In Doha, going to the shopping malls is more than a hobby, it's a necessity. Read on to find out why.
Summer is long in Doha and stretches for five months. During this period, the average temperature in Doha is about 38°C (100°F), often approaching 45°C (113°F). When it gets this hot, heading to the air-conditioned malls for food, entertainment, and social interaction is a wise choice. And with plenty of money going around in this oil-rich country, malls are getting bigger, better, shinier, often packed with world-class entertainment too, making them a haven for residents and tourists alike.
To get the best experience, start your shopping trip from the Pearl-Qatar, Doha’s answer to Dubai’s Palm. The Pearl is a 400-hectare manmade island built on the site of a former pearl diving site. It is packed with luxury shops and a wide range of cafés and restaurants. After that, head to the Italian-themed Villaggio Mall which has a 150-meter long indoor canal complete with gondolas, as well as a 22,000-sqm theme park containing an Olympic sized skating rink. Another must-see is Souq Waqif, a 19th-century bazaar famous for exotic spices, handmade shoes and jewellery. For more tips, check out our Shopping in Doha guide.
Doha boasts some of the best museums in the region. Top of the list is the Museum of Islamic Art, which hosts an impressive collection including the world’s oldest Korans. Another must-see is Mathaf: Arabic Museum of Modern Art. Admission to both museums is free. Our Things to see in Doha guide has more recommendations.
Food & Drink
There are plenty of options when it comes to food, ranging from authentic Middle Eastern eateries to upscale restaurants owned by some of the world’s most renowned chefs, including Gordon Ramsay and Nobu Matsuhisa. See our Restaurants in Doha guide to discover some of the best places to grab a bite in the city.
You can definitely get wine at hotels. It’s also worth noting that many restaurants offer wonderful fresh juices. The best is a lemon-mint drink, made with lemon juice, sugar syrup and fresh mint leaves.
There is no shortage of accommodation in Doha, and the list of hotels is ever-expanding as the city plans to offer 30,000 hotel rooms by 2030. Even cheap hotels tend to have luxury amenities like rooftop pools or saunas. For recommendations, check out our Doha Hotels guide.
When to go
The best time to visit Doha is from October to April. Our Weather in Doha page even has a weather widget to help you plan your trip.