A to Z of Things to See and Do in Qatar 

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.

Bird watching at purple island

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.

Iconic fanir center from the Corniche
West bay from the Corniche


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.

Enjoying a dhow trip with QIA
A dhow in front of west bay

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

East meets West
Nearby you can enjoy a beach day at zekreet and see the amazing mushroom rocks.


There is also a film city with a reconstructed village which is worth a look.

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.


G  is for the Grand Mosque

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.

Dune bashing at the inland sea

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.

Art at katara
Mosque at katara
 

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.

M – museum of Islamic art 

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.

MIA
The park is also a beautiful place to go for a walk and has the cafe with the best views in Doha.

Mia park cafe

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.

Al Riwaq

 

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.

Boats at the Pearl

 

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.

Rialto bridge

Qanat quarter
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.

Souq Waqif

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

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.

Villagio

 

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.

Al zubarah
 

How many have you done? And what else do you think should be on the list?

Planning to visit Qatar why not check out hotel reviews from our staycations or check out our Great Middle Eastern Hotels 2016 Round-up

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Mini Travellers

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MummyTravels

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Oregon Girl Around the World

 

44 thoughts on “A to Z of Things to See and Do in Qatar ”

    1. The pearl ha several quarters the Venetian is only one – they also have areas replicating Cannes, Spain and soon San Francisco! Dune bashing is amazing but definitely wouldn’t want to do on my own

  1. Qatar sounds like such a fantastic destination and one that is high on our bucket list. We love traveling with the kids and this ABC list is a great way to give the kids an idea of what they’ll be seeing in Qatar. Giving kids a foundation of information about what they’ll see gives them something to build upon to help make lasting travel memories. The whole world is a classroom!

  2. How very interesting! I haven’t read much on Qatar, but there seems to be some pretty cool things to do! I’m a little surprised to see a replica of the Rialto Bridge but the qanat quarter is definitely beautiful! The indoor area with gondolas reminds me of the Venetian hotel in Las Vegas! #CityTripping
    Lolo recently posted…2016: A Year in ReviewMy Profile

  3. We are yet to explore the Middle East properly and there is so much inspiration here. I am drawn to the Fuwarit beaches and the souks. It’s so fascinating to learn about places that have been the subject of such negative press in the western media. I am so glad you joined #FarawayFiles – I’m learning so much about the Middle East and its many unique cultures
    Katy recently posted…Faraway Files #12My Profile

    1. Aww thank you. I think it’s important to show the other side of life here. There are lots of really great things to see here and I hope people will see there is more to qatar than the World Cup

  4. Such an interesting mix of ancient and modern in Qatar, thank you for sharing. The architecture is soo cool. And I love that there is so much nature and outdoor opportunities to explore as well! Cheers from much chillier Copenhagen! Thanks for linking up with the first #FarawayFiles of 2017! Erin

  5. Wow. It looks like Qatar has everything. As I was looking through all of the pictures I kept thinking about how hot it would be. I love your pictures of the Qanat quarter and the inland sea! #farawayfiles

  6. I’ve been to Dubai and it was just too hot in the height of summer so it kind of put me off the middle east but I would love to see the Richard Serra sculpture and you’ve listed so many other wonderful things to do I might just have to change my mind! #citytripping
    Topsy Turvy Tribe recently posted…The Olive PickersMy Profile

  7. What an interesting post! And that’s brilliant that you’ve lived in Qatar for 3 years – you must know it so well by now. I was fascinated to see such a Venetian influence in the city. Do you know why there are whole areas dedicated to being replicas of famous sites in Venice? Those Souks would be amazing to explore too. Thanks for sharing a piece of your new home town! #FarawayFiles

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