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.
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- View from the Museum of Islamic Art
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 travelers 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. Also, if you’re a woman traveling solo, check our guides on female solo traveling before visiting.
Consider that access to alcoholic beverages 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.
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.
Don’t forget to visit our other destination guides to inspire your travels!