It seems like things have never been better for Qatar and its stunning city of Doha. The prosperity is visible in the streets, from an airplane, and even from a satellite.
But, things weren’t always as great as they are now. Qatar, in general, has been a lab for architectural experiments and new projects. Therefore, not all of the projects were a success.
But, during the last 10 years, there is no doubt that Qatari architecture professionals have hit the sweet spot and finally came up with something unique and marvelous.
They have managed to fuse the traditional ways with modern trends, they have managed to achieve beauty but still keep everything sustainable.
If this sounds attractive to you, take a look below and learn more about some wonders you have to see when visiting Doha.
Before you start looking for architectural wonders in Doha to really see Qatar’s huge improvement, go back in time and visit Souq Waqif.
Souq Waqif is the so-called ‘standing market’ and it has been rebuilt with the aim to evoke an atmosphere of days that are long-one.
This iconic souq is a maze of shops brimming with fabric, spices, sweets, household goods, souvenirs, and art pieces. You will be able to find woodcarvers, tailors, you will find everything that has something to do with Qatari tradition.
When you get tired you will have a platter of restaurants and cafes you can have a break at. There you will have a chance to eat traditional Arabic food at a fair price. Oh, and ask for their coffee, it’s unbelievably good.
Stay at Al Bustan hotel
If you’d like to see a more modern approach to architecture in Doha, head to Al Bustan hotel. There you will see how the fusion of modern and traditional looks in Qatar.
Al Bustan Hotel is a 4-star hotel that includes all-day dining and two specialty restaurants. So, you will have everything you need when it comes to accommodation and food, but you will also be there, in the center, near all the buzzing life of Doha.
This particular building is a mixture of contemporary design and traditional Qatari architecture. This hotel really is a true gem brought to life by a leading interior design company from Qatar. Additionally, this is also a prime example of how well some interior design companies in Qatar are doing their business.
Visit the Museum of Islamic Art
The architect behind this magnificent building designed it and requested that it be built on a standalone island. There was only one reason for this – no other buildings should exist near it and obstruct it.
And, I.M. Pei, was right about that, this wonder is situated just off the Corniche and it looks like it’s floating on water from some angles. Building something else around it would really take something out of the stunning landscape.
The museum has calligraphy, Islamic patterns, jewelry, and textiles from three continents, some items date back to the 7th century even. Additionally, the museum also has high-profile rotating exhibits all year long.
Also, the outdoor terrace on the top floor of the museum offers some of the best views of Doha. You definitely shouldn’t miss it.
Al Zubarah Fort and village
If you want to see the real culture and go down the memory lane, you need to visit Al Zubarah Fort.
This is Qatar’s history on display. The fort was restored and it is surrounded by archaeological work. On top of that, Al Zubarah Fort is Qatar’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The archaeological remains from this site date back to the 1700s but the fort that was built in 1938 is the youngest site feature.
The fort overlooks the old bustling pearl fishing town of Al Zubarah that traders from China to Britain sailed to around 200 years ago. It is abandoned now, some call it a ghost town, but it is charming and beautiful nonetheless.
Just know that the location of the village isn’t obvious. To get there you should turn right on the road just before the fort and follow it for 10 minutes to Al Jumail. Park right in the village and bring water shoes since you will most likely step on barnacles.
Catch a game
Since Qatar is the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it would really be a shame if you didn’t catch a game during your visit.
For instance, Doha’s Khalifa International Stadium is one of the first completed tournament venues and it looks absolutely gorgeous.
Go there before all the frenzy since it is expected that hundreds of thousands of fans will come to Qatar for the World Cup.
The Qatari really like football and it is definitely the most popular sport among the locals.
If football isn’t your cup of tea, the ATP World Tour also stops by Doha every winter. If you’d rather catch a game of tennis, you will be pleased to hear that Doha hosts tennis stars such as Novak Djoković, Roger Federer, and Caroline Wozniacki.
Additionally, there is the Qatar Moto Grand Prix if you like adrenaline and speed.
Lose yourself in The Pearl
The Pearl was built on reclaimed land and it spans nearly four million square meters. It is made of a lavish mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment outlets.
One of the most popular sights there is the picturesque Qanat Quartier inspired by the Mediterranean. There you will find beautiful houses, colorful apartments, canals, and bridges along with European restaurants and cafes.
You should definitely walk around the promenade. You will spot dozens of yachts on the pristine water. If you are lucky enough, you will catch a superyacht passing there.
If you like water sports, you will be pleased to learn that The Pearl has several adventure companies that you can choose. Hence, you should definitely pack your swimsuit if you like surfing, kayaking, or wakeboarding.
These places will allow you to see the real fusion of the traditional and modern in Doha and hence in Qatar.
Even though these destinations are not so cheap, it will be worth it. Qatar is an unknown place for many people, a place that seems like it’s out of this world.
So, isn’t there a better way to break the taboo and treat yourself with an adventure of a lifetime by visiting Doha?
Pack your bags, book a flight, and don’t forget to bring your camera.