Can't travel overseas? Getaway without having to go away by exploring more of Qatar. Need to escape and unwind? Schedule these trips for an easy weekend getaway from Doha! In this week's Top 5, we're starting off with Qatar's northern side. Here are the top 5 destinations you can check out!
If you're a fan of visiting abandoned places, then Al Jumail is right up your alley. Known as Qatar's ghost town, the village was once a prospering pearl diving and fishing village along Qatar's coast in between Al Arish and Al Ruwais. Its name is derived from the Arabic word 'Jameel' meaning beautiful. Inhabited from the 19th century to the 20th century, all that is left now are the remains of houses, shards of pottery, beads and other remnants from the past. Its mosque especially the minaret still stands tall and proud today.
Built in 1955, the Al Ruwais Old Police Station was restored by Qatar Museums and now serves as a permanent exhibition space (Heritage Area 22899) with an onsite café.
Arsan Cafe was opened in 2019 and earned the nickname "northernmost cafe in Qatar." It's now a popular destination for residents because of the relaxing and panoramic view from the outdoor seating of the cafe. Aside from specialty coffee, the cafe also serves other beverages like Mango Pina Colada as well as desserts.
Another landmark you can check out while in the area is the oldest mosque in Qatar, Al Ruwais Mosque. The original mosque is thought to be from the 17th century and has since been renovated by Qatar Museums.
All of these sites can be reached by a sedan.
Tired of the parks in Doha, drive to Al Bayt Stadium Park! The park has a beautiful man-made lake, lots of play areas for children, a stunning landscape, lots of greenery, running and cycling tracks, as well as lots of parking spaces. It can be easily reached by a sedan.
Note: The play areas are still closed according to the current COVID-19 restrictions.
What else to do in the vicinity? Admire the Al Khor Stadium, of course! It's one of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Stadiums and its design is inspired by the bayt al sha'ar (traditional tents) of nomadic peoples. Al Bayt Stadium will also host the first opening match of the World Cup in 2022. This is what the inside of the stadium looks like: https://www.iloveqatar.net/news/sports/check-out-the-photos-from-inside-of-al-bayt-stadium-modern-meets-traditional
A McDonald's restaurant resembling the stadium also recently opened. More photos and info here: https://www.iloveqatar.net/guide/places/mcdonalds-qatar-al-bayt-stadium-branch-qatari-tent
The north of Qatar has many beaches that are frequented by citizens and residents alike. The most popular ones include Fuwairit Beach and Maroona Beach for its soft sand and clear waters. There's also Ghariya Beach and Al Farkiah Beach which has now designated days for women and children only. Fuwairit Beach is closed during the nesting season of hawksbill turtles (April - July)and just recently, Qatar Museums held tours so residents can watch the hatching of these amazing creatures.
The Al Thakira mangrove forest is said to be the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Qatar is home to the sturdy Avicennia Marina species of mangroves, which can endure high salinity. The ecosystem of these mangrove forests attract not only migratory birds, crabs, and fish but also to a host of other organisms like crabs and gastropods.
Located north of Al Khor, one of the best ways to explore the mangroves is by kayaking during sunrise or sunset. If you're going using your private vehicle, best to use a 4x4.
How many of these places have you already been to? How was your experience? Did you take a tour or did a road trip? Share with us your experience in the comments section! If you found this useful, don't forget to hit LIKE and SHARE!
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