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Weekend Activities in Doha Qatar

29 March 2019

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 Museum of Islamic Art represents Islamic art from three continents over 1,400 years. The museum is built on an island off an artificial projecting peninsula near the traditional dhow harbour. MIA is the flagship of Qatar Museums. 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.

Address: Located on Doha Corniche (aound the bay) in proximity to Hamad International Airport.
Tel: +974 4422 4444
Visit hours: 9am to 7pm on all days (Fridays 1.30pm to 7pm)
Website: http://www.mia.org.qa

weekend in doha

Qatar National Museum

Located across the Corniche in the capital city of Doha, the National Museum of Qatar opens to the public after renovation on 28th March 2019. The iconic building is being constructed in place of the original Qatar National Museum, designed by architect Jean Nouvel. The pale futuristic 52,000 sqm structure is located along Doha’s waterfront corniche and is the first notable building that you may get to see as you make way from the airport to the city centre. Built in the shape of a desert rose, the entrance include 114 fountain sculptures in a 900m long lagoon, while the museum’s multi-curved roof resembles a giant jigsaw puzzle comprising 76000 panels in 3600 different shapes and sizes. Within, there is more than 1500m of gallery space. Some noteworthy elements are the 19th century carpet embroidered with 1.5mn Gulf pearls, and the oldest Koran yet discovered in Qatar, dating back to the 1800s. The National Museum of Qatar stands in place of the former palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani, son of the founder of Modern Qatar.

Address: PO Box 2777, Museum Park St, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 4452 5555

Doha Fort

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.This impressive building is located at the end of the long wall stretching out into the harbour beyond the Corniche. You can find plenty of boats and dhows and can consider renting a cruise in Corniche. It is a decent place to visit on a weekend trip while in Qatar. It is full of history and can give you some good photographic sites. It also has a small cafeteria.

Address: Jasim bin Mohammed St, Bldg 11, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 7054 5424
Work hours: 12am to 12pm

Cultural Village

Located in the West Bay area, the Doha Cultural Village, also known as Katara 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. Pearl diving and fishing contests are often held here. Throughout the year it is host to a number of events - from National Sports Day to Dhow Festivals or other engagements. The most popular 'Doha Tribeca Film Festival' is also held here.

Address: West Bay Lagoon area of Doha
Tel: +974 4408 0000
Website: http://www.katara.net

Weekend Sports Lovers Options

Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex

Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex is a tennis complex in Doha, owned and operated by the Qatar Tennis Federation. For the tennis lovers, this is the biggest tennis complex to play tennis in Doha. It is the home venue for prestigious tournaments such as ExxonMobile Open and the Million Dollar Qatar Open. Courts are also available for hire on hourly basis.

The world-class complex hosts two major annual tennis championships with best ranked players. The venue is well-equipped for hosting fans and guests with plenty of seating areas, restaurants, entertainment stage and sport shops. There is dedicated kidz zone, playground, and mini courts, which makes it a fun experience for the whole family. The place is also good for just a visit during the weekend to play an hour game with friends. But, they are usually fully booked by weekend, so you should ensure that you register beforehand.

Address: Al Majles Twaon Street, Khalifa Intl. Stadium Complex, Al Dafna
Tel: +974 4409 666

Al Ahli Stadium

Located 1.1miles from the City Centre, the Al Ahli Stadium (earlier known as Hamad bin Khalifa 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. In fact, it is a recent build, which was constructed for the 2022 Qatar FIFA WorldCup. Only one entrance and exit is available on weekends and the parking for spectators is also limited. Although, football is the priority here, the stadium has arrangements for few other sports too such as handball, athletics, basketball and tennis.

Address: Sports Complex, Doha Qatar Tel: +974 4032 7777

Doha Golf Club

Being one of the first grass golf courses to be ever built in the Middle East, the green Doha Golf Club is an internationally recognized 18-hole golf course. 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 has three restaurants and golf shop. The clubhouse also has an excellent restaurant too, and is a great place to meet friends and relax over a meal.

Address: West Bay, P.O.Box 13530, Doha - State of Qatar
Tel: +974 4496 0777 / +974 4496 0715

Dhow Ride

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.

For Dhow Cruise, just head to the Corniche, and you can find a wide selection of dhows. There are tourist dhows from Corniche that will take visitors on a trip to various locations dotted along the Corniche for a small fee. There are dhow trips with longer duration and evening cruises with dinner too. Dinner cruises will have local music and entertainment and may take about 4 hours.

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.

Address: Furousiya St, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 4419 7704 / +974 44825708

Regatta Sailing Academy

The Regatta Sailing Academy offers various courses in sailing, for all levels, beginner to advanced, including family weekend courses. Regatta Sailing Academy is a great opportunity for kids to have early learning sailing skills. You can choose the boat depending on the skill level of each child, and the prevailing weather on the day. The course helps encourage communication, independence, team work and listening. You may find sailing a good and easy experience, while also enjoying the marvellous views of the skyland of Doha.

Address: Katara South Beach, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 5550 3484
Website: http://regattasailingacademy.com/

Desert Safari

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.

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. Surrounded by rolling sand dunes, it is a popular destination in the country outside of Doha. Inland Sea has small sharks, hammour and porpoises, and is a popular weekend getaway in Qatar for those who love dune bashing and some desert adventure.

Weekend Plan for Shopaholics

Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif is Qatar’s oldest market and a major tourist destination on its own.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, and you will find everything that you desire for, including perfumes to diamonds, scented oils to falcons! The place has 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. It has plenty of traditional style restaurants and casual cafes that offer a diverse variety of local and regional flavours. There are shisha lounges and charming antique stores, art galleries and luxury boutique hotels. On the whole, it is a melting pot for locals and foreigners to browse, explore, barter, shop, relax and mingle with each other.

Address: Al Wakrah, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 44336444

Villagio

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. Villaggio is the most sought after destination in Qatar for top of the line luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Gucci, Valentino and Dolce and Gabbana. The astonishing range of shopping, dining and entertainment venues in the mall make it a unique and unforgettable attraction.; one that no visitor can afford to miss.

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.

Address: Al Waab St, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 4413 5222
Website: www.villaggioqatar.com

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. It is among the largest shopping centres in Qatar and the biggest in the region and is linked to three international hotels, namely the Shangri-La Doha, Rotana City Centre Hotel and Marriot Marquis Hotel.

City Centre Doha features several family-oriented offerings including 14-screen cinema complex, an ice rink, a bowling alley, 38 restaurants and a family entertainment centre. Visitors get to witness a range of spectacular functions, variety of shows, seasonal events and activities targeting various age groups. A visit to the mall can offer you access to anchor shops such as Home Centre, Fun City, Debenhams, Fitness First, Mango, Baby Shop, Nike, Shoe Market, Sun and Sand Sport Fun City, Ice Rink, Bowling and Grand Cine Centre.Apart from shopping, the mall could also be a nice place to catch up for a movie and a meal with family or friends.

Address: Management Office 4th Floor West Bay Area, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 4483 9990 / +974 4493 3355
Website: https://www.citycenterdoha.com

Weekend Options For Children

Winter Wonderland Doha (Fun City Doha)

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. It is a family-friendly place devoted to the pursuit of excitement, fun, and comfort. It features winter adventures for the whole family, including bowling alley, comprising 8 lanes, ice ring, billiard tables, play station and a coffee shop.

The Fun City at City Centre Doha also has the Fun ‘n’ Learn, an edutainment zone, where kids get to learn through play. The indoor soft play area is well-equipped with several features, slides, wall climbing, tunnels and more. The play area has highest safety standards and is managed by trained staff.

Address: City Centre Doha, Qatar
Tel: 44839501

Relaxing Weekend Options

The Corniche

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.

Address: W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay, Doha, 19573
Call to Reserve: 97444535555

The Grand Cine center

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.

Address: Conference Centre, Doha, Qatar
Tel: +974 5059 8268

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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