You may only know Qatar as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but this Middle Eastern country has some fascinating highlights for families making it an in alternative stopover en route to longer haul destinations such as Thailand and Australia.
And the good news is that Qatar Airways is offering families travelling via Doha free luxury hotel stays and complimentary transit visas for up to 96 hours.
Throughout the summer, the national carrier, with the support of the Qatar Tourism Authority, will give passengers the chance to turn a layover into a stayover by offering one free night’s stay in a four or five-star hotel to those transiting through Doha. Stay a second night for a modest $50 booking fee. Passengers can choose from hotels such as The Four Seasons, Marriott Marquis, Radisson Blu and Oryx Rotana. New hotels to look out for soon include the Mondrian and the Mandarin Oriental.
During your stopover it’s worth getting out to explore the surprising number of things to do here. Children will be in awe of the open art gallery that reaches into the desert including Richard Serra’s incredible EAST WEST / WEST EAST sculpture.
Take a picnic by the Khor Al Adaid inland sea where sand dunes run into the sea, go kayaking in the Al Thirka mangroves, explore Souq Waqif and expose the kids to some incredible Islamic art at the mew IM Pei designed Museum of Islamic Art. And of course dune bashing across the desert in a 4×4 and an evening cruise aboard a traditional dhow are crowd pleasers for all ages.