Qatar emerges as a family-friendly destination
Year-round sunshine, a warm welcoming culture and unparalleled safety make Qatar the Middle East’s best kept secret for a family-fun retreat this year. Qatar Tourism, in partnership with Qatar Airways Holidays, is offering a host of travel deals and offers to encourage families to come and feel more in Qatar.
Doha was named ‘Arab Tourism Capital’ for 2023 by the Arab Ministerial Council and families will be treated to the very best of Middle Eastern hospitality. Qatar welcomed record visitor numbers in January and February. On March 15 2023 the country surpassed one million international visitors to its shores after travellers flocked by land, plane and sea to soak up the winter sun.
Chief Operating Officer of Qatar Tourism, Berthold Trenkel, said: “Qatar is a fantastic destination for families to come together and make lasting memories. For the last five years, the Numbeo Crime Index has ranked Qatar the safest country in the world, one of the reasons the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ was the most family-friendly iteration of the tournament we’ve ever seen.
“Whether out on an adventure in the desert or thrill-seeking at a theme park, relaxing by the beach or absorbing a more authentic cultural experience, there’s something here for travellers of all ages and non-stop family fun to be had.”
Qatar Tourism highlights the best in-destination activities to make your next family holiday unforgettable:
The vibrant past and present of Qatar comes to life at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ), where interactive audio-visual experiences ensure people of all ages will be immersed in the story of the country from more than 700 million years ago to the present day.
The fun and games continue at the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum. The museum’s final gallery, the Activation Zone, has a plethora of entertaining challenges and activities guests can track through a personal device that will reveal their ‘physical literacy’.
Families can experience the best of Qatar’s culture at Souq Waqif, an authentic bustling marketplace with intricate alleyways full of local treasures. Within walking distance of the souq is the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and MIA Park, with children’s playgrounds and numerous cafes.
In just one hour’s drive, families can leave Doha for incredible adventures among the mesmerising sand dunes, ancient rock carvings, golden beaches, eco farms, and lush green mangrove forests.
Qatar is one of the few destinations where the sand dunes meet the shores of the sea, at the spectacular ‘Inland Sea’, or Khor Al Adaid. Accessible only by 4×4, families can spend an afternoon in the desert, dune bashing, taking a stop along the way to ride camels and posing with the country’s famous national bird, the falcon.
The Arabian Gulf has warm flat waters and calm tides for swimming and offers a host of water sport hotspots. For an adventure off the beaten track, families can head to Al Thakhira mangroves and Purple Island, a hidden gem for kayaking.
Another enchanting experience for families is North Sedra Farm. The first agritourism destination in Qatar, North Sedra offers visitors the chance to pick fresh fruit and vegetables, connect with the country’s cultural heritage, interact with exotic animals such as the Arabian Oryx at the mini zoo, and have a whirl of a time on bumper cars and a mini train.
Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas is located on Qatar’s southwestern tip, with 3.5 kilometres of soft white beaches and landscaped gardens. Nestled within the grounds is one of the largest theme parks in the Middle East – Desert Falls Water & Adventure Park. The park features 18 attractions, with 56 rides and slides.
In the capital, Quest Doha takes visitors on a journey through three ‘time-dimensions’: Oryxville, exploring the ancient Arabian past; City of Imagination, a reflection of the present; and Gravity, a state-of-the-art futuristic spaceport. Quest Doha has set two Guinness World Records for the ‘Tallest Indoor Rollercoaster’ and the ‘Tallest Indoor Drop Tower Ride’.
For families with younger thrill-seekers, the Doha Festival City mall has the world’s first Angry Birds World, the winter-themed Snow Dunes, and the Middle East’s first dedicated e-gaming hub, Virtuocity. Inside Villaggio mall is Gondolania theme park, centred around a boat ride through Venetian-inspired canals.
Sun, sea, and sand
B12 Beach Club
B12 Beach Club, Doha, is a new family-friendly beach club with lots of ways to keep everyone entertained, from water sports to lively tunes by the resident DJ, all-day dining, and the B12 Floating Water Park, at 70m the largest floating park in Doha.
Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha
Rixos Gulf Hotel Doha is the first luxury beach resort in Qatar to pioneer the all-inclusive lifestyle concept. Families can discover international cuisine, energetic entertainment, and fun-filled activities.