Qatar, the small country off the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, just happens to sit on one of the world’s largest deposits of natural gas. Consequently, despite its small size, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world, and its wealth is reflected in capital city, Doha. Tourism in Doha is becoming a major industry with the development of a wide range of hotels, including numerous luxury properties; huge shopping complexes; and entertainment venues. Doha also has a number of beaches, as it is located on the Persian Gulf.
The high tourist season in Doha is from November to March, when the weather is generally fairly cool for the area, hovering around 80 degrees F with low humidity. As Qatar is a desert, summer months can be brutally hot, and Doha’s coastal location adds oppressive humidity to the mix. Most buildings in the city are well air-conditioned, and tourists can beat the heat at the beach or poolside at a hotel.
While Doha is not the tourism wonderland that Dubai is, the city has plenty attractions to keep vacationers and the locals entertained. The city’s Museum of Islamic Art (mia.org.qa/english) houses one of the largest collections of Islamic art in the world. The building was designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei and sits on its own man-made island just offshore in the Persian Gulf. The Souq Waqif near the port of Doha is one of the oldest markets in the city, and features traditional Qatari crafts and jewelry.
While Qatar is an Islamic nation, foreign women are not required to dress in full abayahs, or wear head scarves or veils. But Western women should take care to dress conservatively — cover their shoulders and legs, and avoid halter tops, camisoles, miniskirts or shorts, according to the U.S. Travel.State.Gov website. Bathing suits are permissible for women at hotel pools and private beaches. Alcohol is strictly regulated, so don’t attempt to bring it into the country. Most hotels are permitted to serve alcohol, but it is illegal just about everywhere else. All couples should avoid public displays of affection, including hand holding and kissing, as it is not permissible in the country’s culture.
Source: USA TODAY