Doha, Qatar is one of the fastest growing cities in the Arab world. Much like Dubai in the U.A.E, Doha is a super-cosmopolitan metropolis. Known as ‘the shining jewel’ of Qatar, despite its astounding growth rates over the past two decades and its rapid growth into modernity, Doha maintains many uniquely Arabian and Persian customs and attractions. If you are planning to visit Doha a business trip or for a stopover we have some travel recommendations for you:
The Corniche – The Corniche was a result of extensive dredging works to deepen and enlarge the Doha’s bay. If you have an hour to spare, take a walk down The Corniche, the street to go to for a great view of the city, and a myriad of interesting buildings and monuments. Day or night, this gigantic C-shaped promenade that extends several kilometres along Doha’s bay gives one a stunning panorama of Doha’s skyline.
This photo of Museum of Islamic Art is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Doha Museum of Islamic Art – Designed by the, I. M. Pei, the same man who is responsible for the famous glass pyramid at the Louvre Museum, the Doha Museum of Islamic Art is a modern architectural masterpiece and one of the defining landmarks along the Corniche. The New York Times calls its appearance “ageless, evoking a past when Islamic art and architecture were a nexus of world culture,” and is one of the must-see places before you leave Doha. The colossal building houses41,000 square feet of galleries within its geometric compound. Inside, you can find large collection of Islamic works and some of the best well-kept displays of Islamic manuscripts, textiles, and ceramic artefacts in the world are also featured here. Even if art is not really your thing, the museum is surrounded by acres of gardens where you can wander about and take photographs.
Sunday, Monday and Wednesday – 10.30am to 5.30pm
Thursday and Saturday – 12.00pm to 8.00pm
Friday – 2.00pm to 8.00pm
Closed on Tuesdays
This photo of Souq Waqif is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Souq Waqif – The word Souq or Souk refers to a marketplace in a Arab or Muslim city. Juxtaposed between the towering modern skyscrapers and modern landmarks within the city, this hundred-year-old market is one of the last spots where visitors can really experience the exotic Middle-Eastern heritage that still remains in Doha. This remarkable place has all kinds of colourful stalls selling Arabian housewares, spices and jewellery. There is even a falcon market that where locals buy, sell and display pet falcons!
Apart from great photo opportunities, there are also plenty of things to eat and do in Souq Waqif, from traditional delicacies like the Middle-Eastern sweets, tea, and ice cream to gourmet restaurants owned by world-renowned chefs. The shops are generally open from 10.00am to 12.00pm and 4.00pm to 10.00pm, making the market one of the most vibrant places in Doha. Even if you get lost, you’re bound to have an enjoyable time!
Doha Fort – Also known as the Al Koot Fort, the Doha fort is one of the last remaining heritage sites left in a rapidly developing modern Qatar. The fort used to be a defensive military barracks during the 19th century under Turkish rule. During that period, Qatar was a trading settlement, consisting mainly of a few villages and a small port. Built in 1880, the fort gives a unique insight into the architecture and heritage of Qatar during a period of great cultural turmoil. In 1893, there was a major clash between the Ottoman and the ruler/headman of Qatar, Shaikh Mohamed Bin-Thani and his son, Qassim. The Ottoman Empire reign finally came to an end in 1915 and thus Qatar was reborn as a state.
Today, the Al Koot Fort is a museum that houses traditional arts, handicrafts, paintings and gold work, these exhibits offer a tiny glimpse into Qatar’s cultural past and should not be missed. The fort itself is a short walk from Souq Waqif and is located next to the sea. If and when the hustle and bustle of the marketplace is too much, simply stroll over to the open waters and take a break and relax your sore feet.
This photo of City Centre Mall is courtesy of TripAdvisor
City Centre Doha – If you’re thinking of going on a shopping spree, Doha might just be that place to do it! The City Centre-Doha is one of the biggest shopping centres in the Middle East, and contains a formidable array of shops and entertainment outlets. It also boasts of an ice-skating rink, rock-climbing walls, bowling alleys, and a 14-screen cinema complex. For those who of you with children, don’t worry! This gigantic mall even has its own education and learning centre that provides childcare services. Pretty good huh.
This photo of Villaggio is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Visitors can also visit Villagio, a newly built Venice-themed mall complete with waterways, bridges and buildings. Like all big malls, Villagio also has a huge array variety shops, a large food court, a supermarket, and a cinema. For 15 Riyals, you can even go for a relaxing ride on one of the gondolas.
For your travels in Qatar’s thriving capital, make Fraser Suites Doha your choice of accommodation on the Doha Corniche. Our waterfront promenade stretches for several kilometres along the glistening Arabian coastline, joining the government offices and business district of West Bay to Doha International Airport, just five minutes away. Doha Museum of Islamic Art and lively Souq Waqif – alive with restaurants, cafés and shops – are also within easy walking distance. Other major attractions in Qatar’s capital city, including the Doha Exhibition Center and Doha Golf Club, are within a ten-minute drive.
This luxury Doha hotel has 138 serviced apartments over 14 floors, ranging from comfortable studios to spacious three-bedroom suites. All boast contemporary Italian interior design, state-of-the-art technology and stunning views over the Arabian Sea and Qatar’s sparkling capital city.
Facilities rival those of the best hotels in Doha: a rooftop swimming pool with poolside bar, sauna, fully-equipped gym, restaurant and café, penthouse meeting room with panoramic views, executive club lounge, complimentary shuttle bus, children’s wading pool and kids club… and if there’s anything else you desire, the 24-hour reception staff and concierge at this gold-standard apartment hotel in Doha will be delighted to take care of it for you. Whether you’re travelling to Qatar for a short conference or meeting, long-stay accommodation in Doha while relocating or on a training program, or simply enjoying a holiday with your family, Fraser Suites offers a deluxe serviced apartment in Doha to suit your needs and desires. We offer all the facilities of the best hotels in Doha, with the added advantages of luxury private apartments.