Doha may not be the first place to spring to mind if you’re dreaming of a luxury getaway in an exotic location, but it would be a mistake to disregard this rising star of the Persian Gulf. In recent years, Doha has developed rapidly, becoming a cosmopolitan hotspot for large businesses and tourists alike. With reliably hot weather and a host of stunning hotels such as the Kempinski Hotel Doha, it’s not hard to see why the Qatari capital has become such a popular destination. Moreover, the city boasts plenty of other cultural offerings and activities to keep you entertained. To inspire your trip, here’s my pick of five things to do to have an unforgettable luxurious getaway in Doha.
For a taste of pure Middle Eastern culture head to Souq Waqif, the oldest marketplace in the city. There’s been a souq on this spot for at least 250 years, so whilst enjoying shopping for traditional wares, you’ll also get to appreciate the historical background of the city. Even if you don’t intend to buy anything, it’s easy to spend a day exploring the many stores in this labyrinthine souk, selling everything from luxurious fabrics to spices and jewellery.
Museum of Islamic Art
As much a landmark for its breathtaking architecture as the works of art it contains, the Museum of Islamic Art is an absolute must for any visitor of Doha. Designed by I M Pei (the architect who created the acclaimed glass pyramid of the Louvre in Paris), this stunning building houses art from all parts of the Middle East. The museum also hosts many workshops for adults and for children, so be sure to check what’s on when you’re planning a visit.
Sky View Bar
Sip on a delicious cocktail whilst taking in the best possible view of the city at Sky View bar in the La Cigale hotel. Perched on the hotel’s fifteenth floor and overlooking all of Doha, this sophisticated outdoor lounge has very quickly become a favourite venue for locals and tourists alike. Be sure to try one of the bar’s speciality cocktails and stick around for one of Sky View’s iconic light shows. The night views of the Doha skyline are seriously mind-blowing!
If you want to get a real taste of Arabic/Lebanese cuisine, then it’s best to go where the locals go. On arriving in Layali restaurant, the buzzing atmosphere will tell you that you’ve found the right place. Expect excellent service, moderate prices, and a menu of homemade breads, juicy meat kebabs and fresh fish. Be sure to save some room for dessert though, as the menu of delicious sweet treats is guaranteed to please. Layali has been awarded Qatar’s Best Arabic Cuisine restaurant twice in recent years.
Khor Al Udeid
More than just a haven for sun-seekers, Doha is a great place to visit if you’re a fan of active holidays. If you’ve ever dreamed of going on a desert adventure then a trip to Khor Al Udeid is a must. Plenty of tour companies in Doha provide desert safari trips to Khor Al Udeid ranging from short car-rides over the beautiful dunes (or dune-bashing), to camel treks and camping trips for multiple nights in Bedouin-style tents. There are also plenty of fun things to do when you get there such as sand-surfing, swimming and snorkelling/diving in the gorgeous inland sea.
Note: this post was brought to you in partnership with Kempinski Hotels.