Attractions in Doha Qatar
Things to do in Doha Qatar
Qatar is a popular sport destination, and hence, sport-enthusiasts can look forward to participating in various sport activities, including water sports, cruising, sailing, and scuba diving which are the favourites among foreigners. For the golf enthusiasts, there is the Doha Golf Club at the World Championship Golf Course, designed by Peter Harradine.
For those interested in sailing, you may rent a sailboat if you wish. Another popular outdoor activity is kayaking. For instance, the Al Thakira Marina near Al Khor is popular for kayaking.
Dhow ride by the Doha harbour may be a good option for those interested in learning about fishing and pearling cultures in Qatar. The dhow is a traditional Qatari fishing boat, anchored in many spots along the Corniche of Doha harbour.
Adventure sport lovers interested in rock climbing, can experience the adrenaline rush that comes from the sport, as there are several options for rock climbers in Qatar. Zekreet in western Qatar near Dukhan, has several large rock formation, for instance.
Another sport activity you could consider taking up may be Kitesurfing. There are Kitesurfing schools offering lessons to adults and teenagers. Located 80kms north of Doha, the Fuwairit beach, and lagoon at Zeekret, are popular for kitesurfing and windsurfing in Qatar
Diving is a popular water-sport in Qatar, as the peninsula is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. The warm clear waters of the Gulf are great for diving, and home to a range of marine wildlife, and divers can spot several fish, rays, sea snakes and dolphins. There are several centres around Qatar that offer lessons in scuba diving for kids as young as eight years or for adults at the beginner, intermediate or advanced levels.
Fishing is popular in Qatar. The waters off Doha are home to hundreds of fish, including puffers, Anglefish, Dorado, Mackerel, and Hammour. Places on charter boats can be booked through the hotels in Doha.
Being a desert country, Qatar is also known for sand sports. The Blokarting is a popular sport here. The blokart is a wind-powered go-kart invented in New Zealand in 2000, and growing land based sailing sport. You can experience sailing without actually being at sea. Those interested in blokarting may have to contact Doha Sailing Club, which offers training for beginners and organizers.
Riding in the sand dunes / Desert safari
The Desert Safari is a truly enjoyable activity for many in Qatar. Driving up and down the big sand dunes with a good and trustworthy driver, would be more like a rollercoaster ride. You get to view the inland sea, camels, view the gas and oil facilities from the top, and just enjoy every minute of the desert, as the shape of the dunes, and their height, all together makes the driving trip in the dunes a popular past time. There are also desert touring companies who organize trips into the dunes for adventurous boarding. Sand skiing by using traditional style skis is also hugely popular.
Qatar's Shahaniya Oryx Farm is the best place to gain first-hand experience with horses that are at the pure-bred Arab Show and Al Shaqab Stud Farm. You get to ride horses at the Sealine Beach Resort, take lessons at Al Shaqab Riding Club or at the training section of the racing and equestrian club. The Al Samariyah Equestrian Centre located on the road to Dukhan, adjacent to Sheikh Faisal Museum is also said to be good as it welcomes riders of all levels. You may lease a horse or stable or your own horse here.
Discover more on Doha's arts, culture and religion â€“ visit museums & forts
Take a tour of Doha's impressive architectural structures to discover the true essence of Islamic Arts in Doha. Some of the worth-visiting spots are 'Museum of Islamic Arts', where you will find the world's finest collection of Persian rugs, Turkish mosaics, artworks, wood carvings, artefact, manuscripts, and precious materials that showcase the historical culture, and intellectual aspects of Islamic culture. The 'Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art' is an educational institute dedicated to Arab culture, housing a permanent collection of unique and contemporary Arab arts. Few other attraction highlights include visiting the Grand Mosque, Qatar National Museum and Aquarium, Islamic Culture Centre.
Museum of Islamic Arts
Is a worthwhile place to spend few hours. The museum is very informative offering certain aspects of Islamic art. In fact, the building by itself is a work of art. Located in the MIA Park along the waterfront, the museum building stands out as an architectural piece. Inside the museum you may find masterpieces in the likes of metalwork, ceramic, jewellery, textiles, woodwork, and glass linked from three continents and dating from 7th century to 19th century. The museum is open from 10.30am to 5pm.
Qatar National Museum
Qatar National Museum was unveiled on 23rd of June 1975 and displays the elements of Qatar's history and traditional mode of life of its people. Located in proximity to Souq Waqif, it has been closed for renovation and is still under construction. The new builing is expected to have three storeys. The topmost floor will include administration offices. The main entrance would be on the middle floor which displays formation of earth, and the lower floor exhibits archaeological excavations in Qatar's peninsula, Islamic findings, natural history, geology and oil. It may also include Qatar pearls, fossils, shells and achievements of the medieval Arab navigation.
Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
Established in the year 1998, at the grand Qatari Fort at Al Samriya Farm, the Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum is the most amazing place in Qatar. From the ancient Dinosaur eggs and skeleton, to Islamic and Middle Eastern cultural art pieces, calligraphy, books, vintage cars, etc., the museum has an amazing collection for a private museum. The rare and precious pieces displayed here represent the travels that Sheikh Faisal has undertaken across several countries in the past 50 years. It depicts his steady eye for culture, tradition, history, and legitimacy in preserving Islamic and Qatari custom.
Some other museums worth visiting in Qatar are â€“ Weaponry museum, Museums of Orientalists, photography museum, and Al Khor museum.
Apart from museums, visiting forts and towers of ancient times are true evidence to the architectural and urbanistic wealth of ancient civilizations in Qatar. The Doha Fort, for instance, is home to several traditional handicrafts in Qatar, with exhibits including Bedouin Sadu, fishing boat, handcrafts gypsum, wooden ornaments, all of which showcase the daily life of craft workers in the past. Al Zubra Fort and Museum is one of the oldest archeological site famous for its fort, featuring antiques that showcase Doha's history. Few attractions worth visiting are Al Wakra, Al Jassasiya, Al Wajba Fort, Al Zubarah town, Katara Cultural Village and Barzan Towers.
Shopping is a must-do activity for all. Doha has several amazing shopping complexes, so that shopaholics can purchase everything in their list from a single place. But, there are also small stalls at the souqs that sell almost anything. For instance, a place like Souq Waqif, one of the oldest traditional markets in Barzan tower, may be ideal place to shop for those seeking souvenirs or traditional handicraft items.
The Doha Gold Souq, which displays intricate hand-made jewellery in small workshops, traditional cartouche and pearls, may be the right place to shop for those in love with gold, precious stones, silver or pearls. Here, little shops compete with each other in offering the best prices and hand-made designs.
As for shopping malls, there are plenty, but, the City Centre Doha and Villaggio Mall are the most popular ones. Among the other malls here are Laggoon at West Bay, The Gate, The Landmark Mall, The Mall, Hyatt Plaza, and Centrepoint. According to Forbes, Villaggio of Doha is one of the best malls in the world, with all major brands found here, including Armani, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, Rolex, Breitling, Philippe, Ferrari, Range Rover, Aston Martin, and many more. The shopping malls in Doha are modern, air-conditioned and filled with plants and flowers, and every mall has a children playground. Al Wakrah and al Khor are located further away. Majority of malls in Qatar are open from 10.00h to 22.ooh, and will be closed on Friday mornings. Some malls have family days too.
When it comes to food, the options in Qatar are endless. Given, the population diversity in Qatar, a large variety of different cuisines are available including Thai, Indian, Chinese, Italian, Korean, European, and more. For those of you who enjoy European cuisine, a hotel like the Marriott or the Ramada, offering excellent sushi could be the choice. However, only major hotels in town have the choice of having drinks with your meal. There is authentic Indian and Pakistani food outlets too, scattered across the city, ranging from family-oriented places to basic catering being undertaken for employees. For excellent Thai cuisine, you may consider visiting Thai Twin (near the Doha Petrol Station and computer souqs) or Thai Snacks (at Marqab Street). Of-course, there is Middle Eastern cuisine everywhere and in several forms, including breads, kebabs, hummus and so on. Having food at a Souq is also an unique experience.
There are plenty of Arabic restaurants in Doha offering food at reasonable rates, and lots of small South Asian restaurants too. Majority of fast food chains are also represented here, and they even offer an Arabic twist to their menu. The top hotels in the city and the Pearl-Qatar offer fine dining experiences and the popular brunch.
Visit Theme Parks and Gardens
Qatar has no scarcity when it comes to parks and gardens. Parks and gardens may be just the place to visit with family on a leisurely evening or weekend. Majority of the parks are well-maintained.
The latest news is that the municipality in Qatar plan to build more than 50 new parks in Qatar shortly, and all the parks including the existing parks would offer free wi-fi connectivity. More greeneries and children play areas would be included in the existing parks.
Few parks in Qatar that are worth visiting are Aspire Park, Corniche, Al Rumailah Park, Al Wakrah Park, Museum of Islamic Art Park, Dahl Al Hamam Park, Barzan Olympic Park, Huwaila 4 Park. Al Khor Park and Sheraton parks would be opened soon after renovation, while work is in progress on four new family parks, namely the Onaiza Park, Al Shehaniyah Park, Al Khairaitiyat Plaza, and Umm Salal Park.
Go to the Cinemas
Are you a movie buff, and would you like to go regularly to movies in Qatar? Well, Doha has more than 25 halls in five cinema complexes, including 3D equipped halls. Doha also hosts international film festivals like Tribeca Film Festival Doha and Al Jazeera Documentary Film Festival.
You could catch some excellent cinema screens at the Gulf Cinema at C-Ring and Najma Road, Doha City Centre Mall, Landmark Mall, Villaggio Mall, The Mall, Royal Plaza Mall, French Cultural Centre at West Bay, IMAX Cinema, and Doha Film Institute at Katara.
Given here are name of some most used websites for cinema listings in Qatar - Cinema Qatar (http://www.cinemaqatar.com), Al Cinema (http://www.alcinema.qa), Q-Tickets (https://www.q-tickets.com), Cineco movies (http://www.cinecomovies.com), Qatar Cinemas (http://www.qatarcinemas.com), DFI Film Screenings (http://www.dohafilminstitute.com).
Join courses and classes
To entertain and keep yourself occupied, consider joining some hobby classes or activity classes, if you have the time and flair for them. You may consider joining a sport class or art class, or even consider some part time courses that may help you in your career. Some places in Qatar that can accommodate your needs based on your requirement are the Qatar Guest Centr, Fanar Qatar Islamic Cultural Centre and University of Qatar.
Visit Project sites
With Doha gearing up for the 2022 World Cup, several key projects are sprouting in the city, and hence construction works on various projects are in full zoom. You could consider visiting some key project sites like Lusail City, located just off the West Bay lagoon, which is home to residential buildings, island resorts, commercial districts, and luxury shopping; the Aspire Zone, better known as Doha Sports City spanning 250 hectare sports complex featuring various porting facilities; the Education City, by Qatar Foundation, aimed to make Qatar a pioneer in innovative education and research.
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