Qatar has been a major tourist destination in the Middle East since 1989, thanks to its flourishing capital city, Doha. With its ultra-deluxe malls, mesmerizing tapering skyscrapers and buzzing shopping scene, the city of Doha truly makes a fine stopover, for anyone visiting the Gulf region, especially to those who are fond of shopping. But, there is more to this Middle Eastern destination than a lavish shopping spree.
Qatar, with its melodious sand dunes, stunning seascapes, historic forts and heritage souqs, offers a superb first taste to the world of Arabs, but without the hostilities that are often associated with the countries in the Middle East region.
Photo by Joi Ito
Qatar Tourist Spots and Attractions
Planning on visiting this beautiful and peaceful Gulf destination? If your answer is a big ‘yes’, then you might want to take a look at these suggestions and tips. Here are some places to visit in Qatar.
Museum of Islamic Art
Opening its doors to the public in 2008, Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art is one of the latest additions to the city’s endless collection of spectacles. Yet, surprisingly, it has become one of the most celebrated and beloved tourist attractions in all of Qatar. A striking highlight in Doha’s skyline, the Museum of Islamic Art is truly a breathtaking sight that epitomizes Islamic art’s full scope from three continents over a thousand years. Designed by the world-famous I.M. Pei (a genius in modern architecture), this architectural jewel also showcases a plethora of Islamic art masterpieces, including glass, textiles, woodwork, jewelry, ceramics and metalwork.
Looking for a perfect place to camp for a weekend in Qatar? Rent a sturdy 4WD vehicle, and make your way to Bir Zekreet, which is located on Qatar’s opposite coast. Known as the ultimate Qatari beach destination, this city is also enclosed by a desert, allowing its visitors to find desert mushrooms and sand dunes. Aside from camping and desert activities, the city also boasts a couple of intriguing attractions nearby, namely an old movie set and a wild deer reserve.
Khor Al Adaid
The Khor Al Adaid, or also referred as the Inland Sea, is a one-of-a-kind natural wonder that you should visit, when traveling to Qatar. Nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Khor Al Adaid is an awe-inspiring landscape with a diverse backdrop of undeveloped and exceptional natural beauty. A godsend for nature lovers and sightseers, the place is a terrific place for nature photography as well as enjoying outdoor activities like sand skiing and camel riding.
State Grand Mosque
No trip to Qatar is complete without a quick visit to the country’s largest mosque, the State Grand Mosque. Famous for its sophisticated style and design, the State Grand Mosque will overwhelm you not only with its impressive sheer size, but with its charming minimal decorative designs, excellent finishing and fancy chandeliers as well.
The Aspire Zone is a massive state-of-the-art sporting complex that exhibits some of the finest sporting facilities and stadiums in the world, making it a perfect venue for international and local events. Furthermore, it is a host to a handful of shopping centers, such as the trendy and artfully designed Villagio Mall, which was inspired from grandeur and style of Venice.