For some parts of the world, the start of the new year is a time of dark mornings and cold weather. For others, it is the beginning of shorter nights and sunnier days - but for both, returning to normal life after the holiday season can lead to a very real phenomenon known as the January blues. For those on the hunt for a cure, Qatar provides the perfect escape. With beautiful beaches, year-round sunshine and regular flights to most countries in the world, it really does make for an easy and appealing winter getaway.
Now is a particularly exciting time to visit Qatar, after the culmination of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Holidaymakers can now enjoy all the state-of-the-art hotels, theme parks, beaches and cultural attractions that opened in advance of the tournament for visiting fans.
Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Tourism, Berthold Trenkel, said: “Qatar is an excellent vacation for some winter sun, with new and exciting activities offering to start off the new year. The World Cup put Qatar on the map and fans from all over had a fantastic time experiencing Qatar’s culture, so we want to bottle up that excitement and offer new travellers a taste of what we can offer.”
Qatar offers ultimate flexibility for those looking to book a trip in the sun: it is a great choice no matter whether a traveller is looking for relaxation, adventure, romance or culture. Below, Qatar Tourism has grouped together some of the newest attractions, openings and activities for each type of holidaymaker.
Beaches, beach clubs and spas
Feel more serene
For tourists looking for true relaxation, Qatar has it all. From three stunning new beaches opened in the heart of Doha’s West Bay district in November 2022, to the newly opened Waldorf Astoria, which features the only ESPA Life Spa in the Middle East, there are endless ways to unwind. Other recent openings include NAMMOS Qatar, set on Al Maha Island’s coast, SUSHISAMBA Doha (the brand’s signature restaurant and very first beach club) and The Ned Doha, which features Ned’s Club Spa alongside a gorgeous outdoor relaxation area and pool.
Waterparks, theme parks and family fun
Feel more thrills
Adventure-seeking families will have their choice of activities in Qatar. Lusail Winter Wonderland is a family-friendly park situated on Al Maha Island. Open until April 30, Lusail Winter Wonderland is jam-packed with more than 50 thrilling rides, including the country’s tallest Ferris wheel at 150ft and the region’s first outdoor ice-skating rink – not something you can normally do under blue skies! In addition to the country’s popular Desert Falls Water and Adventure Park with its 56 rides and slides, a new waterpark situated on Qetaifan Island North will open this year and provide an alternative option for families looking for a splash. It will be home to 36 different rides and the highest water slide tower in the world. For a sportier vacation, families can opt to stay at Fuwairit Kite Beach, the new state-of-the-art kitesurfing resort just north of Doha.
World-class hotels, romantic dinners and spontaneous treats
Feel more love
For those looking to book a luxurious trip away, the hotels, dining options and shopping opportunities in Qatar are second to none. Indulge in a stay at the iconic Raffles Doha and Fairmont Doha in Lusail, or opt for green tranquillity and privacy at Katara Hills LXR Hotels – an array of 15 serene villas inspired by Scandinavian design that overlook Katara Cultural Village. For couples looking to re-connect outside the hustle and bustle of the city, The Outpost Al-Barari is situated in the Inland Sea nature reserve and offers 21 luxury lodges, close-to-nature experiences and private pools. Qatar also hosts some of the world’s most renowned restaurants, which are the perfect place for a dinner out – recent openings include Zuma, LPM Restaurant & Bar, Billionaire Doha and Carbone Doha. In addition, Qatar is home to prestigious Parisian department store Printemps Doha, which opened in November 2022: the perfect place to treat your other half.
Events, exhibitions and sport
Feel more culture
In addition to the recently reopened Museum of Islamic Art and iconic National Museum of Qatar, visitors looking to explore their cultural side will find no shortage of new things to do in Doha. More than 30,000 visitors from around 175 countries are expected to attend the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition 2023, which will be held from 20-25 February. For those still keen to get their football fix, World of Football, an exhibition at the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, runs until April 1. Fashion enthusiasts should not miss Maison Valentino’s homage to its founder, Valentino Garavani, with its largest ever exhibition and first presentation in the Middle East, hosted in Msheireb Downtown Doha until April 1.
Alongside substantial cultural offerings and building on the success of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Qatar will be hosting a string of sporting events in the coming months, including the ExxonMobil Open in February, an ATP Tour tennis event, and the ASIAN TOUR International Series Qatar, from 16 - 19 February 2023.
The mere act of planning and booking a short vacation can provide the mood booster needed to halt the New Year blues. Plan a trip to Qatar today at www.visitqatar.com and find out more about what’s coming up in Qatar at https://visitqatar.com/intl-en/events-calendar.