24 hours in Doha
I just got the membership of the “24-hours-somewhere” club and to begin in the most flamboyant way I picked Doha.
I am not the first to write about the burgeoning capital of Qatar, but I decided to add some pictures and my slacker’s perspective in organising the tour.
I was surprised by the lack of information in the very beginning, and I assumed that Doha is not as popular as other destinations in the Gulf where every place seems already so overcrowded.
It is mid-September and weather has been louzy in Italy for most of the summer – oh grape harvest! – but consolation is round the corner with rooftop pools, as common in Doha’s hotels as hummus in restaurants.
I would hang around there until mid-day, sipping a fruity non-alcoholic cocktail, not further than one meter from the water.
Head towards the restaurant Balhambar, a.k.a. Al Mourjan, on the Corniche,
take some time to take pictures of Doha’s skyline on your left before getting in
and taste a very good example of Middle-Eastern cuisine:
Muhammara, spicy dip with tomatoes, cracked wheat, walnuts and pine seeds,
Kastaleta Riyash, tender lamb chops,
a complimentary Muhallebi, milk pudding.
The view is breathtaking in the evening too, I am told. I can imagine.
Time for some culture in a dark and air-conditioned environment, unless you wish to take some more pictures on the terrace,
I am talking about the magnificently designed Museum of Islamic Art.
Everyone recommends it and it is not hard to understand why:
unique jewels and insights about Islamic culture
and a cozy cafè.
It is perhaps too hot at this time, but breathing ‘fresh’ air again made me wish to walk all the way to Souq Waqif, the initial idea being getting a little tanned on the way and fit for shopping.
Truth is a cab is always a good option when you are out of water in the middle of the Persian Gulf, although Doha’s Corniche offers some nice sights at this time of the day.
Once you are in the Souq, the only limit to shopping is the unlimited offer of goods of all sorts, my personal favourite was gold,
maybe the jewels back at the Museum had left their mark.
The highlight of my souq experience was in the end what everyone does at sunset: a grape-flavoured shisha at the Moroccan restaurant Tajine, coupled with Moroccan tea, poured from a meter above the cup, skilled waiter.
Head back to the Souq for dinner in one of the many restaurants,
I had dinner at Al Bandar, specialty of the house: fish.
I started with Moutabbah, a variation of Baba Ganoush, smoky eggplant dip, I love dips here!
I ordered a King Fish steak as main course, they have quite a wide offer of sauces, and I wanted something spicy so I chose the black pepper sauce, no disappointments.
After dinner, a healthy walk in the now lively Souq is highly recommended, sit somewhere and enjoy the last tea of the day.
Enjoy your stay in Doha!
This post is also available in: Italian