Overview

A decade ago, only business travellers spent any time in Doha, but now the country’s 5 Star national airline, the phenomenal development of cultural attractions and luxurious hotels springing up everywhere has made Qatar an ideal stopover on long haul routes east – with plenty to see for two or three days or even longer.

This fast rising must-see Middle East destination has everyone talking this year, so come and find out what all the fuss is about.

Highlights

There’s more to Qatar than opulent skyscrapers, malls and luxurious cars in the world’s richest country.

The Museum of Islamic Art

Top of the sightseeing list is The Museum of Islamic Art, built on an artificial island and set in a beautiful park, this dramatic building dominates one end of the 11km long Corniche. The exterior and the interior combine traditional and modern features to create an amazing building that seem to float on the water.

The permanent collections of ceramics, glass and textiles artefacts that interpret 1,400 year of Islamic art as well as the touring exhibitions, regular concerts, guided tours and incredible architecture make this Doha’s top attraction.

Souq Waqif

For hundreds of years this site has seen the Bedu trade in sheep and goats and from these origins, Souq Waqif has been lovingly resorted in the last ten years to become Doha’s top retail and social space.

The souq (market) has been sympathetically redeveloped to look like a 19th-century souq, with mud-walled shops, timber beams and some renovated original Qatari buildings

The other sport of kings

Synonymous with culture and leisure in this part of the world, falconry is a sport at the heart of Arabia. For a glimpse true Qatari heritage, don't miss the Falcon Souq.

The scale of the souq, within its own traditional arcaded building off Souq Waqif, conveys the importance of falconry in Qatari society. Entering a falcon shop can be a little unnerving, as the birds, most of them hooded in black leather, perch on an open railings just a handspan away.

When to visit

Qatar has a sub-tropical, arid climate. Sunny blue skies and high temperatures can be expected most of the year. Rainfall is sporadic, falling mainly in winter (November to March) and averaging 12 cm per year.