Saturday, December 4, 2010

Top 5 Places to Visit in Qatar

When many people heard that the 2022 World Cup was going to be held in Qatar, they probably responded with "Where in the world is Qatar?". Well, the Middle East to be precise. Qatar is a little-known country that borders the Persian Gulf and Saudi Arabia and has a population of less than 1 million people.

What's funny is that Qatar beat out such countries as South Korea, Japan, Australia and the United States for hosting rights to the tournament. Qatar averages 95 degrees during the summer and has even been known to reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees. Couple that with the threat of sandstorms, and suddenly Qatar doesn't seem like such a great place for fans of the World Cup.

To address this problem, Qatar plans on building new stadiums and even improving some old ones in hopes of shielding players and fans from the inclement weather. According to Qatar officials, these new stadiums will feature air conditioning and even be powered by solar panels. Qatar is also creating a public bus system for the World Cup, and visitors will also be able to rent a car or hire a personal driver.

Visitors to the World Cup will have plenty to see in Qatar besides the world's best soccer players. Just because Qatar isn't a well known country doesn't mean that there isn't anything to do.

Al-Corniche is a road stretching four miles along the harbor in the capital city of Doha on the Eastern Coast of Qatar. Aside from the traditional sailing boats known as dhows and the beautiful Indian Ocean waterfront, travelers will see some of the most interesting and innovative architectures.

Souq Waqif
One of the most commercial areas of Doha is Souq Waqif. Buying and selling has been taking place in the area for hundreds of years, and the shops have been remodeled to look like 19th century Souq. Souq Waqif is one of the most traditional marketplaces in Qatar where visitors can buy spices, perfumes and garments and even handkerchiefs and locally brewed coffee.

Al-Khor is located up the coast from Doha and is a former pearl fishing village. In front of the harbor is a fish market and the beaches are pristine. Qatar visitors can also go bird watching in the mangroves and gardens of the city in Al-Khor.

Bir Zekreet
On the opposite coast of Qatar lies the fantastic beach of Bir Zekreet. The beach is perfect for camping lovers and the city is also surrounded by desert allowing you to explore numerous sand dunes and find plenty of desert mushrooms. Nearby you will find a wild deer reserve as well as an old movie set reminiscent of a deserted village.

Khor al-Adaid
Khor al-Adaid is surrounded by crescent-shaped sand dunes and is known as the inland sea. Local tour operators organize both overnight camping trips as well as day trips, and you can even drive along the dunes, ride camels or sand ski along these popular Qatar dunes.

So there you have it, some interesting things to do if you decide to take a trip all the way to Qatar for the 2022 World Cup.
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