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Discover Doha’s little architectural miracle: tradition meets modern

It seems like it has never been better for Qatar and its breathtaking city of Doha. Prosperity is visible on the streets, from an airplane, and even from a satellite.

But things weren’t always as good as they are now. Qatar was generally a laboratory for architectural experiments and new projects. Therefore, not all projects were successful.

But in the past 10 years, Qatar’s architecture professionals have undoubtedly hit the sweet spot and finally came up with something unique and wonderful.

They managed to combine the traditional ways with modern trends, they managed to achieve beauty, but still keep everything sustainable.

If this sounds attractive to you, take a look down and learn about some of the wonders you need to see when visiting Doha.

Souq Waqif

Before looking for architectural wonders in Doha to really see Qatar’s enormous improvement, go back in time and visit Souq Waqif.

The Souq Waqif is the so-called “standing market” and was rebuilt with the aim of creating an atmosphere of days that last long.

This iconic souq is a maze of shops filled with fabrics, spices, sweets, housewares, souvenirs and art objects. You will find wood carvers, tailors, you will find everything that has anything to do with the Qatari tradition.

When you get tired, you have a platter of restaurants and cafes to stop at. There you have the opportunity to eat traditional Arabic food at a fair price. Oh, and ask for their coffee, it’s incredibly good.

Stay at the Al Bustan Hotel

If you want to see more modern architecture in Doha, visit Hotel Al Bustan. There you will see what the fusion of modernity and tradition looks like in Qatar.

The Al Bustan Hotel is a 4-star hotel with an all-day restaurant and two specialty restaurants. So you will have everything you need when it comes to accommodation and food, but you will also be there, in the center, close to the vibrant life of Doha.

This particular building is a mix of contemporary design and traditional Qatari architecture. This hotel really is a true gem brought to life by you leading interior design company from Qatar. On top of that, this is also a great example of how well some interior designers do in Qatar.

Visit the Museum of Islamic Art

mus Discover Doha's little architectural miracle: tradition meets modern

The architect behind this magnificent building designed it and asked for it to be built on a stand-alone island. There was only one reason for this – there shouldn’t be any other buildings nearby that would impede it.

And IM Pei was right, this miracle is right on the Corniche and it looks like it is floating on the water from some angles. Building something else would really get something out of the breathtaking landscape.

The museum has calligraphy, Islamic patterns, jewelry and textiles from three continents, some items date from the 7thth Century even. The museum also offers top-class rotating exhibits all year round.

The outdoor terrace on the top floor of the museum also offers some of the best views of Doha. You definitely shouldn’t miss it.

Al Zubarah Fort and Village

If you want to see the real culture and go back in time, you must visit Al Zubarah Fort.

This is the story of Qatar. The fort has been restored and is surrounded by archaeological works. In addition, Al Zubarah Fort is Qatar’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The archaeological remains of this site date back to the 18th century, but the fortress, built in 1938, is the youngest.

The fort overlooks the old lively pearl fishing village of Al Zubarah, where traders from China to Great Britain sailed about 200 years ago. It’s deserted now, some call it a ghost town, but it’s still charming and beautiful.

Just know that the location of the village is not obvious. To get there, just before the fort, turn right onto the road and follow it to Al Jumail for 10 minutes. Park directly in the village and bring water shoes as you will most likely step on barnacles.

Catch a game

Since Qatar is hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it would be a real shame if you didn’t see a game during your visit.

For example, the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha is one of the first closed tournament venues and looks absolutely great.

Go there before all the frenzy as hundreds of thousands of fans are expected to come to Qatar for the World Cup.

The Qatari like football very much and it is definitely the most popular sport among the locals.

If soccer isn’t your thing, the ATP World Tour also comes to Doha every winter. If you’d rather play tennis, you’ll be delighted to hear that Doha hosts tennis stars like Novak Djoković, Roger Federer and Caroline Wozniacki.

There is also the Qatar Moto Grand Prix if you like adrenaline and speed.

Get lost in The Pearl

The Pearl was built on reclaimed land and covers nearly four million square meters. It consists of a lavish mix of residential, commercial, and entertainment businesses.

One of the most popular sights is the picturesque Qanat Quarter, which is inspired by the Mediterranean. There you will find beautiful houses, colorful apartments, canals and bridges as well as European restaurants and cafes.

You should definitely go around the promenade. You will see dozens of yachts on the pristine water. If you are lucky, you will catch a superyacht passing by.

If you like water sports, you will be delighted to learn that The Pearl has several adventure companies to choose from. Therefore, you should definitely pack your swimsuit if you like surfing, kayaking or wakeboarding.

Final thoughts

In these places you can see the true fusion of tradition and modernity in Doha and thus in Qatar.

Even if these goals are not so cheap, it will be worth it. Qatar is an unknown place for many people, a place that seems out of this world.

Isn’t there a better way to break the taboo and indulge in an adventure of a lifetime by visiting Doha?

Pack your bags, book a flight and don’t forget to bring your camera.