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Athletes share top attractions to see in Doha

Published 8th December 2023 by Caroline Morris

 

Five must-do activities riders loved while in Doha

Visit Qatar GKA Freestyle-Kite World Cup Finals Qatar
Fuwairit Kite Beach, 5-9 December, 2023

Qatar is full of unique things to see and do, and with the capital city of Doha just an hour’s drive from Fuwairit Kite Beach, the athletes had the opportunity to do some exploring off the water. 

The city of Doha has a blend of international influence and Qatari culture. A juxtaposition of ultra-modern skyscrapers alongside beaches and traditional markets makes it a unique place to visit. Qatar Airways GKA Kite World Tour athletes offer insights into the top five attractions and activities to experience during your visit to Qatar:

Visiting the souq

Souq Waqif is a cultural highlight of Doha. Souq means marketplace and a web of colourful alleys full of local wares branch off from a vibrant square. The souq really comes alive on Fridays and at night when families, locals and internationals come together to share food or shop for a huge array of items.

The original souq buildings date back to the late 19th century, but today, vendors still sell spices, garments and handmade crafts just as they have done traditionally for years. It’s an extremely colourful place with so much to see and explore and a real insight into Qatari heritage.

Meeting the official camels of Qatar

Next to Souq Waqif is the camel pen where the camels of the royal guard rest and eat. Used for formalites and processions, the official camels of Qatar are renowned to be some of the most beautiful in the world. 

You can get up close to meet them in person and Mikaili Sol in particular revealed her hidden ‘camel whispering’ nature. “I’ve seen camels before but never close up and it was great to go to the stables. I never expected the camel’s nose to be so soft and they’re really cute. This is my third trip to Qatar but the first time I have been to Doha and it was really great to explore the city and get up close with the animals here.”

Sunrise hot air balloon ride

Qatar is famous for hot air balloons and each year the Qatar Balloon Festival is held where over fifty hot air balloon enthusiasts from all over the world take flight together. The Visit Qatar GKA Freestyle Kite World Cup Finals coincided with the festival and the athletes made the early trip before sunrise for the opportunity to see Doha bathed in golden light from above.

Offering a different perspective from the air, Maxime Chabloz describes his true once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “We had to wake up really early in the morning but it was worth it for such a super fun beautiful experience. We took off with fifty balloons at once and it was a great experience. I’d recommend it as a really fun tourist activity to just go and hang out in the air”.

B12 Beach Club Doha

Kick back and have some fun at the beach Doha style. The B12 Beach Club boast a lounge setting with DJs, beach games and the largest inflatable waterpark in Qatar. With the unique Doha skyline as a backdrop it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the setting. 

Nathalie Lambrecht loved the opportunity to spend some time at B12. “What I really liked about the beach club was swimming in the ocean against the contrast of the skyscrapers in the background. I think it’s really rare as we’re usually at the sea side and you don’t get that contrast. Being there for the sunset was a really special moment for me.”

Sunset boat cruise

Taking a boat cruise around the Persian Gulf is a fantastic way to see the panoramic views of the Doha beaches and skyline. The athletes were able to relax in style in the traditional style boat and let the city sail by.

Being guided around the sights with the sun setting was an incredible experience. As the orange glow fades the whole city begins to wake up with the skyscrapers lighting up and the city transforming before your eyes.

The riders’ favourite cultural activities in Doha were visiting the souq and seeing the camels, but when visiting Qatar, make sure you take time out to relax at the B12 Beach Club too. If you have the opportunity to be more adventurous, then a hot air balloon or boat ride offers spectacular views of the city and the athletes highly recommend it.

Thank you Qatar Airways and Visit Qatar for the opportunity to discover the amazing things to see in Doha. We look forward to returning next year.

words: Caroline Morris
images: Svetlana Romantsova

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