I am writing in hot pursuit when the coronavirus was not yet raging, and there were a few infected with COVID-19 in Doha. I hope the information will be relevant in the future when statistics again show the rarest cases of infection, preferably as soon as possible.
When I flew over Doha for the first time, I was amazed by the foreign shades of water and desert – cold metallic turquoise and almost white sand, blinding sun, geometric pattern of the coastline.
I decided: I need to visit here, especially since Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in the world – and this is even more interesting. In 2022, the country plans to host the FIFA World Cup – preparations are in full swing. Therefore, until Doha was overwhelmed by crowds of tourists, it was necessary to be on time. By the way, Doha is also pleasant because there are really few people there: almost empty squares, streets, even in their famous market – cleanliness, order and no crowds. You can travel on the metro at certain hours, meeting only volunteer workers who will help you choose the correct route. I will try to tell you everything and the rest, they will tell you. Statistics in June 2019 spoke about 2 638 657 residents of the capital of Qatar.
Especially I would not go there on a voyage, but since it is very convenient to fly with Qatari airlines in Bali, a three-day stopover in Doha, as a phased adaptation to one of the East European countries after the island, was quite suitable. Qatar Airways is one of the world’s top airlines. And since this is an incredible company, they have a corresponding offer for tourists as well.
In fact, there are two locations for living during a short stop: on the side where the market is an authentic colorful part of Doha and where its business centre is, among skyscrapers. However, I did not consider a place for a beach holiday.
We chose the Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels – Tivoli: a small block of 9 separate hotel buildings near the famous Souq Waqif market. There is also a five-minute street with all restaurants and cafes. In general, we did not regret it – in the business centre of the city, there are many construction projects, and it is dusty, you will not feel the flavour of the East.
In the morning, we left the hotel. What did we find? Emptiness. Rare men in national clothes. Nobody looked at me: a woman. Instead, they (especially local men) lower their eyes. Rare expats and tourists are eating breakfast in a cafe. Camels in the arena. Horse patrol. There are many shops with leather straps and obscure gadgets, probably for falconry, camels, and horses.
I only used taxis and the metro – I don’t have a driver’s license. Otherwise, I would have opted for rent-a-car, Doha, since some require a driver’s license. And the subway in Doha is new and always half empty – it was built with the expectation of the arrival of World Cup fans. And of course, there is no way without traditional Arab luxury: there is a category of Gold carriages with more comfortable wide seats.\
The cultural program
On the Internet, we did not find any information about the superpowers of one noticeable bus. And by the way, no advertisements for him in the hotel or anywhere else. Finally, a museum worker suggested it to us. He came up and told me. And its capabilities are excellent. It turns out that there is a special fuchsia-coloured bus with air conditioning and a monitor inside Doha. We rode in it alone – there was no one but us, and he took us where we asked as part of the route and stopped where we wanted. Free taxi. Well, maybe we just got lucky with the driver.
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