Qatar is one of the world’s richest countries and has the highest per capita income of anywhere on earth.
It’s also one of the smallest in the Middle East and, apart from a land border with Saudi Arabia in the north, almost entirely surrounded by the Persian Gulf. The sun never stops shining, temperatures seldom drop below 25˚ year round and flights from the UK take under seven hours.
Al Zubarah Fort in north west Qatar and the ‘Inland Sea’ to the south are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Qatar is predominantly Islamic: a modest dress code applies to both men and women; alcohol is served by special licence in most international hotels.
Direct flights to Qatar from the UK, year round, take just under seven hours. Qatar’s weather is dry, sunny and warm, with average temperatures of 25˚ all year round.
Qatar’s weather is dry, sunny and warm, with average temperatures of 25˚ all year round.
It takes under three hours to drive across Qatar and the country only shares one land border: with Saudi Arabia to the north.
Qatari’s Persian Gulf coastline is 560km long. In and around Doha, public beaches are well maintained and several resort hotels have private beaches.
Relative to its size and population, Qatar’s one of the richest countries in the world. Doha registered 23,000 hotel rooms in 2016, an increase of 30% on 2015 numbers.
Qatar is small and almost all major historic and cultural attractions are accessible, independently or on organised tours, so most family holidays here can be easily based in the capital, Doha.
First sight of Doha’s remarkable contemporary skyline makes it easy to see why it’s one of the ‘New Seven Wonders Cities’ along with the likes of Durban and Kuala Lumpur.
Doha’s newest luxury hotels, restaurants, shops, cafés, villas and apartments can now be found on this man-made island floating off West Bay in the Persian Gulf. Known locally as the ‘Arabian Riviera’, it’s also home to several of the city’s most extravagant car showrooms and an enormous yacht marina.
Qatar has several lovely family beaches but Khor Al Adaid is the only one where sea is surrounded by desert. A UNESCO World Heritage site and only accessible across dunes by jeep or guided tour.
Another UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the finest examples of an 18th century settlement in the Middle East. This 60 ha complex was once the hub of pearl diving on the Gulf. Al Zubarah Fort itself has an excellent visitor centre.
As famous for its stunning architecture and gorgeous waterfront setting as for the important collection of Islamic art, this is the Doha must-see museum.
A night under the desert skies in a traditional Bedouin camp is a peaceful end to a day driving across desert dunes and swimming in the Inland Sea.
Al Thakira’s mangrove swamp is the largest in Qatar and home to hundreds of birds including flamingos and herons. The best by far way to explore is on a guided kayaking expedition.
Qatar’s first ever waterpark’s pristine, beautifully designed, packed with aquatic extremes and has a dedicated zone for younger kids.
The private collection of Sheik Faisal contains over 15,000 exhibits housed in the magnificent former royal palace. The vintage cars alone are worth a visit.
For over 1000 years Dhows have sailed the waters round Qatar and been at the heart of everything from pearl diving to fishing and exploration. A day or half day cruise on one of these wonderfully restored boats is a magical experience with kids.
Known as the sport of the sheiks, Camel Racing’s a huge passion in Qatar. The season kicks off in October and Al Shahaniya Racetrack in Doha’s where to be at the weekends – at least once.
The country’s liveliest and most popular family beach is on the west coast and best for water sports, fun barbecues and camping.
Qatar is a tiny country almost entirely surrounded by the Persian Gulf. Self-drive is a fantastic adventure with kids, but be prepared for fairly extreme conditions when you venture inland or into more remote desert areas to the south. Public transport is as efficient, clean and widespread in Doha as you’d expect in the capital of one of the world’s richest countries. If you don’t want to drive, there are tours for just about everything and all hotels and resorts will make arrangements and organise transport.