One of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the Middle East, Qatar is hosting FIFA World Cup 2022. This event has drastically surged the country’s tourism, as millions of football enthusiasts are expected to visit the country.
This guide will present some ideas about activities and places you can explore in Qatar while you are there to watch your favourite team play. We will also discuss the things you have to consider before participating in these activities.
Places to Visit in Qatar
To begin with, here are the top 10 destinations worth exploring in Qatar –
The Pearl Qatar – Constructed on land reclaimed from the sea, ‘The Pearl’ hosts a plethora of luxurious hotels, best-in-class restaurants, cafes, and towering residential buildings. This region in Qatar is famous for its extravagant lifestyle and is worth exploring for its fancy restaurants. You can also visit the harbour and explore the sea in some of the most expensive yachts in the region.
National Museum of Qatar – The National Museum is a one-of-its-kind of tourist attraction in the country. Designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, it has a structure that represents a rich fusion of desert and contemporary lifestyle. The museum is famous for its historic exhibits, rare and artistic artefacts, and limited edition car models.
Katara Cultural Mosque – The Katara Cultural Village is home to several architectural gems that signify the culture, modernity, and religion of the country. This cultural village is in the financial district of West Bay and in the vicinity of the residential neighbourhood of The Pearl, the first place on the list.
Most of the structures that you can see in the area have been built by renowned architects like Zeynep Fadilloglu. Some of the top tourist attractions that you should visit when you are there for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are -
The Gold Mosque
Al Thuraya Planetarium
21 High Street
Souq Waqif – One of the most popular markets in Qatar, you can explore Souq Wakif for its traditional architecture and mud-smeared buildings. This marketplace is famous for gold, herbs, garments, and other retail outlets.
Besides shopping, you can do the following activities in Souq Waqif –
Hanging out at the local coffee shops and diners
Watch festivities like local street performances
Falcon Show where you can witness one of the Qatari traditions of masters training falcons and sharing a great bond with the bird which is
Visit Fanar which is one of the largest mosques in Doha. It boasts a spiral shape and has a lighthouse on the top that attracts several tourists to the markets.
State Grand Mosque – This mosque is one of the must-see places when you visit Qatar during the FIFA World Cup 2022. The structure is a fusion of traditional and contemporary architecture and is famous for its gleaming patterns. These patterns further appear awe-inspiring when the entire mosque lightens up in the dark.
Lusail Iconic Stadium – This stadium is going to host about 10 games for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The Lusail Iconic can accommodate about 80,000 football aficionados. What makes this structure worth visiting is its minimal carbon footprint, with the stadium powered by solar energy and abiding by the Qatari government’s zero carbon emissions policy.
Khor Al Udaid Beach – This beach is a yet-to-be-discovered spot in the country. Khor Al Udaid Beach is about 100 km southeast of Doha and is worth exploring for its unique landscape where the desert meets the sea. The tides coming towards the desert in the morning create an inland sea. During the noon, the sand dunes reflect light with enchanting hues as the sun sets on the horizon.
The Doha Corniche – This is a 7-km long palm-lined promenade in Doha Bay and is one of the most popular tourist attractions visited by UAE nationals, ex-pats, as well as tourists. If you are in Doha to watch FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, you can visit the area to unwind and explore classy restaurants, clubs, and parks. You can also go to Dhow Harbour and hire a boat to sail in the sea and enjoy the city view.
Qatar National Library – This library, a bliss for bibliophiles, has a colossal collection of books, rare documents, manuscripts, and periodicals in European and Asian languages. It is equipped with an automated book organising system and enables readers to locate and access the books easily.
Al Zubara Fort – Al Zubara is listed on the Al Zubara Archaeological Site and is famous for its 18th and 19th-century settlements. The site includes mosques, courtyard homes, cemeteries, a harbour, a canal, and residential palaces.
Museum of Islamic Art – This museum has a massive collection of Islamic art of more than 1,400 years. It is located on the island off the Corniche promenade and is constructed like a post-modern fortress. The museum has five floors that are filled with artefacts like pots, jewels, daggers, swords, and armour sets.
Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum – This museum is located 14 miles to the west of Doha and is famous for displaying the private collection of Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani. It includes articles from old cigarette packs and textiles to ancient religious books as well as an 18th-century bomb from the Ottoman Empire. There is also a section in the museum that exhibits vintage cars from the US and conventional pearl boats.
Activities You Can Do in Qatar
Here are some things and adventures worth trying while you are in Doha for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 –
Water Sports – Doha is one of the most visited cities in Qatar for its mesmerising beaches and clear sea as well as numerous water sports destinations – you can go for scuba diving and parasailing at Katara Beach, the only public beach in Doha.
Some other water activity centres and water sports activities in the city are –
Kayaking – Al Thakira Natural Reserve
Scuba Diving – Poseidon Dive Centre
Parasailing – Katara Beach
Kite Surging – Sealine Beach
Banana Boating – Banana Island
Explore Restaurants – While you are in Doha for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, you can relish the Arabic feast that the city has to offer. Explore the finest restaurants in Souq Waqif, ranging from contemporary to the most traditional ones.
Some of the exquisite recipes and restaurants worth exploring are –
Salooma at Walima Restaurant
Rogag at Shay Al Shoomos Restaurant
Balateet at Al Jasra
Khanfaroosh at Hawn Café
Warak enab at La Cigale Hotel
Umm Ali at Karaki
Machboos at Al Manchab Restaurant
Luqaimat at Chai Halib Café
Madrouba at Souq Al Wakrah
Kousa mahshi at Al Shami House Restaurant
Desert Activities – Doha offers several adventures to participate in the desert. You can go for dune bashing in the rough desert terrain or go on a buggy ride by the beach. Several local travel and tour agencies in the city organise such events and can have you picked and dropped back to the designated locations.
Desert Safari and Inland Sea Tour – You can explore the coast by the Sealine Beach where the seawater and the desert create an inland sea. You can also go for camel safari, sandboarding, and dune bashing in the desert and relax by the inland sea to wrap up your desert safari.
Aerial City Tour – When in Doha, don’t miss out on exploring the aerial view of the city! The tour shows some of the finest destinations in the city (including the desert).
Things to Remember When Travelling to Qatar
While exploring the country during FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, keep the following things in mind –
Purchase a Qatar travel insurance plan so that you can explore the country without worrying about unforeseen circumstances
Know the timings during which the marketplaces are closed
Avoid drinking tap water
Plan your transportation mode well in advance (the metro is generally the best way to go around in Doha)
If you plan to venture beyond Doha, it is recommended to book a car or join an accompanied tour
You should get yourself tested for COVID-19 before travelling to Qatar
You should pack the following essential items when going to Qatar –
Insulated Water Bottle
Sun Protection Gear – sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brim hat
Travel scarf with a hidden pocket
There is a lot you can do in Qatar while you go there to watch FIFA World Cup 2022. You can visit several tourist attractions like The Pearl, Katara Cultural Village, the National Museum, Souq Waqif, and more.
One can explore Doha and the nearby cities for their vibrant culture, scenic landscapes, enchanting inland sea, clean coastline, and so on.
You can also go for adventures like desert safari, camel riding, doing water sports, aerial tour of Doha, sailing in boats, and more.
Ensure that you have chosen the means of transport to use to travel in Doha and beyond.
Similarly, you should make sure that you carry an insulated water bottle, travel charger, travel scarf, wide-brim hat, and sunglasses.
When travelling to Qatar, you can purchase travel insurance to have financial cover in case you face any medical emergency or travel inconvenience.
You can avail of the most comprehensive travel insurance plans from Policybazaar UAE. Simply continue on policybazaar.ae and check out the ‘travel insurance’ section to find the best Qatar travel insurance plan for your trip at the best prices