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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Navigating the Arch Roundabout detours – what you need to know


Arch Roundabout Detour


West Bay’s Arch Roundabout (also know as Rainbow Roundabout) is officially closed for construction, and isn’t expected to return until the second half of 2015, but as a 3-level junction.

This weekend, passersby have had a chance to try out Ashghal’s complex new detour scheme, which involves two new signaled intersections, a u-turn and several connecting roads. So far, residents have reported mostly positive results, but the real test will come on Sunday, as daily commuter traffic attempts to navigate the new layout.

To help you navigate, here’s a primer on how to get to, and through, the Arch roundabout detours from each direction:

Coming from Qatar Sports Club

Heading north on Lusail (or Istiqlal) Street toward Arch Roundabout, a new road connection will push you to the left of the RB to a new T-junction with a traffic signal (New Traffic Signal No. 4 on the map).

To head toward Qatar University, make a left at the light.

To go toward Katara and The Pearl, or to get to City Center, make a right. This will bring you to another new T-junction with a traffic light (New Traffic Signal No. 3 on the map). For Katara and The Pearl, make a left. For City Center Mall, make a right.

Coming from City Center Mall

Heading west on Omar al-Mukhtar Street toward Arch Roundabout, you will now be automatically routed north of the RB to “New Traffic Signal No. 3.”

If you’d like to go  to Katara, The Pearl etc., continue straight.

If you’d like to U-turn back toward City Center Mall, well you’re not supposed to do that here (although many already are). Instead, you’re meant to continue straight and U-turn at the next light, called “Traffic Signal No. 2”.

If you’d like to go west toward Qatar University, make a left at “Signal No. 3”, and you’ll loop around Arch RB to arrive at “Signal No. 4” with the single option of continuing straight to Al Jamiaa (University) Street.

Notably, there is no way of going south on Lusail (Istiqlal) Street toward Qatar Sports Club Roundabout. You’ll have to take the long way around, from University Street to Markhiya, or take the inner roads opposite City Center Mall.

Coming from Katara

From Katara or The Pearl, it’s pretty easy to get to City Center Mall and the Dafna / Diplomatic areas. You just drive straight, although you might have to stop at an additional traffic light (Traffic Signal No. 3).

To get to University Street, it isn’t too bad either. Heading south, you’ll go through “Signal No. 2” after the Exhibition Center and then on to “New Traffic Signal No. 3”, at which point you’ll need to make a right. That takes you on to “New Traffic Signal No. 4” and you continue straight.

If you’re trying to continue straight on Lusail (Istiqlal) Street toward Qatar Sports Club, you can’t do that anymore.  You’ll have to make a square around University Street and Markhiya Street, or take the small inner roads opposite City Center Mall.

Coming from Qatar University (University St.)

Heading to Arch Roundabout from University Street, there’s only one path to take – continuing straight to “New Traffic Signal No. 4”.

If you’re trying to access Lusail (Istiqlal) Street toward Qatar Sport Club, you can make a right turn onto an inner road before you get to the new intersection. This is a good way to access the new SEK and Doha College West Bay campuses.

If you want to get to either Katara or The Pearl, or head to City Center Mall, you’ll just continue straight through “New Traffic Signal No. 4” until you reach “New Traffic Signal No. 3.” From there, make a left toward Katara, or make a right toward City Center.

Notably, the Katara turn is the left-most two lanes, while City Center has three lanes reserved for turning.

Did we miss anything? Thoughts?


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Peter Draper
8 years ago

drove this a couple of times yesterday travelling from Diplomatic Area to Al Gharafa, not too bad when the traffic is light, and it’s obviously been well thought out, but I predict some serious backlogs during heavy traffic (I refuse to say Rush Hour because it lasts WAY longer than an hour and nobody rushes anywhere)

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
8 years ago

they really need to put some signs there

Shane West
Shane West
8 years ago

I’m no expert in diversion planning (to say the least) but while coming from Qatar University on a Friday evening, I got to try out the new road plan (to go towards City Centre). No much traffic, its a three lane also. I guess the signals placed to merge with the road coming from Pearl/Katara will help in avoiding any collission. Few assume that only the right most lane can be taken to go to CC (initially I did too) but the next 2 lanes also can be taken.The right most lane had a long que which made me shift lanes (and I dreaded the case where in I would be wrong and had to merge back like a total inconsiderate idiot) .

8 years ago
Reply to  Shane West

‘ I dreaded the case where in I would be wrong and had to merge back like a total inconsiderate idiot) .’
Thought that was normal driving behaviour in Qatar. Isn’t the rule of the road you take the lane with the shortest queue, then simply make whatever manoeuvre you want when you get to the junction?

8 years ago

Been in Qatar long enough to truly value proper, helpful, clear information. Thanks for taking the time and trouble to share this map. Appreciate it!

8 years ago

“If you’d like to U-turn back toward City Center Mall, well you’re not supposed to do that here” not quite right 🙂

People living in West Bay apartments always do that for the prayers at the mosque located near Rainbow R/A.

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