Qatar is the capital of Doha. The wealthiest state in the world. And Qatar has been ranked first for several years in a row.
Oil is the main thing that makes this country the richest in our modern world. But the roots went back to skilled pearl divers in the 17th century. It was at that time that the first settlement appeared.
Since 1971, Doha became the capital of an independent state. Then, every few years, a university, a national museum, etc., were opened.
The population is growing exponentially every year. The city is already a millionaire. Doha is not only an oil center but also a cultural and economic center. Now Doha is a modern city with skyscrapers, parks, long dams, museums, shopping centers, banks.
I dreamed about Doha for several years. And I always planned to dock in this city. But there were airlines cheaper than Qatari, and Doha remained only in dreams. And now, during the cruise, we can spend the whole day in the city.
It’s morning. I open my eyes and start to remember, but where am I?
A bright ray of sunlight penetrates the half-open curtain. And outside the window, there is an endless magnificent blue sky. So, I go out onto the balcony and see the scenery that has attracted me to this country and this city for several years.
On the horizon, I spot not only my favorite skyscrapers but also a ship. One of the most pleasant sights for my eyes. I wanted to go ashore faster. And without organizing anything in advance, it was decided to move around Doha on its own. I knew for sure that the city has a well-developed transport system. I even knew that a 777 bus goes from the airport to the center, someone here on the site compared it with a Boeing model, and I remembered it. But we didn’t know how to get from the port to the city and decided to determine the place. Having connected to the mobile Internet, we were ready to see modern Doha.
Taking with us only the name card of the ship and water, we went ashore.
At the port, we were met by national musicians.
I wonder if this cruise company made an appointment for such a meeting. It was very nice. A smile appeared on my face, and with such a positive attitude, we went out into the city.
We were picked up by an extensive bus and dropped off at a specially equipped parking lot. From there, it was very convenient to start our route.
The closest place to which you can walk was the Museum of Islamic Art.
The museum is open from Mon-Sun from 9:00 to 19:00. The cost of an adult ticket is 50 Qatari riyals, which is about $ 15.
Doha’s area is small – 158 sq. Km. But of these, the reclaimed territory is about 400 hectares and 30 km of the coastline. One of the attractions located on the reclaimed part is Pearl Island. From a height, it looks gorgeous.
I was not ready for an independent tour of this city, absolutely. However, I had 3 points marked on the map. The first one is a viewpoint of the city’s skyscrapers, which we have already seen and two more about which I asked the tour guide.
The long, beautiful Corniche promenade is already one of the city’s attractions. It stretches for 5 km along the Gulf of Doha. Here I wanted to stroll and admire the city skyline.
The skyscrapers that can be seen in the distance are unsurpassed examples of modern architecture.
And ahead appeared a monument-fountain – a pearl. The monument reminds us of the old city and when pearls were mined, not oil and gas.
We approach the car. The car is as promised by Toyota Corolla, new, leather interior – all thanks to Doha car rentals. At 9:45 am, we start our excursion. Fuh, I exhaled. The guide tagged along and was decent.
And the first place where we go is the market. We drove into the underground parking; they offered us free water and took us to Souq Waqif. This market covers a large area. They sell everything from animals, birds, camels to gold, souvenirs, and warm clothes.
First, we were taken around the market with animals and birds. In this market, there is a feeling that you are immersed in the past. This is because the market gives the impression of an old place. As if you had walked back in time.
In the actual east, the bright, scorching sun is shining. Spicy, mysterious notes fly in the air. It seems that you will leave the market gate, and you will be surrounded by a desert and camels. You start to forget that you are near skyscrapers and luxurious houses in a prosperous city.
Passing through the market, we asked the guide where it is better to buy souvenirs. To which he replied that he would show the place. And again, I thought that they would bring us to a specific location and say buy here, and then he, like everyone else, will receive his share for the obtained client. But everything turned out differently. We went out into the street with souvenirs, and here the guide told us that we would meet in 30 minutes.
We loved the culture. But again, I didn’t see everything. And I regret that I did not insist on my own, that I did not go to the city center. But I am sure that I will use the extended docking to see the skyscrapers up close. After all, these are my favorite buildings, and the higher, the more they are loved.