A visit to Qatar, the gasoline-rich Arab country growing at breakneck velocity, can show to be greater than just a luxurious stopover inside the Middle East. But be organized to go away Western behavior on the door.
Maybe you are heading to the capital Doha due to the fact you are making the maximum of Qatar Airways’ stopover motel deal, recharging for multiple nights before you press directly to Europe. Or you can find yourself there for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Either way right here’s the way to kill multiple days within the Arabian wasteland’s “Fast City”.
You should not tour far outdoor Doha to experience like you are on some other planet. The sand formations are large, rugged and windswept, and come up with a flavor of the harshness of desert existence. Before you embark, an air-conditioned 4WD from Discover Qatar will stop to let the air let loose of its tires so that it can surf down the dunes.
Request to prevent at a camp on the brink of the city where you could journey a camel or hold a falcon. Camel racing and falconry are old and culturally vital Qatari past-instances.
The guide can then take you south to a seashore on the Arabian Gulf, where you are capable of seeing Saudi Arabia throughout the water. An excellent way to get your bearings. Downside: There’s a variety of rubbish within the wasteland.
MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART
This building has a commanding presence on a synthetic island in the harbor. It holds a massive collection of Islamic art spanning three continents and 1400 years, a brilliant manner to get a deal with on the history of Islam.
The museum’s architect, 91-12 months-vintage I. M. Pei, needed to be coaxed out of retirement to layout it. Then he traveled throughout the Muslim international for six months as research (cash is no item for Qatari royals), and insisted or not it’s built on an island to defend it from encroachment in the unexpectedly growing city.
The museum also has a wonderful view of the Doha skyline. Don’t miss it.
A newer and even more uncommon-looking constructing, built out of discs to emulate the desolate tract rose, a sort of crystal that bureaucracy within the wasteland.
The well-known shows observe a chronological order, starting with the natural history of the Arabian Gulf.
It’s interesting to see how Qatar grew from a humble nation of pearl divers to the richest united states of America in the international consistent with capita.
The museum is likewise the web page of the Old Amiri Palace, which served as the house for a Qatari emir in the early 20th century.
In a rustic exceptionally with out ancient homes and relics (maximum traditional Qatari dwellings have not survived), it is interesting to stroll round inside the palace partitions to peer how Qatar’s royalty lived.
The satisfactory way to peer Doha’s colorful skyline is from the water after sunset.
A traditional Qatari dhow boat blasting Arabian track will take you past a number of the city’s key landmarks, such as the Museum of Islamic Art, the Sheraton Hotel and expat apartment complicated, the Pearl.
The harbor is energetic, with locals gambling on jetskis and dancing on private launches. You might even witness a release being “pulled over” by way of a police boat. It’s some other extraordinary manner to get your bearings and soak in Doha’s atmosphere. You are recommended for both your first or remaining night in Qatar.
STAYING THERE: The W Doha has a buzzing lobby at all hours of the day and night. It has two eating places by using a 3-Michelin big-name chef and a remarkable breakfast buffet that consists of nearby fare. There’s also a poolside bar.
GETTING BY: NZ$20 is about 50 Qatari rials. You’ll discover ATMs in maximum traveler areas. Qatar is one of the most secure countries in the Middle East, with steel detectors at the entrance to all buildings.
DO’S AND DON’TS: Out of admiring for neighborhood Islamic tradition, it’s really helpful for both men and women to dress modestly, which means now not carrying clothes that show shoulders, thighs or midriffs. This can seem hard inside the wilderness warmth, but you are going to be spending most of a while in air-conditioned homes or automobiles.
You cannot convey duty-free alcohol into Qatar; it will likely be confiscated at the airport. Alcohol is available at Western-style hotels for a prohibitive price after a hundred consistent with cent tax becomes imposed early this 12 months — a beer at the W Doha prices 60 Qatari rials, or about NZ$25.
Qatar’s hot season (May-October) is excellent averted if viable, with temperatures mountain climbing to 50 ranges celsius. The cooler months (November-March) see greater tolerable daylight highs within the low 20s.