Qatari dream: A day in Doha

Fresh off its 2019 Asian Cup win in early February, and as it looks ahead to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the future of football in Qatar sure looks bright. But, there’s more to this glamourous Arabian Gulf destination than football – it is fast becoming a favourite spot for travellers too. If you find yourself in Doha – even just for a day or two – here’s a little taste of what’s on offer.
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“If you’re in Doha with just one day to spare, nothing can beat a tailor-made tour organised through your hotel or with one of the city’s professional tour operators,” recommends Qatar Tourism. “While Qatar is a small country with most sights easily accessible no more than an hour or two from Doha, it may be advisable to stick close to the capital if your time is limited.” Well here are some ideas…

Get the day off to a great start with a visit to the Msheireb Enrichment Centre on Doha’s Corniche. The Centre outlines Qatar’s glorious past, present and ambitious plans for the future while housing some of Qatar’s historic artifacts, antique work tools and a treasure trove of information on Qatar’s extraordinary growth. It all makes a superb introduction to the country’s culture and heritage.

Then, you can keep the cultural theme going while marveling at the magnificent collections on display at the Museum of Islamic Art – where traditional Islamic architecture meets the 21st century. The museum building itself has rapidly become an iconic feature of the Doha landscape and inside, you can discover a world class collection spanning 1,400 years. (Keep in mind that this month, the National Museum of Qatar is also set to open).

After this, make sure to experience the atmosphere and lively street life at Souq Waqif, the Qatari capital’s oldest souq and a favourite spot for both locals and visitors. If you have time, don’t miss out on the Katara Cultural Village, which was born out of a long held vision to position the State of Qatar as a diverse cultural beacon of art, theatre, literature, music, visual art, conventions and exhibitions.

As the afternoon draws on into the evening, you can take a traditional dhow cruise on Doha Bay and enjoy panoramic views of the Corniche and the city’s spectacular high rise towers, or browse the designer brands on offer at one of Doha’s superb shopping malls. Or, after a busy day, you can simply unwind at one of Doha’s many luxurious hotels.

Where to stay? Voted “Qatar's Leading Hotel 2019” at the prestigious World Travel Awards, The Ritz Carlton Doha serves up plenty of 5-Star luxury, elegance, and tradition, while providing guests with newly redesigned rooms and suites that have views overlooking the Doha city skyline or the marina. The hotel also serves up a feast of delicious dining in the form of the newly-launched STK American steakhouse, the modern French brasserie Sel & Miel, and the soon-to-launch B-Lounge by Buddha Bar – among others. Combined with a luxury spa and fitness centre, private beach, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, access to boating at the marina, and two ballrooms and meeting/conference facilities, The Ritz Carlton Doha has everything needed for a spectacular stay in Doha. (www.ritzcarlton.com)

Fly Oman Air! Oman Air flies direct Muscat/Doha. To view the full flight schedules, visit www.omanair.com

Online Info! Check out www.visitqatar.qa for an in depth guide on what to see and explore around Doha and Qatar.

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