Creating Memories in Qatar - A Guide to Recreation in Qatar
By: Nicholas Sawarna & Cristina Resetco
Qatar may be a small peninsula, but there is much
to do and see. From its capital at
Doha, to its barren northwestern shores,
Qatar offers many recreational opportunities to those
wishing to relax and to those wishing to be active. This
guide highlights, in brief, some of the activities you don't
want to miss while living in or visiting Qatar.
Music and Theatre:
With daytime temperatures in Qatar reaching even above 42C
(108F), most activities in Doha are enjoyed after sunset.
For theatre connoisseurs, there is ample opportunity to
become involved. Residents of Qatar can catch performances
by visiting foreign theatrical troupes at the newly-built,
500-seat Qatar National Theatre in Doha, or participate in
the production of amateur plays through community-run Doha
Players theatre company.
Music is also an important part of Doha's nightlife. The
Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra offers professional sound for those
longing for European Classical flavour. Visitors to Doha may
also participate in the Doha Community
Orchestra, which is composed of
musicians from all around the world who are aged eight to 60
years old. There are also many opportunities to hear local
and international pop music at Doha's many hotel lounges and
Qatar's most famous museum is the Doha Museum of Islamic
Art. Designed by
world-renowned architect I.M. Pei, the Doha Museum of
Islamic Art is home to a large collection of ancient
artifacts pertaining to Islamic culture from the Fertile
Crescent to the ancient Biblical lands. No visit to Doha is
complete without visiting this historical harbor of
treasures. See the video from our visit in late 2011.
A few hours outside Doha, one finds the Al Zubarah
Fortification. Built in 1938, the fort symbolizes a time
when Qatar was not as strong as it is today. The fort stands
as a testament to Qatar's beginnings as a nation.
Perhaps the most popular pastime in Doha is strolling along
the Corniche, which is about 4.5 km (seven miles) long. The
best way to explore this seaside strip is by bicycle. Qatar
has recently begun a bicycle-sharing program, named Q-Bike,
which makes bicycles easily available to anyone wanting to
see the Corniche and burn calories at the same time.
With tennis and squash courts, swimming pools, and elite
sports center, recreation clubs in Doha offer a rich variety
of recreational activities. [Doha Golf Club[(/locations/middle-east/qatar/articles/video-doha-golf-club.html) is a sight to
behold, boasting an internationally recognized 18-hole
course, which hosts the annual Qatar Masters tournament. Qatar hosts many annual
sporting events such as tennis, golf, and automobile racing
and it will be the first Middle Eastern country to host the
World Cup football competition in
The Qatar West Coast Hash Harriers are the group to contact
for those who love running or hiking, and who will be staying in Qatar
for an extended period of time. The group, which is composed
entirely of expatriates living in Qatar, organizes social
and exciting desert-running events. Essentially, this group
is for those who wish to make friends and see Doha's vast
singing dunes at the same time.
And for a good workout for the heart and lungs — while
sitting down – consider going dune-bashing.
Traditional Arabic activities include horse racing, camel
racing, and falconry. To immerse yourself in the magic of
the Middle East, visit Qatar's Racing and Equestrian
Doha, which features camel and horse championships. The club
also provides opportunities to ride. Qatar offers a variety
of cultural adventures and team building activities for
groups, such as dining in the desert, dhow cruises
(traditional sailing vessels), and theme events on private
Since Qatar is now the richest country on the planet, one
expects the shopping to be luxurious and expensive. Although
this is the case at Doha's many malls, such as the largest,
the Villagio the best place to
discover Doha's shopping culture is through the Souqs,
particularly Doha's famous Souq Waqif. The souqs are
traditional Arab markets where one can find anything from
spices to elaborate gold masterpieces to falcons!
Qatar truly offers the best of both worlds and welcomes
visitors to explore the luxury of the Middle East.