If you’re thinking of moving to Doha, the Qatari capital, the chances are you’ll be curious about what the city has to offer during your time away from the office. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of things to do in this beautiful city on the west coast of the Arabian Peninsula. With the 2022 FIFA World Cup coming to Doha, along with Al-Daayen, Al-Khor, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal, Al-Wakrah and Umm Slal, this certainly won’t be changing any time in the future. From strolls along the beach to a day examining the local wares at a traditional souq, Doha offers a huge amount of incredible things to see and do after relocating abroad.
The Top 5 Things to do in Doha
Stop and shop at the Souq Waqif
A souq (or souk) is a type of open-air market commonly seen across West Asia and Arabia, as well as several North African countries. Similar to a bazaar, the souq is where you’ll head for the sights, smells and atmosphere of the local area. As far as souqs go, the Souq Waqif is simply one the very best you’ll find in Qatar.
Found right in the heart of Doha, the Souq Waqif is a modern renovation of a centuries-old, traditional souq. While there are some original Qatari buildings in the area, the majority of the marketplace has been painstakingly restored to their 19th century style following a fire in 2003. These buildings, exposed timber beams and all, are stunning not only to look at, but are incredible fun to browse during your time off. If you’re looking to soak in a little of Doha’s atmosphere and culture, from the spices & regional produce to the live falcons, there’s nothing quite like the Souq Waqif. Just be aware that because of the summer heat, the souq usually closes from around 1-4pm.
Stroll along the Doha Corniche
There are very few people who will dispute the fact that the Doha Corniche is the most beautiful part of the city. From its stunning modern architecture to its palm-fringed boulevard opening up onto the Doha Bay and the sea beyond it, it’s easy to see why the corniche is one of the most popular parts of the Qatari capital.
The palms offer welcome shade during the summer months, making the corniche a great place for exercise enthusiasts and family gatherings alike, whether that’s a picnic or just a stroll by the sea. At roughly 5km long, the corniche offers something for everyone, from some of the tallest buildings in the world and the world-famous Museum of Islamic Art to a chance to look out on nature at large.
Learn the local history at the Doha Fort
The Al Koot Fort, or the Doha Fort as it’s more commonly known, is fort which was built in the 19th century, used as a prison during the Turkish occupation. The fort now stands as a museum of Qatari history, showing traditional handicrafts, wooden ornaments and historical photographs.
The Doha Fort can be found near the Souq Waqif, near the Doha Corniche. It looks especially beautiful lit up at dusk, making it an excellent destination towards the end of the day. A must-visit for any history buffs who want to see what life was like for the Qataris over the last 100 years.
Get away from it all at Al Wakrah Park
As much fun as city life can be, sometime you need to get away from the hustle and bustle. Al Wakrah, just south of Doha, is home the spectacularly green Al Wakrah Park, with a scattering of restaurants, cafes and traditional Qatari housing. This park is a great place for a quiet, relaxing day, with well-maintained green areas and even a beach with professional lifeguards, making it perfect for those family days out. Just be aware that Al Wakrah Park often runs ladies only and family only days, so make sure you check what’s on before you head out.
Check out the Katara Amphitheatre
Katara, the historical name for Qatar before the 18th century dating back to 150CE, is now a cultural village in the Qatari capital. It’s also now known as one of the best places to visit in all of Doha, offering everything from film festivals and public art galleries to a cascade of shops, restaurants and an open amphitheatre where you can checkout whichever opera is on show in the city. Katara is a fascinating piece of the city with something for everyone, making it truly a special place, and an easy favourite getaway for people across all of Doha.
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