Brunch is an institution in Doha: not simply a late-morning breakfast, but rather a sit-down marathon meal with limitless food that continues for four or five hours. It mainly happens in five-star hotels, where the booze is available and free flowing. Typically, brunch takes place on a Friday or Saturday and the majority of the diners are groups of expats, who dress up for the social occasion of the week and then gorge and drink themselves silly, like they’re at a banquet with Henry VIII.
Each hotel’s buffet is first-rate, usually with food stations offering the best cuisine from around the world: think lobster and shellfish, fine cheese varieties and chefs preparing fresh Wagyu steak in the background. Entertainment comes in the form of bands and DJs – the InterContinental Doha and Sheraton Grand Doha Resort brunches are particularly known for their entertainment – while children’s performers or activities may be laid on for families, consider Mondrian Doha, Sheraton Grand Doha or the Ritz-Carlton Hotel if you have kids in tow.
Brunch is a lavish and decadent affair that requires a degree of decorum, but with alcohol hard to come by in everyday life in Qatar, and reasonably high price tags for what is essentially a large buffet lunch, many guests see it as a rare chance to let loose and consume to excess.
Brunch deals change seasonally, and many of the hotels hold their largest and most luxurious brunches between October and March, when the weather is cooler – the Grand Friday Brunch at St Regis Hotel is particularly spectacular; it covers a whopping 2500 sq metres of space on and around manicured lawns. Brunch must be booked in advance; check with the hotel for current themes, prices and timings.