Located in the Persian Gulf and only bordering land with Saudi Arabia, Qatar is one of the seven Arab States. Qatar is a small country, but it is also a very diverse, fast-growing tourist destination. There is strong development in tourism facilities, especially in Doha, the capital city of the peninsula. Qatar will be hosting the 2022 Fifa World Cup soccer which will further increase the development towards tourism.
Also thanks to their national carrier Qatar Airways, which is one of the better ones in the world, in my opinion, it is possible to visit Qatar on a one or multi-day stopover before you fly on to your final destination. There are plenty of places to visit in Doha to entertain anyone for at least a few days. We have had the chance to visit Qatar a few times now when flying between South Africa and Europe. One such trip was due to a missed connection by no fault of our own, so Qatar Airways organised everything really well which allowed us to enjoy 24 hours in Doha for no extra charge. This particular trip gave us the chance to enjoy the city and to get an idea of what there is to see in Doha.
So, what to do in Doha and what to visit? Most of the interesting places to see in Doha are located in the city centre, yet if you have some extra days, do take a tour or rent a car and enjoy some of the things to do in Qatar, further away from the capital city.
Located in the bustling heart of Doha, Souq Waqif is one of the oldest souqs in Qatar. Souq Waqif offers visitors a unique and authentic experience of a traditional Arab market, but with a more modern feel to it. A visit to Souq Waqif is a must when in Doha and will be one of the highlights of your trip to Qatar. It is possible to walk for hours in the small alleys between the various market areas, most of which are undercover to shield you and the shop owners from the glaring sun. I particularly love browsing the food market, with colourful spices filling the area with their wonderful aromas. Also, one can find dried fruits, nuts, honey, tea leaves and other types of food all packed openly in large bags or crates. It will be difficult to leave the food section without buying some of the products. Other markets include traditional clothing and garments, textiles, cooking utensils and the gold souq with beautiful jewellery and traditional pearls. When looking for a souvenir from Qatar, Souq Waqif is the perfect place to go.
The Doha Corniche is a seven kilometre long pedestrian walkway extending the entire length of the Doha Bay. The Corniche provides excellent views of the city as well as the seafront with traditional wooden dhows floating around. It’s a great place to spend some time, watch people or take a relaxing walk or a jog. The palm trees lining one side of the boulevard provide nice shade. At night, especially on the weekends, the Corniche is filled with people who get together with friends and family. During the evenings is when you can best see and enjoy the city lights of the Doha skyline. A visit to the Corniche is a must for any visitor to Doha.
Hamad International Airport is the international airport of Doha, the capital city of Qatar. It replaced the former Doha International Airport as Qatar's principal airport. Address: Doha, Qatar. Code: DOH