With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 happening right now, all eyes are on Doha. But outside of the exciting matches, there's plenty else to do and explore, from world-class museums to lush farms in the middle of the desert. We invited the general manager of Andaz Doha (opening soon), Thibault de Vries, to share his top recommendations in the Qatari capital
A seasoned hotelier with over 22 years of experience across international markets, Thibault de Vries is the general manager of the highly anticipated Andaz Doha, which is set to open in the coming weeks.
"The compact peninsular state of Qatar has long been a melting pot of cultures and its striking capital, Doha, is a dynamic city encapsulating this diversity," says de Vries, who adds that "with a staggering array of cultural venues, including museums, galleries, and public art Doha has become one of the most desired travel destinations in 2022."
Here, de Vries shares some of his favourite places to visit in Doha to shop, explore and unwind.
Museum of Islamic Art
The Museum of Islamic Art, located in the heart of the Corniche, is filled with the vision and presentation of Islamic history. With masterpieces from all over the world showing the diversity of Islamic heritage, the museum's design is inspired by ancient Islamic architecture and incorporates geometric patterns.
It is the first of its kind in the Arab States of the Persian Gulf, displaying over 14 centuries of Islamic art. Visitors can view the picturesque and charming skyline of Doha through the soaring glass window.
National Museum of Qatar
The building inspired by the desert rose crystal of Qatar takes visitors on a loop of galleries that address three major themes of Qatar. The dynamic and captivating interactive space of the museum allows people to come together to experience Qatar's past, present, and future, giving voice to the country's rich heritage and culture.
Katara Cultural Village
Spelled anciently, Katara is a self-styled cultural village nestled between the gleaming financial district of West Bay and the half-moon towers of The Pearl residential neighborhood.
Bordered by a vast beach on one side and the twin Katara Hills on the other, Katara is Doha’s go-to destination for art, culture, and cuisine, making Katara Cultural Village the largest and most multidimensional cultural project.
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Doha Fire Station
Doha Fire Station, housed in a former fire station, is now a popular gathering spot for artists and art aficionados. Fire Station is a contemporary art space dedicated to supporting artists through its artist-in-residence program and engaging Qatari communities through opportunities and events such as exhibitions and public programs.
The Fire Station illustrates the seamless connections between a rich cultural heritage and captivating experiences.
Msheireb Design District
Msheireb Downtown utilises a fresh architectural language to revitalize Doha's old commercial district. The Design District is a valuable part of the cultural fabric of Doha, as it is a cultural destination where heritage, art, sustainability, and creativity come together to form a truly vibrant hub that unites Qatar's design community.
From the Msheireb Museums, you can learn about Qatar's history through the four heritage houses and the streets, where sustainable design meets commercial goals to shape the city of the future.
A Doha landmark that never gets tiring. Established by Qatar Museums under the leadership of Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, is an epicenter for innovation and entrepreneurship in design, fashion, and tech.
M7 encourages designers to explore, team up, and build successful businesses. Truly one of a kind place to visit.
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Heenat Salma Farm
Heenat Salma Farm, a hidden gem eco-farm and camp, is nestled in Shahaniya, northwest of Doha. It attracts eco-conscious consumers, farming traditionalists, and true fans of organic, natural produce.
A unique and exotic trip to visit the desert-friendly plants and vegetables that contributes to the renewable, home-grown food supply in Qatar and beyond.
Place Vendôme is the it-spot to obsess over and tirelessly shop at all day. Inspired by French-style extravagance, it has many hospitality areas, including 5-star hotels and luxurious apartments, as well as a mix of 580 high-end and mid-range stores.
The mall has a breathtaking water canal flowing through the interior and exterior of the mall. To make the experience even more memorable when visiting, a spectacular Dancing Fountain Show happens every hour from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The island, which is located in the municipality of Al Khor on Qatar's northeast coast, is also known as Jazirat bin Ghanim or Al Khor Island. The Purple Island, was a prominent site for dye production, particularly purple dye, hence the name of the island. The island has a fascinating archaeological site from the second millennium.
Purple Island is ideal for nature lovers who appreciate all shades of beauty. In other words, every inch of the island entices you to partake in soul relaxing activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and spotting fish, crabs, plants and blooms, fossils, and wildlife while strolling through the salt marshes.