Travel

Qatar continues to shine post World Cup

By Nourah Khan

Exclusive to The Times Kuwait


When the FIFA World Cup 2022 was held in Qatar it not only showcased the country’s prowess in hosting international sporting events but also marked a turning point for its tourism industry. The country leveraged the momentum created during the month-long football festival, when the world’s eyes were trained on the nation, to bolster its image and its tourism sector, as well as position itself as a sought-after global tourism destination.

I did not get the chance to visit Qatar during the World Cup , and my last visit to Doha was about five years ago, so when I visited the place last month, I was astonished by the huge transformation and development that had taken place in the short space of five years between my visits.

The World Cup served as a catalyst for extensive infrastructure development across Qatar. The nation’s transportation network has been significantly enhanced, with a modernized airport, expanded roads, and an efficient metro system, making it easier for tourists to explore the country’s treasures. The legacy of these infrastructure projects ensures a seamless experience for visitors, even after the tournament.

During the four nights that I spent in Qatar, I discovered that Doha is a wonderful and enjoyable family tourist destination that features several beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces to visit and explore, including outdoor places and venues created to defy the sizzling heat of summer, such as the air-conditioned streets at the Katara Cultural Village.

Qatar, a captivating destination with its rich cultural heritage and modern attractions, offers an array of experiences for tourists during the summer season. While the weather may be hot, Qatar’s tourism scene thrives with numerous activities and sights that cater to visitors seeking adventure, cultural exploration, and relaxation.
Qatar boasts a treasure trove of cultural landmarks and attractions. One must-visit site is the renowned Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, which showcases a stunning collection of art and artifacts from the Islamic world. Delve into the vibrant Arab culture, witness the intricate craftsmanship, and gain insights into the region’s artistic heritage.

I had the opportunity to have lunch in one of the famous restaurants in Qatar, inside the Islamic museum which must be on the list if you are lucky enough to get a reservation. The restaurant is run by the world-class chef Alain Ducasse, who has three Michelin stars. You can enjoy your lunch with a stunning view of the Doha Corniche, also the interior decoration was amazing, it was designed by international interior designer Philippe Starck.

The capital city, Doha, stands as a testament to Qatar’s rapid development and modernization. Explore its bustling souqs (traditional markets) like Souq Waqif, where aromatic spices, vibrant textiles, and traditional handicrafts await. The city also offers a range of dining options, from fine international cuisine to local delicacies, ensuring a gastronomic adventure for every palate.

One of the must have experiences in Doha is the Safari trip. Embark on an unforgettable desert safari experience, where the mesmerizing beauty of Qatar’s sand dunes unfolds before your eyes. Enjoy exhilarating activities like dune bashing, camel riding, and sandboarding, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the desert landscape as the sun sets, casting a magical glow over the surroundings.

Shopping in Doha has become one of the enjoyable experiences, especially after the opening of the Printemps Doha store in Doha Oasis last year, and for those who do not know this store, it is a very ancient French store, and this is the first time the store has opened a branch in the Middle East. The store offers a luxurious shopping experience as it collects all the world-famous brands under one roof.

In addition, Printemps offers a unique entertainment experience, as it contains the largest indoor theme-park in Doha, named Quest. It also contains a cinema and a large number of international restaurants.

You should also visit Place Vendome Mall, one of the most luxurious malls in Qatar. Place Vendome is located in Lusail City, and will soon become the fashion capital of Qatar. The mall, with its mesmerizing beauty and impressive architecture, has astounded visitors from world over.

Place Vendome is the most prominent destination for luxury shopping and modern life, as it contains more than 580 international brand stores. With a design inspired by classic French architecture, the building includes an open courtyard containing dancing fountains, surrounded by restaurants and cafes. The mall contains entertainment facilities and the Le Royal Meridien Hotel.

One of the wonderful places I visited in Doha is The Pearl-Qatar, an artificial island located near the West Bay area. It contains Mediterranean-style marinas lined with yachts, and includes residential towers, villas and hotels, and provides a luxurious shopping experience in the finest stores and high-end galleries. The island also includes modern restaurants, ranging from refreshing ice cream to five-star culinary experiences, and features walkable squares and squares, as well as a wide range of beautifully landscaped gardens. The Pearl is a popular attraction thanks to its elegance and attractive designs like the “Arabian Riviera”.

Katara is the cultural neighborhood in Doha, and it is one of the interesting places that have been developed to suit the general atmosphere in Qatar. At Katara, you can visit the Katara Mosque and the Golden Mosque, and wander around the High Street, which offers a wonderful shopping experience with Galeries Lafayette store. The street also has a strong external cooling system, so you can enjoy eating in the outdoor seating of restaurants.

A new tourist destination has joined the destinations in Doha, which is the old port of Doha, which was developed as a huge tourism project, with its distinctive view of the waters of the Arabian Gulf. You will feel that you are walking around the Greek island of Santorini as you wander among the colorful houses. The place contains various shops, restaurants and cafes. And contains also a fish market.

You must also put a visit to the Musheireb neighborhood within your itinerary. The developing ‘Msheireb Downtown Doha’ area is characterized by its contemporary architecture, and includes bright white mosques and a group of history museums in elegant palaces designed in the Arab style.

The Radwani House reviews Qatari family life, while the Bin Jelmood House features exhibitions on the history of slavery around the world. As for dining options, they include international restaurants in high-end hotels, and popular souvenir stalls and the ‘Souq Waqif’ arcades are also located within walking distance.

Qatar’s summer tourism scene offers a captivating blend of cultural heritage, recreational activities, and modern attractions. Despite the high temperatures, the country continues to charm visitors with its rich history, warm hospitality, and diverse experiences. So, whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, Qatar welcomes you to create unforgettable memories in the Arabian Peninsula’s hidden gem.

 


Noura Khana travel influencer and content creator, is a Kuwaiti national, holds a degree in law from Kuwait University and has worked as a journalist prior to taking up a position in the government. In 2018 she started blogging on travel and visited more than 57 countries since. She has more than 54k followers on her blog post @nourajtraveller is well appreciated for content and travel information. Noura writes exclusively for The Times Kuwait on her travel visits.


 



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