When traveling to a new place it can be hard to decide where to stay. Not knowing how transport works, accessibility of attractions versus hotel amenities it can be a minefield. Having lived in Doha for over 3.5 years there are very few hotels we’ve not tried so think we are pretty well qualified to help people decide where to stay in Doha. So whether you are traveling as a family, for business or just looking for so,e great amenities we have you covered. Continue reading The ultimate guide of where to stay in Doha
As expats in Qatar many of us can be guilty of not getting out of the city but there is more to Qatar than Doha!
Our day started by driving 1 hour and ten minutes out of the city as we headed towards al Ruwais! Al ruwais is the port town of Doha. With 4000 inhabitants it is more a sleepy fishing town than what you would imagine a commercial port to be like.
We loved seeing the old dhows and fishermen at work. We particularly enjoyed watching this from the beautiful Abu Dhalouf Park ( open for families only with restrictions to women on Tuesdays and Wednesday).
After a brief stop at the park we headed towards Zubarah. By driving from al Ruwais to Zubarah you drive along the coast and visit sone of the less well known and less preserved forts such as al thugab and rakiyat to name just two. Important – you will probably want a 4×4 to visit these.
The final fort you come to is zubarah – the only UNESCO World Heritage site in Qatar.
The fort is small but contains a small but interesting exhibition which tells you about the fort’s history and trade links.
The day we went, there was a vintage car rally on displaying 80s Nissan cars. Everyone was very friendly and Wandermust Daddy was in his element. It was really nice to see so many people at the fort and we got some great pics of old versus the new especially with the camels.
I think every expat should really make the effort to go out and see more of the country than currently call home as there is lots more to Qatar than Doha. Keep watching this space for more Qatar day trips!
Friday brunch is a staple activity of expats in the Middle East. Whenever we have visitors we always take them so when my parents visited to meet Baby E we decided to take them to one of our favourites, Vine at the St. Regis. We love the range of foods, the live cooking stations and variety of drinks both Non and Alcoholic. The sushi and seafood area for us is the best at any Doha brunch and I love getting a taste of home with their roast dinners. But is brunch a good activity to do with a baby?
Surviving Middle East Summer with a Newborn
As Doha traffic will testify, most expats leave for the summer; trying to escape the Middle Eastern Summer where temperatures can and do exceed 50 degrees. If you are not one of those people able to participate in the mass expat exodus, summer can be a particularly long and difficult time, especially with a newborn! So here are my top tips for surviving a Middle Eastern Summer with a new baby!
What to do with your baby in the summer
Make malls your friend!
I think there are two kinds of people in this world – those that like shopping and those that don’t! I am definitely in the latter of these groups but living in the Middle East, especially in the Summer, you learn to embrace the mall! Not necessarily for shopping but as one of the few places you can go for a walk during the daytime. Many malls in Qatar try to encourage residents to walk 10K steps a day and have routes to achieve this. Ok, I know, it’s not the most riveting walk you will ever go on but it is at least a chance to stretch your legs and have a change of scenery!
Find local groups
While you are stuck at home with your newborn, it can feel like you are the only new mother who hasn’t escaped to cooler climbs but this isn’t the case. You just have to know where to find them. Scope out any local mother and baby groups and go along to one of their events. Let’s face it at this point, outings are more for your sanity than baby’s development so go out there and meet new people.
Become nocturnal (ish)
Ok – this is a piece of advice that I struggle to follow. Baby E is a baby who loves her routine and we have got bedtime down to a tee! I am reticent to change anything that may mess up her sleep schedule but I know other mothers who this has worked a charm for. You will find that many venues in the Middle East only come alive at night – particularly places like the Souq! So do as the locals do and take advantage of the cooler night temperatures! The times we have done it we have had great fun!
Enjoy some culture
Aside from malls, the other thing Qatar is investing is in culture as part of its 2030 vision. There are several great museums in Qatar that you can visit during the summer. The Muesum of Islamic Art and Mathaf are must sees while in Qatar.
Take advantage of baby’s portability and treat yourself!
It seems hard I know, surviving summer with a newborn but I am pretty sure it only gets more difficult as baby gets older and requires constant entertainment. So why not take advantage of the portability and relative immobility of baby and indulge in some indoor entertainment for yourself. My favourites so far have been indulging in afternoon tea at the Four Seasons (see our review) and an array of business lunches at some of Doha’s finest hotels.
What advice do you have for mothers with newborns for surviving the Middle East summer?