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The capital of the Arabian Gulf country of Qatar, Doha is a delight for a short visit, with its superb new Islamic Arts museum (one of the world's best of its genre), its lovely restored souq, its splendid Corniche (waterfront) promenade, and its gorgeous aquamarine bay. While it may be renowned in the region for its educational focus, and its impressive sprawling international university campuses, to most the city's focus appears to be tourism and trade. With ambitions to be something in between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it's succeeding with its sumptuous five-star hotels and luxury spas, its fabulous fine-dining restaurants and its excellent ...

The capital of the Arabian Gulf country of Qatar, Doha is a delight for a short visit, with its superb new Islamic Arts museum (one of the world's best of its genre), its lovely restored souq, its splendid Corniche (waterfront) promenade, and its gorgeous aquamarine bay. While it may be renowned in the region for its educational focus, and its impressive sprawling international university campuses, to most the city's focus appears to be tourism and trade. With ambitions to be something in between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it's succeeding with its sumptuous five-star hotels and luxury spas, its fabulous fine-dining restaurants and its excellent shopping malls and souqs. Yet thankfully, like Abu Dhabi and Manama, it's still managing to retain some of that easygoing charm and low-key atmosphere, rather than following in the footsteps of fast-paced Dubai. Either way, Doha's pre-oil days, when it was a somnolent fishing village and center for pearldiving, are certainly over.

Lara Dunston
About the Expert

Lara Dunston and Terry Carter have traveled to over 60 countries and written more than 40 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, DK, Rough Guides, Footprint, and others on destinations in the Middle East, Europe, and South America.

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Lara Dunston for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Capital city of Qatar, in the northeastern Arabian Peninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf
  • Language: Arabic, English
  • Currency: Qatari Rial
  • Research: Qatar | Doha
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter (December-February), when the weather is very pleasant; fall (October-November) and spring (March-May) are next best although can still be warm. Avoid summer if you can, when it's way too hot.