You’re going to see and hear about Doha an awful lot in the coming months with the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022. Yep, the eyes of the world will turn to events taking place in this city and across Qatar. If you are fortunate to be going, then you’re about to arrive in the most dynamic city on earth! Welcome to the pleasure dome, the city at ease with the modern and the traditional.
Doha’s ever-changing skyline is only part of the joys of visiting here. Modern style shopping malls jostle with traditional souqs. International standard museums draw you in and then there’re the beaches and desert to add its sandy natural charms. Put that all together and, boom, Doha is fast becoming the place to be. Once the football kicks in, well, Doha will be the centre of the earth.
Let’s dive in (hopefully not like the players!) and get you ready to explore in between the matches, of course.
For a piece of the traditional, it’s best to start by exploring the Souq. You’ll find fabrics and jewellery, wooden crafts, also, of course, food. Whether you explore this yourself or on a tour, it’ll give you a sense of the Qatari life. There are two souqs in-particular that you should visit.
· Souq Waqif: Looking for some atmosphere? Then this Souq is the place to be. It’s built on an ancient site and is Doha’s social centre. Explore the many parts and get your Doha fill.
· Falcon Souq: Here is where you’ll see the Qatari heritage. It’s an offshoot of Souq Waqif. You’ll get to understand how falconry is part of Qatari society. Head there on a Thursday and you’ll see people examining the birds.
Meander around the museums
Doha has some interesting museums to explore, and the architecture is something to behold as well! The National Museum of Qatar only opened in 2019 and designed by Frenchman Jean Nouvel. Being so new it’s a thrilling modern experience looking back at Qatar’s past.
Another Museum of note is the Museum of Islamic Art. It’s found on a purpose-built island and houses the largest collection of Islamic Art in the world. Just don’t go in with shorts and vests on! You won’t get in.
Out of town and into the desert
A day in the desert is just what’s needed after heading around town. You’ve got plenty of options to choose from. Most will involve some 4WD’ing and include such wondrous activities, such as dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel riding.
Katara Cultural Village is another Doha gem. This is the place for carnivals and social events, exhibitions and concerts. You’ll find the impressive Opera House here and the Katara Amphitheatre, which looks out over the sea. Visit during the World Cup and you’ll be getting double the entertainment visiting here. This mis-mash of architecture is the perfect way to round off your time here.
Doha is the Persian Gulf city that is about to take over the hearts and minds of millions. The focal point of the sporting event of 2022. Whoever brings home the trophy will be richly deserved, but the real winners will be those that get to explore this city before in heads to the stratosphere! Doha is definitely calling!