“Qatar? In July? Really? And for four whole days? You’ll get burnt to a crisp! What are you even going to do there for so long,there’s barely a day’s worth of things to see, there, not four!” remarked a Lebanese friend of mine, who had just been to Qatar, after I told him of our plan. Our main destination for this trip was actually Singapore, but hey, we thought, if we can also visit Qatar along the way, for dirt cheap, why not?
First, some important information about the Qatar Airways stopover program:
As part of their stopover program, the National Tourism Council, in collaboration with Qatar Airways (the national airline), offers a variety of very affordable prices for tours and hotels. The offer is applicable when staying in Qatar for a few days as you fly through Doha.
Four nights in a 5 star hotel only set us back 200 EUR, which, for a hotel of that quality is really cheap. It is also worth mentioning that, considering our time of check-in and check-out, at a typical hotel we would have had to pay for 6 nights worth, which makes the asking price even more attractive. All you have to do to apply, is sign up for the hotel program through their website, and your first night will cost only 28 dollars!
As for plane tickets, the price is the same whether you choose to take the four night stopover, or just fly through Doha as part of a regular connecting flight. With all these benefits taken into account, of course we decided to visit Qatar! In 2017, Qatar waived visa requirements for citizens of 80 countries, including Latvia, so we didn’t have to concern ourselves with those. Nonetheless, we encountered a rather troublesome passport officer, who insisted that the people in our passport photos weren’t us! We were starting to worry that one of us might not be allowed to enter the country, but in the end, it all worked out fine, and we were allowed in.
Is Qatar too hot to visit in the summer?
We got quite lucky with the weather during our visit – a few weeks before our visit, the air temperature in Qatar had been a scalding 50°C(122°F), whereas in the neighboring nations of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, temperatures were reaching new records of 62°C(144°F), so we were starting to come to terms with the idea that we’re essentially visiting a 4 day long permanent sauna. But alas, when we arrived, the heat was a “mere” 40°C(104°F), which we were told is rather cool for July, but the humidity was still at 60%, despite the fact that most of Qatar’s landmass is a desert. As we found out, my friend and colleague was actually spot-on, when he said that, as far as sightseeing in Qatar goes, you can see everything in a day. At most – two, if you also take a tour to the desert. However, that does not account for the fact that, in such extreme heat, we needed more time than usual to get around. After a mere 10 minutes outside, it was very tempting to just return to our cool, air-conditioned hotel room. On one occasion we did manage to stay outside for four whole hours, a feat which my colleagues living in Doha (Rami from Egypt, Nada from Iraq, and Alma from Syria), described as madness. They said that their daily summer journeys apparently consist only of travelling from their doorstep to their car, and back again later. What do they do to alleviate the boredom, then? Visit each other!
But certainly no strolling around in the heat. Alas, we only had the four days that we did, so we had no choice but to walk around – sunburnt to a bright shade of red, sweaty and tired. The intense heat is why, on summer days, the streets of Doha are almost completely devoid of human life. On the rare chance that we did spot somebody, they were usually in the same predicament as we were – overheated tourists, desperately grasping their water bottle, as public drinking fountains were uncommon. Soon enough our walking routes were mainly decided by the distance to the nearest shade, and we gladly walked an extra 50 meters around just to avoid the sunny side of the street, and used Uber as much as we could. In the summer, locals get around Doha by car only.. For many of the shopping centers that we went to (which there are a lot of in Doha) we couldn’t find an entrance other than driving into the parking lot. At least at the shopping centers we finally started seeing some people.
The land of the rich and the immigrant workers: how much could you make?
Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world. That holds true even when taking into account that out of the 2.6 million residents, only 313 thousand are actually Qatari, with the remaining 2.3 million being expats. Many of those are manual laborers, earning a mere 500-700 EUR a month, a portion of which they try to save and send to their families back home. The cost of living in Qatar is pretty high, so it would be quite unproductive to compare these salaries to what we make in Eastern Europe. For many of these workers, a place to live and a means of transport to work are provided by their employers. The majority of these workers are men, and throughout our evening walks, we saw quite a few groups of them, just chatting outside shops, eating in the park, and hanging out. One could easily go half an hour without seeing a single woman. We were told that being a worker in Qatar is very difficult, with colorful descriptions such as “modern day slaves” coming up. Up until recently, workers were not even allowed to leave the country without the permission of their employer! This policy resulted in cases where a dispute with one’s employer could render a worker unable to work, yet also trapped in the country and unable to return home. Workers are still not allowed to change their workplace without their bosses’ approval. The laborers live in dorm-style housing, often up to 6 people per room. Nurses have their own dorms outside hospitals, and flight attendants have a similar setup as well, near airports. There is also a curfew in place, and male guests are not allowed to enter the premises. We also found out that the workers’ salary depends on their nationality, with Qataris, predictably, at the top of the hierarchy. Britons are the runners-up in terms of wages, with the rest of European nationalities in third place, and finally, Nepalese and Bangladeshi citizens are paid the lowest wages.
It goes without saying that Qatar is, of course, also home to some heads of international companies, who earn just as much money as they do elsewhere. However, corporate suits are not who we saw on the streets – only blue-collar toilers were in sight. They are not allowed to work during the day, for it is too hot outside, and their employers can face penalties if they violate this law. Nevertheless, we occasionally did see somebody sweeping the streets, or working construction during the daytime. There was construction in progress wherever we went, and it’s likely that even just a couple of months after our visit, Doha will look entirely different from what we saw. You might be wondering – why is all that construction only going on now, if Qatar is such a rich country? Why not before? Qatar has the third largest oil & natural gas reserves in the world, after all. My friend Rami explained that the construction boom really started with new developments in gas liquefaction technology. It is now far more efficient than it used to be, meaning that the profits have grown, especially when it comes to exporting the gas. Another factor contributing to the boom in construction, is preparation for the FIFA World Cup 2022 finals, which are set to be hosted in Qatar. Due to concerns regarding Qatar’s high temperatures, the event will take place in November and December, rather than its usual summer date.
The political climate in the region is tense – the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain have all imposed a full embargo against Qatar, closing their borders on land, sea and air. Saudi Arabia has also proposed digging a canal along the border of the two nations, which would cut Qatar off the main landmass, making it an island. Al Jazeera, a media company based in Doha, (the closure of which has been demanded by Saudi Arabia) reports that the reason for these events, are claims on the part of the four embargo-imposing nations, alleging that Qatar supports terrorist groups and keeps close ties with Iran.
Sightseeing in Doha: The Museum of Islamic Art
Having had some much needed sleep after the long flight, we were finally ready to go out and see Doha. Our first stop was the Museum of Islamic Art, to which we, of course, took an Uber. Though according to Google Maps, the museum was only a 20 min walk away from our hotel, upon arrival, we immediately, physically, felt how right our choice had been. The heat we experienced just walking from the cab to the museum made us doubt whether we’d have the energy to even look at anything there.
Built in 2008, the museum is the first of its kind in the Arab world, housing 14 centuries of Islamic art. Its architect was the late Ieoh Ming Pei, who was successfully persuaded to come out of retirement at age 91, just to design the museum. He traveled Muslim countries for six months, researching the architecture, reading holy texts, and finally, drawing some inspiration from Cairo’s 9th century mosque, the Ibn Tulun, the design of the museum was complete.
The museum is actually not very big at all. There are just two floors of exhibits, which you can walk through in a few hours. We thought that the experience would have greatly benefited from a guided tour, to find out more about the significance of each artwork. Without a guide, we were only able to judge each piece by its age and appearance, as the attached descriptions were often quite terse.
From the museum, we also got a good look at Doha’s skyscrapers, shrouded in mist. Sunrise here actually happens earlier than it does astronomically speaking, because the thick mist covers up the sun. The gulf by the museum was full of dhow – traditional wooden ships, now used as recreational cruise ships for tourists. We could hear Indian music coming out of most of the dhow, and the tour guides would invite us onto the boats, or even just try to sell us water & chips. We hadn’t withdrawn any cash, since everywhere else we had been able to pay with a card. Still, the heat-induced thirst was catching up to us, as our little bottle of water had long run out, despite being refilled at the museum’s drinking fountain. With Qatar’s official religion being Islam, we were dressed to cover as much skin as possible – I was wearing a long dress, with a jacket on top, to cover my legs & décolletage. Surprisingly enough, the extra clothing actually seemed to be helping against the burning sun! It helped to put at least some form of insulation between the body and the heat, allowing me to keep my body temperature closer to where it would normally be.
As we were walking by the coast and through the park, it was absolutely packed with picnic-goers. After all, it was a Friday evening, and therefore, in Qatar & this part of the world in general, the first day of the weekend. Soon enough, we spotted something rather unpleasant – disposable cups, packaging and other trash was scattered all around the grass, with some floating in the water, too. Of course, come tomorrow, there would be no trace of any of it, as everything is cleaned up every night, but it was still somewhat unsightly. The initial plan for the day included having a stroll through Souq, the traditional market, but the heat had taken its toll in draining our energy, so instead we decided to rest before meeting up with Rami and Alma for some dinner.
At 7PM, Rami was here, and said we would go to the restaurant by car. We got in, drove around the block, and parked in an underground parking lot. From there, a 3 minute walk, and we had arrived at our destination, the restaurant “Old Damascus.” Wait a second – we’re at the market, which in turn is opposite of the hotel. So we drove to a place which we could have walked to in seven minutes? But of course! Why walk, when you can ride? An interesting thing we noticed, was that a major criterion for where people chose to sit in the restaurant, was the seats’ proximity to air conditioning. Here we met our first Russian speaker of the trip – the woman overseeing the dining hall. Later, we also heard some more Russian being spoken elsewhere. At the restaurant, we had some hummus, tahini with eggplant dip – my favorite, and meat grilled in yoghurt sauce – all regional foods. We also tried date juice, which, as it turned out, is delicious.
The Landlocked Sea in the Desert – Khor al Adaid
When the trip was still just in the planning phase, we saw a video on Rami’s social media, about his trip to the desert and the friendly camels he met there. It had seemed like Rami would unfortunately be out of the country at the time of our trip, but luckily, he was in Qatar after all, and agreed to take us to the desert! I asked him whether we would be able to visit Khor al Adaid. It is located right by the Saudi Arabian border, and is a national park. For locals, driving a four-by-four out into the desert is a rather common thing to do, though usually not in the middle of summer. We heard quite a few people remark that nobody goes there in the summer, and we were asked whether we even saw anybody. Well, we actually did, and at times it seemed like it was more crowded out in the desert than in some districts of Doha, and there were tire marks in the sand everywhere. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
Rami had borrowed a large jeep from a friend, for the trip, and we decided to start the journey in the afternoon, so that we could watch the sunset. After about an hour and a half of driving away from Doha, with only sand and the occasional gas factory in sight, the surroundings were so barren that they resembled the surface of the Moon. At last, we arrived at the entrance to the desert. Rami asked me to fasten my seatbelt, which I had wanted to do as soon as I got into the car – but alas, the seatbelt appeared to be broken. “No big deal, we will just have to drive carefully,” he said. After slightly deflating the tires, hoping for better friction against the sand, we drove into the desert. A lone road went on and on, through the white landscape of the desert, smooth and flat as a kitchen table. Rami asked if the car wasn’t too shaky for us, but we laughed and responded that, back home our asphalt roads were worse than this. As we drove on, we started to see dunes, too, at which point we were sorely disappointed at the amount of garbage we saw all around. Out here, in the desert, there isn’t anybody picking it up every night, like in the city parks, so the dunes are littered with bottles, cans and plastic bags. Initially Rami suggested that perhaps the sandstorms might have swept some of the garbage into the desert, but after a while, he too agreed that there is just too much of it, for it to not be the direct result of some people being pigs.
We drove on and on, until we suddenly came across a wide, wide lake of water, where very salty seawater flows out from underground. Rami said that it is best to avoid driving into the saltwater, as it damages the car. Upon hearing that, we reminisced of our own salt-covered cars during winter, and what effect that must have on them. We drove along the coast of the lake for a while, trying to find a place where we could cross it. Eventually we managed to find a sufficiently shallow spot, and drove across. The car shook like crazy, and we could hear our boxes of supplies sliding back and forth in the trunk. From atop the dune, there was a marvelous view of the beach. Blue water, wind (which made it feel as if we were standing near a gigantic fan), and, far off in the distance, tiny houses. We didn’t see anybody walking around, though apparently the place is packed in winter. After some sightseeing, it was time to head back down from atop the rather steep dune. Rami was planning to just drive straight down, an idea that we were somewhat worried about. However, he explained that with half-deflated tires and driving carefully, it was perfectly safe. I recall watching a travel show, where a tourist with a rental car, drove down from this very location, and got stuck in the sand. No surprise there – this is no place for a rental car, let alone combined with a lack of experience driving in the desert.
We drove down safely, and parked at the beach that we saw earlier. Rami got some folding chairs, as well as an icebox containing bananas and cherries, from the trunk. “Are you guys going to go for a swim?” he asked. But of course! We got changed, and ran into the water. It was as hot as a bath! No sense of cooling or refreshment at all. It got ever so slightly colder when we were submerged up to the ears, but not much. Walking back onto the beach, the water was so hot that it was almost unpleasant. Weather reports say that the temperature in the gulf is supposed to be 33°C/91°F, today, but here, on a shoal, it is most certainly hotter. A constant 40°C/104°F, in fact. “Lucky you, it’s pretty cool outside, today!” commented Rami.
We didn’t see any fish while swimming, and Alma mentioned that, when she was taking her diver’s certificate exam here, indeed – all she saw was a couple of jellyfish. Though reportedly the other side of this landlocked sea is a very popular fishing spot, with lots of fish. In fact, Rami told us that he had once caught a 25kg fish there. According to him, you can fish straight from the beach, no need to sail or drive into the water.. Meanwhile on this side of the sea, we walked along the coast, looking at the tiny shells scattered everywhere. Unfortunately, this place was trashed, too. To be fair, it was not as bad as the dunes, but we did still regularly see bottles, plastic, and foam. It is important to reapply sunscreen as soon as you get out of the water, because getting a sunburn over here is as easy as falling off a log. Alma urged us to do so, looking at our pale skin with visible concern, and expressing surprise at how we weren’t tan already, after a week of traveling through Asia. Sunscreen is essential in Qatar, one should think twice about even leaving the hotel without it. It was time to move on to our next destination, as the day was coming to an end, and the tide was rising, the saltwater washing over the wheels of the car. We got into the car and drove on, through the desert road, at 120km/hour, with Rami only hitting the brakes before holes in the road. Unfortunately, we didn’t encounter any camels, but we hadn’t gotten our hopes up. Rami has lived here for four years, and has only seen them once, even with driving to the beach multiple times per week, in winter.Remembering a viral video with camels rubbing their noses all over a car’s mirrors, to the point where it is impossible to drive away, put a smile on my face. Rami said that encountering camels was a pretty cool experience – he fed them some apples. However, he cautioned that you must be careful- as soon as you open the window wide enough, the camel will likely shove its entire head into the car, be near impossible to persuade to leave, and will likely cover everything in spit, too. How delightful. His strategy was to drive around them and keep tossing the apples out of the window – that way you can feed them while also staying dry. After hearing that story we wanted to encounter them even more, however, no such luck, this time.
As we approached the next beach, the sun was already setting.As far as the eye can see – shoals and water. Once upon a time, this was apparently a hiding spot favored by pirates, and the British fleet had been sent to capture them.
As we drove closer, we noticed that this beach was littered with tiny balls of sand, indicating that there is a sizable population of crabs, here. Lots and lots of them. Here we finally see people – and indeed, they are fishing, just standing by their cars. The fish are so plentiful that you can see them even from the shore, when they jump out of the water, into the air. In winter, you could come here with a tent, catch & cook some fish, and forget your daily worries. While there are cell towers in the desert, the coverage is not ideal, and you could easily be left with no phone service for a few days.
Before sunset, we drove to the top of another dune, and Rami asked whether we were up for another adventure. Of course we were! He then took two boards out of the car, of which one looked to be a surfboard, the other a snowboard, and proceeded to demonstrate how to surf down the dune on one of them. When it was my turn to go, we all laughed that it must have been the world’s slowest descent, but I made it down in one piece. Rami said he would drive me back up, but I was impatient, and decided to climb back up on foot. It was a difficult climb, mostly due to the scalding sand – I regularly had to lift a foot and shake it, trying to cool it off, because I could not keep standing on the sand any longer.
When we had found a good spot to watch the sunset, we took the folding chairs out, and sat down by the car. We were surrounded by complete silence. No birds, no planes, no other travelers’ cars. Just us. The sun soon sank behind the horizon, and it was time to head back to Doha. It felt like somebody had flipped a gigantic light switch – we had just been sitting, watching the beach, but now, as we were putting away the chairs, it was pitch black. Thankfully, Rami knows the area well, and, worst case scenario, there’s always the satnav. So off we went, but soon ran into trouble – the salty lake. We drove back a bit, trying to find a shoal to drive across to the other side. Nothing. Though, earlier that same day, Rami had said that you would have to be mad to drive into the saltwater, soon enough, he too tried to get across that way, hoping the water would get shallower soon. In fact, it only got deeper, and we were forced to drive back out. We drove around in the night, unable to see where the water ended. It took us a total of around 40 minutes to find the way, but at last, we made it across. The ground was different, there. Desert weeds all around, but more importantly – rocks. It was so rocky that we were barely able to hold onto our seats. We drove around the rocky coast for around an hour, got around another body of water, and though we were seemingly near the main road, we could not see any tire tracks in the sand, left by other cars. At last – a light in the distance – a cell tower. Cars driving by, on the nearby road! However, as we descended down a rocky hill, we heard a strange noise. Rami stopped the car, got out, and concluded that we had a flat tire. He then called his friend, asking whether there was a spare wheel somewhere in the car, to which the friend replied that there was. We began searching…but….nothing. We took everything out of the trunk, moved the seats, even discovered where you could plug in a seatbelt. Still, no wheel anywhere in sight. Rami then called his friend again, and got a much more characteristically Egyptian reply – a promise to be there in 15 minutes. I chuckled to myself, because it took us over 90 minutes just to get from Doha to the desert, not to mention getting to this place. Alma looked somewhat anxious, but I was calm – before getting into the car, I had seen that we still had plenty of water left, so, worst case scenario, we could always stay the night in the desert. There were scorpions and snakes out, but not many, plus, it was unlikely to be a problem as long as we stayed in the car. As I observed the Milky Way in the night sky, Alma was trying to signal to other cars by blinking the headlights. Alas, nobody took a detour to head our way and help us. At that same time, Rami was doing some research – watching a video about this type of jeep, its spare wheel, and discovered that we must have one after all! After assembling a special tool, following instructions from that same video, we used some controls in the back of the vehicle. Low and behold, a spare wheel on a chain then emerged from underneath the vehicle. Soon, we had readied the jack and removed the wheel with the flat tire. Using two mobile phone flashlights, we discovered that the tire did not appear to be pierced, but had nevertheless gone flat. We then put on the new wheel, and were finally ready to go. In that time, Alma’s parents had called her and also said that they would come pick us up. Rami’s friends were nowhere to be seen, despite it having taken us an hour to replace the wheel. As we finally drove out of the desert, it was 10 PM, yet still 36°C/97°F heat.
The Outdoor Air Conditioner and Seemingly Ancient Shopping
Our next two days in Doha were largely spent trying to find some shade & stay in it. We visited Qatar Culture Village, which is a combination of a cultural centre and a shopping mall, located on the other end of the city from where we were. However, it was at the Galeries Lafayette where we would see our first surprise. Alma had previously mentioned that, in Qatar some places have outdoor air conditioning, and it was there that we first got to experience it. All around a building, there were small vents in between the stone plates, somewhat similar to rain drainage pipes, and out of each, cool air was coming out, right onto the street. We joked to ourselves that projects like these, must be what happens when you have more money than you know what to do with. While it was 40°C/104°F everywhere else outside, it was somewhat cooler around that one building, making walking outside more comfortable while we were passing by it. We also saw an outdoor cafe nearby, though there seemed to be no customers in sight. What we did see was the entire aforementioned building surrounded by street sweepers and guards, which makes sense – if you have to be outside, in the Qatar sun, it might as well be where there’s air conditioning.
We walked to the beach, seeing an amphitheater on our way, as well as walking by an ancient-looking street that actually turned out to be a modern replica. Later, tired and overheated, we arrived at the very center of the city. It was finally time to visit the market. At the market, you can buy honey in a shop full of portraits of the former Emir Sheikh, we saw expat workers browsing the large selection of kettles and pots, and of course there’s souvenirs as well. The bird market has thousands of parrots available for purchase, and by the entrance of the grand market, camels are sold. Just across the street from there, you can buy falcons. Each shop had 10+ birds in cages, with blindfolds on. “It calms them down,” the shopkeeper told us. We also got to hold a falcon. They were beautiful birds, but we felt bad for them. A lot of them are captured from the wild, and one bird can cost upwards of 10 thousand euros. They are sourced from Kazakhstan, Russia, and according to the shopkeeper – the UK. Not too far from there was also a falcon hospital – one of the vets urged us to come in and have a look. In the waiting room, there were perches for the birds to sit on. We even saw one winged patient sitting on one!. On the couch, two men, also with falcons, were awaiting their turn to see the vet as well. Further down the hall, there was a vending machine – not with sandwiches or drinks, but rather medication for the falcons.
On our final day of the trip, we went to the skyscraper district, where one of the buildings has a gigantic orb in it for balance purposes, another resembles a chess piece, and yet another features an egg with a tower at its top. The streets were just as deserted here as they had been elsewhere, all we heard was talks of a new skyscraper being built further ahead, so there were probably people near there.
Public transport in Doha – the Golden Metro.
Another item on the agenda for our last day in Doha, was to try out the new metro, which had opened just two months ago, at the time of our visit – a whole year ahead of schedule. This project too, was connected to the upcoming football championship. New hotels, stadiums, and said metro were all built in preparation for it. What will it look like, I wondered, after everything will be built, and both the expat workers and the football fans will have left? The metro was, in a way, kind of unsettling – I had never seen an emptier subway than this, throughout all of my travels. Only 3-5 people got off the train at each station. As we were having a look around, we saw more employees than passengers. The workers were pointing us to where we could purchase tickets for the train. The metro in Doha has several types of railway cars – first, there are the so-called golden railway cars. They are not literally made of gold, but the ticket prices are triple what it costs to ride in the other wagons, meaning that the only passengers rich enough to use them will likely be the native Qataris. The golden wagons have fewer seats, and a view of the tracks ahead – this is possible because the train is automated, and has no driver at the front of it. There is also a separate wagon for families – men traveling alone are not allowed to board it, and finally, the main wagon, where anybody is allowed. The subway was comfortable, beautiful, and modern. Our one complaint is that the metro stations are very far apart, and getting to one is not easy, considering how hot it is outside. Later on we spoke to Alma’s father, who joked that there should be a bus that takes you straight to the station – the government could certainly afford it. However, he said that life here is generally pretty good. Healthcare of all kinds is free for Qataris, including cosmetic surgery.
A Supper with the Syrians
Our last day had almost come to an end, but, prior to heading back to the hotel, we had been invited over for dinner with Alma’s family. We wanted to bring a gift, so, on our way there, we managed to find a flower shop, where a small bouquet cost us 35 euro. It was then wrapped into a large pink wrapper, with a bow on top. Soon after, we arrive at Alma’s home, in a closed neighborhood of mansions, where a guard stopped everybody wishing to enter, asking who they were visiting. Alma’s parents are pediatricians, who moved to Qatar around the time that civil unrest started in Syria. They told us they like living there, but are nonetheless horrified at what is happening back in their home country. We also got to meet Alma’s sister, husband and daughter. Invited to the dinner as well, were Nada and Rami. Quite the gathering! We were told that the food that was served would traditionally be eaten earlier in the day, as supper is meant to be less filling, but, with the occasion of us visiting, a wide variety of dishes was served. There was only one where I could even make a reasonable guess as to what the ingredients were – I’m pretty sure there was chicken. The others – what a selection it was! Meatballs that visually resembled cooked apples, and various other stuffed, minced and baked foods. All delicious! For dessert – watermelon and cookies, as well as tea, which to me tasted more like Turkish tea. Alma’s family is very energetic, and were telling stories all throughout dinner, asking questions, talking one over another, listening. We had a wonderful time visiting them!
After the dinner party, it was time to head back to the hotel. We experienced one last hurdle at the very end of our trip – we entered the airport as our Uber destination, but upon arrival, discovered that we had arrived at the wrong one! A new airport had recently been constructed, yet we were at the old one. For a moment there, we were quite worried. Thankfully, we had departed well in advance, and still had plenty of time to reach our intended destination.
If you too plan to fly a longer flight with Qatar airways, consider combining the trip with a visit to Qatar! Even spending a single night in Doha would be enough to get a good idea of what the country has to offer. The most convenient way to plan such a trip is visiting the Qatar Airways website.