Discover the rich culture of the Middle East at one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Qatar has been called the world’s richest country, and it contains one of the fastest-growing cities in the Middle East – Doha. This waterfront city, which contains 80% of Qatar’s population, has become a constantly changing metropolis.
The name, Doha, translates to “the big tree” and is synonymous with growth. According to the Qatar Tourism Authority, the impressive Doha skyline has boomed in recent years, and tourism in Qatar has boomed as well, with a growth of about 12% in 2012. When current hotels under construction are finished, Qatar will offer more than 19,000 hotel rooms to tourists.
Though Arabic is the national language, most shop and hotel owners speak English, and it is often the language of choice for business interactions. Also, many ex-patriots live in Qatar, with approximately 300,000 of its two million population being nationals and the rest being non-nationals. Brushing up on some simple phrases is recommended but not required.
Qatar enjoys a sub-tropic climate. The Qatar Tourism Authority recommends visiting during the mildest months between October and April when temperatures dip but remain a hot alternative to northern winter weather. When humidity and temperatures rise in summer, air-conditioned indoor facilities are used more readily. Take your personal preferences for activities into consideration when planning your trip.
A Peaceful Country
Qatar tourism has been evolving for many years. In the past, it has served as a conference location for many organizations such as the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC), the United Nations Climate Change Conference (UNFCC), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Qatar has been ranked as one of the top twenty most peaceful countries globally, ranking above the United Kingdom and France. This makes this Middle Eastern country a great place to visit.
Though Qatar is very peaceful, it’s hardly secular, as it has kept many aspects of its culturally rich Islamic society. When staying or renting in Qatar, it’s best to research social etiquette tips in Qatar tourist guides to know what to expect. As with many places, Doha, Qatar’s culture can be different from western cultures in some aspects. For instance, modest dress is recommended unless at a swimming pool or beach.
Good-natured bargaining while in the souq is not considered rude – it’s encouraged! Finally, since alcohol is available but not common, drunken public displays are not looked on positively. As many people in Qatar are Muslim, the people of Qatar will observe practices such as praying five times each day. You should know these, among other things, should be researched ahead of time to avoid social awkwardness and enhance the experience.
Numerous options are available when it comes to tourist attractions. Qatar is full of interesting manufactured, natural, and meaningful opportunities for sightseeing, from the souqs as mentioned above to the Al Dakhira Natural Reserves. Tourists can walk along the Doha Corniche or visit the Museum of Islamic Art. The beautiful island section of Doha named the Pearl is Qatar’s newest and probably most impressive tourist attraction.
Shopping and Activities
Other opportunities, such as shopping, dining, and entertaining, are also available, as Doha boasts 25 halls and 5 cinemas, numerous malls and souqs, and many options for cuisine, from Italian to Qatari. Sports are a part of Qatar tourism as well, and Qatar’s waterways are often using for boating and swimming, and racing, tennis, and football grace its shores.
The world’s wealth has invested in Doha, and as a result, many people worldwide buy, rent, and purchase housing in the area. Despite this, the cost of living remains low compared to other world-renown cities, like London or New York.
A Tourism Resource
COREO remains an excellent resource for those wanting to visit, live and work in Qatar. Affordable rentals are available online. Consider buying or renting in the beautiful Pearl quarter or staying in many other city sections. To stay updated on the market, we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter. We hope you enjoy your stay in Qatar!
The Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art, locating in Doha on a manufactured island, was designed by architect I.M. Pei, who was brought out of retirement. The museum is connecting to the shore by three bridges that carry cars, while the other two act as pedestrian crossings. Guests can also arrive at the museum by boat and pull up to a grand entrance with two 100 foot tall lanterns marking the boat dock.
The museum consists of two limestones, cream-colored buildings, a two-story wing for education, and a five-story main building. The main building features a domed atrium with an oculus at the top, reflecting beautifully patterned light. The museum incorporates both traditional and modern building architectural styles.
Qatar Islamic Culture Center
The Qatar Islamic Culture Center is a prominent landmark in Doha, and it features an impressive minaret designed to look like a lighthouse. At the same time, traditional Qatari mosques were made of wood, mud, and coral rock; they built the Qatar Islamic Center with brick and mortar. This allowed for much higher domes and replaced traditional outdoor pools with running water and wash bins. The building features many Islamic design elements as well.
The Pearl Qatar
The Pearl Qatar is an artificial island built off the coast of Doha that spans almost four million square meters. The island is home to many residential towers, including the Porto Arabia Towers and the Viva Bahriya Towers. The Pearl is also home to a community modeled after Venice called the Qanat Quartier.
This island area has extensive canal systems, beachfront townhouses, and many squares and plazas. When construction is completing, more than 13 islands will be home to apartments. Luxury villas, high-end restaurants, retail shops, and entertainment facilities. This project, estimat to cost $15 billion upon completion, is being completed by the United Development Company. A large architectural firm in Qatar.
Seeking a house in Qatar
If you are seeking a house in Qatar, start browsing possibilities now. As the demand for residential property is inching upwards; this growth is said to be linked to a recent surge in population. The rise in occupancy rates has proportionately translated into higher rents. Prices start around QR 11,000 per sq. meter and can go up to QR 15,000 depending on the location and kind of facilities available. This figure is likely to rise further as demand is expected to keep increasing.