Qatar ranks 158th in the world in terms of area and 144th in terms of population. But due to the production and export of oil and gas, it is among the most developed countries. Although it is much more critical for a tourist, Qatar is a small country in the Middle East with a rich culture, unique ecosystem, and cuisine. A few hours by plane, and here it is – Arab Switzerland. Choose to visit Qatar and how to replenish your Instagram with Doha’s magical wonders!
Cultural Center and Market
The Cultural Center of Qatar is a specially created centre, inside which there are galleries, theatres, venues for various concerts and events. Its architecture is designed in traditional forms. You can relax in the centre in any of the restaurants with different world cuisines, enjoying panoramic views of the bay. The Qatar Cultural Center hosts the Ajyal Film Festival every year.
Souq Waqif Market is perhaps the best place to experience the local culture. The atmosphere of the oriental bazaar is authentic here.
On the shelves, there is an abundance of Middle Eastern treasures: spices, fresh dates, nuts, jewellery, perfumes, souvenirs, paintings, fabrics, carpets, clothing. And, like in a movie, traditional Arabic music sounds everywhere. You can also satisfy your hunger with Qatari cuisine and your thirst in the market.
Embankment and island “Pearl”.
In Doha, the Corniche promenade is located along the entire coast of the Gulf. It offers a gorgeous view of the city’s business centre. Quays, as a rule, “take” with space: plenty of water, fresh air, greenery and comfortable conditions for relaxation. Here is the Cornish one. Restaurants, cafes and a jogging track are literally surrounded by greenery.
And Pearl Island is an artificially created island shaped like a string of pearls. The island’s project – an elite area with all the necessary infrastructure – was approved in 2004 by Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani. In 2012, more than 40 thousand people purchased housing on the island. Many of them are foreigners. And in 2015, the construction of the “Pearl” with an area of 4 km 2 was completed.
The island has a luxury residential complex, villas, hotels, restaurants, theatre, marinas, hundreds of boutiques. It is also called the “Arab Riviera”. The 3, 5 km promenade “La Croisette” is recognized as the largest in the world. There is even a Venetian-style area with canals, bridges and townhouses. The unique atmosphere of relaxation at the “Pearl” is created by the tandem of the luxurious life of the XXI century and oriental traditions.
Forts: Al Zubaro, Al Wajba, Al Kut Fort
Al-Zubara Fort is a monument of the culture and history of the 18th – 19th centuries. It is under the protection of UNESCO and has recently been restored. Excavations are still underway around it. On the site of the fort, there was a fortified coastal city whose merchant ships reached the Indian Ocean. And pearl mining was developed in the town.
Fort Al Wajba is located near Doha. It was erected at the turn of the 18th – 19th centuries. This building is one of the oldest in the country. But it was one of the first to become available for visiting. The fort’s observation towers offer an incredible view of the desert. In 1893, Al-Wajba was attacked by the Ottoman Empire, but the Qatari troops could repel the attack. In different periods, the fort was used as the residence of the sheikh.
Fort Al Kut is located in the heart of Doha. Its construction was completed in 1927 and was used to house the city’s law enforcement agency. Later, a prison was made from the fort. Now the snow-white building of Al-Kuta is a museum and is open to tourists.
A little bit of practical information:
- The currency in Qatar is known as the Qatari Rial.
- There are a few ways of transportation, but we recommend opting for bus hire with a driver if you travel with a group of people.
- Qatar is a Muslim country and regardless of how media portrays this country, it is completely safe.