When looking for an adventurous and cultural Middle-eastern encounter, it’s hard to look beyond the dazzling Dubai but those who do wander often stop at Qatar boasting traditional art, architecture, religion and customs on one side and modern skyscrapers, world-class shopping and dining scene as well as unparalleled avenues for adventure on the other.
When planning an ideal retreat to Qatar, you cannot miss visiting the following attractions:
A waterfront boulevard, infringed by swaying palms and looking at the cerulean blue waters, the Doha Corniche is the face of modern Qatar. As the vehicles are not allowed to enter the Corniche, the visitors as well as natives are pleased to take leisurely strolls along all of its 7 kilometres. The Corniche remains surrounded by skyscrapers as well as popular hotels, cafes and government buildings. One can stare at the central business district as well as the Museum of Islamic Art from here. The wooden dhows lining the bay add to the diversity of this stunning landscape.
Museum of Islamic Arts
Boasting one of the biggest collections of Islamic arts in the world, the Museum of Islamic Arts is the most significant cultural monument in Doha. Featuring paintings, glassworks, metalwork, ceramics, textiles and manuscripts from as many as 14 centuries, the museum is treasure trove for art, architecture and history lovers. Art galleries hosting the most prominent exhibitions in the city, a gift shop, a library, a café, a theatre and a park are some of the sections that constitute the Museum of Islamic Arts, spread over a total area of 45,000 m2.
Katara Cultural Village
A place for all-round family entertainment, the Katara Cultural Village offers its visitors theatres and art galleries, an opera and a multi-purpose theatre hosting a wide array of engaging concerts, shows and performances. The village also boasts a 1.5 kilometres long beach equipped with children’s play area and offering water sports and gondola riding opportunities. A range of finest international restaurants and cafes also find a home at the Katara Village as does a souq where visitors can shop for souvenirs.
Khol Al Adaid
Popular as the ‘Inland Sea’, Khol Al Adaid is one of the most stunning natural attractions in Qatar. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Khol Al Adaid stuns visitors with its scenic beauty, highlighted by the encroachment of the sea deep into the desert. Boasting its own unique ecosystem, Khol Al Adaid is home to rare fauna, including several endangered species. The best way to explore this stunning attraction is to visit it on a desert safari and stay at the Bedouin-style camps serving traditional Arabian cuisine.
An ancient pearl fishing and trading port, Al Zubarah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marked by a majestic city wall, ancient residential palaces, houses, markets, streets, industrial areas and mosques, courtyard houses, fishermen’s huts, harbour and double defensive walls, Al Zubarah is one of the best-preserved examples of a Gulf merchant town. One of the major attractions amongst the ruins of Al Zubarah is an ancient, square-shaped fort with circular towers. While making your way to Al Zubarah, you can also stop by the glorious countryside and explore one of the many local villages.