The island nation of Qatar brings together old world hospitality with cosmopolitan sophistication, the chance to enjoy a rich cultural tapestry, new experiences and adventures.
You may not be all that familiar with Doha, but it’s a name that will work its way into our vocabulary over the coming years, particularly after the 2022 World Cup. Qatar’s capital city shares similar heritage with the UAE, receiving most of its income in the pearl trade, before benefitting hugely from the discovery of oil and gas in the 20th century. Doha wraps around a large natural bay, making its scenic waterfront the perfect setting for a romantic dhow cruise to accompany the mesmeric sun as it sets over the distant Saudi Arabian desert.
One of Qatar’s main concerns while developing Doha to attract tourists has been maintaining its distinctive Arabic identity, which has enabled the local customs and culture to continue flourishing in the face of globalization. The city is still bursting with traditional souks, markets and museums, each offering an enriching snapshots of the area’s history and character. Doha makes for an excellent stop on a multi-centre trip, whether you’re touring the Middle East or using it as a convenient stopover on your way to a more distant destination.
The International airport at Doha is a stunning piece of architecture and service wise, compares to its brethren in Dubai and Singapore. With the newly opened borders, access is easy via the Qatar Airways’ international network or via other gateways such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Bahrain or Istanbul.
Whether you are looking for relaxing on the beach, museum hopping or exciting adventures, Qatar has options for just about everyone.
Doha, the capital city of Qatar is home to over 100 hotels. Of which, there is a heavy slant toward the high end 4* and 5* category. Within the city, there are several hotels with private beaches.
Like comparable destinations through the Arabian Gulf, the levels of service and opulence in these hotels are legendary with staff on call for every whim. Spas are fairly standard in the 5* properties and each of them offer their own individual touch. The Qatari people are incredibly friendly and hospitable and love to show off their country to its visitors.
As mentioned, Qatar has a lot to do and see. This is a list of some of our own favorites:
- Visit Katara Mosque
- Enjoy the Doha Desert
- Visit the Al-Zubrah Fortress
- Stand in awe at the State Grand Mosque
- Enjoy the National Museum of Qatar
- Marvel at the Museum of Islamic Art
- Scuba Dive in the Arabian Gulf
- Take a selfie at Barzan Towers
- Examine the burgeoning local art scene
- Kayak through the Al Thakira Mangroves
- Share a coffee with a local, served from a “dallah”
- Visit the Falcon Souq
- Take a traditional Qatari Dhow Cruise
- Head out to the Inland Sea as the mountainous desert drop into the ocean
Like other similar destination, Doha is a melting pot of different nationalities and cultures. Therefore its restaurant scene is bubbling with variety and creativity. Usually, you will find the more celebrated restaurants in hotels and malls, but contact your Arabian Lux specialist to find a hidden gem!
Culture & Museums
Qatar has a thriving arts and culture scene, with a large number of museums and galleries showcasing the country’s history along with contemporary art featuring Arab artists. You can wander through Qatar’s museums and galleries which take visitors through a millennia of Islamic Art, Arab heritage, and modern reflections.
National Museum of Qatar
Designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, the National Museum of Qatar draws inspiration from and recreates the naturally occurring crystal formations known as the desert rose.
Featuring interlocking discs, the museum spans a whopping 430,500 square feet. Built around Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani’s original palace, and the seat of government for 25 years, the National Museum of Qatar gives voice to Qatar’s heritage whilst celebrating its future.
Inside, visitors can learn about Qatar’s ancestors and the formation of its early cities, with the museum charting the country’s history and progress through the centuries. Exhibitions combine historic objects and contemporary influences, opening up a dialogue around the impact of rapid change.
The museum complex includes permanent and temporary galleries, a 220-seat auditorium, two cafés, a restaurant, a gift shop, separate facilities for school groups and VIPs, heritage research centres, conservation laboratories and museum collection storage.
Museum of Islamic Art
On a purpose-built island abutting the Corniche, Doha’s waterfront promenade, the building itself is an architectural wonder designed by Pritzker Prize winning architect I.M. Pei. The museum contains four floors of permanent and temporary exhibitions, gift shop, a café and a haute cuisine restaurant IDAM by renowned chef Alain Ducasse, on the fifth floor. It is also home to a heritage library, with a collection of 21,000 books including 2000 rare editions in both Arabic and English.
MIA showcases 14 centuries of Islamic art and artefacts from around the world.
The museum hosts a variety of cultural activities throughout the year, including performances by the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, film screenings and art and calligraphy classes for the community. The lush MIA park next to the museum overlooks the Arabian sea, and is a favourite spot for family picnics, walking, running or outdoor yoga classes. A weekend bazar in the cooler months features over a hundred stalls selling everything from food and drinks to handicrafts, clothing and jewellery.
Highlights of your visit:
· Terrace for unparalleled views of Doha’s skyline
· Lush gardens of MIA Park
· Philippe Starck designed MIA Café
MIA commands breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. Inside the museum, visitors should look for the Shahnameh Manuscript. Written a thousand years ago by Persian poet Ferdowsi, the Book of Kings recounts the histories and myths of the pre-Islamic Greater Persian Empire. See one of the world’s first navigational tools, the Planispheric Astrolabe, made in 10th century Iraq during Abbasid rule. Be dazzled by the Carved Emerald Plaque, a large emerald from the 16th century.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
Established in 2010, Mathaf providing a uniquely Arab perspective on contemporary art. The museum’s permanent collection features more than 9,000 works by notable artists from Arab world from the 1840s to the present day. Landmark artists from countries and regions connected to the Arab Peninsula are represented, encompassing Africa, Asia and Europe.
Within the refurbished development of Msheireb in the oldest part of the capital, the Msheireb Museums celebrate the history of Qatar. Four heritage houses – Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House – were restored by property developer Msheireb and transformed into museums that explore key players and periods in Qatar’s history and evolution.
These are the places that we can take you
5 Star Doha
- Al Messila, A Luxury Collection Resort
- Al Aziziyah Boutique Hotel
- Al Najada Doha
- Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara
- Four Seasons Hotel Doha
- Intercontinental Doha
- La Cigale
- Mandarin Oriental Doha
- Marsa Malaz Kempinksi The Pearl
- Mondrian Doha
- Sharq Village & Spa
- The St. Regis Doha
- The Torch Doha
- The Ritz Carlton Doha
- W Doha Hotel & Residences