Qatar is one of the smaller nations around the Arabian Gulf, but what the country lacks in size, it makes up for in both adventure and luxury. There are many great reasons to visit Qatar this year, especially as the nation effortlessly blends millennia of Middle Eastern culture with modern amenities and experiences, for a trip you won’t soon forget.

No matter what type of traveller you might be, adventurous, luxury, beach lover, sports enthusiast, you’ll find activities to catch your interest in Qatar. Still not sure if Qatar is right for your next holiday? Here are our top reasons to visit Qatar that are sure to convince you.

What are the great reasons to visit Qatar this year?

  • 1

    The weather is always great

    From the desert to the seashore, the sun’s always shining in Qatar

    The weather is always great

    If you want to enjoy sunny weather during your holiday, you can always find it in Qatar. The weather is typically pleasant for most of the year. Winters are usually very mild, with daytime temperatures in January ranging between 12°C and 21°C. Summers are on the hotter, more humid side and can reach up to 41.5°C in July. If you do see any rain in Qatar, it’ll probably be in February.

    Some may think that since Qatar is a Middle Eastern destination, it can become ridiculously hot in the summer. The reality is that the temperatures aren’t so different from what you’ll often experience in other similar seaside or desert destinations 25–30 degrees above the equator.

  • 2

    There’s a remarkable blend of tradition and modernity

    Qatar celebrates its long history while looking forward to the future

    There’s a remarkable blend of tradition and modernity

    Qatar has a rich and storied history that's visible nearly everywhere you look, from the architecture and museums to UNESCO World Heritage sites and marketplaces. But that doesn't make it a country that lives in the past, as proved by the innovative skyscrapers of Doha.

    The country offers a blend of tradition and modernity that’s difficult to find elsewhere in the world. Qatar celebrates its heritage, but still offers newcomers and travellers modern amenities, hotels and infrastructure, and a mix of international cultures, cuisines and lifestyles.

  • 3

    It’s a good choice for outdoor adventures

    There’s no shortage of adrenaline-pumping activities in Qatar

    It’s a good choice for outdoor adventures

    From skydiving over the Arabian Gulf to scuba diving beneath its waters, and from climbing sand dunes to exploring ancient forts, Qatar is the place to be if adventure is what you seek on your holiday. One of the most popular outdoor experiences in Qatar is a desert safari tour. Travellers mount their own ATVs and head out into the Mesaieed Desert. For something more traditional, travellers might ditch the ATV for a camel ride instead.

    Your outdoor adventures need not include the sand, though. Qatar is also popular for kayaking through the Al Dhakira Mangroves and kitesurfing along the coast.

  • 4

    There are amazing museums

    They’re just as impressive on the outside as the inside

    There are amazing museums

    Qatar’s museums may be home to rare artefacts, but you’ll likely find the exterior of many of these museums to be just as fascinating as their exhibitions.

    A must-visit is the National Museum of Qatar, designed in the fashion of a desert rose. ALRIWAQ is an art gallery and museum that was initially a temporary venue but became so popular for its design that it became a permanent exhibition space. Designed by an award-winning architect, the Museum of Islamic Art is coated with limestone that reflects the sunlight. The Sheikh Faisal Museum occupies a historical, perfectly preserved fort that’s a point of interest in itself.

  • 5

    There’s a wide choice of shopping options

    From markets to shopping centres, Qatar offers a range of retail therapy

    There’s a wide choice of shopping options

    Qatar caters to locals and travellers with its wide array of shopping options. In Doha especially, luxurious shopping centres house some of the most renowned labels in the fashion world. You could spend an entire day just browsing the Mall of Qatar, with its hundreds of stores and nearly 500,000 square metres of retail and entertainment space.

    More traditional shopping experiences can be found in Qatar's souqs, or marketplaces in English. Get an authentic taste of Doha and find locally made handicrafts, from cooking pots and pashmina shawls to fragrant spices and woven baskets. Visiting a souq is a bit like a treasure hunt, as you never know what you’ll find.

  • 6

    Get luxury for a great value

    Despite Qatar’s luxury appeal, it’s still accessible to the budget explorer

    Get luxury for a great value

    Just because Qatar offers luxury hotels and upscale shopping and dining options, that doesn’t mean the destination is out of reach for those travelling on a budget, or even that those luxury offerings are unattainable for the budget traveller. In fact, you can find great-value luxury stays in Qatar.

    For example, a stay in 5-star properties in Doha such as the InterContinental Doha The City, Grand Hyatt Doha, and Mandarin Oriental Doha might cost less than 1,500 riyals per night, sometimes as little as 500 riyals during the off-peak season.

  • 7

    The dining scene is rapidly developing

    International visitors and expats influence Qatar’s burgeoning dining scene

    The dining scene is rapidly developing

    Sushi in the desert? Fried rice by the seashore? Sandwiches while you look out at the Arabian Gulf? That’s correct. You can find nearly any cuisine in Qatar, thanks to the country’s growing food scene that embraces flavours from all over the world.

    Many hotels and resorts have stellar onsite restaurants, but you’ll also find little hole-in-the-wall spots that serve up traditional Qatar cuisine with gusto. If you have your heart set on trying the authentic fare, expect dishes with Iranian, Indian and North African influences, with a heavy focus on fresh seafood from the gulf.

  • 8

    Experience the sheer vastness of the desert

    The dramatic dunes of Qatar create a backdrop like no other

    Experience the sheer vastness of the desert

    Whether you want to experience a desert safari or just go for a picnic atop a sand dune, you can do it in Qatar’s largest expanse of sandy desert, in the southwest of the country. A visit to the dramatic landscape is a must for any first-time visitor, as the sheer magnitude of the desert stretching out before you is both awe-inspiring and humbling.

    Thanks to the shifting light, the dunes look different depending on the time of your visit. For picture-perfect views, visit Qatar’s deserts at sunrise, sunset and nighttime, when the skies are exceptionally clear.

  • 9

    It has beautiful nature

    Stunning natural sights await

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    Qatar might be known for its extraordinary architecture, but there are still scores of natural beauty spots across the country that will inspire you just as much as the city landmarks. For starters, many of Qatar’s beaches, like Khor Al Adaid Beach and Fuwairit Beach, boast coastal landscapes almost untouched by commercialism. 

    Beyond the beaches you’ll find beauty in the incredible limestone dunes and nature reserves of Ras Abrouq, or in the lush and verdant mangrove forests of Al Thakira. And that’s not all. Venture underground to what is believed to be Qatar’s deepest cavern, Dahl Al Misfir, and be astounded by the otherworldly moon-like glow of the fibrous gypsum crystals.  

  • 10

    It was the 2022 FIFA World Cup host

    Football tournament maximises tourism

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    The 2022 FIFA World Cup brought a host of benefits to Qatar, all of which will certainly enrich any holiday. The country received a huge economic boost to its retail, tourism and hospitality sectors, meaning that finding the perfect hotel, restaurant or shopping centre during your stay has never been easier. 

    See these gains for yourself by taking a tour of the state-of-the-art Lusail Stadium, traverse the shops at the luxurious Place Vendôme Mall or stay in upscale resorts like the St Regis Marsa Arabia Island, The Pearl Qatar, all purposely built for the World Cup. How do you get around these locations? By hopping on advanced metro rail systems and buses that saw significant improvements for 2022.

Holly Riddle | Penulis yang Berkontribusi