Doha, Qatar: Your Guide to the Best Activities and Nightlife


Updated On: December 11, 2023 by   Panseih GharibPanseih Gharib

When visiting Doha, Qatar, there are many activities and attractions to explore. From the bustling city skyline to the ancient Souq Waqif and the exquisite Pearl-Qatar, Doha has something to offer for every traveller’s preference.

Doha, a city that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity, offers an unforgettable journey for every traveller seeking an exhilarating cultural immersion and a taste of the Arabian Peninsula’s rich heritage.

Exploring Doha

There are several activities and places to visit in Doha, especially at night. Below, we will mention some of the best suggestions. 

Discovering Doha’s Skyline

Best Nightlife and Things to Do in Doha, Qatar

One of the most captivating aspects of the city is its mesmerising skyline. The towering skyscrapers and futuristic architecture create a stunning view, especially during the evening when the city lights up, offering a unique experience visitors should not miss.

Exploring the skyline presents an opportunity to witness the transition from day to night as the cityscape transforms into a breathtaking spectacle. With its impressive structures and futuristic designs, the West Bay area offers an unforgettable view of the city that is best experienced from a rooftop lounge or bar.

Exploring Souq Waqif

Best Nightlife and Things to Do in Doha, Qatar
Souq Waqif

An evening stroll through Souq Waqif, one of the oldest marketplaces in Qatar, is a must-do activity. The vibrant souq comes alive at night with bustling stalls, traditional Qatari dining options, and shisha lounges, creating a lively and authentic atmosphere that encapsulates Doha’s rich culture and heritage.

Being in Souq Waqif will be a chance to immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and aromas of Souq Waqif, a labyrinthine marketplace that has been a hub of trade and social interaction for centuries. Wander through the bustling alleyways with traditional shops selling spices, textiles, perfumes, and handicrafts. Engage in lively bargaining with merchants, savour local delicacies’ flavours, and witness Qatari culture’s captivating traditions.

Exploring the Pearl-Qatar

Best Nightlife and Things to Do in Doha, Qatar
The Pearl-Qatar

For a more contemporary experience, explore The Pearl-Qatar, an artificial island featuring a luxurious marina, fashionable boutiques, and upscale dining options. It is a perfect place to visit at night. The waterfront promenade offers an enchanting setting for an evening stroll or a dinner cruise along the stunning coastline.

The Pearl-Qatar is an artificial island covering an area of 13.9 km2. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city, known for its luxurious lifestyle, stunning waterfront views, and Mediterranean-style architecture.

Here are some of the things to do in The Pearl-Qatar:

  • Explore the Medina Centrale: This pedestrian-friendly area is home to various shops, restaurants, and cafes. It is also an excellent place for people to watch.
  •  Visit the Qanat Quartier: This Venetian-inspired district has canals, bridges, and pastel-coloured buildings. It is a great place to take photos and relax.
  •  Go shopping: It has various shops, from luxury boutiques to local souvenir shops. Several shopping malls also exist, including the Porto Arabia Mall and the Qanat Quartier Shopping Arcade.
  •  Dine at one of the many restaurants: It has many restaurants, including fine dining, casual dining, and cafes. Several restaurants with outdoor seating are also perfect for enjoying the views.
  •  Take a boat ride: Several companies offer boat rides. This is a great way to see the island from a different perspective.
  •  Relax on the beach: There are several beaches on The Pearl-Qatar where you can swim, sunbathe, or relax.
  •  Visit one of the many art galleries or museums: It is home to several art galleries and museums, including the Katara Cultural Village and the Museum of Islamic Art.

Here are some additional tips for planning your trip to The Pearl-Qatar:

  • The best time to visit is during the cooler months, from October to April.
  •  It is a very walkable island, but you can also take a taxi or Uber if needed.
  •  There are several hotels and resorts, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and budget.
  •  Be sure to bring your camera, as there are many photo opportunities.
  •  If you visit with children, there are several playgrounds and family-friendly activities.

Enjoying a Dinner Cruise

Best Nightlife and Things to Do in Doha, Qatar
Dinner Cruise

Embark on a dinner cruise along the city’s stunning coastline for a memorable evening. Admire the illuminated skyline from the water as you indulge in exquisite dining and entertainment options aboard a traditional dhow or a luxurious yacht. The serene ambience, coupled with picturesque views, makes this experience a highlight of nightlife in the city.

Here are a few tips for enjoying a dinner cruise in Doha:

  • Book your cruise in advance. Dinner cruises can sell out quickly, especially during peak season.
  • Choose the right cruise for you. There are a variety of dinner cruises to choose from, including private cruises, group cruises, and cruises with different themes, such as sunset cruises and romantic cruises.
  • Dress appropriately. Most dinner cruises have a dress code, so check the website or contact the cruise company for more information.
  • Arrive early. It is a good idea to arrive at the dock at least 30 minutes before the cruise departs so you have time to check in and find your seat.
  • Relax and enjoy the experience. Take in the views, enjoy the company, and savour the food.

Here are some of the best dinner cruises:

  • Doha Dhow Cruise: This traditional wooden dhow cruise takes you along the Corniche, past the Museum of Islamic Art and the Katara Cultural Village. The cruise includes a buffet dinner with international cuisine.
  • Fatimah Zahra Dhow Cruise: This traditional dhow cruise takes you around the Pearl-Qatar, an artificial island with stunning waterfront views. The cruise includes a buffet dinner with Arabic cuisine.
  • Qatar Luxury Dhow Cruise: This cruise takes you around the Arabian Gulf, past the skyline and the Al Zubarah Fort. The cruise includes a five-course meal with international cuisine.
  • Private Dhow Cruise: If you want a more private experience, book a private dhow cruise. This is an excellent option for families or groups of friends.
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise: Enjoy a romantic sunset dinner cruise with your special someone. This is a great way to end your day in the city.
  • Theme Dinner Cruise: There are a variety of theme dinner cruises to choose from, such as Arabian Nights cruises, Bollywood cruises, and Pirate cruises.

Whatever dinner cruise you choose, you will indeed have a memorable experience. Enjoy the beautiful views, the delicious food, and the company of your loved ones.

Experiencing the Night Desert Safari

Venture into the desert for an exhilarating night desert safari. Feel the adrenaline as you navigate the dunes and embrace the thrilling experience of dune bashing under the starry night sky. Immerse yourself in Qatari culture with a traditional Bedouin-style camp with cultural performances and an authentic Arabian meal.

As the sun dips below the horizon, casting long shadows across the golden sands, your journey begins with an exhilarating dune-bashing experience. Climb aboard a specially modified 4×4 vehicle and brace yourself for an adrenaline-pumping ride as your skilled driver expertly navigates the towering dunes, sending you soaring and plunging with each wave of sand.

Here are some of the best things to do during your safari adventure

The Night Desert Safari is a must-do experience for anyone seeking an adventure that combines excitement, cultural immersion, and a deep connection with the natural beauty of the desert’s landscape. As the stars twinkle above and the desert air whispers tales of the past, you’ll create memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Camel Ride:
Best Nightlife and Things to Do in Doha, Qatar
Camel Ride

After the thrill of dune bashing, find tranquillity amidst the desert’s serene beauty with a traditional camel ride; sway as you traverse the sands atop these gentle giants, experiencing the timeless mode of transportation that has played a vital role in Bedouin culture for centuries.

  • Authentic Bedouin Camp:
Best Nightlife and Things to Do in Doha, Qatar
Bedouin Camp

As darkness descends, arrive at a traditional Bedouin camp, a haven of hospitality and warmth amidst the vast expanse of the desert. Immerse yourself in the authentic atmosphere as you mingle with the friendly locals, learn about their customs and traditions, and partake in a delightful spread of traditional Qatari cuisine.

  • Stargazing:

As the campfire crackles and the stars emerge in their celestial splendour, lie back on the desert sands and embark on an astronomical journey. With the absence of light pollution, the night sky unveils its breathtaking beauty, revealing constellations, planets, and shooting stars in all their glory.

  • Traditional henna painting
Best Nightlife and Things to Do in Doha, Qatar
Traditional Henna artistic painting

Treat yourself to the traditional Henna artistic painting. The country has the best artists in this field. In everyday life, many Qatari women wear simple henna designs as adornment and protection. Henna is believed to ward off evil spirits, bring good luck, and enhance beauty. The art of henna painting is passed down from mothers to daughters, preserving the cultural traditions and symbolism associated with this intricate practice.

The traditional henna application process is a meticulous and time-consuming art form. Henna paste, made from dried and powdered henna leaves mixed with water and other natural ingredients, is applied using a fine-tipped applicator or cone. Skilled henna artists meticulously create intricate designs, often freehand, requiring patience, precision, and a steady hand.

Henna Designs and Their Significance

Qatari henna designs are intricate and elaborate, often featuring floral patterns, geometric shapes, and stylised Arabic calligraphy. These designs carry symbolic meanings, representing blessings, prosperity, and protection for the wearer. Common motifs include:

  • Sandboarding: Embrace the thrill of gliding down the sandy slopes, mastering the art of balance and control as you experience the sensation of surfing on land.
  •  Flowers: Symbolising beauty, femininity, and new beginnings.
  •  Leaves: Representing growth, vitality, and connection to nature.
  •  Geometric shapes: Representing balance, harmony, and mathematical precision.
  •  Arabic calligraphy: Inscribing Quranic verses or personal messages for blessings and protection.
  • Traditional Arabic music and dance: Immerse yourself in the vibrant rhythms of traditional Arabic music and dance, allowing captivating melodies and graceful movements to transport you to the heart of Arab culture.

Indulging in Shisha at a Lounge

Unwind at a stylish lounge and immerse yourself in the local culture by partaking in the beloved tradition of smoking shisha. Enjoy a wide array of shisha flavours in a relaxed setting, complemented by delectable snacks and soothing ambience, making it a perfect way to wind down an eventful night in Doha.

Choose the Right Lounge

Doha offers diverse shisha lounges, each with its own ambience and style. Consider your preferences, whether you seek a traditional Arabic setting, a modern and sophisticated vibe, or a lively and energetic atmosphere.

Explore the Shisha Menu

Most shisha lounges offer an extensive menu of flavours, from classic tobacco blends to exotic fruit infusions. Experiment with different tastes to find your personal favourites.

Savour the Ritual

The shisha ritual is a cherished tradition in Doha. Relax and enjoy the process of preparing the hookah, selecting the flavours, and taking your first puff. The gentle bubbling of the smoke and the fragrant aroma create a calming and inviting atmosphere.

Engage in Conversation

Shisha lounges are often social hubs where people gather to connect and share stories. Engage in conversation with fellow patrons, establish friendships, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Enjoy the Culinary Delights

Many shisha lounges offer a delectable selection of food and beverages. Indulge in traditional Arabic cuisine, sample international flavours, or sip refreshing drinks while enjoying your shisha session.

Embrace the Cultural Experience

Shisha is integral to Qatari culture, offering a glimpse into the region’s traditions and hospitality. Respect the lounge’s customs, appreciate the shisha preparation’s artistry, and savour the unique cultural experience.

Tips for a Memorable Shisha Experience

  • Arrive early to secure your preferred seating.
  •  Inform the staff of your flavour preferences and any allergies or special requests.
  •  Allow the shisha to warm up and settle before taking your first puff.
  •  Take slow, deep breaths to appreciate the flavour and aroma fully.
  •  Pace yourself and avoid over-indulgence.
  •  Respect the space and comfort of other patrons.
  •  Leave a gratuity to express your appreciation for the service.
Best Nightlife and Things to Do in Doha, Qatar

Best Eateries and Lounges

Exploring the culinary scene in Doha is a delightful journey that allows visitors to savour the authentic flavours of Qatari cuisine. From traditional dishes to modern interpretations, the city’s diverse range of dining options cater to every palate. Sampling Qatari cuisine is an essential part of experiencing the rich gastronomic culture that Doha has to offer.

Here are some restaurants and lounges in Doha:


  • Doha Tower Restaurant: This restaurant is located in the Doha Tower Hotel and offers a variety of international cuisine.
  •  Desert Rose Restaurant: This restaurant is in the Souq Waqif and offers traditional Qatari cuisine.
  •  Yasmine Palace Restaurant: This restaurant is located on The Pearl-Qatar and offers Moroccan cuisine.
  •  Damasca One Restaurant: This restaurant is in the Souq Waqif and offers Syrian cuisine.
  •  SMAT Restaurant: This restaurant is in the Corniche and offers Turkish cuisine.


  • Al Mourjan Business Lounge: This lounge is located in the Hamad International Airport and is open 24 hours a day.
  •  Silver Lounge – South: This lounge is located in the Hamad International Airport and is available 24 hours a day.
  •  Qatar Airways First Class Lounge: This lounge is located in the Hamad International Airport and is available 24 hours a day.
  • Qatar Airways Premium Arrivals Lounge: This lounge is located in the Hamad International Airport and is available 24 hours a day.
  •  Al Maha Lounge: This lounge is located in the Hamad International Airport and is available 24 hours a day.

Top Hotels for Nightlife in Doha 

When it comes to enjoying the vibrant nightlife in Doha, choosing a suitable accommodation can significantly enhance the overall experience. Here are two top hotels in Doha that stand out for their exceptional nightlife offerings:

Four Seasons Hotel Doha

The Four Seasons Hotel Doha is renowned for its luxurious amenities and prime location along the glittering waterfront promenade. This hotel offers unparalleled skyline views, providing guests with a stunning backdrop while engaging in the city’s nightlife. The hotel features an array of upscale dining options, trendy rooftop lounges, and chic waterfront bars, making it a coveted destination for those seeking an extraordinary nightlife experience.

La Cigale Hotel

La Cigale Hotel is synonymous with sophistication and style, making it a sought-after establishment for those looking to indulge in nightlife in the Doha scene. The hotel’s opulent rooftop bars and lounges offer panoramic city views, creating the perfect ambience for a memorable evening. Additionally, La Cigale Hotel boasts an array of entertainment venues, including exclusive nightclubs and live music performances, ensuring guests have access to diverse nightlife experiences during their stay.

When the sun sets in Doha, the city comes alive with vibrant nightlife, offering many exciting experiences. From dinner cruises to desert safaris and lounging with shisha, the options are diverse and cater to various interests.


When is the best time to visit Doha?

The best time to visit Doha is during the cooler months, from October to April. The weather is pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F).

What is the currency in Qatar?

The currency of Qatar is the Qatari riyal (QAR). The exchange rate is approximately QAR 3.65 to USD 1.

Do I need a visa to visit Doha?

Citizens of most countries can obtain a visa on arrival at Hamad International Airport. However, checking the visa requirements with your nearest Qatari embassy or consulate before travelling is always advisable.

How can I get around Doha?

Doha has a well-developed public transportation system, including the Doha Metro, buses, and taxis. Car rentals are also available.

What are the best souvenirs to buy from Doha?

Popular souvenirs from Doha include spices, textiles, handicrafts, and traditional clothing.

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