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Doha

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Can you guess… the richest country in the world? Hint: you may have never heard of it before. Qatar ranks highest for its GDC per capita. But compared to all that you might see in its capital Doha, that’s only the least interesting bit. Read our city guide where in this edition, Talk Travel tackles Doha’s magnificence and helps you explore your Doha travel like a local.

Tourist Attractions

Souq Waqif: a traditional market selling a variety of Qatari items, foods and have a bunch of shisha lounges. It can get touristy, but nonetheless absolutely worth it for those either informed and clueless about Qatar.

Doha - Policeman
Policemen use horses to stroll Souq Waif

Photo courtesy: Jane Kim

Al Corniche:  a (random?) statue right across the street from Souq Waqif, in more or less the midsection of Doha itself. Corniche St is stretch of sidewalk along the water where joggers and strollers can enjoy the waterfront with a great view of the cityscape.

Doha-waterfront
Doha Waterfront

The Pearl-Qatar: an expat neighborhood and artificial island. Though lots of non-Qatari shops and food options create a definitive bubble-like aura, it’s a remarkable space to pick up on the society’s stark lack of foreigner-to-Qatari exchanges.

Doha - Villagio Mall
Truman Show-esque hallway of the Villagio Mall

Photo courtesy: Jane Kim

Villagio Mall: it may merely be a large, glitzy mall, but the ice skating rink indoor canal makes it feel more like an amusement park. The sky-painted ceiling and the indoor canal of Venice is reminiscent of a hotel in Las Vegas… perhaps this is a good metaphor for the Westernized artifices of the Gulf region.  

Katara Amphitheatre & Katara Cultural Village on one of Qatar’s most beautiful beaches, Katara Beach. Check out festivals and any events that are on during your stay!

Doha - View from the Museum of Islamic Art
View from the Museum of Islamic Art

Museums: Museum of Islamic Art, Math Arab Museum of Modern Art, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

For a deeper understanding of how these interesting landmarks were built, use Talk Travel App to pick a local or expert’s brains. Our services come with no fees, nor any other caveat i.e. signups or extra hassle from your end.

Expectations vs. Realities

While you shouldn’t assume hostility from the (or any) local populace, Qataris are mainly disinclined towards opening up to travellers or foreigners. Expat community members will promptly tell you of the stark lack of intermingling even between residents, simply based on whether one is or isn’t a Qatari.

Consider that access to alcoholic beverage is severely limited. The most common way to get your hands on them is via overpriced hotel bars. While some Qataris do drink and have their own methods of acquiring alcohol, as it’s socially taboo, they do so completely out of sight.

Transportation

There is virtually no public transport worth counting on. While you may occasionally spot a bus, most locals don’t use them. Some of the locals would say that only ‘workers’ use the buses. The best way to move around is Uber or a rental car.

That being said, everyday matters are subject to different opinions from different members of the community. Instantly gain an insider outlook by chatting to an expert on Talk Travel App.

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