Spotlight on Qatar
Qatar is a place where cultural authenticity meets modernity; where Arabian sands meets the sea; where people of the world come together to experience unique offerings in culture, sports, business and family entertainment.
Qatar has a desert climate with year-round sunshine, hot summers and mild winters. Average monthly temperatures range from 17 degrees C in January to 36 degrees C in July. Sometimes reaching 40 degrees C plus during the summer months. Rain is infrequent, averaging just 70mm per year. It falls mainly in brief showers between October and March and rarely hinders outdoors activities.
UK visitors do not require any prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar on presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of 6 months and confirmed onward ticket.
On this man-made island visitors can marvel at super yachts and tropical fish as they stroll along the marina. Then settle down for an hour of people watching as they enjoy a meal at one of the neighbourhood’s many waterfront restaurants.
Katara Cultural Village
Combining art galleries and workshops, theatres and performance venues and exceptional restaurant set on a waterfront promenade , Katara Culteral Village is Doha’s destination for cultural and entertainment.
The alleys of the Souq Waqif, Doha’s oldest market, offer visitors an authentic taste of traditional street life, architecture & culture. Today, this maze of shops presents a dazzling array of Middle Eastern merchandise from dates, honey, spices and seasonal delicacies, to perfumes, jewellery, textiles, clothing, handicrafts and souvenir bargains. Traditional music, art and cultural shows – as well as an eclectic mix of restaurants & cafes – add to the ambience of this special place.
The half-moon shaped waterfront promenade circling Doha Bay offers great city views. Visitors will find restaurants and cafes, outdoor exercise equipment, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and MIA Park, an open air fish market and fisherman’s café.
Qatar has always looked outward to the sea for generations, fishing, pearl diving and trading provided a livelihood for much of the population. Traditional wooden dhows, largely unchanged in design over the years, are a remnant of this seafaring tradition and still sail Qatar’s waters today. Take a late afternoon or evening dhow cruise around Doha Bay, enjoying a BBQ dinner and spectacular views of the West Bay skyline.
Families can enjoy a whole host of indoor recreation including ice-skating rinks to arcade games, multi-screen movie theatres and amusement park-style rides, bouncy houses and bowling alleys. In addition, Qatar is home to the world’s first Angry Birds World entertainment park.
Music & Dance
Traditional music is widely performed throughout Qatar, especially at banquets, celebrations and other special events. Visitors will hear everything from tambourines and cymbols to large drums known as al-ras, stringed instruments such as the oud and rababa, and wind instruments including the flute-like nay. The traditional Ardha dance s great to watch – men and boys carrying canes and decorative swords form two rows facing each other and chant poetry while swaying to the beats of the music.
Array of flavours
Qatar’s dining scene reflects a diverse and eclectic range of influences. While many restaurants offer an authentic taste of Arabia and the Middle East, visitors will find a host of international flavours throughout the destination. You will find offerings by Alain Ducasse, Gordon Ramsey, Nobu, Walfgang Puck, Jean-Georges, Richard Sandoval, Sanjeev Kapoor and Masaharu Morimoto.
Arts & Crafts
Arabian craftsmanship can be seen throughout Qatar – from Arabic calligraphy adorning paper, tiles, carpets, wall hangings and carved inscriptions to the vibrant patterns and colours of Al Sadu weaving and detailed embroidery. Jewelry production is one of Qatar’s oldest handicrafts, and there are several practicing and well-known Qatari designers.
Qatar is the home to the world’s largest population of Dugongs, the gentle giants of the sea. Weighing more than 400Kg the largest herbivorous marine mammals tend to congregate in north-west Qatar and spread out around the coast during summer.
An Arabic coffee cup should be received with the right hand. The server will promptly replenish the cup until you signal you have had enough by shaking it gently from side to side.
The serving of Arabic coffee plays a special role in Qatar as an expression of hospitality and welcome. Freshly ground and flavoured with cardamom and other spices, the coffee is served from a characteristically shaped pot (called dallah) in tiny cups with no handles.
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