Waterfront in Doha

Image by Gavin Hellier Getty Images

More than most other Gulf cities, Doha makes full use of its attractive waterfront promenade, helped by the fact that Doha Bay was carefully constructed with landfill to make an attractive crescent. The best views are from the water's edge close to the Museum of Islamic Art, with dhows in the foreground and the skyscrapers of West Bay across the water. And the best time to come is late afternoon on Friday, when families of all nationalities throng here.

It could take an hour and a half, but the 5km walk from the Museum of Islamic Art to the Sheraton around on West Bay is a wonderful late-afternoon stroll in a city not known for its pedestrian-friendly streets.

At the southern end of the Corniche, at the Ras Abu Abboud St Flyover, a small park with ornamental wind towers introduces the ‘heritage’ zone of the Corniche. The collection of whitewashed traditional-style buildings on the far right belongs to the exquisite five-star Al Sharq Village Resort & Spa. A must-stop down this end is the traditional Halul Coffeehouse, a local-style coffeehouse that has somehow escaped the modernisation of the area.

Further north is the ‘sea’ zone of the Corniche, with Doha’s busy port marked by the monumental anchors on the shore and the cream-coloured flour mills at the end of the jetty. Along the Corniche north of the Museum of Islamic Art, the entrance to the dhow harbour is marked by the famous pearl monument, a popular spot for photos. Enjoy the spectacular view of West Bay from the end of a jetty full of lobster pots and lazy dhows, moored between night-time fishing trips. It’s hard to believe that this remarkable skyline of futuristic towers was built entirely on land reclaimed from the sea.