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10 great things to do in Qatar

26th September 2014
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Discover Qatar: a country with an ever-growing cultural scene, and star attractions deeply rooted in heritage and tradition. From ground-breaking exhibitions, stunning architecture and impressive works of art, visitors are spoilt in the Gulf state.

Combining year-round sunshine, over 500km of coastline with sandy beaches, shopping and adventure excursions, we’ve handpicked top ten suggestions for a jam-packed visit.

1. Spend an evening meandering the Souq Waqif. Restored to its original glory, the famous local market in the heart of Doha springs to life in the evenings. Enjoy exploring the traditional shops selling traditional garments, spices, local handicrafts and souvenirs, and then watch the world go by sipping whilst Arabic coffee in the main square. Souq Waqif is the hub of social life in Doha.

2. Explore the Museum of Islamic Art, which houses the largest collection of Islamic art in the world. With pieces representing more than 1,400 years of civilisation and a building that has become an architectural icon, the museum is the jewel in Qatar’s cultural crown. Pace yourself by visiting the cafe downstairs and end your visit with a browse in the extensive museum shop.

3. Taste some local cuisine at one of Qatar’s most popular restaurants, the Al Tawash. The restaurant offers signature Middle Eastern style dishes such as traditional hummus, Koussa Mahshi and lamb ghuzi. Qatar also offers plenty of fish options, with many of the country’s traditional dishes being based around lobster, crab, red snapper and shrimp.

4. For adrenaline junkies, leave the city behind and head to the desert to try a hand at ‘Dune Bashing’ by 4X4. The thrill of zooming over towering dunes can be followed by time to relax at the tranquil and unspoilt Inland Sea. Gulf Adventures offer morning tours from £45 per person.

5. Head to the Al Shahaniya race track to watch a traditional Camel Race. During the 11 mile track, race alongside the camels in your own vehicle and take close-up snap shots of the traditional mammals as a memento of Qatar. The race season begins in October, when training programs begin and minor races are held, culminating in prestigious events in March and April 2015. 

6. Visit The Pearl, an artificial island spanning nearly four million square metres.The Riviera-style man-made island is in an exclusive environment in Doha, and known as the Middle East's most glamorous address. Enjoy shopping in the many luxurious retail shops and walk along the beautiful boardwalk overlooking the marina and filled with cafes and restaurants.

7. Explore one of Qatar’s major historical landmarks by visiting Fort Zubarah, a World Heritage Site since June 2013, situated two hours north of Doha. Originally a historic Qatari military fortress, it has since been converted into a museum to display diverse exhibits and artworks, especially with contemporary archaeological findings.

8. See the Corniche illuminated at night aboard a traditional Dhow cruise. Doha’s impressive waterfront promenade along the Doha Bay is a spectacular sight. Enjoy a dhow ride whilst sampling local delicacies. These local fishing boats offer day fishing excursions to allow guests to experience fishing in the Arabian Gulf waters, as well as evening cruises with BBQ dinner, traditional music and entertainment.

9. For a grand culinary affair, a Friday all-day brunch is not to be missed. Offered at W Hotel, The Ritz Carlton, The Doha Marriott and The Hilton among others, enjoy lavish displays of global cuisine and live entertainment.

10. Stay in one of the eight luxury properties part of Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels which are nestled in the heart of historic Souq Waqif. While each unique, they are filled with charm, authentic local flavour and follow Arabian tradition in design, look and feel.

For more information on accommodation and other activities in Qatar please visit www.qatartourism.gov.qa or www.barrheadtravel.co.uk




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