The great tourist attraction of Qatar’s “hidden gems”

Hosting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 provides the country with an opportunity to showcase and promote its “hidden gems” for tourists to explore, an industry expert has said.
Talk to Gulf HoursOuting Qatar’s founder and managing director, Mosaad Moustafa Eleiwa, said “historical adventure sites” such as the Dahl Al Misfir sinkhole would attract large numbers of local and international visitors.

Al Thakira

“Highlighting these sites will guide locals, residents and visitors to plan their itinerary and also enjoy safari and other experiences like they have never seen before,” he said. .
Located west of Doha and a 50-minute drive, VisitQatar has described Dahl Al Misfir as “one of the most exciting natural sites in the country”.
A prehistoric natural formation “burrowing deep into the ground”, the spot is around 40m deep and believed to have been formed 325,000 to 500,000 years ago in the mid-Pleistocene, according to Visit Qatar.


inland sea

“Known to emit a moonlight, this phosphorescence is the result of gypsum deposits found in the center of the peninsula. These give rise to the geological phenomena known as ‘desert roses’ (roughly rose-shaped clusters of gypsum crystals),” Visit Qatar said.
Although there is no entrance fee, the site is fenced and visitors are advised to dress appropriately as the temperature usually drops when they reach the bottom of the cave. Hiking shoes are recommended as the area is mostly rocky.
Visitors, especially birdwatchers, are also lucky enough to see nightjars, wagtails, bee-eaters and Eurasian hoopoes, among others, as most of these birds transit or sometimes stay in the country en route to Africa. .


Al Safliya Island

To reach the site, visitors must drive off-road via Salwa Road and Rawdat Rashed Road using a 4×4 vehicle – aided by GPS as it is located in the desert. The loose rocks and the depth of the cave may not be suitable for young children as they could injure them.
VisitQatar noted that visitors can also try out some of the nearby attractions such as the Water Park, Khor Al Udeid (The Inland Sea) and the Singing Sand Dunes.
According to Eleiwa, other popular heritage sites and public artworks in Qatar, such as the East-West/West-East (in Zekreet) by renowned American artist Richard Serra, offer travelers a wide range of destinations to explore. .
Other must-see destinations in Qatar include Al Ruwais Former Police Station (now Arsan Café), Barzan Towers, Al Zubarah Archaeological Site, Film City in Zekreet, Ruwayda, Ras Abrouq, Al Safliya Island, Al Wajbah Fort, Pigeon Towers, Al Thakira and Purple Island among others.
He said tourists will also experience Qatar Tourism’s multiple and curated offerings, ranging from dune bashing, camel riding and falcon photography to practicing water activities/sports and enjoying a five-star dinner aboard a luxury yacht or in renowned hotels, and many more. .

Keith P. Plain