New malls might be popping up fast in Doha—but that doesn’t necessarily make shopping in the city any easier. While you can always get what you need, you can’t always get exactly what you want. Luckily, there are many companies and websites that are willing to ship internationally, so we rounded up some of the best online retailers that will ship for a low rate (or even free).
The websites listed tend to sell a wide variety of items in multiple categories, although they have their own pros and cons as outlined below:
Everything but the kitchen sink
This Chinese e-commerce website is geared towards overseas buyers, so everything is searchable in English, with prices listed in Qatari Riyals. Sometimes the search terms can be a bit wonky, but it’s definitely worth trawling through to find what you’re looking for at rock-bottom prices. AliExpress is used by individual Chinese sellers, so shipping costs will vary. However, a surprising number of sellers will ship globally for free, while others will ship for a very nominal price. Do check seller feedback to make sure the product is legit.
Shipping options vary by seller
Amazon will ship certain items directly to Qatar. Shipping direct from Amazon is often cheaper than using a third-party shipper, although it is usually slower. The US site tends to have a better selection and cheaper prices, although you will get tax back from the UK version. Find the best deals by toggling between the two country sites. All shipping charges are calculated before purchase, so you won’t have any nasty surprises at the end.
Shipping options vary by seller but are calculated before purchase, including import taxes
This massive auction site offers anything you can think of … and plenty you’ve not. Ebay is incredibly cheap for anything that isn’t rare or considered a collector’s item. While buyers used to have to work with sellers to get items shipped overseas (and risk getting slapped with unforeseen taxes and fees) many individual sellers are now outsourcing this to Ebay’s Global Shipping Program, which has standardised the delivery process and calculates all shipping fees prior to purchase. Packages are also tracked, so you can keep tabs on your purchase. That said, it’s cheaper (though riskier) to work with individual sellers who organise international shipping themselves.
Shipping options vary by seller; the Global Shipping Program rates start from USD35
There are plenty of overseas retailers willing to ship their clothes all the way out to Qatar for a small fee; here, we outline some of the best bargains from popular fashion labels. Monsoon specialises in women’s and children’s clothes, including occasion wear and plus-size clothing (free shipping for orders over QR350). Abercrombie & Fitch offers classic American styles for men and women (flat shipping fee of USD20). Sister brands Abercrombie Kids and Hollister also have the same flat fee for international orders. Boden will ship their excellent collection of womenswear, as well as menswear and children’s clothing, to Qatar for a flat fee of GBP12. Jack Wills offers free shipping on their menswear and womenswear for GBP14.95.
This online retailer stocks a fresh mix of high-end and high-street clothing brands for both women and men, with harder-to-find sizes and more maternity options than you can find here in Doha. But ASOS doesn’t just ship clothing. They also ship cult beauty products like The Ordinary and Foreo skincare devices and makeup brands like Bourjois and Rimmel London. Returns are a snap, as you can send it back through the local post office with a pre-printed label. Just be aware that this is not a free service.
GBP6 for standard delivery (free over GBP30) or express shipping for GBP20 (free over GBP250)
You might wonder why we’d include this clothing and homeware retailer, as you can find them in many malls in Doha. Well, the online selection is much better than the meagre offerings in their store locations. Their online items are very practical for both home and the office, but we also appreciate their cute and quirky take on kids’ clothing.
Free shipping via Aramex for orders over QR160 within four working days
This high-end British department store offers a massive range of clothing, homeware, and baby gear. The women’s section stocks a number of popular British labels, including Reiss, Whistles, Hobbs and Jigsaw. But it’s the baby department that really shines, with plenty of adorable clothing and quality toys. Unfortunately, they don’t normally ship baby travel gear, like strollers or car seats, but you can check with their export department, as they can sometimes arrange overseas shipments, albeit for higher prices. Notably, they won’t ship beauty products (but read on for more options on that).
GBP10/shipping + QR20 Aramex fee
If you are a frequent online shopper, then you’ll definitely want a Selfridges+ Global Subscription. For GBP40/year, you get unlimited deliveries to most global destinations (great for gifting the family back home). Selfridges stocks luxury men’s and women’s clothing, kids’ clothing and accessories, and high-end beauty products. Homeware, gadgets, and even food are eligible for global shipping. There’s very little, it seems, that they won’t ship. And as Qatar is outside the EU, you enjoy tax-free shopping, too. There’s also no minimum spending requirement for shipping nor import fees.
GBP40 annually for unlimited deliveries
Marks & Spencers
Another department store readily found in malls around Qatar, Marks & Spencers online is an excellent option for clothes for the whole family as well as bedding and bath items. We especially like their lingerie and maternity options. The site also makes returns simple with door-to-door service via DHL for QR60.
Free standard shipping (5-7 business days) for orders over QR175, free express shipping (3-4 business days) for orders over QR450
Health and beauty
This American website has an incredible range of health, beauty and baby care items. It’s got everything from matcha powder to Korean beauty masks to menstrual cups, all at bargain (for Qatar) prices. It’s also a go-to source for reasonably priced protein powder. Promotions are many and ongoing, so create an account to keep up. You can usually get 10–15 percent off on your first order, and you build up loyalty credit with each order as well.
Shipping costs vary, but usually averages around USD20 per order
Skip those overpriced and understocked pharmacies for this Hong Kong-based website that stocks must-have beauty brands like Kerastase, Shiseido, and Estee Lauder. They also sell beauty brands for the serious skincare addict: Dermalogica, Obagi, Mario Badescu. Designer fragrances and makeup products are also on offer here, for better prices than at a brick-and-mortar shop. Best of all, Strawberrynet offers free shipping on most categories and has regular promotions and deals.
Free standard shipping (4–6 days) for orders over QR110, although surcharges apply for fragrance and hair care products
Homewares, gifts and more
Tired of the samey-samey IKEA accessories in your kitchen drawer? Then check out this adorable online shop that sells quirky homeware that will appeal to your inner child. There’s Nessie tea infusers, King Arthur egg cups, squirrel-shaped cookie cutters, sardine paperclips and a bunch more quirky nonsense.
Free global shipping for orders over USD25
Bring a splash of colour into your living space with prints from your favourite artists and photographers (or an original piece, if you’ve got the dosh). Art Republic offers free worldwide shipping for orders over GBP50 (otherwise, shipping fees are GBP9.99). Artwork will generally arrive rolled up in a tube, although there is an option to have it flat packed for an extra charge.
Free global shipping for orders over GBP50
You may have noticed that Qatar bookshops are not in the business of selling many books. Instead, get your next read off Book Depository, which offers free shipping to Qatar. They stock over 20 million books in a wide variety of categories, with a robust children’s section. While shipping is usually within a week or two, it’s not unusual for orders to take a bit longer—keep this in mind if ordering a birthday or holiday gift.
Free global shipping, with no minimum spend
Etsy is the go-to place for one-of-a-kind handmade items that you simply can’t get in Qatar (or anywhere else, for that matter). Like Ebay, there are plenty of Etsy sellers willing to ship their wares all the way out to Qatar. In fact, US-based sellers get a discount on shipping they can (ideally) pass on to the customer. While it’s rare to encounter a vendor that offers free shipping, there are many that will ship for a fair price (think somewhere between USD10–20 dollars).
Shipping options vary by seller
Many retail websites do not offer international shipping, particularly when it comes to digital items. It might make sense to use a third-party shipper—a company that will forward your purchases to you in Qatar—to get the best possible price on the market. Just be aware that some companies refuse to deliver to “known” shipping agents.
By far the most popular option in Qatar, Aramex Shop & Ship gives you addresses from a wide variety of countries to use when shopping online, including the US, U.K., Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore (among many, many others). A lifetime subscription costs QR164. Shipping rates are based on weight, with the first half kilogram costing QR43, and every half kilo thereafter costing QR35.
In general, U.K. retailers are much more willing to ship to Qatar than American ones. However, if you have your heart set on American brands (and don’t want to pay the local price for it), then Borderfree is for you. Not exactly a third-party shipping service, they are a portal through which you can buy everything from American Apparel to WWE-branded gear. Other options include Old Navy, L.L.Bean, and Dr. Martens, as well as luxury threads from department stores like Barney’s New York, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. Shipping rates vary by retailer, some offer free shipping while others charge a hefty sum.
QPost has entered the e-commerce game with Connected, which gives you access to US and U.K. retailers. The base fee is QR50 from the US and QR60 from the U.K.; items can be held for up to 21 days so you can take advantage of bundling discounts for any subsequent packages. Weight charges are QR4.6 per 100 grams from the US and QR2.9 per 100 grams from the U.K., although the latter may charge by volumetric weight if that figure is higher. While QPost is competitive on price, they are comparatively slow.
A bit more global, MyBox offers shipping addresses in the US, U.K., China, and Canada. To ship a 1-kg item from any of these address to Qatar is QR70.
If you are a fan of American brands, then MyUS.com is possibly the better deal. Sign up for a free account and take advantage of their tax-free shipping service. MyUS.com gives you a selection of shipping options. For instance, a 1-lb item can cost as little as USD12.99 through USPS or as much as USD56 through DHL. Paid account members can get extras like package consolidation, storage and even mail forwarding services.
A free account gets you an EU and two US addresses. This one is not as straightforward, as there are two US-based address to select from, with one offering cheaper shipping, and the other offering tax-free shopping. Again, you can select from a variety of shipping companies (including Aramex) that vary in speed and pricing. A 1-lb item from the California address will range from USD14 through Aramex to USD52 through FedEx.
If you tend to shop from a wide variety of US-based retailers, then Stackry might be a good option for you. You get to 60 days to consolidate all your packages into one shipment. They will also repack your US purchases for USD5 per package, which is helpful for frequent Amazon shoppers. That said, they are relatively more expensive. A 1-lb package ships from USD22.50 with DHL, so savings come from the ability to repackage and combine multiple shipments together.