Bash through desert dunes in an SUV
One can only imagine how backbreaking it must have been crossing the desert all those bygone eras ago. But all that changes once you get yourself a roaring SUV. The desert then becomes a DIY roller coaster ride.
Your driver has free reign to give you the craziest desert experience the sand-stained SUV can take. Careen down sheer plunges and zigzag up towering dunes so high that you have to crane your neck to see their peaks. These drivers have all racked up miles of experience and will conscientiously ensure that your ride will be a safe (but also bumpy) one.
Extreme sports in the desert
If the thought of dune bashing makes your spine tingle with excitement, then you might as well complete the whole package with the other extreme sports on offer as well, such as sand skiing, quad biking and paragliding. Feel the wind rush through your hair and the adrenaline rush through your veins as you skid down gargantuan dunes and rev the engine of your all-terrain vehicle (ATV).
Attend a camel race
At Al Shahaniya Race Course, camels become powerhouse speed demons. Deeply entrenched in the country’s culture, camel racing remains the traditional sport of Qatar and receives strong support from the Sheikhs themselves. The stakes are highest during the November to February period, when a slew of fiercely competitive domestic and international tournaments are held to win coveted prizes like the Emir’s golden sword. Watch as prized camels lock horns, surging through distances up to 10 km and leaving dusty sandstorms in their wake.
Relax at a luxury beachfront resort
Dive into the Arabian Gulf for a languid dip with the lulling waves and balmy breeze for company. Thereafter, plonk yourself on the plush beach chairs, dig your feet into the sand and while the day away suntanning. Arabian Adventures Qatar also boasts a row of luxurious private cabanas that come fully fitted with charging pots and ceiling fans. In the evening, spread a picnic mat across the sand to enjoy a waterfront dinner under the stars while the children play at the beach soccer and volleyball pits.
Visit Bir Zekreet’s peculiar rock formations
Directly across the peninsula from Doha, Bir Zekreet is a region along the north-western coast dotted with intriguing rock formations that make for great photo opportunities. Centuries of perennial strong winds have gradually eaten away the softer sedimentary rocks, chiselling the limestone boulders into a variety of interesting shapes. Some sport mushroom outlines while others have holes carved through them as though pierced by a giant imaginary sword. Bir Zekreet is one big geography lesson that also looks like it came out of a Hollywood set.
Beyond casual sightseeing, a group of avid rock climbers in Qatar also conduct regular expeditions to scale these escarpments. Adrenaline junkies, if you’re up for a challenge, you can approach the Doha Climbers to tag along.
Go scuba diving
Since Qatar is flanked by the ocean on three of its four edges, it’s time that we give mention to water sports too. And, in particular, scuba diving. The warm turquoise water not only makes it more conducive for beginners to learn, but also draws schools of vibrant marine life. Some of the best spots for scuba diving include the man-made Old Club Reef, where the ocean floor has been decorated with ornamental sunken cars and barnacle-ridden oil drums. These beautify the area and make for a pleasant diving experience amongst the corals, fishes and crustaceans.
Explore Dhal Al Misfir cave
In the Rawdat Rasid region, Dhal Al Misfir is Qatar’s most renowned cave. Hardly any light can shine beyond the jaws of this cavern, keeping the interior a mysterious darkness that invitingly beckons curious explorers to climb into it. Inside, this 40-metre deep cave holds a spectacular natural phenomenon – a vast depository of fibrous gypsum crystals, all shimmering under whatever light passing through to emit warm glows. These crystals, called “desert roses” for their uncanny likeness to the flower, shine like a thousand miniscule fireflies fluttering around in a frenzy.
Immerse in the ancient sport of falconry
In Qatar, and across much of the Middle East, falcons are regarded as stately regal birds. Falconry was introduced centuries ago, where falcons offered easier means for hunting down various prey than attempting to shoot them from gunpoint. In today’s modernised society, the sport of falconry continues to live on, and it is not surprising to find many Qataris partaking in falconry despite the exorbitant sums required in this competitive sport; falcons can cost up to a million Qatari Riyals and heavy-set equipment like radio monitors, vehicles and various communication tools aid owners in tracking their hunters in action during tournaments.