Qatar has long been one of the most popular tourist destinations not only in the Middle East but also in the world, and we can safely say that the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has renewed its status on the top places to visit list. Despite being such a small country, Qatar has a lot of tourist attractions ranging from long-rooted history with a colonial footprint to a hyper modern city — Doha — with jaw-dropping skyscrapers and architectural marvels. If you have plans to visit Qatar ahead of or during the FIFA games, you may consider our 10 best places to visit in Qatar to make the best out of your trip.
- The Pearl Qatar — This is what luxury feels like
- Souq Waqif — Visit to medieval marketplace
- National Museum of Qatar — Where the real treasure is kept
- State Grand Mosque – Transcendent Islamic architecture
- Katara Cultural Village — Enjoy Qatar’s cultural heritage
- Lusail Iconic Stadium — Centerpiece of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
- The Doha Corniche — There is something for everyone
- Khor Al Udaid Beach — Harmony between desert and sea
- Film City — Mystery lies ahead
- Qatar National Library — Bookworm’s heaven
1. The Pearl Qatar
The Pearl Qatar, Doha.
Filled with luxurious hotels, residential buildings, world-class restaurants as well as cafes, The Pearl is one of the largest man-made structures in Qatar built on reclaimed land from the sea. The area welcomes anyone who enjoys feasting their eyes on extravagant lifestyle, spoiling themselves or loved ones with luxurious items or simply wants to grab a bite and have a sip of coffee in a tourist-friendly neighborhood. What’s more, the harbor shelters tons of expensive yachts – something that superyachts fans may find attractive during their stay in Doha.
2. Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif market, Doha.
Thanks to its traditional architecture and mud-daubed buildings, the Souq Waqif remains one of the most popular places to visit in Qatar for both tourists and locals. Although the market boasts its gold, garments, herbs and all sorts of retail shops, this place offers a lot more activities than just trading merchants. Let’s count a few things that everyone enjoys doing at Souq Waqif:
- Dining – what kind of marketplace would it be if there are no eateries at people’s service!
- Hanging out – If you want to chill like locals, coffee shops and diners are the first choice.
- Festivities – If you haven’t watched any local or regional street performances, the Souq Waqif got you covered.
- Falcons – Yes! Owning and training falcons are a Qatari tradition which locals take pride in, and they are very good at it. You have a chance to witness these majestic birds’ special bond with humans while being the ruler of the skies.
- Visiting Fanar – Once the largest mosque in the city, the building has a spiral shape with a lighthouse on top that attracts people to the market area day and night.
- Souvenirs – If you would like to share your wonderful trip experience with friends and family, don’t forget to grab a souvenir or two when you visit the Souq Waqif.
3. National Museum of Qatar
The National Museum of Qatar, Doha.
If we were allowed to describe only one place with the word “unique” among all other tourist attractions in Qatar, The National Museum of Qatar would definitely be the winner. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, its structure is meant to symbolize the combination of desert and modernity which is embodied remarkably. Both exteriors and interiors of the building evokes a feeling of otherworldly design that is beyond expectations of any visitor. Apart from its extraordinary structure, the museum displays exhibits from all that are considered historic, rare and artistic including archeological artifacts as well as limited car models.
4. State Grand Mosque
The State Grand Mosque, Doha.
When talking about a Muslim majority country, it is impossible to turn a blind eye on astonishing mosques that are not only places of worship but also tourist attractions, and Qatar is no exception. The State Grand Mosque has always been one of the must-see places to visit in Qatar for a reason as it represents a perfect blend of traditional and modern architecture with gleaming patterns. These patterns become even more mesmerizing when the mosque along with its minaret and huge front yard glows under the dim lights from different angles at night.
5. Katara Cultural Village
Amphitheatre in Katara Cultural Village, Doha (Source)
Don’t let the title “village” discourage you, before you read this one! The Katara Cultural Village is brimful of many architectural jewels that demonstrate the combination of culture, religion and modernity. Nestled between the gleaming financial district of West Bay, and the half-moon towers of The Pearl residential neighborhood, most of Katara edifices are designed and built by acclaimed architects such as Zeynep Fadilloglu that will leave you astonished. This place is huge and one or two days may not be enough to cover them all so here are our honorable mentions that you should definitely check out in case you are time-constrained:
- The Gold Mosque
- The Amphitheatre
- 21 High Street
- Al Thuraya Planetarium
6. Lusail Iconic Stadium
Lusail Icon Stadium, Doha (Source)
Expected to host 10 games, the Lusail Iconic Stadium is one of the amazing gifts that has come along with the World Cup 2022. Apart from its awe-inspiring outer appearance, it can accommodate 80,000 seats and is cooled with solar power, following the zero carbon emissions policy set by the Qatari government. SInce the arena is located in Lusail City that is specifically designed to attract and entertain tourists during and after the World Cup games, visitors can keep themselves busy all around while they wait for the matches or simply go sightseeing.
7. The Doha Corniche
The Doha Corniche, Doha
If you have searched Qatar or Doha on the internet, then you have probably come across this place before. That panoramic city view from the Doha Bay captures the entirety of the Doha Corniche — the splendid 7-kilometer palm-lined promenade. The area attracts all sorts of visitors such as Qataris, tourists and expats alike – there is something for everyone to take part in. The wide boulevard is a haven for morning joggers and strollers while restaurants, clubs and parks around are an ultimate attraction to spend some quality time. If you want to go for a sail to enjoy fresh sea air and see the famous city view for yourself, you can hire or rent a boat nearby at Dhow Harbour as well.
8. Khor Al Udaid Beach
Khor Al Ubaid Beach, Qatar (Source)
Contemporary high-rise buildings of modern cities often overshadow the true beauty of nature that surrounds them, and we can speak similarly of Qatar and its unexplored vicinity such as Khor Al Udaid Beach. If you ever get bored of the hectic and fast-paced Doha life-style, then this is a perfect place to take some time off. Less than a hundred kilometers to the south east of Doha, you can find a dazzling landscape where opposing elements of nature – desert and sea – meet in harmony and peace. The view gets even more spectacular when water tides crawl towards the desert in the morning and form what is called “the inland sea”. In the afternoon, sand dunes reflect the light with magical colors while the sun sets beyond the sea.
9. Film City
Film City, Doha
The following location has gained quite popularity in recent years and is becoming one of the top places to visit in Qatar. Film City — a few also call it Cinema City — has a mysterious backstory and it is probably one of the reasons why people are drawn to this place. According to some people, this small town was built as a set to shoot movies and TV series a while ago, however everything was halted in the middle and all equipment was moved out. Here comes the full disclaimer: no one really knows what was and is behind this whole story. Nevertheless, the so-called city hasn’t been explored by many yet and has an intriguing vibe, something that tourists chase after.
10. Qatar National Library
Qatar National Library, Doha (Source)
What better place can there be than a library to spend your vacation if you are a book lover! The Qatar National Library has a massive collection of rare documents and manuscripts, books and periodicals in many European and Asian languages while being equipped with an automated book sorting system that allows patrons to find and access books conveniently.
Mathieu, RMC Asia’s Key Account Manager, with participants of University Campus Visit & Career Fair in Mediterranean School in Bali, Indonesia.
Aside from the FIFA World Cup 2022 coming up, Qatar is a beautiful country with a lot to offer, and it is definitely worth visiting at least once if not more. Hence, we have established partnerships with 5-star hotels such as Mondrian Doha and The Outpost Al Barari Resort to create opportunities for current and newly graduated students to work and explore Qatar in person. As always, our partners are renowned hotels with a strong reputation in the hospitality industry and their expertise as well as their knowledge will certainly have a positive impact on the professional and personal growth of any individual who wishes to join them. So we highly encourage young, passionate and enthusiastic talents to check out our Work & Travel Asia, Hospitality & Business Internship and Management Training programs although they have to fulfill certain requirements to be selected. Who knows, maybe you will be the lucky one to participate in our programs and learn valuable hospitality skills while enjoying Qatar to the fullest!