24 Hours in Doha – Exploring The Jewel of the Middle East

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Last Updated on: Jun 26, 2023    |     

Qatar, a small and rich country located in the Persian Gulf bordering Saudi Arabia is a fast-growing tourist destination. One of the seven Arab states, Qatar became one of the top hot spots of tourism after hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. If you are planning to visit the Middle Eastern countries, dedicate at least a day to exploring Doha, the swanky and modern capital of Qatar. The 24 hours in Doha will be absolutely amazing.

Being a small country, it is quite easy to explore the country in a few days. The best part is that you can explore Doha easily on a layover. And if you have more time, you can explore Qatar in 3 to 4 days! Qatar Airways has an amazing stopover package that you can utilize for a long layover.

Souq Waqif Doha Qatar

Doha is fast becoming a holiday hotspot in the Middle East. The weather is good, the hospitality is top notch and you will get to experience a fascinating culture and a different but amazing landscape. So here are our recommendations on some of the best things to do in Doha if you have only one day in Doha.

Best Things to Do in Doha in 24 Hours

Doha is undoubtedly the jewel of the Middle East. There are a lot of things to do in Doha – beaches, sand dunes, adventures and exemplary cuisine. The place is an interesting mix of modernity and traditions and has plenty of history while boasting high-rise skyscrapers. So here is our list of things to do if you have only 24 hours in Doha.

1. Stop by the Doha Corniche

Corniche, Doha

Doha Corniche is a 4-mile-long promenade having breathtaking views of the water as well as the impressive skyline of Doha. Taking a leisurely walk along the Doha Corniche is one of the best things to do in Doha for a short trip. It is located close to the Museum of Islamic Art, so you can conveniently visit these two places one after the other.

Doha Corniche is the heart of the city. With restaurants, cafes, palm-lined sidewalks and beautifully landscaped gardens, this is the best place to relax after a day of exploring. You can also enjoy a ride on the traditional Qatari boat known as Dhow from the Bay.

Sunset at Corniche Doha

While the Corniche is pretty all the time of the day, the sunset is really impressive here. Sunset Dhow rides are also quite popular here.  

2. Enjoy a Riviera Experience at Pearl Qatar

The Pearl-Qatar, Doha, Qatar

If you want to experience the epitome of luxury in Qatar, do not miss Pearl Qatar. A man-made island just north of West Bay, Pearl Qatar oozes opulence. It is the place where the wealthy of Qatar lives. There are private yacht cruises, grand marinas, luxury resorts and boutique stores and some of the finest restaurants in Doha.  

Pearl Qatar is nicknamed as the Arabian Riviera and it does not disappoint.

3. Explore Souq Waqif

Souq Waqif, Doha

Souq Waqif is one of the most vibrant places to visit in Doha. Located in the heart of the city, Souq Waqif is the perfect place to experience the colors and flavors of the Middle East and experience the tradition of Qatar. Souq Waqif literally translates into “Standing Market” (Souq means market).

Built on the site of Doha’s century-old trading market, Souq Waqif’s winding alleys with merchants selling traditional garments, spice and handycrafts remain an important part of daily life in Qatar.

The market is almost 250 years old and built in the traditional way. It has a labyrinth of small shops selling spices, handicrafts, clothing and so much more. It is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs to carry home. You can also taste traditional cuisine, take a sip of Qatari tea and simply roam around and explore the market if you just have 24 hours in Doha!

4. Visit the Museum of Islamic Art

The Museum of Islamic Art is a museum on one end of the seven-kilometer-long Corniche in Doha, Qatar.

The Museum of Islamic Art is one of the most important cultural landmarks of Qatar. Considered to be one of the most striking structures in Qatar, exploring the Museum of Islamic Arts is one of the best things to do in Doha.

The museum has a wonderful and priceless collection of Islamic art, architecture specimens, sculptures and wood carvings and several other pieces of art spanning over a period of 1400 years and from various places in Asia, Africa and Europe connected through common Islamic history. It houses some of the most treasured artifacts from all over the Middle East.

The Museum was designed by renowned architect I M Pei. Spend a couple of hours at the museum to see its impressive collections. This is a must-visit place for history and art lovers.

Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar

5. Marvel at the Vintage Cars at Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

The Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum in Doha (the FBQ Museum) is one of a kind. It houses some of the rare and beautiful art collections of Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim, one of the influential businessmen of Qatar.

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The museum has four parts having collections of coins, vintage cars and several arts and artifacts from various eras of time. However, the most impressive part of the museum is the amazing collection of cars. There are almost 600 cars in the Sheik’s collection, and all are in working condition. It might be difficult to visit this place if you have only 24 hours in Doha, but this is a must-visit place for every car enthusiast.

6. Explore Katara Cultural Village

Katara cultural Village Doha Qatar

Katara Cultural Village is located on the eastern coast of Doha between the West Bay Skyline and the Pearl. The place is also known as the Valley of Cultures and is the best place to understand the rich cultural and architectural heritage of Qatar. Katara Cultural Village is a must-visit for history enthusiasts, as well as, art and architecture lovers.

The village has stunning Islamic architecture that includes the Katara mosque, an amphitheater, art galleries, heritage centers and so much more. You will also find small boutique shops, fancy restaurants, green areas as well as a small beach.

So, if you are interested in Qatari culture and architecture, Katara Cultural Village is a must-visit.

7. Get to know about Falconry at Falcon Souq

Falcons of Qatar

Qatar is one of the places where falconry is revered and is still common. The tradition of falconry can be traced back to the Bedouin heritage. The Bedouins trained their falcons for hunting prey. And at present owning a falcon is a status symbol in Qatar.

The best place to understand and experience falconry is at Falcon Souq located off Souq Waqif. At Falcon Souq, you will find a number of shops specializing in falcons. Each of these shops has large open floor spaces covered with sand where falcons are found in elevated perches. If you are lucky, you might witness a falcon auction at Falcon Souq.

In Conclusion

There is so much to see and experience in Doha. From its interesting museum, and colorful markets to its luxe experience, the Qatari capital has a lot of unique experiences to offer its travelers. The place will not disappoint you.

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Things to do in Doha

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Agni Amrita Travel Blogger

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A creative couple, explorer and the team behind Tale of 2 Backpackers.

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