Doha, Qatar’s capital, began as a tribal port settlement in a desert land, with pearl diving, fishing and sea trade supporting its economy. When the nation developed an oil industry, Doha began a rapid path of modernization. Visit this fascinating city that preserves traditions of art, religion and markets alongside impressive architecture and technological investment.
Modernizing while preserving traditions is part of the country’s long-term plan, Qatar National Vision 2030. Stroll along Doha’s pretty shoreline to view both aspects of the city. From the Doha Corniche and peaceful MIA Park, gaze out over the Persian Gulf, where pearl divers found treasures in the sea. Look for the Pearl Monument commemorating the importance of the gems to Doha’s early economy. Turn inland to view the dramatic skyline of modern high-rises such as the Doha Tower gleaming in the sun.
Jutting out over the bay, the Museum of Islamic Art showcases 14 centuries of intriguing art from Qatar and elsewhere. A bit inland, step into the Souq Waqif’s busy alleys to experience a traditional marketplace with Middle Eastern treasures. Purchase spices, sample local foods, observe falconry and browse art galleries. With the futuristic shape of a desert rose, the nearby National Museum of Qatar provides insights on the nation’s past, present and future.
Many modern developments are on Doha’s western side. The impressive Education City Stadium and Khalifa International Stadium show the nation’s dedication to promoting sports. Hosting international soccer competitions gives Qatar a chance to demonstrate its hospitality. Aspire Tower is a five-star hotel, with a shape resembiing a blazing torch. Education Cityhas numerous international satellite universities. Nearby, appreciate the modern architecture of Qatar National Library and Qatar National Convention Centre.
Arrive in Qatar at Hamad International Airport, about a 20-minute drive from Doha Port and downtown. Include time in your schedule to visit modern and traditional sites outside Doha, including gleaming new developments at Pearl-Qatar and Lusail and ancient forts and ancient wells on the Qatar peninsula.