Few countries have changed as much as Qatar in the last decade, or more specifically, its majestically burgeoning capital city – Doha. Once an unassuming peninsula associated chiefly with the pearl industry, this city has grown in spectacular fashion. Now renowned for its dramatic modern skylines, lavish hospitality and luxurious shopping opportunities, Doha has become a hotbed of tourism innovation. Flights to Qatar, and its main airport Hamad International, are readily available from the UK giving you an exciting opportunity to experience the extravagance first-hand.
Featuring a primarily arid climate, Qatar can experience hot, humid summers with temperatures reaching scorching highs of 50° C. Because of this, May-September are considered off-peak months and travel is recommended between the balmier shoulder periods. The pleasant conditions allow you to fully experience everything the country has to offer, whether that’s taking a dip in the deep blue waters of the Gulf or attending the famed Emir GCC Camels Race in April. For the cheapest flights, look to the months between December and April across all UK airports.
As tourism to the Gulf state has sky-rocketed, flights to Qatar from the UK have become plentiful over the last few years. Your primary choice of airline for direct flights to Hamad International Airport is Qatar Airways. Operating out of Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Heathrow airports, this airline is committed to creating a worldwide network, connecting east and west. British Airways also offers daily direct routes to Doha with flights taking approximately 7 hours.
Getting from Hamad International Airport to Doha city centre is a straightforward procedure. Taxis and buses are all available just outside the passenger terminal from the various associated pavilions. The metered taxis are all operated by the state-owned Mowasalat company and are clean and reliable. The drivers only accept cash, so make sure you have enough Qatari Riyals to hand – the starting fare is QAR 25. A cheaper alternative is the bus, but keep in mind you’ll need to buy a Karwa Smartcard from the driver. Opt for either the 24-hour, two-trip card for QAR 10 or a 24-hour unlimited version for QAR 20. Journeys will take about 20-25 minutes to the heart of Doha.
When planning a trip to Qatar, Doha will inevitably encompass the hub of your interests. This fascinating city provides an array of unique pursuits; from camel racing to luxury spas and high-end shopping, there’s something to suit the tastes of every visitor. Alongside the cutting-edge modernity however, traditional culture still resides. Visit the Souq Waqif, a refurbished 19th-century labyrinthine market, enjoy a shisha with the locals and explore the Museum of Islamic Art’s grand curated treasures. Venturing outside the city to Qatar’s other regions can also be rewarding. Head west to the vast, unspoilt beach of Ras Abrouq or embark north to the historic architectural sites at Umm Salal Muhammad. An Arabian adventure awaits you.
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