New Year, New Challenges

A few months into 2013 and we have no doubt resolutions have been broken all over the country. Instead of making it crazy difficult for yourself, wouldn't it be so much better to make a resolution that will be fun and easy to stick to? Read on for inspiration...
Friday , 25 January 2013
Learn the local lingo
Learn the local lingo
Sign up for Golf Lessons
Sign up for Golf Lessons
Go Horse Riding
Go Horse Riding
Enroll on a fashion course
Enroll on a fashion course
Join a Swim Squad
Join a Swim Squad
Take Up Sailing
Take Up Sailing
Do Zumba
Do Zumba
Join a Photography Group
Join a Photography Group
TRY Silk Painting
TRY Silk Painting
Save a Stray
Save a Stray

1 Learn the local lingo
We all enjoy living in Doha but how many of us have actually made the effort to learn Arabic? Thought not. With so many private teachers and companies offering lessons in the local lingo we don’t really have an excuse not to at least give it a go. Granted it looks complicated - you have to learn an entirely new alphabet as well as different phonics but, once you’ve nailed a few useful phrases at least you are in the ideal place to try it out. And we are sure your efforts will be appreciated. 
INFO: Fanar Qatar Islamic Cultural Center, 4425 0175, www.fanar.gov.qa.

2 Sign up for Golf Lessons
Doha Golf Club hosts of one of the most prestigious tournaments on the golfing calendar, boasts one of the leading academies in the region and is right on your doorstep. So stop looking at the glorious game as something that spoils a good walk and look at the benefits of getting to grips (no pun intended) with this leisurely sport: fresh air, 4 hours bonding time with the girls and an excuse to invest in a fab new golfers wardrobe – you gotta love those cute skorts and sexy sun visors.INFO: Qatar Golf Academy, Doha Golf Club, 4496 0755, www.dohagolfclub.com.

3 Go Horse Riding
You can kill the proverbial two birds with one stone if you take up horse riding - exercise and fun. Yes exercise because despite how it may look to the casual observer the hard work is not only done by the horse. There are a few places around Doha where you can take up this sport but we strongly recommend that you go and see Peggy at Al Samariya. Choose between a lesson or a hack but, because you can take it at your own pace, there will be plenty of time to chat to your fellow riders. So saddle up and off you go.
INFO: Al Samariyah Equestrian Centre, 5525 7203, www.facebook.com/AlSamariyahEquestrianCenter/info.

4 Enrol on a Fashion Course
Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar (VCUQ) is calling all fashionistas to sign up to any of its nine fashion focused courses starting in February. Ranging from ‘Fashion Dress Making’ and an ‘Introduction to Fashion Design’ to ‘Fashion Art’ and ‘Fashion Styling and Making’, VCUQ has something for everyone no matter what your particular skills and interests.  Courses are made up of either 8 or 16 lessons and prices vary depending on which one you opt for. It’s easy too – you can register and pay online on the university’s website
INFO: Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, 4402 0555, www.qatar.vcu.edu.

5 Join a Swim Squad
A great opportunity to get involved in a sport that you can enjoy year round. The Australian International Swimming School offers swim squads for all levels on every day of the week. It’s a great opportunity to hone your strokes, get some exercise and make some new friends. Admittedly the swim caps and goggles don’t do much for your appearance but at least you won’t have red eyes and stringy hair after your gruelling sessions.
INFO:  The Australian International Swimming School, 66 993325, www.aiss.com.qa.

6 Take Up Sailing
Living beside the beautiful waters of the Arabian Sea is all very well and good but why not take up a sport that actually takes you out on those crystal clear waters? Sailing, a sport made popular by the rather dashing and tanned  Brit Olympian Ben Ainslie, is great fun. The Regatta Sailing Academy offers courses for everyone whatever their experience, from beginners to more experienced sailors. There are a range of boats to choose from, including vagos, international lasers, yachts and laser fun boats, which, apparently, anyone can sail. Or so we’re told.
INFO: The Regatta Sailing Academy, 4442 4577, www.regattasailingacademy.com.

7 DO Zumba
If you haven’t heard about Zumba then where have you been hiding? The huge dancing-inspired fitness craze has swept our planet quicker than you can say ‘addictive red-hot Latin-inspired moves’. Zumba is touted as being simple for everyone to pick up – good to hear, particularly if you’re no J-Lo. There are classes taking place all over Doha but our favourite are Zumba guru Jamil’s 60 minute classes at the spa at the Ritz Carlton Doha. Time to go and see what all the fuss is about we feel.
INFO: Ritz Carlton Doha Spa, 4484 8173, www.ritzcarlton.com.

8 Join a Photography Group
The Qatar Photographic Society is all about photos for fun rather than expert shots of unusual landscapes and arty portraits. If you like taking pictures then give them a call and be prepared to be welcomed with open arms into their 650 member-strong group. Members of the group share their pictures with each other, discuss photographic work and run competitions. All you need is passion and a DSLR (that’s a fancy camera with a big lens).
INFO: The Qatar Photographic Society, 4408 1812, www.en.qpsphoto.com.

9 TRY Silk Painting
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a creative-type then this is the one for you. It’s a laid-back, relaxing activity which gives you something to take home to hang on the wall at the end of it. You will be taught this fine art by a true master, Rashmi Agarwal, as you move very quickly (over just 8 lessons) from the basics to full-blown pieces of art that you can easily pass of as having been bought and paid for rather than made by your own fair hand.
INFO: Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar, 4402 0555, www.qatar.vcu.edu.

10 Save a Stray
OK, so this one isn’t really a resolution as such but it does have loads of benefits for both you and a little fluffy animal. Qatar’s streets are bursting with strays and the good people at QAWS, Dogs in Doha and Cats in Qatar (each one has a Facebook page) all work tirelessly to rescue and re-home as many little furry friends as possible. And that’s where you come in. Keeping in mind that a pet is for life, check out the animal welfare websites or speak directly to the volunteers so you can find the pup or puss that’s right for you and your circumstances. A serious good deed will be done and you will have a new companion. If you can’t adopt, put yourself forward as a volunteer?
INFO: QAWS, 5539 6074, www.qaws.org