If you’ve been hearing about the Gulf nation of Qatar, it’s most likely around the buzz of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Get ahead of the crowds and go now. With newly relaxed visa rules — which grant a free visa for U.S. citizens upon arrival — this gateway to Africa and Asia is an easy place to explore on a three-day stopover.
Day 1: Welcome to Doha
When you board Qatar Airways from any of 10 U.S. cities, it’s an effortless nonstop flight to the capital city of Doha. Your first stop is the Museum of Islamic Art, a modern architectural masterpiece containing equally imaginative displays of the finest ceramics, textiles and other vast collections from across the Islamic world. The building, which appears to float atop Doha Bay, is positioned along the palm-fringed Corniche, a four-mile-long promenade with stunning views of the Persian Gulf.
Meander the labyrinthine Souq Waqif, its alleys lined with small shops selling aromatic spices and perfumes, vibrant textiles, handicrafts and other souvenirs. You can peer into the past at the Falcon Souq, where the ancient sport of falconry has long been revered by locals. Evening is a special affair cruising on a wooden dhow boat. Dinner on the water while viewing the Doha skyline is a classic way to experience the enduring traditions of Qatar’s seafaring heritage.
Day 2: From the Desert to the Inland Sea
The deserts outside of Doha are the true heart and soul of the nation. Join the adventure on your own guided excursion into this otherworldly landscape of golden sand dunes, where you can ride on the back of a camel, go on a thrill ride in a dune buggy, try out dune bashing and sand boarding, and even paraglide in the skies above.
The “inland sea” of Khor Al Adaid is one of Qatar’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders. Located about 40 miles from Doha and accessible only across the dunes, this UNESCO-designated reserve is nature at its finest: a watery oasis with its own ecosystem that offers refuge to unique flora and fauna, including migrant waterfowl and turtles.
Upon your return to Doha, nightfall is the perfect time to wander around The Pearl-Qatar, a small man-made island. With its lavish mix of yacht-lined marinas, luxury boutique shops and chic restaurants, it’s no wonder that this locale is known as “the most glamorous address in the Middle East.”
Day 3: Expand Your Point of View
Qatar’s rich heritage is on full display at Al Zubarah Fort. Comprising 150 acres, including the restored fort and surrounding archaeological ruins, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the best-preserved examples of an 18th-century settlement in the Gulf. The final adventure is a kayaking excursion through Al Thakira Mangroves, a vast expanse of vegetation and waterways that attracts wild birds including flamingos and herons.
From the moment Qatar enters your imagination, you’ll be inspired by its rich heritage and natural desert beauty. Let it all spring to life on a three-day stopover or make it your ultimate destination, and we’ll arrange all the details from beginning to end.
LUXURIOUS QATAR GETAWAY
TravelBound | Bedsonline
Qatar brings together old-world hospitality with cosmopolitan sophistication, the chance to enjoy a rich cultural tapestry and new experiences and adventures. Absorb the unique ambiance and explore the possibilities of unexpected Qatar.
VACATION INCLUDES: Superior Room accommodations at Souq Waqif Boutique Hotel; private desert safari with a barbecue lunch; visit to the inland sea; private roundtrip airport transfers.
3 NIGHTS from $406
Select travel dates 1/1 – 12/31/19
Prices are per person in U.S. dollars, land only, based on double occupancy, subject to availability and change without notice and are not guaranteed until paid in full. Prices and amenities may vary by category and travel date. International airfare is additional. Additional restrictions, terms, and conditions may apply.
Cover Photo: (c) Can Stock Photo / philipus