Qatar, known to be one of the richest countries in the world, is subjectively under the tourist radar. One may compare it to a mini Dubai, however, there are many things that give Qatar its own charm. Qatar is a small country welcoming to tourist and it is a self-made home to many immigrants. The diversity of Qatar melts seamlessly into a utopia of peace and serenity that I can’t argue. Although, Qatar has not been an American favorite as far as politics are concerned, I’d have to say that I felt a lot safer here, than in my country. It had a peaceful and very family oriented ambiance, and because of this, many may find it a little dry in the “fun aquarium”. Following are six things that made my trip to Doha, Qatar an enjoyable one. Hopefully, this can give you ideas if you so ever decide to visit.
1. The Souq Waqif
Wowzers! This place is awesome and probably one of my best experiences there. From shops, to restaurants, to live performers, to even a small carnival area for children. This place leaves room for something for everyone to do. Bring a few bucks, an empty stomach, and some comfortable shoes for walking.
2. A Desert Safari
I am just a tad bit of an adrenaline junkie, and every time I travel, I often need my fix. Dune bashing is a blast. It is like riding on a roller coaster with wheels. Watch the videos below to listen to our orchestrated cries for mercy while riding through the sand hills in the middle of Desert No Where. We first adjusted are equilibrium with camel rides to help adjust for the upcoming thrill to come. After dune bashing we drove along the beach shore and enjoyed the beauty of where the ocean meets the desert. We topped of the night with an overnight stay at an overnight camp (which I didn’t find too amusing, to each is own), where we departed back to our hotel in the morning.
There are many tour companies that offer safari tours. Some may include more activities than others such as: half day safari tours, exotic bird encounters, ATV rides, sand boarding, henna tattoos, performances, cultural photos, etc. They all vary in prices as well. It’s nothing that a good google search can’t fix.
3. The Jazz Club at Oryx Rotana
This is a nice little spot. Although, a bit on the expensive side, which isn’t unusual for a hotel restaurant. We really enjoyed ourselves, while we hung out and listened to some smooth jazz by a South African Band that was pretty good. They entertained us with old and new school hits from Bob Marley, to Amy Whinehouse, to Prince and many others. We went on a Tuesday night, which was Ladies Night, where we got a complimentary glass of wine or champagne off of a selected menu.
4. Al Bidda Park
I strongly suggest this park for couples and families, not so much for singles looking for a good time. This park is newly reopened to the public, and it is pretty spacious with built-in barbecue grills and picnic areas. Also, there are little vending areas for bargain shopping. Although this park did have us three, single women out-of-place, doesn’t mean I would hesitate to go back with my future husband and kids, or even with a group trip looking to enjoy the outdoors. It is a beautiful and relaxing environment and not a far walk from the ocean.
5. MIA Park
This is also a park, which was more suitable for us single women, although it was family oriented as well. It was great to see teenagers practicing their hip hop dance routines, to athletes taking a long mile run, to ladies doing yoga classes by the water. This is a nice spot to grab some take out and chillax on the lawn as the sun goes down, to only be met by city lights. The views are amazing.
6. Museum of Islāmic Art
The Museum of Islāmic Art was so conveniently located right next to the MIA Park. If you have an appreciation for art and/or history you may find some amusement at this museum. Upon arrival, we latched on to a tour, that I am assuming was provided by the museum. He gave us a brief history about some of the pieces in the exhibits, he also informed us of Qatari cultural traditions. This was a great introduction to the Qatari lifestyle.
Hope this helps with building your itinerary for your next trip to Doha. If you are a first time traveler, read the 7 Things You Should Know Before Traveling Overseas for the First Time.