Qatar, the hidden jewel of Arabia
Qatar, the jewel in the crown of the Arab countries, is located on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Everything but the size of this small country is impressive: the architecture that merges the past with the future, the cultural innovations, the luxurious hospitality, the gastronomy, the shopping arcades adorned with gold, the futuristic panoramas and the preserved nature despite the desert environment are all reasons to visit Qatar.
Qatar is the perfect destination for Muslim travellers seeking luxury, glamor and halal holidays. Attempt the impossible and live the Qatari dream!
Qatar will be the first Arab state to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. It will represent the Arab World through hosting the tournament and bridge the gap between the Arab World and the West. Al Bayt Stadium, one of the newly built official stadiums decorated with Islamic art, is located in the northern port city of Al Khor and named after the historic bayt al sha'ar tents that were traditionally used by nomadic people in the country and across the region.
Contemporary places of interest
Al Bidda Park
Al Bidda Park, also known as Al Rumaila Park, is located in the heart of Qatar and overlooks the Sapphire Corniche. This expanse of man-made nature is one of the oldest parks in the country and had significant stature in the 19th century. The city of Doha was an extension of the neighbouring Al Bidda district and both had importance in the port sector, but when Al Bidda could no longer accommodate large ships in large quantities, Doha grew in importance and became the modern capital of Qatar.
Visit Al Bidda Park and appreciate the public facilities:
- The Amphitheater with 850 seats
- Separate fitness centres for men, women and children
- The bird observatory
- Race tracks for camels, horses and bicycles
Al Bidda Park has also been designated as the official area for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
The seven-kilometre-long Corniche surrounds Doha Bay and is the beating heart of Doha. The impeccable promenade lined with palm trees is perfect for discovering and venturing:
- Illuminated Doha skyline
This futuristic panorama displays galactic architecture. The Tornado Tower (195 m high), the Kempinski residences and suites (256 m high), the Palm Towers (245.7 m high), the International Trade Center (241 m high) and the Burj Doha (238 m high) are part of the famous Doha skyline.
- Dhow Tours to Al Wakrah Dhow Port
Take a "dhow" (traditional boats) ride to immerse yourself in the grandiose horizon. They can be booked for a minimum of 15 minutes or up to four hours with dinner, traditional music and entertainment. Kill two birds with one stone and board the boat as the sun goes down to witness the breathtaking view of the Doha Skyline.
- Burj Qatar
This skyscraper located along the coast and designed by architect Jean Nouvel is one of the symbols of Doha. The building is a cultural phenomenon with the wire mesh which is inspired by Arab geometry. The shadows of the trellis inside the building create a unique experience.
Museum of Islamic Art
The splendid Museum of Islamic Art appears to be floating on, or indeed rising from the water, hovering over an artificial island. Its architecture is a manifestation of traditional Islamic art including modern weavings. The exhibitions showcase collections spanning 3 continents and 12 centuries. The examples of art from the Islamic world are considered to be one of the most comprehensive collections of Muslim influence on the world.
Qatar National Library
The Qatar National Library is a research library, an academic centre as well as an age-appropriate public centre of technology and information. This gem of knowledge and culture has 800,000 different types of literary works and a heritage collection including manuscripts, scientific instruments and other authentic artefacts. The library organizes up to 80 free events per month, including concerts given by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.
Places of historical interest
Souq Waqif (The Erected Market)
Souq Waqif is brimming with Qatari produce, aromatic spices, Bedouin crafts, traditional clothing and home souvenirs. There is also a plethora of restaurants and shisha lounges. The souq illustrates the cultural multiplicity of Qatar by welcoming locals, migrants and tourists.
Katara Cultural Village
Inspired by the historic name of Qatar, Katara Cultural Village offers a variety of attractions:
- Amphitheatre - A modern architectural feat designed in balance between Hellenic inspiration and Arabian style.
- Opera House - The only hall of its kind in Qatar. It hosts eminent artists and musicians and can accommodate up to 550 spectators.
- Katara Mosque - This mosque brings together inspirations from mosques across the Islamic world and its spectacular facade is embellished with turquoise, green and purple tiles.
- Orée Mosque - Inspired by the Ottoman style and covered with thousands of golden tiles.
The Msheireb Museums is a four-house project in the former Doha commercial centre. It is a demonstration of Qatari history and culture in the political, national and international realm:
- Bin Jelmood House - A house that traces the international history of slavery in the Indian Ocean.
- Company House - A house that reveals the national histories of workers in the oil industry.
- Mohammed de Bin Jassim House - A house that addresses Qatar's past, present and sustainability.
- Radwani House - A beautiful house that demonstrates the daily life of a Qatari family in the 20th century.
The monochrome beige village surrounded by the desert is a replica of the orientalist imagination of Arab cities. Erected in the middle of nowhere, Film City is an artificially constructed village either for Hollywood or Qatari TV. It can give the illusion of being in the paintings of Eugène Delacroix, Henri Matisse and Auguste Renoir.
Grand Mosque of Qatar
Breathtaking in size, the Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahab Mosque has a capacity of 30,000 people. The simplicity highlights the details that pay homage to the inspirations of the early Arab mosques with classic and modern embellishments.
Al Thakhira Mangroves Forest on Purple Island
Surprising and awe-inspiring, Purple Island is a secret far removed from the futuristic cities of Qatar. The name of the island, Purple, comes from the purple-coloured molluscs. The Al Thakhira Mangroves forest is submerged in lagoons, and this tropical nature in the middle of a desert country is a one-of-a-kind visit.
Khor al Adaid
The inland sea Khor al Adaid is a natural haven and one of the country's most popular destinations. Set in a vast and breathtaking location, the sapphire-coloured water surrounded by sandy dunes is a meeting place for campers, fishermen and photography enthusiasts.
The Miraculous Voyage
The Miraculous Voyage, an artistic demonstration of gestation, is the first of its kind in the Arab world. The arrangement of statues takes viewers on a journey through the different stages of foetal development. This art set is on display in front of Sidra Medical and Research Centre Hospital, which specialises in women's and children's health.
Shopping in Qatar
The shopping culture is at the heart of Qatar. Qatar offers you various shopping experiences: traditional bazaars, daily markets, shopping centres and prestigious galleries. Shopping in Qatar assures you a complete experience with the sale of food and drink as well as places for rest and entertainment.
- The Souq Waqif in Doha is renowned for its local spices, jewellery, fabrics and clothing as well as Qatari handcrafted souvenirs.
- The Gold Souk on Al Ahmed Street is known for competitively selling gold and gold jewellery.
- The Souk Al Dira is a market overflowing with quality fabrics, silks and materials.
- The Wholesale Market is known for selling local and regional food products.
- The Fish Market at the Corniche.
- Doha Festival City is a centre for the whole family, with hundreds of shops and a ski park, a trampoline park and even bumper cars.
- City Centre Doha is a shopping centre with five floors, featuring a bowling alley, cinemas and an ice rink.
- The Lafayette Galleries Doha are inspired by the Galeries Lafayette in Paris and feature more than 400 brands and a sparkling decor.
- Alhazm Mall is a shopping centre with an architecture similar to that of the Louvre Museum, with 125 luxury brand stores.
Hotels in Qatar
Halalbooking offers a wide choice of halal-friendly properties to suit all tastes in Qatar. The hotels are luxurious with warm atmospheres.
🏅 Banana Island Resort
The floating island in the shape of a natural half moon is a stunning resort that is home to Banana Island Resort Doha and is run by Anantara, a prestigious Thai hotel company. The island features a private marina, coral reefs, an 800m private beach, a surf pool, a diving centre and an outdoor lagoon pool. The resort has a VIP cinema, golf courses, a bowling alley, nine restaurants, a wonderful hammam spa and even a F1 simulator.
🏅 Warwick Doha Hotel
If you are seeking luxurious accommodation in a convenient location then look no further! Warwick Doha Hotel is perfect for couples and ideal for families too.
A luxury alcohol-free hotel, offering women-only spa and outdoor pool at set times each day.
🏅 Retaj Al Rayyan
Retaj Al Rayyan is ideally located to explore the city’s local attractions and offers a spa & outdoor pool with dedicated ladies-only hours and men-only hours every day.
Qatar prides itself on offering unique experiences, influenced by their Bedouin culture, and treats its guests like royalty.