We have lived in Qatar for almost three years and think we’ve got to know it pretty well so in honor of Qatars national day we have compiled our a-z list of things to do in Qatar!
A is for al Khor & Purple Island
One of my favourite places to go outside of the city. Purple island is located in al Khor and is called purple island because of the small snails found there which are said to create the color of the Qatar national flag when crushed. You can read our post about why Purple Island is the perfect desert experience for kids here! In the winter you can see flamingoes but it is a great spot for bird watchers all year round.
It’s also worth remembering that Al Khor has a great public park for children.
B is for Barzan Towers
I love history. Qatar has some great forts located in the north but Barzan is even closer – right near IKEA in fact. Definitely worth a visit.
C is for the Corniche
Anyone who visits Doha has to visit the Corniche! You can walk around the whole corniche from the Museum of Islamic Arts to West Bay with great views of each. Al mourjan is a good place to stop to have lunch right on the water front. I love walking by night where you can get great views of the city.
D is for Dhows
Dhows are a great way to see the skyline and catch some rays. Qatar international adventures offers trips from the dhow port opposite the souq. You can do a day or night trip and have a BBQ on the boat. We even enjoyed jumping in the salty sea to cool down.
E is for East meets West
The famous Richard Serra sculpture in the desert at Zekreet. It’s size in such a barren landscape is such an awe striking scene. Nb you will require a 4×4 to visit
Nearby you can enjoy a beach day at zekreet and see the amazing mushroom rocks.
F is for Fuwarit
Fuwarit is a beach to the north of Qatar. One of the few powdery beaches in Qatar it also is a breeding site for turtles.
A beautiful structure in the center of Doha. It’s worth a drive past at night to see it in its full splendor.
H is for al Hazm mall
Although not open quite yet, the mall is a great architectural nod to the malls of Milan and Naples.
I is for the inland sea
A remarkable geological feat. The inland sea is a great place to go dune bashing. We went with Arabian Adventures and had an amazing day. The driving was safe but exhilarating. I would recommend doing only with a recommended company as driving the dunes is tricky and not something to undertake on your own.
J is for al Jassasiya rock carvings
Comprising of 874 petroglyphs, you can see carvings showing boats, stars and rosettes amongst others. A great site for the archaeology lover!
K is for Katara
The cultural village of Doha. It has lots of great restaurants, (one is on my list of dohas best restaurants from a-z), is a great space for art with and exhibition space run by Qatar museums, and performance space. There is also a stamp museum specializing in stamps from the region and is a lovely place to go for a walk. In the winter, katara hosts a series of festivals the most well known is the show festival which takes place in November.
L is for lusail
A must see for sports enthusiasts. At the moment it is a city under dvelopment but it is worthwhile to try and get an event at the lusail arena.
One of Most iconic buildings in Doha, designed by I.M. Pei. It has a great collection comprising of jewelry, astrolabes and carpets amongst others and home to great temporary exhibitions such as the recent Treasures of China exhibition containing five terra-cotta army.
The park is also a beautiful place to go for a walk and has the cafe with the best views in Doha.
The park also has the al Riwaq exhibition space which houses exhibitions such as the Damien Hurst retrospective. Check the QM website for current exhibition details.
N is for the National museum
Although not open yet it is worth driving by the museum. An architectural gem in the making. Designed to resemble a desert rose, a geological feature of a Qatar, it will reopen to show the history of the country.
O is for Oryx
Qatar’s national animal. Unfortunately I’ve only seen as statues at the st Regis or on the tail of a Qatar Airways plane but there are apparently some in the wild. I would love to see one.
P is for the Pearl
Doha’s answer to the Palm. Great shopping and even better restaurants (see my a-z of Doha’s best restaurants for more information). We love strolling around the marina and looking at all the boats.
Q is for the qanat quarter
A largely residential area of the Pearl made to look like Venice. It even has its own Rialto bridge. A great place to walk around especially now more shops and restaurants are opening. I personally can’t wait to try the Breakfast Club.
R is for al ruwais
A town in northern Qatar. Known for its port, it has a lovely park and is a great jumping off point to see the forts of northern Qatar. You can read about our experience of al ruwais and forts here.
S is for Souq Waqif
Meaning standing market Souq Waqif is Doha’s main souq. It is a great place to experience local culture. Don’t miss the gold Souq and handicraft market.
Why not check out our Souq waqif series to find out more about visiting with a baby and our favourite restaurants in the Souq!
T is for the Torch
A striking building in the aspire zone. You can have dinner and view the city from above. Then why not take a stroll around the aspire zone park!
U is for under the stars kayaking
Ran by the company Entalek, kayaking under the stars is definitely on my Doha bucket list.
V is for villagio
A mall modelled on Venice with gondolas running through the center. Can be visited at the same time as the torch.
W is for al wakra
The old pearling center of Qatar. Today, it is known for having the second souq of Qatar, located on the waterfront.
Z is zubarah
Qatar’s only UNESCO world heritage site. A fort and museum that is worth the drive out of Doha to visiti! You can read all about how to get there and out experience here.
How many have you done? And what else do you think should be on the list?