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JustHere | November 15, 2017

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Qatar’s little secret: The Karaoke circuit

Qatar’s little secret: The Karaoke circuit

For all the singers amongst you, both good and bad, haven’t we all imagined ourselves singing live some day? Well if concerts maybe a distant dream, there is a simpler option to soothe your craving to croon in front of an audience. Karaoke is the word.

Now karaoke isn’t very popular in Qatar. Clubs like Paloma at InterContinental Doha Hotel and Pearl Lounge at Doha Marriott Hotel have held karaoke nights and competitions in the past, but not anymore. The only places in the city that offer karaoke facilities are Filipino restaurants, which isn’t really surprising. Though diehard karaoke enthusiasts say it doesn’t quite compare to ‘home’, in The Philippines.

“The number of songs are limited, and the song lists are not even updated. The most popular artists are never included in the list. I wish they had more of the oldies,” says Joseph B, who frequents the Pinoy Fiesta restaurant with friends for a night of karaoke.

“I prefer Pinoy Fiesta because the customers are friendly and supportive of those who sing. The food is good too. And they let you smoke inside. Karaoke is incomplete without a thirst-quencher or a smoke. So one out of two.”

The main drawback, he says, is: “You have to fight for the microphone. Back home you get your own booth.”

JustHere cruised Doha to find restaurants that offer you karaoke. Here’s what we found.

Pinoy Fiesta
This is a fairly popular dining option for the Filipino community here. The restaurant is located behind the TGIF restaurant at Al Naseer Street, Off Suhaim Bin Hamad Street in Al Saad. There’s outdoor seating that is good only when the weather turns pleasant. Head indoors if you are in the mood for karaoke. However, you need to note that since smoking is permitted inside, the place can get quite smoggy. Not the best option for non-smokers.
Cuisine: Filipino
Timing: 11am-4am
Contact: 44759322
Karaoke session: Free

Sri Kebaya Restaurant
The only Malaysian restaurant in Qatar! (Tell us if you know of any other). This restaurant scores brownie points mainly because of its location – it’s in Souq Waqif opposite the Al Mourjan restaurant. The restaurant’s upper floor has a separate section reserved for karaoke which is available on rent. So you would have to book in advance. The first hour is for QR100 (irrespective of the number of persons using it for that time), which includes five assorted soft drinks, a large bottle of water and plate of crisps and crackers. The rate for the subsequent hours is QR50 per hour (but without the food and drinks).
Cuisine: Malaysian
Timings: 10am-12am
Contact: 44340838
Karaoke session: Comes with a charge

Asian’s Chef
This restaurant is situated on Najma Street, and is easy to spot. It’s only after 9pm that the place gets lively. Why you may ask? Because apparently Filipino customers prefer first to watch the news about their home country before they get into the karaoke mode, say the staff.
There’s also a karaoke system set up upstairs, but that floor serves as a party hall. You can book the hall for QR1,650 for a minimum of 30 guests including food and karaoke.
Cuisine: Filipino/Indian
Timings: 8am-12am
Contact: 44982957
Karaoke session: Free downstairs

Boracay Restaurant
There are two branches of this restaurant – one on the Al Mansoura Street, in Najma (near the Carpet Centre roundabout), and the other near the Horizon Manor Hotel which is in the souq area. Both branches offer karaoke. The one in Najma is a fairly neat and clean restaurant. The karaoke system is set upstairs, so diners downstairs can enjoy a music-free meal.
Cuisine: Filipino
Timings: 10am-12.30am
Contact: Souq branch – 44352111; Najma branch – 77426325
Karaoke session: Free

Puerto Galera Restaurant
Located in Najma, this restaurant usually looks empty. Staff say that crowd comes in only after 11pm. The karaoke system is placed right at the entrance, next to the cashier. Seems a little awkward when you have to sing while customers walk in and out right in front of you. This place gets a thumbs-down for the ambiance.
Cuisine: Filipino
Timings: 8.30am-3am
Contact: 44354217
Karaoke session: Free

Royal Restaurant
This one’s located right opposite the Puerto Galera Restaurant. You would be pleasantly surprised by the interiors of this restaurant. The polished wooden planks plastered on to the walls lend it a cosy, cottage-like feel. Upstairs is where the karaoke sessions take place, and the floor accommodates a maximum of 20 diners.
Cuisine: Filipino
Timings: 7.30am-1.30am
Contact: 44429880
Karaoke session: Free

[boxify cols_use =”1″ cols =”2″ position =”right” order =”none” box_spacing =”10″ padding =”10″ background_color =”#3c3c3c” border_style =”solid” ]Karaoke competition – stay tuned
Aqua Park Qatar will be organising a karaoke competition in October this year. The competition is open to anyone (who can sing). There’s a minimum fee of QR100. Details are not available at the moment, but you can check their Facebook page for any updates.[/boxify]

Central Café
It’s on the floor below The Great Wall Chinese restaurant in Al Saad. The restaurant’s pretty small, and the karaoke system is clamped at a height on to the wall, which doesn’t make viewing very comfortable. This place again gets a thumbs-down for the ambiance.
Cuisine: Filipino
Timings: 9am-11pm
Contact: 44435702
Karaoke session: Free


  1. Arian Yusuf

    Royal Bufulyon Restaurant

    There is actually a place with a private karaoke booth in Doha. I stumbled acroas it quite by accident. There are some problems. Like an outdated song list and is a tad bit expensive. You have to book in advance as a group of 8-10. Although there is no room charge, you are supposed to order minimum QR.500. The songs themselves are not bad, the system is quite good. Although the selection is lacking. Also the system is in Chinese language.

    Cuisine: Chinese(Awesome food)
    Timings: Depends on booking
    Phone: 44114458
    Price: 500 above.

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