The destinations you must pay a visit to while in Qatar.

Ever picture a place where you could sandboard down a massive dune in the morning, then be sipping a cappuccino with a view of a mind-blowing skyline by sunset? That’s Qatar for you! Qatar, nestled between the sparkling Arabian Sea and the beautiful desert, is like a real-life paradise. Its history stretches back thousands of years, and over time, its ancient traditions have collided with futuristic innovation in the coolest way possible.

From a tourist’s point of view, one can explore a land rich in culture, natural wonders, art and innovation if they are to visit Qatar. Here are KHAMSA‘s five inclusions on a Qatar to-do list.

١. Zekreet

Have you ever seen pictures of giant mushroom rocks in the middle of a desert? Those are Zekreet’s Limestone Cliffs in Qatar, These cliffs are like giant statues sculpted by the wind. Over thousands of years, strong desert winds have whipped away softer rocks, leaving these amazing limestone formations standing tall. They’re a pale colour that really pops against the sandy background, and they look like a bunch of weathered old mushrooms. People call them “mushroom rocks” for that reason.

There’s even a cool art installation out there called East-West/West-East by the artist Richard Serra. It adds a whole modern touch to the ancient landscape.

٢. JEDARIART Murals

Doha, Qatar, is full of hidden gems thanks to JEDARIART. This annual program by Qatar Museums brings walls to life with stunning murals, transforming the city into a giant open-air art gallery.

Imagine vibrant scenes burst open with cultural references, playful patterns that nod to the region’s heritage, or thought-provoking street art sparking conversations. JEDARIART isn’t just about beautifying Doha; it’s about connecting people to art and giving local artists a platform to showcase their creativity. So next time you’re in Doha, keep your eyes peeled for these captivating murals – they’re a hidden art work waiting to be discovered.

٣. The Inland Sea

The Inland Sea in Qatar, also known as Khor Al Adaid, is like a real-life mirage, with crystal-clear water that’s surprisingly warm and perfect for a dip after you conquer those crazy sand dunes in a 4×4. This whole little sea is actually saltier than the ocean nearby because of all the sunshine evaporating the water. Indeed, it’s like a secret saltwater pool hidden in the desert.

The Inland Sea is a hotspot for kayakers and anyone who wants to see some cool wildlife – you might even spot some dolphins alongside the usual fishy crew.

٤. Katara Cultural Village

Source: Carnets du Qatar

Stepping into Katara Cultural Village is like stepping into peak Qatari culture. It is a vibrant hub overflowing with art galleries, theatres, and exhibition halls, all nestled in traditional architecture. This isn’t just a museum; it’s a beating heart for artistic exchange and a bridge to Qatar’s rich heritage.

Inspired by the vision of the Father Emir, Katara aims to be a beacon of culture, not just for Qatar, but for the entire world. Here, international festivals and local workshops come together, fostering understanding and celebrating the beauty of diverse traditions. Whether you’re captivated by a musical performance or delve into a historical exhibit, Katara offers a unique window into the soul of Qatar and a glimpse into a future where cultures unite.

٥. Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif offers a delightful blend of tradition and modernity. Lose yourself in the glittering Gold Souq, where jewellery tells tales of local traditions, or experience the age-old sport of falconry at the Falcon Souq.

Beyond the stalls, the Souq invites you to indulge in a feast for the senses. Explore the aromatic world of local cuisine in the central courtyard, from savoury samosas to sweet dumplings. You can then venture into the Souq Waqif Art Centre, a haven of creativity that showcases the talents of local and visiting artists.

Souq Waqif invites you to immerse yourself in Qatar’s rich heritage, making every stroll through its alleys a journey through Qatari time and tradition.

Leen is a writer, designer and creative director, holding a fashion design degree from ESMOD. She is currently pursuing an MBA in fashion management, specializing in luxury, in Paris. Living in various Western and Eastern locales, Leen writes on fashion, culture, and lifestyle at KHAMSA as she interns in the editorial department.
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