Qatar may not be the most important country in the world, or worth a second visit. For me it was quite the opposite. I felt compelled to return to this tiny Gulf nation and really dig into what the country has to offer.
My plan and why it failed
My master plan was to spend 15 hours in Doha, the capital, on a stopover visit on my way from Kathmandu to Oslo. I had researched the sights worth visiting, I had pinpointed the sights on a map and I was very much looking forward to my first visit to a (Persian) Gulf country. Alas, a major delay made me arrive after nine in the evening instead of three in the afternoon – and my next flight was due at seven the next morning.
This was of course a disaster.
I had been looking forward to three hours of daylight. That would be enough to grab a taxi at the airport and explore the bay called Corniche making up Doha’s seaside front, and more. I would have been able to see the architectural masterpiece housing the Museum of Islamic Art with a lot of treasures inside. In the evening, after the sunset, I would have had the opportunity to wander into the maze of Souq Waqif. I might even had time available to dig into a modern shopping mall like the Villaggio before a few hours of sleep at my booked hotel.
I never saw that hotel. Instead the very helpful staff of Qatar Airways at the airport found me another hotel, organised transport directly to it, paid a meal at the hotel, and picked me up the next morning for my flight back home. Swift, elegant and very good service all along – but not what I came here for.
That will be next time.
Map and photos
Here is the map I made prior to arriving in Doha and Qatar. It consists of a lot of sights, more than enough to keep you going for a couple of days.
Finally, here are a few photographs shot during my visit. The airport is nice, and Doha is (and has for the last 15 years been) expanding rapidly. Once this was a village, now it is a bustling metropolis with construction cranes everywhere.