Al Sanbouk Fish Market (Souq Waqif Boutique Hotel, Souq Waqif, Doha) — The dining experience promises a wide selection of high-quality, fresh fish, lobster, shrimps, crabs and other seafood, cooked to perfection in a variety of international cooking styles, such as Italian and Thai – a timeless appeal for all generations of seafood lovers. In addition, locally and internationally inspired dessert options, carefully chosen to match the appetizers and entrées being served, are also available at Al Sanbouk. The restaurant also has live cooking stations.
Corniche – this is a 7-kilometer-long waterfront promenade that faces Doha Bay. Running parallel to the Corniche is Corniche Street, a main thoroughfare which connects Doha’s emerging West Bay business district with the south of the city and Doha International Airport. This promenade is popular among walkers, bikers and joggers. In recent years, a number of skyscrapers have been built toward the northern end of the Corniche.
Bubbles on Two (Radisson Blu Hotel, Rawdat Al Khail, Doha) – this Champagne and cocktail bar has almost got it right. The glass wall, wacky oversized armchairs and lounge curving bar are smart, but then there is also the usual collection of sofas which look like a job lot from Homes R Us. The cocktails are well- priced at around QR 35 and you can buy bottles of champagne anywhere for QR 2,300 for Cristal to QR 130 for the less well known stuff. The bar is very busy at weekends when it’s standing room only.
Buses – The public transportation company known as Mowasalat started its public bus service for the first time in QATAR in October 2005 with new high standard vehicles. Mowasalat network has an outreach to cover all areas within the state of QATAR. Mowasalat public bus service is affordable in a wide range. These buses are available in the main bus station or from any of its bus stops that can be found on the roads. See their website for more details, including route maps: http://eng.mowasalat.com
A bus ride costs QR3. For passengers to pay the bus fare, Mowasalat uses smart cards known as ‘Smartcard 24 Hours Limited’ and ‘Smartcard 24 Hours Unlimited’ are available at QR10 and QR20 respectively and are valid for 24 hours. The cards are available in all major shopping malls and 71 Mowasalat partner merchants across the country. Mowasalat also offers commuters a QR10 bonus when they top up their existing ‘Smartcard Classic’ with QR100.
Tourist Buses: Two tourist buses were recently introduced. One is the hop-on bus run by a private company Dohabus (http://dohabus.com) (“Day Pass” costs QR180 for adults, QR90 for children). This bus goes up and down Doha’s coastline.
The other tourist bus is the one operated by Qatar Museums Authority as a shuttle between Museum of Islamic Art and Mathaf. The buses operate from Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 5pm and is free. See their website for more details: www.qma.com.qa
Barzan Towers (Umm Salal Mohammed, 15 km. north of Doha) — built in 1910 by Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al-Thani, these towers are located at the southern side of the defensive system established in the late 19th/early 20th century to protect the “raudah,” the valley where precious rainwater collects from adjacent higher ground. They link with two other fortified buildings towards the west and another tower towards the north. They have been used as a platform to keep a watchful eye on pearl divers, as a look-out for approaching ships and as an observatory to scrutinize the moon’s phases. Open 24 hours.
The small Persian Gulf state now known as Qatar was known as a maritime trading post for centuries, with commerce taking place between nearby Arabian territories and South Asian countries like India. Qatar’s profile was first raised in the modern global economy when then-European colonizer Great Britain discovered petroleum and other hydrocarbons within that country in the early 20th century. While Qatar became a British protectorate during World War I, oil exploration didn’t actually begin until after World War II (during the 1950s). When large oil deposits were discovered at that time, Qatar’s economy was eventually transformed, especially after being granted independence from the British in 1971.
Since then, Qatar’s local ruling family, the Al Thanis, has presided over its country becoming one of the wealthiest in the world, boasting the highest GDP per capita in the world in 2012. The country’s proven oil reserves of 15 billion barrels acts as the basis of the country’s long-term economic stability. Qatar currently uses its oil wealth to invest in various sectors – from education to health care, culture, sports, and even the media (it launched the TV news network “Al Jazeera” in 1996).
Geographically, Qatar is located on a small finger-like peninsula towards the middle of the northeast coast of the much bigger Arabian Peninsula. With Saudi Arabia sharing Qatar’s southern border, the rest of the country is surrounded by the Persian Gulf. The nearby island state of Bahrain is separated from Qatar by a strait in the Persian Gulf. Qatar’s strategic location in that region explains the heavy U.S. military presence in that country, which existed since 1992 (defending vital oil tanker routes, in the event of attacks from hostile countries like nearby Iran).
Boracay (beach) – found on the northwestern tip of Panay in Aklan (a province on the Visayas island known for its colorful Ati-Atihan festival), Boracay is a popular beach destination (requiring a flight or boat ride from Manila to get there). Boracay’s thousand-hectares boast of all the elements of a tropical heaven – crystal blue waters, powder white sand, liberal doses of tropical palms and flowering plants, and a healthy and diverse marine life.
Boracay beckons for some serious swimming, or just wading by the shore. For more active vacationers, windsurfing and parasailing gears are readily available. Go sailing with the help of locals acutely attuned to the rhythms of the sea. The beaches within Boracay include: White Beach, Diniwid, Alinghai Beach, Manoc-manoc Beach, and Cagban Beach, among others.
Glorietta (Ayala Center, Makati, Manila) – this upscale mall (which has over 500 retailers and restaurants) is divided into five sections and also has cinemas, a gym, arcades, and a large activity center (used for special events, like concerts and promotions). The retail stores and restaurants in Glorietta are diverse enough so people from all walks of life can enjoy shopping here.