It is a pulse-pounding experience that will never leave you. Fun to experience, and simple to navigate, Qatar brings with it a delicious spin of family adventures with something for everyone. Here are five reasons why the desert location must top your bucket list, with its splashy resorts, unforgettable locations, food journeys and more…
SOUQ TO SAVOUR
It is the only traditional surviving souq in the Middle East, with its cosy, cultural charm, and buzzing vibe. Trundling prams, strolling tourists, chatty zones in open air coffee shops, cantering horses, the neighbouring falconry, a superb camel parade in the evenings and thousands of chintzy curios, chirping feathered friends at the bird market, the eye catching line-up of Turkish plates, Irani bowls, dry fruit bellied dates, sheesha stops and twinkling lamps, streetside food markets – it is a veritable Alladin’s cave that opens up within the sprawl of Souq Waqif. Tuck in the sumptuous kebabs and Persian delicacies at Parisa – they even have a stunning Sheesh-mahal styled private dining area. Relish the mezze and more at the pulsating Damascus, and soak up the sights and sounds of the local market as the sun sets. This is Middle Eastern culture at its best. Warm, welcoming, and unforgettable.
That’s right. Khor Al Udaid Beach is one of the few places in the world where the sea makes its way into the desert. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is Doha’s best kept secret. Camp and picnic at this Instagrammable location, spot the marine life cavorting in the clean waters, sip on karak chai with the salty, cheesy, honey stroked rotis to nibble on as the wind whispers through your hair. Start early to arrive at the neighbouring desert to indulge in an adrenaline pumped session of dune bashing, spot the national animal of Qatar at the precious oryx reserve, and cruise along in your Land Rover as the fluffy white clouds play in the sky. The warm colors of sunset pour themselves lazily all across the rapidly cooling sands as the sun begins to dip. Stay hydrated, with sunscreen and appropriate clothing to skip the sunburn.
TASTE OF REGALIA
If you, or your princess are reeling from the Disney hangover, Yasmine Palace at The Pearl offers the perfectly poised regal setting. With royal blue and gold tones lacing the palatial sprawl, you move starry eyed taking in the gurgling fountains, the best sheesha, winking chandeliers and gold fittings even in the bathrooms, complete with a carriage parked at the entrance. It is the best address in Doha, exotic and magical, and does serve up an unforgettable sensorial experience in a magnificent mix of Andalusian, Levantine and Qatari-inspired food, with truly warm and hospitable staff. The lipsmacking layali lubnan at Yasmine Palace is a truly unforgettable dessert experience. The milky sweet treat is the best version of the Lebanese dessert in Doha.
Shilpi Madan for GlobalSpaOnline