Qatar has become a strong force to be reckoned with thanks to the economy generated from oil and gas reserves and since then has the highest per capital income in the planet. It has come a long way from the poor country it once was with glittering skyscrapers dotting the skyline and avant-grade infrastructure. Qatar is what is essentially a cocktail of modernity meshing with tradition for the nation is progressing at break-neck speed but the inhabitants protect their roots and culture with a passion.
When in Qatar, the first destination should ideally be it's crowning jewel, Doha. More than half of the nation's population lives in and around this affluent metropolis. Several prominent museums to visit are the Museum of Islamic Art holding beautiful calligraphy, jewellery, wall hangings, ceramics and so forth, Matlaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art exhibiting modern and contemporary art. Other sight-seeing points are the imposing and magnificent Doha Fort, Al Shaqab Stud - renowned equestrian center and breeding ground for Arabic horses, Katara - cultural village hosting art fairs and the upscale man-made expensive Pearl archipelago sporting a mesh of varied architectural styles - Mediterranean, Moorish and Arabian. Take a relaxing stroll along the Doha Corniche and enjoy the cool gulf breeze lightly swaying you.
If you're a shopaholic, look no further for Doha is a mecca for shopping with it's numerous opulent and extravagant shopping complexes such as the world-famous Villagio mall showcasing a Venitian theme complete with an authentic Venetian Gondola which visitors can use to move around. Shoppers wanting to experience Arabic-style of shopping ought to visit local souks such as the famous Souq Waqif which is renowned for selling quintessential goods such as traditional attires, spices, regional craft work and souvenirs. Be sure to haggle to procure them in reasonable and affordable rates.
Sports enthusiasts can enjoy visiting the Aspire Zone Foundation (also called Doha Sports City) as the 250-hectare complex comprises of several sporting venues such as the Khalifa Interntaional Stadium, Hamand Aquatic Center and the Aspire Dome. The hub also houses Doha's tallest structure, the Aspire Tower. When it comes to desert adventure, Khor Al Udedid or (The Inland Sea) is an excellent destination. Desert driving with high revving engines of a 4x4 vehicle is an exciting and adventurous activity for tourists. Drive up on the limitless and boundless sand dunes which stretches for eternity. When it comes to forts, history aficionados will love visiting the majestic and iconic Zubarah Fort in Zubarah and the ancient Al Wajbah Fort in Al Wajbah which features four distinguished watchtowers.
When in Qatar, don't forget to try out the delicious and scrumptious Qatari cuisine. Dig into their local delicacies such as Qatari Machbous - prepared with rice, meat,onions and tomatoes blended with spices or taste the mouth-watering Hummas - a dip made from chickpeas and tahini. When it comes to hot beverages, be sure to settle down with a steaming cup of Arabic coffee or Qahwa Helw (also called Qatari coffee or 'sweet coffee'), a shimmering orange concoction meshed with cardamom, saffron and sugar. There are several exotic fruit juice combinations that is sure to be feast to your taste buds including the mint and lemon cocktail, a classic favorite.
Stay options in Qatar are plenty with the best luxury hotels and expensive private apartments available for millionaires and at the same time, the country offers several budget-friendly and cheap accommodations for those who are light on the pocket.
Qatar experiences dry, subtropical desert climate with low annual rainfall and scorching hot and humid summers. The best time to visit the country would be from November to early April when temperatures are warm and pleasant and evenings are relatively cool.