This small peninsula that projects from the west of Saudi Arabia toward the Persian Gulf has seen its world change a lot in the last 15 years. The almost inhospitable, flat lands of Qatar were populated by fishermen, pearl makers, and camels until the 1940s. The discovery and exploration of oil brought an influx of resources that would transform the landscape once and for all. Today the country has one of the largest GDP per capita on the planet and invests its profits to secure its future when the oil and gas deposits run out.
Future headquarters of the 2022 World Cup, Qatar has been building the structure and means to become a cultural, educational and technological hub within the Middle East, more or less in the same way as its neighbors in the United Arab Emirates. The formerly quiet Doha, its capital, is today a frantic metropolis. Modern buildings combine with museums of avant-garde lines, such as the superlative Museum of Islamic Art. Major sporting events are organized alongside international summits on the economy, sustainability, and education.
This is a fascinating country and it is a good choice to spend holidays in Qatar.
The Gulf countries are a bit unfamiliar, and we always have a bit of a notion that they have nothing historical to visit. However, outside of the super capitals, there are always places of interest.
Qatar will surprise you because, outside the capital Doha, there is much to visit. Undoubtedly, in addition to several forts, desert landscapes, and abandoned fishing villages, there are still some of the best rock engravings you will see on holidays to Qatar.
In Qatar, the future has already begun.
In the summer months (from May to September) temperatures in Qatar are on average between 37 and 42 degrees Celsius - but they often rise to 50 degrees Celsius. The winter months are much more pleasant and fresh. Sandstorms are common throughout the year, but it is true that they happen more during the spring.
The best weather months in Doha (Qatar) are January, February, March, April, May, November, and December and these are perfect for holidays to Qatar. On average, the hottest months are May, June, July, August, and September. Doha (Qatar) has dry periods in February, March, May, June, July, August, September, October and November. The best months to swim are May, June, July, August, September, October, and November.
The culture of Qatar is entirely influenced by the fact that this country is among the richest in the world. It is the capital of the Arab countries, where temperatures rise to 50 degrees Celsius, but nevertheless, they attract thousands of visitors to glimpse how strange this place can be. Here, the population is free to pay taxes because of the world's highest GDP per capita, where bright and exotic buildings fill the streets of this country. It is a place of contrasts, because it is possible to be in the city, with unique and exotic characteristics, and after a few kilometers, we find hunters in the desert, accompanied by Falcons who help them in hunting. This country, before living this immense ostentation, experienced moments of poverty (when it lived only from fishing and the pearl industry), today it manages to provide its people with a life full of great economic conditions, and is the site of some of the biggest skyscrapers in the world. At the artistic level, Qatar has a lot of interest in the arts in general, and there are a lot of American and European works of great value here.
Leaving Doha Airport at the beginning of your Qatar holidays, visitors will soon see the 7 kilometer Corniche boardwalk, which stretches from the Doha port to the pyramid of the Sheraton Hotel. Along the Corniche the tourist will have the opportunity to visit many of the local attractions, such as the Museum of Islamic Art, the Waqif Souq, and the gold market.
The Corniche attracts a diverse audience. In the morning, it is popular for walking and jogging; At night it brings together local and expatriate families for picnics and walks by the sea.
The Museum of Islamic Art opened its doors in December 2008 and is a sturdy and modern building signed by the architect I.M Pei, who is also responsible for the controversial pyramid of the Louvre Museum in Paris. On the first-floor, temporary exhibits share space with an auditorium, a café, and a souvenir shop. On the second and third floors is one of a complete collection of Islamic art in the world, with parts of Iran, Central Asia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. The museum is one of the architectural icons of the city and reflects the essence of Arabic design. Admission is free.
Choosing an ideal place to stay is not easy, even more so being in a foreign country. Which accommodation to choose?
The accommodation options in Qatar are very varied, and it is critical that you choose in advance the right place according to your preferences, needs and most importantly according to your budget.
Qatar has been consolidating as an important air hub for travel between many Asian countries and destinations, inside and outside the Middle East. Qatar Airways has not only excellent equipment but impeccable service. Coupled with the modern and efficient Doha airport, everything is easier. The direct flight between selected American aiports and Doha by Qatar last from 12 hours. Interestingly, flights with a stopover in Dubai (Emirates), London (British) and Paris (AirFrance), among others, can come out cheaper.
Planning Your holidays in Qatar
What to do in one day ...
Traditional Arab markets are called souqs. In Qatar, there are several souqs, but the most touristy of them is certainly the Souq Waqif.
Built on an old Bedouin market, the Souq Waqif has been refurbished over the last decade, while retaining the traditional design of the Arab markets. On the main street are restaurants for all tastes - Qatari, Indian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Moroccan, Italian and Asian cuisines - as well as traditional shishas (also known as narghile) cafés, ice cream parlors, and different shops.
Along the main street are several lanes; In fact narrow corridors full of small shops where you can find almost anything: from souvenirs to fabrics, knick-knacks, jewels, clothes, perfumes, art objects and a multitude of spices. And if it is to buy...One must always haggle on Qatar holidays!
During the summer in Doha - with average temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, and a lot of humidity - the visit to the Souq Waqif can be difficult during the day, so the shops usually open in the morning, close at noon and reopen only at the end pm. At night the place is always very busy. Anyway, whether it's summer or winter, going to the Souq Waqif is always a good choice for anyone visiting Doha.
In a building adjacent to Souq Waqif is the Hawk's, Market. Falconry is a noble art and a strong tradition of the countries of the Gulf of Arabia. The art of caring for and training falcons for hunting is ancient and was once one of the Bedouin favorite pastimes, which had to tame the birds of prey so they captured small animals that would help support the family. The market sells trained falcons, as well as accessories for falconry, such as arm guards for bird landing, electronic guide system and eyepatch for hawks.
Leaving the Souq Waqif and crossing Grand Hammad Street you come to Souq Al-Nasr or Gold Souq, the gold market. Here you will find jewelry for all tastes - and pockets. There is a wide variety of shops dotted around the city's shopping malls, but if the tourist wants to visit a region dedicated exclusively to metals and precious stones on holidays in Qatar, the Gold Souq is certainly the best place.
The Gold Souq, in fact, is a set of small shops set in an area of approximately one block, where you can find exclusive handmade jewelry, pieces copied/inspired by great designs and still imported.
In general, prices are much more affordable than in other parts of the world, and it is believed that the quality and genuineness of the parts is guaranteed and certified. And, if you want to buy, it's worth bargaining!
Across the city is Katara or Cultural Village. Designed to stimulate and share various cultural events through exhibitions, concerts, plays, festivals and art galleries, the Cultural Village can be regarded as one of the major tourist attractions in Doha.
In addition to modern theaters, concert halls, cinemas, art galleries and a beautiful view of the sea, the multicultural experience on Qatar holidays is also reflected in the wide variety of restaurants in Katara, which offer Lebanese, Egyptian, Turkish, Indian cuisine.
The city of Doha, the capital of Qatar, is often referred to as the best site in the Persian Gulf for a stopover and shopping between two flights. Before 1940, Qatar was a developing country whose population depended on fishing and pearl cultivation; With the discovery of oil, has become an international and exuberant economy. Still, the whole country is stuck with traditional souks and poetic sand dunes. It is also home to the magnificent Museum of Islamic Art.
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