What to Do on a Lengthy Layover in Doha, Qatar

What if air journey was a rewarding journey itself? If you fly Qatar Airways from…

What to Do on a Lengthy Layover in Doha, Qatar

What if air journey was a rewarding journey itself? If you fly Qatar Airways from any of its 12 gateways within the U.S. en path to greater than 150 worldwide locations, a stopover of not less than 12 hours permits you entrée to inspiring experiences in Qatar’s capital metropolis Doha. Whether or not you’re touring to the Maldives or past, you’ll be able to enrich your dream trip with an interesting 48-hour (or extra) cultural immersion in Qatar.

For starters, you’ll really feel such as you’re on vacation earlier than you even arrive, touring in type with superior service on the top-rated airline on this planet—a distinction awarded by Skytrax seven occasions operating, together with in 2022. If you fly Financial system or Enterprise Class (choose flights even supply business-class suites with ambient lighting, absolutely lie-flat beds, and doorways for additional privateness), anticipate unparalleled service and facilities onboard.

Touching down at Hamad Worldwide Airport, vacationers can be wowed by what’s in retailer as quickly as they step foot on the bottom. The highest-rated hub is stuffed with luxurious retailers, a number of fine-dining choices, and gorgeous public artwork installations. Past that, a latest enlargement features a peaceable indoor tropical backyard, the Orchard, that includes upwards of 300 bushes and greater than 25,000 vegetation sourced from sustainable forests all over the world, all bathed in pure mild. The spectacular setting makes for a grand welcome, particularly whenever you reap the benefits of unbeatable Stopover Packages that handle the entire particulars for you. Plus, luxurious packages for 2 nights begin at a mere $148.

On the bottom, you’ll have just a few days and nights filled with soul-stirring experiences, from historical past and artwork to worldwide delicacies and outside adventures in nature—or all of the above. The world-class metropolis is taken into account secure and welcoming to vacationers, with English generally spoken.

Day 1: Discover a land the place historical past meets modernity

Museum of Islamic Art

The I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Artwork

Doha is an interesting mixture of hyper-modern design paired with artwork and tradition that stretches again centuries. It’s an unimaginable place to behold—as should you’re concurrently stepping again in time and peering into the long run. Take time to savor this breadth as you zip between old-world markets and smooth up to date structure towering overhead. Begin your day on the actually spectacular Museum of Islamic Artwork. Designed by I. M. Pei and constructed on a man-made island close to the standard Dhow Harbor, it boasts the biggest assortment of its variety on this planet. To get the complete influence, go for one of many quick, self-guided excursions curators have put collectively to indicate off the museum’s highlights based mostly on private preferences.

Souq Waqif

Subsequent up, pay a go to to Souq Waqif for a chew to eat—and a style of historical past. As soon as an historical Bedouin buying and selling market, the Souq later fell into disrepair after which burned, however was rebuilt within the early 2000s. Immediately, it’s full of retailers and stalls providing distinctive items and souvenirs, from spices to jewellery and textiles. And the market provides a variety of Arabic cuisines. Eat your approach via Qatari, Yemeni, Iranian, Moroccan, and different cuisines. Earlier than you allow, ensure that to go to the Falcon Souq inside Souq Waqif, the place you’ll get a chicken’s-eye view of the centuries-old looking custom of falconry—listed as a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage of humanity.

At night time, stroll alongside the Doha Corniche, a four-mile promenade overlooking the town’s harbor. Begin at Souq Waqif and head west towards the skyscrapers for a tour of previous to current. The gorgeous stroll alongside the water may also provide you with a superb have a look at the town’s important sights and structure.

Day 2: Select your individual desert or marine life journey

Cruising through the dunes outside of Doha

Cruising via the otherworldly dunes outdoors of Doha

There’s no scarcity of thrilling outside actions by land and sea in Qatar, all only a quick experience away from the capital metropolis. For one thing actually novel, take a guided journey to discover the desert dunes and inland sea. After an hour’s drive from Doha, you’ll arrive on the entrance of the desert at Sealine. Skilled drivers will spirit you away on an unforgettable off-road journey over dramatic sand dunes to the azure waters of Khor Al Adaid, the inland sea. You’ll go to the towering Sheraton Dune and marvel on the Arabian Sea earlier than heading again to the town.

Marine-life followers, this one’s for you: Uncover the Whale Sharks of Qatar by personal constitution. The coastal water of Qatar performs house to one of many planet’s largest Whale Shark aggregations. Embarking from Fuwairit Kite Seaside Resort (a brief experience from Doha’s accommodations), you’ll get pleasure from a hearty breakfast as you journey roughly two and a half hours by yacht to get to the Whale Sharks. As soon as there, you’ll see these magnificent creatures that collect to feed near the floor. You’ll be able to relaxation assured that this accountable outing doesn’t disrupt their pure habitat.

Al Thakira’s Mangroves

For those who desire a extra energetic outing on the water, strive kayaking via the mangrove forests of Qatar. In a rustic identified for its desert panorama, chances are you’ll be shocked to search out the Al Thakira Mangrove Forest, one among Qatar’s oldest and largest forests. A two-hour guided tour that’s appropriate for all ranges will take you thru the ecosystem which attracts migratory birds reminiscent of herons and flamingos, and an abundance of fish and crustaceans who name it house year-round.

After a full-day outing, get pleasure from dinner alongside the Corniche, or in Qanat Quartier or downtown, the place you’ll discover tremendous eating choices to swimsuit any palate.

Transcend: Keep a little bit longer to get pleasure from much more of Qatar

The National Museum of Qatar

The Nationwide Museum of Qatar

In case you have additional time, contemplate extending your keep by an evening or two to soak up much more of the various cultural choices that make Doha such an interesting metropolis. Historical past buffs will need to go to the Nationwide Museum of Qatar, designed by architect Jean Nouvel to appear to be a desert rose crystal. Right here, you’ll be able to be taught concerning the nation’s historical past and up to date financial increase.

Artwork lovers may desire Katara Cultural Village, the artwork and tradition hub of the town that’s rife with artist areas, galleries, and an out of doors amphitheater. There are sometimes festivals and live shows in Katara, and an abundance of cafes and eating places to linger in after a day of cultural exploration.

This vacation spot, stuffed with cultural riches, historic treasures, and gorgeous pure landscapes, rewards vacationers with enlightening experiences. Whether or not you spend 48 hours in Doha or select to increase your go to within the capital metropolis or past, there’ll at all times be new adventures so that you can uncover on this quickly evolving cultural heart of the Center East.