Don't Miss Places In Qatar
Qatar holds many endless possibilities to make your visit unforgettable. A great nation with a welcoming inland sea port, every bit of adventure or tour around the capital city of Doha promises a whole lot of interesting activities to better understand the culture and history of this wonderful country along the Arabic Peninsula.
From historical museums, imposing buildings and monuments, sacred mosques, camel races, desert safari adventures, huge shopping malls, impressive skyline and important recreational landmarks, it is the best place to unwind and discover a great mix of old traditions integrated into the convenience and comfort of modern living. Here are the top ten not to be missed places in Qatar.
Qatar Museum Of Islamic Art
The Qatar Museum Of Islamic Art is located in the east of the capital, Doha, close to the international airport. Admission is free, as a certain proportion of visa fee is used for the operation and maintenance of the museum. On display are exhibits of the past centuries, especially sculptures of various animals, but also ancient papyrus scrolls and historical rider. The exhibits are arranged chronologically and are clearly displayed in glass showcases. Pompous and meter-long Persian rugs are also shown. The evolution of the monetary circulation in every period is also showcased along with old coins.
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The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha is strategically located at the end of the Corniche, and the building itself is more than impressive. Inside you have a wonderful view of the inland sea port and Doha skyline over a huge glass wall. Of exhibits, the museum is a cross section through the expression of Islamic Art on; carpets, pictures, ceramics and manuscripts. An interesting part is the exhibition of weapons and armor collections that are more than a hundred centuries old. A visit to the brilliant, informative and very well-kept halls is truly worthwhile.
The Museum of Islamic Art appears to be somewhat underestimated, as it is in many ways an important landmark in Qatar. It was designed by the famous Chinese architect IM Pei. The visually stunning design from the outside offers very beautiful and diverse impressions of its interiors that was completed in exceptionally high detail, material and workmanship by someone who is dedicated and interested in promoting modern architecture. The entire collection is beautifully prepared and carefully laid out. Even the museum shop offers the usual souvenirs and unusual pieces, Arabic art trinkets, modern accessories, souvenirs, even toys and chocolates. You must call before making or when scheduling visit as there is a certain time and day that it is open to the public.
Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
The Museum showcases all the collections gathered by the Sheikh and his family from all over the world. It shows varied choice of object presentations, the car collection, jewelry collection and his well loved object collections from the country of Algeria. The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum is a conglomeration of accumulated collections and a good place to learn about the history of the family. Weapons, paintings, clothes, cars, boats, furniture, household goods, photos – every collected works of the Sheikh and his family are well laid out in this spacious museum.
The museum is located 30-40 km from Doha, in Dukhan along the highway not in the center of Doha. You have to take the exit to go to Camel Race, cross the bridge and go back for a few kilometers and, after a while, if you pay attention, you will see a small white sign indicates the direction. By taxi, the ride will not cost more than 100 Rial (€ 20) including the wait during the visit. The exquisite collection is pretty interesting and you will find numerous antiques, knives, weapons, and some finely decorated swords and armory. You will also find furniture, carpets, clothes, paintings and a huge collection of car, bus, truck, airplane, etc. The high-quality pieces are few, but still worth a visit. It shows the fine taste of a man who has built this immense museum to share his collection, which includes, a very expensive Williams Formula 1 racing car.
The photographs also provide a valuable picture of the Arab region during the olden times. Remember to call in advance to make an appointment for a private tour to visit the museum.
The Corniche is a coastal road around the bay of Doha that is more than 5 kilometers long. Along this coastal road you will find the numerous skyscrapers that rule the skyline of Doha and historical parks like The museum of Islamic Art and the rest of the famous souks. It is a beautiful promenade area that is ideal for walking. The calm waters and the benches provide another side of Doha that is not quite as busy as the rest of the other attraction you can find in this progressive city. The Corniche is the connecting road between the old and the new Doha. At sunset the air is warm and the temperature is not so high. Virtually, it is the best beach promenade in Doha, but without the presence of many restaurants and shops.
It's a nice walk in the evening and there are many people walking or sitting along the neat benches in Corniche. The sight of Dhow boats crossing to and fro along the waters evokes a dramatic and historical feel around the inland port area. The semi-circular boulevard that stretches around the city coast boasts of a perfect green lawn, flower beds and palm trees as far as the eye can see.
At the Corniche, the allure of Doha becomes more alive especially at sunset. Heavily veiled women, joggers, walkers, and tourists stroll along its neat walking paths - to see and be seen. Approximately the whole area can be explored within 20-minutes. During the day it becomes a good photo opportunity because of the very beautiful photo motif areas and the nice skyline in the background.
The State Grand Mosque
It is a grand mosque that has great influence to the Islamic faith and devotion of every Qatari or Arabic national. The State Grand Mosque is a huge structure, with a space that is worthy of a gigantic shopping mall. A separate prayer room area covered with grilled windows is reserved for the women while the men pray on the ground floor area. The building of the Great Mosque is made of original and robust construction.
You can visit or tour the whole mosque only after hours of prayer. Women have to be fully covered and can only visit the area of the mosque for women, just like men who can only visit the area of men. It has a huge car park and an immense plaza. The place is accessible by a private car and taxis from the main town center in Doha. It stands so majestic from afar and the view from outside is simply beautiful.
Khor Al Udeid (Qatar Desert Safari)
The roller coaster ride along the sand dunes of Qatar in Khor Al Udeid is the place always visited by tourists to experience a new kind of adventure. The desert can be reached in about 2 hours by car from Doha City. Along the way you can enjoy a view of the desert and the presence of nomads and locals riding on the back of their camels. You can book a desert Safari Tour in advance with a tour operator in Doha.
It is a must try not only for the fun of jeeps jumping in the dunes, but also a great way to admire the Inland Sea and enjoy the rest on the beautiful beach. Here you can also stop for several days sleeping in tents and cooking over a coal pit fire some fish or meat. It is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to combine sea and desert adventure.
Katara Cultural Village
The Katara Cultural Village is one such oasis you will find in a city that is saturated with modern buildings and shopping centers. The cultural, culinary and prime location of this cultural village that is overlooking the financial district and the growing construction boom is a good reason to pay a visit. This place is the premier cultural exhibition area where various cultural events such as photo exhibitions, traditional and cultural dance shows, and musical concerts happen. Take time to check out the great amphitheater and of course the beach promenade park.
It is a new area where there is a very attractive beach. In this village, you can enjoy pleasant walks and very luxurious architecture. The best part of it all is it is free of charge and you can roam around the attraction while riding a golf cart where you can go take pictures without even getting off. The most striking buildings are the open-air theater and the golden mosque. It is basically a cluster of restaurants. There is a school of music, museums and everything that represents the art and culture of Qatar. A great mix of architecture and culture that stands next to the sea.
Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art
When in Qatar be confronted with modern art as a story without boundaries. The works of Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art are really well chosen and what is more amazing is the humility of the museum's curators and organizers to preserve and protect modern Arabic art and culture. There are mostly paintings, sculptures and artists' books but no photographs or videos, which is surprising for a contemporary art museum.
There is an annex branch that is close to the Islamic Museum, small shop and a beautiful library. To reach the museum from the main center, there is a 30 minute ride on a shuttle bus if you are coming from the Museum of Islamic Art. The museum offers an excellent showcase of permanent and temporary exhibitions for every modern artist.
The Islamic Culture Center
The Islamic Cultural Center is one of the most famous landmarks in Doha, Qatar. The building is the largest mosque in the country and is locally more famous for the term “FANAR”. This is just off the marina and the equally famous Souk Waqif. The center is designed for non-Muslim faith members who are curious about Islam and have a better insight into how this religion works. The vision is to create awareness about the Islamic faith. The building is magnificent and belongs on the sightseeing list and not to be missed places to visit in Doha.
The Islamic Culture Center is a large mosque where the ground floor shows several information boards where the many relevant topics of Islam are explained. It explains the role of women, the religious and the significant importance of Haj and the rest of the five pillars of Islam. Everything is interesting and you will be greeted by the Qatari hospitality as a serving of tea and Arabic coffee is freely given upon entrance. The highlight of the center is of course the building from the outside, where it absolutely looks stunning and magnificent.
Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex
For those who love playing Tennis and Squash the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex is the ideal place as it is very well structured and organized. It is also the venue for local and international tournaments with players of international standing.
The seating gives a good visual view of the game, plus the lightings are state of the art and well maintained. This wonderful tennis complex also offers good restaurants nearby.
The Doha Fort
The Doha Fort in Qatar is one of the few remaining historic buildings in the city. It offers beautiful views of the sea on the coast of Doha and is easy to reach by taxi. Nice to look at is the beautiful bright white facade of the fort.
It is a very nice place and one of the few archaeological sites that still actually exists along with a cool and cute beach on its surroundings.