Most of us have had, or will have, family or friends come to visit us during our time living in Qatar. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the country but what are the can’t miss experiences? We have put together a five-day itinerary of Qatar’s hottest tourist spots, historical treasures, the country’s culture and national interests, and some of the latest developments in this rapidly growing country. So, put your feet up and relax, we’ve got you covered!
DAY 1: PACK YOUR WALKING SHOES
Start with breakfast in Café#999 at the old fire station on the northwest side of Al Bidda Park. Built in 1982, the Firestation is now a residential art complex. Don’t forget to visit the free art gallery.
From there, stroll through Al Bidda Park and walk along the Corniche. Guests will marvel at the dhows, the spectacular architecture of West Bay, the stunning Museum of Islamic Art, the Qatar National Museum and the Emiri Diwan (Emir’s palace).
A visit to the Corniche would not be complete without taking in the sights and sounds of Souq Waqif. Visitors will love its complex alleyways of souvenirs, handicrafts and other goods. And of course, the wide range of restaurants means your guests will have plenty of options for dinner.
DAY 2: BBQ ON THE BEACH
A day out at a public beach in Qatar has so much to offer. Your visitors can discover white sandy beaches, long windswept beaches, beaches backed by beautiful undulating sand dunes, beaches with mangrove forests, rocky beaches, and many smaller beaches in little coves and secluded bays.
North of Doha you can find Simaisma Beach, Farkeh Beach and Al Thakhira Beach all accessible within an hour’s drive from the city. Furwairit Beach, towards the northern tip of Qatar, is just over one hour’s drive. On the west coast of the country, you can drive to Dukhan Beach in just over an hour and Zekreet Beach in under two hours—you can camp at both.
A beach trip could easily take up a full day, but if your visitors’ time in Qatar is limited, then finish up the day with a leisurely dinner at the Pearl.
DAY 3: GET HISTORICAL
Msheireb Museums are beautifully restored houses that take you through Qatar’s cultural and social development to modern-day history. If your guests are also interested in military history, Al Koot Fort within the grounds of Souq Waqif has been a military barracks, a police station and a prison and houses interesting relics from its diverse history.
If your visitors want to check out modern art from the Arab world or maybe an eclectic mix of artefacts, then head to the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art or the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum.
Built to provide a centre for culture and art, visitors will love exploring the cool alleyways and lanes of Katara. Make sure to take them for a wander along the beachside promenade and up into the impressive marble-faced, open-air amphitheatre. Katara is also a great place to grab dinner.
DAY 4: DESERT SAFARI
A visit to Qatar wouldn’t be complete without a trip into the desert. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets, camel trains and boundless, ever-changing sand dunes await your intrepid explorers—not to mention a host of adventure sports.
We recommend you try taking your visitors out to the desert with one of Qatar’s adventure tour operators, such as 365 Adventures, Arabian Adventures, Qatar Inbound Adventures, or Qatar International Adventures (QIA). Generally, tour operators offer similar experiences and include refreshments and food, sporting and entertainment opportunities, photography stops, and most importantly experienced, first-aid trained guides and insurance.
Most tours offer short morning trips lasting around four hours, afternoon and sunset trips for seven or more hours and overnight desert camping trips.
DAY 5: THE RESIDENT EXPERIENCE
If you would like to indulge your friends or family in a little beachside luxury, try taking them for a day at one of Qatar’s many hotels with pool and beach access. A day’s access costs around QR 200 and up, depending on the hotel you choose and will allow your visitors to recline on pristine sands, swim in climate-controlled pools, and make use of on-site facilities.
End the day with the Doha Food Tours Arabian Nights tour for a glimpse of Qatar’s eclectic and international food scene.