Doha is a shady oasis in the heat of the desert, a place that lives up to its name’s meaning of “the big tree.” A dazzling skyline is the focal point of this city that remembers its heritage, but also welcomes its future. Towering sky scrapers and modern hotels dot its sandy beaches.

The largest city in Qatar has an international reputation, and visitors come here from around the globe to work and play. Water sports like sailing and jet skiing on the Gulf waters are a popular pastime for those staying around Pearl Qatar, a manmade, palm-studded island of luxury marinas, mansions, and hotels

Take a walk along the Corniche, a waterfront promenade extending along the bay with shops and cafes lining the path. Dine on the finest cuisine at one of the many top-rated restaurants serving an array of cuisines from Asian to American. Escape the desert heat at the Doha Festival City, a massive area of over 500 shops, theme parks, snow dunes, and movie theaters.

For a trip into the culture and history of the region, visit the Museum of Islamic Art that houses textiles, manuscripts, ceramics, glass, and metalwork collections that span 1,400 years. The textiles range from carpets to costumes from all over the Islamic world’s elite. Wander through the lanes of the Souq Waqif, the social heart of Doha, which has been on frequented by Bedouin traders for centuries. Buy a vibrant Qatari dress with gold threading, or take in the scents of spices and oud incense, body oils, and fragrances made from a rare and expensive wood. If you end up buying more than expected, your Ker & Downey private guide can help you safely transfer your treasures. Nearby catch a glimpse of beautiful falcons, Arabian horses, and camels feeding.

Watch live performances or listen to an opera at the Katara Cultural Village, home to music, exhibitions, and beautiful mosques. This cultural mecca is named after Catara, the ancient name for the Qatar Peninsula, and is now a place to unite all the multicultural people of this bustling and futuristic Middle Eastern city.