Qatar’s number one pastime is shopping. The huge malls are a must-see stop because of their excessive size and decoration (including the Villagio at Doha). To enjoy nature, you can choose either to climb sand dunes with a 4-wheeled ATV during a desert safari or practice water activities on the numerous beaches. Do not miss a cruise in a dhow trip (traditional Arab sailing boat) around the bay.
For more information, please visit the Qatar Tourism Authority’s website. Please note that the Qatar Tourism Authority has also a welcome desk at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC).
What to do in Qatar?
- The Skyline: The beautiful, spectacular and futuristic City Centre’s skyline is perhaps more impressive at night due to the different colours of the buildings.
- The Museum of Islamic Art: This museum is as interesting for its architecture (by the famous architect Pei) as for its collection of Islamic objects and artifacts obtained from three continents (from Spain to Central Asia) and dating from the 7th to the 20th century. (More information: www.mia.org.qa).
- The Corniche: It is a 7-kilometer waterfront promenade along Doha Bay with a stunning view on the futuristic Doha’s skyline. Typical old wooden boats are anchored in the harbour.
- The National Museum of Qatar: open in 2019, it explains the whole history of Qatar, its cultural legacy and its future development. (More information: https://www.nmoq.org.qa/node/456).
- The Pearl-Qatar: An artificial waterfront development with plenty of yachts and luxury brands.
- Souq Waqif: Traditional, colorful and exotic souk in a network of tiny covered streets. Very busy at night with many restaurants and coffee shops.
- The Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf): Opened in 2010 the museum hosts exhibitions and events celebrating Arab art from all over the world. 6,000 paintings and sculptures are showcased. (More information: http://www.mathaf.org.qa/en/).
- The Orientalist Museum: The museum gathers a collection of oil paints and watercolors from Western artists of the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
- The Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Mosque (State Mosque): Inaugurated in 2011, it is the largest Mosque in Qatar and can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers inside and 30,000 outside. It has 28 large domes and a single 65-meter high minaret. Lights are spectacular at night.
- Al Koot Fort: Built in 1880 under the Ottoman domination, it is now used as a museum.
- Barzan Towers: 2 16-meter high restored towers from early 1910s.
Also to see:
- The Grand Mosque and the Clock Tower
- The Emir Palace
- The Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary
- The Heritage Library
- The Weaponry Museum
- The Doha golf club
- The Doha Zoo
- Al-Zubara Fort: Built in 1938, the fortress is now housing a museum. It was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Al Wajba Fort: Built in 1882, it’s one of the oldest forts in Qatar. It was the site of a famous battle in 1893 when the army of Sheik Qassim bin Mohammed Al Thani defeated the Ottomans.
- Murwab Fort: It’s the oldest known fort in Qatar (9th century). The village has the two oldest mosques in the country dated to 805 – 885 AD.
- Khor Al Adaid: The Inland Sea is a breathtaking treasure with towering crescent-shaped sand dunes soaring from the water’s edge.
- Bir Zekreet: Fascinating area with unusual landscape of white cliffs sculpted by the sea.
- Al Sheenhaniya: The city organizes famous camel races all through the year.
- Al Wakrah and Al Khor: Former pearl and fishing towns. Their harbour protects many dhows.
- Al Jassasiya rock carvings: an ensemble of 874 carvings, the earliest dating from the Neolithic period, with designs and patterns marks.
- Ras Abrouq rock formations: A unar-like landscape of limestone rock formations sculpted by the wind.
- Al Thakira Mangroves: A large area of vegetation with a rich ecosystem (flamingos, birds, etc.) surrounding by the desert.
- Al-Shahaniya: a city famous for its camel race tracks.
- Katara: The city has been created to provide cultural, gastronomic and leisure activities.
- Sport: Qatar organized several international sport competitions including the 2006 Asian Games, the annual cycling Tour of Qatar and the 2015 World Men's Handball Championship. The country is about to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.