Best of Both Worlds

With a mix of old and new, Qatar promises an enchanting escape. Brides Today gives you a first-hand travel guide to plan a romantic trip to this city.

Forming a bridge between the East and the West and lying on the coast of the Persian Gulf, is Doha, the capital of Qatar. Known for its rich cultural heritage and contemporary buzz, the city has been gaining prominence as a luxury destination, perfect for a romantic getaway. From visiting awe-inspiring museums to sampling flavourful Middle Eastern food, there’s plenty a couple can do on a quick trip to this cosmopolitan metropolis.

Old world charm

Begin your trip with a visit to Souq Waqif, the city’s ancient Arabic market. Lined with quaint shops that sell spices, textiles, and souvenirs, it is a lively place, bursting with bright colours and sounds. The area also has an art gallery, a mini falcon museum, and several boutique hotels. Enjoy a lavish lunch at Parisa, a Persian eatery that is as famous for its interiors as it is for the food. It’s hard not be dazzled by the hand-painted artworks, intricate mosaics, and countless tiny mirrors that adorn the restaurant walls. Spend a few hours savouring sumptuous local cuisine and smoke sheesha as you watch life go by in this rustic quarter.

souq-waqif-1_072720055500.jpgSouq Waqif

souq-waqif-2_072720055523.jpgSouq Waqif

A piece of history

For couples who are interested in art and history, the city’s museums are a delight. The iconic Museum of Islamic Art—designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei—is situated on an offshore artificial island. Here you can immerse yourself in the world’s largest collection of Islamic art: Centuries-old ceramics, textiles, jewellery, and memorabilia gathered from three continents. And if you fancy quirky collectibles, a visit to the gift shop is a must. Enjoy a relaxing high tea at the atrium café as you are surrounded by splendid views of Doha’s West Bay skyline.

Your agenda must also include a trip to the newly-opened National Museum of Qatar. Inaugurated in March 2019, it spotlights Qatar’s history through paintings, photographs, and sculptures along with 21st-century lights, sounds, visuals, and innovative technology. The modernist museum site also includes the palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar. And spread across the fourth floor of the museum is Jiwan restaurant by Michelin-chef Alain Ducasse, specialising in contemporary Qatari cuisine. Make reservations in advance for an unforgettable meal.

museum-of-islamic-art_072720055855.jpgMuseum of Islamic Art

Captured for eternity

For a bit of old-fashioned romance, we recommend a walk along La Corniche, a four-mile-long promenade by the bay, adjacent to the Museum of Islamic Art. It makes for an idyllic location to witness a stunning sunset. You can also book a traditional dhow boat to cruise upon glistening waters.

If you’re one for grand gestures, book a luxury dinner that comes with 360-degree views of the city at the helipad of the JW Marriott Marquis City Center Doha. Choose a menu specially curated by their in-house chefs or take your pick of various cuisines offered at the hotel. Sit back and enjoy a truly special meal, one that’s definitely Instagram-worthy!

la-corniche_072720060006.jpgLa Corniche

la-corniche-at-night_072720060047.jpgLa Corniche at night

helipad-dinner-at-jw-marriott-marquis-city-centre-doha_072720060156.jpgHelipad dinner at JW Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha

Retail therapy

While Qatar remains deeply rooted in its traditional culture, it is also one of the region’s most modern cities, its landscape dotted with ever-rising glass buildings and shopping malls. At the Villaggio Mall, you will find some of the most popular luxury and high-street brands. With its Venetian-themed interiors, the mall features ornate glass domes, marble floors, and even canals, complete with real gondolas. And they also have an indoor ice rink!

Don’t forget to visit The Pearl, a manmade island next to the marina. Splurge on super-luxury designerwear and enjoy views of flashy yachts, affluent residences, and restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs. The many ice-cream parlours and cafés will make you feel as though you are walking down the streets of Paris.

Also unmissable is the department store Galeries Lafayette in the prestigious Katara Cultural Village. Spread over 15,000 square metres, it also houses the elegant Café Pouchkine, a Russian-French restaurant, especially known for its desserts.

Qatar’s rich heritage forms a beautiful backdrop to the dynamic vibe that is enveloping the region. And that it melds different worlds together at its heart, in Doha, is the cherry on top.

the-pearl_072720060322.jpgThe Pearl

pearl-monument_072720060444.jpgPearl Monument

katara-cultural-village_072720060526.jpgKatara Cultural Village

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