You might find yourself more familiar with the airline than the country, but we’re here to help you discover the magical nation of Qatar! Unlike some Middle Eastern countries, Qatar truly is a country of juxtapositions. With it’s rich seafaring past and magical coastline to modern skyscrapers sitting just a stones-throw away from neolithic rock carvings, there is so much to discover.
1. The Best of Both Worlds
Doha is Qatar’s ultra-modern capital and home to popular tourist areas like The Pearl and Qanat Quartier. Visitors can also enjoy designer shopping at one of the many shopping malls, but might find that the local souks like Souq Waqif offers a more unique experience. If you’re in search of a cultural experience, you’ll be pleased to know that Doha also celebrates Qatar’s heritage with museums like the Museum of Islamic Art and the National Museum of Qatar. Venture a little further afield and you’ll discover desert dunes, an inland sea and ancient Mosques. Qatar truly is where tradition meets modernity!
2. Timing Your Visit
It might be easy to forget that you’re in the middle of the desert when you’re surrounded by a modern city and constantly in and out of air-conditioned buildings. If you want to avoid the worst of the heat, rather visit during the cooler months from November to March when the temperatures range from 20°C to 28°C.
3. Local Cuisine
Qatari cuisine enjoys influences of India, Persia, Lebanon and North Africa. Popular dishes includes the shawarma, falafel and samosa among other things. You’ll also find that the Qataris have a strong coffee culture and that karak tea is very popular.
Visitors can enjoy Qatar’s unique flavours anywhere from Michelin-starred restaurants to the more relaxed refurbished shipping containers usually grouped together in trendy “box parks”. This makes Qatar a great location for both families and couples.
4. Be Respectful
While the dress code is generally fairly relaxed and visitors should dress for comfort, it is recommended that both men and women cover their shoulders and knees when out in the public. This way you are showing respect for their culture. Private hotels and beaches do welcome visitors in any kind of swimsuit.
English is widely spoken, but a few basic Arabic words will definitely score you some bonus points among the locals! You might even walk away with new friends as locals are incredibly warm and friendly.
5. Escape The City
While Doha is diverse and a popular stop for all visitors, many of Qatar’s gems are hidden a little beyond the city borders. From beach days at one of the many pristine beaches to more adventurous activities like dune bashing, there are plenty of reasons to take a day trip or even book an extended stay elsewhere in Qatar. Some of the most popular beaches includes the Khor al Adaid, a UNESCO recognised nature reserve and inland sea, and Sealine Beach where you can also enjoy camel rides and dune bashing.