Terrorism, wars, bombings,kidnappings and suicide bombers. Sadly, these are the things that usually pop up in everyone’s mind every time they hear the words middle east. As an expatriate in this country for more than four years now, I honestly feel a lot safer here than in my own country and it would be such a waste not to give this country a chance in your bucket list.
A land blessed with so much Oil and Natural Gas, Qatar is the richest country in the world today. It is also famous for its airlines the Qatar Airways which is currently the number one airline today giving all passengers a five star quality experience. This country in my opinion is still a baby full of great potential. The country’s population is mostly composed of foreign workers and that Qatar right now is really busy preparing for the World Cup which is coming this 2022.
Even though Qatar is located in the middle east, Qatar is not just all desert, this country has a lot of beaches also. And by the way for those who are not familiar with the temperature in the middle east, Gulf countries have only two seasons, Summer which is sometime in April to September and Winter which is sometime in October to March. So if you want to travel here I suggest that you come here during winter.
Documentation!!! Unfortunately Qatar is not an open country so they will require you a visa but don’t let it discourage you because it’s not that difficult to get one also. In fact Qatar right now is waving Entry visa for 80 countries (check this link ) and if you happen to belong in one of the countries listed then a visa wouldn’t be a problem for you. For countries that were not included in the list, don’t worry (Check this link). You can also apply online for a visa (Qatar visa online ) or to make things easier go to a travel agency and let them do all your documentation for you. So always prepare the following:
- Two way tickets
- Hotel bookings
- Valid ID’s
Safety!!! Since this is an Islam country please do respect their culture and wear a decent or proper clothing. Shorts are cool during summer but not too short specially for women. Punishments of crimes is not that simple here compared to other countries, even a little blood can cost you a lot or a simple stealing will cost you your hands or a few fingers, so people here and foreigners really respect that and in result safety in this country is very high. Even if you leave your purse or your vehicle unattended no one will steal it.
Pork and Liquor is banned in muslim countries but if you really want to drink there are hotels which serve moderate amount of alcoholic drinks but for your safety always drink moderately and be sure to be on your two feet when you leave the hotel.
Lodging!!! The Torch hotel is the most famous here in Doha for its unique architectural design. Doha is pack with hotels all over the country ranging from 5 stars to 2 stars hotels.The room rates varies from a minimum of 50 USD to 500 USD per night with a wide range of amenities to enjoy. Always remember the earlier you book online the better. For the best prices and discounts check this link( TRIVAGO.com ).
Food!!! Chicken machboos and whole mutton ghoozi is a must try Arabic cuisine. At first glance they may look like an indian biryani but its not and of course who doesn’t know shawarma, an original Arabic sandwich.I would like to recommend also the place that I’m working which is called TAKEAWAY (TakeAway Video)(TAKEAWAY Instagram page) and this restaurant is ISO certified and I guarantee you an Arabic experience you will surely enjoy. We have 8 branches located in different areas of Doha and we also accept deliveries.
I would like to suggest also an Arabian dinner experience on the sand in one of the famous beaches in Qatar or a dinner on a Dhow Cruise which our Company’s Catering Department (OPERA CATERING) (OPERA CATERING PAGE)will gladly enjoy serving you. This will really make your travel more memorable and worth while whether you’re traveling as a couple or in groups.
Mcdonalds and KFC is also worth trying, like what I’ve written in my other blogs this fast food chains change their menu depending on a country’s taste.
Places to go!!! Unfortunately Qatar’s MRT is still under construction but it will definitely be ready sometime in 2020. Buses are ready to transport all over the country and re loadable bus cards are available at the bus station in Souq Waqif station. Taxi’s are all over the streets and bookings can be made also through their karwa mobile application.
Most tourist spots can be access with a taxi or local buses but availing Doha’s Hop On – Hop off bus can save you more time and money. They have packages that includes meals and snacks at reasonable prices. For more details you can check this link (Hop on,Hop off Doha).
If your in a tight budget then I recommend you on availing a local sim card for internet connection and start your google maps for directions. Then avail a 24hours karwa bus card a the bus station and start at the farthest area to the nearest locaton. Now here’s my top places that you should visit here in Qatar.
- DOHA CORNICHE
- MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART
- SOUQ WAQIF
- FALCON SOUQ
- GOLD SOUQ
- ASPIRE PARK
- VILLAGIO MALL
- KATARA CULTURAL VILLAGE
- THE PEARL
- SEALINE BEACH RESORT
- AQUA PARK QATAR
I’m only limited to a thousand words so “shukran” and as much as we enjoy working and living here, we hope that you too will enjoy and capture more memories in this country.
Here are some links to our Youtube channel Doha Qatar videos:
- SUP at The Pearl Qatar
- Villagio Mall skating
- Villagio Mall
- Aqua Park Qatar
- Corniche and Aspire Park
- Dhow Cruise Doha
Hope you’ll enjoy the video and like it in our Youtube channel.
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