Favorite thing: Qatar is not as liberal as Bahrain, but still far away from Saudia-Arabia when it comes to alcohol. Officially, you have to register as a member of a club (or be a registered hotel guest in a hoel with license) to get a beer and you can only do that with a passport. However, those few places serving alcohol will usually let you buy a drink if you just look to be of age and non-muslim. The staff in the Irish Pub of the Sheraton enforce the rule with a little more fierce than the guys at the Intercontinental. Whatever you do and whereever you drink, please just be aware that you are in an islamic country where public drunkenness is not tolerated at all.
Since about 10 years a modern Doha with numerous glassy skyscrapers arises near the northern end of the Corniche in the West Bay. The district is called Al Dafna.
Among the iconic buildings is the 232 m gherkin shaped Burj Doha, which was designed after plans of the french architect Jean Nouvel. The builing is beautifully illuminated at night in cold white and amber colours.
Other interesting towers in this area include the 52 storey and 200 m tall Tornado Tower, which was finished in 2008. Another office building is the Al-Bidda Tower. With a height of 215 m it has a slighly twisting glassy facade.
One of the latest additions to Doha's business skyline is the 241 m tall Qatar World Trade Centre, which should be finished in 2013 if everything works as planned.
At the nortern end of this area also the pyramid shaped 5 star Sheraton Hotel can be found. It was inaugurated in 1979 and is one of the most important hotels at the Persian Gulf.
Especially the buildings of Doha's business district are well worth seeing at night when many of them are beautifully illumintated.
The gherkin shaped Burj Doha dominates the skyline with its amber and coldwhite lightscenes. Just behind the Burj Doha, the facade of the Tornado Tower is encircled by a blue illuminated grid.
Other parts of Doha which should be visited at night include the Souq Waqif Market and the Aspire Zone with the Aspire Tower and several illuminated statues in the park area.
The single most important activity or site you would take someone, if they had never been to Doha before:
Relaxing at any of the 5-star hotels private beach and pool area.
If you ever wanted to experience the orient but do not have the funds for Dubai (or another high-end location), I strongly suggest visting Doha Qatar.
Fondest memory: What do I miss the most when away from Doha?
Friendships & Enjoying the Sites
- Sitting on the beach during sunset smoking a Shi-sha pipe
- Leaping into the waters of the Gulf from the upper deck of a Dhow (an Arab sailing vessel)
- Or having the driver scare the bejesus out of you on a 4-wheel drive sand dune Inland Sea tour, ending with a barbeque and bonfire at a private camp site waterside.
Read more about Doha and sand dunes:
Doha's skyline is basically West Bay... this is where big towers are in the making, with lots of glass and excellent modern architecture. Somehow they mostly look sober, not outrageous - except for maybe the Aspire tower, which looks like an incinerator.
In January 2009 there were more or less 50 towers being built... the most striking ones should be - once they are completeed - the Dubai Towers - 437 metres high containing offices, shops and a luxurious hotel. iishall go back for it, one day.
Doha, the capital of Qatar, has long been nicknamed Dubai sleepy sister... and also the most boring city in the world. I did not find it to be so, though it's not (yet) exactly an happening place. Sights are not many but I found my stay very plesant and relaxing - and did not have the time to get bored. Good company helped - since we were visiting our Libyan friends who now live there.
Fondest memory: While Dubai is attracting tourists mainly interested in shopping, partying and lounging on the beach - Doha is trying to attract another type of tourism: the cultural one. Top museums are being built around the city and, if they turn out spectacular like the new Museum of Islamic art, I think they will find the gold pot of the end of the rainbow.
There was nothing special about the airport & it was quite boring except for the prayer room. We didn't even manage find a money changer at the airport! But we choose to fly with Qatar Airlines because we needed to stop over somewhere & relax...Just can't stand the long flight without smoking!
Fondest memory: Nothing Special...It's was just a stop over.
After eight hours flight all the smokers that board the same flight rushed to the smoking room for as many puffs as they can before continuing the journey...we are no exceptions! No matter how smoky the room was! The smoking room could use more ventilation renovation though as it can be very smoky!
Fondest memory: Nothing Special...it's just a stop over.
Favorite thing: The new souq area has really been built up to represent an old nostalgia of what Doha used to be like. I have really enjoyed exploring some of the areas around the souqs and see what new shops have developed and others as they change.
Favorite thing: You can say that Doha Airport is quite small, if you compare it to Dubai International Airport. There isn't much to do there except wander around the shopping area in the middle of the airport. There are also the business and first class lounges which are quite simple. The lounges serve the usual snacks & drinks and have internet wifi connection. However, Doha International Airport will undergo a multimillion dollar facelift that will probably be as modern as Dubai's. This new airport is scheduled to be operational in 2008
Favorite thing: Nice place to relax for the day. This park is located in the maind drag in downtown Doha and if you are looking to lounge around on a nice day this is a place to be. The Park also has some stores where you can get some pearls and other jewelry.
Favorite thing: Before oil and gas were discovered in Qatar, the pearl diving industry was one of the chief pillars of the economy. The city of Doha's pearl and fishing fleet was its mainstay--hard to imagine today, when pretty much the entire country is dominated by the natural gas business.
Favorite thing: Doha has to be the international capital of roundabouts (traffic circles, for the Americans reading this). Almost every single good-sized road intersection has one--for some reason, traffic lights just don't seem too popular. It's probably got something to do with the fact that a lot of flat roads and very flashy cars inspire drivers to take some liberties with speed limits--having to go through a roundabout every hundred meters will do a lot to slow you down!
Favorite thing: In Doha there is a small port where you can catch boats out to an island in the bay, the site of an amusement park. Not too many fishing vessels are still around, but there are a few of them too. This photo shows one of them cruising across the bay in front of yet another set of cranes, putting up yet more shiny new high-rises along the shore.
Favorite thing: The Doha landscape is pure desert, flat as a pancake and with maybe one tiny, scrubby bush every fifty meters or so to break up the sand and rocks. It's a good thing this city is located right on the sea, otherwise there would be nothing whatsoever to look at!