From Doha, four main highways fan out around the country in anticlockwise sequence: Route 1 to the north (and Route 1A as a relief road to Al Khor, en route to Ras Laffan); Route 3 to Dukhan in the west; Route 5 to Bu Samra and the Saudi Arabian border in the southwest; and Route 7 to Al Wakra and Mesaieed in the south. (Please see the map of Qatar in the Marhaba Information Guide Issue 60 on page 12).
Route 1 / Al Shamal (North) Road is a smooth superhighway all the way from Doha to Al Ruwais. It provides easy access to, among other places, Ras Laffan, Al Zubara Archaeological Site, Al Fuwairit beach and the relaxed seaside town of Al Khor, with its picturesque harbour and corniche.
Route 5 / Salwa Road is a similarly wide, relaxing superhighway, leading to Saudi Arabia (Salwa is a Saudi town). The border at Bu Samra is the only international land border crossing in Qatar.
Route 3 / Dukhan Road has almost completed its transformation from main road to superhighway status. West from Education City there are just a few kilometres of diversions near Al Wajba Palace and the Amiri Guard, but then it’s all clear to Al Sheehaniya and Dukhan. The new road provides easy access to the Camel Racing Track near Al Sheehaniya, then it goes by Bir Zikreet, where people go to enjoy a remote desert atmosphere, finally reaching Dukhan, where oil was first discovered in Qatar.
The new interchange at Al Wajba will surely be a major focal point, serving the Emir’s Palace and Guard, the new Mall of Qatar, Al Rayyan Sports Club and Doha West Metro Station at the end of the M32 Green Line. Al Rufaa Street/Celebration Row connects Al Wajba with Al Shamal Road at Al Kharaitiyat Interchange, near IKEA.
Trips to Al Sheehaniya, where you can see camels racing and exercising and wild oryx living in desert surroundings, are now a breeze. Sheikh Faisal’s museum is nearby and houses the eclectic collections of his memorabilia – with flocks of exotic animals and birdlife in the grounds outside.
Route 7 / Mesaieed Road Not yet a superhighway as the existing road seems adequate, serving the dormitory town of Al Wakra and Mesaieed Industrial City. From Mesaieed to Sealine Beach Resort the road is now dual carriageway and much safer for those wishing to enjoy the sand dunes and, further afield, the Inland Sea/Khor Al Adaid.
A big effort is being made to make traffic flow inside Doha easier. Major work is underway to upgrade Lusail Street and Industrial Area Road (alongside Barwa Commercial Avenue) and to build Metro lines and stations. The new F Ring Road is also about to provide speedy access from Mesaimeer to the new Hamad International Airport.
Author: Terry Sutcliffe
This article has been extracted from the ‘Getting Around Qatar’ section from Marhaba Information Guide Issue 60 on page 23.
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