Kempinski Blog Article
Not all that long ago, Doha would have been called a 'city in the making'. However, rapid and stylish development over the past decade has ensured one thing: Doha has well and truly arrived. Embrace Doha's modernity, respect its roots and whether you are here for business or pleasure, we are certain that you will find a special place in your heart for this bustling metropolis.
The Qatari capital lies on the shores of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and its subtropical climate means that the city benefits from warm temperatures all year round. Regardless of when you arrive, Doha’s exciting range of attractions will delight all those lucky enough to visit.
How To Get To Doha And Getting Around Doha
With one of the busiest airports in the Persian Gulf region, you should have no problems flying into the city. Hamad International Airport, formally known as Doha International until 2014, has a fantastic network of routes, with flights regularly landing from the USA, Europe and beyond.
Once you are in the capital, taxis are the easiest way of getting around. There are bus services, but taxis are still considered more reliable. Along with marked taxis, you will be able to request private vehicles from the reception of your hotel. Car hire is also a popular choice, but be warned - street names are often not given in an address, so finding your destination can be a little tricky if you are not used to the city's roads.
In terms of visas, the rules and regulations are always changing, so ensure you check with your home government's website before travelling to get the latest advice. As a general rule, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and many other international countries (including most of Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Japan) will issue a tourism visa that lasts up to one month for a small fee. Most visas need to be sorted in advance of your arrival, so be sure to arrange this well ahead of travelling.
The Best Things To Do In Doha
Similar to Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, The Pearl-Qatar is a purpose built island, which combines great feats of engineering with true luxury. On the island, you will find an exquisite range of restaurants, shops from high-end brands, glorious beaches and, of course, Marsa Malaz Kempinski.
While you are here, enjoy a peaceful boat ride, or explore on foot to really examine the architecture on this stunning island. The Pearl-Qatar is as beautiful at night as it is during the day, so if you are not staying on the island, plan your time to allow dinner at sunset – there is no better way to end a day in Doha.
Stretch your legs, and enjoy the open air with a wander along Doha's crescent promenade, the Corniche. Not only will you be greeted with spectacular views of the Doha skyline, you will find a range of places to enjoy a bite to eat, or even the opportunity to hop on a boat and explore the coast.
Amongst all the modernism of the bustling city, Doha's Souq Waqif can offer you a more traditional afternoon. Literally translated as 'standing market', the Souq Waqif is the go-to location for traditional clothing, spices and handmade crafts for locals and visitors alike. Recent restoration works have seen an art centre added to the souq, and it is even home to festivals throughout the year.
Museum of Islamic Art
There are few institutions that have a collection as thorough as Doha's Museum of Islamic Art. With pieces from three continents, created over 1,400 years, visitors can get a greater understanding of Islamic culture and history. There’s lots to explore outside of the museum walls too - take a walk around the gardens when the sun isn’t at its highest and truly appreciate your surroundings. The museum is open every day except Tuesday, and is free to enter - but bear in mind some exhibitions will be ticketed.
The National Museum of Qatar opened to the public in March 2019 and uses an immersive and interactive series of exhibits to tell the country’s fascinating story. The displays, which spread out over 1.5km, cover Qatar’s entire history, from its geographical origins to the present day. The museum building itself is visually spectacular and has been dubbed the ‘desert rose’ for its dramatic and stylish appearance. Finish your day with an exquisite meal in the museum’s excellent rooftop restaurant, enjoying scenic views over the Persian Gulf.
Imam Muhammad Ibn Abd Al Wahhab Mosque
The modern, yet beautifully traditional, Imam Muhammad Ibn Abd Al Wahhab Mosque is the largest in Qatar and can be seen from all corners of the capital. Its dazzling white domes are lit up at night which highlights the building’s powerful architecture. Covering over 175,000 square metres, the mosque is an awe-inspiring sight and a must-see for all visitors to the city. Make sure to check the prayer times, as visits are prohibited during these hours.
What To Eat In Doha
Taking influences from Arabic and Levantine dishes, you will undoubtedly find plenty of delicious, local treats to enjoy while visiting Doha.
Along with locally grown delicacies such as dates and almonds, the Qatari diet includes plenty of seafood, lamb and beef. A firm western favourite, hummus is readily available here, but there are plenty of traditional options available too if you want to venture outside of your comfort zone.
Tabouleh is a perfect side dish, comprising of cracked wheat with mint and parsley seasoning, while ghuzi is ideal for those with a good appetite - expect a whole, roasted lamb served on top of rice and nuts - delicious!
Sweet treats are also enjoyed here in Doha. Particularly the mehalabiya, which is a tasty rose water and pistachio dessert of a custard-like consistency - ideal after a hearty main course.
Where To Stay In Doha
In a land of luxury, there is no better place to stay than a Kempinski hotel and in Doha, visitors can choose between two sensational properties.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl - Doha is located on its own secluded island and blends the finest European architecture with traditional Arabian influences. With 281 spacious rooms, all serviced by butlers 24 hours a day, guests can fully unwind and forget about the stresses of everyday life. The beach, pool and spa areas are perfect for relaxing, while watersports options are available for those looking for a bit more adventure.
Kempinski Residences and Suites Doha is the tallest tower in the city and reaches up over 250 metres into the Qatari sky. Rooms either look out over the shimmering Persian Gulf or towards the magnificent city skyline and guests have a wealth of luxurious facilities at their disposal. The PURE Leisure and Wellness Centre features a state-of-the-art gym and two indoor swimming pools, so visitors can relax after a day in the sun. The hydrotherapy bath and treatment rooms offer the ultimate indulgence, with treatment packages available to suit everyone.
Our hotels can be found all over Europe, Asia and the world, so why not explore some of our other destinations? The full list of our hotels can be found here.