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Thursday, July 29, 2021

Doha’s Pearls: Top Destinations

If you’re a fanatic of soccer and are planning to attend the 2022 FIFA World Cup, then you’d better not go to Doha just for the sport or you’re just plain crazy. Aside from the affluent sports cars and the towering skyscrapers, there is a whole lot more to encounter in Qatar’s metropolis. Here’s a few.

The first thing to do upon arrival is to grasp the subtlety of the fusion of deserts and a city. Ride a dhow cruise, a local boat typical in the Indian Ocean, and ferry across the Doha Corniche during night time to witness the urban lights of the metropolitan. It seems that it is not so popular for the visitors to do the dhow cruise yet in Doha.  I should have done this when I was in Qatar.  Also, if you fancy the majesty of deserts because of the movie ‘Aladdin’, then a desert safari far from the high-rises is ideal for you.

Because of the rapid modernization of Qatar, the Arabian lifestyle is steadily disappearing. So how can we still experience this? Fortunately, at the heart of Doha lies the more than a 100-year-old Souq Waqif or ‘standing market‘. It’s an open marketplace which sells distinct local products such as spices, clothing, pets and etc. Watch out for its occasional art galleries, festivals and concerts!

The historical Persian Gulf surrounding the city has been a prime melting pot of civilizations for thousands of years. The Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art and the Qatar National Museum will take you through the evolution of Qatar’s politics and culture.

Lastly, the most astonishing feature of the topography of Doha is the Pearl. It is a land reclamation effort for residential and tourism purposes and is situated on the coastline of the Persian Gulf. The islands in it have unique themes such as its Qanat Quartier which emulates the canals of Venice. Foreigners can actually reside in the Pearl permanently.

Doha isn’t just rich because of its country’s oil reserves. It has these landmarks which epitomize the gilded culture and history of Qatar.

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