The ships dock at Doha Port, a distance of 10-15 minutes from the town center. Cruise companies will provide shuttle service to the City Center, Shopping Mall as taxis are generally not available at the port.
The popular Doha Corniche is within walking distance of the port.
The first phase of the New Doha Port, which will include a new passenger cruise terminal, has been started in 2017.
Printable map to take along on your cruise.
Check here for festivals and events in Doha when you are in port.
Watch a destination video.
Doha (population 370,000) is the capital of Qatar, located on the Persian Gulf. Major industries are oil and fishing. Located near Doha is Education City, an area devoted to research and education.
Just like other cities in the Persian Gulf Region, Doha is an intriguing a mixture of old and new. You will find fine modern architecture next to traditional Arabic Souqs (bazaars) and more than 260 mosques (the multiple-domed Grande Mosque is, in fact, the largest). The harbor is still a thriving international port well equipped for modern commerce. The traditional Dhow harbor is a favored attraction. The western style nightlife in Doha is centralized only in the international hotels. Here we find state of the art bars and discotheques. Local nightlife is found in traditional shi-sha places and coffee houses. The shi-sha is the Arabian water pipe; very popular amongst local people and foreigners. Not to forget, Qatar is the home base for Al Jazeera Media, the famous Arabian news station.'
The highlight of Doha is unquestionably the Corniche. Doha Bay was carefully constructed with landfill to make an attractive crescent, along which runs a charming area of shaded footpaths, cycling tracks, the Al-Bandar restaurant complex, the famous Pearl Monument, moored dhows, a park and enchanting views.
Formerly an ethnographic museum, this restored Heritage Museum, was built in 1935 and offers the best view of the badghir (wind tower). It is no longer officially open to the public, however, the friendly Qatari employees of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture who now occupy the building are sure to let you in, if you express an interest.
Built during the Turkish occupation in the 19th century, the interior of this fort consists of a large, paved courtyard, which acts as an impromptu forum for local sheyba (old men) to chew over the day's problems. The exhibits are somewhat neglected, but while Qatar National Museum remains closed for renovation, this is the only opportunity for visitors to view a wide range of traditional Qatari activities, such as weaving, wood carving, modern paintings, and other local crafts.
Dohabus is running a hop on hop off bus tour around the city every 30 minutes direct from the cruise terminal
A popular excursion is to take the small boat ride from the Corniche (near the Sheraton) to Palm Tree Island in Doha Bay. It has been left as a nature reserve and is completely bare except for 2 trees (not palms).
Cruise ship passengers are now eligible for free 96-hour transit visas.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
The thing to do, unless you have done it before, is to hire a jeep to drive you around the desert, riding the dunes. This will cost you several hundred Qatari rials, and may require a minimum of four persons to join in the fun. At international hotels, the receptionists will advise you, and hire a driver for you.
Doha is full of wonderful shopping opportunities. While there are not many locally produced crafts, Doha is full of souqs and shopping malls for your delight. One of the joys of shopping in Doha's traditional souqs is that the shopkeepers generally take the time to mingle with their customers, whether purchasing or just browsing. Despite some crowds, the souqs are a safe place to visit and bargaining is expected. The souqs are generally open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. One of the largest of the Middle East's shopping palaces is the City Center Shopping Mall. With 350 shops, tented architecture, marble flooring and glass elevators leading to an ice-skating rink, bowling alleys and climbing walls, it is more of an event than a destination.
The national currency is the Qatari riyal (QAR). The riyal is pegged to the dollar at the rate of QR 3.65 to US $1. U.S. Dollars are widely accepted.
Arabic is the official language, particularly the Gulf dialect. English is the most common second language.
Shopping hours Generally Sat-Thurs 0800-1200 and 1600-1900 or later, with the malls open until 2100 or 2200. Some shops close on Friday.
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