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 vistas and the well-preserved nature, which thrives despite the desert environment. These are all reasons to visit Qatar.

In short, Qatar is the perfect destination for Muslim travellers seeking luxury, glamor and halal-friendly holidays. Attempt the impossible and live the Qatari dream!

Qatar drew the world’s attention in 2022, when it was the first Arab state to host the FIFA World Cup. It represented the Arab World admirably, drawing international praise and changing many perceptions in the west. If you’re a football fan you might want to take a tour to visit some of the iconic stadiums.

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 which rose to significant stature in the 19th century. The city of Doha was originally an extension of the neighbouring Al Bidda district, both of which were important ports, but when Al Bidda could no longer accommodate enough large ships, Doha grew in importance, becoming the modern capital of Qatar.

Visit Al Bidda Park and enjoy 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

Doha Corniche

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 the city as you stroll:

  • Illuminated Doha skyline

This futuristic panorama displays what appears to be 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.

Illuminated Doha skyline
  • Dhow Tours to Al Wakrah Dhow Port

Take a "dhow" (traditional boats) ride to immerse yourself in the spectacular cityscape. 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 at the perfect time of day.

  • 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 atmosphere.

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 weaving. 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 showcasing Muslim influence on the world.

Qatar National Library

The Qatar National Library is a research library, an academic centre as well as a public centre of technology and information. This gem of knowledge and culture houses 800,000 different types of literary works and a heritage collection including manuscripts, scientific instruments and other authentic artefacts. The library organises up to 80 free events per month, including concerts given by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Qatar National Library

Places of historical interest

Souq Waqif (The Standing Market)

Souq Waqif is brimming with Qatari produce, aromatic spices, Bedouin crafts, traditional clothing and home souvenirs. It takes its name from the fact that the vendors here traditionally stood at temporary stalls to sell their wares. 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 to create a balance between Hellenic inspiration and Arabian style.
  • Opera House - The only venue 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.
Amphitheatre of the Katara Cultural Village

Msheireb Museums

The Msheireb Museums is a project spread over four houses 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.
Msheireb Museums

Film City

The deserted monochrome beige village surrounded by the desert is a replica of an ancient Arab city, or perhaps an Orientalist imagining of one. Erected in the middle of nowhere, no one seems to know whether this village was artificially constructed for Hollywood or Qatari TV. It can give the illusion of stepping off the canvas of a painting by Eugène Delacroix, Henri Matisse or 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.

Grand Mosque of Qatar

Al Thakhira Mangroves Forest on Purple Island

Surprising and awe-inspiring, Purple Island is a secret, which feels 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 makes a unique 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

Shopping culture is at the heart of Qatar. Qatar offers you various shopping experiences: traditional bazaars, daily markets, shopping centres and prestigious malls. When you need a break from shopping you will find plenty of opportunities for halal food and drink as well as places for rest and entertainment.

Traditional bazaars

  • 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 competitive prices for gold and gold jewellery.
  • The Souk Al Dira is a market overflowing with quality fabrics, silks and materials.

Daily markets

  • The Wholesale Market is known for selling local and regional food products.
  • The Fish Market at the Corniche.

Shopping centres

  • 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.

Prestigious malls

  • The Lafayette Galleries Doha are inspired by the Galeries Lafayette in Paris and feature more than 400 brands in a glittering setting.
  • Alhazm Mall is a shopping centre with an architecture which mirrors that of the Louvre Museum, with 125 stores selling luxury brands.

Hotels in Qatar

Halalbooking offers a wide choice of halal-friendly properties to suit all tastes in Qatar. The hotels are luxurious and offer warm Qatari hospitality.

Banana Island Resort ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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.

Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels By Tivoli ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels By Tivoli

A luxury alcohol-free boutique hotel in the heart of Souq Waqif with ladies-only and men-only spa centres. It is conveniently located for museums and other attractions and has an outdoor pool.

Intercontinental Doha Beach & SPA, an IHG hotel ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Intercontinental Doha Beach & SPA, an IHG hotel

A popular, luxury hotel on its own sandy beach with fully-secluded ladies-only and men-only spa centres. The outdoor pool is set in attractive gardens and its fully-secluded indoor pool is available for private hire.

Book your halal-friendly holidays in Qatar. Members of the Halalbooking Loyalty Club can often make big savings. Check individual accommodation to see what types of booking are available. Most properties allow you to cancel your reservation for free in the event of a change. You may also have the opportunity to pay a small deposit and pay the rest later.

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