Qataris are passionately committed to upholding their heritage and cultural values while forging one of the most advanced societies in the world. There are a number of must-see cultural sites:
In the middle of the city sits an imposing fort, a former prison and military base built in 1880. It is currently undergoing restoration. On the outskirts of the central business district the Al-Shahaniya Race Track showcases the centuries-old Arab sport of camel racing, in 21 century style. Exciting competitions as well as huge cash prizes make for a great experience on race days.
Museum of Islamic Art
Housing one of the world’s most encyclopedic collections of Islamic art, the new Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is the cornerstone of a monumental effort by Qatar to transform itself into the arts hub of the Middle East. Its dazzling artefacts span 13 centuries and three continents. The MIA, with hard, chiseled forms inspired by ancient mosques and stone fortresses, is a masterpiece of world-renowned architect I. M. Pei. Situated on Doha’s seafront the museum includes exhibition halls, library, educational center, and an exterior covering a total area of 45,000m².
Recently restored to reflect the old Doha using old plans and maps, the popular Souq is not only a trading place, but also a meeting hub for locals and visitors. A large labyrinth of alleyways lined with small shops, Souq Waqif is frequented for its spices, sweets, dried fruits, local honey, essential oils, clothing, incense, textiles and garments. Its restaurants and teahouses are also attractions.