Qatar 2022 will be a whole new experience for visitors in more ways than one. Not only will the FIFA World Cup be held in the Middle East for the first time, but it'll also be the time to experience lots of new and exciting stuff in this beautiful country!
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team has put together all the must-do things when you visit Qatar. You simply can't leave this beautiful country without trying them.
Experience what it's like to be in an Arabian Village! Many activities like fire shows, Sufi dance, walking entertainment and more await you here. Enjoy live screenings of the match too, we are sure it will be a treat for you and your family!
You can't miss going on a desert safari when in Qatar. You'll experience the action and adventure of dune bashing over the golden sands of Qatar's desert area, especially in Sealine. You'll also get to see the locals practising and showcasing their dune bashing skills on steep sand dunes.
RELATED: Things to do in the Qatari desert
Qatar is a land of deserts, sand dunes and coastal lines, so camping is a must-try, especially in an authentic Bedouin-style camp. There are a number of options available for camping the Qatari way with bonfires, BBQ food, lots of Karak and sleeping under the stars!
Qatar has made an exceptional effort to preserve its rich culture and history and has established 19 heritage sites in the country. Each of these sites transports visitors back in time to the nation’s humble beginnings before skyscrapers, stadiums and the modern world launched Qatar into what it is today.
Since Qatar is part desert and you are in camel country, what better way to take a stroll through the desert than by riding a camel. Camels have been an important part of Qatar's history, and you simply can't leave after Qatar 2022 without riding one. It may look a bit daunting at first since the camel is so huge, but once you sit on it, and walk through the desert, you'll know you made the right choice. You can spot some camels to ride when you're dune bashing in the desert.
The desert rose is a unique phenomenon that naturally occurs in the deserts of Qatar. It forms from gypsum and sand grains and is most often found between the sea and the desert, especially near Umm Bab and the northwestern desert expanse of the country. You can book a tour through a tour operator and check out this beautiful desert rose but please make sure not to step on it or touch it as it is very fragile. But do make sure to take lots of photos of it for your Instagram!
Do you know the design of the National Museum of Qatar has been inspired by the desert rose?
If you'd like to try the local cuisine, then machboos is an absolute must-have. It's made up of rice and aromatic spices with meat, chicken, or even seafood, and topped with roasted nuts to add that crunch to this delicious Qatari traditional dish.
Anytime is Karak time in Qatar because you will not only see tea shops and cafeterias dotted all over the country, you'll see them busy from morning till late night catering to the influx of Karak drinkers.
If you haven't tried Karak tea yet, Qatar 2022 is the perfect time to try this blend of tea made with condensed milk, water, tea, sugar and cardamom which is boiled together and then simmered over a low flame to intensify the flavour. Karak is usually sweet, so do make sure to order this drink according to the sugar level you prefer.
If you're foodventurous, make sure to try some camel milk and camel meat. Camel milk is available in some of the supermarket chains and is known to be more nutritious than cow's milk so make sure to try it. Some of the restaurants also serve dishes with camel meat - so, this is your chance to try something exotic!
Watch the ILQ team try camel milk and camel meat:
Camel racing in Qatar is a very important part of its traditions and has been part of the Qatari lifestyle and heritage for centuries. Al Shahaniya is an exciting place to spend the day, take in the desert scenery that surrounds the camel racing track and mingle amongst the grand camels of Qatar.
Kayaking through the mangroves at Purple Island is a one-of-a-kind experience in Qatar. Padel through lush mangroves as you admire the natural wonder.
Watch our video about Purple Island here: Visiting Purple Island (Al Khor Island): One of Qatar's natural wonders
For those looking for sea, sand, and sun, visitors can hit up the many new beach clubs available in Qatar. Whether you’re looking for a laid-back vibe or want to try kite surfing for the first time, the beach clubs in Qatar shouldn’t be missed.
Another must-do in Qatar is riding a dhow, especially on the waters of the Doha Corniche with the magnificent Doha skyline in the background, with the wind blowing your hair and the feeling of freedom that awakens the senses.
These dhows are as much a part of Qatar's culture and heritage as pearl diving and fishing have been, and this heritage has been kept alive with dhows still being made using the ancient wooden craftsmanship and sail the Arabian Gulf in full glory...often with music blaring from their speakers!
Everything about The Pearl Island exudes luxury and elegance. Seeing is believing. You just have to visit and see all the luxury yachts anchored in the Marina. It's a whole new part of Qatar to explore.
The art scene in Qatar is thriving with the numerous museums, public art displays, and murals scattered around the country. Qatar is home to masterpieces from both local and international artists and discovering their works in different places in Qatar is an experience visitors will surely enjoy.
Theme parks have been a recent growing trend in Qatar, just in time for the influx of visitors for the World Cup. Experience sky-high roller coasters, slides, rides, games, and fun activities at Winter Wonderland, Qetaifan Island North, Doha Quest, Aqua Park, and more.
Falcons are the national bird of Qatar and you must visit the Falcon Souq that's adjacent to Souq Waqif and deals with everything that's related to falcons. At the Falcon Souq, you'll find falcons for sale, their accessories and their grooming kits, a falcon hospital where injured or sick falcons are treated. And if you ask one of the handlers, they'll gladly let you perch one of these beautiful birds of prey on your arm - under their expert supervision, of course.
As you walk through the winding alleyways of Souq Waqif, you'll come across all kinds of shops. You'll find spices, perfumes, jewellery stores, makeup, accessories, clothing, household items, Arabic lamps and lanterns and some of the best souvenirs in town. What are you looking to buy?
While you're at Souq Waqif, don't forget to get henna on your hands. You will find a number of women sitting near the entrance of Souq Waqif with their henna cones and plenty of designs. Choose one and let the henna artists work their magic!
It's time to splurge on some bling! The Gold Souq in Qatar is one of the largest clusters of gold jewellery shops in the country. Once you enter the Souq, you'll feel like you're transported to a magical world made of gold. Everything isn't necessarily very expensive and among the gold jewellery that may go into thousands of Riyals, you can also buy cheaper accessories like jewellery made with white gold and even silver. You'll find places in the Gold Souq, where you can have your name written in gold in Arabic or English. You'll absolutely love this.
The Imam Abdul Wahhab Mosque (Grand Mosque) is a beautiful sight to behold and a must-see. The Mosque is made up of three storeys and is fully air-conditioned; the halls, walkways, prayer areas and library are airy and spacious. The ceilings are domed; the well-designed walkways and prayer halls are decorated with large beautiful chandeliers that light up the entire area illuminating the Grand Mosque in the evenings. The interior of the Grand Mosque exudes radiance and tranquillity and is painstakingly detailed, while the facade is made from sandstone.
If you are a non-Muslim and wish to visit the Grand Mosque, entry is free, but there are some mosque etiquettes and guidelines that must be followed.
Originally written by Nabeela Tariq, updated by Cassandra Pallagud.
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