By Javier Picazo Feliu
Doha, Oct 21 (EFE).- Traditional markets, beaches, the desert, museums, the city’s skyline. Qatar is a world full of sensations that you can discover through our list of 9 must-see places if you are planning to go to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
1. SOUQ WAQIF
If there is a place in Qatar to return to over and over, that is the souq. Everything in it is pure magic: The street food; the Turkish, Syrian and Yemeni restaurants; the spice, animals and fabrics bazars. It is the perfect place to live the Arabian experience and it is right in the heart of the city.
Our recommendation: It is best to go at night, when it comes alive.
2. CAMEL RIDE IN THE DESERT
You can switch from the modern city landscape to a white sand desert in just one hour. The Qatari desert ends where it meets the sea, so there are many activities to do, like kitesurf or windsurf, camel rides, falcon hunting, dune bashing in a 4×4 through the desert, or enjoying a day by the sea and then spending the night in traditional Bedouin tents.
Our recommendation: The sunset paints the white sand red. The best place to watch is from the Inland Sea, one of the few places in the world where the sea enters a desert.
3. INTERACTIVE AND BEDOUIN ART
The country has a great cultural offer and many of the buildings that hold museums were designed by award-winning architects such as Jean Nouvel or I.M. Pei, which enriches the whole experience. They stand as art-works by themselves. The desert rose: Qatar’s National Museum, the Museum of Islamic Art and the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum are three good examples of this.
Our recommendation: Get lost through Doha to discover its street art, especially in the areas of Katara, the Souq Waqif or Education City. You could find works from renowned artists like Damien Hirst, Louise Bourgeois or César Baldaccini.
A visit to Qatar’s National Museum is absolutely essential. It offers an interactive experience that allows you to understand the evolution of a country that became one of the most modern and technologically advanced in the world in only 50 years.
4. DOHA CORNICHE BOAT RIDES
The Corniche avenue is a 7 kilometers (roughly 4 miles) waterfront promenade that goes from the traditional souq to the modern skyline, formed by hundreds of skyscrapers that create a unique landscape at night.
The promenade will be partially pedestrianized during the World Cup, since a large part of the event will be taking place there.
Our recommendation: It is worth walking it during sunset, when the night lights start to transform the view. It is also the best place to go for a run, the whole avenue is perfectly asphalted and with you will have the view of the sea all along.
5. KATARA’S CULTURAL CITY
Katara, as Qatar was known in ancient times, is a cultural and commercial center with its own personality and some of the most impressive buildings in the city.
The Katara Cultural Village brings together all cultures through its museums, shopping centers such as Lafayette — whose building tries to simulate a small Versailles —, the Greek amphitheater overlooking the sea and 2 uniquely designed mosques, the gold and the blue.