It’s definitely worth it to fly to Doha to attend an event. Not only because it’s 45 minutes away from Bahrain by airplane, but also because it’s fun to squeeze your limited activities there around a day or two.
In January 2013, we went to Doha for one night to attend Majida AlRoumi’s concert in Katara and here is how we planned the visit:
Airline: Qatar Airways (around BD50).
Transportation: It’s not easy to find taxis in Doha. We hired a driver.
Hotel: Grand Hayatt: We chose it because it was the closest to Katara and the room price was good. It was a nice traditional style hotel with friendly staff. But the rooms were small so adding an extra bed wasn’t an option. The room can only accommodate a maximum of 2 people. The city view was beautiful.
Museum of Modern Art: A must visit whether you love or hate museums. It’s something to be proud of. You will need a maximum of 2 hours to walk around the halls and view every piece. Once you’re done, have a cup of tea or coffee in the cafe. Spectacular view.
Katara (cultural village): A walk around Katara to explore the cafes, restaurants, galleries and exhibitions. We had Chapati & Karak while waiting for the concert to start.
The concert was held in the open air theatre and the setting was beautiful. Comfortable seats (chairs with no legs) were placed on the steps of the theatre. The concert was too good to be true and very well organized. Being a big fan of Majida i enjoyed every second of it.
All the restaurants in Katara were fully booked after the concert. I was glad that i made a booking at Sukar Pasha Turkish restaurant earlier that day. The food was very good and the decoration was luxurious with an Ottoman touch. Recommended.
Souq Wagif: We had breakfast in Zatar o Zait and then walked around the souq. Unfortunately for us, it was Friday and all shops started closing by 11:30am for Juma Prayer. Generally speaking, Souq Wagif is a very lively and authentic place to visit and shop for traditional stuff (material, food, birds etc).
All the shops, cafes, restaurants, supermarket and cinema in Villaggio Mall were closed for Friday prayer. It was shocking to know that a city where you can see more expats than locals close for hours during the weekend. We had to hide in a cafe (luckily he agreed to sneak us in) till all the places started opening by 2pm. Anyhow, Villaggio is a good place for shopping and hanging out in Doha. We had our lunch in Shake Shack.
Our Thursday was well utilized but Friday afternoon was a waste of time. We wished that we knew about the closing hours in order to book a morning flight back to Bahrain instead of an evening one.
24 hours in Doha could be a great way to break your routine or have a quick break. Keep an eye on the events that take place during the year. It could be Cirque du Soleil or a concert in Katara. It will definitely be a night to remember.