Doha, capital of the peninsular Arabian Gulf country Qatar, is a modern city on Doha Bay, and one of the fastest growing cities in the world today. Yes, Qatar might very well be one of the world's richest countries, but its capital has much more to offer than opulence, and caters to everyone’s tastes: whether you are an artsy, or a foodie, or love to shop, Doha has it all.
Here’s some of what Doha has to offer:
Where to stay:
W Doha is the first lifestyle hotel in Qatar. Conveniently located in the heart of Doha, 7 km from Souq Waqif market, 8 km from the Museum of Islamic Art and 10 km from Doha Golf Club, this sleek, contemporary hotel brings all the buzz of New York City to reverberating Doha. The luxurious 5-star hotel accommodates one of the most internationally renowned restaurants, making sure your taste buds are more than sated. From award-winning cuisine at Market by Jean-Georges or Spice Market, both by 3-star Michelin Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, to Italian cuisine at La Spiga by the famous Paper Moon, you surely will indulge during your stay at the W.
The hotel furthermore has a state-of-the-art, fully-equipped FIT gym making working out and energising so easy, whether you prefer yoga, Pilates or just jogging. Cool off with a swim in the pool or laze poolside in the indoor lounge and poolside retreat as you sip on refreshing beverages and delicious snacks without having to lift a toe. What’s more, the W has the first and only in the region, lavish Bliss® Spa. Guests craving relaxation can unwind like never before at this facial and massage haven.
For the foodies:
Aside from the mouth-watering restaurant choices the W hotel has to offer, Doha has some of the world’s most famous eateries. If you love Japanese or Chinese cuisines, then here are some flavoursome and world-class choices for you: Nobu at the Four Seasons hotel, Novikov, and Hakkasan.
For the meat lovers, Nusr-Et Steakhouse is a must!
Cafe DeLord is where traditional and exotic coastal cuisines come together and culminate. It’s the perfect fusion between spices, seasonings and East meeting West. Make sure to try the lobster risotto if you do go there. Your taste buds will thank me later.
If you are an early riser, and want to indulge in a “breakfast gourmand”, head over to L'ETO Caffe. Enjoy your eggs the way you like them with a wide selection of coffees, teas, and fresh juices, or let your sweet cravings run wild with their more than appetising selection of desserts. To die for!
For the art lovers:
The Museum of Islamic Art is undoubtedly one of, if not the most iconic building in Qatar. Located on one end of the beautiful Corniche in Doha, and surrounded by lawns and ornamental trees, the fabulous museum offers splendid views.
It was designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect IM Pei, the architect of the Louvre pyramid in Paris, and draws influence from ancient Islamic architecture, notably the Ibn Tulun Mosque in Cairo.
An artwork in its own right, the Museum of Islamic Art has the largest collection of Islamic art in the world, drawn from three continents. The main building rises five-storeys, topped by a high domed atrium within a central tower. You can pace yourself by visiting the MIA Café, located in the Atrium of the museum, with a spectacular view of Doha Bay and skyline. The café offers homemade French specialties and signature creations, exalting Arabic cuisine with the most rigorous French savoir-faire. It also serves a range of tasty and nutritious foods, including plant-based, organic and gluten free options, all freshly homemade for a the ideal summer balanced-diet.
If you are feeling gourmet, and want to take a break from all the artwork and masterpieces, head over to IDAM, Alain Ducasse's first restaurant in the Middle East, located in the heart of the museum, with spectacular views of the Doha skyline, where you will embark on a refined flavoursome culinary journey.
Note: Both men and women should avoid short and too revealing garments because you may be refused admission.
For the shopaholics:
Souq Waqif is a booming complex built on an ancient market site and remains one of the most atmospheric places to explore in Doha. The vibrant Souk at the heart of the capital is a traditional marketplace where you can find all sorts of things, such as clothing, jewellery, crafts and spices, to name a few.
You can bargain for jewellery in the Gold Market, or head over to the Fabric Market and enjoy a wide array of colours and patterns, or buy some artefacts. Whichever you choose, Souq Waqif has it all. You could also admire the birds of prey in the Falcon Souq, or if you want to treat your senses, the Spice Market and Oud stalls are a real feast.
If you feel like something less “market-y” and more upscale, the renowned global retailer Galeries Lafayette has opened its new flagship store in Doha, bringing its unique know-how in Fashion and Luxury to Qatar’s capital, thus creating a new Parisian lifestyle experience for local and international shoppers alike.
Look out for Kalmar during your visit!
The silky eye-catching Kalmar Sultana Kaftan in Positano blue, apricot and saffron stripe is perfect to take you directly from the poolside into the evening. Ideal to wear for the indoor lounge and poolside retreat at the W.
Lounging never looked so good!
The beautiful floor length Kehlani dress features a classic Dalmatian effect print and Victorian ruffles at the front with feminine frilled sleeves. Pair it with a fabric belt around the waist for a romantic look.
You know what else this dress would look good with? Nobu.
This summery maxi dress features a V-neck with a keyhole detail that extends into spaghetti straps, a drawstring waist and a feminine loose and airy fit, perfect for walking around the Souks on a hot summer day.
The orange silky Mali Kaftan features a golden embroidery detail on the sleeve and four invisible press studs for maximum practicality. Pair together with summer sandals for everyday chic, and you got yourself the ultimate comfortable outfit to spend a cultural day at the Museum of Islamic Art.
Evidently, Doha is a city that so stylishly combines the old and the new, with its traditional Souks, modern shopping malls, impressive skylines and cultural icons. This well rounded travel guide introduces you to the Qatari capital that oozes with style, and will have you explore Doha the right way.
W Doha: West Bay, Zone 61 Street 831, Building 262, Doha, Qatar
Four Seasons Doha: The Corniche, Doha, Qatar
Market by Jean-Georges: W Doha Hotel & Residences West Bay, Doha, Qatar
Spice Market: W Doha Hotel & Residences West Bay, Doha, Qatar
La Spiga by Papermoon: W Doha Hotel & Residences, Diplomatic St, Doha, Qatar
Nobu: Four Seasons Hotel Doha, The Corniche, Doha, Qatar
Novikov: 21 High St, Doha, Qatar
Hakkasan: St. Regis Doha, Al Gassar Resort, Doha, Qatar
Nusr-Et Steakhouse: Al Corniche Street, Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, P.O 6000, Qatar
Cafe DeLord: Ghanem business centre, Doha, Qatar
L'ETO Caffe: Al Hazam Mall, Doha 90014, Qatar
MIA Café: Museum of Islamic Art: Corniche Promenade, Doha, Qatar
IDAM: Museum of Islamic Art, 5th Floor, Corniche Promenade, Doha, Qatar
Museum of Islamic Art: Doha Corniche, Doha, Qatar
Galeries Lafayette Doha: Katara Cultural Village, Doha, Qatar
Kalmar: Galeries Lafayette Doha, 1st floor @ Studio Section