Edit Blog Post
Published: February 1st 2019
I visited Doha a year back, many of my family and friends were skeptical about the travel because of the mindset we share about the country as being too conservative or unsafe. I did read up everything possible online before making the trip, and considered myself sufficiently warned on dressing and generally being respectful and mindful of the locals. On reaching Doha, I realized my perception had been too harsh. Doha is no different from UAE, and the people there can be warm and understanding. The country has survived and been through a lot, fighting against much stronger contenders, and despite that it has sustained itself. Day one
I started my tour of the lovely city with the famous market area, Souq Waqif. Souq traditionally means marketplace and is generally a prominent and buzzing center of activity in all middle eastern countries. Souq Waqif also provides a wide array of traditional goods and other wares, including clothes, spices, ornaments, etc. There are a number of restaurants, cafés and shisha lounges in the area, where you can take a break and enjoy some good food. The souq also has an animals’ and birds’ market in the back. I was appalled
at the conditions in which the animals and birds were kept, the cages were far too small and there was no protection from the scorching heat. I later read that many people have raised concerns and objections and I was not imagining a problem that was non - existent. The authorities seem to be taking note of this, and we can only hope and write to them for stronger action in case any cruelties persist. The falcon market is nearby. The falcon is the most majestic bird in the middle east. It probably resonates with the fearless and flamboyant spirit of the people there.
In the evening I headed for a classy and fine dining experience in Nobu, the beautiful Japanese restaurant in Four Seasons Hotel. It is located on Diplomatic Street, again an incredibly fancy and gorgeous area of Doha, which is home to most of the five-star hotels. Day Two
The next morning, I headed towards the Katara cultural village, set on the reclaimed land between the West Bay and The Pearl on Qatar’s east coast. The Katara village is coming up as a hub for cultural activity and other entertainment with an amphitheatre, museum
and convention center. It was a beautiful and open area, with a good coffee shop. Disclaimer, I’m not a big fan of Arabic coffee, so if you are like me, better stick with your humble cappuccino.
The evening was dedicated to shopping, and Doha has no shortage of big malls. Doha festival city is the largest mall in Doha. You will be spoilt for choice in terms of shopping and eating. Day Three
On the third morning, I had literally the most beautiful cup of coffee in Fanajeen Café situated in The Gate Mall. The Gate Mall is a comparatively smaller mall in the plush West Bay area. West Bay is home to most of the offices and boasts of the tallest buildings in Doha. I had lunch in Eatopia, also in the Gate Mall, and soaked in the gorgeous view from the airy glass windows.
Towards evening, I headed to the Pearl area. The Pearl – Qatar is an artificially created island in Doha. It has become famous for being the first area in Doha that offers freehold ownership to foreign nationals. It is happening and fun, and full of restaurants serving the best cuisines
Nobu, Four Seasons Hotel
from across the world. The Italian food in a restaurant called Biella was exquisite and delicious. Day Four
I visited the Msheirab Museums the next morning which have dedicated a lot of content to anti human trafficking. The Msheirab Museums are housed in four heritage houses of Doha, Bin Jelmood House, Company House, Mohammed Bin Jassim House and Radwani House.
One of the most beautiful malls I have ever seen anywhere in the world is The Villaggio Mall, modeled on a Venetian style, replete with Gondola rides! I tried a cup of white chocolate mocha in Tuile Café and can still remember the rich creamy taste!
I had some extra time, so I visited the Mirqab Mall and treated myself to some quiet reading time at Caffe Concerto London.
Doha is not very large, and a three - four days’ trip is enough to experience the best of this vibrant and comfortable city. Doha is a charming surprise, if you are willing to be open minded and give it an opportunity. Qatari people are warm and funny and hospitable. I didn't regret this trip, oh, not at all!
Tot: 2.132s; Tpl: 0.065s; cc: 10; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0292s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb