Listed here are some popular weekend getaways and activities in Qatar. You could choose any interesting activity to relax and bond with friends and family.
Weekend sight-seeing options
Museum of Islamic Art
The art lovers can consider visiting the Museum of Islamic Art, which is one of the best places to visit. If you have atleast 3 hours to spare on a weekend, it is worth a drive here. The art work and museum pieces are divided in chronological order on several floors. It has a stunning atrium. Apart from the museum, there is also a nice snack place that serves great food and desserts. The cafe area is also quite beautiful, with museum offering some finest collections of ceramics, manuscripts and textiles from various Muslim countries in the world, to fill its galleries. You also gain access to extensive libraries. On the whole, the Museum is a unique storehouse dedicated to all facets of Islamic art.
Qatar National Museum
The Qatar National Museum, housed in one of the former Al Thani residences, could be the place to visit, if you would like to know more about eastern Arabian architecture. The Museum was built during the reign of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani, and was transformed into museum to display various traditions and archaeological findings in Qatar. This could be the place to visit if you would like to catch a glimpse into local history and traditional architectural styles of Qatar. It is more like a fortress overlooking the sea near the Dhow harbour and also has a grand walkway lined with royal palms, apart from lovely cafe area to relax and watch the sunset.
If you would like to use your spare time to learn more about the historical monuments in Doha, the Doha Fort could be the right place for sightseeing, as it is just a few minute walk from Souq Waqif. The Fort also has a museum that holds collection of traditional arts, paintings, handicrafts, historical photos, fishing equipment and boats, and gold work. A visit to the Fort could also be a great photo opportunity for you.
Weekend Sports Lovers Options
Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex
For the tennis lovers, this is the biggest tennis complex to play tennis in Doha. But, advance appointment may be required. The complex also has a decent line up of restaurants that you could enjoy. The food court has variety of offers. The complex also offers some prestigious tournaments such as ExxonMobile Open and the Million Dollar Qatar Open. Courts are also available for hire on hourly basis.
Al Ahli Stadium
Located 1.1miles from the City Center, the Al Ahli Stadium is a multi-purpose stadium, used mostly for football matches. The football team Al Ahli (Doha) play there. The stadium is an excellent sports facility, with latest infrastructure, and has a capacity to seat about 20,000 people.
Doha Golf Club
The green Doha Golf Club is an internationally recognized 18-hole golf course, amidst the surrounding barren desert. It hosts the annual Qatar Masters in March. It is also open to non-members and has a flood-lit, 9-hole academy course. Designed by Peter Harradine, this golf course also three restaurants and golf shop. The clubhouse also has an excellent restaurant called II Mediterraneo.
A dhow ride could be your chance to see the corniche from the sea. The local fishing boats leave from the jetty near the Balhambar restaurant. All tour companies offer three to four hour evening dhow cruises, accompanied by dinner, traditional music and entertainment. This could be the ideal weekend evening for those interested.
Racing & Equestrian Club
This could be the right opportunity to meet locals. You could consider attending one of the weekly horse races that occur during the period October to May. Every Thursday there are races of purebred Arabian horses happening at the Racing & Equestrian Club. You could also take advantage of the horseback riding of Arabian horses in Doha.
Regatta Sailing Academy
The Regatta Sailing Academy offers various courses in sailing, for all levels, beginner to advanced, including family weekend courses.
For those of you, seeking to add a little excitement, desert safari would be ideal. It is just an hour south of Doha, and expert local drivers can take you through dune bashing for some fast paced thrills, while you can also stop to see the beautiful Inland Sea.
Popularly known as Khor al-Daid, the Inland Sea, it is just an hour and half's drive from south of Qatar through entrance of the Empty Quarter. It joins the Arabian Gulf by a narrow inlet which also shares the southern border with Saudi Arabia. Inland Sea has small sharks, hammour and porpoises, and is a popular weekend getaway in Qatar.
Weekend Plan for Shopaholics
Recently restored to its former glory, Souq Waqif is a major outdoor market place for locals and tourists alike to shop for handicrafts, souvenirs, and spices. Along the narrow roads, there are variety of shops and art galleries, a collection of restaurants with international cuisines, and an Islamic Centre and a spiral Mosque from which you get to learn more about Islam and Arabic people.
Located in the West Bay area, the Doha Cultural Village is more like a mini-township. The complex is the focal point of culture and entertainment in the city, comprising multiple halls, theatres, children playground, food parks, stages that play concerts, plays, dance shows, band performances, movie screenings, and festivals galore. The most popular ‘Doha Tribeca Film Festival’ is also held here.
Villagio is the ideal place for shopping, entertainment and social interaction, offering unrivalled blend of shops, restaurants and recreation, if that is the way you like to end your week. The Villaggio mall, located in the Aspire Zone, lines up an array of general consumer brands for the discerning shopper, while the choice of eateries offers your favourite global and regional fast food brands housed in the food court to choose from.
The entertainment centre includes 13 screen luxury cinema, and the only Imax screen in Qatar. Further, Gondolania is the latest addition to entertainment offerings. Being a wonderland for kids of all ages, Villaggio also offers a 22,000 square metre indoor theme park with classic Ferris Wheel, bumper cars, horror street ride, carousel, 12-lane bowling, Go-kart racing, billiard tables, 4D theatre, latest arcade games and indoor Olympic-sized skating rink.
City Centre Mall
Located at the heart of Doha's West Bay district, this five-storey mall has everything in store, from shopping to ice rink and bowling alley. There is the Carrefour market for your selection of weekly shopping. It could also be a nice place to catch up for a movie and a meal with family or friends.
Weekend Options For Children
Doha Zoo could be the right place to visit on a weekend, if you have small kids, as they would enjoy the animals and some rides there. The entry charge is minimal. The zoo houses variety of animals and the play area on the other end is also good enough to keep children occupied. On the whole, it may be a good outing for kids.
X-Treme World / Winter Wonderland
Located in the City Centre Doha, Winter Wonderland offers 10-pin bowling alleys, ice skating rink and a water park, while X-Treme World offers a range of games, rides and sports. X-Treme World is a whizz-bang collection of virtual rides, merry-go-rounds, go-karts and an indoor ski slope.
Relaxing weekend options
If you wish to take a stroll along the well-groomed walk-ways of the Corniche, catching the good views of Downtown and Museum of Islamic Art, a weekend evening would be ideal. The Corniche is a good place for a stroll, offering decent landscaping and great views of West Bay skyline, and to sit and have a drink/meal/shisha.
Bliss Spa Doha
Why not visit the sophisticated Bliss Spa at W Doha Hotel & Residences to get a signature treatment and massage? The 8000 square feet amenities feature a retail beauty boutique, a luxury nail lounge, manicure & pedicure stations equipped with personal TVs, designated treatment rooms for men and women, spa-inspired soaking tub, men and women lounges, rhythm and blue tunes, legendary brownie buffet, all set in a fun, upbeat tone to top off, it could be a sheer indulgence.
The Grand Cinecenter
Located in the City Centre Mall, The Grand Cinecenter, is the largest theatre in Doha, and could be the ideal place for movie buffs. Couples or families can drop in here to watch a picture or two. The theatre is well-designed with amazing sound quality, and usually draws huge crowds.
This could be a pleasant place to spend some time away from the crowded Doha roads. Hidden behind the Villagio, it is a large green park complete with kids play area, football pitches, and greeneries.. There is a recreation area spanning 80 hectares, apart from a large man-made lake with bridges and fountains. There is an Aspire Petit Cafe, a western-inspired coffee shop that serves delectable pasta and cake, among others. During weekend nights, more people arrive at the park, to enjoy all these features, and also to catch a glimpse of the Aspire Tower, the tallest structure in the city.