Even though Qatar is tiny, there’s still plenty to see and do which is why it is important to plan ahead before you head to this fantastic little ambitious country in the middle east. While Qatar origins have its roots in slavery, it has evolved from being the poorest country to the richest country in the world because of the considerable natural gas and oil reserves.
Here are the few reasons why you should visit Qatar to get an experience of a lifetime.
1. Fascinating tourist attractions
Though it is the richest country in the world it is not as expensive to travel as you may think. Its tourism industry is highly blooming. Following are the top 12 places you must not miss while visiting Qatar.
i . Souq Waqif
To get a sense of how Qatar looked like 100 years ago, all you need to do is walk to Souq Waqif which is the traditional market of Doha. Tourists are fascinated to see how the Qataris have preserved traditional market and maintained very well in terms of cleanliness, entertainment, art, restaurant and shops for souvenirs. The current incarnation has been designed to resemble a souk with the 1800s, complete with mud rendered shops and restored Qatari buildings.
This place is very popular with locals and tourists offering wonderful dining and shopping. Souq Waqif is possibly one of the most popular places for shisha lovers. There are at least 20 shisha cafes spread across Souq most of them having an outdoor sitting arrangement. It’s been home to a market for several generations. Every pet imaginable is sold here. You can find almost anything and everything from animal food, gold shops, falcon market, falcon hospital (falcon can be as expensive as Lamborghini though), horse market, spice market, art market with a lot of traditional stuff. On the whole, Souq offers interaction with overall Qatari Culture.
ii. Banana Island
Banana Island is a stunning magnificent paradise sanctuary of world-class facilities and limitless activities, both above and below the water, providing relaxation and adventure, wellness and pure indulgence. A blissful luxury yachts cruises over crystal clear water that feels the world away. So don’t question, just book it and plan your escape, there’s so much more this heaven has to offer.
iii. Pearl Qatar
“Pearl Qatar” is a man-made island located off the shore of Doha’s west bay lagoon area which is much famed for being the first land in Qatar to be available for freehold ownership by foreign nationals. It is the most luxurious and expensive residential area because it is built entirely on an artificial Island. Luxury villas and apartments in Pearl Qatar are a blend of various architectural styles.
The Pearl Qatar offers diverse leisure and entertainment facilities, you can simply walk along the beautiful boardwalk overlooking the luxury yachts that are just lounging around the marina. The most beautiful part of the pearl is definitely the Qanat Quartier, it is just like walking around in Venice. There’s also Medina Centrale, which is the residential area with beautiful Spanish architectural buildings, shopping centres and restaurants.
iv. Doha Corniche and Lusail Corniche
Doha Corniche is one of the most popular and serene locations among walkers, bikers and joggers. It is a waterfront promenade that reshaped Doha’s coastline in the late 1970s and 1980s. While it is a popular place for exercising in the morning, it attracts the diverse crowd who are looking for the spectacular views of the city skylines. During the day you can admire the incredible colours of Doha’s Bay. In the evening, you can enjoy an amazing view of a beautiful sunset and at night, you will be able to see the magnificent colours of the city’s lights reflected off the calm water.
Lusail Corniche is absolutely refreshing and peaceful place, palm trees lightened with amazing colors, you can find stunning fountains which will refresh your mood. It boast the gorgeous natural landscapes, green spaces and wide corridors. The iconic walkway is spread over a 142,600 Sq.m area on the coast of Lusail.
v. Villagio Mall
Interiors of this shopping mall are designed in Venetian style which stands to be one of my favourite shopping malls. You can enjoy the gondola ride in the water canal going through the indoor of the mall, with the man-made sky like ceiling with puffy clouds add to its beauty. Outlets of famous brands, world-class entertainment and dining facilities offer an unforgettable experience to the visitors.
vi. Mall of Qatar
The Mall of Qatar is the home for several luxury and affordable brands, it has some world-class design and atmosphere. Its beautiful landscaping brings out the elegance of the mall. There are an array of cafes and restaurants to satisfy the majority of your taste buds. The giant screens provide various types of entertainment to visitors. The highlight is the central court with dozens of restaurants and the central performance area.
vii. Katara Cultural Village
Katara Cultural Village is the centre of Qatar cultural activities, great art installations, Katara beach, Al Thuraya Planetarium, amphitheatre and antique shops are few attractions in the Village. It is the number one place to visit for all the thespians, art and architecture enthusiasts as well as for people passionate about learning other traditions. The valley of cultures is supposed to imitate the Qatari culture via large space that houses a whole host of activities which includes an opera house, heritage centres, various academic facilities and of course, cafes, green area and an information centre.
viii. Aspire park and Torch Tower.
Aspire Park is one of the widest Qatar’s landscapes. It stands as a grand contrast to the typical desert landscapes you will be used to seeing in Qatar. It attracts a big crowd daily, especially during the weekends. You will often see families walking around or having picnics in the lush green environment of the park.
Another attraction the park has to offer is the torch tower which looks like a torch. It is 300 meters tall and is currently the tallest structure in Doha. It was built to be the focal point of the 15th Asian Games which was hosted by Qatar. It is generally an amazing structure, especially at night. It lights up at the top like a fireball. There’s a torch Hotel located inside the torch tower which is absolutely magnificent because it has got a kind of in-room iPad solution with which you can customize your own mood light, customize the curtains and the Dinings. In general its complete luxury. A visit inside is definitely worth it. I can assure you, it’s absolutely beautiful
ix. Sand Dunes (Sea line beach)
Sand dunes adventure is the most exotic and unique desert experience ever. If you book an overnight desert safari, you can expect to ride a camel, to be dune bashing by very experienced driver who gives you the most adrenaline-pumping experience ever because you will be on a kind of unpredictable roller coaster and you will be swung back and forth, left and right, up and down in a car.
Sealine Beach resort is known to be one of the top places to visit in Qatar during summer, is an oasis of tranquillity. This resort is located amidst the dunes of the Arabian desert by the blue waters of the Arabian sea. Other than revelling in a luxurious stay, one can rent a dune buggy on the beach near the resort and go for dune bashing as well.
x. National Meuseum of Qatar
The design of the National Museum is inspired by the complex form of desert rose which is found in Qatar’s arid desert regions. The new building embraces Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani’s original family place and the seat of government for 25 years. This nationally significant building has been carefully restored and conserved so that it can be enjoyed by visitors and future generations to come.
National Museum takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the history of Qatar. The excellent Audio-Visual work throughout the museum has kept the museum lively and interesting. Museum has 12 galleries. Each gallery is beautifully made with models, real items, jewels and AV description to go along, starting from the formation of the land of Qatar to present day.
After leaving the “display” section of the museum there is a bonus in the access provided to a restored palace of one of modern Qatar’s early rulers. It provides a fascinating look into the relatively simple lives of Qatar’s sheikhs, in comparison to the grand palaces and opulence of past European and Asian kings and queens. This is probably the number 1 “must-do” activity when visiting Doha.
xi. Museum of Islamic Art
Museum of Islamic Arts is considered to be the most important cultural landmark in Qatar. The Museum presents Islamic art from three continents over a span of 1400 years. Inside its walls, it keeps some of the oldest and most treasured articrafts from all over the Middle East collections that have made the Museum of Islamic Arts their home have come from places as fascinating as Turkey, Iran, Egypt and many more. All of them linked through their common Islamic history.
It’s a great place to go if you want to educate yourself on Islamic culture and history and religion.
xii. Qatar National Library
Qatar National Library is the ultimate heaven for book lovers. It is a huge library with 1 million books including magazines, audiobooks, e-books, e-audiobooks, graphic novels, journals, comic books, academic books and many others. The library is so advance that has many interactive screens which offer a whole lot of activities, with different reading sections and cosy chairs.
This library is well stocked and beautiful, easy borrowing of books and all in a simply stunning building. The library has a children’s section as well, which includes a variety of books intended for infants. The children’s section contains space for kids to play and for the librarians to hold storytime.
2. Delicious Food
Qatar is full of wonderful restaurants with ultra-delicious food that you’re gonna instantly fall in love with. Qatar being multi-ethnic residence has a diverse food culture and cuisines. Name the cuisine you wish to dine and you get the best version of it. Foods are much more flavorful enough to overwhelm you wherever you go. It’s a nerve centre for halal food and meat lovers. The highlights being mine and everyone’s all-time favourite “Mandi, Machboos and kunafa”.
3. Attractive Salary packages
Qatar is one of the most marketable counties in the world when it comes to employment, in a good sense. It is one of the best paying countries with the highest per capita income in the world. The country offers some excellent job packages including high salaries, health insurance, housing allowances among other perks. Thousands of job seekers from across the planet come to Qatar for better work opportunities.
Here is the list of highest paying jobs in Qatar (approximately),
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/MD, Multinational company – QR 122,000
- Chief Executive Officer (CEO)/MD, Local company – QR 90,800
- Banking, treasury manager – QR 55,600
- Banking, retail/personal banking manager – QR 47,000
- Information technology manager – QR 45,000
- Project/ Construction manager – QR 40,000
- Bank branch manager – QR 40,000
- Media, advertising creative manager – QR 39,000
- Real estate manager- QR 37,000
- Human resource manager – QR 35,000
4. Safe – lowest crime rates.
Qatar is one of the safest and most peaceful countries in the world with the lowest crime rates. People can live their life without having to worry about shootings terrorism or robberies, because these things almost never happen. In Qatar, killing or a murder happens once in a blue moon. Even petty theft isn’t common, at least not by a Qatari. If you get robbed or scammed, it’ll likely be from a tourist or an expat. The government of Qatar is fully committed to public safety and order. It continues to implement policies that ensure the security and well-being of its people.
5. FIFA world cup
Qatar is hosting the 2022 FIFA World cup which will be an incredible lifetime experience. Much of the fast pace development of Qatar is also driven by the fact that Qatar is hosting the World Cup, making Qatar not only the first middle eastern country to do so but also the smallest. In exactly 1,000 days, the world will gather for the biggest football show on the planet. It’s scheduled to run from 19 November to 18 December. The 7 host cities with stunning stadiums are Al Daayen, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Al Shamal, Al Wakrah and Umm Salal. Are you Joining?