There are some places in the world that give visitors a warm welcome and immediate sense of home. One such gem in the Middle East is Qatar, shining with its forward-looking ambition, and seamless fusion of cultural heritage with modern luxuries and comforts. It’s no wonder this compact country was selected to host the world’s most popular sports tournament, FIFA World Cup, in 2022.
But you don’t need to wait until 2022 to experience this emerging destination. Qatar is already teeming with unique experiences, and visa-free entry is available to Singaporeans, Malaysians and Hong Kong travellers.
Once you’re comfortably settled in your accommodation (Qatar’s hotels offer the best guest experience in the region, according to Olery’s 2018 report), head out to Msheireb Museums, a complex of four lovingly renovated heritage houses in the heart of downtown Doha that take visitors through an interactive tour of the nation’s history.
After lunch at one of Souq Waqif’s many cafés and restaurants, cross the waterfront promenade known as the Corniche to visit the Museum of Islamic Art, where you can explore 14 centuries of Islamic history. Designed by Pritzker Prize–winning architect I.M. Pei, the building is a masterpiece of its own.
If you’re travelling with youngsters, catapult them into new heights of fun at the world’s first Angry Birds World, a theme park based on the popular digital game. Take flight in the Blast Bomb, an 11-meter free-fall; Red Alert, a 360-degree spin; or Own the Sky, a 106-meter zipline. Take some quality time in the Big Tree, which provides great science, music and art edutainment.
Thrill seekers looking to venture to the great outdoors will find their adrenaline fix on the rolling sand dunes of Khor Al Adaid. Opt for a 4×4 off-road safari, which shows off the spectacular beauty of the “Inland Sea” and offers glorious desert sunsets and moonlit barbecues.
So what are you waiting for? Book yourself to visit the gem of the Middle East now… and again in 2022!
Where to stay in Doha: