ODD SPOTS: QATAR

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Categories Culture
Khor al Adaid

Cherishing tradition and culture as development scrapes the clear skies; Qatar epitomises a modern and authentic fusion on the western shore of the Persian Gulf.

A common misconception of the Gulf countries is that the fast evolving society is running ahead of technology, but lacking on authenticity. Doha illustrates otherwise – amongst the futuristic architecture, you immediately feel the conservation of heritage and prominence of guarding tradition. Eliciting the diversity with its high-streets offering the chicest cosmopolitan lifestyle, and the magical alleyways of Souq Waqif, tantalizing all your senses.

The focus on culture is displayed through the architecture and aesthetics of the city. The art scene is heavily supported, with the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) being the most renowned site. I.M. Pei stands behind the unique contemporary design, influenced by ancient Islamic architecture, combined with the use of geometric patterns and sculptural light fixtures. The MIA, located on an artificial peninsula at the end of the Doha Corniche, houses a collection of works from three continents over 14 centuries – making it one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts. The MIA building and its surrounding area is an astounding attraction for itself, exhibiting exceptional views overlooking the dhow boats in the Doha Bay. The National Museum of Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel, is well on its way to being another outstanding architectural site in the city; ‘where heritage meets innovation’.

As Qatar is rapidly developing in preparation for the World Cup in 2022, luxury hotels are continuously establishing themselves and creating incomparable experiences for the guests. From design to service, the levels of hospitality are set beyond expectation – where comfort and exclusivity is catered to in the finest manner.

Marsa Malaz Kempinski stands as a palace on the Pearl, being the single resort on the island, surrounded by the Gulf seas. Apart from boasting stupendous facilities portraying Arabian opulence and European architecture, the resort is recognised for its state-of-the-art interior pieces. Marsa Malaz also holds the first Spa by Clarins in the Middle East; a heavenly retreat devoted to health and well-being. The St Regis Doha, located in the heart of the West Bay overlooking the open sea, presents guests with a signature butler service, taking tailored convenience to the next level. Between the marble-clad floors and dazzling chandeliers, the resort accommodates to all tastes with its eleven restaurants and lounges, introducing guests to a ‘visionary epicurean world’. The Shangri-La Hotel Doha stands in the fashionable central business district, directly linked to the City Centre Mall. The 50-storey tower features floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the city. This city gem offers an enchanting fusion of Asian and Qatari elements; from the flawless décor to the delectable range of flavors. The palm-lined pool deck showcases a curving outdoor pool with the superlative Doha skyline as a backdrop.

Beyond the rapid modern advancements, Qatar holds a natural wonder where the desert meets the sea. Khor Al Adaid, also known as Inland Sea, is an awe-inspiring sight. With views of sand as far as the eye can see, the sea encroaches in the heart of the desert. Straight ahead past the shades of blue, the lands of Saudi Arabia stand visible. This natural reserve is only accessible by crossing the rolling dunes in a 4×4. The golden stretches of Khor Al Adaid are truly a one-of-a-kind vision.

With continuous global integration as an objective, Qatar proves to be a destination where all elements are achieved above and beyond any expectation. Valuing its deep cultural roots and using technological innovations to induce the nations past- the essence of Qatar is best encapsulated by the distinct merge of Arabic rituals with western influences. The pearl of the Middle East.

London-Doha: Barrhead Travel is offering a seven night stay in Qatar from £1,499 per person. The price includes two nights at The Shangri-La Doha (bed & breakfast basis), two nights at The Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Doha (room only) and three nights at The St Regis Doha (room only), all based on two sharing. Also included are return flights from London Heathrow to Doha with Qatar Airways, and return airport transfers. 

 To book please call: 0141 222 2223 or visit  www.barrheadtravel.co.uk

www.qatartourism.gov.qa

Words By: Sahar Hariri

Special Thanks: Hills Balfour