Doha – The Capital of Qatar an Upcoming Destination in the Middle East

Doha – The Capital of Qatar an Upcoming Destination in the Middle East

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To See and Do

Doha Corniche
Doha, like Muscat possesses a gorgeous Corniche which is 7 km long and lines Doha Bay.The Corniche has the port of Doha within it and the sight of ships sailing into the turquoise waters of the bay present a spectacular sight. The Corniche has a picturesque promenade which is the center for many recreational activities such as walking and rollerblading, swimming, surfing and snorkeling. Hotels and restaurants abound along the Corniche. The Al Bida Park is also located here and is a popular picnic spot.

Palm Tree Island
Palm Tree Island is presently under renovation as is much of Doha. It is an artificial Island in the middle of Doha bay populated by Palm trees and is accessible from the Corniche by a 10 minute boat ride. The island has many attractions on it including an excellent though expensive sea food restaurant as well as a private beach and a swimming pool. The island is surrounded by the azure waters of the Doha bay. Boats leave for the island between 10am and 10 pm daily and a return trip costs 20 rials.

The Qatar National Museum
The Museum located on the Corniche is located in a restored palace which was inhabited by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Qassim Al Thani. It has an aquarium and a lagoon in its environs and has exhibits of the vestments, artifacts and jewelry. It is open from 8am to noon and 4pm to7pm daily.

Doha Fort
The fort which was constructed by the rulers of the Ottoman Empire is built in the Moorish style. It is located in the Al Bida district and has a museum within it which has displays of paintings, intricate carvings and other artifacts. Admission to the museum is free.

Ethnographic Museum ‘Wind Tower House’
The museum has a open tower composed of open arches which provide ventilation. The museum features exhibits of scenes from a typical Qatari Life.

The Weaponry Museum, Medinat Khalifa
This museum has a fine collection of solid gold daggers, swords and Persian rifles. The 2300 exhibits are well organized and labeled. The admission to the Museum is free.

Other Museums are due to open soon such as the Museum of Islamic Art, the Qatar Photography Museum and the Qatar National Library.

Camel rides and desert safaris in a 4×4
Like it’s other Middle Eastern Neighbors Doha in Qatar also affords a tourist ride on the ‘ship of the desert’ the camel. It is an experience not to be missed as is the desert safari in the dunes. These are organized tours with guides where one rides in a 4×4 out into the desert to view the often glorious sunsets and to traverse the bumpy dunes with the sands of the desert swirling around. These are usually day trips which last around five hours. The dunes are located to the southeast of the city. These tours can be arranged by several companies one of which is Net Tours Qatar Co. W.L.L (974-431-0902)

Shopping is a national pastime in Qatar. Spanking new Shopping malls such as Landmark Plaza, City Center and Hyatt Plaza co exist with the centuries old shopping destinations -the delightful souks. Souq Waqif on Al Souq street is often referred to the old Souq or the Iranian Souq and one can buy swords, wood carvings, candles ,Iranian olive oil and even Falcons here. Yet another Souq worth visiting is the Omani Souq on Haloul Street here one can buy spices, the Qatari national dress the Abaya, woven baskets and incense. The Gold Souq is on Al Teeb Street and is a treasure trove of ornaments which are made of 22k gold as many of these ornaments are made in India where 22k is the norm not 18k gold.

The modern side of Qatar is reflected in the City Center Mall with 350 outlets. It has many of the British High street retail brands such as Next, French Connection, Debenhams as well as American brands such as Nine west and the ubiquitous Starbucks.

Doha is really an illustration of the old order coexisting and cohabiting with the new.

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