Where to stay in Doha – A guide to the Qatari capital
Doha is located on the Persian Gulf coast. It is Qatar’s capital and most populous city.
Doha is recognized as one of the great financial centers in the Middle East.
Doha boasts one of the most dynamic ports on the Arabian Peninsula, as well as new shopping centers, typical Islamic architecture, and exotic gastronomy.
Some of the most attractive tourist spots in the capital of Qatar are undergoing renovation in preparation for the FIFA World Cup championship, to be held here in 2022.
Among Doha’s main attractions are Souq Waqif, the Corniche or sea promenade, the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Pearl and the new city’s financial district.
The climate in Doha is extremely warm and dry, the temperature here rarely drops below 20°C (68ºF). In August, during the summer, temperatures can easily reach 40ºC (104ºF).
December is the ideal time to travel to Doha; there are fewer tourists and the weather is mild.
Thousands of visitors a year arrive in this city through its great air transport connections. Hamad International Airport is one of the most modern airports in the world, it is Qatar Airways’ hub.
The Qatari capital is shaping up to be one of the best-connected destinations in the region, with the construction of new highways, a metro system and a new passenger terminal for its airport.
Although Doha is under constant renovation, it still retains much of its culture in corners of the city, such as Souq Waqif and Corniche.
Souq Waqif is the city’s main market. Home to shops selling clothes, fabrics, antiques, bars, and terraces, while Corniche is the coastal sea promenade of the city, ideal for strolling and enjoying the views.
Below is a guide with the best areas to stay in Doha.
The best areas to stay in Doha
1. Our favorite area: Downtown & Corniche
Doha’s city center combines many tourist attractions with a series of modern shopping centers. Downtown is the best area to stay in Doha.
This area spans from Corniche Street, with its popular Doha Maritime Promenade, all along the bay to the administrative buildings area.
Near Corniche Street, at one end of the Bay, you can find the Islamic Museum, the most representative in the country, dedicated to the exhibition of Andalusian, Egyptian, Hindu and Iraqi art.
Souq Waqif concentrates some good shopping options. It is the most popular market in town, with stalls and shops dedicated to the sale of fabrics, antiques, and animals, as well as a considerable amount of bars, restaurants with terraces and pubs.
To get around this district you can use the taxi or one of the many bus lines operating from Souq Waqif market.
Choosing to stay in the center of the city will depend on the reason for your trip, Downtown is the best area to stay in Doha for sightseeing. Midrange and luxurious hotel options abound.
Corniche also concentrates many resort style hotels.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in Doha, Qatar:
- Central location
- Islamic Museum
- Souq Waqif
- Luxury hotels
- Resort style accommodation
Accommodation in this area
Saraya Corniche Hotel
The Saraya Corniche Hotel offers business travelers a variety of specific facilities and convenient access to the bustling financial district of the city.
Best Western Plus Doha
Just 600 meters from Al Corniche Street, Best Western Plus Hotel features an indoor pool, a fully equipped gym and a massage center. The Doha Museum, the Waqif Souq and the panoramic Corniche are some of the nearby attractions.
Doha Marriott Hotel
This Marriott hotel is located on a private beach overlooking the Arabian Gulf, just over 13 km from Hamad International Airport. The Doha Marriott offers rooms and suites with air conditioning that meet the needs of all its guests.
2. West Bay & Diplomatic Area
West Bay is an area located to the north of Doha’s Downtown. It is known as the city’s financial area.
Being a new district, in constant renovation, it hosts the city’s most impressive skyscrapers and an attractive collection of shopping centers.
City Center Mall is the largest oldest extensive shopping center in West Bay, it is located right in the center of the district.
City Center Mall is located near the tallest building in Doha, the Site of Doha Convention Center and Tower, a 550 m (1800 feet) high skyscraper, equipped for offices, apartments and convention halls.
Another prominent structure in this area of the city is the Woqod Tower, an excellent example of modern architecture.
West Bay is the best area to stay in Doha for business travelers.
Very close to West Bay is Doha’s Diplomatic Area, known for hosting the headquarters of several foreign delegations. Its main thoroughfare is Diplomatic Street.
This district is well-connected by public transport, especially around Diplomatic St, Corniche St and the area around the Conference Center.
West Bay is the place for luxury hotels in Doha, international brands such as Hilton, Sheraton and the like make this area one of the best to stay in Doha.
Why is this a recommended area to stay in Doha:
- Financial district
- Luxury hotels
- Best area for business travelers
- Business-style hotel
- Beach access
- Shopping Centers
Accommodation in this area
Mövenpick Hotel West Bay Doha
This deluxe 5-star hotel is conveniently located on the Corniche promenade in the prestigious West Bay area and offers spacious rooms, exclusive dining options and a luxury spa.
Ezdan Hotel Doha
The Ezdan Hotel, West Bay offers budget accommodation and welcomes guests from all over the world. There are from single rooms for stays of 1 night only, to apartments with 3 bedrooms. This hotel is the largest in Qatar.
Fraser Suites West Bay Dohal
The recently opened Fraser Suites West Bay Doha with 396 suites, is located in the heart of West Bay, very close to the Corniche, several shopping centers and the Doha Convention and Exhibition Center (DECC).
3. Around Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport is located on the east side of Doha, a bit far removed from the city center.
It was inaugurated in 2014 to replace the old airport, serve a greater percentage of passengers, increase international flights and allow the city to host the 2022 World Cup.
Hamad International Airport is the second largest in the Persian Gulf, with a capacity of 50 million passengers per year.
Over 230,000 flights take off from Hamad Airport each year.
Hamad Airport is the main hub of Qatar Airways, with international flights to Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania.
Its facilities are specially designed to offer a good service, with gastronomy, shopping and entertainment options. Urban transport and accommodation are also available.
The neighborhoods near the airport are a good option to stay in Doha, given its proximity to many bus stops and variety of hotels.
This is the best area to stay in Doha during a stopover or for short or business stays.
Why is this a recommended area to stay:
- Doha airport
- Best areas to stay for a stopover
- Business style accommodation
4. Around Khalifa International Stadium
The surroundings of the Khalifa International Stadium include the districts of Baaya, Mehairja, Muaither, and Al Waaba, southwest of Doha city center.
Until a few years ago, this was an unattractive area of Doha. Nowadays it is famous for hosting the largest sports complex in the country.
Aspire Zone or Doha Sports City is a sector dedicated to sports entertainment in Doha, with attractions such as Khalifa International Stadium, Al Bay Stadium, Hamad Aquatic Center and the Aspire Dome.
Staying near the Khalifa International Stadium, you can enjoy one of the official venues of the Soccer World Cup, as well as theme parks and the Hyatt Plaza shopping center.
Nearby you can also the Villagio shopping center, one of the most popular in Doha thanks to its 200 stores of international brands.
Al Waab Street concentrates the highest number of bus stops.
This area is a bit far removed from Downtown.
The accommodation in the southwest of Doha is cheaper, although there are not many options like in the center of the city, it offers varied accommodation.
Why is this a recommended area to stay:
- Khalifa Stadium
- Cheap accommodation
- Villaggio Mall
- Best area to stay durind 2022 World Cup in Qatar
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