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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 7 Best things to do in Qatar – Unexpected Cultural and Natural Delights
Joanna James Joanna James
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7 Best things to do in Qatar – Unexpected Cultural and Natural Delights

There is so much to see and do in Qatar that it is well worth exploring, even if just for a few days in transit between countries. Try out these activities when travelling the country.


The Pearl

The pearl is an island off the coast of Qatar, built artificially on reclaimed land. Today, it is popular among some of the most affluent and stylish in Qatar, and is lined with beautiful townhouses, villas and apartments. Amidst these, visitors will find a scenic promenade to walk along, as well as great entertainment, outdoor spaces and decadent dining on this island. It is located in an area that was once well known for pearl diving, and it has inspired the layout of the island resembling a string of pearls. Some of the finest luxury hotels in Doha are located in and around the Pearl, though for a more serene experience visitors may prefer a more private island experience at a place like the Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara.


Katara Cultural Village

The cultural village was built with the vision of creating a hub for the sharing of the different cultures of the world, and to find some unity and harmony in this diversity. It is a state-of-the-art village, which is home to several theatres, halls, Galleries and a Garden. The village is a great place to experience the local culture, and this includes the magnificent Golden Masjid.


Dune Bashing

This is an adrenaline pumping activity done in the deserts of Qatar. The adventure takes place in an off roading vehicle, which drives at high speeds in the desert, along and over the sand dunes. It almost feels like riding a rollercoaster and is a favourite among visitors to the country.


Souq Waqif

This souq is where visitors should head to if they want an authentic Qatari experience, and this 'standing market' is home to vendors selling various local goods, from food and spices to apparel and household items. It has retained its traditional style for about a century, and today visitors can even find great restaurants and Shisha lounges in the area. The ambiance is wonderful, with music, performances and happy crowds enjoying themselves along the winding alleyways that make up the market.


Museum of Islamic Art

Islamic culture dates back thousands of years and can be traced to early times across several continents, all of which is showcased here. Visitors will find displays ranging from fine ceramics, textiles, glass, and manuscripts reflecting the culture, as well as various exhibitions held here. The buildings architecture is also stunning, built in a traditional style.


Al Zubarah Fort and Abandoned Village

Once a flouring site for trade and fishing, this walled coastal village was destroyed in the 1800's and abandoned thereafter in the 1900's. Today it has been partially excavated and has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can admire the remnants of this village to better understand how people in the region once lived.


Al Thakira Mangroves

A great contrast to the desert scenery, these mangroves are a site with lush and natural greenery. Nature lovers can book a tour along these waters, usually on a kayak and check out the wildlife that calls these mangroves home. This includes interesting birds such as the heron, and even flamingos.