Maximizing Your Qatar Experience: Tips for Your Trip to Doha

  • Apr 29, 2024
  • Reading time: 9 mins read
  • By Arunima
trips to enhance your doha trip

Doha: The capital city of a small country located in the Middle East called Qatar, is situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf in the east of the country. The city is known for luxurious malls, architecture, and high-rise buildings, gaining popularity among travelers around the globe.

In recent years, Doha has seen massive growth and development, majorly due to the substantial amount of oil and gas reserves of Qatar. This makes the city one of the wealthiest cities in the world.

Lately, the region has become a popular tourist attraction for people all over the world. Apart from the modernized structure, there is a historical side to Doha that can be seen at markets like Souq Waqif or the magnificent Museum of Art. 

Plus, ongoing cultural events in Doha, international films, and Arabic musical performances make your visit a memorable one. Want to know more? Stick around as I will give you detailed tips that can be useful for your trip to Doha.

So, let’s dive in!

Places to Visit in Doha

There are plenty of attractions in Doha, giving you unforgettable experiences. To make it even more interesting, it is important to include the following places in your itinerary without a miss.

Museum of Islamic Art

Museum of Islamic art

While Luxury cars like Lamborghini and Ferrari can be easily spotted on the roads, Doha is well known for the unconventional art and antiques found at the Museum of Islamic Arts. It has the largest collection of Islamic art in the world. Built by famously known, I.M. Pei, the museum has painting collections drawn from three continents. 

The artifacts include textiles, ceramics, inlaid manuscripts, and antique manuscripts. Breathtaking interiors with spectacular geometric patterns make this 377,000-square-foot museum an architectural masterpiece. 

Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif

Once a spot where sheep and goats used to be bartered for trade for centuries, Souq Waqif developed into an exotic marketplace. Known as one of the top tourist attractions of Doha, you can shop to take souvenirs with you as a memory. 

Wander through shops to buy jewelry, spices, embroideries, perfumes, oud (an exotic incense made from agarwood), and many more things. Then stop by a café to enjoy Chai karak— a local tea, or puff on shisha — a nectar-based tobacco concoction smoked with a hookah.

B12 Beach Club 

B12 Beach Club 

Initially developed in Jordan and being one of the top 10% of tourist attractions worldwide, B12 Beach Club is now in Doha! This is a family-friendly beach offering a wide variety of food and beverages, and entertainment with premium services. 

You can chill out at the beach by soaking under the sun, while kids can enjoy playing around. Apart from that, B12 Beach Club is the perfect spot for late-night drinks. You can relax and enjoy the evening at indoor restaurants with the DJ playing the songs to get started with a party!

The Pearl, Qatar

The pearl qatar

A famous attraction known for its lavish outlook, the Pearl Qatar in Doha is a man-made island. Spanning over two miles, home to villas, residential towers, marinas, five-star hotels, promenades, luxury shopping, and fine dining. 

The island offers modern dining experiences — from refreshing ice creams to a luxury five-star culinary experience. Plus, the pedestrian-friendly squares and plazas alongside a wide range of beautiful gardens, make it stand out. No donut why Pearl is a popular tourist destination. 

Doha Corniche

Doha Corniche

The most stunning and must-visit place is the Doha Corniche. It stretches over 7 kilometers along Doha Bay. A half-moon-shaped promenade surrounded by modern architecture and lush greenery spaces. 

Scenic views with sparkling water on one side of the Persian Gulf, and the breathtaking modern skyline on the other side. The magnificent corniche view is what attracts travelers, making it one of the top popular destinations. 

Apart from the locations mentioned above, you should consider visiting the National Museum of Qatar, Villiaggio, Museum of Illusions, Katara Cultural Village, and snow dunes.

Let Doha Expand Your Cultural Knowledge

Doha has numerous cultural institutions celebrating Qatari culture that are worth visiting if you want to better understand the local culture. Some of the most famous museums in the city are the Museum of Islamic Art, the National Museum of Qatar, the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, and the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

These institutions also regularly host cultural events in Doha that offer a deep dive into the local values and traditions. Some events you shouldn’t miss if you have the opportunity include the Camel race in Al Shahaniya, the Design Doha fair, the Qatar International Art Festival, the Katara Traditional Dhow Festival and the Qatar International Gastronomic Festival

Doha offers a unique opportunity for foreigners to immerse themselves in Qatari culture, ensuring they depart with an accurate and enriched understanding of the country upon their return home.

Transport Medium in Doha

Traveling around Doha is convenient because of the well-established public transport system. Read further to learn about different transport mediums, fair prices, and how to go about them.

Rent a Car

A relatively affordable option is renting a car. You can easily find operators at the international airport in Doha, or you can even book a car by making a reservation online. Brands like Hertz and AVIS offer car rental services in the country, and there are local rental operators as well. 

Remember, to rent a car, you need visas and other requirements or an international driving license or a license issued from a GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) country. 

Taxi

You can take a taxi for short trips beyond the city. One of the popular options there is Karwa Taxi operated by Mowasalat Transport Company. Apart from that, go with app-based options like Uber and Careem taxis. The taxi fares start at 10 riyals, followed by 1.6 riyals per km for day and 1.9 riyals per km for night travel. 

Bus

Another best option to get around is a bus, and most of the buses in Doha are run by the Mowasalat transport service. They run air conditioner public buses around Doha and across Qatar, including routes from Hamad International Airport. 

You must be carrying a Karwa smart card which is easily available at airport vending machines, bus stations, and merchant outlets. The fare starts from 3 riyals for trips within Doha and 4 riyals if you want to go outside the capital.

Do you know?

The name “Doha” means “the big tree” in Arabic

Where to Stay in Doha

If you are visiting Doha, you must be wondering about the best places to stay. Each area represents a different side of the country, and your trip experience will depend on where you decide to stay in the city. 

One of the traditional areas to stay in is Souq Waqif, a place where the old souk of the city is located. Apart from a myriad of very reasonable restaurant options, it is an area well-connected with other nearby places by bus and metro. One of the best hotels to stay in is Alwadi Hotel Doha, offering great amenities and great services. 

Another highly recommended place to stay is The Pearl, a luxurious area in Doha. Besides lavish homes, you can find fine restaurants, luxury hotels, artificial beaches, and designer shops. If you are looking for a luxury trip, this is the place to stay! 

Lastly, the most exclusive place to stay is West Bay, a hub for numerous skyscrapers making up one of the most memorable views in Doha. Here you can find a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and shopping malls. The West Bay is well-connected to the rest of the city through subways.

Best Time to Visit

You should plan a trip to Doha accordingly, as the heat can take a toll and ruin everything. Between late May and October, the temperature in the daytime can reach 100 degrees, although evenings are pleasant. 

If you are intolerant to heat, consider planning your trip between November and April, at this time weather remains warm, dry, and constantly sunny.

The below graph represents Doha’s temperature during different months.

Doha's temperature during different months.

Nightlife in Doha

If you are looking to enjoy exotic nightlife in Doha, you will get to spend the best time here. Nightlife in the city has a kind of nocturnal feel. A wide variety of options including lounges, bars, and nightclubs. 

Here is the list of live music venues and clubs in Doha to enjoy vibrant nightlife:

  • Experience jazz at Lincoln Center
  • Enjoy a diverse theme night at Crystal
  • Live view of the city from The Strata Lounge
  • Victorian feel at Irish Harp
  • Magnificent structures of Nobu Doha
  • Fascinating night at the Madison Piano bar

Where to Eat in Doha

The city has some stellar restaurants and cafés, with options from multiple culinary delicacies. One of the exceptional options is Cellar. To enjoy a perfect fusion of Chinese-western cuisine, go with Ruby Wu’s. 

If you like to try unique food, Aroma got you covered as they offer Qatari specialties which include camel burgers as well. Prices are reasonable, ranging around 30 riyals for one meal. 

Dos and Don’ts in Doha

Do’s

  • Dress appropriately: It is recommended to dress modestly. This generally means covering the knees and shoulders. So avoid wearing aunty revealing clothes, short skirts, and shorts, sleeveless and strappy tops.
  • Greet people: Greet everyone with respect, while men prefer to shake hands in Qatar, a head is sufficient to greet women.
  • Shop around: Don’t forget to shop around from the famous market of Doha.
  • Maintain etiquette: Be mindful of your behavior in public places to avoid any unwanted conflicts, it is considered bad manners in the country.

Don’t

  • Avoid drinking in public: Don’t even think of bringing alcohol and drugs into the country. If caught then you can get severe punishment.
  • Don’t Abuse: Avoid using any abusive language or hand gestures in public, it is a punishable offense that can lead to deportation.
  • No spitting: Spitting in an area can lead to a hefty fine, so be mindful.
  • Don’t post offensive posts: It is advisable to not post anything offensive on social media, as it can lead to deportation or even prosecution. 

Conclusion

Doha is one of the sought-after countries on the traveler list offering a myriad of exotic experiences. The must-visit places to visit in the city are the Museum of Islamic Art, Souq Waqif, B12 Beach Club, the Pearl Club, and Doha Corniche. 

In this article, I gave you a comprehensive list of tips for your next trip to Doha, from staying in the city to places for experiencing vibrant nightlife. Hope this will be helpful!




Arunima
Arunima

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