Discovering Doha

21 Dec 2011
By Ahlanlive.com

Qatar’s capital city is developing fast and Ahlan! was there to experience it

Qatar is well-known for bagging the 2022 FIFA World Cup but it has a whole host of other exciting things to do. Doha, the country’s capital city, is booming with a vast array of daytime and evening activities to keep you occupied, it’s certainly worth spending a weekend there.

Before the petroleum boom, Qatar made it’s living through pearls and Doha certainly hasn’t forgotten this heritage. Just off the coast stands a man-made island aptly named ‘The Pearl’ which is a circular shaped structure housing apartments, retail outlets and a vast array of eateries.

There are a whole host of plush five-star hotels, bars and restaurants with the decor and exclusivity of it’s Dubai cousin. The flight is only 50 minutes away and whether you’re visiting the Museum of Islamic art, shopping, trying out the many bars and nightclubs or just getting away from it all by catching some rays then Doha is the place to be...

W HOTEL, Doha
00974 4453 5000
www.whoteldoha.com

There is only one place to stay when visiting Doha – the plush five-star W Hotel. This hotel chain is famous right across the world and it certainly doesn’t disappoint with a vast array of restaurants, bars and cafes. The ultimate expression of style and sophistication, W Doha Hotel & Residences infuses your life with the unique combination of casual elegance and urban energy that only W Hotels can provide. Conveniently located in the West Bay of Doha, the W Doha Hotel provides luxury accommodation with easy access to Doha’s shopping destinations, pristine beaches and water sports facilities.

The W cafe is a great place to relax with your laptop on wireless, a red velvet cupcake in hand and a delicious pot of English Breakfast tea.  The Spice market bubbly brunch is renowned across the region for it’s social lunchtime treats and Crystal is the ultimate destination to experience the Doha night life.

The rooms are plush and modern with ipod docks, DVD players and flatscreen TVs. There’s also a very funky bar and pool area that is bursting with talent day and night. Finally, there’s the amazing award-winning Bliss spa which is worth flying over for on its own...

Carluccio’s
The Pearl Qatar, Doha
Carluccio’s, The Pearl Qatar, Parcel 10, +974 6690-1777

You can’t go to Doha without visiting the infamous Pearl Qatar, a Riviera-style man-made island developed in an exclusive environment in Doha. The name ‘The Pearl’ was chosen because the island was built on one of Qatar’s previous major pearl diving sites. Located on the Croisette and over-looking the city, Carluccio’s is the perfect choice for Italian dining at great value for money. Drop in for a leisurely Italian breakfast like the colazione magnific, deliciously scrambled eggs topped with sautéed mushrooms, tomato and browned ciabatta, perfect with a pot of freshly brewed coffee to begin the day.

Porcini
Ritz-Carlton, Doha
Ritz-Carlton, West Bay Lagoon, +974 4484-8000

If you’re looking for a more romantic venue, visit Porcini, the signature Italian restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton. With an open show kitchen and a warm ambience, Porcini serves up truly delicious Italian cuisine as well as an extensive array of Italian desserts. The restaurant is small for Doha standards and provides a cosy intimate setting with live music entertainment at the weekends. We ate Grilled Scallops with pumpkin and vanilla puree, Pumpkin Soup with liquid blue cheese, pepper and olive oil and the black cod and hostas with leek fondant, which we enjoyed with a bottle of house red.

Skyview Bar
La Cigale, Doha
La Cigale, 60 Suhaim Bin Hamad Street, Al Sadd Area, +974 4428-8888

Sky View Bar is located at the La Cigale Hotel. Perched on the 15th floor, overlooking all of Doha and the West Bay beyond, this shimmering outdoor lounge serves up a captivating mix of speciality cocktails, tantalizing light fare, and cool house music. Drawing a smart mix of young, trendy and beautiful and hotel guests, the Sky View is rapidly becoming one of Qatar’s hottest nightspots. Usually a members only bar, however you can gain entry by calling in advance and make sure you take your passport with you to guarantee entry.

Spotted:
Leona Lewis made an appearance at the famous Doha Film Festival, along with other celebs!