Middle East - 3 nights from Doha
Jul 7, 12, 8:05 am
I have a 3 night stopover on my way from Male and am looking for ideas- it looks simple enough to spend time in Doha or get a flight to Dubai- but I'm wondering of there are any other great options for a wonderful experience over there?
Will be with DW and we are both young (enough..) and adventurous types. Any thoughts on locations to check out?
Jul 7, 12, 11:05 am
It's an easy trip to Muscat with plenty to keep you occupied - scuba diving, beaches, mountains, forts, whale watching, etc.
If you want to shop head to Dubai.
Agree about Dubai or Oman.
Muscat is a great place to visit, but it is a sleepy spot with of the same activities (water sports, laying around) as you'll be doing in the Maldives, and minimal good food or nightlife. It does have a nice city center and bazaar (souq), as well as the rugged terrain and other culture that muscat mentions, but you might prefer a bit more action before going to the Maldives, making Dubai perhaps a better choice this time.
Jul 10, 12, 8:03 am
Thanks for your replies, Muscat was a new one to me, but does look nice, and I was thinking of Dubai as an option too, not sure how much shopping I can handle though!
I've looked a little further and noticed a very good Avios redemption to Bahrain as an option, and also like the look of Amman for a trip to Petra (we spent a month in Egypt in the past but never made it over there).
Decisions Decisions.... thanks again!
Jul 11, 12, 1:16 pm
I'd save Muscat/Oman for a separate trip (needs so much more than 3 nights!).
There's enough to keep you busy in Doha for 2 full days (3 nights), but just barely. Islamic Art museum is incredible. Souq Waqf is nice enough. What time of year are you going? Ramadan is coming and that will make for a more difficult visit. The humidity is also coming soon.
Forget about Bahrain, not worth it in my view.
Jul 12, 12, 1:00 am
I have the opposite viewpoint from chelmkamp. I would prefer Bahrain; it has some of the glitz of Dubai, and much more vibrant nightlife than Doha, and also interesting local neighborhoods, souqs, and cultural attractions (little museums and cultural centers in Muharraq, for example).
These do not compare to the Museum of Islamic Art or Souq Waqif in Doha, for sure, but those are really the only two attractions in town, meaning that a half-day stop-over is enough in Doha unless you are a hard-core art enthusiast. Doha has better five-star hotels on the whole, but you can do fine in Bahrain -- the new Kempinski is as sophisticated as any offering in Doha, and the InterCon has been recently renovated (I haven't stayed there since then).
I also don't agree that three nights is not enough for Oman. Sure, you could traverse the country, from the tropical areas in the northeast to Muscat and on to Salalah and have a good time, but, given that there really isn't much to do in Muscat beyond the souq and the great hotels, I think that as a first-time visitor you can get enough sense of the country in three nights.