Explore the natural environment, take an exciting desert safari, relax at the many beaches and pool facilities, or enjoy your favorite sport. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone.
Just like other cities in the Persian Gulf Region, Doha is an intriguing mixture of old and new. You’ll find fine modern architecture next to the traditional Arabic Soukhs (Bazaars) and more than 260 mosques, with the multiple-domed Grande Mosque being the largest. The traditional Dhow harbor is a favored attraction.
Historically, Doha was founded as Al Bida in 1850. The Al Wajbah fort is in the southwestern part of the city and was built by Al Rayyan in 1882. This fort witnessed the famous battle, in which the people of Qatar, led by Sheikh Qassim, beat the Ottomans in 1893. The Al Kout fort was built in 1917 by Sheikh Abdulla Bin Qassim Al Thani and lies in the center of the city. In 1949, the city began exporting oil. The House of Government opened in 1969 and is considered to be one of the nation’s most prominent landmarks. In 1971, it became the capital of an independent Qatar.
Education City is a major educational and cultural development in Qatar, housing some of the world’s finest academic institutions on a 7-million square-meters site. It positions Doha as a key centre for the advancement of the people of Qatar and other Gulf states. Scheduled for completion in 2008, Education City is already flourishing and providing world-class educational facilities from kindergarten through junior and secondary levels, to internationally recognized graduate and post-graduate studies and research programs.
Education City will include world-class facilities for business, community development, science, information technology, Islamic studies, media and communications, sports, as well as a 350-bed teaching hospital.
The launch of Al-Jazeera TV in 1997 raised the profile of Qatari television. The station is outspoken on issues traditionally deemed as sensitive in the Arab world. Al-Jazeera, already popular in the Arab world, became known worldwide after becoming the only channel allowed to operate from Afghanistan. It plans to launch an English-language network, Al Jazeera International. Qatar formally lifted censorship of the media in 1995, and since then the press has been essentially free from government interference.
The National Museum consists of ten buildings, which contain one of the Gulf’s largest collections of ecological, ethnographic, and archaeological material. Five rooms are dedicated to the display of traditional Bedouin lifestyle with examples of costumes, arts and crafts, utensils, and tools. The museum’s main collection explores the country’s physical geography, geology, and architectural finds.
The marine section contains an underground aquarium, which houses a wide variety of fish, coral, and shells. This section also tells the story of Qatar’s traditional boat-building methods, as well as pearl-diving and fishing industry, which were an important part of the country’s economy before the discovery of oil.
Cruises and Water Sports
Sailing is a wonderful pastime and several private companies offer dinghies and windsurfers for rent, as well as sailing lessons for both novice and experienced sailors. A sunset cruise on a traditional dhow in Doha Bay provides a stunning view of Doha at night, while luxury yachts can be rented for half- and full-day fishing trips. There are both jet-skiing and water-skiing rentals, as well as pedal boats, water cycle, and Kayak. And for the extremely adventurous: parasailing, surfing, or wind-surfing.
For the enthusiastic golfer, a visit to the Doha Golf Club is an absolute must. This 18-hole, 7,181-yard, par 72 championship course was designed by Peter Harradine and has hosted major international golfing championships.
A trip to the inland sea in the middle of the desert is a splendid way to spend the day. Experienced tour operators add to the adventure by expertly steering their four-wheel drive vehicles up and down 60-metre sand dunes. As you travel over the sand dunes, take in the view of the desert and listen closely to the sands shift, as you descend down the slopes.
Conclusively, Qatar has aggressive plans of progress and development in trade, tourism, education, and state of the art infrastructure. It is a highly recommended destination for holidays. When you plan your next vacation, check it out for yourself!