Thanks to its strategic location at the cross-roads of East and West, many airlines have stopovers at one of the world’s top 5 airports (according to 2018 Skytrax awards), the Hamad International Airport in Doha. While most passengers dread long layovers, in Qatar they have the perfect chance to explore the pearl of the Arabian Gulf. Whether they are vacationing or making a quick stopover on their way to a final destination, Qatar has something in store for everyone – from adventure seekers to luxury travellers.
There is an abundance of sights to see and things to do in Qatar. Step away from the city life with a desert adventure filled with activities that you can enjoy among the vast sand dunes, such as sand boarding and dune bashing. As the sun starts to set, you can unwind at campsites set up in the middle of the desert and drift off into a night of tranquillity as you stargaze by a bonfire.
Soak in the Qatari culture as you make your way to the iconic Souq Waqif. The traditional market is filled with alleys of shops – spices, fragrance, jewellery, fabrics and a large array of eateries for you to explore. The Souq provides you with an authentic experience that leave you appreciating and understanding their deeply-rooted traditions and the unique Qatari architecture.
No trip to Qatar would be complete without paying a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA). Just the exterior of the Museum is breath-taking as it sits on the edge of the Corniche giving the illusion that it is floating on water, there is no surrounding buildings to obstruct the view of this beautiful structure. The MIA does not only showcase the large collection of Islamic art spanning 14 centuries of history but is also home to Alain Ducasse’s first restaurant in the Middle East offering an exquisite selection of fusion food with a perfect balance of both local and French flavours.
Qatar has a massive selection of world class shopping malls. Each mall offers unique experiences with different entertainment choices and global luxury brands. Villagio Mall in Doha has even made it to Forbes Lists as one of the best malls in the world. Villagio gives you a taste of Venice with their indoor gondola ride, alongside detailed interior design to create an incredible shopping and entertainment experience for everyone.
Qatar takes luxury to a whole new level with their wide selection of prestigious five-star hotels that promise to indulge your every whim. Offerings include restaurants by world-famous chefs Gordon Ramsay, Nobu Matsuhisa, Gastón Acurio, Wolfgang Puck, Jean-Georges, Richard Sandoval and Masaharu Morimoto; all found in these lavish hotels that boast impeccable menus for a fine dining experience like no other.
Tips on visiting Qatar
Thanks to a host of visa facilitation measures, Qatar is now the most open country in the Middle East and 8th most open destination in the world. Visitors from all around the world can now enter Qatar either visa free, or by filling out simple online applications, depending on the passport they carry. Nationals of more than 80 countries including Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong are eligible for visa-free entry into the State of Qatar. For more information, please visit https://www.visitqatar.qa/
Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Mean monthly temperatures range from 17oC in January to 36 oC in July, sometimes reaching highs of 40 oC during the summer. Rain is infrequent, falling in brief showers mainly in winter. Perfect months to enjoy outdoor activities in Qatar is between November to early April. During summer, one can enjoy numerous indoor recreation activities. Typically located inside shopping malls, these offer everything from ice skating rinks to arcade games, multi-screen movie theatres and amusement park-style rides, bounce houses and bowling alleys, karaoke and kid-friendly indoor playgrounds. Qatar also hosts a Summer Festival featuring great deals in hospitality, shopping & entertainment.
The monetary unit of Qatar is the riyal (abbreviated to QR or QAR). The exchange rate is fixed at US $1 = QAR 3.65. ATMs can be found in many locations and most shops and restaurants accept major credit cards.
Qatar is an Islamic country however there is no strict dress code for either men or women in Qatar. The best guideline is simply to show respect for local culture by dressing appropriately in public places and confining beachwear to the beach. Female visitors, whether travelling alone or in a group experience no special restrictions of dress or behaviour in day-to-day life in Qatar.
The official language is Arabic. English is widely spoken and understood. A wide range of other languages are spoken within the hospitality industry.
Common Arabic phrases to learn:
Ma’a as-salaama – This is a way of expressing farewell or goodbye.
Assalamualaikum – “Peace be upon you” a common Islamic greeting to greet someone humbly and formally.
Walaikum assalam – This is to response to the phrase above, which means, “And unto you peace”.
For Tour Packages to Qatar, please contact the following Qatar Specialists:
Tel: +603-2143 8877
Corporate Information Travel:
Tel: +603 2091 9988
Tel: +603-2142 0222