11 outdoor ideas for winter in Qatar
It’s that time of the year again when the weather begins to turn pleasant. Quit indoors, and head outdoors as we welcome the onset of winter. Here’s a list of activities to do this season.
The next time you go to a restaurant, make sure to be seated outside wherever possible to enjoy the amazing weather and great food. There are a variety of outdoor dining options available in Qatar – from cheap eateries to pricey ones. Here are a few popular ones:
- Rooftop: Al Matbakh Rooftop Grill or Tajine restaurants at the Souq Waqif.
- Alfresco: The line of eateries at Souq Waqif, The Pearl-Qatar or Katara. The Orient Pearl restaurant opposite the Corniche, or go to Thai Snacks if you are looking for something cheaper.
- By the sea: Al Mourjan restaurant (next to Orry statue)
- On the waters: The Diplomatic Club offers members and non-members BBQ Donut boats on rent to enjoy a meal as you float on the water. Cost: QR450 for one hour; QR800 for two hours. Plus, QR180 per person for a set menu. Maximum of eight persons. Advance booking required.
Contact: 44847450. More details can be viewed here.
Music at MIA Park
- If music in the open is your kind of thing, then head over to the Musuem of Islamic Art (MIA)Park. MIA has entered into a partnership with local international schools in Qatar to offer music students a chance to perform in public. The schedule for December – April can be viewed here.
- Seeking something more professional? MIA has also partnered with Jazz At Lincoln Center for a series of free world-class jazz concerts at the Park. The next performance will be held on Wednesday, 11 December, 7pm – 8pm.
- Brush off the dust on your bicycle, and head over to a nearby park, or within your compound even, for a ride against the wind. If you have kids, attempt a race.
- If you don’t have one, MIA Park provides bikes for adults and children on rent from the small gift shop near the café.
Cost: QR25 per bike per hour.
Timings: Available 10.30am-5pm.
- Want to meet other cyclists? Register with Qatar Chain Reaction. They are a group of avid bikers in Doha who regularly meet for rides and races on the road or off road in the desert.
Ride a Dhow
If you are out at the Corniche for a walk, hop on into one of those dhows docked there before leaving. We recently featured a father-son duo who operate a dhow named Shajarat Aldor. Tell us if you spot them!
Cost: Approximately QR20 for a 15-minute ride; QR70 for 30 minutes; and QR150 for an hour. Prices are negotiable.
Fishing? Give it a try.
- The Diplomatic Club (44847444) organises fishing trips for members and non-members. Cost: QR800 for members and QR1,500 for non-members. Equipment will be provided. Maximum five persons.
Duration: 4 hours.
Advance booking required.
- You can also contact Basil (55518100) from Smash Company. The trips are conducted for groups of 8-10 people.
Cost: QR1,500-QR2,000 depending on the size and type of boat.
Duration: 5-6 hours.
Advance booking required.
For those of you seeking thrill, kite surfing seems to be a popular water sport activity in Qatar.
- Flo Kite School offers a two hours course for beginners for QR700 on weekends or QR550 on weekdays. You can also opt for a 10-hour course that is spread over four sessions to learn more techniques. The fee is QR2,800. Equipment will be provided, but students are advised to get proper boots and a wetsuit. Wetsuits are also available on rent at QR50.
Age: 10 years and above
Venue: Zekreet beach, Fuwairit beach or Al Wakrah beach.
Contact: 55041039 or email: email@example.com. For more information, visit their Facebook Page or website.
- Another group you can register with is Edge Qatar Riders who offer a 10 hour beginner’s course. Equipment will be provided, but students are advised to get proper boots and a wetsuit.
Cost: QR300 per hour.
Age: 12 years and above. (Candidates below 16 years of age need to be accompanied by an adult.)
Venue: Fuwairit beach
Contact: 33095182 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. More details is available on their Facebook Page.
- If you have had prior experience riding one of these elegant beasts, the Al Samariyah Equestrian Centre offers horse-riding on an hourly basis at their facilities.
Cost: QR100 per hour
- If you are new to it, you can also register for a class there.
Cost: QR100/class for adults for members. Non-members will have to pay QR150 for each subsequent class.
Contact: 55257203 or email: email@example.com
Riding classes are also offered at:
- Al Shaqab – Riding Academy
Age: 3 years and above. Doctors certificate required.
Cost: QR75 per class for group, QR125 per class for private sessions.
Duration: Two months course, four classes in a month. Each class lasts 30 minutes.
Time: Classes are held on weekdays, anytime between 6am-10am & 4pm-8pm. Schedule will be provided to each student.
- Qatar Equestrian Federation
Age: For boys (10-15 years) & girls (10-25 years)
Duration: 3 months, three days per week. Classes last for 45 minutes.
Cost: QR300 per month.
Time: Classes are held after 4pm.
Note: The above classes are fully booked at the moment, and registration opens only next year.
Walk, jog, run. Exercise
- Don’t we all put off walking outside during the humid summer months? Now is the perfect time to burn a few calories. Take time off for a walk or a jog at the Corniche, or even around your compound, or head over to the Aspire Park. While you are at the Corniche, make use of the exercise equipments that have been installed there. It’s free!
- Prefer walking in a group? Then check out Doha Bay Running Club or Qatar Hash House Harriers (Call 33115420) to meet other walking enthusiasts.
- If you usually workout at home, try taking your workout outdoors. Go to the terrace, spread a mat and start.
- Don’t like to exercise alone? Join Boot Camp Qatar who organise outdoor fitness classes at various locations such as the Sheraton park, Dahl Al Hammam Park, MIA Park or Educaiton City.
Cost: For a four-week programme comprising 12 consecutive sessions, the price is QR400 per person. Other packages can be viewed here.
When: Classes are conducted three days a week – Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. The full schedule can be viewed here.
Contact: For more details contact 30008974 or email: Info@bootcampqatar.com or visit their website.
Take your regular family picnic a step further. Plan an overnight stay at the desert. Driving into the desert is a little tricky, so you might want to seek professional help. There are many companies who organise overnight camping trips such as Qatar International Adventures or Qatar Ventures.
Make sure you camp responsibly.
Cost: An overnight package usually costs QR400 for a minimum of four persons. This is inclusive of 4X4 WD vehicles, tents, BBQ dinner/lunch and entertainment.
Play a sport
Keep yourself active by playing any of your favourite outdoor sports.
- The tennis courts at the Khalifa Tennis & Squash complex can be rented on an hourly basis depending on availability regardless of the number of players.
Cost: QR45 per hour. A person can rent the court for only an hour, if you want to extend, your playmates will have to book the subsequent hours under their name. The price is inclusive of an on-court trainer.
Booking has to be done one day in advance.
Contact: For bookings, call 4409666. For more details visit the Qatar Tennis Federation website.
- The Aspire Zone Foundation announced last month new facilities that were free for the public. These include 12 mini football fields, six basketball courts and one volleyball court. The mini football fields are reserved for families only.
Time: The sports facilities are open to public Sunday to Thursday from 4pm-8pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 8am-11pm.
Organise a photowalk
- Now that it’s getting cooler, take out our camera and walk around on the streets of Doha to capture the little nooks and corners of the city.
- There’s one group by the name of Doha Photowalk that was formed about five months back. Comprising 50 members currently, the group meets on weekends or in the evenings on weekdays for photography sessions at various locations such as Katara, Zekreet or Musuem of Islamic Art.
Cost: No membership fee. All you need is a camera and a passion for photography.
Contact: Jeet (70550829) or join their Facebook Group.
[Pic courtesy: Flokite School, via Facebook]