The Middle East State of Qatar found oil and wealth in the 1960s. Up to then, its capital, Doha, had been a modest port on the Persian Gulf, and its top product was pearls. Doha is now home to 50 percent of the nation’s residents, a futuristic city with educational, cultural, and recreational wonders.
A hot desert ecosystem, residents and tourists can enjoy its short but mild weather months from October through April. As Doha grows more influential, it has also become an exciting travel destination for those looking for a brand-new view with a vacation abroad.
The Washington Post reported that Carnegie Mellon, Cornell University, Northwestern, Texas A & M, and Virginia Commonwealth Universities have all accepted invitations and financial incentives to bring their stellar educational opportunities to Qatari citizens. Setting up quarters in Doha’s Education City, the universities offer degrees to residents who never have to leave the country.
Education City is a 2,500-acre campus at the edge of the city hosting the American schools, six French universities, and the University College London. The campus also houses students, faculty, support services, and more. Plans and development are underway on research centers, start-up laboratories, and housing and hotels. The strategy seeks to design functional public space, sports and recreation facilities, and community centers.
Tourists must respect Qatar’s Muslim roots and culture. You should seek advice on dressing, eating, and drinking in the State. But, Doha has made changes to meet expectations of its increasing expat population.
- The Museum of Islamic Art perches off the Corniche that winds around Doha Bay. The I.M. Pie-designed, sand-colored juggernaut contains 1,400 years of Muslim art and documents.
- Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, located at Education City, challenges bias against Arab contemporary thought. It has assembled a unique permanent collection of 20th and 21st century modern art from the Arab World, Middle East, and wider cultures historically tied to the Arab Peninsula.
- The National Museum of Qatar should be complete for your 2018 visit. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the series of overlapping pavilions reminds locals of the petals of desert roses or fluttering tents of Bedouin ancestors.
Make a reservation at the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, and you have an oasis in the city within easy distance of most of Doha’s sites.
- Dining: American sports fan find themselves at home at Champions with ice-cold drinks, pub grub, and sports of countless big screen TVs.
New York Steakhouse offers steaks from Australia, France, and the U.S. But, you may also check out the daily specials and brunch.
Ipanema serves Brazilian food and music. The multiple award-winning restaurant offers authentic Brazilian Churrascaria and all you drink between 6pm and 8pm.
You’ll also find international menus, poolside bars, and Italian cuisine at other Marriott restaurants.
- Shopping: The City Center Mall has familiar brands, but given the wealth of Qatar’s citizens, some stores will open your eyes. But, the Souq Waqif offers more authentic Bedouin deserts, foods, garments, souvenirs, and spices. A bustling open market, it presents all the colors and fragrances of this part of the world.
A New View
Vacationing abroad now longer means sticking with the European Grand Tour. New options, new flavors, and new experiences await vacationers in Doha.