Qatar, Jewel of the Gulf

Travel - August 7th, 2009
id_germain-web

by Jon Chai

As the plane begins its descent into Doha, the capital city of Qatar, passengers are welcomed by a breath taking view of the sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Gulf and the sandy beaches that line it. The sun-bathed country is filled with possibilities for anyone and everyone. Whether it be a desert safari, a dive to the coral reefs, or a shopping extravaganza, the heart of the Gulf is brimming with endless opportunities. Doha, commonly referred to as the ‘City of Balance,’ joins the ranks of some of the fastest developing cities in the world, while keeping its traditions and culture very much alive. Bordered by the calming Al-Corniche bay on one side and the golden sands of the desert on the other, Doha is an alluring blend of natural and man-made lifestyles. For the outdoors enthusiast, Doha provides a unique geography open for exploration. Surrounded by the Arabian Gulf on three sides of the peninsula, there are plenty of opportunities for water sports. Two artificial reefs have been constructed for scuba diving and have been successful in attracting thousands of species of marine life. Sailing is a popular pastime among vacationers, and several private companies offer dinghies and sailboards for rent, as well as sailing lessons for beginners. A sunset cruise on a dhow, a traditional Arab sailing vessel with one triangular sail, in Doha Bay provides a stunning view of Doha at night, while luxury yachts can be rented for half-day and full-day fishing trips. The Arabian Gulf is only half of the outdoor experience; a trip to the inland Qatari desert is another adventure distinct to Qatar. The beautiful desert provides an unequaled panorama of the beautiful sand and sloping dunes. Enjoy the view as experienced tour operators add to the adventure by steering their four-wheel drive vehicles up and down 60-meter sand dunes along the way. Doha Bay If the outdoors aren’t for you, Doha’s shopping scene is one that will not disappoint. From the large department store complexes to the tiny stalls of the souks, eager shoppers will find everything they need and more. Facilities like the City Centre Doha, the shopping largest shopping complex in the Middle East, offer world famous brands plus many exciting family facilities. The street markets (souks) are a fantastic mixture of scents and sights where items are not marked with traditional price tags and haggling is welcomed and expected. Whether Qatar is your final destination or just a stopover between Japan and one of the over 80 destinations to which Qatar Airways flies, there is something here to keep any discerning traveler entertained.
Qatar Airways Qatar Airways operates daily flights to destinations worldwide, connecting through Doha out of Kansai International Airport. Connecting flights to and from Tokyo Haneda, Sapporo, and Fukuoka are also available as part of a codeshare program with ANA. Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world to be awarded a five-star ranking from Skytrax, an independent research firm that ranks the world’s airline and air travel industry. This distinction is given only to airlines that consistently maintain the very highest standards in service, onboard and airport environments, and products. Qatar Airways is now offering special fares from Osaka to destinations throughout Africa, Europe, and the Middle East for flights booked and completed by October 31. Example fares include ¥73,000 roundtrip to Dubai, ¥79,000 to Cairo and cities in Europe, and ¥109,000 to Johannesburg and Nairobi. In addition, all residents of Japan who book their flight online through the Qatar Airways website between August and October will be entered in a sweepstakes to win an iPod nano, engraved with the Qatar Airways logo. Three winners will be chosen each month. For more information and bookings please call 03-5501-3771 or visit www.qatarairways.com.

External Link:
Doha Travel Guide