I Heart My City: Brock and Tangerine’s Doha

Husband-and-wife travel team Brock and Tangerine lived in Doha for nearly five years. It’s where the peripatetic couple (they’re on a mission to visit 100 countries and are more than halfway there) met, fell in love, and eventually married. Aside from their personal connection to the Qatari capital, they think the world should heart Doha, what they term a “pearl in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula,” owing to the fact that it’s a dynamic city in formation.

It “has a lot of potential,” they said. “Undeniably, living in—or simply visiting—Doha will expose you to a variety of customs and people from diverse nationalities.”

Here are a few of Brock and Tangerine’s favorite things about the city they once proudly called home.

Follow their continuing travels on Twitter and Instagram.

Doha Is Our City

When someone comes to visit us, the first place we take them is to the Souq Waqif for a dose of Middle Eastern culture. When you meander through the market, the colorful Arabic spices, traditional garments, carpets, and handicrafts will grab your attention.

From fall into early spring (October to April) are the best time to visit our city because the scorching heat and high humidity of the summer months (from May to September) are gone.

Popular shopping destingation, Souq Waqif (Photograph by derekbruff, flickr)
Souq Waqif (Photograph by derekbruff, flickr)

You can see our city best from the Corniche, a waterfront promenade with the best views of Doha’s skyline. 

Locals know to skip Doha’s fancy hotels and restaurants and check out the busy local eateries instead. Our recommendation: Check out Turkey Central, popular for its Arabic mixed grills, mezze, and tomato bread.

Souq Waqif is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs.

Our city’s best museum is the I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art because it is an architectural masterpiece and houses Islamic art spanning three continents.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around our city, it’s that taxis and public buses (of which there are only a few) are the only means of transportation for visitors. But be warned: The drivers are crazy on the road; brace yourself and be prepared for bad driving etiquette.

The best place to spend time outdoors in our city is at Al Wakrah Beach, a popular escape for weekend beachgoers and campers just six miles from Doha.

Our city really knows how to celebrate Qatar National Day (December 18) because Qataris show their pride with an all-day parade followed by a fireworks display, while the malls and streets are festooned with the Qatar flag.

You can tell someone is from our city if they remember when there were only a few buildings at the Corniche and few leisure activities were available. Times have certainly changed, and quickly!

For a fancy night out, head to the Sharq Village and Spa Hotel. The food is great and the atmosphere is bursting with Middle Eastern character.

Just outside our city, you can visit the Khor Al-Adaid region, known as the Inland Sea, in Qatar’s southern territory. If you consider yourself adventurous, book a 4×4 tour!

Our city is known for being one of the wealthiest in the world, but it’s really proud of its traditional pearl-diving culture and works to preserve it despite the oil and gas industry boom.

Museum of Islamic Art Park at night (Photograph by omarsc, flickr)
The Museum of Islamic Art at night (Photograph by omarsc, flickr)

The best outdoor market in my city is the Harbor Fish Market, where you can buy freshly caught seafood in the morning.

Al Naurah Pastry is our favorite place to grab breakfast (try a flatbread with halloumi cheese, za’atar spice blend, or any topping you wish), and the shawarma joints on Al Nasr Street are the spots for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read Events Doha.

When we’re feeling cash-strapped, we head to one of Doha’s many coffee shops and waste the day people-watching while we drink Turkish coffee.

To escape the crowds, we usually eat out early. Most restaurants in Doha don’t get busy until 8 or 9 p.m..

The dish that represents my city best is roasted mutton on a bed of vermicelli rice, and mint tea is my city’s signature drink. Sample them both at Assaha Restaurant. (Tip: Their Arabic bread is to die for.)

Attending a beach party at the Intercontinental Hotel is the best way to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out the W Hotel.

Seeing a Bugatti Veyron idling next to a truck full of camels at a traffic light could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should visit the beach and go fishing for crabs.

In the summer you should go to Doha’s luxurious malls to escape the scorching heat.

In the fall you should visit the desert and play amongst the sand dunes.

In the winter you should go boating during the bay and drink up the view of the city from a distance.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss Aqua Park Qatar or Aspire Park.

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Comments

  1. Jonathan
    LOndon
    February 3, 4:13 pm

    Very useful thank you: I’m off there on Saturday. I visited regularly during the 1980s and have just brought out my old photos. Yes, the corniche had no high-rise so this visit may be a shock for me!

  2. Danni
    livein10countries.com
    January 21, 12:39 am

    What a fantastic post! Love your take on travel! Really inspiring on my journey to live in 10 countries before I die.