Top 10 Things To Do In Qatar Over the Holidays

If you’ve got some time off, get out and experience the best of what the country has to offer
ByAoife O'Mullane Thursday , 26 December 2013
Top 10 Things To Do In Qatar Over the Holidays
Explore Qatar on desert safari for the best fun on four wheels

Whether you’re looking to reboot your fitness regime, soak up some culture, indulge in some R ‘n’ R or embark on a new adventure, Ahlan’s top 10 guide to enjoying the holidays has something for you. Dive in the Gulf, venture out to the majestic dunes or check out some of Doha’s cool nightspots. 

1. Dune Bashing on a Desert Safari
Brace yourself for a rollercoaster ride across the desert, skirting the edges of colossal dunes and sliding down the shifting sands in a 4x4. Arabian Adventures Qatar offer tours, which also include camel rides and a trip to the inland sea, where you can look across the crystal blue waters to Saudi Arabia. Why not book an overnight safari trip where you camp under the stars? INFO: Based on a party of four: QR200 per person for half-day safari 9am-1pm /2pm-6pm, QR330 per person for full-day safari 9am-4pm, QR400 per person for overnight safari 2.30pm-8.30am next day, Al Asmakh Street, 4436 1461, info@arabianadventureqatar.net, www.arabianadventureqatar.net TOP TIP: The cost of each safari is based on numbers, so get a group of five or more mates together and save money!

2.A Little Slice of Paradise at Grand Hyatt Doha
With a long luxury beach, outdoor pools and luscious, landscaped gardens, this little oasis is the perfect spot for a day of R ‘n’ R. Treat yourself to a Mediterranean feast at the poolside restaurant, Rocca, which has a new terrace area. INFO: QR150 Sun-Thurs, QR200 Fri-Sat, daily 7am-sunset, Grand Hyatt Doha, West Bay Lagoon, 4448 1060, doha.grand@hyatt.com, www.doha.grand.hyatt.com, Rocca Restaurant: 10am-12 midnight, 4448 1270, rocca.ghdoha@hyatt.com

3. Catch the Trade Winds in Your Sails
Sailing is the perfect sport to improve coordination and fitness, while having fun out at sea! The Regatta Sailing Academy is a Royal Yachting Association Training Centre that offers courses for both adults and kids at beginner and advanced levels. Already a pro? They also hire out boats from QR100 an hour and hold big racing events! INFO: Courses from QR1,250(adults) and QR950(kids), daily 7am-9pm, Katara, West Bay Lagoon, 4442 4577 or 5550 7846, regattasailing@yahoo.com, www.regattasailingacademy.com

4. A Day at the Races
Woohoo, camel racing season is back! A trip to the stadium in Al Shahaniya to experience this traditional Qatari sport is not to be missed. Take your own car and have fun driving alongside the track as the camels race. INFO: Free, Every Friday until March, Al Shahaniya

5. Be Wowed at Wahm
Located at the chic W Hotel in West Bay, Wahm’s cushioned nooks are the perfect place to chill out with friends. Immerse yourself in Wahm’s funky vibe with nightly DJs and mouth-watering mezze. Don’t forget Monday night is ladies’ night, with two free drinks if you’re there at 9pm. INFO: Free entry, daily 5.30pm-2am, WAHM at W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay, 4453 5000, BnFreservations.wdoha@Whotels.com, www.wahmdoha.com

6. Soak in the Local Culture at Souq Waqif
This traditional central market with its enticing labyrinth of passageways, hodge podge of trinkets and the occasional fab find is one of the places everybody visits during their first few weeks in Doha. Now that the weather’s cool, it’s the perfect time to return for an amble and to perhaps find something new around one of the intriguing little corners. Eat out at one of the many different ethnic restaurants and cafes that line the main drag. INFO: Opening times can vary, but usually 10am-12pm and 4pm-10pm, off Grand Hamad Street

7. Friday Brunch with a Twist at the Marriott Hotel
Doha’s new late night brunch gives you a good excuse to keep the party going every Friday beachside. London DJ Kinky D will keep you dancing and there's a huge buffet of bbq and seafood delights. INFO: QR380, 5pm-11.30pm every Friday, Doha Marriott Hotel, Ras Aboud Street, 4429 8499, dinemarriottdoha@marriott.com,  www.marriott.com

8.Dive in the Gulf
Explore the underwater world of the Arabian Gulf. Favoured spots include the artificial reef at Old Club Reef Messaid or the smaller reefs at the inland sea. Al Sharqi near Halool Island is a wonderful spot for wreck diving. If you are new to diving, or want to improve your skills, there are several companies that offer accredited training. INFO: Courses QR2,000 for beginners and QR1,600 for advanced, open 10am-1pm and 4pm-8pm most days, Qatar Divers Diving and Training Center, Marriott Hotel Marina near airport, Ras Abu Aboud Street, 5524 6651, info@qatardivers.com, www.facebook.com/pages/Qatar-Divers/, www.qatardivers.com Ring in advance to confirm dive shop is open (on dive days it may be closed).

9. Get Fit on the Corniche
This 5km palm-lined promenade is ideal for runners, walkers and cyclists. The scenic boulevard offers city sights on one side, and the picturesque Arabian Gulf, dotted with traditional dhows, on the other. Early mornings and evenings are the best times to go.

10. Ladies Day at the InterContinental Doha
Ladies day at this resort is a fantastic deal! This beach is renowned for its fun party vibe and holiday feel. With a kiddies pool for the little ones, a swim-up bar for adults and the longest private beach in Doha, it has something for everyone. INFO: QR75 ladies, QR350 men, QR200 couples, QR80 kids every Tue-Wed, InterContinental Doha, West Bay Lagoon, 4484 4852, www.ihg.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/doha