A deep commitment to preserving and promoting Qatar’s heritage has helped Doha establish a growing reputation as a major international centre of arts and culture, boasting an unmatched array of world-class museums, galleries, heritage attractions as well as historical and archaeological sites.
Museums & Galleries
Qatar Museums (qm.org.qa/en; +974 4452 5555) is the main public authority responsible for the development and management of the country’s museums. For more information on its portfolio of fine facilities and events, check its website.
Theatres & Performance Venues
Doha has a number of world-class performance venues, many of them located in the Katara Cultural Village, providing fitting venues for Qatar’s lively cultural scene.
Full details of upcoming concerts, exhibitions, plays and other events in Katara can be found at http://www.katara.net/en/whats-on
Qatar is well-established as a major international sporting venue and host of an impressive calendar of top sporting events.
The warm clear waters of the Gulf are ideal for all types of water sports while, on land, Qatar’s sporting facilities are world-class. Most of them, including the Aspire Zone, Doha Golf Club, Lusail Motor Racing Circuit and the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, are available for use by visitors and residents in addition to hosting top international tournaments and professional sports events.
Visitors can enjoy a myriad of sports activities, including golf, tennis, water sports, diving, fishing, kayaking, kitesurfing, sailing, water surfing.
Festivals & Cultural and Sports Events
Qatar’s calendar is marked by a number of festivals as well as cultural and sporting events held throughout the year. It will not be different in September and October 2019 when Doha hosts the IAAF World Championships. For a detailed list on events to attend during that period, please visit https://www.visitqatar.qa/calendar
Perhaps the favourite among all the activities offered by Qatar’s tour operators are the ever-popular off-road desert safaris by 4×4. Besides a heart-stopping roller coaster ride over the precipitous dunes, activities on a safari may include camel riding, sand skiing/boarding or driving a quad bike. Sunrise, daytime, evening and overnight camping trips can all be arranged. Most take place in the high dunes that lie a short distance to the south of Doha where the paved road ends at Sealine Beach Resort. Most safaris include a visit to the spectacular ‘Inland Sea’ at Khor Al Adaid and, depending on the time of day, many make a stop to take in the glorious desert sunset and culminate with a moonlit Bedouin-style barbeque under the stars.
Cruises aboard a traditional wooden Arab dhow are another extremely popular visitor experience. Full-day, half-day and evening sightseeing excursions, including a meal, can be arranged through any of the leading local tour operators (or directly from the dhows moored along the Doha Corniche). The vessels are usually furnished and decorated in Bedouin style and have bathrooms with showers on board. Besides enjoying the view and a barbeque, optional activities may include swimming, snorkeling, fishing, riding a banana boat or jet skiing.
For a combination of sounds, colour and local atmosphere, nothing can beat a trip to the camel races, which are held from October till April on the purpose-built camel track at Al Shahaniya, a 30-minute drive to the west of Doha on the Dukhan road. A visit provides a unique opportunity to witness a traditional sport that has been part of Qatari life for generations. In recent years, technology has caught up with this ancient pastime through the use of titanium robot jockeys equipped with electronic whips. Besides the racing itself, a ‘camel city’ has sprung up nearby, where thousands of men and camels live all year round.
The Arabian Horse & Horse Racing
The world of horse racing owes its origins in large part to Arabian bloodstock. Today, Al Shaqab stud farm is a unique facility devoted to the perpetuation and preservation of purebred Arabians. Qatar’s equestrian tradition also flourishes at race meetings held at Doha Racing & Equestrian Club throughout the winter months.
‘Off the Beaten Track’
Besides visiting well-known tourist attractions, many travellers love to discover a destination’s ‘hidden gems’ and experience something a little different and special. Some ideas for your visit to Doha include
the Falcon Souq in downtown Doha, the ‘Singing Dunes’ in safari trips to the south of Doha, kayaking through the large expanse of mangroves at Al Thakhira, and the unspoiled beaches and wild deer reserve at the isolated Ras Abrouq peninsula
Full Service Tour Operators
These companies’ services include city tours, desert safaris, sand boarding, dhow cruises and other activities in and around Doha.
Discover Qatar (Qatar Airways)
Qatar International Adventures
+974 4442 2444
Camel & Horse Riding, Dune Biking: Sealine Beach Resort