Doha is the capital of Qatar, a modern and rapidly developing city, located on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the Middle East. It is the richest country in the world per capita (according to Forbes) and considering the money being poured into construction, Doha looks like it is set to become one of the premier cities in the gulf within a few years and Qatar is just a few years away from hosting the world’s leading sporting event, the 2022 World Cup. Take a peek at some of WOW Travel’s Top 7 Things to Do in Doha.
Al Zubarah Town and Fort
Recently named a UNESCO World Heritage site, this coastal town (Located about 100km from Doha) is the only remaining example of a complete Arabian pearl merchant town and one of 6,000 archaeological and heritage sites in Qatar.
The Museum of Islamic Arts
This magnificent geometric architecture museum was designed by world-renowned architect I M Pei. It consists of artifacts, the finest collections of Turkish mosaics, Persian rugs and even wood carvings.
The Doha Corniche is a waterfront promenade studded with exciting green surroundings, remarkable modern architecture and great views over the Doha skyline. The promenade extends in a horseshoe shape along the Doha Bay and it is possible to walk, bicycle or sit down to rest and reflect over life.
Souq Waqif is a souq in Doha (“the standing market”). It is always bustling with people walking around the alleys and buying traditional garments, spices, handicrafts or even souvenirs. It is also home to dozens of restaurants and Shisha lounges.
Islamic Cultural Center
Also known as FANAR, is a spiral mosque, one of Doha’s most famous landmarks. This is not a traditional Qatari mosque but a replica of the Great Mosque of Al-Mutawwakil in Samarra in Iraq. It provides an excellent introduction to Islam through interesting exhibitions, and amongst other things you can get Arabic lessons there.
Embark on a Desert Safari adventure to the beautiful landscape where the Inland sea meets the desert. It involves a drive out of the city to the edge of the desert with the use of 4 x 4 jeeps where you will be welcomed to Bedouin-style tents.
A man-made island development covering 400 hectares of reclaimed land. The project has residential accommodation, amazing hotels, a marina, and retail areas. Here one can enjoy shopping in the many high-end retail shops and go and walk along the beautiful boardwalk overlooking the marina filled with a variety of international cafes and restaurants.
Just So You Know:
- Doha used to rely heavily on the trade of freshwater pearls from the Gulf, but the growth in the harvesting of the same natural products in Japan hit its economy hard and it slumped into a depression in the 1930s.
- The National Sport in Qatar is biding on International Events.
- The national Carrier Qatar Airways Allow you to Buy liquor on its planes but does not allow you to bring them into the country so you end up drunk even before you set foot.
- Arabic is the national language of Qatar but due to a large expatriate population that resides here, English, Urdu, French, Malayalam and Tagalog are also widely used.
- The Qatari’s favorite food is a roast camel, by all accounts roasted on a BBQ is the best option.
- It is more expensive to buy a McDonald’s than to fill up your car.
- Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 for which it will build 12 eco-friendly iconic stadiums, some of which will be able to host up to 80,000 people.
- Live Jazz music at Lincoln Center Doha is a must for the genre lovers, it is the home of Jazz in the Middle East.
- Play a round of golf at the Doha Golf Club.
- Watch Camel Racing at least once. Camel racing used to be known as the “sport of sheikhs”. Now you can watch the robots whipping the camels, with owners and spectators following along in their 4-wheel drives.
Get Some Culture:
- Mathaf – Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha offers an Arab perspective on modern and contemporary art.
- Sheikh Faisal Museum – Named after a Qatari billionaire sheikh and displays his private collection of random artifacts. Fossilised dinosaur eggs, shark teeth and marine turtles are lined up next to elephants made of seashells in macrame fashion and a 120 million year-old head and neck of a dinosaur.
- Qatar National Museum – Visitors can learn about Qatar’s ancestors and the formation of early cities, as well the modernization of Qatari society.
Grab A Bite:
- Al Shaheen Restaurant – At the top of the beautiful Sheraton hotel, boasting stunning views overlooking Doha’s Gulf Bay.
- Paper Moon Doha – A legendary Italian restaurant that delivers fashionable, relaxed ambiance and luscious, always using the most authentic and freshest seasonal ingredients.
- Market by Jean-Georges – Inspired by the traditional souks that are both a way of life and the cultural heritage of the Middle East, Market by Jean-Georges is a melting pot where international cuisine meets local Arabian flavors.