When exploring Souq Waqif and the Gold Souq in downtown Doha, take the time to visit the Falcon Souq, an area devoted to these magnificent hunting birds and all things to do with falconry.
On a visit to the Museum of Islamic Art, be sure to make time to take in the view outside, as well as inside, the galleries. Its waterfront site offers great vistas of the Doha skyline, especially when the lights come on at sunset.
In the western outskirts of Doha is Al Shaqab, a magnificent Qatar Foundation facility devoted to the breeding and promotion of the Arabian horse – progenitor of the world’s thoroughbred race horses.
Some 20 km west of Doha at Al Shahaniya, we find the Camel Race Track, where you can join the large enthusiastic crowds during the winter racing season, and also the Oryx Farm, a facility dedicated to the breeding of Qatar’s national animal, the Arabian oryx, which had become extinct in the wild by the 1970s.
When taking a 4x4 safari trip to the south of Doha, be sure to ask your driver to take you to the ‘Singing Dunes’, a tract of desert where, in certain conditions, the movement of sand grains can create a low murmur, or singing sound. While this occurs naturally, it can be triggered by sliding down the face of the dune or running along its crest.
How about getting really close to nature? Explore the expanse of mangroves at Al Thakhira by kayak. The area, which lies just north of the town of Al Khor, is a major sanctuary for resident and migratory bird life.
Travel back to Neolithic times with a visit to the rock carvings at Al Jassasiya, the most impressive of several ‘petroglyph’ sites in Qatar. Located on low limestone hills on the north east coast of Qatar around one hour’s drive from Doha, the 874 rock-carvings consist of various designs and patterns such as cups in rows (believed to have been used for an ancient type of board game), rosettes, ships and foot marks.