Qatar is connected to the rest of Asia by just one land border with Saudi Arabia. Slated to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, this country has witnessed spectacular growth in the past few years. Being one of the highest oil producers in the world, Qatar has modernized to become one of the most modern countries in the world.
With the announcement of the World Cup and the easing up of visa norms with visa on arrival facility for citizens of over 80 countries, tourism has started picking up in the country and so have its attractions.
To witness the historic past of the country, you can visit the ancient outdoor market, Souq Waqif with its numerous alleys with shops selling traditional fabrics, spices, food, and souvenirs. You could also take a peek into the Islamic art at the Museum of Islamic Art, where there are art displays that are up to 1400 years old. For those who appreciate modern art, the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is the perfect destination. It has thousands of works by Arab artists up for display and frequently hosts events and exhibitions.
You could also visit the National Museum of Qatar, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum, Doha Fort, The Pearl Monument and the Barzan Towers.
To see the modern side of Qatar, you can visit the upscale island, The Pearl, which is an artificial man-made island off the coast of Doha. With a spectacular waterfront and loads of activities, this place is a must-visit destination.
You can stay in the Aspire Tower, the skyscraper hotel of Doha that rises to a height of 300 meters and is the tallest building in the country.
To delve deeper into the culture of Qatar, you should visit the Katara Cultural Village. This place has a huge waterfront along with a museum, an amphitheater, shops selling traditional goodies and numerous eateries. Post the exploration, you could laze around on the Katara Beach that is located right next to it.
For shopping, you can head over to the Villaggio Mall, that has an Italian theme and also has an indoor canal with gondolas. You can find some of the most prominent international brands here and could also go ice skating.
Apart from the older destinations, Qatar is coming up with new tourist attractions, especially for fans who are coming to witness the FIFA World Cup!
For hosting the World Cup, numerous stadiums are being erected or refurbished. The Al Rayyan Stadium will boast of 40,000 seats, which will provide the perfect environment to host the football matches. The other stadiums in construction are the Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Wakrah Stadium, and Qatar Foundation Stadium.
The Doha Metro phase 1 will be fully operational to facilitate easy movement between the venues and will be one of the most sophisticated rail systems in the world. They are also setting up a completely new city – Lusail City, which will spread across four islands and will have loads of high rise buildings and leisurely activities. It will also be home to one of the main stadiums for the World Cup, Lusail Stadium.
To give a boost to the historic downtown area of Doha, the Msheireb Downtown Doha project was launched. It looks to become the world’s first sustainable downtown area and will boast of leisurely facilities, museums, cultural and entertainment venues apart from the retail stores and hotels.
With Qatar National Vision 2030 in place, the tourism industry is going to boom in the nation and you can expect loads of other tourist attractions to open up soon. Do visit Qatar during the FIFA World Cup to see it bubbling with energy at its best!