Top 10 Things To Do In Qatar UAE

Qatar is a hidden gem within the United Arab Emirates, tucked away on the north-eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Allow Destinology to take you on a journey of discovery, as we uncover the top 10 things to do in Qatar.

Blending Arabian heritage with innovative architectural landmarks, Qatar captivates every traveller with its wide range of activities, experiences and opportunities. Within the vibrant capital of Doha, visitors can wander between the awe-inspiring skyscrapers, delve into Middle Eastern history inside world-class museums, and explore the bustling alleyways of Qatar’s ancient souqs. 

Desert safari and sand dune adventures offer a different perspective to Doha’s peaceful Corniche strolls and hearty Persian gastronomy. From camel riding and 4x4 adventures to evenings spent in a Majlis under the stars, desert experiences in Qatar are just a few of the many bucket-list activities available in Qatar. And without further adieu, take a look at our expert list, for our top 10 things to do in Qatar. 

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Villaggio Mall


top 10 things to do in Qatar Villaggio Mall

Beginning our list of top 10 things to do in Qatar... Located in the Aspire Zone, also known as Doha Sports City, at the west end of Doha Qatar, Villaggio Mall is Qatar’s most beautiful mall - and one of the most popular items on our 'things to do in Qatar' itinerary. Stoll down pristine avenues lined with lanterns, inspired by the Italian Renaissance, and picturesque waterways offering idyllic gondola rides. 

Relish the Villaggio Mall’s Venice-like romanticism, with the indoor mall creating an illusion of the outdoors, with a hand-painted sky on the ceiling above. Explore 200 stores with world-famous brand names, from luxury clothing to high-end jewellery, before exploring the mall’s wide range of cafes, restaurants and delicious eateries. 

The Villaggio Mall is the perfect location for families too, home to the Gondolania Theme Park - where families can take advantage of rollercoaster rides, skating around the Olympic-sized ice rink, bowling, laser tag, kart track and 4D IMAX Cinema. 


Museum Of Islamic Art


Things to do in Qatar museum of islamic art

The Museum Of Islamic Art lies at the end of the 7km-long Corniche in Doha, built upon a manmade island and connected by two bridges. The museum is an architectural wonder, inspired by its Islamic origins after six months of drawing inspiration from Muslim architecture and history. 

This record-breaking museum is the first of its kind to feature over 14 Centuries of Islamic art history in the UAE, and is also the first carbon-neutral certified museum in the Middle East. Inside, the Museum Of Islamic Art is home to five floors of art, connected to the Education Ward where visitors can immerse themselves in cooking master classes in the Mediterranean restaurant, a library with 9 study rooms and workshops for schools about Islamic Art. At the heart, visitors can also relax in the museum’s MIA Park, with a children’s play area, cafes, sculptures and a bi-weekly bazaar.


Souq Waqif


top 10 things to do in Qatar souq waqif pearl fiver

Restoring Doha’s centuries-old trading market along the banks of the Wadi Musheireb, the Souq Waqif is a hidden treasure of winding alleyways and traditional street life. Browse the vibrant boutiques for shoes, spices, string instruments, hand-crafted jewellery, and live demonstrations of hand-made glass ornamentals.

Qatar is the ancient heart of the pearl industry, with shops and former pearl divers selling local pearls and delicate handicrafts. As you search for Gold Souq’s, with handmade gold jewellery still vastly popular in the UAE, soak in the vibrant scenes of the Souq Waqif. Watch immersive street performances, tuck into hearty Persian gastronomy, and glimpse wild camels and falcons.


The Pearl Island


Top 10 things to do in Qatar Pearl Island

A must-see destination on our 'Top 10 Things To Do In Qatar' itinerary... The Pearl Island is a remarkable testament to Qatar’s innovative developments. The island spans across 4 million square meters, with 32km of pristine, manmade beaches and a thriving community of ultra-modern skyscrapers. 

Split into 10 distinct districts, The Pearl Island combines luxury residences with restaurants, bars, entertainment outlets and the largest marina in Qatar. Stroll through gardens of lush greenery, enjoy rounds of golf at Gewan Golf Club, or explore the longest waterfront real walkway, clad in luxurious boutiques and idyllic harbour views.


Katara Cultural Village


top 10 things to do in Qatar Katara Cultural Village

Nestled between the high-rise financial district and the glittering residential neighbourhood of The Pearl Island, lies the Katara Cultural Village. One of the most beautiful destinations within our Top 10 Things To Do In Qatar itinerary.

The Katara Cultural Village occupies two glittering mosques, each uniquely designed and stunning to admire. Inspired by rich Persian heritage, the Katara Mosque is a beautiful highlight within the Katara Village, with ancient Arabian architecture and Turkish tilework in rich shades of blue and gold. The Gold Mosque glistens against the glowing Middle Eastern sunshine, adorned in golden tiles with views of the amphitheatre.

Further exploration awaits at the Amphitheatre, blending Islamic architecture with Greek history, as well as decorative art galleries, the Al Thuraya Planetarium, beachside relaxation and strolls around the Katara Hills. For visitors seeking another hidden gem of luxury shopping, 21 High Street is the destination for you. Trails of supercars frame the column-lined Galeries Lafayette, the world-famous French department store, with surrounding boutiques by luxury brands and old-world Arabian cafes.


National Museum Of Qatar


top 10 things to do in qatar National Museum of Qatar

Designed by the Pritzker Prize-awarded architect, Jean Nouvel, the National Museum Of Qatar is an architectural phenomenon. Interlocking cantilevered discs create the crystal crystal formations of its desert rose inspiration.

The National Museum Of Qatar was created around the original palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jissim Al-Thani, rich in Qatari heritage and polished modern touches. Inside, visitors can unlock the secrets of this historic Emirate with archaeological displays, including centuries-old manuscripts, photographs, jewellery and preserved costumes. The museum’s 11 galleries are abundant in auditory, aromatic and visual perspectives, offering multi-sensory experience as you explore the vast complex. Additionally, guests can rest and relax within the central courtyard, or in the two cafes, restaurant and gift shop. 

One of the highlights of the National Museum Of Qatar is the pearl carpet of Baroda. 1.5 million pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires are set in gold, and woven into the silken fabrics of the carpet.


Purple Island


top 10 things to do in Qatar mangroves on Purple Island

Abound in lush mangroves, lush greenery and scenic waterways, Purple Island offers something unique during your luxury city break holiday in Qatar. With a name inspired by the historic origins of crafting purple dye in the second millennium BC, Purple Island is a naturally beautiful island and is often associated with royalty.

Purple Island is located an hour’s drive from Doha, with off-the-beaten-track walking trails through this natural landscape. Bring your own supplies and leave your worries behind as you spot exotic birdlife, or spot vibrant shoals of marine life by kayaking in the ocean. Amongst our list of things to do in Qatar, visiting Purple Island is among our favourites.


UNESCO World Heritage Al Zubarah Fort Archaeological Site


top 10 things to do in Qatar UNESCO World Heritage Al Zubarah Fort archeaological site

Originating from the late 18th Century, Al Zubarah Fort was once a thriving pearl fishing and trading port. Delve into the well-preserved remains of this walled coastal town, now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, showcasing the Emirate’s heritage with traces of Qatari military architecture. 

The Fort itself, located at the heart of the town, offers panoramic views across the surrounding desert and sea, whilst visitors can also enjoy cultural walks around old-world mosques, residential houses, streets and canal systems. For those wishing to see a more historic side of this naturally beautiful Emirate, visiting the Al Zubarah Fort is one of the best things to do in Qatar.


Inland Sea


top 10 things to do in Qatar Inland Sea

Also known as Khor Al Adaid, this unusual area of Qatar is breathtakingly beautiful, where ever-changing sand dunes stretch for miles. The picturesque inlet of Inland Sea's turquoise shoreline laps against the dunes like any other beach, frequented by flamingos, oryx, gazelles and migrating waterfowl. 

Giving the appearance of lakeside relaxation, Inland Sea is one of the most naturally beautiful destinations in Qatar - and best accessed by 4X4. Cruise between the sand dunes with action-packed desert safaris, and private tours available - one of the most exhilarating experiences on our top 10 list of things to do in Qatar.


Barzan Towers


top 10 things to do in Qatar Barzan Towers

Built from traditional coral rock and limestone that Qatar is so well known for, Barzan Towers is one of the most striking landmarks in the UAE. These twin pillars date back to the 19th Century, once used to protect both water supplies, and to track the passing lunar cycles.

The Barzan Towers are located 20km north of Doha, Qatar’s capital city. Due to its high vantage point, standing 16 metres tall, local folktales suggested that the Barzan Towers were used to observe incoming pearling ships. Although the towers are too far from the sea, visitors can climb the exterior steps and admire the panoramic desert views. Visiting these twin peaks is another Destinology favourite for historic visits, on our expert list of things to do in Qatar.



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