Dune buggying, pure wonders and five-star eating await in Qatar
Because the Khor Al Adaid rises up like a mirage on the horizon, you possibly can be forgiven for considering your eyes are taking part in tips on you.
Located 60 kilometres south of the shimmering oil-rich metropolis of Doha, the Inland Sea – to make use of its English title – is rightly thought-about one of many unsung pure wonders of the world. It’s an enormous expanse of water encircled by countless desert and the most important seaside you’re ever more likely to go to.
The drive to get right here concerned a remaining stretch of off-road mayhem, with our 4×4 car climbing over dune after dune, at instances nearly vanishing beneath waves of sand.
The fixed golden vista of this barren panorama signifies that when the glistening blue hues of the ocean come into view, you marvel if it’s simply wishful considering as it’s such a good looking and otherworldly place.
It’s an enormous distinction to life again within the metropolis. Staying on the Najd Resort, one of many Souq Waqif Boutique Motels, it’s civilisation at its most spectacular. The actual fact that Doha is a thriving, cosmopolitan metropolis is a marvel in itself, as this nook of the world is hardly probably the most forgiving when it comes to local weather.
However what was as soon as a buying and selling outpost is now one of many world’s most trendy and splendid cities, with high-rise buildings stretching into the cloudless sky and big developments in preparation for the 2022 World Cup.
Museum of Islamic Artwork
This opulent lodging is located proper within the coronary heart of the bustling Souq Waqif, and we arrived simply in time for the annual Spring Competition. Kiran, a butler from the resort, kindly provided a guided tour of this procuring and memento mecca. A hotbed of life and music stuffed the air and in all places you regarded, spices, gold and different treasured commodities had been on sale, with a way more relaxed strategy to salesmanship than is related to souqs in different international locations.
The Museum of Islamic Artwork, alternatively, is way quieter and way more serene than the bustling market.
A really spectacular exhibition house, it spans 14 centuries of artwork and homes artefacts from each a part of the Islamic world. The constructing itself is beautiful, with out of doors water options and an architectural fashion befitting the area. The highest of the constructing’s exterior, for instance, is designed to appear like a Qatari girl’s eyes from beneath her niqab.
Equally spectacular was the delicacies present in Qatar. On the Souq Waqif Boutique Motels’ Al Terrace restaurant, I loved tabbouleh, fattoush and shish kebab whereas the solar set.
Gordon Ramsay’s Opal restaurant, housed on the St Regis Resort, in the meantime, affords wonderful views of the bogus island Pearl-Qatar, and equally wonderful wagyu burgers. And much more scrumptious delicacies is out there on the Shanghai Membership, within the five-star Shangri-La Doha resort.
There, beautiful dishes similar to fried cod and garlic snow might be loved whereas illuminated skyscrapers present a shocking backdrop.
The Pearl-Qatar seen from the St Regis Resort
Away from the Souq Waqif complicated, The Westin Doha Resort & Spa was an equally memorable base. Within the coronary heart of Doha’s residential district, it’s a tranquil retreat with the decide of its eating places being the very good Sabai Thai.
Much more stress-free than my spacious room, although, was the resort’s spa, the place a 50-minute therapeutic massage was the proper approach to loosen up earlier than taking in additional of intoxicating Doha.
With wonders in each route, there are wildly diverse choices for guests to this nook of the globe. A desert may not appear the obvious seaside vacation spot, however put together to be enchanted.
Travelpack affords six nights in Qatar from £1,385pp. This consists of three nights b&b at each The Westin Doha & Spa and Souq Waqif Boutique motels and return flights from London Heathrow with Qatar Airways. Name 020 8585 4080 or go to travelpack.com. For info on Qatar, go to visitqatar.qa. For Qatar Airways, go to qatarairways.com. Transfers, excursions and actions can be found by Gulf Adventures (gulf-adventures.com).