For a relatively small peninsula in the Middle East, there is a lot to see in Qatar.
The history buff will not be disappointed, with a selection of ruins, rock art and museums to keep the mind wandering. The most famous is the archaeological site of Zubarah, which contains the remains of a once thriving port city. An early 20th century fort still exists and bears witness to a bygone era in the form of a museum. The petroglyphs of Al-Jassassiya in north-eastern Qatar are a remarkable site with 900 petroglyphs believed to date back to the ancient tribes that inhabited the peninsula in the 15th century BC.
There are a number of forts and towers throughout the country; most of them have also been restored as museums. On the outskirts of the city of Umm Salal Mohammed are the Barzan towers, built to protect the country’s rainwater basin. Another defensive watchtower is located in Al Khor. The popular Al Koot Fort is located in the heart of the capital Doha and houses a wide range of traditional handicrafts. Other structures include Fort Marwab, Fort Al Thughab, Fort Al Shaghab, Fort Al Rakiyat, Fort Al Wajbah, and the ruins of Fort Al Yussoufiya, Fort Umm Al Maa and Al Ghuwair Castle.
While the National Museum is currently closed for renovation, there are a number of other museums throughout the country that specialise in history. The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum in Al Shahaniya is the Sheikh’s collection of relics, artefacts and art from Qatar, the Middle East and around the world.
- The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha
- Souq Waqif: The old traditional market of Qatar. There are many good restaurants, especially in the evening. Many national products are also sold – bargaining is recommended.
- The Pearl: an artificial island connected to Doha by a bridge. There is a wide choice of restaurants and shops, mainly upmarket.
- Villaggio Mall: a spectacular Venetian-style shopping centre with a canal and gondolas as well. A wide selection of shops ranging from casual to luxurious.
- Mathaf: The Arab Museum of Modern Art
- Katara: Cultural village with many international and Arabic restaurants, a beautiful beach and many cultural events. A place absolutely worth seeing.
- Water park: Water amusement park.