In addition to the information our site offers about the Middle East, it is always interesting to get a second opinion. So we looked at what well-known experts in tourism are saying about Qatar and its capital Doha:
The Lonely Planet online guide to Qatar explains the various stages of transformation Qatar has undergone in the past few decades. They write that originally anxious to shake its "Oriental" stereotype, Doha rapidly modernized its skyline to resemble a city of the future, as opposed to the goat-hair Bedouin tents and dust storms of its past. However, the guide suggests Doha has recently undergone an "Arab Renaissance," and embraced its ancient Arab culture by re-creating a culture they have left abandoned for years. Critics are claiming their models of "Old Doha," including "antique passageways" and tented accommodation, are making Doha resemble a theme park.
Frommer's online guide does a social take on Qatar's capital, Doha, by highlighting the advantages of Doha over the United Arab Emirates' Dubai. The guide claims Doha offers the same luxuries as Dubai, but on a more laid-back and intimate level. The guide also stresses Doha's emerging international presence by identifying Doha as the home of the Al-Jazeera news network and host to many international sporting events. Frommer's has labeled Doha as one of the top ten vacation destinations of 2011.
Online Qatar is a website catering specifically to those interested in visiting Qatar. The site's homepage emphasizes Qatar's origins through the pearling industry.
Qatar Airways features an online guide on their website outlining must-see attractions in Doha, including the Museum of Islamic Art, the Corniche, and the city's lively nighttime entertainment destinations. Their description of Doha takes a traditionalist approach by highlighting its rich history and blend of traditional and modern architecture. Essentially the website is promoting Doha as the manifestation of a long and lengthy process, not the result of the discovery of natural gas reserves.
Late last year when Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the small country was suddenly thrust upon the world stage. The descriptions of the celebrations in Doha following Qatar's victory in the FIFA bid showed an extremely diverse and excited country. The carnival-like atmosphere saw flags of every expatriate nation alongside Qatari flags and the celebrations went late and loudly into the night. Hosting the largest sporting event on the planet certainly means something is happening in Qatar.
And how about "The" site for Qatar — the Qatar Tourism Authority? They open their home page with: "Welcome to Qatar, a country where citizens share their traditions and culture with an open-mind. Be fascinated by the authentic Souq Waqif, stroll along the bustling Corniche, discover the fine artworks on display in the Museum of Islamic Art, or experience a memorable desert safari to Khor Al Adaid, the unique inland sea surrounded by impressive sand dunes."
What are you waiting for?
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