I recently went to the Traffic department HQ in Doha to exchanage my UK British licence into a Qatari licence. Before I went I made sure I had my passport, eye test uploaded onto the Metrash system, passport photos on a blue background with my glasses on, and my UK licence and Qatar residence ID (QID). I made sure I had all the documents, as it was a distance away from where I was staying, and I did not know when I would be able to go back.
So, when I go there I took a ticket and all the way to the left and waited with 5 people before me, I went at around 8:30am on a Thursday. The guy at the counter checked me in, took my QID and UK licence and checked me into the system, and then told me to go back to reception and get a ticket for A. I got a ticket and the wait was short, when I got to the counter, the woman told me to go check in, but I told her I did and the other guy sent me here (went on for a min). She finally checked on the system and then continued the application. When it got the payment, she told me they don’t accept cash at all, I tried my bank card. Heres the thing, the traffic department in Qatar only accept Qatari bank cards, so I tried my UK bank cards including AMEX, one after the other and none of them worked.
She then said go to the bank pointing in some direction and come back. They do minimal to help you, so when I tried to ask questions I was ushered on. I ask around where is the bank, no clear labelling, and they say oh it’s at the back, it’s inside, blah blah blah. I walked around for a bit like a numpty. I then came back and say some guys in white shirts behind a desk and asked if this was the bank, they said yes, ffs. They then said they can give me a one time use e-bank card for 20 Qatari riyals (QAR), I say okay and then they say, so total is 250QAR for exchanging UK licence to Qatari Licence + 20 QAR for card = 270QAR. No problem, I say, I don’t have that much cash on me, but do you accept card? They say no. Okay is there a cash point on site? They say no, the nearest on is in Al Mirah. That was some distance away, and I took a taxi from the start. So taxi to traffic department, taxi to al Mirah, taxi back to traffic, and then taxi home.
Moral of the story – Have enough cash, and don’t expect much help or to pay with your UK bank cards or any other bank card other than Qatari. Sheeeeeesh!!!