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What to see on a day of tourism in Doha?

We invite you to discover the city of Doha with us. I pass through the most important points of the Qatari city.

The Qatar tourism industry is growing rapidly and Doha is becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Qatar is a small country with a lot to offer tourists because there are many things to see and do in Doha, from shopping and sightseeing to enjoying the nightlife and culture. Qatar has something for everyone, making it one of the most exciting places to visit in the Middle East. Let me show you what can be seen during a day in Doha.

The capital of Qatar is a city in constant growth, forever under construction. That was what we were able to observe when going “around” sightseeing in Doha for a day.

Stopover: an opportunity for sightseeing in Doha

When making our trip to Korea with Qatar airways we had the opportunity to choose a stopover of 19 hours in the city of Doha. This is that we arrived around 7 AM and left at 1 AM the next day. We would have plenty of time to explore the city.

We had several options to take advantage of the time in the city, the ones I had in mind were:

  • Hire a tour with an agency
  • Go by ourselves, taking taxis or walking
  • Take a touristic bus

Which option did we choose?

Considering how tired we would be after a night on the plane and little sleep, I quickly ruled out the option of going alone by taking taxis. This is because I thought that I would not have any desire to haggle or look for good prices, in addition to the fact that it was clear that the sun’s rays would be omnipresent. But knowing me, I knew that I would want to go totally at my pace since we would have the whole day available. So, since time was not a limitation, we decided on the touristic bus. Yes, those in which you can hop off and hop on as you please. Also, we had never taken one, so it would be the first time.

Get your flight to Qatar at the best price

When I started to investigate, I saw that in Doha there were not many options and the only bus available for sightseeing was the Dohabus.

Unlike the classic tour buses that are red in Doha, they were yellow. I investigated prices and, yes, it was somewhat expensive: almost 50 dollars per person all day (unlike the 15 or 20 that is charged in other cities). Overall, after reading the opinions of other travelers on a well-known review page, I decided to take it.

Tourism in Doha, for a day, step by step

Airport pick up

Since I bought the tickets for the trip in advance, I also contacted Dohabus through social networks because it seemed that it was possible to be picked up at the airport. The problem was that we arrived much earlier than the time they started operating. Something kind of: arriving around 7 and the tours started at 9. In the end we arranged for them to pick us up a little before 9, so we already saved the taxi to go from the airport to the souk which is where they have their booth.

Lucky that all their transports are yellow chicken, so we could see them at the airport! Once we got on, we began to discover Qatar. A strange feeling invaded me: I was in a place that was VERY different from the world I came from, but at the same time there was something familiar in the environment. What was it?, the desert!, a city in the middle of the desert, like my beloved Mexicali. See endless desert, nothing green, earthy is something familiar to me.

But as I also said, there were so many things that reminded me that I was in a totally different place. Things as common and current as traffic signals.

Upon arrival, we could already see the traffic jams that are made in Doha, the driver had to make several turns to reach our destination, always being friendly and talkative with us.

We start the day of tourism in Doha

We arrived at the stand, handed over the online shopping voucher, and they gave us a map and two bottles of water. Furthermore, we waited for the touristic bus to arrive, taking advantage of the fact that it was not yet lunchtime, what we would do would be to go around Doha completely to make the entire route once and from there we would go to eat. Once we’d eaten we’d make one-off visits, but calmly and unhurriedly, the plan sounded pretty good.

The entire tour would last between 1 hour and a half to 2 hours. Some of the stops were not very useful for us, since they were hotels and others, but any turn would allow us to get to know the city.

Souq Waqif

Tourism in Doha for us started at Souk Waqif, we didn’t explore it at that time as we would come back here at the end of the loop to visit and find where to eat. We got on the second floor of the touristic bus and to our pleasant surprise there was no one there!, so we had it to ourselves, but knowing that we had to suffer the heat since the first floor had air conditioning but not the second.

Skyscrappers and Islamic Cultural Center of Qatar

We passed by a camel stable next to the souk, I hurried to take a picture of them, and it came out a little blurry. I knew I would see camels in Doha, but I didn’t expect them so soon. As the tour bus advanced, we could already appreciate the horizon with the skyscrapers of Doha. That plus the greenish blue of the Persian Gulf were a very nice combination. We continued on our way on wheels, and we were able to appreciate the Islamic Cultural Center of Qatar. With its snail shape, it does not leave the eye indifferent.

As I moved forward, I also felt that the avenues of Doha reminded me a little of those of California: wide, wide. Mexicali also reminded me of the fact that at mid-morning there were few people walking in the streets, something normal in my city if you don’t want to have a heat stroke.

National Museum of Qatar

In that we arrived at the National Museum of Qatar, under construction currently we visit, we could only imagine what it would be like. The renovation is responsible for the Frenchman Jean Nouvel and the idea is that the place will look like a desert flower, something like that.

On the street, we could see more traffic signs and political propaganda posters. Those things of common life that call my attention so much. Something as common and ordinary as a STOP or ALTO sign becomes something I want to take a picture of!

The Corniche and Museum of Islamic Art

After making a U-turn, we return to the path of the Corniche avenue, passing by the Museum of Islamic Art. Along the way, I noticed that Doha’s taxis are turquoise blue! What a beautiful color. We continue along the Corniche. We can appreciate the beautiful color of the sea, and we pass by a place where they have a statue of a giant Oryx (the oryx is the official animal of the country). This little animal was decorated for sports competitions. We kept walking, and I began to notice that the tall buildings that were visible in the distance were beginning to increase in size. Yes, we were approaching the skyscraper zone!

In some you could see the passage of sand storms, since up close you could see the fine layer of dust that covered them. In fact, in Dohabus we had included remarks about the places we were seeing, in the recording they commented that many of the buildings in the city were earth-colored due to the sand that would inevitably stick to the wall. Now, if you can’t beat the enemy, join him.

Along the way, we see people dressed in the way “known” to us, but also people dressed in the traditional way of the country. The men with the shirt that looks like a dress and the headscarf, and the women dressed completely in black (I wondered if they didn’t die of heat with that color).

Emir house and embassies

After passing through the area of tall buildings and shopping malls, we passed through the area where the embassies of the countries that have diplomatic representation in Qatar are located. There was everything: France, Iran, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, to name a few. We also passed near the house of the Emir’s family, although I did not take a photo because everything was well covered and absolutely nothing could be seen.

Katara Cultural Center

In that, we arrived at the area of the Katara Cultural Center, where we could see the towers that I had already seen in several brochures. Those towers were made to represent the ones originally used to collect pigeon guano. Before they had a purpose, now they are purely decorative.

The Pearl

Following our path, we would arrive at the luxurious area of The Pearl, built on an artificial island. I don’t even want to imagine the price of an apartment there, just to see the shops that were around, pure Ferrari and things like that. We turn around and head back to the center. We have a close up view of the square towers, quite curious. After a while, we are already arriving at the beginning of where our tour began. We had already turned around Doha. But it didn’t end there.

Do you recognize these brands?

I was delighted to see this, tourism in Doha is not only about the great monuments. It is also these things: meeting well-known brands in a very different place than we are used to… and even with a different writing. Fascinating.

The pedestrian in Qatar

This was my favorite traffic signal: the pedestrian. And it is that they see how he is dressed in the masculine dress. Small details of the common life of the locals that I love to discover!

We will come back

When night fell, we took a taxi (one of the nice colored ones) and went to the airport to continue our trip to Seoul. But we hope to be able to return to explore more of this small country.

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Olga Grijalva

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.

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