This past month, I was lucky enough to be able to visit my boyfriend who is on a 3 month job in Doha, Qatar. To be honest, Doha is not a location that was on my radar as a holiday destination, but since I have never been to that part of the world - and since 3 months sans-boyfriend would be terrible - I decided to see a trip to Doha as a wonderful opportunity.
Doha was... interesting. Not like anything I have ever tried. So I thought I'd pass on my observations.
If you like big city vacations where you can walk, take the subway and just take a stroll to enjoy the history and culture, Doha may not be for you. The city is big, during summer it's 40+ degrees C, and well... everything seems to have been built recently, so history and culture is still a construction site in most cases.
Instead, do Doha for the experience of history in the making. Doha, to me, seems like a melting pot for muslims with an added dose of expats from all over the world. As a Dane, it was interesting to be in a muslim country on the rise. It was interesting to be a female and experience how is to live under a more strict rule set is to live under (it was NOT bad, and I personally did not miss alcohol, but it was a bit hard to adjust, cover up when going out and get the occasional weird look).
There are beautiful things to see in Doha. My three favorites were:
Souq Waqif - Though not as ancient as it looks, Souq Waif feels very local despite being a tourist attraction. Here, you enter 1001 night and meet all kinds of locals. Beautiful shops, great restaurants and amazing people watching!!!
Museum of Islamic Art - Beautiful architecture, a great view of the Doha skyline and amazing art!
Katara Cultural Village - brand new but build according to tradition. Amazing little streets, a great view of Doha, great restaurants and a beautiful beach promenade.
If you LOVE big resort-like hotels, malls and hot weather - and you do not mind spending a small fortune - Doha is for you!!! Otherwise, go to Doha to experience modern, muslim culture and see a country grow and develop by the day. 2000 years from now, these buildings may be cultural pearls!
Also, consider a trip to the desert - crazy driving in the sand dunes by sheiks in sunglasses blasting rap music in the car. A lot of fun if you do not get car sick.