Long a favourite among expats, Qatar is also an up-and-coming tourism destination for good reason. Rising skyscrapers and contemporary art dot a rugged landscape where desert meets sea. Leisure is as adventurous or as tranquil as you please, from sandboarding to retreats at the world’s newest wellness destination, Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som.
Getting there could not be easier, with hundreds of flights from around the world into Hamad International Airport, the Middle East’s favourite aviation hub and the best airport in the world in 2021 according to Skytrax.
Qatar is a country with a rich heritage yet its sights are set firmly on the future, with a line of iconic skyscrapers that overlook the ocean dotting the horizon and lighting up the night. Life is relaxed, and the shopping and dining great. People are welcoming, and the dress code is very relaxed for the Middle East, although visitors, both male and female, are advised to dress modestly, ensuring their shoulders and knees are covered.
Qatar is establishing itself as the contemporary art hub of the Middle East, with world-class collections at the Museum of Islamic Art and the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum (the ruling sheikh’s private collection).
Doha’s contemporary architecture is also award winning, with the MIA designed by architect I.M. Pei, the national museum by Jean Nouvel, the futuristic library by OMA and the upcoming football stadium by Zaha Hadid.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the National Museum of Qatar’s design is inspired by desert roses – a rose-like formation of natural crystal clusters that can be found in Qatar.
Most attractions line the Corniche, the seaside promenade that wraps around Doha Bay. Stroll along at sunset, admiring the horizon dotted with fishing dhows and outdoor sculptures by Richard Serra.
Just across the bay lies The Pearl, everything is luxurious, from the beach villas to the supercars to the yachts. Hop in a water taxi to explore its many plazas, boutiques and restaurants.
For a more traditional shopping experience, Souq Waqif’s mazes are a treasure trove of spices, carpets and even prized falcons. Enjoy traditional dishes of Qatar or visit the Souq Waqif Art Centre where showcases the works of local and visiting artists.
Qatar is mostly desert, the ultimate playground. Head out for adventure, whether camel riding, sandboarding or falconry. Not far from the capital are the Singing Sand Dunes that sing and shift shape with the wind. The inland sea of Khawr al Udayd further south is magical, one of the few places in the world where the sea protrudes deep into the desert.
Next year, Qatar hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The whole nation has come together to put on a spectacular show, and the pace of new developments is unrivalled. Many new luxury hotels are scheduled to open to host travellers from around the world. One of these is Zulal Wellness Resort by world-renowned wellness pioneer Chiva-Som.
In line with Qatar’s 2030 vision to become an advanced society with sustainable and high living standards, Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som will be the premier wellness destination of the Middle East. Drawing on the brand’s many years of expertise catering to an exacting global audience, the resort will offer the highest international service standards while retaining connection with local culture and traditional Qatari hospitality.
Set to open in late 2021, Zulal Wellness Resort will be the highlight of any trip to Qatar, offering relaxation and rejuvenation in a secluded setting. Approximately six hours’ flight from many cities in Europe, guests can enjoy immersive wellness journeys with Chiva-Som’s experts and world-class services.
Zulal Wellness Resort is located on the northern tip of the Qatari peninsula surrounded by the calm of the Arabian Gulf. Just 90 minutes from Doha by car, the resort features two areas, one – Serenity - for adults and Discovery - specifically for families. With extensive wellness facilities, healthy cuisine, and a comprehensive Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine offering as well as Chiva-Som’s hundreds of other wellness treatments, Zulal promises to transform body, mind and spirit.
For further information about Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, please visit www.zulal.com