Tourism in Qatar is rising after the country reopened on 12 July 2021 for vaccinated travelers. Gearing up to host the world’s most acclaimed football competition, the FIFA World Cup, Qatar is also preparing its land with a portfolio of exciting tourist attractions so that football fans can enjoy the sport and experience the ambience of Qatar at the same time.
Experts have divulged the growth in the number of projects and investments in Qatar’s tourism and hospitality industry to cater to the crowd during the FIFA 2022 World Cup. Numerous unique tours, transfers and carefully curated lists of things to do are being offered by tourism firms like Arabiers to entertain the crowds that will visit during that period.
Qatar grants entry only to Qatari nationals, residency permit holders and travelers originating from countries that are either low-risk or on the green list. An update on August 2, 2021 stated that unvaccinated citizens and residents originating from low-risk or green-list countries must adhere to a 5-day self-quarantine. Apart from taking a PCR on arrival, a PCR test has to be taken on day 4 as well. As of now, the green listed countries are:
- New Zealand
The Director of Tourism for the Qatar Tourism Authority, Abdullah Mallala Al Badr, indicated that this law will give them more authority to host events and allow them to build more hotels. This was the message he gave while in the capital for a recent event aimed at promoting Qatar as a tourism destination in the Middle East. Qatar, according to Al Badr, is not lacking from anything a high-end traveler hopes from a destination. Numerous gorgeous hotels, a plethora of leisure activities, and cultural landmarks make this small country an entertaining one. He also stated that Qatar attracted 845,000 visitors from the GCC in 2011, and that tourist visits from the GCC increased by 22% year over year in the first quarter of this year.
He also stated that Qatar’s government has certain plans to construct world-class stadiums for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. They have also ensured to make significant expenditures over a five-year period to expand its tourism infrastructure, which includes the construction of new resorts, hotels, and other tourism-related services.
The rapid development of Qatar’s tourism industry and infrastructure will only strengthen Qatar’s status as a promising business destination in the Middle East. Qatar is on the road for a bright economic future, according to Al Badr, and tourism will play a key part in achieving a sustainable and diverse economy.
If you are or will be ever planning on a trip to Qatar for football, then here is a list of the top things to do in Qatar which you definitely shouldn’t miss.
1.Desert Safari and visit inland sea
Did you ever think it possible to have one foot in the desert and the other one in the sea? It is definitely possible in Khor Al Adaid where the desert meets the sea. If you only have one thing to do in Qatar, make it a trip to the desert. The sand dunes are as tall as they are steep, making the journey over the desert to the sea a breathtaking experience. Spend the night in one of the finest Arabian tents or pitch your own, enjoy native cuisine, and sleep under the stars. A desert safari, an exciting ride along the dunes, is offered by several operators around the country. Experienced drivers will pick you up from your accommodation and take you on a half-day, full-day, or overnight excursion in the desert.
2.Visit Souq Waqif
For a taste of the old world, visit Doha’s Souq Waqif that has been reconstructed to recreate a bygone eras ambiance. The world-famous souq is a maze of stores filled with fabric, spices, sweets, home products (think enormous pots), souvenirs, and art. You will see how the traditional agals Qatari men wear to keep their headdress in place are produced, as well as observe wood carvers and tailors at work.
3. Kayaking at Al Thakira Mangroves
The Mangroves of Al Thakira are a significant region of flora and water with its own ecosystem amid an otherwise sandy, scorching desert. They are one of the country’s most recognizable places. It is teeming with birds, with herons and flamingos traveling to the area for years. Kayaking and getting lost in the vegetation are the finest ways to experience the mangroves. Bring a pair of water shoes and wade across the low-level water if you are visiting in January. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that you are in the desert.
4.Explore an equestrian heaven
Even if you are not into horses, a visit to the Al Shaqab equestrian complex in Doha should not be missed. This sparkling cutting-edge facility is proof of what can happen if you generously invest in your passion, in this case, horses. You can see how sport and show horses are massaged and groomed into competition winners. The purpose of this huge horseshoe-shaped institution is to preserve local traditions of producing purebred Arabian horses. However, tours also allow tourists to see training in facilities that include treadmills, swimming pools, and private racetracks, all for horses.
5.The National Museum of Qatar
The Qatar National Museum is a brand new national museum that debuted in Doha just over three years ago. Time Magazine named the museum one of the best places to visit in the world in 2019, and it was inspired by the desert rose crystal found in Qatar.
The museum, which opened on March 28, 2019, has already attracted over 450,000 people, making it one of the world’s most popular attractions. The museum covers 1.5 kilometers and tells the country’s story in three key parts or themes.
It commences with the ‘Beginnings,’ continues with ‘Life in Qatar,’ and concludes with the ‘Modern Past of Qatar,’ chronicling the country’s evolution from the desert to the present day. It is, undoubtedly, the ideal site to learn about Qatar’s rich history.
6. Spectate the modernized camel racing at Al Shahaniya Camel Race Track
The most thrilling event for Qataris takes place an hour outside of Doha, in the little village of Al Shahaniya. Camel racing is one of the country’s oldest and most traditional sports, practiced by the country’s sheikhs. The racetrack organizes competitions every Friday from November through February, which has developed into an obsession and one of Qatar’s most expensive athletic events. The tracks are popular with both locals and tourists from all over the world, and should not be missed if you’re in town during the racing season.
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