Travel & Leisure
Explore the natural environment, take an exciting desert safari, relax at the many beaches and pool facilities, or enjoy your favourite sport. Golf courses, billiards and snookers tables, bowling alleys, tennis and squash facilities, ice skating rinks. Whatever your interest, there is something for everyone.
Oryx Farm and Equestrian Club – Visitors can see the Oryx in its natural surroundings at the Oryx Farm located in Shahaniya. The national animal of Qatar, the Oryx isn’t found anywhere else in the world in such large numbers. The beauty of the Arabian horses is well-known throughout the world. The pure-bred Arab show and race horses at Al Shaqab Stud Farm provide a great opportunity to enjoy these horses close up. Other facilities include the Qatar Race and Equestrian Club, where visitors are welcome to view its stables, and the Rayyan Racing and Equestrian Club, where races and show-jumping events are held. Local tour operators can arrange visits to these sites.
Cruises and Water Sports – Surrounded by the Arabian Gulf on three sides of the peninsula, there are plenty of opportunities for water sports and cruising. Two artificial reefs have been built for scuba-diving and create a welcoming environment for marine life. Sailing is a wonderful pastime and several private companies offer dinghies and windsurfers for rent, as well as sailing lessons for novice and experienced sailors. A sunset cruise on a traditional dhow in Doha Bay provides a stunning view of Doha at night, while luxury yachts can be rented for half- and full-day fishing trips. There are both jet-skiing and water-skiing rentals, as well as pedal boats, water cycle, and kayak rentals. And for the extremely adventurous, try parasailing, surfing, or wind-surfing. A day spent on Palm Tree Island is a most welcome opportunity for relaxation with beaches and swimming pools. Major hotels and local tour operators can make the necessary arrangements to suit your schedule.
Golfing – For the enthusiastic golfer, a visit to the Doha Golf Club is absolutely a must. This 18-hole, 7,181-yard, par 72 championship course was designed by Peter Harradine and has played host to major international golfing championships. There is also available a nine-hole floodlit academy course and a splendid clubhouse with three restaurants and a golf shop. The long-established Mesaiseed Golf Course offers an outstanding course and has tennis courts and a swimming pool.
Desert Safari – A trip to the inland sea, in the middle of the desert, is a splendid way to spend the day. Experienced tour operators add to the adventure by expertly steering their four-wheel drive vehicles up and down 60-metre sand dunes along the way. Each air conditioned vehicle comes fully equipped with all necessary gear to ensure a safe but dramatic tour of the mysterious desert. As you travel over the sand dunes, you will get an unequalled view of the desert and, if you listen closely, you can hear the sands shift as you descend down the slopes. A lunch and swim in the warm inland sea will nicely top off your adventure before you make the journey back to the city. Be sure to bring swimsuit, sunscreen, and don’t forget your camera.
Shopping – From the large shopping complexes to the tiny stalls of the souqs, eager shoppers will find everything they need and more. Facilities like the City Centre Doha, the largest shopping complex in the Middle East, offer world famous brands plus many exciting family facilities. The markets (souqs) are a wonderful mixture of scents and sights where items are not marked with traditional price tags; haggling is welcomed and expected. Souq Waqif is the oldest of Doha’s traditional markets, originally used by Bedouin traders as a place to buy and sell meat, wool, milk, and other staples. Today it is a maze of alleyways packed with everything from traditional clothing and incense to camping equipment and hardware. There are textile souqs and gold souqs, as well as the popular Thursday/Friday Souq where clothes, perfumes, shoes, fabric, household goods, and carpets are on offer.
Corniche – A stroll along the Corniche is a must during your stay. This seven-kilometre stretch of coastline runs parallel to the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf and is used by walkers and runners, as well as the more adventurous roller-bladers. It offers a relaxing environment for family picnics and a nearby park for children. Fully landscaped with ample parking, the Corniche is the ideal place to unwind.
Cinemas – For those who wish to catch the latest film, there are several cinemas located in some of the large shopping centres, including The Landmark and The Mall, as well as Gulf Cinema on C-Ring Road.
Coffee Shops/Nightclubs and Bars – Coffee shops have extended hours providing an opportunity to relax and unwind after a night of pleasurable activities. Most hotels have nightclubs and bars where alcohol is served.
Ice Skating/Bowling – The City Centre Doha has ice skating rinks where you can rent skates by the hour. Qatar Bowling Centre offers ten-pin bowling in a 32-lane facility, and the City Centre Doha has two bowling alleys – one for ladies only.
Tennis and Squash Courts/Swimming Pools/Fitness Centres/Spas – The major hotels offer a variety of facilities including tennis and squash courts, swimming pools, and fitness equipment. After exercising, you can relax with a massage at the hotels’ health and spa facilities or make an appointment at one of the many Chinese and Indian massage centres.