When Qatar Airways takes you to Doha, you can expect nothing, but a 5-star luxury experience.
In the midst of great economic, global and cultural turmoil, the world asks for security. Taking into account the higher importance of strong economies in the global commerce, the country of Qatar has played one of the most demanding roles in the Middle East and of course, globally. It has been the fastest growing economy in the world, even ahead of Singapore, and is rated amongst the top 3 in the world since 2008. Petroleum and liquefied natural gas are the cornerstones of the Qatari economy and account for more than 70% of the total government revenue. That aside, tourism is receiving global interest. Doha, the capital and financial center of Qatar, is becoming an attractive holiday destination in the Middle East, competing Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Being nominated in the Best Lifestyle Blog category at the upcoming Marie Claire Blog Awards, meant having the privilege to be flown to Doha for 24 hours with none other than Qatar Airways. So, last week all 6 of us - the "Lifestyle Ladies" as we like to call ourselves - were gathered at AIA in order to take off to the mysterious land of Qatar.
Qatar Airways, ranging amonst the top airlines in the world, flies directly to Doha from Athens 3 times on a daily basis (!). For all of you who are interested in visiting Qatar, QR will undoubtedly offer you one of the best flight experiences of your life. Sounds like we're exaggerating? Oh, but we are not.
We were lucky enough to be flown business class, where hospitality and in-flight service makes you feel like royalty; the crew is always willing to asssist you with any request you may have and more than happy to fullfill all your needs and wishes. The food is exquisite, offering a wide variety of choices from all over the world. The duration of the flight is 4.5 hours, but with the aforementioned pampering, you do not want this journey to come to an end - we can promise you that.
After landing we visited the infamous Shouk Wakif aka the "standing market" of Doha. Even though we arrived quite late, the market was bustling with people wandering around or shopping, which was exactly what we did too; we spent an hour walking around the alleys, buying traditional delights, fabrics, nuts & local spices, as well as some pretty cool kitchen stuff (coming soon on a food blog near you). Our night ended with a delicious dinner at Al Terrace, a Lebanese restaurant inside Al Mirqab Boutique Hotel; think hummus, tabbuleh and tons of bread. Definitely a night to remember.
Our second day started off with a tour around town. First stop was the Corniche fishing harbor near the Museum of Islamic Art, which is considered to be one of the highlights of the city. Well, if you ask us it was just too photogenic to pass up; the ideal place for us bloggers to take photos of the skyline of Doha.
Katara Cultural Village
Next stop; Katara, a cultural village located on the city's eastern coast. As the cultural centre of the city, it is one of the main touristy attractions. A must-see especially for those fascinated by traditions, architecture and art.
Museum of Islamic Art
Next on our agenda was a visit at the world-renowned Museum of Islamic Art; one of the most glorious museums we have ever visited in our entire lives. The iconic - and surely astonishing - building was designed by architect I.M. Pei admittedly left us in complete awe. The museum represents Islamic art from 3 different continents from the 7th till the 19th century, so needless to say how incredibly interesting it was getting to know more concerning their history and culture.
Sharq Village & Spa by Ritz Carlton Hotel
The final stop of the day was the Sharq Village & Spa by Ritz Carlton, where we were given a private tour of the hotel, as a chance to see firsthand its amenities and services. The Spa is said to be the best in Qatar and even one of the best in the Middle East; undoubtedly a must-see while visiting Doha. We were then accompanied to the dining area, where we were served a delicious traditional Persian lunch and had the opportunity to meet Christine Sarkis, Qatar Airways' Global Executive Communications & Media Manager; a role model for us women, and probably one of the most inspiring female individuals we have ever met.
The time to say goodbye to both the city and the crew was hard, as we honestly had so much fun even during these short 24-hours in the city and made some unforgettable memories. This trip was surely a life-changing and eye-opening experience and we would like to express our deepest gratitude to Qatar Airways for making it happen, as well as to Marie Claire Greece for such an innovative action.
Until next time Doha.
- Nef & Nat x