Doha, the capital of Qatar, is a modern city located in Doha Bay, in the Persian Gulf. On the coast of the city center we find numerous parks and the Corniche promenade. The Museum of Islamic Art, designed by I. M. Pei and located on an artificial island, exhibits a huge collection from all corners of the Muslim world. In the traditional Souq Waqif market, vendors offer items such as clothing, handicraft products and spices.
Near Souq Waqif is the fort of Al Khoot, built in the 1920s, which houses a small museum. For its part, the Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art is dedicated to the art of the Arabian peninsula and includes works from the 19th century to the present. In Doha Bay there are wooden boats that offer cruises to see the skyscrapers and the Corniche promenade.
The Katara neighborhood to the north has a beach and a cultural center. La Perla is a huge artificial island with luxurious shops located a short distance from the city’s coast. The Doha Golf Club is nearby and has an 18-hole competition course. 20 kilometers northwest is the Barzan Tower, a castle from the early 19th century.
The souq was founded in the late nineteenth century near the bank of a dry river known as Wadi Musheireb. It was a meeting place for Bedouins and local people for the cattle trade mainly. In 2006, the government launched a restoration program with the purpose of preserving its architectural and historical identity. Buildings built after the 1950s were demolished while older structures were renovated. The restoration process was completed in 2008. Traditional wooden and bamboo-based heating methods imported from various areas of Asia are used in the souq.
The souq is considered one of the main tourist destinations in Doha. Thousands of people from all over the region frequent it to acquire traditional goods. It also has several art galleries, events and local concerts, including a theater, Al Rayyan, with a capacity of 980 people
Islamic Art Museum
The Museum is located on an artificial island at one end of Doha Bay surrounded by a curved boardwalk. It occupies an area of 35,000 m² plus an educational building that has another 2,700 m². The complex is surrounded by a park of 10 hectares.
The museum houses a collection, not very extensive in quantity, but of very high quality, of various pieces of materials: ceramics, metal and glass. It also has manuscripts and textiles, gathered during the last twenty years. The objects come from a wide range of countries, from Spain, where some interesting pieces of Andalusian art come from, Egypt, Iran, Turkey and even India.
The Pearl of Qatar
The Pearl of Qatar is an artificial archipelago that covers almost four million square meters. Once the project is finished, it will create more than 32 new kilometers of coastline, for residential use with a forecast of 15,000 homes in 2013.
Residential development on the island is intended to incorporate various national and international issues, including aspects related to Arab culture, the Mediterranean and Europe. Shopping centers are also planned to complement the various residential areas.
The port called Porto Arabia, inspired by the city of Venice, is surrounded by a residential and commercial area, although there are still no established premises.
Centro Comercial Villaggio
Villaggio Mall is a shopping center located in the Aspire area at the west end of Doha, the capital of Qatar. It is located on Al Waab Street, between Hyatt Plaza and Sports City, and has more than 200 stores, including many famous brands.
Inside, the interiors are Italian-style, like an Italian mountain town, but also with an interior channel 150 meters long with gondolas.
The mall was partially reopened on September 20, 2012, after meeting strict safety standards after the May fire that resulted in the loss of 19 lives. Some parts of the mall remain closed as a result, however, the food court, the ice skating rink, the cinema, the Carrefour hypermarket and many stores are open to the public with more openings, as they can resupply their shelves.