Qatar Tour Guide: Doha

Qatar Tour Guide: Doha Last updated on Saturday 24th April 2010

The capital of the country, Doha is situated half-way down the east coast of the peninsula. It is an important cultural and commercial centre and enjoys excellent communications with the outside world through its modern seaport, airport and telephone links.

Among the attractions in the city are the Qatar National Museum, the Handicrafts Centre and the traditional souks and bazaars. The Qatar National Library is a well-equipped institution housing a rich collection of books, rare volumes and manuscripts. The city is also well-known for its fine mosques.

The principal suburb of Doha is Al-Rayan, about 7km from the centre of the capital. It is an elegant area with palaces, fine buildings and a horse racing course.

Another suburb is Khalifa Town, which is about 6km from the city centre. The majority of houses here were built through government financial sponsorship as part of the housing programme and were given to Qatari citizens on very easy terms.

Al-Kout Fort

In the centre of Doha, the old fort was built in the 1880s and restored in 1978 to function as a centre for displaying traditional handicrafts.

Doha Ethnographic Museum (The Windtower House)

Built in 1935 and restored in 1982, it is the only wind tower house of its kind remaining in Doha. It is of the badagir type: a square structure on the roof of the house with openings on all four sides. Fresh air enters the openings and is conducted down by means of ducts to the inner rooms below, providing both ventilation and cooling.

Windtowers were surprisingly effective in lowering temperatures and were much used throughout the Gulf in the days before electricity and air-conditioning.

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