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Jet off for a dream holiday in sensational Qatar


The holiday of a lifetime awaits in awe-inspiring Qatar, a land of beauty and wonder where you'll be wowed by enchanting scenery, blissful relaxation, exhilarating adventures and fabulous entertainment.

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This spellbinding independent emirate on the west coast of the Persian Gulf is a kaleidoscope of contrasts and experiences, with everything from the bright lights of the dazzling capital city of Doha to the tranquillity and serenity of Qatar's magical desert landscapes.

You'll also discover jawdropping sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, enthralling mangrove lagoons, incredible coastal fortresses, fun-filled attractions and world-class restaurants.

Qatar is a dream come true for every type of holidaymaker, whether you crave a big city adventure, a beach holiday packed with water sports action, an arts and cultural experience, a thrilling desert safari or a romantic getaway in the sun.

Wonderful weather

Qatar is blessed with sunshine all year round, having two main seasons - namely the hot season between May and October and a cooler season from December to February.

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The December to February period is often favoured by holidaymakers as temperatures are warm and pleasant, ranging between 22°C and 25°C. Temperatures start rising in March and July is normally the hottest month when the mercury ranges from 32°C to a stifling 43°C. March, April and November are transitional months when the weather is hot, but pleasant.

Qatar has many air-conditioned malls which are great places to cool down if you are holidaying during a particularly hot period. Rainfall, in the form of heavy thunderstorms, normally occurs in the cooler season. Lightweight cotton and linen clothing are deemed appropriate for comfort through the year.

Blissful beauty

The natural beauty of Qatar will take your breath away, with glorious sights all around you including deserted pristine shores, exotic flora and fauna, coral reefs teeming with marine life and stunning sand dunes.

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Bin Ghannam Island - also fondly known as Purple Island - is a beautiful place on the north east of Qatar where you’ll find a variety of marine animals, birds and glorious mangroves.

Khor Al Adaid is a charming place, also known as the Inland Sea, which is regarded as one of Qatar’s greatest natural treasures with its massive dunes and turquoise waters. It can only be reached in a 4x4 vehicle.

Other amazing natural attractions in Qatar include the wind-sculpted lunar landscape Ras Abrouq rock formations (Zekreet) near Dukhan and Dahl Al Misfir Cave, an incredible 40-metre deep sinkhole which was formed more than 325,000 years ago

Stunning sands

Qatar has more than 560km of coastline and no shortage of wonderful beaches, secluded bays and hidden coves to choose from.

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Katara Beach in Doha is a magnificent sandy expanse stretching for 1.5km. There’s plenty going on at this family-friendly beach including water-skiing, kneeboarding, Gondola and speedboat rides, parasailing and jet-skiing.

Palm-fringed Umm Bab Beach is another great spot for families and visitors regularly camp out and barbecue there under the stars, while Al Thakira Beach is a laid-back place where you’ll discover wildlife and one of Qatar’s largest mangrove reserves.

Other superb sandy expanses in Qatar include Sealine Beach which boasts amazing sunsets, camel rides and dune ‘bashing’ drives, Zekreet Beach with its half-moon bay; Al Maroona Beach with its powdery sands and shallow waters, and Fuwairit Beach which is a nesting site Hawksbill turtles.

City sights

Qatar’s modern cities are home to opulent towering hotels, glitzy shopping malls, fine dining restaurants and fantastic attractions.

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Doha is the emirate’s cosmopolitan capital city, with Al-Rayyan being the second largest city.

Qatar’s heritage and culture can be explored in the city’s myriad of museums and galleries, with the National Museum of Qatar a great place to learn about the nation’s history. Katara Cultural Village is another great place to learn about the nation’s architecture, culture and art.

The Doha Corniche is a very impressive 7km palm-fringed waterfront promenade which is a popular haunt for joggers, walkers and skaters. The corniche offers stunning skyline views and amazing sunsets. It is also home to luxurious hotels, cafes, superb restaurants, beautiful parks and Qatar National Theatre.

You can step back in time at the Souq Waqif, a bustling market located on an ancient trading site where you’ll also discover excellent places to dine and plenty of nightlife.

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The Pearl Qatar is a charming offshore artificial island which is lauded as one of the finest man-made marvels in the Middle East. It is home to many moored luxury yachts, cafes, play areas, parks, private beaches and delightful pedestrian walkways.

The city of Al-Rayyan, which is close to Doha, is home to huge skyscrapers, old fortresses, museums, historical landmarks and plenty of traditional Arab culture. Al Khor is a former fishing village which has evolved into an impressive city where the old and new co-exist in perfect harmony.

Qatar’s cities will be hives of activity when the nation hosts the FIFA World Cup 2022, the first time the competition has been held in the Middle East. The biggest event on the global footballing calendar will take place from November 21 to December 18, with the final being held in Doha’s Lusail Stadium.

Romance is in the air

Qatar is a great choice for a romantic getaway, with the promise of a fun-packed adventure for couples and newly-weds seeking a magical honeymoon experience.

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There’s no shortage of luxurious hotels which can provide a great base for enjoying the delights of Qatar with the love of your life.

Many hotels feature lavish facilities including sumptuous spas for the ultimate pampering experience and wonderful dining options, such as romantic beachfront dinners attended by a personal waiter.

There’s no shortage of romantic things for couples to do including enjoying an evening Dhow cruise on the Doha Corniche, dining in style in an exquisite restaurant or escaping to the endless dunes for a sunset camel ride.

Getting around

Qatar’s public transport network is very efficient, fast, reliable and usually quite affordable.

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Mowasalat, the national transportation provider, offers an excellent bus and taxi service, plus a limousine service to visitors.

Doha's ultra-modern metro, one of the most advanced rail systems in the world, has three lines and is a great way to get around the city.

There's also a government-run public transport agency in Qatar that operates a taxicabs service. More than 7,000 aqua coloured cabs are available for hire.

Fun for the young

There’s plenty to keep young visitors to Qatar happy during their stay, including amazing beaches for traditional sandcastle-building sessions and a splashing time in the inviting glistening waters.

Many beaches and promenades have excellent playgrounds, packed with swings and rides to keep the little ones entertained.

Doha is home to theme parks and other attractions for a feast of family fun including Angry Birds World, the e-gaming hub Virtuocity and the winter-themed Snow Dunes.

The Al Thuraya Planetarium is a big attraction for little stargazers, Circus Land is the place to have a wild time and Aqua Park Qatar is the place for a splashtastic experience.

Many of Qatar’s luxury hotels also have superb amenities for children including kids clubs, mini water parks and special children’s menus offering their favourite meals.

Shoppers’ paradise

If you fancy some retail therapy during your holiday, you won’t be disappointed with what Qatar has to offer – you’ll discover lively street markets where you can barter for a bargain to ultra-plush air-conditioned shopping malls.

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You can shop till you drop in Doha, with everything available to buy from simple souvenirs and local crafts to high-end merchandise from all the leading designer brand names including Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton and Dior.

Luxury cars, up-market jewellery, elegant bags and leather goods, unique fashion accessories and the latest electronics products are all readily available in this shoppers’ paradise.

Villaggio Mall in Doha is definitely worth a visit, with its ice rink, cinema and indoor canals and gondolas which almost make you feel like you are in Venice.

Other marvellous malls in Doha include Lagoona Mall, City Centre Mall, Ezdan Mall and Landmark Mall.

Food glorious food

The culinary delights in Qatar are capable of satisfying the most discerning palate, with wonderful dishes available throughout the land to tantalise your taste buds, from Michelin-starred specialities to flavoursome quick snacks.

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Qatari cuisine combines ingredients from India, Persia, North Africa and Lebanon to create its own distinct and delicious fare.

Breakfast in Qatar is normally a light meal comprising cheese, yoghurt, olives and coffee; lunch is the main meal of the day and dinner is often a light snack, except during Ramadan and other special times.

Thareed is similar to a traditional stew which features carrots, beans, onions, beans and potatoes, spices and lamb or chicken, while Margoog is a fabulous dish prepared with courgettes, aubergines, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and tenderised meat.

Harees is a porridge-like dish featuring boiled or ground wheat which is mixed with meat and Machboos is a popular meal comprising rice which is cooked with a range of spices and a choice of chicken, camel, lamb, shrimp or fish.

Much-loved Qatari desserts include Basboussa which is semolina soaked in syrup or rose water and Luqaimat which are deep-fried pastry balls dipped in honey or syrup.

It’s certainly worth sampling some of Doha’s fantastic street food and you won’t struggle to find a cart, truck or shack offering some flavoursome fare including filled falafel, crepes, samosas and chapatis.

You’ll also be impressed with the plethora of fine dining restaurants in Doha and other cities where you can savour cuisines from around the globe including Turkish, French, Italian, Greek, Mexican, Kashmiri, East African and Japanese.

Karak, the unofficial national drink in Qatar, is a strong dark tea made with full-cream milk and Limonana is a popular lemon and mint drink. Alcohol is available in most licensed high-end bars and restaurants in Qatar and the legal drinking age is 21.

Live the dream on a magical Arabian holiday adventure in sun-kissed Qatar. Book your escape today at Destination2.co.uk.

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