The Al-Zubarah Fort was originally built by Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani in 1938 to serve as a Coast Guard station, it was later renovated into a museum. Located on Qatar’s north-west coast and comprising the immaculately restored Al-Zubarah Fort and surrounding 60-hectare archaeological works, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most extensive and best preserved examples of an 18th–19th century settlement in the region. It covers the remains of a walled coastal town that once ranked as one of the Gulf’s most important pearl diving and trading centers with links extending to the Indian Ocean. The fort houses a visitor’s center. The Al-Zubarah Fort is situated in the antique yet chronological town of Zubarah, which in turn is located on the northwestern coast of the Qatar peninsula in the Madinat ash Shamal municipality, and is about 105 km from the Capital of Qatar.
Lively Street Life
If you are looking for a wonderful place to shop, to dine, to explore or simply sitting at one of the many attractive outdoor cafe to watch the world pass by, look nowhere but Souq Waqif in Doha. For centuries, this location has been a souq for Bedouin (nomads who have historically inhabited the Arabian and Syrian Deserts.) to take the wool and animals to trade for daily necessities. It’s probably the only traditional souq left in the Gulf. A stroll down the bustling alleys of Souq Waqif provides an authentic taste of traditional commerce, architecture and culture the maze of small shops offer a dazzling array of Middle Eastern merchandise from spices and seasonal delicacies to perfumes, jewellery, clothing, handicrafts and a treasure trove of souvenir bargains. Traditional music, art and cultural shows add to the ambience of this special place. Most of the shops close around noon till 4 p.m. Relax and soak up the vitality and atmosphere at one of its eclectic mix of great restaurants and cafes. They do open all day.
For more information, please visit http://www.souq-waqif-doha.com/
Celebration of Culture
Experience 14 centuries of great art in a few hours. The Museum of Islamic Art’s magnificent and imaginatively presented displays of the finest art and artefacts from across the Islamic world have earned it recognition among the world’s top cultural institutions. No visitor can fail to be impressed by the quality and diversity the collections, housed in a modern architectural masterpiece designed by IM Pei. The museum ensures fresh interest through its constantly changing program of special exhibitions. A fee may be charged for these temporary shows, but admission to the permanent galleries is free.
For more information, please visit http://www.mia.org.qa/en/
Culture and Recreation
An innovative interpretation of the region’s architectural heritage, this purpose-built development’s impressive theatres, galleries and performance venues stage a lively year-round programme of concerts, shows and exhibitions. Among Katara’s recreational attractions are a wide choice of dining options, including top class restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, and a spacious, well-maintained public beach with water sports.
For more information, please visit http://www.katara.net/en
The Ultimate in Style
The Pearl-Qatar is a man-made island off the West Bay coast featuring Mediterranean-style yacht-lined marinas, residential towers, villas and hotels, as well as luxury shopping at top brand name boutiques and showrooms. A popular dining spot, its waterfront promenades are lined with cafes and restaurants serving every taste – from a refreshing ice cream to a five-star dining experience. The Pearl is a popular visitor attraction by virtue of its chic elegance, inviting description as the ‘Arabian Riviera’.
For more information, please visit http://www.thepearlqatar.com/EN/Pages/default.aspx
Qatar’s ‘Inland Sea’
Some 60 km from Doha in the south-eastern corner of the country lies one of Qatar’s most impressive natural wonders, the ‘Inland Sea’ or Khor Al Adaid. A UNESCO recognized natural reserve with its own ecosystem, this is one of the few places in the world where the sea encroaches deep into the heart of the desert. Inaccessible by road, this tranquil expanse of water can only be reached by across the rolling dunes.
The Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, also known as Al-Maha Sanctuary, is the only breeding place in Qatar for the Oryx, a small antelope considered country’s national emblem – such as the symbol of the national airline, Qatar Airways, and as the mascot of the 2006 Asian Games. These creatures were once on the verge of extinction, but now the sanctuary breeds the Arabian Oryx in captivity, producing 75-100 calves each year. A visit to this sanctuary will let you appreciate these elegant, milky-white antelopes, with their curved horns, large hooves for treading across the desert, and their short, sparse fur. At this sanctuary you can also see small gazelles. The sanctuary is located on the Dukhan Highway, about a half-hour drive west of Doha. Visitors are welcome at the center if they just want to see the Oryx’s, but must make arrangements to visit through a tour company should they wish to explore the grounds.