Much like what Dubai is to Emirates Airlines, Doha is to Qatar Airways. Qatar’s capital is a rapidly developing city in the Middle East, and it’s also the main hub for Qatar Airways. Since Doha connects many destinations across the world, it’s an ideal layover location to break up a long flight. Those looking to stretch their legs are treated to an exciting city full of modern wonders and a lot of sand. Read on for what to see and do on a Doha layover.
To leave the airport on your Doha layover, you may require a visa. Be sure to check ahead to see if you’re eligible to get a visa upon arrival, as a resident of one of the 33 approved countries. Getting a visa on arrival costs QAR 100 and can be purchased from the immigration officers.
Alternatively, if you’re flying Qatar Airways, you can take advantage of a visa-free tour of the city at no cost. The tour lasts roughly three hours and gets you a great overview of Doha’s highlights. If you aren’t so lucky, hiring a taxi driver for a day of sightseeing is an affordable and easy option.
Where to Stay on a Doha Layover
If you’re spending more than a few hours between flights or you’re looking to recharge, you have plenty of hotel options. The InterContinental Doha in West Bay offers both convenience and luxury for those on a Doha layover. Beat jet lag with a visit to the hotel’s spa, or kick back in one of the many on-site lounges.
What to See on a Doha Layover
Although Doha is a relatively new city, there is much to see on a layover or a short stay. The Doha Fort was constructed in 1927 and protected the city for decades. Today it serves as a museum with exhibits on handicrafts, traditional boats, and ornaments.
The Souq Waqif is one of Doha’s most popular tourist attractions, due to its high concentration of restaurants and shops. Enjoy a lazy day at a streetside shisha lounge, or shop for some traditional garments and spices.
Those spending more time than just a layover can fill a day alone visiting the city’s many museums. The Museum of Islamic Art displays Islamic art from around the world and has pieces dating back 1,400 years.
The recently opened National Museum of Qatar has an exterior as interesting as its contents. This unique building houses the nation’s natural and historical artifacts, as well rotating exhibits.
Sand and Sea
Those with enough time to explore beyond the high-rises and shopping malls should do so. Explore the desert in a thrilling 4×4 dune-bashing tour, or take a cruise along in a traditional dhaw. You can also visit the Al Maha Sanctuary to see Qatar’s endangered national animal, the Arabian Oryx.
Be sure to leave Doha well rested and full of new memories from this exciting hub in the Middle East.