Doha City The capital city is situated on a calm bay halfway along the east coast of the Qatar peninsula. Its two municipalities of Doha and
Al Rayyan house the majority of the population. The seven-kilometre Corniche links the cultural centres of Souq Waqif and the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) with the glittering towers of the Al Dafna business and residential district and The Pearl-Qatar. Doha is the administrative, commercial and cultural centre of Qatar, providing modern amenities while at the same time preserving its past.
Lusail City is an extension of Doha to the north across an area of 38 sq km and will include four exclusive islands and 19 multi-purpose residential, mixed use, entertainment and commercial districts. The total estimated number of visitors to Lusail will eventually reach 450,000. The city includes numerous residential units, office buildings and 22 hotels.
Al Khor and Al Wakra – Former Pearl and Fishing Centres
Al Khor provides a pleasant weekend break from Doha, and is easily reached on Al Shamal Road (Route 1) and on the newly re-opened Al Khor Coastal Road (Route 6). There are play areas and sun shelters along the Al Corniche, as well as photo opportunities at the old fishing harbour and the nearby mangroves, which are full of bird life. There is a small museum in the old police station, showing early life in this small town, as well as some archaeological discoveries from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Large public gardens to the north of Al Khor (signposted from Al Shamal Road) also attract weekend picnickers. Al Farkiya Beach is another development just outside Al Khor: see the Sightseeing section for more information. Al Khor Community is home to a large expatriate population working in Ras Laffan Industrial City.
Al Wakra is notable for its bustling fishing harbour and is just 10 minutes’ drive south of the capital on Route 7. It has become a popular commuter suburb and several private schools have relocated there. Numerous mosques, old minarets, forts and wind towers offer some of the finest examples of traditional architecture – see Abu Manaratain Mosque and House of Sheikh Ghanim bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in the Sightseeing section. The new heritage village, Souq Waqif Al Wakra, is partially open, with a few shops and some restaurants along the beach. Just inland from the beach is a fenced and beautifully landscaped park, with a children’s play area.
Qatar Petroleum’s Industrial Cities
Dukhan Industrial City is the oldest settlement founded after the discovery of oil in the surrounding fields during the 1930s. The centre of onshore operations is undergoing a QAR1.6 bn plan to cover all aspects of urban development.
Mesaieed Industrial City is in the southeast of the country. Mesaieed itself has a port, and adjacent to the north is the Hamad Port, plus a new naval base that is rapidly nearing completion. Mesaieed is undergoing a QAR14 bn renovation plan by Qatar Petroleum (QP). The town centre has a striking QP building and, beside it, a group of shops and restaurants, used by visitors to Sealine Beach Resort, Khor Al Adaid and other beaches and dunes before and after their adventures.
Ras Laffan Industrial City covers 294 sq km and lies on the east coast 80 km north of Doha. A part of QP’s Industrial Cities Directorate, this purpose-built industrial city has the largest gas exportation seaport and gas liquefaction plants in the Gulf region and is one of the biggest industrial cities in the world. Access is by invitation only.