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Tourist Information

Cities in Qatar

26 August 2022


A visitor who descends into Qatar, will be welcomed by the eye-catching view of the capital city, Doha. The landscaped, crescent-shaped corniche, the sandy desert backdrop and the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf, are the first glimpse of what awaits a tourist, who arrives for a vacation in the sun-kissed country. Doha is a place filled with desert escapades, water sports, shopping indulgence, modern sporting equipments, historical museums, fine-dining, luxurious attractions and other natural attractions.

More than 90 percent of Qatari nationals live in the Capital city of Doha. The city has government departments, financial and commercial institutions, and ministries. It has large commercial port and modern airport that links it to different parts of the world.

Doha is popular for its Mosques and modern buildings, increasing number of libraries, particularly the Qatari Book House and National Library. Doha has several tourist destinations that draw tourists all round year.

Popular Attractions: Few must-see attractions in Doha include Pearl Qatar, Souq Waqif, Doha Corniche, Museum of Islamic Art, National Museum of Qatar, Aspire Park, Al Koot Fort, Doha Zoo etc. 

The Doha International Airport is located along Southeast of the city.

Al Rayyan

Al Rayyan, located 10kms north of Doha, is one of the largest residential areas outside Doha and is houses the Qatar Equestrian Federation, the organizers behind several races and an annual Arabian horse show.

cities in qatar

Popular attractions: Al Rayyan has a historic centre with fortifications, apart from Mosques dating back to the 18th and 19h centuries. Al Rayyan, being the 2ndmost populous city has an excellent shopping scene as you can purchase designer goods at Wathnan Mall and Mall of Qatar.

International concerts and conferences are often held at the Qatar National Convention Centre which form part of the Qatar Foundation. You can find Sidra Hospital and Qatar Science and Technology Park. 

AI Shaqab, also founded by Qatar Foundation, is an equestrian centre, wherein guided tours help you learn about how Arabian horses are trained.

Al Wakra

Located in between Umm Said and Doha, is the town of Al Wakra. Though, originally a tiny pearling and fishing village, Al Wakra evolved itself into a small town with a population of not more than 30,000. The town has an Al Wakra museum in one of it’s old forts, that displays marine life and the history of the area. The town also has good art and architecture displays.

Popular attractions: The Al Wakrah Heritage Village has a series of alleyways and courtyards of Al Wakrah Souq. The 17th century Mosque and Al Wakrah Fort are a ‘muse-see’. Along the beach, you also get to view the house of Sheikh Ghanim bin Abdu;Rahman al-Thani, a structure of historical importance.

Umm Said

Is the core of Qatar’s industry, situated 45kms south of Doha, on the east coast peninsula. It is both an oil-export and commercial port with refineries, as well as other industrial establishments producing natural gas liquids, steel, petrochemicals and fertilizers. Umm Said has fine beaches too.

Musayid Town and Port situated in Qatar along the east coast of Qatar Peninsula in the Persian Gulf, was actually established as a tanker terminal by Qatar Petroleum Company in an otherwise uninhabited site. Umm Said is now the main administrative and engineering headquarters of the company.
Ummsaid is also the site of Qatar’s first major oil refinery, and was later expanded and linked to other refineries. It was in 1998 that Ummsaid was officially designated an industrial city.

Although Mesaieed is a small industrial town between Doha and Al Wakrah, its sand dune adventures are making it very popular day-trip destination in Qatar. You could paraglide or bounce over dunes during sunset in the desert.

Popular attractions: Sealine Beach, Khor Al Udaid Beach, Sand dunes Qatar, Sky Masters, Mesaieed – Tanzania – Serengeti migration safari & Kilimanjaro hiking, Desert bike tours, helicopter tours etc are a few attractions and activities that you may enjoy at this destination.

Khor Al Udaid

Located south of Doha, the sand dunes embrace the sea, surrounded by many sabkha deposits. The place can be reached only through four wheel drive cars, as the area is covered with sand and sabkha deposits.

This area of southern Qatar is wonderful to view and fun to drive across. The pristine sea, and ever-changing sands make the visits memorable, with the dunes reaching dizzying heights of upto 40m.

Khor Al Udaid Beach is where visitors escape the hassles of daily life to replenish their body, mind and soul. Adaid Natural Reserve is a land of natural wonder with a large briny lagoon and a serene desert.

Popular Attractions: Khor Al Udaid Beach, Adai Natural Reserve, Dunebashing safari, Dunes shift, guided tours etc are some activities you could try.

Al Khor

Located 57kms in the north east-coast of Doha, Al Khor is renowned for its harbour comprising fishing boats and small crafts. It is also popular for its beaches, historic towers and mosques.

Once a famous centre for the pearl industry in Qatar, the Al Khor skyline is dominated by 3 watchtowers, some of which have been restored to their original appearance. Al Thakira Beach is ideal for nature lovers who can enjoy the scenic landscapes and birdwatch in the mangroves. 

Popular Attractions: Al Thakira Beach, Farkeh Beach, Al Khor Island (Purple Island Beach), Jazirat Bin Ghannam, etc. Fishing and Kayaking are popular activities here.

Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC)

Located along the northern shore of Qatari Peninsula, the RLIC is one of the world’s significant and accessible emergent industrial export locations.


Located 45kms south of Doha, Mesaieed is a major industrial city in Qatar, with the industrial area housing basic industries, a large sea port, and the principal terminal for export of oil. The beaches, and sand dunes of Mesaieed are among major tourist attractions in Qatar, as is the location of Movenpick Sealine Beach Resort.

Umm Salal Mohammed

Umm Salal Mohammed is a town in the municipality of Umm Salal in Qatar. The town has numerous farms, wells and a large water reservoir which is filled during the rainy season.

Umm Salal Mohammed is a fortified town full of historic structures and houses three protected environmental areas. It is the ideal destination to visit for nature lovers as the world’s largest humanmade forest is to come up here. Also, for those interested in history, there are several historical landmarks too.

Popular Attractions: Sunai, Wadi Sultan, and Umm Al Amad reserves, Barzan watchtowers, Umm Salal Fortress, prehistoric burial ground over 5000 years old etc. 

Madinat Al-Shamal

Is a new town situated in the north end of the peninsula, about 107 kms north of Doha. It functions as an administrative center for quite a few coastal villages.

Madinat Al-Shamal is the capital city of Al Shamal municipality in Qatar, and is located at a distance of over 100kms north of Doha.
Here visitors get to explore a popular 19-th century desert fort. 

Popular Attractions: Al Rakayat Fort, Al Thaqab Fort, Al Zubarah Fort, Ruwayda archaeological site, Al Shamal Sports Club Stadium, Abu Dhalouf Park, Al Jumail Fishing Village, Al Areesh fishing town. Among the frequently visited beaches here are Al Ghariya, Fuwairit, Al Maroona, Al Jasasiya, and Aba Zaluf West Beaches.

Al Ruwais

Located on the north of the peninsula, the town is a good example of Bedouin lifestyle that merges with today’s modern world.

Being one of the most important fishing centres in Qatar, Al Ruwais takes you on a journey back in time with its historical fisherman’s huts.
The 17th-century Mosque is believed to be the oldest in the nation. Apart from its historical structures, and a large port, most travellers visit Al Ruwais to catch the Al Jassasiya Carvings, that dates back to the 1500 BC.

Popular Attractions: Fisherman’s huts, 17th centure Mosque, Ports, Al Jassasiya Carvings.

Al Zubara

Is located 100kms north-west of Doha, and is well-known for its old fort. This fort-turned museum was constructed during the year 1938, on the ruins of a neighbouring fort. The fort is square shaped with circular towers in three corners and rectangular tower in the fourth corner. The fort was used by the military until mid-1980s.


Located on the west coast of the peninsula, is 84kms from Doha. It became popular when people discovered oil in the surrounding area. The town is well-known for its fine beaches.

The city is not accessible to non-nationals. The Police Station, Mosque and shopping mall located outside the security gates prevent entry to other areas of the town to people who do not reside there. Dukhan also prohibits photography and video.

The town as such is only open to employees of Qatar Petroleum.

Popular Attractions: Dukhan beaches, Dukhan Masjid, Zekrit, and the Film City.

Robin Vinod

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

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