The Middle Eastern country of Qatar sits on a peninsula that reaches into the Persian Gulf. Rich in oil and with a hot climate, the country is home to some interesting cities and sweeping deserts. More and more visitors are starting to discover the country’s appeals.
There is an international airport in the capital of Doha, and most nationalities are able to get a visa on arrival; a fee is payable. There are good roads around the country, with decent bus services. Arabic is the official language in Qatar, but English is widely spoken as well.
There are several great things to do in Qatar. Here are some of the best:
Shop ‘Till You Drop
Whilst it is not yet quite in the same league as glitzy Dubai, Qatar is home to a large number of fancy shopping malls that offer an air conditioned shopping haven. Each has a varied selection of stores, selling a wide variety of products. You will find the most malls and shopping centres in the capital city of Doha. The largest mall in the country is called City Centre. Villaggio Mall has been built to look like a little slice of Venice. Complete with water ways and gondolas, it is home to a wide selection of shops. Cross to the artificial island of The Pearl for high end shopping and dining – it is connected to Doha by a bridge.
The bustling and traditional souqs offer a different shopping experience; lose yourself in the crowds whilst exploring the many offerings contained in the narrow streets. Souq Waqif is particularly recommended – it has been reconstructed to look as it did some 50 years ago. As well as stalls, you will also find a number of great restaurants. Bartering and bargaining is commonly expected in the markets.
Visit the Beaches and Try Different Water Sports
Surrounded by the sea, Qatar has several spectacular beaches and gorgeous stretches of coast line, as well as numerous different water sports. One can enjoy snorkeling and diving to discover the rich variety of marine life that inhabits the surrounding waters. Jet skis zip along the water, and kite surfing is immensely popular with foreign visitors. You can also enjoy various boat trips.
Venture into the Desert
Desert safaris are a popular way to experience a different landscape. Visit the arid rolling sand dunes. Locals and visitors alike enjoy racing up and down the dunes in sturdy vehicles. Some tour companies offer a traditional Arab feast, cooked over a campfire. You may even like to ride a camel across the stretching expanses of sand. Khor Al Udeid is a top spot to enjoy the vast desert expanses.
Katara is a delightful and interesting cultural village. You can glimpse into traditional Arab life, as well as enjoying authentic cuisine in one of several top class restaurants. There are many cultural events hosted here, as well as a spectacular beach on which you can take a breather and relax in the sunshine.
Take a Trip to Zubarah
Zubarah is an interesting and historic site in Qatar. It is home to the ruins of a deserted city. Wander the old ruined streets and imagine how life was in its heyday. Visit the old abandoned fortress that was built in the late 1930s.
These are just a few things to do in Qatar; pay a visit and find out for yourself why this Middle Eastern gem is attracting more and more visitors each year.