The top 10 most magical spots in Qatar you need to visit!

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By Sarah Schroeder

Feel like you need a little magic in your life in Qatar? Between the job, university, the heat, and the everyday craze – sometimes we need to kick-start some spark. Qatar has a lot of things to offer; from arts and culture, to watersports and mixed martial arts, yoga, networking groups, and endless entertainment options. There are also loads of tourist attractions and sites to explore – but what’s worth the trip?

Sometimes you feel an instant connection with a place…it draws you in, makes you feel at home, and lets time stand still. Many such places and sites abound in Qatar to amaze and enchant visitors, and ILQ has rounded up 10 magical spots that have put a spell on us! Have a look and see which place you find most mesmerizing!

 

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1. Mystery Valley and Film City 

Two places to start with are Mystery Valley and Film City. Situated in Bir Zekreet on the west coast of Doha you will encounter Mystery Valley and Film City right next to one another in the middle of the desert. Once setting the scene for the QTV film Eial al-deeb – The Sons of the Wolf, Mystery Valley and Film City are left for curious visitors to explore. Film City is a walled-off village with a mosque and several towers you can climb. You can even have a picnic in the film-set. Drive behind Film City and you come across a round valley with mushroom-like rocks with small stone-houses on top of them. The interesting sight is already worth the trip!

Get directions here
 

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2. Qatar State Mosque

In the centre of Doha in Dafna, stands the grand Imam Muhammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque. Don’t be fooled by its simple exterior of a traditional Arab-style mosque with some minimalistic modern features. The inside of the mosque is truly spectacular. Intricate designs and chandeliers enchant both Muslim and non-Muslim visitors that can come to pray here. Did you know that the mosque has 99 domes? There’s one dome for each name of Allah in Islam. Qatar’s State Mosque has a special ambiance one can’t deny!

 Get directions here 

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3. Musfer Sinkhole

The Musfer Sinkhole is fun attraction! Near Salwa Road towards the Saudi border, you can discover a huge sinkhole. It’s said to have formed around 500,000 years ago and there are theories of it being part of a much larger cave system in the past, which has since then collapsed. You may also meet bats or sand foxes that find shelter in the hole. A giant hole in the ground is definitely fascinating and a little eerie. Apart from having a small adventure it also makes for a great photo-shoot spot!

Get directions here

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4. Al Khor Park

Al Khor Park is a fantastic place for animal-enthusiasts! For only QR 5 you can run, roam, and skateboard through the animal farm and the park! There are ponies, little reptiles like snakes and turtles, ostriches, and other animals to see. From afar you can spot a gigantic tent-like bird park, which makes you feel like you’re in an entirely different country!

Get directions here

(Photo credit: Qatar Museums)

5. Richard Serra Installations

Art in the desert? Yes, it’s possible! Iconic American artist Richard Serra erected tall metal installations in the Brouq nature reserve in the desert west of Doha. Named EAST-WEST/ WEST-EAST Serra created this piece of modern public art in the heart of the desert with four steel plates – each over 14 metres tall. The steel oxidizes in the hot weather and will change colour from grey, to orange, to brown and, finally, dark amber. Visit the mesmerizing, timeless art piece that combines art and landscape!

Get directions here

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6. Ghost Town

On the coast, next to Al Shamal in Al Ruwais, in the north of Qatar lies Al Jumail – also known as Ghost Town. Visible from the highway, this traditional fishing village from the 17th century was abandoned in the 1970s when Qatar’s economy shifted from pearl-diving and fishing, to the extraction of mineral resources. The photogenic site is now under the protection of the Ministry of Arts, Culture, and Heritage. If you want to get a closer look, you can visit with prior approval from Qatar Museums, or with a tour group!

 Get directions here

(Photo credit: ILoveQatar.net)

7. Bandar by the Corniche

One of the thousand great karak spots in Qatar is Bandar. Apart from karak you can get juices, tea, burgers, and sandwiches here. What draws people to come here from all over Doha isn’t necessarily the karak itself, but the view. At night the skyline of Doha rises dramatically out of the dark in many different sparkling colors. Pick up karak, park your car at the harbour, and enjoy a magnificent show of lights and opposites. The calm sea and the jittery lights, modern architecture, and the old dhow boats – which have even more sparkly neon lights. This spot is probably on everyone’s top 10 list!

Get directions here

(Photo credit: Qatar Museums)

8. Al Jassasiyah Rock Carvings 

Who ever said Qatar doesn’t have history? A collection of 900 carvings is located near Huwailah and Fuwairit in the north of Qatar. Mysterious patterns and depictions of animals, local fauna, and boats are revealed in the rock carvings of Al Jassasiyah. The oldest of these are as much as 250 years-old. An intriguing trip to the rock carvings can be arranged with a tour group with permission from the government!

Get directions here

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9. Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum 

This exquisite museum will take you on a journey through time, with one of a kind artefacts collected from over four continents! Their collections vary including items showcasing Islamic art, the heritage of Qatar, the history of cars and currencies! If you're a culture buff, you could get lost in the beauty of this museum for hours! 

Get directions here

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10. Fuwairit Beach

Our final magical spot has  one of the most diverse uses. The beach in Fuwairit is a place of watersports and swimming during the day. In late spring till mid-summer, it becomes the breeding place where many tiny turtles see the sunlight for the very first time and make their way to India. And, during the night, people come for barbecues, stargazing, and to share stories. We’ve never seen as many shooting stars in one night as we have in Fuwairit. Soft sand and rocky beaches depending on where you go make this one of Qatar’s most magical places. 

Get directions here

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Bonus mention: Qatar National Museum 

A spot we can’t wait to explore is the new Qatar National Museum. Art in a building of extravagant architecture. The museum just had to make the list because it already catches our eye with its hypnotic out-of-this-world design. The exterior architecture of the building resembles the look and shape of the rare desert rose – a sand formation after rain. The building evokes feelings of romance, fantasy, and wonder. While the National Museum would be a wonderfully magical place to explore, all you excited art and culture enthusiasts are going to have to wait until 2018 for it to open! 

Have you made it to any of these spots? Which one is your all-time favourite and which enchants you every time anew? Let us know what you think in the comments below and tell us if we missed any amazing places from this list! Also don’t forget to give us a like and a share – you know it keeps us going!