Having one of the oldest and greatest Arabic cultures, Qatar has been best known for its amazing art and museums. As Qatar is hosting FIFA World Cup 2022, it has increased the number of tourist attractions and sites to create an astonishing experience for visitors all around the world. What’s more exciting about the World Cup tournament is that fans can have a chance to attend more than one game a day since all the stadiums are located in one city.
For visitors who want to explore the country and its stunning culture, here is a list of top attractions in Qatar.
1. Museum of Islamic Art
Known for its collection of Islamic Art spanning from the 7th century to the 19th century, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is one of Qatar’s top museums. You’ll find a beautiful selection of metalworks, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork, textiles, coins, and glasses belonging to both royal and ordinary households. It also features more than 800 manuscripts from the Qurans and has the prized possession of one of the rarest manuscripts in the Islamic world, the Abbasid Blue Quran. MIA’s manuscript collections extend to fields other than religion, such as science and literature.
2. Souq Waqif
For centuries, this location has been a marketplace for Bedouins (nomads who have historically inhabited the Arabian and Syrian Deserts) to take the wool and animals to trade for daily necessities. In 2004, it was decided to preserve this historical site, so the entire market area has been renovated and restored according to traditional Qatari architectural techniques. It’s probably the only traditional market left in the Gulf. Here, you will find both souvenirs for tourists and shopping for locals – from fabric, spices, and perfume to garden equipment and pets. Happy exploring!
(Souq Waqif )
3. Doha Corniche
One of the most iconic places in Qatar is Doha Corniche. There are a lot of activities you can do: from enjoying the view of the city’s modern skyline to dhow cruise with your friends and family. Historically, Dhows were mainly used for pearl diving, fishing, and transporting goods. Today, to keep those traditions alive, the ancient craft still serves the people and visitors of Qatar, elegantly evoking the essence of centuries-old maritime heritage.
4. Desert Safari
Located in the Arabian Peninsula, Qatar has vast lands of the desert where you can enjoy culturally exotic experiences. Watching the sunset, seeing the scary yet amazing SUV stunts, and staying inside a traditional tent is one hell of an experience. The area is surrounded with huge sand dunes giving a view like golden dunes around you. There are plenty of options to go to desert safaris, such as half-day desert safaris, desert safaris with BBQ, morning safaris, overnight safaris, and more.
5. Barzan Towers
Significant history, Qatari Architecture, and unique shape make Barzan Towers a famous historical landmark in Qatar. Built-in the 19th century, the primary purpose of the tower was to inspect the activities around the region. The architecture of the Barzan Towers was planned as T-shaped towers, included with an external stairway in a rectangular configuration.
6. Al Zubarah
According to a UNESCO world heritage site, one of the famous historical and culturally important sites in Qatar is Al Zubarah Fort. Historically, Al Zubarah dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries. It was also renovated after the fort was ruined in 1811. The design is highly influenced by the art of the Arab and Gulf region. The fort has four towers in each of its four corners. The circular towers in the first three corners are replaced by rectangular towers in the fourth corner.
7. Qatar National Library
The Qatar National Library is an architectural landmark and houses a mini-museum with vintage literature. Qatar National Library contains Doha’s National Library, Public Library, and University Library, and preserves the Heritage Collection, which consists of valuable texts and manuscripts related to the Arab-Islamic civilization. The public library houses over a million books and space for thousands of readers over an area of 42,000 m2. The library is part of Education City, a new academic campus that hosts satellite campuses from leading universities and institutions from around the world. ( Qatar National Library )
8. The National Museum of Qatar
The National Museum is dedicated to the history of Qatar. Symbolically, its architecture evokes the desert, its silent and eternal dimension, but also the spirit of modernity and daring that have come along and shaken up what seemed unshakeable. Qatar is also about the people who settled along the seaboard, setting up these coastal towns that became ports of call for passing nomads as much as local fishermen and pearl divers. And so the native fauna and flora, and the nomadic peoples and their long-held traditions, are the very first features of the history of Qatar. ( The National Museum of Qatar )