Al Ghanim Bus Station, Qatar’s Pride Central Terminal

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As I told you at the beginning, if you dissect the whole of Qatar using Karwa Bus, you will automatically go back and forth in a central terminal in Doha, namely Al Ghanim Bus Station.

I am a backpacker who loves city buses and while at Qatar in five days exploration, for seven times, I visited this bus terminal which was the headquarters of Mowasalat (Qatar’s state transportation company).

Not big enough, in terms of size, Al Ghanim Bus Station is still less spacious than Tirtonadi Terminal in Solo (my hometown) or Kampung Rambutan Terminal in East Jakarta (the town which I am living now). This terminal is like a bus terminal in small towns on Java island….Tidar Terminal in Magelang for example….Yes, that’s my guess.

I instantly understood that there was no need for a large terminal to serve the territory of the state of Qatar, which is only twice the size of Bali island.

Riding Karwa Bus No. 12, first trip to Al Ghanim Bus Station.

That afternoon, heat of the sun collided with low temperature of the air blowing over the Qatar Peninsula. Smooth and scorching sand took advantage of wind current to mercilessly beat my face. But now I was wearing a rayban glasses which made me boldly and stylishly walking on Doha streets.

Starting from Casper Hotel, I cutted through the city in a bus which running for about five kilometers and arrived in half an hour at Al Ghanim Bus Station. Not expensive, only 2.5 Riyal to be paid to the Karwa Bus tap machine.

Al Ashat Street is right in front of the terminal.
Small, neat and minimal pollution.
No one shouted for passengers….Very silent.

Facility

Arriving at the terminal, I was in no rush to just leave it. I let my time wasted a little just by sitting on a waiting chair which made from white painted wood. Observing Qataris faces whose majority are government employees, Filipino faces who work in formal sector or South Asian faces who were either from Nepal, India, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka who appeared to work in informal sector. All of them passed me with their respective activities, moving in rhythm in driving Qatar’s economy.

Terminal waiting chair…. For those who can withstand the cold, please linger here.
Those who can’t stand the cold, can buy Karak (pull tea) at the corner canteen.

This terminal serves almost all bus routes, leaving or going to Doha. Each route takes 20-30 minutes to depart. The terminal operates from 4am to midnight.

The toilet is at the west end of the front, with a container box structure and you have to step through some stairs. The terminal also provides a closed space that is effective enough to warm the body while waiting for bus to depart.

Terminal’s closed waiting area.

Meanwhile, several Ticketing Vending Machines are provided next to the closed waiting room, so that every Karwa Bus service user can freely refill their Karwa Smartcard here.

On several terminal poles, each Karwa Bus route map is clearly listed, so it’s very helpful for passengers who don’t understand yet the entire Qatar region in finding a right bus route to each of their targeted destinations.

Karwa Bus Route No. 11.

That’s a brief profile of Al Ghanim Bus Station which is located in the Municipality of Ad Dawhah. Interested in visiting?

Routine route to return to Casper Hotel.

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Al Ghanim Bus Station, Terminal Sentral Kebanggaan Qatar

Seperti yang kukisahkan di awal, jika kamu membedah seisi Qatar menggunakan Karwa Bus maka secara otomatis kamu akan berhilir mudik di sebuah terminal sentral di kota Doha yaitu Al Ghanim Bus Station.

Aku sendiri yang adalah backpacker penggila bus kota dan selama di Qatar tercatat selama tujuh kali dalam lima hari, aku menyambangi terminal bus yang menjadi kantor pusat Mowasalat (perusahaan transportasi negara Qatar).

Tak cukup besar, secara ukuran, Al Ghanim Bus Station masih kalah luas dengan Terminal Tirtonadi di Solo atau Terminal Kampung Rambutan di Jakarta Timur. Bayangkan saja, terminal ini layaknya terminal bus di kota-kota kecil pulau Jawa….Terminal Tidar di Magelang misalnya….Ya, segitulah perkiraanku.

Aku sekejap memaklumi, tak butuh terminal yang besar untuk melayani wilayah negara Qatar yang hanya dua kali luas Pulau Bali.

Menunggang Karwa Bus No. 12, perjalanan perdana menuju Al Ghanim  Bus Station.

Siang itu, panas surya beradu kuat dengan rendahnya suhu udara yang bertiup di Semenanjung Qatar. Pasir-pasir halus penuh kesumat memanfaatkan arus angin untuk menghajar mukaku tanpa ampun. Tapi kini aku telah memakai rayban yang membuatku melangkah gagah nan penuh gaya di jalanan Doha.

Bermula dari Casper Hotel, aku membelah kota di dalam kotak besi berjalan sejauh lima kilometer dan tiba dalam setengah jam di Al Ghanim Bus Station. Tak mahal, hanya Rp. 10.000 saja untuk diserahkan ke tap machine Karwa Bus.

Al Ashat Street tepat di depan terminal.
Mungil, rapi dan minim polusi.
Tak ada yang berteriak mencari penumpang….Very silent.

Fasilitas

Tiba di terminal, aku tak terburu meninggalkannya begitu saja. Kubiarkan waktuku sedikit terbuang hanya dengan berduduk manis di sebuah kursi tunggu berbahan kayu bercat putih. Mengamati wajah Qataris yang mayoritas adalah pegawai pemerintahan, wajah Filipino yang bekerja di sektor formal atau wajah Asia Selatan yang entah dari Nepal, India, Bangladesh atau Sri Lanka yang tampak bekerja di sektor non-formal. Kesemuanya berlalu lalang dengan kesibukannya masing-masing,  bergerak seirama dalam menggerakkan ekonomi Qatar.

Kursi tunggu terminal….Bagi yang kuat menahan dingin silahkan berlama-lama disini.
Yang tak kuat dingin, bolehlah membeli Karak (teh tarik) di kantin pojok itu.

Terminal ini melayani hampir seluruh rute bus, yang keluar atau menuju Doha. Setiap rute berjeda keberangkatan 20-30 menit. Terminal beroperasi dari jam 4 pagi hingga tengah malam.

Toilet ada di ujung barat depan, berstruktur container box dan harus menaiki beberapa anak tangga. Terminal juga menyiapkan ruang tertutup yang cukup efektif untuk menghangatkan badan sembari menunggu keberangkatan bus.

Ruang tunggu tertutup terminal.

Sementara beberapa Ticketing Vending Machine disediakan di sebelah ruang tunggu tertutup, sehingga setiap pengguna jasa Karwa Bus dapat leluasa mengisi ulang Karwa Smartcardnya disini.

Di beberapa tiang terminal tercantum dengan jelas setiap peta rute Karwa Bus, sehingga sangat membantu penumpang yang belum memahami keseluruhan wilayah Qatar dalam menemukan jalur bus yang tepat ke setiap tujuan yang disasarnya.

Rute Karwa Bus No. 11.

Itulah profil singkat dari Al Ghanim Bus Station yang terletak di Municipality Ad Dawhah. Tertarik berkunjung?

Rute langganan untuk pulang menuju Casper Hotel.