The hot Qatari capital with a super-cool reputation
Doha is the capital city of the state of Qatar, one of the Arab Emirates, with a name that literally means ‘sticky tree’ in Arabic. The relatively short history of Doha dates back less than 200 years, from when a powerful Persian businessman took control of the area and began to develop it into what has now become the modern city of Doha. Modern Doha is renowned as a centre for education and several universities and prominent colleges have been established here. Doha also has a number of sports stadiums, as well as an aquatic centre and the tennis complex, which allowed it to host the West Asian games in 2005. Several other major sporting events are planned in the near future. Doha is the economic centre of Qatar, home to the headquarters of some major gas and petroleum companies.
Doha is perhaps better known as a destination for business rather than tourism, but it has a lot to offer leisure visitors. Enjoy the international shopping festival in January/February where clothes, electronic goods and even furniture can hit bargain lows, or experience the excitement of live camel racing events.
When to Go?
The long hot summer in Doha stretches from May to October when average temperatures can race away into the 40s. If you find excessive heat uncomfortable, late October to May would be the best time to visit Doha. It can be significantly cooler in winter, especially in the evening, but it is never cold. As Qatar is an Islamic country, many of the shops, bars and restaurants will shut down for extended periods during Ramadan.
How to get there?
Fly to Doha International Airport (DOH) from London Heathrow, London Gatwick or Manchester Airport with Qatar Airways. British Airways also operate flights to Doha from Heathrow. The flight duration from London to Doha is approximately seven hours. Lufthansa has Doha flights from London City Airport, Edinburgh and Birmingham Airport, with a stop-off in either Frankfurt or Munich.
Visitors to Doha can enjoy a thriving modern city with shopping, dining and nightlife among the key attractions of the city. Doha has an attractive coastline where you can enjoy long scenic walks by the sea or water sports and activities such as jet skiing, paragliding and fishing. There are several museums in Doha including an Islamic museum, which is still under construction. Some of the modern construction projects in Doha, such as the phenomenal Qatar-Pearl real estate complex, are a sight to behold.