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City Guide : Doha

Qatar's capital city Doha is a very modern and fast developing city. It is forecasted to be one of the prominent cities of the region in the next few years. 80% of the country's population lives in Doha, which is a very effective center from an economic perspective. This young city, founded in 1825, hosted the 2006 Asian Games with the highest attendance in the history of the organization. Doha, which hosted the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, is getting ready to host the 2022 World Cup.

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  • Tourist Attractions

    Al Corniche is a shore line where Doha most definitely displays all of its visual beauty. All along this passage surrounding Doha Bay, you can see the beautiful view and the skyscrapers of the city in harmony. Corniche gets crowded especially in the afternoon.

    Rumelia Park is located in the Corniche region. In this touristic area, there is a combination of an outdoors theater, art gallery and playgrounds for children. The park presents shopping opportunities with numerous stores as well as great and hearty food at its cafeteria.

    You may come across many sculptures while walking around parks around Corniche. The most interesting one of them is the gigantic colorful statue of an athletic oryx. The mascot of the 15th Annual Asian Games in 2006, Orry the Oryx, is the most popular among kids. Oyster and Pearl, located at the southern end of Corniche, keeps another cherished memory of the city's past alive. Doha is one of the places in the world where the highest number of pearls are extracted; thus pearls had a very important place in the lives of the locals for years. As the Japanese started producing cultured pearls, the city shared this character of itself with the Far East. The Water Pot monument, located next to the Museum of Islamic Arts, is a very relaxing fountain.
  • Culture & Entertainment

    The Museum of Islamic Arts is located at the Doha Harbour. Various pieces of arts which belonged to Muslim dynasties that ruled in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Euope are on display here.
    Mathaf can be visited as a museum of modern arts. Works of art coming in from almost everywhere in the Arab world meet art lovers there. Another interesting fact about this museum is that is utilizes a building that used to be a school. The museum is located on the corner of Al-Lukta Street where many educational institutions are located as well.

    Al Khor Museum was opened right next to the area with the same name on the shore. There are ruins excavated from the area, which date back to the Neolithic Age until Middle Bronze Age, on display there.  Doha is very rich in terms of museums. The Orientalists Museum, Weaponry Museum, Sheikh Faisal Collection, and the Museum of Photography can be mentioned among other spots of culture to visit.

    Doha Zoo can be visited right next to the sports complex called Sports City. In addition to numerous animals, a type of antelope that is unique to Doha can be seen here. If you have some spare time you can give to nature and animals, Al Shahaneya natural area is a must-see for you, located 57 km away. At this breeding farm, you can see camels, antelopes, and world-renowned Arabian horses in their natural habitat.

    You should find a “sheesha” cafe and try this typical Middle Eastern afternoon activity with fruit flavored tobacco. The places to for this experience reminds one of Indian buildings in the color red.
  • Food & Drink

    The diversity of the population in Doha reflects in the variety of food in its cuisine. It is possible to find examples of Indian, Chinese, Phillippine, Thai, Italian, Korean, and -of course- typical Middle Eastern cuisines there. Seafood, especially fish, holds a very important part in the cuisine of Doha. It is possible to find world-class quality dishes in the restaurants of the city's luxurious hotels. There are many locations of the world-renowned American fast food franchises in Doha.
  • Shopping

    The city center stands out as the place where major stores and shopping centers are located. Shopping centers get crowded in the evening hours due to the high temperature of the city.

    If you would like to see the old style bazaars, there are some of them in Doha.Souq Waqif is an Arabian bazaar that is a must-see. It is located in very close proximity to Corniche. You can spend hours at its labyrinth-like corridors. Almost anything is sold in this bazaar. Omani Souq, located on Haloul Street parallel to Salwa Road, is another Doha bazaar to see. Bazaars of Doha provide an amazing experience with vegetables, spices, and other goods.
Route Map: Hong Kong – Doha Flight

Qatar’s Cultura Star

Like a magnet, the Doha Museum of Islamic Art draws you to it immediately when seen from afar.  I hasten my step to become part of this magnificent work of architecture as soon as possible. Approaching on a slight gradient punctuated by date palms on either side, I am suddenly inside the building. Left, right and front of me is the sea! Opposite the museum rise the skyscrapers of Doha City, each one a marvel of modern design. This must be the very definition of contrast born of aesthetics and synergy!

The architecture of this edifice, built on landfill, draws its strength as much from its stark lines as from its roots in the past. Designed by the world-renowned Pritzker Prize-winning architect I. M. Pei, the building’s geometric harmony immediately commands attention. When the perception of dimension created by the variously oriented cubes combines with the angle of the sunshine at different hours of the day, the building’s splendor is even better appreciated. Initially, Pei apparently dragged his feet when the project was proposed to him.

“What I encountered was a world of diverse cultural richness starting from the Iberian Peninsula and extending across North Africa, the Middle East, Afghanistan and India to the frontiers of China,” says Pei, who traveled in the Islamic world prior to taking on the project. Indeed Pei has reflected in his architectural lines his impressions of those journeys, which took him from Cordoba, once the Medina’t al-Zahra or City of Flowers, and Tunis across Egypt and Syria all the way to Samarqand. In Egypt especially, the historic Ahmad ibn Tulun Mosque impressed Pei and gave him inspiration. And the sophisticated building that ultimately emerged more than meets modern needs with its minimalist approach that utilizes Turkish triangles in its interior space.

Forging a link between present and past, a museum is an institution of continuing education where artifacts are collected, preserved and shared with the public. Architecture, trained personnel and experts, and the artifacts - spatial harmony, management, exhibition, lighting and preservation - are all separate disciplines in museology.

Doha Museum of the Islamic Arts is a museum that succeeds professionally in all these areas. Apart from being an art lover, I was moved as a Turk and a Muslim as well. At the same time, as a Turk and a Muslim I was proud of the museum, which spreads before the eyes in concrete form the cultural depth and richness of the geography of which I am a part. I hope that Turkey, which also has a wealth of monuments of this culture, a major portion of which it personally produced, will soon have a comparable museum and museologists.

The collections of the Doha Museum of Islamic Art exhibit a breadth that encompasses works of Islamic art starting from the 7th century A.D. and all the regions touched by Islamic culture. A mere glance at the periods and genres represented suffices to show with what sensitivity and meticulousness the artifacts were chosen.

Art lovers will find here monuments of the Umayyads, the Abbasids and Islamic Spain, as well as hundreds of artifacts from the Islamic civilizations of India, Iran, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, Egypt, Syria, Anatolia and North Africa. And viewing the many rare manuscripts, glassware, metalwork, textiles and stonework in an up-to-date concept of exhibiting under perfect lighting is a very meaningful experience.

Another area that adds vitality to the museum is that allocated to temporary exhibitions. Mounted one after the other in collaboration with the world’s leading museums, they are spread out over the entire year. We witnessed a pleasant coincidence during our visit to the area, where an exhibition on the theme, Journey into the World of the Ottomans, featuring paintings by the Medieval Masters culled from Holland’s famous Rijksmuseum Collection, suddenly made us feel we were back in Istanbul.

One thing we can say about the Doha Museum of Islamic Art is that the building is a work of art in its own right. Its exhibition areas, inner courtyard, dome, walls and panoramic glass facade are the details that make this building unique. Together with the Museum of Modern Arab Arts that opened somewhat earlier, the Doha Museum of Islamic Art has clearly established the city of Doha high among the Mideast’s leading cities of culture. With its well-preserved authentic texture and its modern shopping centers, Qatar is a beautiful country boasting both desert and sea. All that aside, however, the Doha Museum of Islamic Art is reason enough to go to Qatar.

Closed on Tuesdays, the museum is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and on Fridays from 2 - 8 p.m. You can find thematic publications and replicas of the artifacts on display in the museum store.

Ticket Sales Offices : Doha

THY Doha Sales Office
Address Turkish Airlines Inc., P.O Box 93, Airport Road, Crowne Plaza-The Business Park, Building – E, Ground Floor, Doha QATAR
Phone Toll Free for Reservation: 00800100592

+974 4443 3027 / 28
Fax +974 4443 2952
Work Hours

Saturday-Thursday: 09:00 - 19:00
Friday: Closed

THY Doha Airport Office
Address Hamad International Airport Turkish Airlines Inc. Office Concourse A /A3-05a-22 Level 3 Departure Terminal Doha/QATAR
Phone Flight and Baggage information: 00974 4010 0641
Work Hours

Daily: 23:15-07:15

  • Doha : Airport Information

    Doha Hamad Intl. Airport

    Address : P.O.Box 22550 Doha Qatar
    Phone : +974 4 462 06 05
  • Doha : Airport Map Information

Doha Hotels
Doha Info
  • Mon 41°C
  • Tue 41°C
  • Wed 40°C
May Jun Jul Aug
39°C 42°C 42°C 41°C
27°C 29°C 31°C 31°C
All for the Year Monthly Averages
Area : 11.437 km2
Population : 998.651
Monetary Unit : Qatari Rial
Phone Code : + 974
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