports in the world offer free excursions in their cities for long connections.

Many from European countries fly to Asia or Africa by Qatari airlines, making an intermediate stop in the capital of Qatar, Doha.

It turned out that a small city in the same small country has become a significant transport hub for air passenger traffic. Everything turned out as well as possible, and a favorable geographical position and the incredible financial capabilities of a miniature oil and gas giant were necessary to create an entire industry from scratch.

The geography of flights from Qatar Airways is wide and varied, the service is decent (kind of like one of the best airlines in the world), and the prices are competitive.

We knew that right after the central hall with an incomprehensible huge yellow animal in the middle, between the Mont Blanc and WH Smith stores, under the designation of section "B", there is the Doha Citi Tours check-in counter.

We were in a hurry because we were afraid that there would not be enough space. In the reviews I found, I read that many want to see Doha for free, and the size of the group is limited by the capacity of the bus, and as they say, those who did not have time are late.

However, the fears were in vain. The desired rack was found; there was no excitement around it at all. When I asked about the availability of two seats for the next flight, a girl of pretty Asian appearance replied that they say, with a dear soul, there are seats for 14, give your passports, boarding passes and twelve American dollars from the nose. Noticing my bewilderment, the girl behind the counter thought that I did not understand the word "twelve" and repeated slowly the composing numbers - "one", "two". Kind of funny, to be frank.

It seems to me that the declared values of services and products are still purely symbolic, especially by Qatari standards. I think the payment was introduced not to reimburse expenses, and even more so to get profit, but to cut off completely random people.

Having removed copies of our documents and received payment (you can pay by credit card or cash, in the latter case, only in local money), the girl gave instructions to arrive at the same counter at 1 pm, one hour before the departure time, thus completing the formalities.

We were given a tour program, the text of which corresponded to that found later the official website of Qatar Airways. From there, I quote: "Travel. Take this great opportunity to take a fun tour of Doha during your stopover. You will visit the four main attractions of the capital of Qatar: the artificial island Pearl of Qatar, the Cultural Village of Qatar, the Souq Waqif Oriental Bazaar and the Museum of Islamic Art. The duration of the excursion is 3 hours."

As for the visa, in June 2017, Qatar eased the visa regime (I don't know if for everyone, but for some European countries, for sure). Now, with a boarding pass in hand, passengers receive a free transit visa for up to 96 hours.

By the appointed time we arrived at the registration desk, our international group, including many foreigners, were taken to the exit, forcing us to go through all the required border crossing procedures. The procedures lasted a long time, at least an hour, because we were standing in a general long queue in the company of Pakistani guest workers who had arrived in the country. But in the end, we passed the border, and the bus excursion on the Qatari land began safely.

There are multiple options for getting around the city, including car rental companies in Qatar.

I am writing about this on purpose, in some detail, because I think many may have such a case. In addition, Doha is a popular transit hub, and lengthy connections there are likely. So, I'm sure the information will come in handy.