Advantages of Doha Compared to the other Cities of the Middle East
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Five Reasons Why Doha Has The Upper Hand
Simply put, the array of Middle Eastern cosmopolitan cities is astounding. Among the culturally extravagant metropolitan giants are cities such as Cairo, Istanbul, Dubai, Beirut, Doha and Abu Dhabi, each of them truly fascinating in their own ways.
Whilst all the cultural & urban conglomerates mentioned have their own peculiarities and advantages, I will point you to solely one direction – Doha.
Having spent most of my life in this Qatari gem, I can say without a doubt that it deserves to be placed first if not a close second on everyone’s bucket list.
Not only does it offer brilliant architectural prospects and culturally-rich events, and it is also lauded for being one of the most laid-back Middle Eastern cities, as well as the most budget-friendly of the ones I mentioned before.
So, behold, here are the five reasons why Doha is considered to have the upper hand over other cities in the Middle East:
1. Lauded for Being a Laid-Back Middle Eastern City
If you are still figuring out which Middle Eastern metropolis to visit, and you want an atmosphere that is not going to overwhelm you, your solution is clear: visit Doha.
This beautiful city is situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf, and it is the most rapidly developing city with a meticulous blend between innovation and tradition.
Doha offers a relaxed and chilled atmosphere, in contrast to the busy tempo of Middle Eastern cities such as Dubai.
The multitude of things happening simultaneously in such cities often generates stress when it comes to narrowing down your preferences and wishes.
Contrastingly, Doha offers a carefully curated list of selected events that will not overwhelm the average visitor.
Despite being the leading international hub, Doha is still able to maintain a cool atmosphere, and that says something, doesn’t it?
2. Uncommercialized, Authentic Culture & Architecture
In this day and age, it is hard to grasp something that is authentic – everything can be sold and rebranded for the right price. That being said, if you truly crave an experience that is culturally organic and pleasurable in every sense, Doha is where you should go.
The Qatari architecture that we can enjoy today is specifically designed and maintained in such a way that echoes Qatar’s memorable past. This is what gives Doha its authentic zest, the fact that you can see the past while still keeping the air of modernity.
Another equally important fact about Qatar is that it offers a true cultural experience, while also embracing different kinds of culture and showcasing them as equivalents.
When I travel, I like to get in touch with real communities of the country that I am visiting, and in Doha, you can get exactly that – their culture is untainted and uncommercialized by Western influences.
3. Unblemished Beaches
An integral part of the Doha experience is, of course, going to the beach!
If you are looking for a place to unwind, chill, and just de-stress all of the unwanted negative energy from everyday life, then I suggest you do it on one of Doha’s beautiful beaches.
Qatar is fabled for its immaculate hygiene; from the pristine Hamad International Airport (very hard to reach and maintain due to crowds) to their spotless beaches.
One of their gems is Fuwairit Beach, where the water is crystalline and the sand is white. Other unavoidably amazing sandy destinations around Doha are: Simaisma Beach, Al Wakrah Beach, and Al Ghariya Beach, to name some of the many.
4. Family & Budget-friendly
Compared to other Middle Eastern cosmopolitan cities, Doha is by far more approachable and more welcoming to people with families, especially with small children.
As a growing and rapidly developing country, Qatar is becoming a more sought-after destination, especially in the expatriate community. And, with increasing interest, tourism that’s blooming, and increasing investments, come higher prices as well. But in reality, it is really easy and affordable to visit Doha on a budget.
To begin with, Qatar has visa-free entry for citizens of the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and many more (around 80 countries!). Most of the museums do not require an entrance fee, and even if they do, the price is not high.
Prices for accommodation, gas, and food (the three bare necessities) are considerably less expensive than the ones you can find in Dubai, for example.
Let us not forget one of the main customs of the Qatari people, one that you, as a tourist, must learn to master – haggling!
Bear in mind that you should not haggle at the mall, but at the Souq Waqif for example, or any other local marketplace, you are free to employ this technique, and you might even get 20% off the original price! Neat, huh?
5. Culturally-rich Venues and Events
There are a lot of cultural events that happen annually, weekly, or even daily in Doha.
The notable fact of this advantage is that Doha is not a gigantic city. It is easier to organize your itinerary in order to maximize your experience, especially when it comes to partaking in cultural events of any sort.
As I have mentioned before, Doha is a cosmopolitan city drenched and imbued with culture and tradition. One of their amazing attractions is the cultural village Katara, a pillar of culture which ingeniously represents Qatar’s celebration and acceptance of a wide array of cultures.
Qatar proved itself as a cultural magnate by investing in Doha’s many galleries and museums, and even by employing world-renowned artists to create and settle their art in Doha. Katara Cultural Village is also the home of the Art Festival of Qatar, and it takes place annually, at the end of October, as well.
One of Qatar’s leading annual events is the Doha Cultural Festival that takes place every year in March, and this event includes many forms of art, including music, poetry, theater, and dance.
Among other things, visitors get to partake in art exhibitions, photography exhibitions and they get to visit the fantastic fashion houses, too.
Even though today I’ve shown you five more than worthy features of Doha that might lure your interest, I must tell you that this fantastic city has so much more to offer. It’s only up to you to decide and pack your bags, and come visit Doha!