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JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

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JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

Hello all,

I've booked a hotel and am staying in Doha for two full days (49 hrs exactly between late flights) as I'd love to explore the city; particularly it's culture and history. It'll be my first time in the Arab world and I'm aware it will be very hot though I'm determined to make the most of it.

Obviously the museum of Islamic Art jumps out as a must, however I've read several comments about a lot of other places being closed for renovation so I was wondering if anyone could clarify what is probably going to be open when I come in July.

Some places that caught my eye where:

- Museum of Islamic Art

- Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum

- State Grand Mosque (How would be best to view this? I'm not Muslim myself but am very respectful and curious.)

- Katara Cultural Village

- Islamic Culture Center

- Doha Fort

- Qatar National Museum and Aquarium

- Barzan Tower

How many of these will be open/available?

Which and how many do you think I would have time to visit?

Is there anything else you think I might be interested in?

Also I'm afraid I don't speak a word of Arabic (though I'll try to swat up on a few words before I go) so any advice on how easy it would be for me to visit these places would also be appreciated.

Thanks.

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Leicestershire...
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1. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

@noble: Unfortunately your visit will be in the Holy month of Ramadan which starts on 27/28th June and lasts for 4 weeks. The opening schedules for these places therefore differ considerably during this time. Also during the hours of daylight you should not be seen (in public) smoking, drinking water, eating etc. What you do in the privacy of your hotel is up to you! Your lack of Arabic is not an issue as English is widely spoken. It is polite (in any country) to learn how to say basics such as good day, please, thank you etc. Remember also as a male not to approach any locally dressed female - even to ask directions -, ask a male.

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2. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

Thanks for your tips... of course, I should have noticed it was right in the middle of Ramadan. I very rarely drink alcohol and don't smoke regardless anyway. Though I wasn't aware the barrier on talking to women was quite so strict.

In terms of eating, is food available to buy/eat only before sunrise and after sunset? What sort of times is that? I'm happy to conform (though I'll have to drink some water discreetly throughout the day).

Have you any idea about what the changes in opening schedules will be or where I can find them?

Leicestershire...
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3. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

@Noble: The thing to consider is 'in public'. Whilst many companies, for example, enforce this in the workplace many others (mine included) do not as long as it is kept discreet so as to not potentially risk upsetting any visitors. Sunrise is very early in the morning, 4am but sunset is deemed at about 6pm.

As to opening hours you will need to do a bit of internet research prior to visiting any attraction. Most have websites and will show opening times.

For example:

MUSEUM RAMADAN OPENING

1st day Ramadan (about 28 June) to 13 July

Open 8pm - Midnight

Closed Tuesday and Friday

Closed 13 July, re-open 2nd day of Eid.

San Francisco Bay...
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4. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

We will be in Doha for 2 nights and 1 full day in November.

Can anyone recommend a private guide for 1 day of sightseeing?

TIA

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5. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

@paulpeppr: the original post on this thread listed a lot of the places of interest to visit.

San Francisco Bay...
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6. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

Thank you.

Basically, what you are saying is that we do not need a guide - we can do it ourselves (with a taxi)?

Doha, Qatar
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7. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

Doha is not a big place as to hire a guide. You can easily manage yourself with a hired cab.

San Francisco Bay...
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8. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

Thank you - that's what we'll do.

Leicestershire...
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9. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

@paulpepper: a lot of the 'tourist' sites are based along the cornice road. In November the weather will also be quite cool and you will be able to walk around which will help. The cornice runs for about 5 miles and leads in to the west bay area which is where most of the new skyscrapers are located. a couple of the museums are along this road to help split up the journey. Doha is quite a small place so it is very easy to get around.

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10. Re: JULY 2014 What to do? (2 full days)

I know it's taken me a long time to get round to this however I've been and I had a great time.

As discussed above, unfortunately the Museum of Islamic Art was closed during my visit however the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum proved to be exceptional. What really struck me in Qatar however was the friendly hospitality of the Qataris and the heat of course, I think I was the only person outside in the scorching 49 degrees determined as I was to get my money's worth out the 72 hour stopover. I *almost* managed to keep the ramadan fast... only a few sneaky biscuits stored in my hotel room broke the fast.

I recommend trying to judge what the cost of getting a Karwa (taxi) to your destination should be before approaching any of the entourage of Karwas circling you first however. :) The one guy who actually had a working meter charged me a quarter of what I reckoned was reasonable (and had haggled down to previously) so I gave him a generous tip for his honesty to make up.

All in all an enjoyable stay and something I would do again next time I fly with Qatar Airways.

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