the fp is things-to-do
Things to see and do in Qatar
Qatar Tourist Board in the UKAddress: First Floor, Kennedy House, 115 Hammersmith Road,
Telephone: (020) 7371 1571.
Not open to the public.
Attractions in Qatar
Tackle a sand dune on sand-skis, a quad-bike or plain Shank's pony in the dunes south of Doha, near Mesaieed - or for those with more poetry in their souls, pick a quiet ridge for a picnic.
Catch a fish in Al-Khor
Hire a car and see the 'other side' of Qatar: the pleasant fishing towns of Al-Khor and Al-Zubara were once important for the pearling industry, while Umm Salal Mohammed and Umm Salal Ali hint at a more ancient past.
Check out Doha Fort
Before you dive into Souq Waqif, take a look at Doha Fort; built in the 19th century by the occupying Turks, it has been used as a prison and a stamp museum among other things.
Embark on a desert adventure
Tackle a sand dune on sand-skis or a quad-bike, or just stroll through the dunes south of Doha, near Mesaieed. For those with more poetry in their souls, pick a quiet ridge for a picnic.
Find Ostriches and Oryx in Zekreet
The national symbol of Qatar, oryx are shy, rarely seen animals – and are being reintroduced to the country having once been native. The country's biggest oryx farm is on the Zekreet peninsula on the west coast, and close by is the Ostrich farm, where the birds are free to roam, so visitors can really get up close.
Go jogging down the Corniche
Jog along the magnificent crescent-mooned corniche to fully appreciate the spectacular skyline of the West Bay area; go early morning or at sunset to avoid the heat and join the locals.
Head to Dukhan Beach
An hour's drive due west of Doha, Dukhan is the country's best beach, and popular as an overnight camping spot. Great for families, as the beach is shallow and shelves very gently, it also offers good snorkelling and is an ideal picnic spot.
Katara Cultural Village
A new beachfront development in Doha that houses an outdoor amphitheatre for classical and pop concerts, theatre, art galleries, restaurants and the offices of all Qatar's cultural organisations.
Play a round of golf at Doha Golf Club
Play a round or two at the Doha Golf Club, which boasts both a 6743m (22,120ft) 18-hole championship course and a floodlit 9-hole course. Both are world-class standard; the Qatar Masters in March is an important event on the international circuit.
See Arabian stallions at Al Shaqab Stud
Horse-lovers should head to Al Shaqab for a glimpse of Sheik Haman Bin Ali Al Than's famous purebred Arabian stallions. Tours of the training grounds and stables are available, and the Riding Academy offers lessons.
Shop in Souq Waqif
Try your bartering skills on the vendors in Souq Waqif; with a nose for a bargain you can find antique plates from China, prayer beads of amber, leather-tipped camel sticks and aromatic chests of cardamom from India. Or simply settle in for coffee and shisha and watch the world go by.
Take a Dhow boat ride
There's no better way to see Doha's glittering architecture from the sea, and at sunset the light glinting off the chrome and glass makes them look even more spectacular. Old wooden fishing dhows have been converted into pleasure boats that run day and sunset cruises.
Take in the views of Khor al-Adaid
Book an overnight tour to Khor al-Adaid and discover the breathtaking sunset and sunrise over Qatar's inland sea. Access to this area of salt-flats and sand dunes is by 4-wheel drive, and tour prices include barbeque and camping.
Try some dune-bashing
Join the locals in one of their favourite past-times; roaring up and down the dunes in 4x4s. If you don't want to take your own car into the sand (probably not advisable) quad bikes can be hired by the turn-off to the Sealine Beach Resort.
Uncover the Lost City of Zekreet
Hidden away on the Zekreet peninsula, a few miles north of Dukhan, lies Qatar's quirkiest secret; a film-set traditional Qatari village that is entirely deserted. Rumour has it that it was used for a World Cup 2022 promotional video.
Visit the Museum of Islamic Art
I. M. Pei's beautifully designed gallery, right on the Corniche in the heart of the city has become one of Doha's most iconic sights. Inside the space is light and airy, and the collection of Arabic art, calligraphy and ceramics is breathtaking. The outdoor terrace is a great place for evening drink, with fabulous views of West Bay.
Wonder at Sheikh Feisal Museum
Twenty minutes outside Doha, the museum is an astonishing collection of everything from dinosaur relics to Formula One cars, with rooms given over to art, calligraphy, furniture, boats and motor vehicles.