5 Reasons Why Choose Doha and Why Not

boats in Doha

Holla! The bouncing chopstick (that's me) is back in DXB from my recent trip to Doha, Qatar. Went there to shoot my dear cousin's pre-wedding photos. If you've been following my instagram account, you might have seen a preview of the shoot and tons of photos of me and my niece messing around. I'm missing her a lot as I write this post.


I'm always excited to share stories of my not-so-random trips (see, I'm half a jet-setter!). A few people know the purpose of my travel and I was surprised to I hear other people say "You're the first to tell me that Doha is nice". What's not to love about it?


I saw strange beauty for 4 days of staying on another sandy community. Qatar is not as fancy and glamorous as UAE but here are my top reasons why you should consider visiting the country:

1. Qatar's Hamad International Airport is a big WOW.

Doha Qatar airport

I got on a flight from FlyDubai and the moment I stepped into the airport, I was stunned. Doha's airport is amazing. Even if you came from the cheapest economy flight, you will feel like you're on a business class.  They have walkalators at the airport which means easy access to the gates.

Travel to Doha via Hamad International Airport

Travel to Doha via Hamad International Airport

Why not?

Despite Doha's beautiful airport, accessibility moving around the city proper is very limited. Unlike Dubai where bus stations are everywhere and train station is just a hop away from the airport (Terminal 1 and 3), Qatar's public transpo can't easily be recognized nor accessed. Taxi cabs are available but you need to wait for a long queue to get one. I suggest that when you visit Doha, book a car rental service otherwise, get someone you know from the country to show you around the city (which I did).

2. Car Park at Souq Waqif is air conditioned - with a buggy to pick you up and drop you off at the souq.

Car Park at Souq Waqif has a buggy to pick you up and drop you off

Here's a selfie with the buggy driver. *inserts hahaha here*

I was amazed by how they have maintained the carpark area at Souq Waqif - they have a lot of officials showing the way to visitors (not just arrow signs) on how to get directly to the Souq. What's more amazing is that when we parked at Zone 1 (Souq Waqif Entrance is at Zone 3), a buggy pulled over to ask if we are headed to the souq. When we said yes, he immediately asked us to hop in. How sweet!

A few photos at Souq Waqif, shot using an iPhone 6:

Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar


Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

Why not?

The airconditioned carpark is only at the Souq Waqif area (as far as I know). Now if you're visiting other parts of the city on summer season, my goodness, it's extremely hot. Note that we went to this area at 6am and at 7:30, the temperature is already burning. It is not advisable to go out at 10am unless you are traveling on a winter season. I have also observed that it is hotter in Doha but more humid in Dubai.

3. Animals are everywhere! 

Cats of Doha at Souq Waqif

There are so many Smokeys in Doha! It made me missed the monster a bit. Not only that, they have colorful birds like parrots and falcons and they have bunnies for sale too!

Bunnies at Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

Birds and parrots at Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

Birds and parrots at Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

Why not?

Souq Waqif in Doha Qatar

The animals can only be found in one specific area, which means they don't allow them to roam around and be free. I find it depressing to see animals in cage. Who wants to be caged anyway? And I haven't seen any dogs in Doha too, I wonder why.

4. Doha is cheaper than Dubai.

Doha's cost of living is cheaper than Dubai

I found this ATM machine in a corner at Souq Waqif while having a conversation with my cousin - I asked him about doha's cost of living. Qatar and UAE almost have the same exchange rate however, it is cheaper to spend in Qatar IF you are taking your family with you. 

Food commodities are almost the same rate as Dubai but they said that people living in Qatar can save more money. Motor gas is about AED10-30 cheaper compared to Dubai. A three bedroom villa costs AED 6000 per month including water and electricity. Car parking is free unlike Dubai where you pay a monthly rental. Families living in Qatar get a lot of benefits. 

Why not?

Clothing is a bit limited especially for children's clothes, which will make you spend more on well known brands. They have big brands like H&M, Zara, and Topshop stationed at malls but the choices and pieces are very limited. Perhaps it has something to do with Qatar being very conservative when it comes to clothing? I'm not really sure.

5. There are different food choices in Doha too, just like Dubai.

As we scout the whole Souq Waqif, I noticed they have a lot of restaurants with outside seating areas. The flavors are not limited to Arabic dishes as they have a variety to choose from. 


I found this spot in one of the alleys, full packed with lots of tourists. Why? Their grills are to die for we almost sat there to try some, but my team and I are craving for Thai Food .

Coffee shop in Doha

While UAE is dominated by Costa, The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is everywhere in Doha, ha!

Why not?

If you're after cheap dining and looking for authentic flavors, you will not find it in the most common places. You will have to dig in a little deeper. :)



Thai Food, for example. My cousin took us to a small little Thai restaurant in a street about 15minutes from Souq Waqif. I noticed that there are a lot of cars parked near the shop - a sign that they are serving good food. We went in and the shop is almost full!

Thai Food in Doha Qatar


And my cousin picked the right choice, peking duck and tomyam soup tastes really good!

Thai Food in Doha Qatar

And just in case you'd like to know more about this hole-in-the-wall, you can reach them with the above contact details (website address doesn't work though, haha).

A few other reasons why I will consider living in Doha.

  • I like the fact that they preserve local culture and art. They have a very conservative community yet, the people can easily adapt to it because they respect their beliefs.
  • They have a lot of undiscovered beauty. 
  • Their areas are well organized. Go to Corniche area and Souq Waqif, you will find culture and arts. You want to go to one mall, you can easily visit two other big malls without driving too far. They have a business area which has one of the most beautiful skyline I have ever seen. If you're living with your family, you can easily find a village with a very friendly and peaceful community.
These are just my two cents, I'm uploading the photos I took on a separate post soon. 

On another note, I'm glad to be back in the UAE. I loved Doha but not as much as I love my Dubai. 

xOxO,

Joy C.

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