Doha attracts visitors worldwide not only because it is the capital of Qatar, but also for the reason that it boasts a spectacular cultural heritage, modern buildings, and a plethora of tourist attractions.
Here are some of the must-do weekend activities in Doha, depending on how you plan to bond with your family and friends.
1. Go shopping while having fun
Doha has some of the world’s best shopping destinations. These include Doha Festival City and Souq Waqif.
Doha Festival City
When it comes to shopping, entertainment, and dining, Doha Festival City is one of the prominent destinations in Qatar. It houses over 400 local and international brands. Some brands have even made their debut here, including Harvey Nichols, Charlotte Tilbury, Kiehl’s, ACE, and Dior Beauty Boutique.
Doha Festival City is also home to the only IKEA store in Qatar, where you can buy valuable goods like appliances, furniture, occasional home services, and accessories. It also features the best restaurants in Doha, including PF Chang’s, Texas Roadhouse, Shake Shack, The Cheesecake Factory, Bubba Gump, Eataly, and IKEA Restaurant.
Best of all, it boasts the following attractions that the entire family can enjoy:
Angry Birds World
The Angry Birds World is among the main highlights of Doha Festival City. It offers 20 unique attractions and rides that will surely amaze you as it takes you and your family to the world of Angry Birds. There are plenty of things to look forward to in this park, including the 17-meter high tower, Go Kart track, an actual Red House, and a City Studio that offers features and activities like roller gliders, wall climbing, and a rope course to test everyone’s strength.
Virtuocity is the region’s first dedicated digital gaming hub. Visitors refer to it as the gateway between the virtual realm and the real world. Every family member can enjoy thrilling competitions, making it an excellent weekend family bonding experience.
Virtuocity offers a fully immersive digital experience. From its escape rooms and full-motion racing simulators to its wide multipurpose eSports arena, visitors can play to their heart’s content against one another or other visitors, witnessing the capabilities of state-of-the-art gaming technologies. It also has a retail store where you can buy all gaming products, latest releases, limited edition games, apparel, and more.
Some cities in the Middle East may offer indoor ski attractions, but Snow Dunes is the first to offer attractions with an Arabian theme. All its nine attractions revolve around the Arabian City whilst offering unique snow experiences.
Snow Dunes also features several dining establishments serving the finest dishes in the middle of the snow. Most remarkably, you can savor snacks and delicacies at the Magic Box, San Bouk, or Snow Dunes Restaurant.
If you’re looking for an outdoor marketplace offering souvenirs, handicrafts, and spices, Souq Waqif is the place to visit. This is the oldest market and one of the most visited destinations in Qatar.
Along the narrow roads, you can find different art galleries and shops offering various items like scented oils, diamonds, perfumes, and even falcons. As you stroll around, don’t miss trying out dishes from any of the restaurants there. You should also visit the Spiral Mosque and Islamic Centre to learn more about Arabic and Islam people.
Overall, Souq Waqif is one of the best places for both locals and tourists to explore, browse, shop, barter, mingle, and relax.
2. See the best sights
Doha offers several exceptional sight-seeing options, especially if you want to learn more about the local customs, traditions, and history.
Qatar National Museum
Qatar National Museum is probably the first building you’ll see as you head to the city centre from the airport. It has the shape of a desert rose with 114 fountain sculptures at the 900-meter long lagoon entrance. The museum’s roof is multi-curved, resembling a huge jigsaw puzzle with 76,000 panels in 36,000 different sizes and shapes.
Inside the museum, over 1,500 meters of gallery space feature some noteworthy elements like the oldest Koran in Qatar and the 19th-century carpet embellished with Gulf pearls.
Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art is a gem for art lovers as it represents Islamic art from three continents spanning more than 1,400 years. All the museum pieces and artwork are divided in chronological order on different floors.
Moreover, the museum has a spectacular atrium and a nice snack place. The café area also offers some of the finest collections of manuscripts, ceramics, and textures from different Muslim countries around the world. Lastly, don’t miss checking out the museum’s extensive libraries.
Doha Fort, which is a few minutes’ walk from Souq Waqif, educates visitors more about the city’s historical monuments. It is an impressive building situated at the end of the long wall that stretches out into the harbor past the Corniche. It can provide you with some of the best photographic sites in Doha.
Doha Fort also has a museum that holds paintings, historical photos, traditional arts, fishing equipment and boats, handicrafts, and goldwork. In addition, you can find dhows and boats here. You may even rent out a cruise in Corniche during your weekend trip.
3. Just relax
Besides the educational and thrilling experiences, Doha also offers some relaxing weekend options.
Bliss Spa Doha
Get a signature massage and treatment at Bliss Spa in W Doha Hotel & Residences. This is an 8,000-square-feet space for relaxation that features several amenities, such as a luxury nail lounge, a retail beauty boutique, spa-inspired soaking tub, designated treatment rooms and lounges for men and women, manicure and pedicure stations, and the legendary brownie buffet.
Witness the incredible views of Downton and the Museum of Islamic art as you stroll along the walkways of the Corniche, especially during the evenings. The Corniche also offers excellent views of the West Bay skyline and decent landscaping. It is one of the best Doha places to sit while having a sumptuous meal and a relaxing drink.
Weekends spent with your loved ones are always the best experiences, especially if you visit a culturally rich destination like Doha. With the long list of tourist attractions it offers, your Qatari getaway is sure to be a remarkable one. Don’t forget to check out event listings as well to get the most out of your weekend vacation in Doha, and make sure to book your tickets to your chosen attractions ahead of time.