The daytrip to Doha was unexpected and the only reason of this was because I flew with Qatar Airways from Istanbul. They have a free city tour for their transit passengers, so i definitely took that chance instead of spending some hours doing nothing inside Hamad International Airport waiting for my next leg of the trip.
“Silahkan mas” said the girl behind the city tour counter while handing me back my passport. Though she looks Asian I didn’t expect she’s from the same country as me. From my quick observation, the majority of the Airport staff working here are from India and Philippines.
We were all in a group of 15 and Tiwi, the city tour girl led us pass the immigration. Outside we had to wait for 10 minutes and then there’s our tour guide, a Nepali dude, and the driver in a white van. He’s filling us up with some stories on history and culture of the country. Only 15% of the population are Qatari nationals according to him.
First spot in our itinerary was the Old Seaport, located in downtown Doha. It’s not a busy port with just some wooden boats lining up, since they have built a new port located somewhere else for the commercial purposes. Pearl trade was the main income source of this country long before their economy revolved around oil and gas.
After 20 minutes of driving along the clean streets of Doha our van arrived at Katara Cultural Village. Beautiful buildings but the place looked empty. Probably because it’s in the middle of the day when everyone prefers to stay in.
Souq Waqif was the last in our itinerary. It’s the traditional old market of Qatar where you can find anything you need… from food, gold & jewelry, souvenirs, to birds. :D