WHY TO VISIT QATAR
The capital, Doha, offers the traveler its white houses and mosques, besides its coastline bordered by palm trees and gardens, but also its ultra-modern buildings. You can take a stroll along the corniche or stroll through the parks or visit the various museums: Museum of Islamic Art, Museum of Orientalists and Museum of Modern Art. Do not miss a visit to the souk of the old town. On the modern city side, the set of artificial islands The Pearl testifies, among other places, the wealth of this part of the city.
Qatar is also home to picturesque villages, between seaside and mangroves, beaches and deserts, and even an inland sea to the south-east, hard to imagine when you are in the futuristic environment of Doha. You will discover Al Khor, its park and its mosques, Zubara and its fort, Dhakira and the fishing villages around. The island of Shara'o has very beautiful beaches and seabed ideal for diving.
The mosques and forts are the unmissable monuments that you can admire in Qatar, throughout its territory.
The activities to be practiced: treks or safaris in 4X4 in the desert parts (80% of the country), with bivouac in the desert, various water sports like sailing and kite-surfing, or simply bathing.
Also interested in crafts, through pottery and sculptures, drawings, paintings, but also traditional jewelry, necklaces or gold bracelets, often magnificent.
Finally you will be able to attend races of horses or dromedaries, or demonstrations of falconry: not to be missed!
WHAT TO SEE IN QATAR
Top destination in Qatar are:
- Doha desert
- Al Jassasiya
- Al Wakra
- Al- Ruwais
- Umm Salal Mohammed
- Al Areesh & Al Jumail abandoned cities
WHEN TO GO TO QATAR
Best period to visit Qatar is from November and April, where the temperatures are milder. The period from June to October is very heavy, with high temperatures (up to 50 ° C) and high humidity.
Following a list of typical festival and celebrations of Qatar .
- Eid: This is the festival that immediately follows Ramadan. It usually falls in the month of August or September, and is celebrated across the country. However, Doha certainly offers the more festive atmosphere. Feasts, dancing, and performances are usually held during the event.
- Ramadan: The Islamic month of fasting, called Ramadan, is an important time of the year in Qatar. During the daylight hours, the country is relatively quiet. However, when the sun goes down, fasting is put aside, and locals enjoy a celebratory atmosphere almost every night of the week. Families are often eating feasts, and several areas around the capital city, Doha, are important spots for celebrations. Ramadan usually falls between mid-August and early September.
- Art Festival of Qatar: Local artists are extremely talented, so Qatar puts on the Art Festival each December. Many of the art galleries and museums hold exhibitions during the event to showcase local artistic talent. The event also includes artists from nearby Arabic nations, including the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
- Doha Cultural Festival: During the month of March each year, the capital city of Qatar is home to the Cultural Festival. Attracting thousands of visitors annually, this important festival showcases the cultural uniqueness of the area. Traditional music, dance, costumes, and cuisine are mostly found throughout the event.
- Doha Tribeca Film Festival: The Doha Tribeca Film Festival is one of the Middle East’s most impressive international events. Film enthusiasts, actors, critics, and directors come from across the globe to enjoy this yearly event, which is held in the month of October across Doha. It lasts for a total of five days and only began in 2009. Nevertheless, it has quickly grown into a reputable global film festival.
- Qatar Marine Festival: Beginning in 2010, the Qatar Marine Festival occurs in the month of March each year. It is held at the famous Katara Cultural Village along the Doha seafront. Musical performances, seal shows, aquatic animal displays, and many other features are found at the event. Every year, this interesting festival keeps getting bigger and bigger.
- Qatar Masters Golf Tournament: In February, the Doha Golf Club plays host to the Qatar Masters Golf Tournament. Many of the world’s best professional golfers flock to Doha to compete in this tournament, which has been operating since 1998. Thousands of visitors come to the capital of Qatar for this event too. Doha accommodation should be booked in advance, as the Masters Tournament is quite a reputable event drawing in many thousands of spectators.
- Qatar Open Tennis Tournament: Played at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, the Qatar Open Tennis Tournament is a popular tennis event, held in January. Many of the sport’s biggest names come to Doha to compete in the event, which means thousands of tennis-lovers also make their way to the Qatari capital. Roger Federer is a yearly competitor at the Qatar Tennis Open.
- Annual Doha Cultural Festival: The Doha Cultural Festival is held in March and is the biggest event of its kind, attracting hundreds of tourists every year into Qatar. The event showcases the cultural aspect of the region. The event is held under the guidance of H.H. Al Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, the Prince of Qatar.
- Doha International Trade Fair: The Doha International Trade Fair is an annual event in Qatar held at Qatar International Exhibitions Center, Doha. The one-week event involves participation of traders from across the globe. The event has helped in promoting Qatar further as a tourist destination.
- Garangao Children Festival: Garangao children festival is traditionally celebrated throughout the Middle East after breaking of the fast on the 14th of Ramadan and will be marked in Qatar with weeklong festivities.
Annual Halal Hal Qatar Festival: The annual Halal Qatar Festival, which is held in the southern area of Katara cultural village every year in March, features animal husbandry, the practice of selectively raising and breeding livestock, their health and care.
- IAAF Diamond League: The IAAF Diamond League is a series of track and field event held from 2010 onwards at Qatar Sports Club Stadium in Doha. The IAAF Diamond League is a precious asset for the IAAF and the League is now in its fifth season.
Kite Festival: The International Kite Festival takes place in katara, Doha and attracts visitors from many international destinations with 2 days of frenziedly wind-driven flying, culture and art, both ground-based and air-based.
- Losail International Circuit: Lusail International Circuit (also Losail International Circuit) is a motor racing circuit located on the coast, in the northern part of the municipality of Al Daayen, 23 km north of Doha.
- Doha International Book Fair: Wherever the visitors go in Doha they can take notice of "Qatar national vision 2030." The country is organizing itself for the transfer from a carbon-based economy to a knowledge based economy. Literacy is already 97%, but Qatar government plans for 100%.
- The Qatar International Food Festival: The Qatar international food festival (QIFF) brings together the world’s best culinary cultures in an exceptional event that reflects Qatar’s diversity and thriving culture. The event showcases the world class hospitality and food services Qatar has to offer with a long weekend of gastronomic alfresco eating and drinking as well as family fun and entertainment.
- National Day: on 18 December. A festival honouring Sheikh Jassem bin Mohammed bin Thani, considered the father of the country. The day is a national bank holiday, ending with spectacular fireworks displays in cities around the country.
- The Emir’s GCC Camel Race: The biggest event in the camel-racing calendar, hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators flock to the Al Shahaniya camel-racing track, around 45 minutes drive north of Doha.
Souq Waqif Spring Festival: This family festival that brings together street performers, puppet and musical shows, along with African circus performers, magicians and a range of slightly surreal one-off events, including a human cannonball and bungee jumping.
- Run The World Festival: A weeklong set of events, competitions, festival, and conferences that connect the youth of Qatar together in a celebration of the country’s achievements. The theme of this year’s festival is youth and sports.
HOW TO REACH AND TRAVEL THROUGH QATAR
Many airlines serve Qatar (including Qatar Airways, one of the best airlines in the world), and you will land at Doha Airport, 8 km from the city center, to be reached by taxi. To move around the country, the car (and especially the SUV) is the most convenient means of transport. There is very little public transport even in Doha, so taxis are preferred, especially since they are very affordable.
by plane, main airports are:
- Al Khor
GENERAL INFORMATION ON QATAR
country entry requirements: passport + visa (check your visa requirements)
health tips & vaccination:
local currency: Qatari Riyal
local time zone: GMT+3
electricity: type D and G (240 V, 50 Hz)
mobile phone operators:
WHAT TO DO IN QATAR
typical food in Qatar
- Shawarma: thinly sliced cuts of meat, like chicken, beef, goat, lamb, rolled into a large piece of flatbread
- Taamiyeh: deep-fried balls of mashed chickpeas
- Kabsa: a traditional dish of rice with chicken
- Harees: a traditional Qatari wheat and meat pudding
- Mashboos: slow-cooked mutton served with spiced rice
- Thareed: stewed chicken or lamb, with tomato sauce, vegetables and spices
- Harees: wheat cooked with meat then mashed, usually topped with cinnamon sugar
- Balaleet: sweet saffron noodles served with a savory omelet on top
- Mahalabiya: pudding dessert made from ground rice milk
- Saloona: spicy meat and/or vegetable broth. It usually contains lots of tomatoes, aubergine, carrots and potatoes. It can be eaten by itself or you can have it with rice.
- Margoog: dish made with zucchini, carrots, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes and tenderised meat
- Madrouba: rice cooked with milk, butter and flavoured with cardamom. The meat is stewed along with mashed beans.
- Luqaimat: deep fried dough dipped in syrup or honey
souvenirs from Qatar
- deluxe items and electronic devices
- spices, dried fruits, nuts, halva
- embroidered clothes
- carpets and rugs
- Shisha pipes
- gold jewellery
- fabrics and textiles
- falcon's talon
- shawls and pashminas
- prayer beads
- clay money pots
- Traditional clothing: Abaya and Shayla fro womens and Thobe, Igal and Guttra for men, Gahfiya hat, Jalabiya, garment for sleeping
- onyx handiwork
- wooden mother-pearls boxes
- Ardha (Traditional sword dance performed at celebrations)
- bronze ornaments
- pottery, Dullah coffee sets and incense burners
Hello: مرحبا (marhba)
Goodbye: وداعا (wadaeaan)
How are you?: كيف حالك؟ (kayf halk?)
Thank you: شكرا (shukraan)
What is your name?: ما اسمك؟ (ma asmak)
How much is it?: كم سعره؟ (kam saerha?)
Sorry: معذرة (maedhira)