Qatar, a rising pearl in the middle east.

Qatar: Doha, Doha New District. 14.02.2011

Travelling alone this time I wanted to see more of the Middle East, and Qatar is definitely one of the countries! Leaving Bahrain riot just before all hell broke loose in Manama made me really happy arriving at Doha airport. A sandy airport with a feeling of being in the middle of the desert, even though the sea and the city of Doha was just next “door”.

The independent desert-state of Qatar is situated in the Southern Arabian Gulf, surrounded by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Iran.
Oil discovery in 1940 transformed Qatar from being a country with very few resources to becoming one of the regions wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas revenues, and seeing the crazy beautiful architecture and buildings, especially in the New District of Doha you’ll definitely understand.


Grabbing a taxi to my pre booked hotel, I got little bit of a first impression of Doha’s old town, and couldn’t wait to see more!
My first walk took me to the beautiful Souq Waqif. As it wasn’t far from the hotel it became a perfect coffee-stop on my walks the days I spent here.
Souq Waqif is an old Souq in the heart of Doha, recently rebuilt looking like a perfect old Souq. And, they really did an amazing good job at it.
With all its restaurants and shops it’s a perfect place to get some nice souvenirs, or just enjoying a coffee, looking at all the people wandering about.
This place is definitely worth a visit even if you just have a short stop-over in Doha!

Doha Cornishe & New District:

Another sight I really enjoyed is the seven kilometer long and beautiful Doha Cornishe. A palm-fringed promenade which extends in a horseshoe shape around Doha Bay and the city’s sea-front to
the New District of Doha. It’s quite a walk, but definitely worth it!!
Every night I enjoyed the sunset from the Cornishe across Doha Bay looking at the spectacular skyline of the New District. With its crazy cool architecture lighting up in different colors, you just have to be amazed over this new part of the city!!

Walking the long Cornishe there was quite a lot to see;
– The interesting Museum of Islamic Art.
It houses a magnificent collection of artwork dating from the 7th to the 19th century, representing the full scope of Islamic art. It includes manuscripts, ceramics, metal, glass, ivory, textiles, wood and precious stones from three continents. The building itself is quite special, it’s built using Islamic design and considered an Islamic masterpiece.
– Dohw harbor with the skyline of the New District across the bay.
-The New District of Doha, with its crazy cool buildings.
– The Knowledge Enrichment Centre.
A boring floating cultural landmark on Doha Corniche; «connecting the past with the future».

Wandering about in the older part of Doha with hardly any tourists to see, enjoying all the good food, friendly people, looking at all the beautiful architecture, as well as mosques, a camel farm(?), small souqs, Qatars government and Amiri Diwan (Emir’s Palace), really made my stay in Doha, Qatar great!

It was time to move on to my next destination, Bangkok, for a bit of work. But if I get the opportunity I will definitely come back and see more of the countryside with its small harbor villages, oases and stuff like that.

See our pictures / album from Doha (Qatar) here..

My tips to other travellers:

Souq Waqif, Doha Cornishe, the crazy cool buildings at The New District of Doha, and of course the food!

Long distance within the city
Cheap in local restaurants, but expensive at the mid-top restaurants.
My hotel was a good midrange with really good service:
La Villa Palace Hotel, USD.68/night.
Quite cheap.

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