There are more things to do and see in Qatar than you might imagine and so if you only have a short time here, plan your time wisely. Qatar has more to see than Doha – suburbs such as Al Wakra, Al Khor and Al Shamal all have their own treasures.
Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC), formerly known as Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), has a comprehensive online portal on Qatar’s diverse attractions, visitqatar.qa. Check our website for what to do at the weekend as well as news, reviews and more! Pick up the Marhaba Pocket Map to help you get around Qatar as efficiently as possible while taking in all the sights en route.
1 One of the first things to do in Qatar is visit the 7 km Doha Corniche for a walk and spectacular views of the Doha skyline. Make sure to go on a short dhow cruise around the bay.
2 Also on the Corniche are the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and Al Riwaq showcasing the best of Qatar’s exhibits. The MIA Park boasts expansive landscaping and Richard Serra’s vertical steel sculpture, ‘7’. Take a walk around the newly reopened and lush green Al Bidda Park!
3 Across the Corniche is the new National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ), which is a physical manifestation of the story of Qatar and its people. Then walk around the NMoQ Park with a Heritage Garden of native Qatari plants, a lagoon, public artworks, playgrounds, cafés, kiosks and more.
4 Visit the old and traditional Souq Waqif for garments, spices, handicrafts, souvenirs, restaurants and shisha lounges. Don’t forget to bargain! The nearby Gold Souq has all manner of jewellery items. Also visit Qatar’s second Souq Waqif in Al Wakra. Souq Al Wakra is a ‘heritage village’ with markets, shops and restaurants along the seafront.
5 Spend a lazy few hours at Katara Cultural Village. Admire the architecture, visit the galleries or enjoy watersports at the beach. If you’ve gone that far, make sure to visit The Pearl-Qatar, an artificial island, featuring luxury shopping and dining, Mediterranean-style yacht-lined marinas, upmarket residential towers, villas and an internationally renowned hotel.
6 Go shopping! New malls are opening all the time – try Tawar Mall, Doha Festival City or Mall of Qatar. For more traditional shopping, visit local souqs.
7 Keep fit by playing a round of golf at the new Education City Golf Club or walking around ‘Sporty City’, Aspire Zone, which includes Aspire Park, Villaggio Mall and KidZania Doha.
8 Explore the waters off Qatar’s coast. Go scuba diving, snorkelling, paddle boarding, or opt to join a group kayak trip through the mangroves.
9 Transport yourself back in time at the numerous fortresses and ruins throughout Qatar such as Al Zubara Archaeological Site and Zekreet.
10 And finally, refuel after a busy day of sightseeing – Qatar has everything from Michelin‑starred restaurants to cheap and cheerful local treats. To move around the city easier and faster, use the Doha Metro Line South, which extends from Al Qassar to Al Wakra.
Doha Bus: HOP-ON HOP-OFF
When you start the Doha Bus day or night sightseeing tour, you will pick up a complimentary tour guide that includes a full colour route map. The bus is equipped with an audio device that operates according to the global GPS navigation system; available in English, Arabic, German, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese and Korean. A variety of tour packages are available, including Monster Bus desert safaries. Tour map and details at dohabus.com
National Cruise: See Doha From The Sea
Step aboard one of the most luxurious traditional dhows in Qatar, approved by QNTC. The company offers diverse cruise themes and voyages, providing four safe and pleasant premier touristic experiences including food, sightseeing and day cruises as well as special events and private trips. National Cruise will make sure that every second of your trip will be ‘A Moment to Remember’.