Doha City Tour
Duration : 4 Hours
Minimum : 2pax
Vehicle : Air-conditioned coaches/ cars & 4 wheels
Though Qataris traditionally sought their living from the sea, Oil, discovered in 1930 and now gas, has turned Qatar into one of the richest countries in the world on a per head population basis. However, despite its modern outlook and high-rise structures, Doha is still drenched in tradition. Depart from the Port and drive past the 7 km long Cornice Bay, the highlight of Doha sightseeing. The most picturesque part of the Arabian Gulf, it also houses the port of Doha. A belt of prestigious administrative, cultural and commercial facilities and parks line the Corniche road and opposite these facilities is the parking place for a large number of traditional dhows. It’s well worth a walk around the dhow harbour, looking at the traditional fishing traps and admiring the wooden boats. Continue on to the souqs which by contrast, are a wonderful mixture of scents and sights, where items are not labeled with a price and good-natured haggling is the order of the day. Souq Waqif is the oldest of Doha’s traditional markets, originally used by Bedouin traders as a place to buy and sell meat, wool, milk and other staples. Although renovated it has retained its old charm. A fascinating maze of alleyways, they are packed with everything you can conceive. What it’s famous for (in Qatar, anyway) is its dried herbs and spices.
A very interesting place is the falcon market, located in the same souq. Breeding and training falcons is an ancient Qatari pastime and one of the numerous shops and you may get lucky if the owner lets you hold the birds. You will find the birds in rows, eyes blinkered with ornate hoods, perched on wood above spotless sands. Whilst you won’t want to but a falcon, other souvenirs may interest you. At the falcon shops, you can buy small and ornate falcon hoods, pictures, the colourful leashes used to tether the falcons and the catapults used to train the birds. Lastly visit the Doha Racing & Equestrian Club (National Stables), which has a floodlit grass track and is the home of horse racing in Qatar. With years of handling thoroughbred horses, the Club was the obvious choice as a venue for equestrian events at the 15th Asian Games held in Doha in 2006.