Doha may not be the first place to spring to mind if you’re looking to escape to sunnier shores, but it would be a mistake to disregard this rising star of the Gulf. Fast becoming a rival to Dubai as the ultimate luxury travel destination in the Middle East, Doha has grown rapidly to become a hotspot for discerning tourists. With its hot climate and gorgeous hotels such as the Kempinski Hotel Doha, it’s not hard to see why Doha has become so popular, but the Qatari capital boasts many other cultural offerings and tourist activities. To inspire you whilst you plan your trip, here’s our pick of the top five things to do to have a memorable holiday in Doha.
For a real taste of traditional Middle Eastern culture, spend some time exploring the labyrinthine Souq Waqif – the oldest market in the city. There’s been a souq on this spot for at least 250 years, and the existing souq is a restoration from the 1970s, carefully designed to recreate how it would have looked in the nineteenth century. Even if you don’t intend to buy, you can spend hours browsing the many shops and stalls selling everything from artworks to intricately embroidered fabrics and spices.
Pearl cocktail bar
Doha has no shortage of glamorous bars and clubs, but if you want to experience the best then head to the luxurious Pearl Lounge. This two-storey night club and cocktail bar is famed for its range of signature cocktails such as the Black Pearl, White Pearl and the Pearl Island so if you make a visit then make sure to try at least one. The Pearl Lounge also holds regular weekly events such as ladies night on Mondays, salsa on Tuesdays and sushi and champagne Saturday, so be sure to check what’s on when you’re planning your trip.
A haven of peace within the busy capital, Doha’s Aspire Park is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to escape from the fast pace of the modern world. Covering an area of 88 hectares, the Aspire is Doha’s biggest park and features rare trees, beautifully-ornate fountains, a coffee shop and the only lake in Qatar. The park also acts as a great viewing spot for the Aspire Tower, so you should certainly consider visiting at night to see the tower lit up in all of its glory.
Museum of Islamic Art
As much a landmark for its incredible architecture as the stunning artworks, manuscripts and textiles it contains, the Museum of Islamic Art is a must-see for any visitor of Doha. Designed by I M Pei (the creator of the glass pyramid of the Louvre) the Museum of Islamic Art is the home of art from all parts of the Middle East. The museum also hosts a range of workshops and classes for adults as well as children so be sure to check what’s on when planning your trip.
Khor Al Udeid
For those who love active holidays, then an adventure on the beach of Khor Al Udeid is a must. Plenty of companies in Doha provide desert safari trips to Khor Al Udeid, ranging from short rides over the dunes by car to camel treks and camping trips. There are plenty of activities at Khor Al Udeid to keep you occupied for the whole day such as sand surfing and swimming in the gorgeous inland sea.