One of the richest per capita countries in the world, Qatar is starting to make its wealth tell. Smart buildings and impressive projects have seen it cement its status as one of the emerging Middle East destinations, even if these new Qatar hotels and contemporary pleasure palaces are subsuming the country's old Arabian traditions. Travel to Qatar though to see the transformation underway.
Qatar holidays are centred on the capital Doha, which is home to the vast majority of the population. The modern buildings along the Corniche and the remaining labyrinthine souks are the heart of the city whilst the marina, lawned gardens and fine museums also demand a visit. In the evening, the Downtown area comes alive. Camel racing is a national passion; Shahaniya west of Doha is the principal racetrack.
Outside of the city, there are a handful of attractions, including Zubarah Fort, dating from the 1930s. Elsewhere, travel to Khor al-Adaid, a tidal lake described as an ‘inland sea', which can only be accessed by 4WD; drive through the dunes to spend a night amongst the sand under the star-filled desert sky. Alternatively camp out at Bir Zekreet to experience the desert and watch the birdlife here.