Doha Journals

Qatar is NOT the Most Boring Place

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A January 2005 trip to Doha by wanderer 2005

Local Souq Photo, Doha, Qatar More Photos
Quote: Doha is a multicultural place with many things to see. Don't believe all the stories that there's nothing to do. Unless you're a alcoholic, there's PLENTY to do and see. It's beautiful here.

Doha Marriott

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Hotel | "Doha Marriott Hotel"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The Marriott Doha is pretty much a city in itself. With five full-service restaurants, a lounge, poolside café, pool, private beach, fitness room and full-service spa--what more do you need? The executive level rooms come complete with breakfast every morning and snacks/cocktails in the evening. When I checked into my executive level room on the 6th floor, it was dark out--10:30 at night. But when I woke up and opened my drapes, I thought I was in Marina Del Rey, California. I saw open water with a marina, and in the distance, Palm Tree Island. I was right over the pool and hot tub and could see the private beach, past the pool area. My room was spacious and modern, with a flat screen TV, ra...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 24, 2006

Doha Marriott
RAS ABU ABOUD STREET
Doha, Qatar
974-429-8888

Local Souks

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Story/Tip

Local Souq Photo, Doha, Qatar
Quote:
Shopping in Qatar is a great experience. Whether you go to a large shopping mall with brand-name stores, or to a local souk, you never know what you’re going to see. The word "souk" (pronounced sook) means bazaar or market and are similar to a U.S. flea market. There are several souks around town, each one with a different name. Vendors sell everything from clothes to toys, tools, spices, perfume, cosmetics, candy, jewelry, brass, gold, incense, or anything else you can think of, and the value can’t be beat. In the old days, souks were outside, and consisted of narrow walkways and alleys, where vendors hocked their wares. Nowadays, you can still find the alleyways, but newer parts have been ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 31, 2006

Gold Souq

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Attraction

Gold Souq Photo, Doha, Qatar
Quote:
The Gold Souq is the place where everyone goes to get all their precious metal needs. This was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. This is a whole city block dedicated to everything gold. Tiny shops display all they have to offer, including the traditional bridal jewelry that Qatari husbands-to-be give their perspectives wives, prior to the wedding, that are amazing, huge, and EXPENSIVE. You can find solid gold rings, bracelets, hair ornaments, watches, decorative belts, necklaces, and headdresses. A very popular Qatari gift is to have a necklace made with the name of the person in gold. It can be done in either English or Arabic. Items are sold by the weight of the gold and a small fee is added...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

Gold Souq
Off Al Hamad Street
Doha, Qatar

City Center Doha

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Attraction | "Doha City Center"

City Center Doha Photo, Doha, Qatar
Quote:
Doha City Center rivals some of the best malls in the US. Mall of America pales in comparison to this place. There are five floors jam-packed with all the name brands you could want. Dior, Abercrombie, Prada, it’s all within these walls. American favorites like Starbucks, Burger King, and KFC are scattered about for a little taste of home. This shopping complex boasts an ice-skating rink, a rock-climbing wall, and a movie theater. I hope you have a couple of days to spare, because that’s what you’ll need to cover the entire place. I didn’t have a whole lot of time to spend here, but I spent long enough to see some beautiful dresses and suits that, once worn, are promptly covered up by traditional A...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 1, 2006

City Center Doha
West Bay Area
Doha, Qatar
974 4483 9990

Four-Wheeling the Sand Dunes

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Attraction | "PART 1/Four-Wheeling the Sand Dunes"

Four-Wheeling the Sand Dunes Photo, Doha, Qatar
Quote:
When I found out we were goin' 4 wheelin’ through the sand dunes in Qatar, I was a little nervous, because I’m not a big four-wheeler. Our driver met us in the hotel lobby and drove us to the outskirts of town, past the oil refineries and the new airport that’s being built. Let me tell you, this was the highlight of my trip! Our very experienced driver was having a blast making us girls scream our heads off by going straight up and straight down these dunes. We would go completely sideways and would feel like we were going to roll over. It was so exciting! We drove way out to the middle of nowhere, past camps that offer lunch and overnight accommodations, to the Persian Gulf. When you take a...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 8, 2006

Four-Wheeling the Sand Dunes
Marriott Hotel
Doha, Qatar

Four-Wheeling the Sand Dunes

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Attraction | "PART 2/four wheelin'"

Four-Wheeling the Sand Dunes Photo, Doha, Qatar
Quote:
The sunset in this desert was something that everyone should see. I mean, I live in Arizona, the desert, but this is different. When are you ever going to be in the Middle East again and be able to see the sun set over Saudi Arabia? NEVER... so take the sand dune tour, or better yet, take one that’s called, The Inland Sea tour. It comes with a barbeque at the Arabian Gulf, as you watch the sun set. Like I said in my first sand dunes review, there are a few companies that offer these kind of tours. There are some that are overnight in a tent on the desert that include dinner and breakfast. I’m not sure if I’m THAT brave, but it sounds interesting. This particular tour was about 5 hours long, from th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on February 8, 2006

Four-Wheeling the Sand Dunes
Marriott Hotel
Doha, Qatar

Palm Tree Island Sights & Attractions

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Attraction | "Palm Tree Island"

Palm Tree Island Sights & Attractions Photo, Doha, Qatar
Quote:
Palm Tree Island is literally an island in the middle of Doha Bay. It was originally just a sandbar, but the city built it up, and it’s now one of the most popular attractions for families and tourists. It’s a 10-minute boat ride to the island from the Corniche, and it offers plenty of activities for all. Once there, there is an expensive seafood restaurant, a swimming pool, private beach with shallow water for children, pony and camel rides, a cafeteria, a quad bike track, public restrooms, and even a mosque. The ride from the city costs QR 15 for the round-trip (about $4), and the island is open from 9am until 9:30pm 7 days a week. We ate at the Seafood Market restaurant for lunch. They se...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 8, 2006

Palm Tree Island Sights & Attractions
Palm Tree Island
Doha, Qatar

Traditional Muslim Dress

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Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
The traditional Muslim people cover themselves from head to toe and there’s no shortage of that in Doha. Qatar is a Muslim country and most of the residents are devout Muslims which requires this sort of dress. If you asked someone why they cover themselves, you may not get an answer, but I did get a chance to speak to our tour guide who offered this explanation. According to Allah and the Qur’an, (the Muslim Bible) “one must lower their gaze and be modest”. Specifically, it says: "Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they...Read More

Camel Rides in the Desert

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Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
As we were heading back to the hotel, after a day of sand duning, we came across two guys and their camels. It was 10 Riyal (about $3) for a short walk atop a camel. They were so pretty, just resting in the desert, and I was talked into taking a ride. I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a camel, but when you get on one when it’s down on all fours, you have to HOLD ON to the saddle. When he gets up, his back legs go first, leaving you in an awkward position and at a 90° angle. This is the part when you need to hold on… or you’ll fall right off. They walk strange, with the left side, then the right… they shimmy from side to side, making a bumpy but fun ride. Of course when the ride is over, the camel...Read More

Walking the Corniche

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Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Before 1949, Doha was a small village that survived by pearling and fishing. The city had about 350 pearling boats at the beginning of the 20th century, then the development of Japanese cultured pearls, and the worldwide economic depression of the 1930's, severely affected the town. Since the 1980’s, with the discovery of the world's largest known offshore gas field, Qatar now has the third-largest natural gas reserves in the world, making the country over two billion dollars, and making it one of the world's fastest growing, and highest per-capita income countries. You will see a lot of pearl associated references all over town, especially on the "Corniche" (pronounced corneesh) where...Read More

Doha Airport

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Story/Tip

Quote:
The current Doha airport is an interesting place, to say the least. As you can imagine, security is high and I found out just how high when I went from the ticket counter to the gate area. I put my bags through the x-ray machine, stepped thru the metal detector, then was lead to a small room where I was hand patted by a woman. It wasn’t a horrible experience, just strange. I only felt a tad bit violated. Now once you get past security, the airport is one huge duty-free shop. Everything from alcohol to electronics, to watches, this place has it all. I found that cigarettes are CHEAP! I spent QAR 87 for 2 cartons of Marlboro Lights, which converted to $24! A "smokin" deal if you ask me. I ...Read More