Heading to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup? Qatar is one of the most welcoming nations in the Middle East. As the host of the 2022 World Cup, the country will receive millions of visitors. The majority of the people will visit the nation to cheer for their national teams and watch matches.
However, Qatar has much more to offer – attractions, a rich variety of food, beaches, dunes, adventure, and more. So before leaving Qatar, we recommend that you visit the following attractions.
1. Msheireb Museums
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday: 09:00 am – 05:00 pm, Friday: 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Saturday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Explore Qatar’s history and its untold stories at the Msheireb Museums. Located at the heart of Msheireb Downtown in Doha, the museums consist of four historic heritage houses. They include the Company House, Bin Jelmood House, Radwani House, and Mohammed Bin Jassim House.
Each of these houses is built in a traditional Qatari style typical of the early 19th century. In fact, the Radwani House best reflects this with rooms structured around a central open space.
The Msheireb Museum offers guided tours for individuals, institutions, and groups. They also offer educational tours for schools, youth centers, and universities. During the tour, visitors will get a glimpse at the traditional family life in Qatar.
2. The Corniche
Opening hours: Daily 12.00 AM to 11.59 PM
Take a casual stroll along the Corniche in Doha. This fabled attraction is 7 kilometers long and overlooks the serene waterfront. As one of the most iconic attractions in Qatar, the Corniche is crescent-shaped around the Doha bay and offers the best views of the city’s skyline.
It starts from the pyramid-shaped Sheraton Hotel at the northern end to the Museum of Islamic Art. In between these attractions, you’ll find clubs, parks, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
During the day, you can cycle, enjoy the wonderful scenery or simply have a picnic. In the evenings, you can stroll the walkways while watching the dhows light up the bay.
3. Museum of Islamic Art
Opening Hours: Sunday to Saturday: 10 am–8 pm
As aforementioned, the Museum of Islam Art is located at the south end of the Corniche. After your casual stroll, take a few minutes to visit the crown jewel of Qatar museums, the Museum of Islamic Art.
Built on an artificial island abutting the Corniche, the museum has four floors. These floors house both permanent and temporary exhibitions. It’s also home to a heritage library that contains a collection of 21,000 books. Among these books are 2,000 rare editions of English and Arabic.
We recommend that you look for the Shahnameh manuscript written more than 1,000 years ago by the Persian poet Ferdowsi. You can also find one of the first navigational tools, the Planispheric Astrolabe, made in 10th century Iraq during the Abbasid rule.
4. National Museum of Qatar
Opening hours: Sunday to Saturday: 10 am–8 pm
Beyond the southern edge of the Corniche is the National Museum of Qatar. Shaped like a desert rose, the museum tells the story of Qatar’s rich heritage. It has interconnected galleries that take visitors on a visual journey where they learn the story of Qatar.
There are 11 galleries at the museum and each gallery provides a multi-sensory experience and perspective. There are also several archaeological and heritage objects. They include costumes, jewelry, photos, and manuscripts. Anchoring the collection is the pearl carpet of Baroda. It comprises 1.5 million pearls, emeralds, diamonds, and sapphires set in gold and silk.
5. The Pearl
Opening Hours: Daily 12.00 AM to 11.59 PM
The Pearl is an artificial island in Doha spanning four square kilometers. Qatar chose the name “The Pearl” because the area where the island is being built was a major pearl diving site. This island is 350 meters offshore of Doha’s West Bay Lagoon area and will create 32 kilometers of new coastline for use as a residential estate..
The Pearl consists of 12 districts each with a unique architectural style. As a destination of choice for visitors and residents looking for an integrated experience, it’s a true living wonder.
The island will have shopping malls, restaurants, cafes, lush parks, residential homes, hotels, and much more. It has a Venice-like community with an extensive canal system that allows you to explore using boat taxis.
6. Dune Bashing
Opening Hours: Via Booking
After a day exploring the museums, head to the Qatari desert for dune bashing. As the best experience for adventure lovers, dune bashing allows you to enjoy the desert terrains of Doha.
You can explore the tallest sand dunes and even visit the inland sea for the best desert topography experience. In fact, you’ll be doing so in air-conditioned 4X4 Landcruisers. In the desert, you can capture amazing photos of the landscape or glide down the dunes on a sandboard.
You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the desert plains on the back of a camel or you can request a quad bike. Pickup and dropoff are available from your hotel and all you need to bring is your sun hat, sunglasses, comfortable shoes, and sunscreen. Remember, kids are welcome to come along but request the driver to choose a flatter or slow route.
7. Al Zubara Fort
Opening Hours: Daily from 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays from 12:30 pm to 5 pm
Originally built by Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani in 1938 as a coast guard station, Al Zubara Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site that offers a glimpse of the country’s history. Located in the ancient town of Zubarah, the building is an excellent example of a typical Arab fort.
It has one-meter thick walls that helped to ward off invaders. The thick walls also helped to keep the rooms cool. The fort overlooks the ruins of a former pearling and trading town that witnessed fierce tribal battles in the 18th century. It’s said that powerful empires fought for dominance in the region.
Today, the Al Zubara Fort is a museum with artifacts from the pearl diving era. You can find objects such as pots and pans, diving weights, clay pipes, cannonballs, and coins.