Experience Qatar

Experience Qatar

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Experience Qatar - What to do in Qatar during the tournament

Qatar is one of the smaller countries around the Arabian Gulf. Despite its small area of 10,000km2, Qatar boasts both adventure and luxury. The small peninsula is effectively a city-state and most inhabitants live in the capital Doha with its glittering skyscrapers and man-made islands. Outside the capital, there is plenty to experience through a desert landscape that hides a great playground for 4×4 adventures and some remarkable historical sites. The long coastline is also popular with kite surfers. The beaches along the west coast are particularly beautiful!

There is an excellent range of activities in Qatar, partly because this country has a fascinating past and a bright future, from the past, there are ancient forts, traditional markets and ancient carvings to experience. We understand that it can be difficult to see all the activities and sights on your trip. To help you be as prepared as possible for your trip to the FIFA World Cup 2022™, we’ve listed everything you need to know.

Qatar culture

What should you be aware of in Qatar during your visit?

Qatar has grown to be a very wealthy country due to its strong economic status related to its oil reserves. Many tourists come to Qatar just for the experience of seeing such a developed and wealthy country. Shopping itself can become a whole new experience. The futuristic and breathtakingly designed skyscrapers and other contemporary architectural wonders are enough to make one’s eyes glaze over. The country also knows how to mix their special Middle Eastern culture with modern amenities and experiences.

Pavlo Luchkovski

Rules and customs
To enjoy these tourist highlights more easily, it is important to respect the rules and customs of Qatar. Foreign fans coming to cheer on their country during the FIFA World Cup 2022™ should keep in mind that Qatar is an Islamic state where different rules apply. There are some strict rules that everyone must abide by. Be aware of noise pollution, foul language and showing too much affection. To be sure, check the tourist travel regulations before you leave.
For tourists in particular, there is a dress code in Qatar, which has been introduced as a sign of respect and to prevent people from being offended. In short, you should cover your shoulders, cleavage and legs above the knees and avoid really tight or see-through clothing. Swimming costumes may only be worn on beaches and at swimming pools.

Alcohol
Alcohol is not illegal in Qatar, but there is a zero tolerance for drinking in public. This means that being drunk in public is considered a criminal offence. Alcohol is available for sale to over-21s in licensed hotels, restaurants and bars. Alcohol will also be available in designated areas during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™.

Pavlo Luchkovski

Qatar Weather

What will the weather be like during the tournament? Find out what temperatures to expect!

Sunset

Leave the cold behind and come to Qatar!
You will be exposed to extremely high temperatures in Qatar, especially during the summer which lasts from June to September. Generally speaking, it is warm in Qatar all year round. As the FIFA World Cup 2022™ is played in winter, European fans can expect temperatures between 20° and 30° Celsius during the FIFA World Cup 2022™. The stadiums have been adapted for football fans and are equipped with air conditioners and enough sun blinds, so all football fans are nice and cool.

Sunset

Architecture & Museums

What can you see in Qatar during the tournament? Here are the most beautiful and important buildings and museums that shouldn’t be missed!

National Museum of Qatar
The structure of this museum is worth a visit in itself, a unique piece of art. The museum, which opened in March 2019, was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and built on the site of the former Qatar National Museum. The building houses the 20th-century palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, as well as a collection on the natural history of the desert, the Persian Gulf, the establishment of the Qatari state and the discovery of oil.

Abdullah Ghatasheh

 

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Museum of Islamic Arts
This museum is housed in a magnificent structure by the famous Chinese-American architect Lee Pei on a landscaped peninsula in Corniche Bay. The museum aims to house ten thousand invaluable works of art from the Muslim world and to be more than just a display of art. It plans to play an active role in the field of research and restoration and will provide educational facilities for schools in addition to research facilities for scholars from abroad. Over the past twenty years, Qatar has purchased no less than seven hundred paintings and drawings by Western artists, particularly from the 19th century, but also from the 17th and 18th centuries. According to the museum management, these works of art give a characteristic picture of how Westerners viewed life in the East, which was far away for them.

Aspire Tower
Qatar has several unique high-rise buildings such as the Aspire Tower. If you are attending a FIFA World Cup 2022™ match at the Khalifa International Stadium (al-Rayyan) you will not be able to miss this tower in the skyline, the tower is 300m tall which makes it the highest tower in Qatar. If you’ve been to a match at the Khalifa Stadium, the Aspire tower is definitely worth a visit.

Khalifa International Stadium

 

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Mosque at Education City
The Education City Mosque is housed in the Minaretein building, part of the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS), which itself is based on the Islamic Kulliyya or “place where all knowledge is sought”. The building rests on five large pillars, representing the five pillars of Islam. The building’s spiral-shaped floor plan and the many connecting roads between the school and the mosque indicate that all knowledge ultimately comes from faith. The mosque is also part of the large Education City complex that consists of several university campuses, other educational facilities, parks, museums, office buildings and the Education City Stadium. Before you know it, you will be spending hours getting lost in all the amazing restaurants scattered around the mosque.

Al Zubarah
The Al Zubarah archaeological site is an essential stop if discovering a bit of history is on your Qatar agenda. While the fortress (which forms the centrepiece of the archaeological site) was built in 1938, the coastal town of Al Shamal dates back to the 1760s. It demonstrates Qatar’s rich history through the early pearl trade.

Located more than 100 km north of Doha, you may have to drive an hour to reach this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The scenic route through the desert will take you back to the days of yore. Conclude your history lesson with a walk to the deserted village of Al Jumail, next to the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site.

 

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Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum
The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum is one of the most unique museums in the entire Middle East. Here you can admire an extensive collection of artifacts from different periods of history. Among the tangible treasures are more than 600 vintage cars and exotic hand-woven carpets from around the world.

With a ticket, you can expect to spend just over 2 hours in this entertaining place. Take time to explore Sheikh Faisal’s personal collection, alongside private collections of calligraphy, steam cars, carpets and traditional costumes.

Activities in Qatar

What to do in Qatar during the tournament? These activities in Qatar will never bore you!

Desert safari tour
Qatar’s largest area of sandy desert lies to the southwest of the capital and offers stunning views of the country’s landscapes. Qatar’s landscapes consist mainly of desert scenery that changes constantly depending on the time of day and light conditions. These vast deserts and dunes with their spectacular views are an unforgettable attraction for recreational safaris that all visitors can enjoy.

The Mesaieed desert in the south is dotted with high sand peaks that you can tear through on an ATV or 4WD to conquer the dunes. Drive further south to the inland sea of Khor Al Adaid and discover an unworldly landscape where the ocean meets the desert. Camel rides can also be organised to experience traditional transport. If you are venturing into the desert, it is best to book a tour so that you are led by guides who know the dunes well.

 

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Banana Island
Located just 20 minutes from the centre of Doha, Banana Island is very different from the city centre. After lounging on a luxury ferry that takes you across the turquoise waters, you can enjoy a private beach. The private island is owned by the Anantara hotel chain, but day passes are available to non-guests for a fee.

From the delicious Arabic cuisine to the attentive staff, world-class service is the theme of this peaceful island. Choose from activities both on and off the water, such as climbing aboard a pedal boat, racing around on jet skis or watching the children play on the water slides.

Sporting events
Qatar as a nation places a priority on sports and is one of the few countries to celebrate a National Sports Day as a bank holiday, which this year will take place on 8 February. Of course, most people come to watch football during the tournament. A number of new and renovated stadiums have been built in Qatar to host the tournament. Do you want to know what these stadiums look like and what is there to experience around them? Check out our Qatar Stadiums page for more information!

 

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Shopping

Where can you shop in Qatar during the tournament? These are the places to visit!

 

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Souk Waqif (standing market)
Located in the heart of Doha right next to Wadi Msheireb, Souk Waqif (standing market) is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Doha. During this activity you will be able to discover some of the hidden gems of Qatar, such as the Arabian horses and camels, the textile market, the Al Rayyan Theatre and the antique market.

Villaggio Mall
Doha is home to the globally recognised shopping experience called Villaggio Mall, or as it is now simply called, Villaggio. Located on Al Waab Street in the western part of the city and in the Aspire Zone, Villaggio is home to an average of 50,000 visitors per day.

Venetian interiors are combined with an amazing array of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues to make it a unique and unforgettable attraction. You can easily experience the mall by boarding a Gondola Ride that gives you a romantic tour of the complex through indoor canals. There is also an IMAX Cinema, an amusement park and a kart and ice rink!

 

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Mirqab Mall
Mirqab Mall offers endless possibilities for entertainment, shopping and dining. The destination features FLIK Cinemas, where the latest Hollywood and Bollywood films are shown. It also has three entertainment areas including the Funderdome, an edutainment place for children of all ages.

The mall’s charming facade matches its interior, where visitors are greeted with a large musical fountain upon entering, the first of its kind in Qatar. Shoppers can enjoy spectacular songs and shows from 10am each day as they stroll through the mall.

Food and Drinks

What to eat and drink in Qatar?

Doha has such an incredible diversity of international cuisine that it can be difficult to find classic Qatari dishes during your visit to the country’s capital. It is worth seeking out traditional local restaurants for some fantastic food, ranging from hearty homemade stews to sophisticated desserts.

Over the centuries, Qatar’s cuisine has been influenced by the Levant, North Africa and the Indian subcontinent, as well as the nomadic Bedouin culture. The result is a cuisine full of complex flavours combining slow cooking techniques and a rich blend of spices.

Qatari cuisine consists of traditional Arabic dishes. Machbūs, a meal consisting of rice, meat and traditional vegetables, is the national dish in Qatar. It is usually prepared with lamb or chicken and cooked slowly to give it a deeper flavour. Seafood and dates are staples in the country and many of these dishes are used in other countries in the region, as they have many similarities. In other parts of the region, some dishes have different names or use slightly different ingredients. Other popular main dishes to try are Qatari machbous, Kabsa, Ghuzi, Madrouba, Harees, Jareesh, Khobes rgag and Thareed. Typical Qatari drinks that are often consumed are Arabic Coffee, Karak and Red tea with mint or saffron.