Spend a luxurious 24 hours in Qatar…
Qatar ranks as one of the most exciting destinations in the world of travel today, offering a safe and friendly environment for visitors looking to experience a taste of Middle Eastern authenticity and culture.
At the crossroads of East and West, Qatar is conveniently located within six hours’ flying time from most European capitals, and nine hours from major Far Eastern and North American cities. Its location makes it ideal geographically to discover as part of a stopover for travellers before connecting onwards to their final destination. Qatar is a world class hub with deep cultural roots. Due to the rapid development of the country, visitors can experience the past, present and future combined in a single frame. High rises and modern technology parks combine with stunning desert landscapes and 1,400 years of Islamic history.
Qatar continues to enhance its visa policy to facilitate visitor access to the country. In August 2017, Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways announced that nationals of 80 countries are now eligible for visa-free entry, without requiring any prior applications or fee payments. This latest development means it is now easier than ever before for visitors from nearly half of the world’s countries to discover the destination’s renowned hospitality, cultural heritage and natural treasures.
The country’s capital, Doha, is a haven for travellers seeking luxury and culture, from the beautiful Museum of Islamic Art to the authentic Souq Waqif.
Often referred to as the jewel in Qatar’s cultural crown, the Museum of Islamic Art is a must-visit. This internationally renowned treasure house contains some 14 centuries of the finest art and artefacts from across the Islamic world and is designed by the celebrated architect IM Pei.
A UNESCO World Heritage site 100km north-west of Doha, Al Zubarah is an immaculately restored fort and archaeological site covering the remains of what was one of the Gulf’s most important pearl diving and trading ports in the 18th century.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch by the marina on The Pearl-Qatar or dine in one of the city’s other fantastic gastronomy venues. Qatar’s foodie scene continues to flourish and is home to venues including the world’s largest Nobu and two Gordon Ramsay restaurants. Traditional options can be discovered in restaurants such as Al Mourjan, which offers stunning views across the Corniche, or the Shay Al Shoomos restaurant in the heart of the Souq Waqif which serves authentic local cuisine and coffee.
For an authentic taste of local life and architecture, nothing can beat a wander through the bustling lanes of Souq Waqif. Besides the treasures on offer, it is a lively dining and entertainment spot, ideal for people-watching. The Gold Souq is also nearby if you have a little longer to explore or after a busy day, unwind poolside or at one of Doha’s many luxury hotels and spas. Refreshed and revitalised, spend the evening at Katara Cultural Village, taking in the sights, entertainment and cultural offerings. Later on, relax on Doha Bay on a traditional Dhow boat cruise and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views of the Corniche. This cruise is perfect in the evening to capture Doha’s glittering skyline at its best.
Qatar’s position on the Arabian Gulf offers breathtaking scenery and natural wonders, including the inland sea. 60km from Doha and a UNESCO recognised site, this is one of few places in the world where white sand dunes run into the sea. After a thrilling morning dune bashing in a 4×4 led by an experienced driver, visitors can stop by the inland sea, take a dip in the warm waters and enjoy a traditional BBQ by the shore.
Qatar has a rich tradition of hospitality, showcased through its wide variety of tourist accommodation options, from luxury overnight desert camps to hotel brands such as The Shangri-La Doha, Four Seasons Doha, St Regis Doha, W Doha and Banana Island Resort by Anantara, which features the first overwater villas in the Middle East.
The first Mondrian Doha is set to open in October 2017, situated in the West Bay Lagoon neighbourhood. In addition to 270 rooms and suites, the Mondrian Doha will feature innovative bars and restaurants, an indoor/outdoor rooftop pool and a world class ESPA spa.
The Mandarin Oriental Doha is set open towards the end of this year. The luxury hotel will offer elegantly styled guestrooms and suites as well as apartments.
Qatar continues to develop as a shopping destination, with many malls and shopping centres including the Villagio Mall and the newly opened Festival City which opened at the start of April and is now Qatar’s largest mall.
The country also plays host to a number of festivals and events, most notably the annual Qatar International Food Festival which takes place in March, and features numerous food stalls showcasing international and regional cuisine, as well as guest chefs and gastronomy experiences such as Dinner in the Sky, as well as many live entertainment events taking place all year round.
For further information on Qatar, visit www.visitqatar.qa.