The capital of Qatar is Doha, located on the Persian Gulf. It is the center of the country and the population is growing steadily. The cityscape is dominated by modern buildings and skyscrapers. The architecture of Doha is impressive. You can admire it best during a stroll along the elegant Corniche. Besides Doha’s modern skyline, however, the old tradition still plays a major role. Examples of this are the traditional camel market or the gold souk, where trading is a must. There are also around 700 mosques in the city, such as the Abu al-Siddiq Mosque. Doha was founded only in 1850 and only in 1916 it became the capital. At that time, however, for the protectorate of Qatar. Translated, Doha means something like “the bay”.
Tip 1: Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the great highlights of Qatar. It was built by the American-Chinese architect I. M. Pei, who also designed the pyramid at the Louvre. I. M. Pei made a special study trip through the Arab world to get a feel for the Islamic architectural forms that were unknown to him. Especially the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo, Egypt, and the Alhambra in Granada, Andalusia, were a great inspiration for his final work. With the Museum of Islamic Art, he has truly succeeded in creating a masterpiece. The museum impresses with its extravagant form.
The Museum of Islamic Art is located on a raised island off the Corniche. Important Islamic artifacts from the period between the 7th to the 19th century are displayed here. This is supplemented by regularly changing exhibitions.
There are rarely exhibitions that present their contents so beautifully and stylishly. Without distraction with the reduction to the essential. You have to see this!
Tip 2: Katara Cultural Village
Unique and very charming is the cultural project or cultural village Katara in the capital of Qatar. In any case, it is Qatar’s largest cultural project, which has set itself the goal of bringing people and their different cultures together and promoting mutual understanding and peace.
National borders are to be overcome and people from different cultural backgrounds are to live together in the future – in a peaceful, communal unity. You will find countless exhibitions and many different leisure activities in addition to traditional architecture.
In the colorful rows of houses you will find charming cafés and smart restaurants with international cuisine, several art galleries, an opera house, a cinema and even an amphitheater.
The Katara Art Center hosts various exhibitions of international artists of different disciplines: painting, photography, calligraphy or digital art. Finally, in the Katara Souq you can buy selected handicrafts – as a small souvenir to take home. The cultural village is one of the most beautiful sights in Doha.
Tip 3: Spiral Mosque
The Fanar Cultural Center and the Spiral Mosque (Qatar Islamic Culture Center & Mosque) together form a modern Islamic cultural center and are located in Doha not far from the Corniche.
The Spiral Mosque, with its unique design and beautiful minaret, can be seen from afar from Doha Bay and is considered a landmark of Doha. The mosque of the Fanar Cultural Center is currently the largest mosque in the country of Qatar.
The Fanar Cultural Center offers everyone the opportunity to learn more about Islam. Various educational opportunities are also offered on the premises, such as learning the Arabic language. At the Fanar Cultural Center, a visitor tour takes place every last Friday. It lasts about 3 hours and is free of charge for all visitors, including tourists and vacationers.
Tip 4: Corniche Qatar
For kilometers, the famous and beautiful beach promenade of Doha stretches along the, bay of the capital of Qatar. The lively neighborhood with many stores and restaurants and cafes is connected by a main road with the southern end of the city and the airport of Doha.
About 40 years ago, the city’s coastline was reshaped through extensive construction work that lasted for years. Today, the Corniche is one of the top Doha attractions.
In the last decade, there has been a lot of construction in Doha, the city is expanding, the population is increasing and the number of visitors is growing. As a result, numerous skyscrapers have been built, including along the Corniche. But not only apartments and luxury apartments, also many exclusive hotels and green, extensive parks were built and laid out.
In addition, the palace of the Emir is located here.
The Corniche is about seven kilometers long and enchants with palm trees above turquoise blue sea, countless possibilities and always beautiful views. One of the most beautiful places is the idyllic Arumaila Park. Centrally located on the Corniche, the park’s green spaces flow seamlessly into Al-Bidda Park to the north.
Since Doha is usually quite hot and the heat is often oppressive, the many green spaces here provide pleasant coolness. Many residents and visitors seek the clean air here and use the parks for long walks or leisurely picnics.
Tip 5: Souk Waqif
The Arab bazaar Souq Waqif is definitely one of the biggest highlights in Doha for most people. In the small winding alleys spices, teas or sweets smell, traders offer their goods and local buyers negotiate the best prices. There are also plenty of small cafes and restaurants that are an absolute delight – provided you like Arabic cuisine. A visit to the bazaar could not be more authentic. A visit is especially recommended in the evening after sunset, when it is busiest here. Locals offer fresh street food on a small square. A look into the pots is worthwhile, you can even taste beforehand.
We recommend you to make a small tour through the souk, otherwise you will miss many interesting places and the highlights, such as the men’s meeting place, the falcon exhibition or the noble stables of the expensive Arabian horses.