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Here's Why Your Next Trip Should Be to Qatar

[SPONSORED CONTENT] The Qatari Reverie – Discover the Middle Eastern gem for a trip filled with tradition and luxury.

Published on Sep 30, 2019

Sometimes the destination of your dreams has been right there waiting for you all along. A historic crossroads and a modern-day global hub, Qatar has everything the sophisticated traveler could possibly want by way of culture and luxury.

National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ).
National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ).

A magnificent example of the intersection of the two is the brand-new National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ), which opened in March this year. What better seat for a fascinating eons-long journey to the heart and soul of this nation than the restored Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, son of the founder of modern Qatar? "Culture connects people," said Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums, "and with this new museum we believe we have created an exceptional platform for dialogue." Jean Nouvel's breathtaking design, inspired by the desert rose, appears to grow out of the ground and be one with it. It's also LEED gold certified. The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is another set of galleries where the design—by Pritzker Prize–winner I.M. Pei—is as much an aesthetic draw as the pieces on show within. Marvel at the relics here, dating back to the seventh century.

Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).
Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).

Now that we've spent some time in quiet reverence, let's jump straight into the historic hustle and bustle of the Souq Waqif. The labyrinthine market where Bedouins and locals did brisk trade a century ago is today a fascinating place to dive into piles of spices, bejewel yourself with silver and gold, and gorge on sweet kunafeh. Don’t forget the nearby Falcon Souq, where you can admire these majestic hunters and learn about their age-old use in sport.

Souq Waqif.
Souq Waqif.

Another deep-rooted tradition in Qatar is seafaring; experience it first- hand on a Dhow cruise. Spend a day or dine aboard a wooden vessel providing a unique view of all the sights. Then, make your way to the Katara Cultural Village, which pays homage to the ancient name of this peninsula. Here you'll find the Katara Amphitheatre; Katara Opera House; great food; and fun ways to entertain the kids, such as a play park and the beach, where you can get the adrenaline pumping with water sports or relax on a gondola ride. No trip would be complete without a desert safari where you can enjoy camel riding, sand surfing and dune buggies. Make sure you off-road to the mind-boggling Inland Sea (Khor Al Adaid), where the sea encroaches into the desert. History buffs shouldn't miss the Al Zubarah archaeological site.

Katara Cultural Village.
Katara Cultural Village's landmark.

Of course, with all these exciting things to do, you're going to want the plushest bed and coziest environs to rest your head. The Pearl-Qatar has it all, this artificial island that resembles a shimmering string of pearls has gorgeous luxury villas and apartments on offer, giving easy access to its own world of haute shopping and dining options—plus three five-star hotels if you want to take in the plethora of entertainment options as a pampered guest.

In fact, there are always new glamorous hotels opening in Doha, where the service rivals the decor for opulence. We were very excited for the recently opened Mandarin Oriental and Alwadi Hotel Doha. We love St. Regis Doha, W Doha and Marsa Malaz Kempinski. And when we need to get away from it all, we head to the Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara, where we like to laze in our private overwater bungalow staring at the idyllic azure sea.

Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara.
Welcome Center at Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara.

It's enough to make a happy traveler hungry. But you won't be for long, with restaurants from some of the world's best chefs waiting to serve you! Have your concierge secure a booking at IDAM by Alain Ducasse or Nobu from Nobuyuki Matsuhisa (or both). The luxury adventure will continue, but for now, drift off into a sweet reverie. How could this action-packed, cultural immersion trip in always-sunny Qatar give you anything else?

IDAM by Alain Ducasse.
IDAM by Alain Ducasse.


     For more information or to get started planning your dream trip, check out
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