Doha Days: A Wealth Of Cultural, Gourmet And Shopping Experiences
November 20, 2017 | BY Hong Kong Tatler
Reasons to visit the capital city of Qatar
Qatar Tourism Authority Focus
Qatar offers many of the artistic and historical delights found in other capital cities around the world, with the added bonus of having 300 days of sunshine a year. Which is why Doha is fast becoming one of the most exciting options for a city break in Asia, particularly with travellers looking for that intoxicating combination of glamorous hotels, superb restaurants, beautiful weather and the all-important culture factor.
One of the biggest draws is the Museum of Islamic Art. Designed by I.M. Pei and inspired by traditional Islamic architecture, it is set above the tranquil sea and houses 14 centuries worth of art within its white walls. Its magnificent and imaginatively presented displays of paintings, sculptures and illustrations from across the Islamic world have earned it recognition among the world’s top cultural institutions.
For visitors keen to spend some money, there is Souq Waqif, a loud, bustling bazaar filled with the smell of incense and the sound of hundreds of traders bartering over their wares. And for eagle-eyed shoppers, there are mounds of richly scented spices and seasonal delicacies, potent homemade perfumes, glittering jewellery, handmade dresses and pretty pots and pans.
And when you can’t fit one more purchase into your suitcase, soak up the atmosphere in a cafe with a pot of mint tea or a potent Arabian coffee.
For theatre lovers, the evening is when Doha will really come alive, particularly in Katara Cultural Village, which is home to many of the most cutting-edge galleries and intellectual theatre performances in the region.
Every night there is a new concert, show or exhibition on offer, as well as a wide choice of dining options, including world-class restaurants offering a dazzling array of international cuisines. And if you go in the daytime, why not saunter down to the spacious, well-maintained public beach, complete with water sports?
If it’s good swimming you’re after, it doesn’t get much better than Qatar’s inland sea, Khor Al Adaid. One of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of the Middle East, it lies just 60 kilometres south of Doha. Visitors from far and wide trek to this Unesco-recognised nature reserve to marvel at the fact it boasts its own ecosystem, and is one of the few places in the world where the sea finds a way to permeate the heart of the desert.
Inaccessible by tarmac, this extraordinarily serene expanse of water can only be reached by breaching the rolling dunes—either by four-wheel-drive or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, by camel’s back.
The luxury of choice
Ultimately, it is the sheer variety of experiences that Doha offers that makes it so wonderful to visit. Because, really, it is choice that makes our holidays so particularly pleasurable—the choice to lie on a deserted beach or peruse an art exhibition, to wander through an evocative local market or venture into the ancient desert.
And Doha offers something mesmerising for every visitor.
Qatar is waiving entry visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries, including Hong Kong. This visa will be issued upon arrival and will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance. It’s applicable for both single and multiple trips.
Travellers can apply for their visas through the e-visa platform at qatarvisaservice.com. In addition, travellers travelling on Qatar Airways are eligible for a free transit visa (ranging from 5-96 hours) at transitvisa.qatarairways.com.
For memorable packages to explore Qatar, contact the following Qatar specialists in Hong Kong:
- Wing On Travel: +852 2928 8882
- Miramar Travel: +852 8200 2299
- Travel Expert: +852 3700 2689
- Country Holiday Hong Kong: +852 2525 9199
- Blue Sky Travel: +852 2739 9639
For more information, visit Qatar Tourism Authority’s official website at visitqatar.qa
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