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The Perfect Weekend

A visit to Doha piques all your senses. The warm sun shines down on the shores of the beach. Scents of spices and freshly baked sweets waft through the souk, where you can hear locals bartering with vendors for livestock. From elegant towering skyscrapers to whiteout museums erected on their own islands, the city has a surplus of architectural masterpieces to see. And lavish Arabic breakfasts and dinners are followed by rounds of fragrant hookah.

Day

1

MORNING
  • A Breakfast Feast

    Buzzing with energy, Saba Masah hosts many locals in the know every morning for its elaborate breakfasts. Enjoy bread with labneh (local strained yogurt) and olive oil, rice pudding with orange blossom, and other Arabic delights.

  • Wander the Array

    The Souq Waqif is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Along beautiful old narrow alleyways, vendors sell thousands of locals everything from garments and spices to musical instruments and livestock.

  • A Smooth Cup of Coffee.

    Asherg Café makes smooth, Turkish-style coffee. Ground beans are simmered, rather than roasted, in a copper cezve (pot), sugar is added, and then the grounds are allowed to sit, resulting in a richer, more complex brew.

MIDDAY
  • A Park with a View.

    Check the calendar for events at MIA Park. Take in the waterfront views of Doha from the seat of a paddleboard and don’t miss artist Richard Serra’s 80-foot steel sculpture inspired by the minarets of Afghanistan.

  • An Architectural Gem.

    One of the most stunning experiences in Doha may be your approach to The Museum of Islamic Art, which is built on its own island. Walk in, look up, and you’ll find a trippy geometric skylight designed by legendary architect I. M. Pei. The impressive collection spans three continents and 1,400 years.

AFTERNOON
  • A Moment of Pause.

    Take advantage of the baths and traditional hammam (Moroccan-style steam room) at the lavish Six Senses Spa at Sharq Village, which is full of columns, drapes, Arabic lanterns and other romantic details.

EVENING
  • Kebab by the Beach.

    A newer edition to Doha, the beachfront Mamig has an expansive menu that includes an unmissable Armenian delicacy called fishne kebab: beef grilled with caramelized cherries. Delicious vegetarian options are available as well.

  • A Smoking Good Time.

    The spacious and dimly lit Le Gourmet is an ideal spot for people-watching, especially if you secure a table on the rooftop. Enjoy the warm, breezy nights while sharing a hookah pipe full of mint, grape or apple shisha.

A vast desertscape of rolling sand dunes

Day

2

MORNING
  • A Morning Safari.

    Wake up early to enjoy the golden dunes in the cool morning. Your concierge at the Sharq Village & Spa can arrange for a safari to the gorgeous heart of the desert, known locally as the “inland sea,” where you can plow through dunes in a 4x4 and admire the endless, undulating desert.

MIDDAY
  • Stunning Skyscrapers.

    A bit like a Zeppelin stood upright on one end, the 46-floor Burj Doha glimmers in the sun thanks to a galvanized steel exterior. The design was dreamt up by acclaimed French architect Jean Nouvel as a modernized riff on ancient Islamic structures.

  • Explore the Pearl-Qatar.

    The Pearl neighborhood is built entirely on a manmade island and home to 12,000 residents as well as coffee shops, restaurants and luxury boutiques including high-end designers Loro Piana and Balenciaga.

  • Shopping and Beyond.

    To call Villaggio a shopping mall doesn’t quite do it justice. The 24.5-acre complex has 220 stores, a theme park, two skating rinks and an Imax theater. Stop by for lunch at one of its many restaurants and shop to your heart’s content.

AFTERNOON
  • An Old-School Port.

    Al Wakra was originally a point of trade for fish and pearls. Its old Qatari port remains largely unchanged, and you can still watch fishermen load and unload fish there.

  • Relax in the Sun.

    Part of what you come to Doha for is R&R. Sharq Village & Spa has a private strip of beach and opulent pools for lounging. Contact your concierge to arrange a kayak or paddleboard session during the bleeding desert sunset.

EVENING
  • Dinner by the Beach.

    Sharq Village’s beachfront Al Dana restaurant serves zesty seafood in a calming, candle-lit setting with views of the shore. Don’t miss the chili-lime oysters and tiger shrimp simmered in red curry.

  • Local Desserts.

    Al Aker Sweets stays open late for locals looking to satisfy sugar cravings with Arabic sweets. Try the exceptional kunafa, a crispy, gooey cheese pastry topped with sugary syrup, and awameh, similar to honey-covered doughnut holes.