Doha Photo Gallery
Doha is not a typical end destination vacation spot for travelers. Instead, it is a stopover where passengers move from one plane to another and never set foot in the city. Qatar Airways is trying to change that with a generous stopover program where passengers can rest here and enjoy the sights on their way to another corner of the world. The Qatari government is also doing its part, allowing visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries in 2017.
Doha's interior streets are quiet and dusty, which make the environment not so invitable to pedestrians. There isn't much to see here anyway. But within these blocks, there are plenty of good value hotels.
This part of the world gets some scorching summers, but December temperatures are very comfortable for a walk on the Corniche. The Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I. M. Pei, is definitely worth a visit.
Many boats were moored in the bay this morning. I didn't expect any foreign vessels here due to the embargo, and the sea of Qatari flags confirm this.
The museum offers free admission although have shortened opening hours on Fridays, the Muslim day of prayer.
The business district is a long walk along the Corniche to the other side of the bay. The skyline view in front of the museum is very nice.
Unlike many other larger cities, Doha has not looked away from its waterfront. There is a wide road here, but also a wide pedestrian path in front of it as well. Plenty of joggers were taking advantage of the cooler weather and sea breeze for a healthy morning.
The pearl industry historically supported this city before aviation and tourism. Hence, the waterfront is the rightful place for such a monument.
Instead of a long 7km walk all the way around the bay, I decided to head to the market instead. Buses do ply the waterfront promenade if you have tired feet.
Souq Waqif is a tourist market that tends to come alive at night although the shops were already open by mid-morning.
The pet market was already bursting with activity. Unfortunately, the creatures live in crowded conditions.
Similar to Dubai's historic old quarter, markets consist of shops sprawled out in narrow and winding lanes.
Later in the day, these restaurants would be full of patrons enjoying the outdoors.
Costs to eat here vary but there are some budget options tucked away here and there. The streets are generally clean with an army of workers keeping everything tidy.
Despite its lowrise appearance, the souq actually has a huge underground parking lot that is out of sight.
Doha has a decent bus network with the main bus station just a few blocks from the souq. The station itself is not the most inviting place to be but staff are very friendly to curious and lost tourists trying to find their way around town. Cash fares are no longer allowed and all passengers must buy a smart card to ride.
Tourists can also take double decker buses to get to various sights around town. Despite being a small city, Doha's sights are spread out so you will need to make use of transportation at some point.
From the air, Doha doesn't look that dense but the city is spread out over a large area around the bay.