Attractions in Doha Qatar
The Doha Corniche is indisputably the most attractive part of Doha studded with exciting green surroundings and remarkable modern architecture. The Corniche is a waterfront palm-fringed boulevard and twin carriageway, extends in a horseshoe shape and runs 7 km along the Doha Bay and the city's sea-front.
The Corniche Street, a main thoroughfare runs parallel to the Corniche and connects Doha's emerging West Bay business district with the south of the city and Doha international airport. The sightseers will always have the sea on one side while there is a small stretch of grassland and a very hectic business street on the other side. The place is popular with walkers, skaters, joggers and people love to stroll along the corniche, especially during the pleasant evenings, having a breathtaking view on the skyline and a good look at all the illuminated monuments.
Surrounded by skyscrapers, the Doha Corniche is lined with magnificent hotels, cafes, the structural masterpieces such as government buildings; gorgeous parks with children’s play area, cool green lawns and other a significant number of stunning landmarks, such as the Museum of Islamic Art and the Qatar National Theatre.
Initially an empty stretch of walkway, the Sheraton Hotel was the only noticeable edifice in that walkway before the dredging effort expansively carried out during the early 1980s which restructured Doha's coastline. The last decade saw increase in developmental work of the seaboard due to the new fame of Doha (Qatar's capital), with several skyscrapers being built towards the north of the Corniche. Presently, the Doha Corniche is now a charismatic epithet of the economic boom the country has been experiencing and their desire to open up and boost tourism, which was made easy by the 2006 Asian Games. The luxurious buildings, stunning landmarks and magnificent masterpieces in the Corniche are reminiscent of New York City where all visitors to Doha come to visit, at some time during their stay.
How to go?
Doha corniche is indeed easily the most attractive part of this capital city, is 15 minutes walking distance only from airport arrival terminal and is 5-10 minutes away from airport by taxi. There is no entry fee to anywhere in the Corniche. The tourists stopping by between 2 flights has to pay, a visa fee of approx. 30 US Dollars (100 Rials) to exit the airport and visit the Doha attractions like the Corniche.
A walk along the Corniche
The Sheraton is an Aztec-pyramid shaped landmark on the shores of the crescent-shaped Doha Bay at the far end of the Corniche. This stylish hotel stood alone until recently; now the limelight is also shared by the other imposing buildings shooting up all round it. There is also a very pleasant Sheraton Park nearby the hotel and this is where the Corniche Promenade starts. There is children’s play area, café, hop and cool green lawns with relaxing spaces where visitors can sit back and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Free wifi is also now available in the Sheraton gardens.
There is a big parking place for the benefit of visitors – however ensure to stand by the marked area or when on return after visiting the Corniche, visitors may surprised to see a parking ticket slapped on the vehicle.
Further along the corniche, there is a jetty to watch small fishes spilling over in the clear water, and there’s also a small little beach for paddling however no swimming allowed. Tourist dhows in this place will take the visitors on a trip to several other locations dotted along the Corniche and to Palm Tree Island. This small island, just offshore has excellent beaches for swimming and outstanding family amenities, with beaches, water sport facilities, good cafes, economical barbecue meals and seafood lunch at the restaurant. The dhows leave every 10 minutes and the trip takes about only 10 minutes.
Carrying on around the corniche, there is Bal Hambar restaurant which is right on the shoreline, where we can sit serenely watching the waves crash along the wall below and enjoy the traditional Arabic cuisine. There is Al Bidda Park – (Rumeila Park) - on the other side of the road on the next roundabout. This is a real area of sprawling greenery, good for bird watching as is it is frequented by numerous species of birds. There is a children’s play area, with open space perfect for picnics and Thai Smile – a delectable Thai restaurant by the canal where we can also buy refreshments.
Continuing along Doha’s Corniche, there is Doha heritage village, a skanzen based on a traditional Qatari hamlet where Tourists can get to see pearl trading, weaving, old well, masked Bedouin women displaying jewellery and even a traditional Dhow permanently under repair. During special occasions and festival days, the heritage village is a hub of activity with locals weaving and practicing forgotten crafts. During the evening, the place is filled with music and dancing. Continuing westward, the next is an impressive concrete structure –the Emir’s palace, which is the official home of the Qatar Government with luxuriant landscaped gardens and cascading water feature.
Along the Al Corniche Street, Nearly opposite the Emir palace is the is Doha Port area, which is parking place for a large number of traditional dhows, fishing boats , working boats and pleasure craft. Its well worth a look around, the place has the traditional fishing traps and this is also a popular place for fishing, which is prohibited around most of the Corniche.
On the other side of the road is Qatar national museum – is currently undergoing renovation and is due to reopen in December 2014. This is located in the eastern part of the Doha Corniche and includes a maritime museum as well as a small jetty which also has the largest wooden dhow in the world. Several Trendy dhow restaurants offer traditional Qatari cuisine nearby the jetty attract by lot of fisherman and locals alike. There is an illustrious pearl sculpture at the entry to this jetty which features in the photo albums of all the visitors.
The restaurant Ras Al Nasa and Doha club are at the very end of the Corniche which bring the walk to an end. Refined Persian cuisine available for reasonable prices and cathedral-like rest rooms in the Ras Al Nasa is really popular among the evening strollers.
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