VISITING QATAR MADE EASY
Thanks to a host of visa facilitation measures, Qatar is now the most open country in the Middle East. Visitors from all around the world can now enter Qatar either visa free, or by filling out simple online applications, depending on the passport they carry.
Nationals of more than 80 countries including Singapore, are eligible for visa-free entry into the State of Qatar, with varying allowable lengths of stay. Nationals of the eligible countries do not require any prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival to Qatar, upon presentation of a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART
Experience 14 centuries of great art in a few hours. The MIA’s magnificent and imaginatively presented displays of the finest art and artefacts from across the Islamic world have earned it recognition among the world’s top cultural institutions. No visitor can fail to be impressed by the quality and diversity the collections, housed in a modern architectural masterpiece designed by IM Pei. The museum ensures fresh interest through its constantly changing programme of special exhibitions. A fee may be charged for these temporary shows, but admission to the permanent galleries is free.
Some 60 km from Doha in the south-eastern corner of the country lies one of Qatar’s most impressive natural wonders, the ‘Inland Sea’ or Khor Al Adaid. A UNESCO recognised natural reserve with its own ecosystem, this is one of the few places in the world where the sea encroaches deep into the heart of the desert. Inaccessible by road, this tranquil expanse of water can only be reached by across the rolling dunes.
For a heart-stopping roller coaster ride over the steep dunes, try a 4×4 off-road safari. Or have a go at camel riding, sand boarding or driving a dune buggy. Daytime, evening and overnight camping trips can all be arranged. Several tour operators have Bedouin-style camps in the desert. Many safaris take in the spectacular ‘Inland Sea’ and the chance to enjoy glorious desert sunsets and moonlit barbeques.
A stroll down the bustling alleys of Souq Waqif provides an authentic taste of traditional commerce, architecture and culture. The maze of small shops offers a dazzling array of Middle Eastern merchandise from spices and seasonal delicacies to perfumes, jewellery, clothing, handicrafts and a treasure trove of souvenir bargains. Traditional music, art and cultural shows add to the ambience of this special place. Relax and soak up the vitality and atmosphere at one of its eclectic mix of great restaurants and cafes.
KATARA CULTURAL VILLAGE
An innovative interpretation of the region’s architectural heritage, this purpose-built development’s impressive theatres, galleries and performance venues stage a lively year-round programme of concerts, shows and exhibitions. Among Katara’s recreational attractions are a wide choice of dining options, including top class restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, and a spacious, well-maintained public beach with water sports.
AL ZUBARAH FORT
Located on Qatar’s north-west coast and comprising the immaculately restored Al Zubarah Fort and surrounding 60-hectare archaeological works, this UNESCO World Heritage site is one of the most extensive and best preserved examples of an 18th–19th century settlement in the region. It covers the remains of a walled coastal town that once ranked as one of the Gulf’s most important pearl diving and trading centres with links extending to the Indian Ocean. The fort houses a visitor’s centre.
THE PEARL - QATAR
The Pearl-Qatar is a man-made island off the West Bay coast featuring Mediterranean-style yacht-lined marinas, residential towers, villas and hotels, as well as luxury shopping at top brand name boutiques and showrooms. A popular dining spot, its waterfront promenades are lined with cafes and restaurants serving every taste – from a refreshing ice cream to a five-star dining experience. The Pearl is a popular visitor attraction by virtue of its chic elegance, inviting description as the ‘Arabian Riviera’.