How would you like to visit the richest country in the world? That would be something to add on your bucket list, don’t you think? If visiting Qatar is something you look forward to doing this year, here is the list of the top places you can visit there.
1. Souq Waqif
One of the good things about going on a trip is experiencing a different kind of shopping spree. A souq is a marketplace, and Qatar has a lot of them. The most famous one would be Souq Waqif, which is in Doha, the capital of Qatar. Take a day trip around Souq Waqif and see an array of traditional garments, crafts, spices, and locally made souvenirs.
This is also a good place to sample local dishes. During weekends, the place is filled with locals and tourists who would like to get together for a meal with their friends and families. The Al Rayyan Theatre and the Souq Waqif Art Center are also located in the area, so you can make a single trip here and get to visit a lot of the touristy places in Doha.
2. Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. This was officially opened to the public in November 2008. The museum has a vast collection of Muslim art. If you would like to get acquainted with Muslim art, this is the best place to visit.
Aside from the art collections in the museum, this place is a regular tourist attraction, especially to architecture fanatics. The building was designed by the famous I. M. Pei. He is also the architect who designed the Louvre Pyramid in Paris, the Bank of China Tower in Hongkong, and the Indiana University Art Museum. The museum also has a park outside that has walking and cycling tracks, as well as restaurants and cafes.
The Corniche in Doha is a 4.34 mile (seven-kilometer) long of esplanade along Doha Bay. If you are in the city for a business or leisure trip and would like to go for a walk or a quick run, join the locals and other tourists in the Corniche.
Aside from being popular to bikers, joggers, and runners, tourists also come to this place to appreciate the good view of the sunset and the twinkling city lights reflected in the waters. This is also close to the Museum of Islamic Art, so you can drop by and enjoy the sea breeze after your museum tour.
4. Desert Safari
Locals say that a trip to Qatar isn’t complete without visiting the desert safari. You will be welcomed by the stunning view of smooth sand that seems to go on for miles and miles. Sand dune surfing is a thing here, as is racing.
You can easily get here by booking through travel agencies that would arrange for your transportation, meals, and even camel rides. If you are visiting the desert with children, no need to fret, since there are guides who will assist you in making the visit comfortable and memorable.
5. Al Jassasiya Carvings
Al Jassasiya in Al-Ruwais is home to Qatar’s magnificent and mysterious petroglyphs. Petroglyphs are signs and drawings carved into stones and rock surfaces. There are about nine hundred of these carvings in Al Jassasiya.
It is believed that these carvings can be dated back to the 15th century. These rock carvings have been carefully preserved and are now open to visitors. This is definitely a must-see on your Qatar trip.
6. Barzan Towers
The Barzan Towers, which is also known as Umm Salal Mohammed Fort Towers, is one of the frequently visited places for tourists in Qatar. These are watchtowers that were built in the late 19th century.
They were originally built to protect the valley where rainwater is collected, but through the years, the Barzan Towers have played many roles. In the early 20th century, their main purpose was for watching out for incoming Ottoman soldiers. In the present day, it is open for public visits, and has been frequented by tourists and locals alike.
7. The Pearl-Qatar
The Pearl-Qatar is probably one of the most lavish architecture sites in the world. It is 43,055,641 square feet (four-million square meters) of artificial island with luxury establishments. This is the very best definition of high-end living.
This artificial island is also available for freehold ownership by foreign nationals, which means a lot of foreigners reside here. One of the highly visited spots on the island is Medina Centrale. People come here for a shopping spree or to have delicious dinners in the five-star hotels and cafes in the area.
8. The Golden Mosque
The Golden Mosque in Doha, Qatar is popular not only with tourists, but also with locals. It is a traditional minaret mosque. A minaret mosque has a tall slender tower with a balcony from which a muezzin calls Muslims to prayer. Arab countries are known to be lavish, and since Qatar is the richest in the world, it is no surprise to have a mosque made up of gilded tiles. This makes it beautiful and striking to the eyes. Doha has a lot of mosques in the city, but the Golden Mosque is the most popular.
9. Katara Masjid
Katara Masjid or Katara Mosque is one of the most highly recognized mosques in Qatar. Designed by Zainab Fadil Oglu, a famous Turkish mosque designer, the Katara Masjid has a beautiful interior and exterior architectural features. The main colors of the building are blue, red, and yellow, with intricate designs and beautifully patterned tiles. Since the Katara Masjid is in the Katara Cultural Village, this is one of the most frequently visited by tourists mosques in the country.
If you are in the area, you can also check out the theaters, concert halls, and stalls with exhibits and cafes in the Katara Cultural Village. The Katara Cultural Village is home to huge events in the city, such as the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, TEDxDoha, and the Ajyal Youth Film Festival. Cultural art, theater, music, literature, conventions, and exhibitions are among the events that are frequently held here. The facilities and buildings in the Katara Cultural Village look and feel like a traditional Qatari Al Fareej.
10. Al-Wakra Museum
Al-Wakra is a city in the eastern part of Qatar, just between Um Said and Doha. It was a celebrated fishing village in the country, although it has developed into a modern, commercialized, and established town.
A lot of visitors come here to enjoy the family beach, go fishing, or sample fresh seafood from the fish markets. Aside from these though, the city is also popular for its museum. Al-Wakra Museum is housed in a 20th-century fort. Due to it being a fishing village, most artifacts displayed in the museum focuse on marine life.
11. Aspire Park
Aspire Park is the biggest park in Doha. It covers an area of 88 hectares. If you are in the city with your kids, this is a great place to spend an afternoon with them and just relax and have a picnic. Located in Aspire Zone, it will give you a beautiful view of the city lights which would twinkle into the night.
The park is surrounded by magnificent fountains, huge playgrounds, gardens, rare trees that you may have not seen before, and coffee shops where you can dine and enjoy your favorite cup of joe. This is a perfect place to sit down and read a book or play and bond with your family. Aspire Park also has the only lake in Qatar. Lakes are rare in this middle-east country. Nearby, you can also find the Torch Tower. This sight may be familiar, since this 984 foot (300-meter) hotel served as the giant torch for the 15th Asian Games.
12. Sealine Beach Resort
Tagged as an oasis of tranquility amidst the poetical sand dunes, Sealine Beach Resort is a must-visit in Qatar, especially for beach lovers. In here, you would find the magical and dramatic meeting of the sea and the sand. This is the perfect getaway if you need a temporary pause from all the desert fun you’ve been having on your trip. Sealine has everything you could possibly want from a beach resort.
All of their room accommodations have an ocean view. It would be an amazing sight to wake up to. They also have three world-class restaurants that serve various delicacies from across the world, so you will not run out of choices. After enjoying the salty water of the sea, you can also go swimming in the outdoor pool. For workout buffs, Sealine Beach Resort has a full-functioning fitness center for you to make sure you stay in shape. Of course, they also have a spa, which is one of the reasons why a lot of locals come over for some much-needed rest and recreation.