Explore a world of quaint Arabian charm and wonder, steeped in centuries of grand Qatari tradition. From the beautiful palm-fringed shores of Corniche Bay on the Gulf, to the golden, rugged sands surrounding the Inland Sea, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha is the perfect place to discover all that this desert paradise has to offer.
It is the one place in Qatar where you can find anything and everything. Made up of a large labyrinth of alleyways lined with various shops, the popular souq is a feast for the senses. It houses traditional Arabian and international essentials including perfumes, spices, incense, 'bokhur' and sweets. Ornaments crafted in various fashions and all kinds of wares, clothing, carpets and edibles are elaborately displayed.
Nestled in their own dedicated area, spice traders further enhance the unique atmosphere of the souq by displaying aromatic ground spices in boxes, sacks and huge tubs. The quiet but stimulating surroundings of Waqif Souq stretch its hospitable arms in a traditional warm welcome to Doha visitors.
Lagoona Shopping Mall
In a region that’s becoming accustomed to world-class shopping avenues and boulevards, Lagoona in Qatar’s capital city Doha, stands out with its unique air of timeless elegance. With a new philosophy in style and structure…unhurried, unforced, unparalleled.
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Villagio is a shopping mall situated between Khalifa Stadium and Hyatt plaza in Doha. It is currently closed for renovation.
It hosts a Carrefour supermarket and loads of other shopping centers that showcase delightful wares and domestic accessories. Shops like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Louis Vuitton and Ralph Lauren are spots in Villagio that can make your shopping experience a delightful one. Villagio has an Italian theme with a simulated sky that represents different times of the day – so you can see sunset, night (complete with street lamps) and day.
The icing on the cake for this mall is the canal that runs through the centre, complete with gondola. Bridges cross over the canal, and comfortable chairs line in rows for you to rest your feet. Villagio is currently the country’s largest mall.
Khor Al Adaid
Qatar’s finest natural treasure, the Inland Sea, better known as Khor Al Adaid, provides breathtaking and endless views of beautiful sand dunes from which the sea suddenly appears, offering a unique glimpse of the Qatari/Saudi border.
The Doha Golf Club
Home to the European PGA Tour's Qatar Masters, the course features a challenging championship course, a floodlit nine-hole academy course, and teaching facilities where golfers of all skill levels will be able to improve their game. Among the finest golf facilities in the region, the course, with the largest driving range in the Middle East, is just five minutes drive from The Ritz-Carlton, Doha
120 km/60 minutes
This former center for pearl fishing has a small regional museum housed in the old police station displaying archeological discoveries and the early appearance of Al Khor. With its large public gardens, the sheltered Corniche area and a beach, it is perfect for picnickers. The Al Khor museum lies in Al Khor town about 57 km north of Doha and is a two-story building, with the ground floor dedicated to anthropological life, and the upper floor hall dedicated to the display of excavation discoveries in the Al Khor area.
Katara Cultural Village
The Cultural Village Foundation "Katara" aims to contribute to raise the cultural movement in Qatar and to promote and highlight the creative energies through the management of its different buildings and facilities. Katara strives to provide a suitable environment for caring and activation of cultural and creative intellectual and artistic activities. It’s a forum for artists and intellectuals, the center for the promotion of cultural awareness through festivals, exhibitions, symposiums, concerts, and all kinds of artistic expressions.
Umm Salal Mohammed Fort
60 km/30 minutes
Located in the Umm Salal Mohammad area north of Doha, this fort distinguishable by its high thick walls and impressive façade. Inside, you will find several examples of indigenous architecture and decorative elements. This impressive residential fort dates back to the late 19th century.
With its high towers and thick walls, Al-Wajba Fort was the site of one of the country’s most famous battles and is considered the oldest fort in Qatar.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
The story of Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art begins more than twenty years ago, when the founder H.E. Sheikh Hassan bin Mohamed bin Ali Al Thani first began to imagine what an Arab Museum of Modern Art might look like. He started to build a collection that could serve artists and public as a rich and representative treasure-house of modern Arab art. And he saw this collection as a starting point, to create more opportunities for artists and for art-lovers in Doha and around the world.
Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art houses a magnificent collection of artworks dating from the 7th to the 19th century, representing the full scope of Islamic art. It includes manuscripts, ceramics, metal, glass, ivory, textiles, wood and precious stones from the three continents. The building, an architectural masterpiece, was designed by Pritzker Prize laureate, I.M. Pei.
40 km / 20 minutes
This museum pays homage to the daily lifestyle of Qatari families. Situated on Grand Hamad Street, this building is the last remaining construction of its kind in Doha. The museum is open Sunday - Tuesday from 9 a.m. - Noon and from 3 - 6 p.m. and closes on Saturdays. On Fridays it is open from 3 - 6 p.m. only. Admission is free.
40 km / 20 minutes
Located in the Al Lagta area of the Doha suburbs, this Gulf region museum is unique both in its specialization and the variety of its displays, currently numbering more than 2,315 items. The collection contains rare samples of swords, daggers, Gulf and Arab guns and miscellaneous firearms and their accessories.
Still the top destination to have a walk, Doha's famous 8 km-long Corniche offers panoramic view of the capital. Overshadowed by palm trees, this promenade is well appreciated as night, when the lights of Doha’s skyline reflect across Doha Bay, from the Museum of Islamic Art to the business district of West Bay.
The landscaped waterfront provides paved and grassed areas that are popular with walkers, joggers and picnickers. Several hotels, government ministries and the Emir’s working palace are located along the route, and opposite the Diwan, traditional wooden boats are moored in the fishing harbor.
At the harbor entrance is an attractive fountain in the shape of a pearl oyster, a reminder of Qatar’s pearling heritage. Also accessed from the Corniche are the Museum of Islamic Art , Souq Waqif , the main souq areas, Al Rumeila Park and the Qatar National Theatre.
There are numerous benches dotted along the Corniche, and the sea wall is also of a convenient height to sit on. The paved areas are wheelchair-friendly. Car parking is available along the entire length of the Corniche, and the car park close to the Sheraton Doha Hotel & Resort has restrooms and a small cafeteria.
This park is one of several in which the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning and ICT Qatar introduced free Wi-Fi access in 2007 as part of its ‘iPark’ initiative.
Powerboat championships and sailing regattas are held in Doha Bay and the Corniche is the ideal place to view firework displays on festive occasions.
A landscaped park on Doha Corniche with an outdoor theatre, art gallery, water features, children’s play area and skateboard/rollerblading half-pipe. There are several shops, a cafeteria and public toilets in the park which used to be known as Al Bidda Park.
Heritage Village, resembling a traditional Qatari village, showcases culture and crafts from the pre-oil period; at festival times there are exhibitions about pearling and performances of folksongs.
There is free Wi-Fi access; parking is available on both sides of the park, which is at its busiest in the evenings and weekends. The Gallery is open 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily (entrance is free).
Dahl Al Hammam Park
The park, off Arab League and Al Markhiya Streets in the Medinat Khalifa North area of Doha, is named after the nearby limestone cavern which has a small freshwater lake in the bottom, linked to the sea by a series of underground caves and tunnels. The park has a substantial children’s play area and free Wi-Fi access.
Located behind the Hyatt Plaza, the Villagio Mall and Aspire Zone, this park is a favorite for joggers and families. With the only lake in Qatar, a small hill and various kinds of trees, it is a unique place to relax, whether you stay in the coffee shop or just enjoy the lawn.
Searching for wildlife in Qatar’s deserts can be difficult as the animals blend in so well with the sand and rocks that they are hard to spot.
Home to more than 1,500 animals belonging to 147 species from all over the world, the 42-hectare Doha Zoo on Al Furousiya St represents a miniature animal kingdom, and is a great opportunity to see the region’s desert creatures alongside traditional zoo animals. New species are regularly introduced through a number of international zoo exchange programs.
There is a children’s play area, a cafeteria, and lush landscaped areas with plenty of shade, making it an ideal spot for a picnic. The Zoo is open 8 am – 12 pm and 2:30 pm – 7:30 pm daily (closed Friday mornings). School groups are welcome in the mornings; Tuesday afternoons are for ladies and children only (boys must be under nine years old); and Wednesday afternoons are reserved for families. Hours may vary throughout the year, so check by calling 4468 2610.
The Pearl Qatar
The Pearl-Qatar is a unique development in a relaxed, friendly and exclusive environment with marina, a wide array of restaurant choices and luxury shopping opportunities. This is the Middle East's most glamorous address where Pearlesque names, crafted from an intriguing mix of Italian, French, Spanish and Arabic, summon up the charm of the old world, and the spirit of the new.
The low salt flats near Al Shahaniya and north of the Saudi border are collecting grounds for those willing to dig for the attractive gypsum formations known as ‘desert roses’.
The Singing Sand Dunes
40 km southwest of Doha
There are certain conditions in which the movement of sand grains can create a low murmur or ‘singing’ – a phenomenon often reported by desert explorers. Qatar is fortunate in having sand with the right abrasive qualities in an area that also experiences the necessary wind and moisture conditions to create this wonderful if weird effect. While the ‘singing’ occurs naturally, it can be triggered by sliding down the face of the dune or running along its crest, whereupon each footstep creates a humming that cannot only be heard but also felt as a vibration through the feet.
Ras Abrouq (Bir Zekreet)
70 km West of Doha
Ras Abrouq and Bir Zekreet, a favourite spot for weekend campers, is at the very tip of a peninsula northeast of Dukhan (four-wheel-drive is required). Follow the main Doha-Dukhan road, and several kilometres past the turnoff for Al Jumailiya (about 5 km before the flyover) is a fork where the old Dukhan road veers off to the right – look out for this as there is only one sign, in Arabic. After 1.5 km, turn right onto the road that heads up the northeastern side of the Ras Abrouq peninsula, follow for about 21 km and then branch off to the left, heading up and onto the top of the jebel (hills). The track passes the wild deer reserve set up by the Supreme Council for the Environment and Natural Reserves (SCENR) and through an area that looks like a deserted village but was actually built as a film set. Notice the trees: the lower branches are ‘cropped’ in a straight line where the camels have eaten them!
After almost 9 km, an abandoned police post can be seen on top of a jebel. Go around the base and head out over the causeway on the left, leading to the tip of the peninsula. The area is full of interesting coves and bays, but the best is at the far end: a sweeping half-moon bay flanked at both ends by rocky outcrops.
Dhal Al Misfir
Dhal Al Misfir is a 40 meter deep cave formation located north of the Salwa Road, with fiberous gypsum crystal.