A visit to Qatar, the gas-rich Arab country growing at breakneck speed, can prove to be more than only a luxury stopover in the Middle East. But be organized to leave Western habits at the door.
Maybe you are heading to the capital Doha because you are making the maximum of Qatar Airways’ stopover motel deal, recharging for more than one nights earlier than you press on to Europe. Or you may locate your self there for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Either way, right here’s the way to kill more than one day inside the Arabian desert’s “Fist City.”
You do not have to travel far outdoor Doha to experience like you are on another planet. The sand formations are big, rugged and windswept, and come up with a taste of desolate tract lifestyles’ harshness. Before you embark, an air-conditioned 4WD from Discover Qatar will forestall to allow the air set free of its tires so that it can surf down the dunes.
Request to stop at a camp on the edge of town in which you could journey a camel or preserve a falcon. Camel racing and falconry are vintage and culturally essential Qatari beyond-instances.
The guide can then take you south to the seaside on the Arabian Gulf, wherein you’re able to see Saudi Arabia across the water. A great way to get your bearings. Downside: There’s lots of garbage within the desert.
MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART
This building has a commanding presence on a synthetic island in the harbor. It holds an extensive series of Islamic art spanning 3 continents and 1400 years, an outstanding manner to take care of Islam’s records.
The museum’s architect, ninety-one-yr-antique I. M. Pei, had to be coaxed out of retirement to design it. Then he traveled all through the Muslim globe for six months as studies (cash is not an object for Qatari royals) and insisted it’s built on an island to defend it from encroachment in the hastily growing town.
The museum additionally has a brilliant view of the Doha skyline. Don’t omit it.
A more recent or even more uncommon-searching construction, constructed out of discs to emulate the desert rose, a type of crystal that paperwork inside the wilderness.
The well-known shows observe a chronological order, starting with the natural history of the Arabian Gulf.
It’s thrilling to look at how Qatar grew from a humble state of pearl divers to the most prosperous united states in the global according to capita.
The museum is also the Old Amiri Palace website, which served because of the house for a Qatari emir inside the early 20th century.
In a rustic quiet without historical buildings and relics (maximum traditional Qatari dwellings have now not survived), it’s exciting to walk round in the palace partitions to see how Qatar’s royalty lived.
The excellent manner to see Doha’s colorful skyline is from the water after sunset.
A traditional Qatari dhow boat blasting Arabian tune will take you past a number of the town’s key landmarks, including the Museum of Islamic Art, the Sheraton Hotel, and ex-pat rental complicated, the Pearl.
The harbor is active, with locals gambling on jetskis and dancing on private launches. You may even witness a launch being “pulled over” by a police boat. It’s some other remarkable way to get your bearings and soak in Doha’s environment. Recommended for both your first or closing night time in Qatar.
STAYING THERE: The W Doha has a buzzing lobby at all hours of the day and night time. It has restaurants with the aid of a three-Michelin big-name chef and a remarkable breakfast buffet that consists of neighborhood fare. There’s also a poolside bar.
GETTING BY: NZ$20 is ready 50 Qatari rials. You’ll find ATMs in most vacationer areas. Qatar is one of the most secure countries in the Middle East, with steel detectors at the doorway to all buildings.
DO’S AND DON’TS: Out of admiration for nearby Islamic tradition, it is recommended for both ladies and men to get dressed modestly, which means not carrying clothes that show shoulders, thighs, or midriffs. This can appear hard inside the wasteland heat. However, you’ll be spending the maximum of your time in air-conditioned homes or vehicles.