I always get mixed reviews when I talk about traveling to the Middle East. My parents are terrified when I venture out solo, but friends my age almost always encourage me to make the trek. I think traveling to the Middle East would be an opportunity for me to experience culture shock, something I haven’t had since I lived in Asia. My bucket list of cities and countries continues to grow as I get ready to leave teaching. I would love to visit Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and I’m always intrigued by the less popular areas for Western tourists. That’s why I’m interested in Doha, Qatar’s capital and fastest-growing city. Here’s why you should be, too!
Doha’s Tourist Attractions
Doha has a hot, dry climate, and it’s bordered by the Persian Gulf. Since temperatures regularly reach between 38 and 45 Celsius, air conditioning and proximity to a pool are essential. In that kind of heat, you don’t want to be outside for too long. The InterContinental Doha – The City is conveniently located in the West Bay area. It’s close to the Doha Exhibition and Conference Center, the Doha Golf Club, and the famous Souq Waqif. This luxury hotel is also within a 20-minute taxi ride of Doha Fort, the Museum of Islamic Art, the Falcon Souq, as well as Al Corniche Street, Dhow Harbor, and the Pearl Monument.
Souq Wahif and Al Koot Fort
A souq, or bazaar, is an open-air marketplace typically found in North Africa and the Middle East. The Souq Waqif, also known as The Standing Market, is one of the most famous in the world. Here, you can get all kinds of souvenirs, spices, and handmade crafts. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants and shisha lounges. The souq is located within close proximity of old military fortress Al Koot Fort, more commonly known as Doha Fort. As an architecture junkie, this is a definitely must for me!
In a corner of Souq Waqif, you’ll find the Falcon Souq. The people of Qatar love falcons and use them for hunting. Falcon prices start at about $3,000, so check it out for the experience, not the auction.
These watchtowers are located outside of the city, but they’re well worth a visit. The Barzan Towers were built near the sea back in the late 19th century, but modern renovations introduced air conditioning. With a climate that hot, I understand the need to trade tradition for modern amenities. Don’t forget to check out the area behind the towers, as it’s an oasis with a variety of plants and animals. This attraction is open 24 hours a day.
سيتم بث سلسلة محاضرات الظهيرة ترميم لوحة جصية ضخمة SW.160 من مجموعة مقتنيات متحف الفن الإسلامي – د. ستيفان ماساروفيتش الأربعاء 16/11 11:30 ص– 12:30م التي تقدم في وقت الغداء، مباشرة على فيسبوك. عبّروا عن محبتكم للصفحة على (Facebook.com/MIAQatar) واضبطوا الوقت على 11:30 صباحاً بتوقيت الدوحة، قطر. كما يمكنكم أيضاً متابعة التغريدات المباشرة عبر تويتر miaqatar • Lunchtime Lecture Series Conservation of the monumental stucco panel SW.160 from MIA collection Dr. Stefan Masarovic Wed 16/11 11:30 am – 12:30 pm This lecture will be streamed on Facebook Live. Like our page (Facebook.com/MIAQatar) and tune in at 11:30am Doha, Qatar.
Museum of Islamic Art
Established in 2008, the massive Museum of Islamic Art spans five floors. The museum is an architectural gem, and the collection represents 1,400 years of Islamic art and history. Al Corniche Street, Dhow Harbor, and the Pearl Monument This area is known for its picturesque harbor, waterfront promenade, and the large Pearl Monument. This is an essential part of the Doha skyline. For more about these attractions and others, check out the Discover Doha website to learn more about this vibrant city.
Dining in Doha
You won;t have to go far to experience some of the best culinary delights in Doha. The InterContinental Doha boasts seven restaurants including Hwang for Pan-Asian cuisine, The Square, Al Jalsa Garden Lounge for Arabic dishes and shisha, the Lobby Lounge for afternoon tea, Strata Restaurant and Lounge for a stunning view, Hive Restaurant and Lounge for the after-work crowd, and Prime steakhouse. For a list of top restaurants beyond the InterContinental Doha, read up on the 10 best cultural dining spots.
Have you been to Doha?
Let us know if we’ve missed any tourist attractions or hotspots in the comments!