Last week me and Keit managed to move out from our apartment in Finland, give away and sell all the furniture, pack all of our stuff and move to Perth, Australia for an x period of time (to see our friends and have some d-vitamin). On our way to Perth, we had a stop-over in Doha, Qatar. I absolutely love stop-overs. I feel that this is my chance to visit new places, with no need to buy additional plane tickets, as I have to fly there anyway. So we stayed 2 days in Doha, the capital city of Qatar.
The state of Qatar is an independent emirate (an Arabic Islamic monarchy) in the Gulf Region. The emirate has a population of 2.6 million inhabitants (end 2016), but Qatari nationals represent only a minority. Capital and largest city is Doha (Ad Dawhah, pop 800,000). Spoken language is Arabic (official).
Unfortunately, our flight was at night and we didn’t sleep well during this 6h, so the two days we spent in Doha we were really tired and didn’t go to some places that I would definitely recommend going (pictures and reviews are amazing). So..
We only visited:
- Souq Waqif (market)
- Doha Corniche (waterfront promenade)
- Katara Beach
- Katara Cultural Village
- Doha City Centrum
Some of the other Must See places (we didn’t go to):
- Villaggio Mall (luxurious shopping mall, where you can find beautiful Italian interiors and an indoor canal with gondolas and everything!)
- Museum of Islamic Art
- National Museum of Qatar
- The Pearl (artificial island)
How much everything costs?
Accommodation is quite cheap. Our first night we spent in a Diplomatic Suite, which cost us around 100€ per night in a 4-star hotel. While the suite was totally okay, it was a bit time-worn I guess, hence the cheap price. But the second night we spent in the same hotel but in a much smaller room and it cost us 40€ per night (you can get very decent rooms under 40€). The smaller room looked maybe even better and cozier compared to the Diplomatic Suite (still both were great).
Transportation (taxi) is cheap. Taximeter starts at 10 QR (2,50€) and it takes time before it even starts to increase. Often we paid only 10-15 QR for our trips around Doha.
Food is very affordable.
Alcohol. Well, it’s verry expensive. And it’s not even available in stores or almost anywhere actually. Only some 5-star hotels and its clubs/bars have the permission to sell alcohol. Small beer costs around 40 QR (10€).
When flying with Qatar Airways and having your transit more than 5 hours, you can take a short Doha excursion before connecting to your final destination. The excursion starts and finishes at the airport and the duration is around 2 h and 45 min (by bus). But if you have a chance to stay longer, then max 2-3 days is enough time to see everything, in my opinion.
As you can see, Doha is not all fancy, modern and beautiful. And overall, half of the city is under construction. New buildings are springing up like mushrooms after the rain. Probably because Qatar hosts 2022 FIFA World Cup. Everything has to be picture-perfect and Qatar has the money to do so.
Dress-code for women
Qatar is an Islamic country, and people dress in a very traditional manner. Conservative clothing is recommended for tourists. Keep your shoulders and knees covered when out and about. Full-length sleeves and trousers are required to enter mosques and a scarf is always a good accessory to carry around.
Few facts about Qatar:
- Qatar is the richest country in the world per average income.
- They have the world’s third-largest natural-gas and oil reserves
- Qatar is geographically smaller than Estonia!
- There is no forest in Qatar.
- Just like in Estonia, Qatar is the country where a natural disaster is least likely to strike.
Until next time.