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Introducing Qatar

Ask the Qataris, Bedouin roots notwithstanding, what they are most proud of and they will undoubtedly say Doha. And indeed you can see why: the modern capital with its spectacular tapering towers, elegant corniche and extravagant malls, makes Doha arguably the finest stopover in the Gulf.

But there's more to Qatar than a shopping spree. The whole country, with its heritage souqs, world-class Museum of Islamic Art, and lyrical sand dunes, offers an excellent introduction to the Arab world but without the tensions often associated with the Middle East.

The success of this booming nation is more than just skin deep. Rapid economic expansion, barely brooked by the global recession, international sports tournaments, and Education City: these are some of the many hallmarks of Qatar's sophistication. Chances are, if you spend a night in the vibrant city of Doha, you'll be lobbying the relatives to stay a whole lot longer in Qatar.