The New Dubai? What’s Qatar really like?
Qatar is located on the northeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula and borders the oil kings, Saudi Arabia to the south. The population of Qatari nationals is only 313,000 whilst 2.3 million expatriates make up the rest of the population. So, what makes Qatar so attractive? Is it the high-income economy? Or, perhaps the highest per capita income in the world? The huge prospect of wealth from the world’s third-largest natural gas reserves and oil reserves located in Qatar? Whatever, the reason, Qatar is on the up and the Roamadic team travelled to visit this Arabian nation last year and this is what we found! Qatar is certainly not as flashy as Dubai and does not possess as many tourist attractions as the UAE. We had no real idea of the best things to do and see whilst we were there, so we decided to do what the Roamadic team does best and that’s go out get lost and explore.
We first stumbled upon the historic Falcon Souq, which is an old-style market selling anything from birds and other animals to kitchen supplies. If you’re not in the market for a new falcon then just take time an explore the culture that this market has to offer. The sights and smells are authentic and provide a sense of realism to the Qatari way of life. Food is also on offer and the chance to grab a photograph with the tall hand.
The next stop we visited was the National Museum of Qatar! This was well worth the visit and introduced tourists to the history and heritage of Qatar. Take a step back in time and see what Qatar was like before they became oil juggernauts of the middle east. The museum offers a chance to see the Qatari way of life, the wildlife and marine creatures that call the country home as well as various fun interactions that the museum offers.
Taking a break from the unique Qatar attractions called for a stop at the Villaggio Mall. The Villaggio Mall is not as big as the Emirates mall in Dubai however it offers something rather interesting…. a river gondola! Yep, that’s right there is a river offering boat cruises through the entire mall. The unique interior of this mall makes it a worthwhile stop, not to mention the wide variety of shops and great choices of restaurants on offer.
To round off on the attractions we visited was the Katara Cultural Village and Beach. This village offers many exhibits, shops, restaurants and entertainment to be explored. Not as lively as the Falcon Souq or as informative as the National museum of Qatar the village is still a nice place to visit and we would recommend early evening and dinner the best way to experience this attraction. In addition to the shops and exhibits on display a short walk away is the Katara beach. The beachfront offers warm, blue water and views of the Qatari skyscrapers as well as the vast Arabian Gulf.
So overall what is Qatar like? We would conclude Qatar as a younger brother of Dubai. Qatar is still very young in terms of its development and does not have the vast quality of attractions as Dubai. However, Qatar is less crowded and has immense room for growth over the next few decades with attractions and infrastructure still being built. Notable attractions left off our list as well future attractions coming soon include; Aqua Park Qatar, 2022 FIFA World Cup, Angry Birds World, Doha Oasis Quest (indoor theme park.)
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