As the world of travel begins to take off, Qatar has been given the amber light, allowing travellers to jet off once again to this upcoming hotspot in the Middle East. Boasting a mix of rich Arabian tradition with historic Qatari culture, Qatar is one of the most exciting global travel destinations, hosting an abundance of undiscovered experiences.
Surrounded by the warm, tranquil waters of the Arabian Gulf, the Qatari peninsula is home to a distinct range of natural and man-made landscapes. Globetrotters can venture from the sophisticated, modern Capital of Doha, featuring an array of award winning spas, hotels and restaurants boasting breath-taking backdrops of Qatar’s stunning skyline to the Khor Al Adai, a UNESCO recognised site, and one of the few places in the world where the sea encroaches the desert.
Located on Qatar’s golden coastline and only a stone’s throw away from the National Museum of Qatar and Souq Waqif, Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton hotel, is an ideal setting for a memorable stay in Doha. Designed to emulate an elegantly marbled Sheikh’s palace, guests can unwind from a long day of perusing the museums in the hotel’s infinity pool or at the private beach. Guests can also enjoy the five-star hotel’s award winning Sharq Village Spa, which features fully equipped exercise facilities and 23 treatment rooms.
Set to be the largest wellness destination in the country and the first wellbeing resort in the region, Zulal is a must visit in Qatar. The resort was awarded the ‘World’s Best New Wellness Retreat 2020’ at the World Spa Awards and will offer a range of treatments to allow guests to fully immerse themselves in true serenity, surrounded by its natural and picturesque landscape.
Accessible by private catamaran, Banana Island Resort is an exclusive hotel that offers guests spectacular, sandy private beaches to get away from it all, and reconnect with loved ones. With 141 rooms, suites and villas, a spa and wellness centre, a surf pool and a dive centre, Banana Island Resort Doha is a serene hotel for those seeking a relaxing retreat.
Located in the trendy area of Msheireb Downtown Doha, Mandarin Oriental welcomes guests into its unique offering of intimate and sleek Qatari luxury. Designed by the acclaimed David Collins Studio, the hotel features six private treatment rooms, a couple’s suite, two VIP suites and two indoor pools. Alternatively, guests can head to the rooftop pool for a dip whist taking in the stunning city views.
Where to Eat
Al Nahham is located at the water’s edge on Banana Island, offering diners spectacular waterfront views, thanks to its al fresco seating overlooking the Arabian Gulf. Travellers can enjoy local flavours and spices with a selection of mezze from around the region, before ending the evening with a selection of shishas under the stars.
Parisa promises to dazzle its diners by authentic Persian delights and mesmerising interiors that combine hand-painted Persian artwork of myths and legends, intricate mosaics, ornate chandeliers, and thousands of tiny mirrors that were handpicked from Iran and assembled in Doha over 3.5 years that provide for an authentic Persian dining experience.
For an al fresco dining setting with unparalleled views over the Arabian Gulf, travellers should opt for Nobu at The Four Seasons Hotel. Run by Chef Andrew Bozoki, who trained under Chef Nobu himself, the restaurant serves the best fresh fish and seafood in Doha. Start the day with Nobu Doha’s specially curated brunch menu, popular amongst the locals.
BOHO Social is a new social place and foodie destination, housed in a circular structure on top of Katara Beach club. Stunning bohemian chic interiors by award winning interior designer Paul Bishop and a menu that takes you on a culinary journey.
Things to do
Explore Qatar’s cultural sites
Engage with Qatari culture with a journey through time at the National Museum Qatar. This architectural marvel houses artefacts from the country’s history through to of the modern-day. For those wanting to experience the outdoors, take a drive out of Doha to the city of Zekreet. The village in the north-western region of Qatar is widely known for its stunning limestone formations and is home to Richard Serra’s East-West/West-East art installation. Visitors can also discover the ruins of Zekreet Fort, which boasts an astonishing landscape with prehistoric sites and remnants of old settlements and the Al Reem Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO site where camels, oryx’s and gazelles can be spotted.
Relax and rejuvenate in one of Qatar’s award winning spas
There’s no better way to relax than a spa treatment and Qatar has an incredible choice, offering some award-winning experiences. The Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz Carlton hotel, is spread across 6,500 metres and features 23 treatment rooms, hammam rooms and a sauna. While the Zulal Wellness Resort is an upcoming haven from the bustle of the city centre, and winner of the ‘World’s Best New Wellness Retreat 2020’ at the World Spa Awards. The resort will offer a range of treatments allowing guests to fully immerse in true serenity, surrounded by its natural and picturesque landscape.
Try a thrilling desert activity
Qatar is an ideal location for a desert safari, giving travellers the chance to explore the 11,4372 kilometres of desert that lies less than an hour from Doha. Visitors will enjoy an exhilarating experience gliding across the Qatari desert in air-conditioned 4x4s with a professional 4WD driver. If a more tranquil experience is preferred, travellers can discover the spectacular rolling desert dunes by camelback. The majestic animals offer a unique and authentic experience, including visiting sites such as Khor Al Adaid or Al Wajbah Fort. Finally, for the daredevils looking for a new and exhilarating experience can delve into dune bashing at Khor Al Adaid, conquering the dines on a quad bike.
Soak up the spices at Souq Waqif
Take in the vibrant atmosphere of Doha by heading to Souq Waqif, a bustling marketplace. Visitors will stumble across traditional Qatari artefacts displayed throughout the scattered stalls, while exploring intricate alleyways full of local treasures. Souq Waqif offers eye-catching paintings and sculptures at the Souq Waqif Art Centre and is also next to the Falcon Souq for even more local shopping inspiration. The area also hosts events or local concerts.