Holidays to Qatar are a particularly unique experience. This small country, and capital city of Doha, are in a state of growth right now, making this a very exciting time for both residents and its increasingly large legions of tourists. Its burgeoning façade continues to grow with magnificent results, and its citizens are only too welcoming. Fantastic seafront architecture and the Corniche promenade by the harbour show off this area's pristine, super-modern side.
Contrasting this rapid modernisation, however, is a city of rich and fascinating history. Human settlement has been found here from 50,000 years ago and Doha itself has played a central role in establishing the Islamic civilisation. Because of its protrusion into the Arabian Gulf, Doha has always been an important fishing town and port, and the Qatari peninsula has long been a land of roaming tribes from miles around. Today, its numerous museums continue to show off this history.
Luxury holidays in Qatar
Luxury hotels in Qatar are exactly that: pure luxury. Doha’s harbour-front properties in particular are highly desirable, while the service culture therein is uncompromisingly brilliant. Exquisite buildings are dressed internally with grand, traditional Arabesque features, while the modernities are nothing short of state-of-the-art.
Things to do on holiday in Qatar
The best way to experience Qatar and Doha is to mix old and the new. Perhaps spend the morning checking out the museums and cultural attractions such as the Katara Cultural Village which is a purpose built entertainment area with an amphitheatre, pop-up museums and exhibitions.
After a cultural showering, it’s time to go shopping, and Doha is the place to be. With many super-modern malls – including the Villaggio Mall with its indoor canal system – and the excitement of Doha’s vibrant souks, you could spend limitless hours mulling around enjoying the sights and sounds.
Of course, with temperatures rarely dipping below 24C and a gulf location with plenty of sand, Qatar attracts beach lovers. Explore the natural beaches to the east of Doha or the man-made beaches of The Pearl. Spend a day or so lazing in the sunshine, snorkelling, trying out water sports or taking a boat ride. Sunbathers are recommended to visit their hotel beach, as private beaches sometimes don't accommodate sunbathing.
10 great reasons to holiday in Qatar
- Enjoy year-round sunshine.
- Stay in one of Doha’s luxurious beachfront hotels.
- Authentic cultural delights including the Souq Waqif where you can pick up local items.
- Adventure fun activities including dune bashing and seeing the Inland Sea, a world phenomenon.
- Explore Doha’s thriving art scene - the Museum of Islamic Art, Arab Museum of Modern Art and more.
- World-class restaurants offering international as well as authentic Qatari cuisine.
- Discover Qatar’s cultural heritage with a visit to the Al Zubarah Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Take a traditional dhow boat ride around Doha viewing the skyline.
- Walk along the Corniche, a long promenade stretching out in front of Doha or around the marina at the Pearl-Qatar.
- See the traditional sports of horse racing, camel racing and traditional falconry.
Ramadan in Qatar
During the Holy Month Muslims fast between dawn and sunset, restricting themselves from drinking and eating. Qatar visitors are advised not to eat and drink water in public places during this month as a sign of respect towards those fasting; your hotel will offer dining as usual, but do not be alarmed if it a doorway screens the dining area off to outside view. Attractions like the souq are open during some hours, although the best time to visit is evening. Regular restaurants outside of the hotels may not be open during day hours, instead opening after sundown when a vibrantly unique atmosphere springs to life.
Ramadan is from 2nd April - 1st May 2022 and 22nd March – 20th April 2023. Visitors to the Middle East during this time should be aware that opening times may vary and some restrictions may apply. Please speak to your Middle East specialist at Kenwood Travel for more information.
Public holidays in the UAE
Please note that during religious celebrations and public holidays in the United Arab Emirates, restrictions on the serving of alcohol may be imposed at hotels and restaurants. Food services may also be restricted and opening times may vary. Please check with your Kenwood Travel agent for more info, or see the list of UAE public holidays below:
- Gregorian New Year: 1 January
- Eid Al Fitr: From last day of the Islamic month of Ramadan to 3 Shawwal* (4 days)
- Arafah day and Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice): From 9 to 12 Dhu al Hijjah* (4 days)
- Hijri New Year (Islamic New Year): 1 Muharram - 12 August in 2021 and on 30 July in 2022
- Prophet Mohammed's birthday: 21 October in 2021 and on 8 October in 2022
- Commemoration Day: 1 December (previously known as Martyr's Day and was observed on 30 November)
- National Day: 2 and 3 December (2 days)
Interesting facts about Qatar
- Area – 132 sq. kilometres (Doha)
- Population – 1,312,947 (Doha)
- Currency – Qatari Riyal(QAR)
- 80% of Qatari residents live in Doha.
- Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
- Southwest of Doha ‘Singing Sand Dunes’ are found, a rare phenomenon whereby perfect wind and humidity conditions cause the sand dunes to hum.
- The Pearl-Qatar represents a string of pearls as a nod to its former status as a pearl-diving industry hub.
- Once fully complete, The Pearl will add 32 kilometres of coastline to Doha at a cost of $15 billion.
Weather in Qatar
Qatar’s extremely hot desert climate rarely sees rainfall, and between May and September the hot season barely goes under 30C in the daytime, and has recorded temperatures as high as 49C.
Qatar holidays 2021 / 2022
If you’re looking for luxury all-inclusive holidays, weddings and honeymoons, then look no further. With a proven track record in holidays since 1977, Kenwood Travel can offer you a bespoke package to Doha and Qatar. To avoid disappointment, book early and lock-in next year's holiday places today.
Changes to Visa requirements for entry into Qatar
Nationals the UK will not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver at the time of arrival in Qatar, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket. The waiver will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitle its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips. This waiver may be extended for a further 30 days.
Please note: Dining restrictions may apply for all hotels in Qatar when complimentary meal plan upgrades are on offer.
Please note: Electronic cigarettes are banned in the UAE, and it is forbidden to bring them into the country.
Please note: Visitors to the UAE travelling with medicine are advised to check the approved list as provided by United Arab Emirates Ministry of Health & Prevention. For certain medications, visitors will be required to submit an online form prior to travel. This is a legal requirement, and visitors found with undeclared medicines run risk of being denied entry into the country.