Doha within the top places to travel in 2019

Forbes Magazine published an article citing the 15 exciting destinations that she predicted travelers will be buzzing about all year long.

Like Puerto Rico, Qatar has had to become more and more self-reliant since 2017, not because of a hurricane but rather due to a highly political Saudi blockade that has made it harder for goods and travelers from other points in the Middle East to enter the country. But instead of driving the people apart, it’s forced residents to come together, rallying their support around the ruling family, who is beloved for their focus on education (a dozen Western universities have campuses here), health care (several new hospitals have opened), sports (soccer stadium construction is afoot for the 2022 FIFA World Cup), and the arts (the Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar is slated to open in March). The upcoming completion of the Msheireb Downtown Doha, a sustainable, mixed-use residential, commercial, and cultural complex, will be anchored by a Mandarin Orientaland is already an attraction for the four heritage homes that comprise the Msheireb Museums. Careful attention to cultural preservation make Doha feel more authentic than nearby Dubai. If you’re flying Qatar Airways to Africa or Southeast Asia, you can take advantage of a stopover program for visa-free entry for up to four days, which is more than enough time to shop for goods in the Souq Waqif and check out its too-cute-for-words Falcon Hospital, see horses train and race at Al Shaqab Equestrian Center, Imam Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab Mosque, the stunning I.M. Pei-designed Museum of Islamic Art, check out the artists in residence at the Fire Station art complex and Katara Cultural Center, and go dune bashing in the desert. The restaurants in town are dry, but the Western hotels serve alcohol. There’s even an extra attractive Nobu in the marina near the Four Seasons.

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