22 October 2019
Qatar welcomes travellers to enjoy its ancient culture and authentic soul with a warm and friendly embrace. More than 80 countries, including the UK, now have visa free access to Qatar, meaning there’s never been an easier time to experience its splendour. And with Qatar Airways operating flights from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin; you’ll experience an unparalleled level of service as you travel there.
Qatar’s year-round magnificent sunshine makes it the perfect place to soak up some winter sun, while its location in the Middle East makes it the ideal stopover on your journey to the Far East or Oceania. Here we’ve gathered some suggestions on how to spend a two-day stopover in Qatar.
The bustling alleys of Souq Waqif offer an authentic taste of Qatar’s local culture, architecture and history as a trading hub. The Souq’s small shops and stores sell an array of Middle Eastern delicacies from spices, dates and nuts to perfumes, jewellery, clothing and handcrafted souvenirs. Next to the Souq Waqif you will find a Gold Souq and even a Falcon Souq which showcases Qatar’s 5,000 year history with falconry. Afternoon and early evening are the best times to visit the Souq Waqif.
Cruise the Arabian Gulf on a traditional Dhow boat which played an important role in Qatar’s trading history and were primarily used to carry heavy items, like fruit, fresh water or merchandise and for pearl diving. The traditional Arabic boats are now decorated with fairy lights and offer guests spectacular views of Doha’s skyline as they tuck into a BBQ buffet served on board during a full-day, half-day or sunset sightseeing excursion.
The National Museum of Qatar opened its doors in March 2019 as a celebration of Qatari culture, preserving and reconnecting visitors with the country’s longstanding traditions. The museum was designed by world-famous French architect, Jean Nouvel, whose unique design of interlocking disks seemingly emerging from the ground was inspired by the desert rose.
The museum combines historic artefacts and contemporary influences and is home to a 220-seat auditorium, a dedicated food forum preserving culinary traditions and a research centre.
The Museum of Islamic Arts marks its 10th anniversary this year having opened its doors in 2008. Located on its own island off an artificial peninsula, the impressive museum houses 14 centuries of Islamic Art over five floors and was designed by world renowned architect I. M. Pei.
This man-made island off the West Bay coast showcases upmarket residential towers, private islands and internationally renowned hotels, as well as luxury shopping boutiques. Dine in luxury at one of the dozens of restaurants and cafes linking the waterfront or stroll along the yacht-lined pathways of the Mediterranean-style marina.
Just north of the seaside city of Al Khor, is Qatar’s hidden Al Thakira Mangroves. Kayaking is a popular way to explore the mangroves and their unique ecosystem, where you can spot everything from herons to flamingos.
The Doha Corniche stretches an impressive 7km along the length of Doha Bay. Here you can enjoy impressive views from the city skyline to the Museum of Islamic Art and the traditional wooden Dhow port. The Corniche is popular with café dwellers and runners alike, with restaurants and cafes, exercise facilities and a running track along the sea front.
Qatar’s largest area of sand desert lies to the south-west of the capital, with its high dunes a major attraction both for recreational 4x4 safaris or simply to enjoy the spectacular landscape. The desert scenery constantly changes depending on the time of day and light conditions. The breath-taking colours of sunrise and sunset are especially dramatic, and the clear night skies offer a rare treat for stargazers. Khor Al Adaid, the impressive ‘Inland Sea’, lies to the south of this expanse of desert. This UNESCO recognised natural reserve is one of the only places in the world where the sea encroaches deep into the heart of the desert.
For the more adventurous, a desert safari is an experience not to be missed, besides a heart-raising ride over the dunes in a 4x4, safaris may include the chance to visit Khor Al Adaid and a meal in one of the Bedouin-style camps. For those wanting to extend their desert stay, a number of camps offer overnight options with luxury amenities where you can enjoy an evening by a campfire.
After opening its doors in 2012, The St. Regis Doha quickly established itself as one of the top hotels in Qatar with its signature butler service, ten restaurants and lounges, world-class spa and 336 sea-view guestrooms. Since then the hotel has collected award after award to pay testament to its outstanding facilities and thoughtful service. The on-site spa and state-of-the-art fitness facilities allow you to make your stay an experience of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Sat just steps away from Lagoona Mall and 4km from The Pearl-Qatar, the immaculate gardens of the Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel & Villas welcome guests in to experience the ultimate in five-star luxury. Guests can enjoy a refreshing stay with time spent around the indoor pool, four outdoor pools and lounging on the 400m stretch of private beach. There are also 5 eateries and 2 bars offering a variety of international cuisine and local flavours.
The elegantly marbled features of this paradisiacal resort mirror that found in a Sheikh’s palace and help in creating the romantic and tranquil atmosphere for guests to enjoy. Dining here is constantly evolving to exceed the expectations of Doha’s refined visitors and stay ahead of the exceptional dining scene found in the city. Qatari, Persian, Lebanese, Asian and international fare can all be found served up to an exceptionally high standard across the selection of restaurants.
The only hotel on The Pearl-Qatar, Marsa Malaz Kempinski has its own secluded island yet is within just steps of a diverse selection of dining and entertainment options. The hotel’s beautiful luxurious suites each feature king-sized bed and outdoor space with magnificent views across The Pearl. The suites’ come with separate living room and bedroom, and an elegantly designed marble bathroom with separate plunge tub and rain-fall shower.
Contact your Travel Counsellor today to arrange your enchanting trip to Qatar onboard Qatar Airways. Take advantage of a range of benefits including full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your trip.