If you lived your childhood or teenage in Qatar through the 90s or wondered what Qatar was like back in the good old days you are up for a joyride.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team has handpicked a list of all things that spell out “Doha in the 90’s”. Let the throwback begin!
This was every Doha kid’s source of adrenaline and adventure. From spotting the tall roller coaster while approaching the entrance of the theme park to finally buckling that seatbelt; Aladdin’s Kingdom was Doha’s first extreme theme park. It was a dream come true for many Doha kids.
QBS radio takes pride in being one of Doha’s oldest broadcast stations. However, to some it is more than just a radio station as their morning jingle was one of a kind.
“Every morning is so much fun when you wake up with Doha’s number 1, the breakfast show, QBS Radio” is what you would hear on the way to school and that would stick in your mind throughout the day.
The Sheraton Park is located at the far end of the corniche today and it had a version of its own that is dear to all the 90’s kids. The play area is one that had swings, slides and monkey-climbing bars which were a post-picnic Thursday night thrill.
If you were one of the cool kids your fav hangout spot definitely would’ve been the restaurants located at the Ramada junction; also fondly known as “Ramada Square” or “Pizza Square”. Have a meal at the only Pizza restaurant at the time; Pizza Hut or a roast beef burger at Arby’s and head to TCBY for your dessert. But what was not to be missed was the little play area hidden at the back which had the perfect ending to an evening out.
Located right in the middle of the city this little place has gotten lost in the crowd amongst modern day play zones in Doha; but this indeed was one of the first play areas that kids in Doha begged to go to. It was a mid-week thrill and quick play spot; a ride on that Dragon train made everyone happy, not forgetting the candy-floss, popcorn or icy strawberry ice cream to be picked up on your way out.
The snack scene of Doha is no secret in today’s day; but there are those few picks that go back in time. A no brainer to those who wanted to satisfy those cravings were Qatar Pafki and Chips Oman, for the sweet-toothed it would be good old Yan-Yan or Hello Panda and to quench that thirst Dandy Orange juice or the extra sweet Shani.
Still standing strong as a convenience spot; but back in the day it was “the” spot. Situated in the heart of the city, The Center near Radisson Blu Hotel was a shopper’s favourite. However, not just because of the shopping but also because of the Baskin Robbins that sits right outside.
Want to watch a movie in Doha today? You would be scrolling to figure out where to go given the options. Back in the day, it was the one and only “Gulf Cinema”. Rugged white walls, dimly light alleys and carpeted stairs had to be climbed up to reach your theatre, which was a large wide hall, unlike the compact ones to be found in modern day Doha.
A recreational facility that was a wonder for those in Doha at the time. Fully-equipped gym facilities, secure swimming pools, eateries, private theatre; you name it, they had it all to ensure you had your ideal dose of leisure. It was located ahead of the corniche; along the shoreline where we see Sharq Village & Spa today.
Before we knew “Souq Waqif” as we know it today with the name and location; in the yesteryear it was “Souq Irani”. The rustic cobblestone pathways, pungent yet nostalgic smell of spices and the elderly men strolling around with their wheelbarrows to assist with the shopping. However, the perk of being a kid at the time were the candies and chocolates that the nuts and sweet shop owners would handover; given that you might just be the only kid around.
20 minutes away from citylife, Palm Tree Island was the ideal weekend getaway. Just a dhow ride away, the island had every leisure activity to offer; rooms, cabanas, multiple pools, eateries and beach access as well, which definitely was the relaxation needed.
Back in the day Qatar TV was the only source of TV entertainment that aired all sorts of cartoons, comedy and informative shows. However, midway especially through Ramadan airings you would stumble on a commercial which showcased the early life of pearl divers in Qatar. Although a commercial, it showed raw footage with a rather catchy background music as they would sing through their expedition.
If there was anything that was anticipated on a weekly basis, it was this youth magazine that was vibrant and covered all the trending lifestyle subjects of the time. It was a fun collectible for those passionate readers.
The Doha Zoo was an exciting and enthralling experience being one of the most prominent visit venues on a weekend or school field trip. Monkey cages built to sky touching heights, interactive elephant sightings at the entrance, or dungeon-like reptile vivariums; it had all to offer with a central safari themed area for refreshments.
The giraffe, zebra and oryx exhibits were also one to keep an eye out for. The play area was not to be missed on your way out.
Another much loved place for the kids who wanted to show off some skills and get some play for the day. Although still standing, Al Bidda Park was much unlike its new and renewed current version.
Pools and ponds, paddling duck boats and a skatepark were all the many attractions that Al Bidda Park had to offer; making it a favourite activity destination.
Were any of the mentions nostalgic to you? Which of these have your favourite memories? Do let us know in the comments below. Do share this article - it keeps us going!
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