A MIDDLE EAST GEM WITH MUCH TO OFFER
However, despite these amazing modern developments, Qatar is still a deeply traditional country with traditional values and this creates an interesting oxymoron that helps to make Qatar such an interesting place to visit. Whilst on the one hand it is challenging countries in the UAE like Dubai with the development of world-class hotels and resorts, huge modern shopping malls and beautiful man-made sandy beaches, it actually has much more in common with stricter countries in Arabia like Saudi Arabia. For instance, Qatari women are not allowed to enter bars in the hotels as they serve alcohol. In addition, whilst football is a frequent subject of discussion with the locals, falconry and camel-racing are still their main pastimes.
To continue the tradition and history the development has also included places like the Museum of Islamic Art, the Katara Cultural Village, MATHAF (the Museum of Modern Art), Al-Sharq Village Resort & Spa, which proclaims to be ‘genuinely Arabic’, antique passageways in Al-Waqif Souk and Arabian style tented accommodation in Khor al-Adaid, although it does come with air-conditioning! The Qatari rulers are determined to ensure that the country offers much more of a cultural experience than many of their UAE neighbours.
Outside of the city it is desert with some huge crescent shaped dunes where you can enjoy 4×4 adventures. There are protected areas where you can see Arabian Gazelle and Oryx, wadi’s, sand bars with mangrove forests, interesting geological structures, habitats teeming with marine and bird life, and an important turtle-nesting beach. There are also the ancient ruins of Al Mafjar, and a few other historical landmarks including Fort Zubarah and Barzan Tower.
Sporting opportunities are endless and include watersports such as sailing, jet skiing, kayaking, diving and water-skiing; the desert offers the opportunity to get out in the dunes to sand ski or sand board; golfers can play at championship courses at the Doha Golf Club or the Mesaieed Golf Club; and the Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex boasts 17 tennis courts, a swimming pool and a gymnasium.
Qatar has re-created itself and today has plenty to offer the visitor and is everything one imagined of Arabia in a clean-cut fashion.
Qatar has a subtropical dry and hot desert climate with very low annual rainfall. Summer (June to September) is very hot and the daytime temperature can often hit 40°C or higher! Winter (December to February) is cooler with an average temperature of 25°C and with occasional rainfall that can come in short, sudden bursts and downpours. Spring and autumn are warm, mostly dry and pleasant, with average temperatures between 20-30°C, and evening temperatures around 15-20°C. In Spring and Summer (between March and August) you can experience very strong winds, which cause uncomfortable sandstorms.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
The most popular and best time to visit Qatar is during the Autumn and winter months between October to April when the weather is warm and sunny and temperatures range from a very pleasant 25°C to around 30°C during the day. It does get cooler at night but it’s still very pleasant with temperature ranging from 15°C to 20°C. Please note that during the holy month of Ramadan that the sale of alcohol is prohibited until after dusk.
Health & Vaccinations
We recommend that you are up to date with all of the usual vaccinations – Typhoid, Polio, Hepatitis A & B, Tetanus and Rabies. Please contact your local GP for full advice at least 3-4 weeks before travel.
Passport & Visa
British passport holders must be in possession of a full 10-year passport and must have at least 6 months validity beyond the date of the return journey back from Oman. British passport holders require a visa to enter into Qatar, which can be issued on arrival at Doha International Airport. The cost of a 30-day single entry visa is QR100 (around £16). A joint tourist visa between Oman and Qatar is also available, which allows travel between the two countries.
WHERE TO STAY