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Climate & when to go

For half the year, the climate across the plains of Qatar is unforgiving. During summer (May to September), temperatures generally average 35°C, but it’s not uncommon for the mercury to rise to 50°C. The 90% humidity that comes with this time of year sags over the Peninsula like a bad hangover, and frequent sandstorms are an added irritation. The winter months are much milder, with pleasant, even chilly evenings and the odd rainy day, especially in December and January.

As for when to go, that’s a different matter. For the sports-minded, key international fixtures will make a trip to Qatar worth the effort whatever the season, and, in Doha at least, there are plenty of air- conditioned facilities to make even the worst summer tolerable. Summer brings to the desert its own consolations, like mirages and halos of heat above the sand.