Doha feels like an up and coming version of Dubai. It is smaller, has a slightly rougher around the edges sort of vibe (in a good way). It is also more chilled out and relaxed in a sense. Or maybe we were more chilled out and relaxed, because instead of spending New Year’s Eve partying in the souk like everyone else, we headed to the deserted hotel pool to splash around for a couple of hours.
Anyway, no matter what guidebook or website you go to, one of the top things to do in Doha is apparently to check out the Corniche. It always seems to be the Corniche in the Arabian Gulf doesn’t it? Abu Dhabi has one, Muscat has one, and now Doha has one.
It turns out to be a very pleasant walk down the Corniche.
In an homage to the pearling industry that once thrived in Qatar, there is a statue of a big ass pearl. But I didn’t take a photo… there were too many people taking selfies and wifey was getting impatient with me stopping every few steps for a photo. My bad.
The jewel (not pearl… hehe) of the area, to me, is the Museum of Islamic Art. Such a beautiful contemporary building, with equal measures of Islamic influence and deconstructivist cuboids, it gleams proud and bright on the shoreline. And the collection inside is beautiful too. Totally recommended. Even if you have no interest in Islamic Art, there is a massive balcony at the top that gives you an impressive view of the Doha skyline.
There were also lots of dhows in the water. When we were cruising along, it was getting close to sunset and we got a lot of offers of boat rides on the cheap. I was seriously tempted, because when else do we get a chance to go on a dhow blaring a heady mix of Bollywood hits, Arabic pop and Rihanna? But daughter was by this stage extremely tired and we were trying to find somewhere to sit down for dinner. So had to pass.
It has to be said that by this time of the day, there were flocks of people, locals or otherwise, just chilling out at the Corniche. It might have been because it was New Year’s Day, and it happens to be a weekend. But the vibe was so infectious, and the heady mix of music I mentioned above was so positive that I couldn’t help smiling while soaking it all in.
There will be more Doha stuff coming up, provided I keep working on these updates. Apologies for the slackness in the last few months. I have been sent overseas for work in Melbourne. Originally I thought, sweet, I will have lots of time to blog. But routine has set in and I’m trying to catch up with the Game of Thrones novels. Excuses, I know.
Check out the rest of our Middle East adventures in other posts!
[Arabian Nights] A Sneak Peek!
[Abu Dhabi] Masdar City, the future is here!
[Abu Dhabi] Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
[Abu Dhabi] Frolicking around Emirates Palace
[Muscat, Oman] Chillaxing in Muttrah
[Muscat, Oman] Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
[Oman] Forts Around the Country
[Doha, Qatar] That Famous Corniche