Doha – Qatar´s instantly developing capital and one of the most popular stopovers on the way from Europe to Asia. It was difficult for me to believe that there’s a place where it’s cheaper to fill up your car than to eat at McDonald’s. However, once I landed in Doha, little by little, it all started to make sense… Check the top places not to miss during your stopover in Doha!
24hr Stopover in Doha was enough to be completely blown away with how fast this country was turned from a desert into such a modern city. World Cup 2022 has speeded up its expanding infrastructure even more. Despite the famous diplomatic crisis, which involved severing ties with UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain, Doha finds new partners and bursts with new projects&plans. On my next visit, Qatar will for sure flash me with some new architectural wonders.
Doha is much more than you could ever expect from the big-name stopover destination.
A day in Doha: What to see?
Museum of Islamic Art
From the impressive palm-lined entrance to the modern design inside of the building, the Museum of Islamic Art is your perfect starting point in the exploration of Doha’s culture. The museum offers various collections of Islamic art located on multiple floors. It has one of thebiggest collections of Islamic artifacts in the whole world! There is also a library and a restaurant inside the museum so that everyone can have a good time here. But what makes this place even more amazing is the free admission, who doesn’t like that?
The Pearl Monument
You might know that Qatar’s main revenue comes from oil and natural gas. But did you know that the pearl industry was Qatar’s main business in the past? This monument commemorates the history of Qatar while offering exceptional views over the Doha Bay.
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Souq Waqif bazaar
Souq Waqif is the heart of Doha. As the heat and sun go down, this place comes alive. You can find everything in this spectacular bazaar: rugs, souvenirs, clothes, lamps, art, food, etc. This is a good way to learn more about local culture. Moreover, there are a lot of restaurants and shops, where you can indulge yourself into local cuisine. It’s an absolute must experience while in Qatar.
The Doha Corniche is a pretty waterfront promenade with different parks and a lot of palm trees. I visited Doha in February, when it wasn’t too hot and I was able to walk along the Doha Corniche. However, if you’re in Doha during the hotter months, it might not be the best idea to walk under the burning sun. I’d rather suggest you have a beautiful sunset stroll along the waterfront.
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Keep in mind that Doha is not quite a pedestrian-friendly city. For most places you want to visit, you’d need to take a taxi (public transportation is currently almost non-existent). I mean, why would the richest country in the world need public transportation, duh. The Doha Corniche is one of the few places in the city where you can have a nice walk once you’re tired of taxis.
The Pearl Qatar
If you want to see what can be done once you have a lot of money, then you should visit The Pearl Qatar. It’s a man-made island with lots of luxury boutiques, elite residential buildings, and international restaurants. Everything here just screams “money”. I really liked how some areas on this fancy island replicate famous European landmarks. Suddenly, you feel like you’re in Italy, the next moment you’re in Spain. It’s just incredible!
All in all, whether you have a 24hr stopover in Doha or the longer/shorter one – it is always a great idea!
Learning about a new culture, diving into a world of oil money – it might be shocking and overwhelming, at times. Nevertheless, it’s just a completely different way of life from the one we used to in the States or Europe. Qatar is the richest country in the world and they lose no time. Hope to explore more on my next visit.
Have you ever been to Qatar? Would you like to visit?
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