This tiny Middle Eastern nation is the perfect destination for luxury travelers.
Qatar, the tiny Gulf nation bordered by Saudi Arabia, has one of the highest GDPs in the world–and only about 300,000 Qatari citizens, making this an ideal playground for the rich and famous. From shopping for rare jewels (and falcons!) to partying in penthouses and racing million-dollar horses, Qatar has plenty of experiences that will definitely break the bank.
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Stay at One of Doha’s Most Luxurious Hotels
To truly live in the lap of luxury, book yourself a five-star weekend getaway package at Four Seasons Doha, the nation’s capital, in the aptly named Royal Suite. Not only will you be greeted with a 360-degree view of the Arabian Gulf, but the two-story palatial home-away-from-palatial-home comes with its own dining room, terrace, and grand piano. With impeccable service, the Four Seasons is a prime starting point for a lavish vacation. Keep your eyes peeled for actual royalty–the white marble lounge is a veritable “Who’s Who” of the Arabian Peninsula with Qatari dignitaries and Gulf politicians (many of whom are royals) deigning to grace the halls.
Enjoy a Decadent Brunch at Nobu
When you want to do decadence right, roll into one of the best brunches in town at Nobu Doha. Designed by starchitect David Rockwell, the three-story ovoid restaurant offers rooftop dining with a sweeping view of Doha’s unique and increasingly varied skyline. The details of Nobu Doha’s main dining room are deluxe–from the soft wood-toned panels made by the Philippine artist Ken Cobonpue, to the array of custom pearl-inspired globes by artist Ken Gangbar. In Qatar, the weekend starts on Friday, and so do the glamorous brunches. The exclusive menu offers a taste of luxury, from Nobu’s signature black cod miso to the rare Waygu ribeye. Dress your best, since you’ll be dining among the international jet-set.
Get Pampered on Banana Island
If you need a bit of relaxation, jump on a ferry and book yourself a gentle hammam and massage spa package at the sprawling spa complex of Anantara Resort on Banana Island. The hammam is an ancient Turkish tradition made extra luxurious through a series of massages, polishing scrubs, steams, and baths. Your senses are rejuvenated with the scent of fragrant oil infusions, the foam of black soap, and fresh rose water essence poured all over your skin. The short ferry ride is only half an hour from the Cornice in Doha and you’ll be welcomed aboard with sweet dates to tide you over for the short jaunt.
Mix Mocktails With Culture at the MIA
Located in the Museum of Islamic Art, IDAM restaurant by Alain Ducasse serves delectable mocktails infused with ingredients like orange blossom water. Pair your mocktails with a bit of cultural immersion at the extraordinary Modern Islamic Art Museum. Named one of the world’s most beautiful museums, the MIA (as the locals call it) riffs on the ancient geometrical patterns of Islamic art with modern design and materials. Revel in the beauty of the Arabic art, and don’t forget to pick up some scarves at the gift shop on your way out.
INSIDER TIPThey had to convince the then 91-year-old architect I.M. Pei to come out of retirement to design the building.
Sit Front-Row at Fashion Week
Design Your Own Jewelry
If the ornate jewels at MIA (Modern Islamic Art museum) left you drooling, never fear. You can design and commission your own jewelry with some of the finest jewelry smiths in the world at Alfardan Jewelers. Of course, if you’re in a hurry, there’s also plenty of ready-to-wear jewelry available. There you can find luxury jewelry designs with Islamic, Arabic, and Arabesque style which are popular among the royal set.
Acquire a New Falcon
Round out your falcon hunting stable by acquiring a new feathered companion at the Falcon Souq. Choose carefully, because a fierce new hunter can cost you up to $275,000 USD—there’s a reason why falcons are status symbols for royal Arab families. You can even dress up your new falcon with various hats and accessories. Once you’ve gotten your hawk equipped, trained, and housed in a stable, you’ll want to splurge on a weekend hunting trip, complete with Range Rovers, an entourage, and gear and food for a luxury overnight camping trip—one of the favorite past times of the Arabian royals in the region.
Go Shopping for Luxury Cars
If you’re in the need for speed, head to The Pearl to pick up the latest racing car in your favorite color. W Motors, a Lebanese car maker which sells cars that cost upwards $3 million, will even accessorize cars with precious stones like diamonds, rubies, or sapphires. They’ll even create a custom interior to match outfits, handbags, shoes, and jewelry—these cars are next level luxury fashion accessories.
Gaze at Million-Dollar Horses at Al Shaqab in Doha
Reserve a box at the horse competitions at Al Shaqab, where the top thoroughbreds command millions of dollars. Prizes and glory for winning run from the million-dollar Emir’s Trophy to the HH Emir’s Sword Festival, which has the top prize of 3.5 million dollars. The vast airy track is a perfect venue to cool down and watch all the beautiful horses below.
Enjoy a Sunset Dinner in the Desert
If you’ve had enough of skyscrapers, indulge in a Bedouin fantasy with an Arabian grilled feast by the sea at Regency Sealine Camp. Sunsets in the desert turn the sky soft pastel pinks and oranges and burn into bright red as the sun dips below the horizon with soft white sand dunes stretching out as far as the eye can see. Adventurous diners can take a sunset swim in the balmy and saline-rich sea, where you might even encounter a dugong, the largest aquatic animal in the Persian Gulf.
Dance Up a Storm at Illusion
Those looking to party can put on their dancing shoes and head to Illusion at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel, one of the hottest nightclubs in Doha. Sparklers light up the night with bottle service and some of the best international DJs spinning beats. Reserve a table in advance to enjoy the biggest hip-hop night in Doha.
INSIDER TIPDon’t forget to bring your passport as it’s essential for entry.