Discover another side of Qatar outside Doha’s bright lights and impressive skyscrapers with one of these unique day trips from the capital. From watching sailing on the bay to sand boarding down singing dunes, Qatar offers surprising delights for visitors willing to step away from the city.
Four-wheel it to the Khor Al Adaid Inland Sea
If you only see one place outside Doha, make sure it’s this UNESCO-recognised reserve that has been singled out for protection due to its unique ecosystem and natural features. Located 60 kilometres from the city, the Khor Al Adaid Inland Sea is teeming with marine life and surrounded by sand dunes. Getting there is part of the adventure, as you can only reach the inland sea by taking an off-road trip through the dunes. While you can choose a half-day trip, a full day out will give you the chance to swim in the crystal waters and watch the sun light up the desert in fiery red light as it slowly sets behind the sand.
Go diving in the Arabian Gulf
If you prefer adventures below the surface, don’t miss the chance to go diving in the Arabian Gulf. The waters off Qatar are home to abundant marine life, and the bay provides ideal diving conditions year round. Thanks to sheltered waters and a weak current, just outside Corniche Bay is a great place to brush up on your dive safety, take a refresher course or try diving for the very first time.
Try sand boarding on the singing dunes
Like your excursions with a healthy dose of adrenalin? You won’t want to miss out on the chance to go sand boarding through Qatar’s dunes. If you’ve never tried sand boarding, don’t worry — no experience is necessary. The sport is similar to snowboarding, and falling is as much a part of the experience as the fun. Plus, these dunes come with an added surprise: they’ll serenade you. As you glide down the rippled dunes, the reverberations create a unique humming noise that sounds like singing.
Sail a dhow boat on Corniche Bay
For those who’d prefer a more relaxing Qatari experience, taking a dhow boat — a traditional wooden sailing vessel — through the bay’s small islands is the perfect day out. While it’s possible to organise a tour on the day of through your hotel, it’s best to schedule your excursion in advance to ensure you get a boat with air conditioning. This outing is all about sun, sea and relaxation, so grab a cup of mint tea and enjoy the on-board barbecue. Make sure your boat ride includes a stop at Al Safliya Island, which will give you a picture-perfect view of the city and its landmark development, The Pearl.
Snap the perfect picture at Al Zubara Fort
Photographers will delight wandering around the ruins of Al Zubara Fort. Built in 1938, and used by the military until the 1980s, this impressive desert fort has been fully restored. Travellers can freely explore its wide corridors, external staircases and many turrets and towers. This is a great example of traditional Qatari architecture, where thick external walls were used to keep the heat out and protect a central courtyard within. Located an hour outside the city, the easiest way to see the fort is as part of a day tour to Qatar’s historic landmarks.
Are you ready to set off on an adventure outside Doha? Explore hotels now and discover a new side of Qatar.