Qatar Tourism reveals best way to experience Qatar on a value budget
With more than one million visitors set to visit Qatar for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, fans should be rest assured that incredible experiences, local culture, food and flavours are all available at fantastic value for money – or even for free.
Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Tourism, Berthold Trenkel, said: “Qatar is easy and exciting to explore without breaking the bank. All visitors will find a raft of inexpensive restaurants, transport options, activities, and lots of attractions to enjoy either for free or at great value. Qatar is one of the safest destinations in the world, centred around the warm hospitality characteristic of the local culture.”
Things to do for free:
Picnics at the park: Qatar has numerous lush green parks – the perfect place for a family stroll and a picnic. Aspire Park has lakes, kid’s play areas and views of the 300-metre Torch Tower. Al Bidda Park stretches down the coastline and has many sporting activities on offer, along with rentable barbecue spaces. Adjacent to the Museum of Islamic Art is MIA Park with the best vantage point of the Doha skyline. The small but stunning Onaiza Park has a pretty garden area and winding walking track.
Public beaches: Those willing to venture 1hr 20 mins outside Doha should seek out Fuwairit Beach for its powdery white sand and crystal-clear waters. Fuwairit Beach is a hotspot for kitesurfers and home to a hatching site for the endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtles. Closer to the capital is Sealine Beach, in the desert dunes of the south, or Katara Beach, inside Katara Cultural Village within Doha itself. For a list of the top public beaches visit: https://www.visitqatar.qa/intl-en/things-to-do/get-inspired/the-top-public-beaches-in-qatar
Soak up the culture: Katara Cultural Village has a stunning beach promenade, an impressive open-air amphitheatre and network of exhibition galleries and cutting-edge facilities. Souq Waqif is the country’s bustling traditional marketplace, offering souvenirs, spices, and numerous budget-friendly food options. The newly developed Msheireb and Education City districts each provide a free tram service to tour the wonderous avant-garde architecture for a dose of how the past meets the present in Qatari design and culture. The latter also houses the Qatar National Library with its intriguing paper plane design, while Msheireb has museums that celebrate the history of four heritage houses.
Eat well for less:
Qatar offers a wide range of local and international cuisine and being on a budget doesn’t mean skimping on quality and flavour.
Shay Al Shomous is a restaurant run by a renowned Qatari woman called Shams Al Qassabi, who was the first businesswoman to open a shop in Souq Waqif. All menu items are priced under seven USD, so it is easy to sample a large assortment of authentic Qatari food.
Chapati & Karak is an establishment in Katara Cultural Village, serving local tea for less than two USD. This sweet karak tea is an Indian drink now deeply rooted in Qatari culture. In the heart of city is Turkey Central, frequented by both locals and expats alike for its mouth-watering menu, generous prices and prompt service. The menu options start from on e USD upwards, with plates big enough for two to share.
In Doha, one of the easiest ways to get around is the new metro system. The state-of-the-art network features 100 km/h trains, driverless carriages and a Gold Class for premium passengers. A journey costs as little as two QAR for a one-way trip (0.55 USD), after a reusable travel card has been purchased for 10 QAR (2.75 USD).
Other transport options include a comprehensive bus service, taxis and ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Careem. A typical (non-surge) 30-minute journey on Uber usually comes to no more than 7 USD.
Lusail Tram travels around Lusail City, the heart of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Sights include Lusail Stadium, which will host the tournament’s final, and Place Vendôme – a giant new luxury French-inspired shopping mall with dancing water fountains. Tram tickets cost 2 QAR for a one-way trip (0.55 USD).