This showpiece waterfront promenade, stretching the length of the semi-circular Doha Bay, offers spectacular vistas, from the dramatic high rise towers of the central business district to the bold shapes of the Museum of Islamic Art, as well as the traditional wooden dhows lining the Bay. The Corniche provides a vehicle-free recreational space in the heart of the city, ideal for a jog in the cool of the morning or leisurely evening stroll.
The museum’s magnificent collection covers 14 centuries of the finest art and artefacts from across the Islamic World. Housed in a dramatic IM Pei-designed building, jutting into Doha Bay at the southern end of the Corniche, it ranks internationally among the world’s leading cultural landmarks.
For an authentic taste of lively traditional street life, commerce and local architecture, nothing can beat a wander through the bustling lanes of Souq Waqif, located just one block inland from the Corniche in the central Al Bidda district. Besides the fabulous range of souvenir bargains, it is a great place to relax over a coffee or meal and soak up the atmosphere.
An off-road desert safari by 4x4 is an experience not to be missed. Besides a heart-stopping ride over the precipitous dunes, safaris may include camel riding, sand boarding or driving a quad bike, followed by a moonlit Bedouin-style barbeque under the stars. Available from all major tour operators, most safaris take place in the high sand dunes lying to the south of Doha.
Cruises aboard a traditional wooden Arab dhow are another extremely popular visitor experience. Day and evening sightseeing excursions, including a meal, can be arranged through hotels and local tour operators or directly from the dhows moored along the Doha Corniche.
A purpose-built cultural and recreational district on the West Bay waterfront, Katara is ideal for a relaxing day of culture, entertainment and family fun. Its performance venues stage plays, concerts, film festivals and much more. Recreational options include a well-tended public beach with water sports, restaurants and cafes.
The Pearl is a spectacular string of man-made islands off the coast of West Bay. The main island features impressive marina esplanades, residential towers and villas. Symbolizing the ultimate in elegance, the Pearl offers fine dining, Mediterranean-style yacht-lined waterfront walks, stylish cafes and an array of boutiques featuring the world’s leading luxury brands.
An organized tour is ideal for visitors with limited time to spare or seeking an overview of Doha and its attractions. Local tour operators offer both standard city tours taking in all the main sights, as well as tailor-made tours catering to their clients’ special interests. Also available are ‘hop-on, hop-off’ double-decker tours operated by Doha Bus (dohabus.com).