Never has the contrast between modern and traditional been as obvious in Qatar. Find ancient forts and historic houses alongside sparkling skyscrapers and luxury developments. Visitors will delight in the country’s exciting dining and shopping scenes, and get to experience desert safaris as well as a whole host of cultural treasures.
Visit the coastal capital of Doha, a world-class city with a growing food and art scene. Wander around the Museum of Islamic Art, featuring one of the finest collections of Islamic art and artifacts in the world. Stroll down the Doha Corniche, a waterfront promenade that offers wonderful views of the city.
Get lost in the maze of shops in Souq Waqif, a vibrant market selling handicrafts, perfume and jewelry. Local restaurants in Doha serve Qatari dishes such as machboos (a stew of spiced rice with seafood or meat, served with yogurt) and ghuzi (whole roast lamb on a bed of rice and nuts).
Spend a few hours enjoying the beach, restaurants and theaters at Katara, a purpose-built development celebrating regional architecture. Head out to the Pearl-Qatar, a man-made island off the West Bay coast that features luxury shops, restaurants, villas and hotels.
Marvel at the archeological works at the Al Zubarah Fort, one of the best-preserved examples of an 18th-century settlement in the region. For something more exhilarating, take a four-wheel drive across the sand dunes to Khor Al Adaid, a tranquil creek near the border of Saudi Arabia. Spend the night on a camping expedition, then enjoy sand skiing and quad biking. Other desert attractions include Al Jassasiya, where nearly 900 petroglyphs can be viewed.
Active visitors can kayak through the Al Thakira Mangroves and look for flamingos and herons. The lunar landscape of the Ras Abrouq Rock Formations, famed for its sandy beaches and wild deer reserve, is popular among hikers.
Fly into Hamad International Airport in Doha and ride the bus into the city. Rent a car or hire a driver to explore more remote regions of the country. Visit during the latter months of the year for cooler days and less humidity.