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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.

IF YOU WANT TO RELAX

  • Rise and Spa. Inspired by the abundant elements found in the Arabian Gulf, The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Doha offers a variety of holistic treatments exclusive to Doha’s natural environment. The Signature Pearl Body Scrub blends crushed natural Qatari pearls and sea salt to exfoliate and rejuvenate your skin after spending time in the desert sun.
  • The Beach Beckons. Head just north of Doha’s city center to Katara Beach, a popular spot for locals and visitors. It may only be one mile long, but it offers a plethora of water activities like pedal boats, kayaking, water-skiing, canoeing and parasailing. After beach time is over, take a stroll through the neighboring Katara Cultural Village for a peek into Qatari traditions, theater, art and architecture.
  • The Freshest Fare. Have a late lunch at L’Wazzar for an unforgettable ocean-to-table feast. With seafood selections caught straight from the neighboring Dhow Harbour, this is about as fresh it gets. Choose from the catches of the day and have it cooked to your liking, in any style — Mediterranean, Arabic or Japanese.
  • Enjoy a Nightcap. Retreat back to The Ritz-Carlton, Doha and close out your evening at Habanos, where perfect martinis, hand-rolled cigars and live music are on the menu.

IF YOU WANT TO EXPLORE

  • Fuel Up. Head down to the Lobby Lounge for a light breakfast and specialty coffee before you set out to explore the city. The warmth of Arabic hospitality will set the perfect tone for the rest of your day.
  • A Cultural Treasure. Head to “Souq Waqif” for an authentic cultural experience. Avoiding near demolition, this centuries-old marketplace was restored in 2004 to reflect and uphold traditional Qatari architecture. Stroll through its winding pathways, taking time to peruse the local goods — spices, jewelry, lamps, clothes, crafts, and even falcons can be found here. Along the way, don’t miss the tucked-away art galleries, restaurants and cafés.
  • Explore an Architectural Gem. Though this impressive museum houses more than 750 artifacts from Islamic history, the Museum of Islamic Art is most famous for its architecture. Legendary architect I.M. Pei came out of retirement to build the five-story, dome-topped building that is a masterpiece inside and out.
  • A Night at the Museum. One of Doha’s best restaurants, Idam, is on the top floor of the Museum of Islamic Art. Step into the striking atmosphere designed by Philippe Starck and, if you can, sit by the window to overlook the Doha skyline. Then, get ready for a culinary treat: Idam is Alain Ducasse’s first restaurant in the Middle East. For the menu, the French chef has reimagined traditional French foods with a Middle Eastern influence: potatoes infused with saffron, Egyptian rice cooked in a clay pot, and camel served with “foie gras” and black truffle.