Doha, the capital city of Qatar, is a fascinating blend of modernity and tradition. During our cruise on the MSC World Europa in the Persian Gulf, we had the opportunity to stop in Doha for a day and explore the city’s many charms. One of the highlights of our visit was the dhow cruise along the coast, which gave us a unique perspective of the city’s skyline and coastline.
A dhow cruise
The dhow is a traditional Qatari boat that was once used for fishing and pearl diving but has now become a popular tourist attraction. As we boarded the boat, we were greeted by the friendly crew who welcomed us with refreshing drinks and snacks. The boat was spacious and comfortable, with traditional decor and comfortable seating areas. We set sail from the Doha Corniche and passed by some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Museum of Islamic Art, the iconic skyscrapers of West Bay, and the famous man-made island of The Pearl.
The Pearl is a luxurious residential development that is home to some of the most expensive properties in the city. It’s a man-made island that was built to resemble a pearl and has become a popular destination for tourists and residents alike. We were amazed by the sheer size and beauty of The Pearl, with its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and stunning architecture. It’s no wonder that so many expats choose to live in this luxurious community.
After passing by The Pearl, we anchored in a quiet bay and were served a delicious lunch of traditional Qatari cuisine. The food was fresh, flavorful, and a perfect introduction to the local cuisine. We enjoyed our meal while taking in the stunning views of the coastline and the clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. It was a peaceful and relaxing way to spend a few hours and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Visiting Souq Waqif
Later in the day, we headed to the Souq Waqif, one of the oldest and most traditional marketplaces in the region. The souq is a maze of narrow alleys and stalls selling everything from spices, fabrics, and perfumes to gold and silver jewelry. We were fascinated by the sights and smells of the souq, with its vibrant colors and bustling atmosphere. We wandered through the souq for hours, soaking up the local culture and admiring the intricate craftsmanship of the various goods on display.
Don’t miss the Falcon Hospital in Doha
One of the most surprising things we discovered at the souq was the abundance of falcon hunting shops and the veterinary center for falcons. Falconry is a popular sport in Qatar, and the souq is a hub for all things related to this traditional pastime. We were amazed by the sheer number of shops selling falconry equipment, including special leather gloves and hoods for the birds. We even had the opportunity to visit the veterinary center for falcons, where injured birds of prey are treated and rehabilitated. It was a unique and unforgettable experience that gave us a glimpse into the local culture and traditions.
After a day in Doha, it was time to head back to our ship, the MSC World Europa. our visit to Doha was a memorable experience that allowed us to explore the city’s rich history, culture, and traditions. The dhow cruise along the coast gave us a unique perspective of the city’s skyline, and the lunch served onboard was delicious and refreshing. The Souq Waqif was a feast for the senses, and we enjoyed discovering the many traditional goods on offer, including the falconry equipment and the veterinary center for eagles. Doha is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the culture and traditions of the Arabian Gulf, and we can’t wait to go back and explore more of this vibrant city.