Qatar, a small but beautiful peninsula jutting into the Persian Gulf, is well known for its rich oil and gas reserves. The country's name stems from Qatara (also called as Zubara), which was an important town port in ancient times. Qatar gained independence from British colonial rule in the mid-1800s, and the nation is now a well-known travel destination popular for its souqs (markets), restaurants, and scenic attractions.
Home to the al-Jazeera news network, the country hosted the 2006 Asian Games, and since then has grown in prominence on the world map. Travelers enjoy spending vacations in Qatar because it offers numerous sight-seeing opportunities. For instance, the Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha is frequented by both history buffs and tourists who come to see the splendor of ancient Islamic artwork. Designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, the museum displays a massive collection of Islamic art including rare manuscripts, ceramics, and textiles from Iran, India, Turkey, Egypt, and Central Asia. It has an area of 45,000 square miles and is located near Doha Harbor at the southern end of Doha Bay.
Qatar travel itineraries are easily filled with activities and unusual sightseeing opportunities. Historic sites such as the nineteenth-century Doha Fort are must-see attractions. The historic fort was occupied by the Turks in ancient times and was used as a prison cell for war prisoners. Today, the old fort is transformed into a museum displaying several rare artworks, local paintings, wooden door pieces and gypsum carvings to tourists. Located in Al Bida district of Doha, the fort is one of the most popular sites in the country, along with the Qatar National Museum
The months of October through April offer the most comfortable Qatar travel opportunities, as the climate is mild and pleasant, lacking the heat and high humidity of the summer. Thus most tourists visit during the winter months, especially in November and January. However, the summer can be an enjoyable time to visit for those who plan to try the numerous water sports that are available. Travelers will find a wide range of activities including parasailing, waterskiing, and scuba diving around different spots in Qatar. The Old Club Reef in Messaid city is one of the most popular diving spots in the country, offering beautiful sights of wildlife such as barracudas and blue angels. The Inland Sea is also an excellent place to enjoy water sports, and it shelters many types of local fish and small reefs. On adventurous vacations in Qatar, you can also take a dip in Idd Al-Sharqi near Halul Island to enjoy some wreck diving. Halul is a hilly island is located 62 miles northeast of Doha. The Al-Sharqi is an offshore oil field that features a unique metal wreck site, and these wrecks are surrounded by beautiful local fish such as the clown fish and grouper.
No Qatar tourism experience would be complete with at least one outdoor adventure, and these can often be arranged through hotels. Those who love windsurfing and sailing can join the Regatta Sailing Academy at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, while scuba divers will find any training and equipment they need at the Doha Sub-Aqua Club in the capital city. The wonderful dhow boat ride is also a popular activity around Doha Bay; dhows are traditional Arab fishing vessels available along the Doha corniche to tourists who are interested in cruising along the water. Swimming is also one of the best activities to include on a Qatar travel itinerary, and the al-Wakra beach near Doha is one of the best for swimming, though visitors are advised to wear flip-flops as the waters around the beach are known to have sting rays and stone fish.
While air travel is the best mode of transport to the beautiful peninsula, travelers might face difficulty traveling around the city. There are three modes of public transportation in the country: public buses, limousines, and taxis. Karwa taxis are cheap alternatives to pricey limos. These light-green transport vehicles are operated by the Qatar transport company. However, these taxis are small in number, so it may be better to stick with public buses if you are looking for cheaper alternatives on your budget vacations in Qatar. Buses and taxis are the most affordable options, whereas the limousine service is expensive. However, this alternative is very comfortable, so if you have the extra funds to spend, it may be worth it to see Qatar in style.