Major Tourist Attractions: The Pearl-Qatar, Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif, Villaggio Mall, Doha Corniche
For a country that didn’t exist until 1971 Qatar is a remarkable story of determination and vision. The country has a National Vision strategy for 2030 that encompasses diversification in resources to reduce reliance on oil and gas and enhance the role of the private sector in building the economy.
This gulf state pokes out into the Arabian Peninsula and is primarily a stopover destination for many on their way to and from Europe. Qatar is increasingly becoming a destination in its own right though with many sporting events, including the 2022 Soccer World Cup, that are scheduled to be held here.
The capital of Doha is a small city and consequently it’s very easy to get around. There are two main parts of the city, the old town and the modern city. They’re separated by the Corniche, a beach and leisure area that runs in an arc between the two parts of town.
Accommodation in Doha can be found in the modern city or in the old town. The charm of the old town is definitely a drawcard with the opportunity to see life a little more as it was before the transformation that the city has undergone in the last 30 years. The modern city of Doha houses modern buildings competing with each other for architectural decadence.
Key sites to visit in Qatar include:
- Spend time walking through Souk Waqif in the old town. The white brick buildings and streets are a complete contrast to the shiny new buildings in the modern part of town. You’ll find street vendors selling spices, people sitting enjoying coffee in the outdoor cafes and stall holders stirring giant pots of baklava syrup.
- Line up with the dozens of workers in Souk Waqif for cheap local flatbread straight from the wood fired oven and filled with herbs and spices.
- Spend an evening at The Pearl, a ready made resort for tourists, with many restaurants and impressive shopping. You’ll find it easier to get alcohol here than in the old part of town too.
- The cultural centre of Katara in Doha has been built to showcase art, literature, music and exhibitions. You’ll often find interesting events taking place here.
- Take the open top bus tour, it’s a great way to see the whole city if you find it too hot to walk around.
- Visit the Museum of Islamic Art.
- Spend time in the Middle East’s biggest shopping place, City Center, where you’ll find shopping and food options from all around the world.
- Visit the Khor Al-Adaid nature reserve, also known as the inland sea, and see a largely uninhabited area of sand dunes, stony deserts and rocky outcrops creating a unique wilderness area.
Address: 22nd February Street
Al Luqta District
P.O. Box 2399