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Planning Your Trip

As the capital of Qatar, Doha maintains a perfect blend of modern and traditional. It boasts cosmopolitan flavor and dazzling architectural masterpieces while holding on to its rich history and local cuisine. Here’s what to pack for your trip to this exciting city.

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Business Travel

Doha is a rapidly developing city, which makes it a vibrant economic hub. But be sure to keep in mind when packing that Qatar is still a conservative country, and you’ll want to dress accordingly.

 

 

  • Though suits are rarely worn in the region, bring one for important meetings or events. Make sure it’s dark-colored and has enough ventilation for Doha’s hot climate.
  • Trousers, long-sleeved shirts and ties are standard for men.
  • For women, dresses and skirts that hit below the knee are the norm. Make sure your sleeves are at least three-quarters length and be modest with your neckline.  
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Summer Escape

Temperatures exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summers (which are long, going from May through September) while winters hover in the 60s and 70s. Maximize your comfort by packing versatile and easy separates.

 

  • A pair of flat sandals or sneakers will be best for sightseeing and partaking in water activities.
  • Don’t skimp on sun protection! Bring plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses and hats.
  • Pack modest layers (linen shirts and loose trousers) along with a few sweaters for chilly nights and air-conditioned indoors.  
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Cultural Considerations

Visitors to Qatar aren’t required to wear traditional clothing like abayas or cover their hair, but there are certain customs to follow when out in public.

 

 

  • You’ll want to bring a selection of swimsuits but keep in mind that they are only appropriate at the beach or in the resort. Walking around town in just bikinis and cover-ups is forbidden.
  • Leave low-cut shirts, strappy dresses, crop tops and shorts at home — anything too revealing can be considered disrespectful. Also, be sure hemlines fall below the knee.
  • If you must wear anything sleeveless, be sure to pack scarves or pashminas to cover your shoulders when out and about.
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Don’t Forget:

It practically never rains in Qatar, but when it does, it comes in the form of heavy thunderstorms — which can be a welcome treat in summer. Pack an umbrella to prepare for the unexpected.


From world-class museums to a diverse dining scene, Doha is a hotbed of activity and culture. Its perch on the picturesque blue waters of the Persian Gulf is an added bonus — as are the deserts nearby, from which you can fulfill your “Arabian Nights” fantasies. Below, some ideas for your itinerary.

Dining Reservations

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There is a plethora of cuisine to sample in internationally minded Doha. Start with a table at Porcini, an elegant restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha where you can sample upscale Italian fare while watching the show in the open kitchen. Indulge in fresh sea-to-table plates at L’Wzaar or go to Layali for the best Lebanese food in town (it also has live music). Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia’s Saffron is regarded as the best Indian restaurant in Doha while the Cellar is the top pick for Spanish tapas.  

Spa Appointments

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Whether you’re recovering from jetlag, prepping for your wedding day or just looking for a little downtime, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Doha should be on your must-visit list. Book a Body Experience Ritual, a 120-minute treatment that combines a detoxifying body wrap with a tailor-made massage to deeply relax, cleanse and restore both body and mind. If you need to soothe aching feet after days of sightseeing, opt for the Sole Reviver treatment, which concentrates on the reflex zones of the feet to alleviate pain.

Museum Tickets & Cultural Sights

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Qatar has a particularly elevated art cachet, thanks to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (the sister of the ruling emir), who heads Qatar Museums and is one of the world’s most influential art collectors (in her arsenal are a $300 million Gauguin and a $250 million Cézanne, among many others). The pièce de résistance is the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by the legendary I.M. Pei, who came out of retirement for the project. After perusing more than 14 centuries of Islamic art, stroll along the waterfront, the palm tree-lined Doha Corniche, and marvel at the ultra-modern skyline. For a journey back in time, head to Katara Cultural Village to see restored traditional landmarks. And don’t skip the souks hawking jewelry, incense and textiles.

Don't Forget:

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Take a break from the city and venture out into the seemingly infinite dunes of Qatar’s deserts. Your concierge at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha will help book half-day, full-day or even overnight desert safaris. Sand boarding, camel rides, barbecues and dune bashing (also known as off-roading) are some of the activities, along with a trip to the popular Inland Sea for swimming and snorkeling. For overnighters, a stylish Bedouin camp will be your home base, from which you can gaze up and see the breathtaking constellation of stars dotting the night sky.  

From modern malls to traditional souks, Doha is an innovative city that blends the past and present seamlessly. The Qatari capital is a metropolitan powerhouse in the Arab world, with an unmatched collection of Islamic art, a dominating presence on the international sporting scene and endless funds for development. So whether you’re seeking a desert adventure or want to spend time learning about Qatari culture, Doha is sure to delight.


Cultural Treasures

From the golden desert sands to the gleaming skyline, there are centuries of history to explore in Doha. Explore the contrasting architecture of modern skyscrapers and traditional mosques between trips to museums filled with world-class art and ancient artifacts. And, of course, no trip to Doha would be complete without sampling the fresh, local cuisine. While considered one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, “The City of Balance” still manages to keep it’s Qatari culture and traditional customs close to its heart.

 

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12 Hours In

Once considered a modest fishing town, Doha in the past decade has transformed into a world-class destination for business moguls and art enthusiasts alike. Short on time? Spend your day exploring the best the city has to offer or indulging in a day of relaxation. As the city will show you, the juxtaposition of modern skyscrapers and Arabian traditions proves there is no place quite like Doha.

 

 

 

 

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