A visit to Qatar, the gas-rich Arab kingdom growing at a breakneck pace, can prove to be more than just a luxury stopover inside the Middle East. But be prepared to depart Western habits at the door.

Maybe you’re heading to the capital Doha due to the fact you are making the most of Qatar Airways’ stopover hotel deal, recharging for a couple of nights earlier than you press directly to Europe. Or you may find yourself there for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Either manner right here’s how to kill a couple of days inside the Arabian barren region’s “Fist City.”

DESERT SAFARI

You must not travel some distance outdoor Doha to experience like you’re on every other planet. The sand formations are huge, rugged and windswept, and give you a flavor of the harshness of desolate tract existence. Before you embark, an air-conditioned four-wheel-drive from Discover Qatar will prevent permit the air to let loose of its tires so that it may surf down the dunes.

Request to prevent at a camp on the threshold of the metropolis in which you can ride a camel or preserve a falcon. Camel racing and falconry are vintage and culturally vital Qatari past instances.

The guide can then take you south to a beach in the Arabian Gulf, where you’re capable of seeing Saudi Arabia throughout the water. An amazing manner to get your bearings. Downside: There’s quite a little garbage within the barren region.

MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART

This constructing has a commanding presence on an artificial island inside the harbor. It holds a big series of Islamic artwork spanning 3 continents and 1400 years, an exceptional way to deal with the history of Islam.

The museum’s architect, 91-yr-vintage I. M. Pei, had to be coaxed out of retirement to design it. Then he traveled throughout the Muslim world for six months as studies (cash is no item for Qatari royals) and insisted it is constructed on an island to defend it from encroachment within the rapidly growing city.

The museum also has an incredible view of the Doha skyline. Don’t miss it.

NATIONAL MUSEUM

A more recent or even extra uncommon-looking building, built out of discs to emulate the wasteland rose, a type of crystal that forms in the desert.

The reveals observe a chronological order, starting with the natural history of the Arabian Gulf.

It’s thrilling to peer how Qatar grew from a humble state of pearl divers to the richest of a global in line with capita.

Likewise, the museum is online of the Old Amiri Palace, which served as the residence for a Qatari emir inside the early 20th century.

In a country highly without ancient buildings and relics (most conventional Qatari dwellings have no longer survived), it is thrilling to stroll around in the palace walls to peer how Qatar’s royalty lived.