Where to stay
- Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, P.O. Box 23919; +974 4040 5050; doha.anantara.com. An island sanctuary that’s accessible via a 20-minute luxury ferry ride. It boasts an 800m-long private beach, a top-notch spa, nine dining options and a lagoon pool.
- Hilton Doha Qatar, Diplomatic District St, West Bay; +974 4423 3333; www.ar.hilton.com/en/hotel/Hilton-Doha. Ideal for business travelers, as it provides easy access to major corporations located in the Diplomatic district.
- Horizon Manor Hotel, Jabr Bin Mohd St; +974 4445 5444; www.horizonmanor.com. A four-star hotel conveniently situated near Souq Waqif and downtown Doha.
- Oryx Rotana Hotel, Al Nahda School St, Airport Rd; +974 4402 3333; www.rotana.com. This award-winning five-star hotel is a mere 15 minutes away from Hamad International Airport.
- Sheraton Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, Al Corniche St; +974 4485 4444; www.sheratondoha.com. A luxury business hotel located along the shores of West Bay, overlooking the Arabian Gulf.
- W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay; +974 4453 5000; www.whoteldoha.com. This is where the young and hip in Doha head to for chic, sensuous bedrooms and an on-trend bite to eat.
Where to eat
- Al Mourjan, Balhambar Building, Al Corniche St, Dafna; +974 4483 4423; almourjan.com. A fancy restaurant offering authentic Lebanese cuisine and scenic views of the Doha Corniche.
- Al-Naurah Pastry, Najma St, Najma. Head here for a scrumptious breakfast of flatbread with halloumi cheese and za’atar (paste made of herbs and spice).
- Chtoura Restaurant, near Al Asmakh Mall, Al Difaaf St, Al Sadd; +974 4436 9777. Head here for a taste of Doha’s best shawarma (meat roasted on a spit, and then shaved off with a large knife).
- Habeeb Restaurant, Al Matar Al Qadeem St; +974 4467 7136. This restaurant serves up mouthwatering meat skewers and other Turkish fare. It also does lamb chops and grilled chicken well.
- L’wzaar Seafood Market, Building 27, Katara Cultural Village; www.lwzaar.com. Choose your seafood and have it cooked on the spot for you at this well-known restaurant. We’d especially recommend ordering grilled king prawns.
- Pearl of Beirut Restaurant, Corniche Rd, Al Khor; +974 4472 0123. Sample Chinese, Arabic, Filipino, and Indonesian cuisines at wallet-friendly prices.
- Restaurant Sridan, 2/F Shangri-La Hotel, Doha, Conference Centre St, West Bay. This restaurant offers an extensive international buffet in an Arabian souk setting.
- Sarangi Indian Restaurant, Horizon Manor Hotel, Jabr Bin Mohd St; +974 4445 5444; www.horizonmanor.com. A stylish fine-dining establishment that serves up both Indian and international fare.
- Shay Al Shoumous, Al Jasra St, Souq Waqif; +974 5551 5561. Start your day here, where friendly owner Shams Al Qassabi prepares satisfying, local-style breakfast dishes for her customers.
- Spice Market, W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay; + 974 4453 5135; www.spicemarketdoha.com. This sexy restaurant serves up Southeast Asian cuisine that’s executed with French flair by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
- The Village, Salwa Rd; +974 4444 6601; www.thevillageqatar.com. Don’t be sceptical of this Turkish-Persian-Indian eatery’s multi-cuisine menu — executive chef Ertan Afacan’s kitchen sends out excellent biryani, freshly baked bread or hosgeldin ekmegi, and velvety hummus and baba ganoush.
- Trader Vic’s, Hilton Doha Qatar, Diplomatic District St, West Bay. Head to this chic and polished bar for after-dinner cocktails and a spot of live music.
- Turkey Central, Al Mirqab Al Jadeed St. Feast on scrumptious shawarma at this prominent local restaurant that’s been serving top-notch Turkish cuisine since 1988. Grab a small shawarma for only QAR7 or a large one for QAR13, plus a free red onion and chilli pepper salad for that extra kick.
What to do
- Al Zubarah Archeological Site. Visit the ruins of this walled coastal town, which was a fluorishing pearling and trading center in the 18th century, before it was abandoned in the early 1900s. The ruins are Qatar’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Museum of Islamic Art, Corniche; +974 4422 4444; www.mia.org.qa/en. This mesmerising structure, designed by famed Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei, boasts an extensive collection of Islamic art – including metalwork, ceramics and jewelry – spanning 1,400 years.
- Singing Sand Dunes, 15km off Salwa Rd, towards Mesaieed. Located in the desert 40km southwest of Doha, these dunes are named for the eerie humming sound that they produce in certain weather conditions.
- Souq Waqif, Al Jasra. The maze-like alleys and streets at this traders’ mecca are packed to the brim with shops selling fabrics and kitchenware, leather goods and trinkets. There are also shisha cafés, cozy eateries, spice shops and more. Open from 10.30am to 8pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
- The Pearl-Qatar, +974 4495 3888; www.thepearlqatar.com. A sprawling artificial island (nearly 4,000,000m2 in size!) with dining, shopping and even residential districts.
- Villaggio Mall, Al Waab St; +974 4413 5222; www.villaggioqatar.com. A popular shopping mall with Venetian-style décor. you can even ride a gondola on the 150m-long indoor canal!
- Zekreet. Located 90km from Doha, this northern village is known for its limestone escarpment, where the chalky rocks have eroded into mushroom-like formations.