Doha and Other Cities for Modern Traveler

Justin N. Froyd - Sep 28, 2009
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As your aircraft descends into Qatar, you are welcomed by a spectacular view of the capital city, Doha. The completely landscaped, crescent-shaped Corniche, the sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, and the sandy desert backdrop provide the first glimpse of what experiences await you. This sun-kissed country is filled with possibilities of desert escapades and shopping extravaganzas; natural attractions and water sports; state-of-the-art sporting facilities and historical museums; all combined with fine dining and luxurious accommodations. Welcome to the heart of the Arabian Gulf. Come and experience Qatar.


The capital of Qatar, Doha is situated halfway down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an important cultural and commercial centre and enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport, and telephone links.

It has a population of 400,051 and it is Qatar's largest city, with over 80% of the nation's population residing in the city or its surrounding suburbs. Doha is also the economic center of the country and the seat of the government of Qatar, which is ruled by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani–the current ruling Emir of Qatar.

Palm Tree Island

Situated about a 10-minute boat ride from the Corniche, Palm Tree Island has children and family amenities, restaurants and cafe’s, and water sports facilities along with beaches for swimming in the warm waters of the Gulf.

Al Wakra

Halfway between Doha and Umm Said, you will find the town of Al Wakra. Originally tiny fishing and pearling village, it has evolved into a small town with a population of less than 30,000. The Al Wakra Museum has been established in one of the town’s old forts and displays the marine life and the natural history of the area. There are also fine examples of the art and architecture included in the exhibits.

Umm Said

Umm Said is the heart of Qatar’s industry. Situated 45 km south of Doha on the east coast of the peninsula, it has both a commercial port and an oil-exporting port. There are refineries in Umm Said as well as other industrial establishments producing steel, natural gas liquids, fertilizers, and petrochemicals. Umm Said also has fine beaches.

Khor Al Udaid

Located south of Doha, sand dunes embrace the sea and the surrounding area is covered with many sabkha deposits.

Al Khor

About 57 km north of Doha on the east coast, Al Khor is famous for its harbour filled with small craft and fishing boats. It has excellent beaches, historic tower, and interesting mosques.

Madinat Al-Shamal

A relatively new town on the northern tip of the peninsula, Madinat Al-Shamal is about 107 km north of Doha. It serves as an administrative centre for a number of coastal villages.

Al Ruwais

Located on the northern tip of the peninsula this town is a fine example of the traditional Bedouin lifestyle as it merges with the modern world.

Al Zubara

Situated just 100 km northwest of Doha lies the town of Al Zubara, an important archeological site famous for its old fort. This fort-turned-museum was constructed in 1938 during the reign of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani and was erected on the ruins of a neighboring fort. The fort itself is square-shaped with circular towers in three of its corners and a rectangular tower in the fourth. With high, thick walls, this fort also served as a coast guard station and, until the mid-1980s, was used by the military.


Situated on the west coast of the peninsula, Dukhan is about 84km across the country from Doha. It became important when oil was discovered in the surrounding area. Like Umm Said and Al-Wakrah, the town also has fine beaches.

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