Rising like a phoenix out of the desert, Doha is an ultra-modern, futuristic city with a skyline dominated by some of the highest buildings in the Middle East. Doha is the capital of Qatar, the wealthiest country in the world, with a wealth of exciting experiences on offer, both urban and desert adventures.
Doha city is full of impressive shopping malls for those who enjoy shopping in international designer boutiques. There are fascinating museums to explore, and traditional experiences to enjoy, including the Katara Cultural Village – a living museum full of galleries displaying Arabic artworks. Doha is also home to quaint old districts that show another side of life in this sprawling city. For a slice of authentic old-school Doha, visit the charming marketplace, Souq Waqif, where business carries on as it has for centuries.
Why we love exploring Doha city
- Dining in Doha is varied, from street food to gourmet experiences.
- Doha is Qatar’s cultural centre, with many fascinating museums and art galleries to explore.
- Visitors to Doha can experience both city and desert life.
- Doha is a shopping haven, whether you’re looking for world-class designer goods or traditional Arabic souvenirs.
- To explore the Pearl-Qatar, Doha’s man-made island, called the Arabian Riviera.
- To see incredible modern architecture.
- To stay in an incredibly wide selection of hotels, including some of the most luxurious in the world.
Doha city is an intoxicating blend of the traditional and ultra-modern. Explore its fascinating history and cutting-edge urban attractions on holiday with a 2024 travel package from Thompsons Holidays.
Things to do in Doha
With its exciting mix of activities, both contemporary and traditional, Doha offers fun and sun-filled holiday. Doha city’s tourist attractions include a multitude of fascinating museums to visit, offering an insight into this modern city with its olde worlde charm, art and history. There are modern malls to shop in as well as the city’s famous marketplace, Souk Waqif, with its various sections including the Spice and Gold Markets.
There’s the glorious coastline where you can sunbathe and enjoy various water sports. On the outskirts is the desert, with all of its many charms, including camels that race, others to ride, and dunes that beg to be explored.
Things to do in Doha
- Shop for jewellery in the bustling Souk Waqif Gold Market.
- Dine with the locals on the Corniche, Doha’s promenade.
- Explore the Sheikh Faisal Museum, a massive fort with extraordinary displays including vintage cars and fossils.
- Embark on a desert safari in a 4x4 vehicle to explore.
- See towering sculptures and abandoned movie sets in the desert.
- Enjoy a variety of watersports on the pristine coastline.
- Take a dhow cruise at sunset.
- Stay in a luxury tent in the desert and dine under the stars.
- Discover the Al-Maha Sanctuary where the tiny oryx antelope is bred.
- Visit the Museum of Islamic Art, home to Islamic pieces from all over the world.
Doha beckons you to enjoy its excellent cuisine, great shopping, luxury hotels and traditional charm. Experience Doha on a Middle East travel package from Thompsons Holidays.
Know before you go...
- The best time to visit Doha is in the winter (December to February) when temperatures average in the mid-twenties.
- July and August are the hottest months, with temperatures soaring over 40.
- Flight duration from Johannesburg to Doha, Qatar: 8 hours, 55 minutes.
- There are daily flights between South Africa and Qatar.
- Most visitors use taxis to get around Doha.
- South African passport holders do not require a visa to enter Qatar.
- Passports must be valid for 6 months after departure.
- Qatar is 1 hour ahead of South Africa.
- The official currency is the Qatari Riyal (QAR).
- Credit cards are widely accepted, and ATMs are prevalent.
- US Dollars are not widely accepted – instead use the local currency.
- Tipping is not customary but happily accepted in Qatar. Tip hotel staff at your discretion.
- The official language is Arabic.
- English is widely spoken in Qatar.
- Islam is the official religion in Qatar.
- Sharia Law is expected to be adhered to at all times.
- When visiting sacred sites and temples, dress conservatively. (See ‘What to pack’).
- If you travel to Doha during the month of Ramadan, eating and drinking in public places from sunrise to sunset is not allowed.
- Lightweight, loose and breathable clothing that covers shoulders and knees (better even to cover wrists and ankles).
- A shawl, pashmina or scarf to cover up when you need to.
- Swimwear for private beaches and hotel pools.
- Comfortable walking shoes.
- Sunscreen, lip balm, hat and sunglasses.
- Mini first aid kit and regular prescription medication.
- Hand sanitiser and insect repellent.
- Travel adaptor.
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