Are you planning a trip to Doha, Qatar? Perhaps you are here to research your stay in the city that will host the next World Cup. That’s right – Doha, Qatar will be the center of FIFA activities in the summer of 2022. My experience with dating and nightlife in Doha was surprisingly vibrant exciting and an overall wonderful journey.
As a feature writer for TMT, I have covered travel and the dating scene in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Russia. My two years spent living in Doha, enables me to unpack all you will need to know about where to stay, party, eat, and perhaps meet that special someone in Qatar. My coverage will also provide specific information for your preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Readers will gain an in-depth understanding of the best places to party and hook-up in Doha.
Women readers should also stay tuned. We cover dating topics for men on this publication typically. However, in this article, both sides of the coin will be presented. Our female audience will want to know about the dating scene in Qatar as well.
So let’s get to it. First, a brief introduction to Qatar as a travel destination.
Travel To Qatar
Qatar is located in the northeast of the Arabian peninsula, sharing its only land boarder with Saudi Arabia to the south with the rest of its territory on the Persian Gulf. Widely regarded as the most advanced Arabian state, Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world. This Islamic nation has an estimated 2.6 million residents. Its expatriate residents make up 2.3 million, making it one of the latest proportional expat countries in the world. Energy rich, Qatar has the world’s largest oil and natural gas reserves.
Doha is the capital and most populous city with an population of 1 million. Modern and rapidly developing, Doha as emerged as a top destination in the Middle East, perhaps only rivaled by Dubai. Its importance has been facilitated by Doha Airways which is a premier airline connecting passengers through the region and beyond.
Doha International airport is the main entrance to Qatar. Qatar has opened its boarders to most countries. Citizens of most countries receive a free visa upon arrival in Doha. European Union citizens are granted a visa for 90 days.
Doha is a unique destination. Qatar’s capital is rapidly propelling into the future. With beautiful desert landscapes and a modern skyline, Doha is an interesting combination of an ancient civilization and a futuristic, cosmopolitan city.
Travelers are impressed with the luxurious amenities at five star hotels and opporuntities to shop for brand name goods at the massive, modern shopping malls. Doha seems to spare no expense in creating a comfortable, safe, and luxurious stay for its visitors.
I was surprised at the cleanliness and safety. Moreover, Qataries are very hospitable and welcoming to their guests. The residents of Qatar go out of their way to make foreigners feel comfortable and welcomed. This is evident upon arrival in the airport. Immigration officials are among the most courteous and thoughtful I have encountered, all while ensuring safety for passengers.
Like most Arab nations, the culture of Qatar is strongly predicated on Islamic tenets and principles. Qatar is considered a moderate Islamic state. Visitors do not need to practice Islamic customs but they are advised to respect their values. Respect of their values starts with an understanding of their traditions and way of life.
Assimilating to Qatari life is not as difficult as in other Islamic nations. Most of the citizens of Qatar are foreign born. Qatar is truly a modern melting pot. Its citizens seem to live in harmony.
In fact, based on my two years living in Qatar, I have concluded that Qataries are among the world’s most welcoming people. Generally, they are cordial and polite to visitors. A mundane example of just simply asking for directions leaves visitors feeling welcomed and appreciated.
Qataries value cleanliness and decorum. Visitors should dress conservatively and neatly. Women should be mindful not to dress too provocatively and observe the tasteful style of clothing worn by women in Qatar.
For men it is important not to stare at Qatari women or share hands wth them. Both of these behaviors are considered extremely rude.
Dating In Doha
Upon my arrival in Doha, I had minimal expectations for the dating scene. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
The large expat community, makes Doha a unique place to meet people from all over the world. There are many single expats living and working in Doha who are seeking like minded partners for relationships. Doha is fairly quiet, some would even say boring. The tempered environment actually works to create a conductive scene for dating. Doha has less distractions than other cities such as New York, Dubai, and London. With less distractions, expats are more focused on investing in relationships.
Men will find that there are many singe women living in Doha from all over the world. For example, female cabin crews on Qatar Airways are largely compromised of single women. These women are often looking to expand their social circles in Doha and looking for quality men for a long term relationship.
Women also have sold dating options. Doha attracts high paid positions in the energy field. Many men relocate to Doha, attracted by well paid wages. Moreover, women who are open to dating Muslim men will find that Qatari men are intelligent, kind, and caring.
Online Dating In Doha
There are a three solid options for meeting partners online in Doha.
Muslima is a part of Cupid Media which specializes in long-term relationships within the Muslim community. Men and women who are open to dating within this religion are directed to Muslima as the best dating app in Qatar.
Women can join Muslima for free and have full access to profiles of men living in Qatar.
Men can gain full messaging access on Muslim with a cost of 35 U.S. Dollars per month. The average cost per month decreases with longer memberships.
International Cupid is also an excellent dating app, catering to the international community. Registering for an account provides users with access to propel in Qatar and all over the world. Users can use International Cupid from any country and messages potential partners in almost any country in the world. This app is best suited for those who value diversity in potential partners and who are not restricted to one location for a search.
Russian Cupid is recommended for men who are looking for Russian women in Qatar. Qatar has a sizable Russian population as many Russian girls live in Qatar for work. Men who join Russian Cupid will have access to meeting Russian women in Qatar and all over the Russian region.
Nightlife In Doha
Nightlife in Qatar takes some getting used to. The weekend in Qatar is Friday and Saturday. The work week starts on Sunday.
Therefore, the best nights to party are Thursday and Friday nights.
Qatar is not a dry country, although the sale of alcohol is limited as in Dubai. The best options for nightlife in Doha are in western hotels. Several western hotels cater to expats who want to drink, dance, and mingle. Many of these hotels have beautiful rooftop bars with great music and a vibrant expat scene.
The following is shortest of nightlife venues in Doha:
Irish Harp: Located inside the Sheraton Hotel, this bar is great way to start the evening in a laid back atmosphere. Website: www.irishharpdoha.com
The Pearl: A two story venue with three bars and a DJ, The Pearl is the premier nightclub in Doha. It has a reputation for catering to upscale European and Lebanese clientele. Website: https://www.thepearlqatar.com
Nobu: Famed sushi restaurant all over the world, Nobu has an outstanding rooftop bar for warm nights in Doha. This upscale venue is a must visit for its cuisine and tasty cocktails. It is a perfect place to mix it up with the international crowd in Doha. Website: www.noburestaurants.com/doha
Crystal: Perhaps the swankiest nightclub in Doha, this venue attracts international DJs and is conveniently locates in the W Hotel. Website: www.crystaldoha.com
Illusions: Located in the Kempinski Hotel, Illusions is another swanky club which is popular for its Ladies Night. Website: www.kempinski.com
Iris Doha: is one of the news venues in Doha. Ladies drink for free here. This venue has a great combination of live music and notable DJs. Website: https://www.irisdoha.com
The Club at St. Regis: For beautiful views and a cool New York style lunge experience, check out The Club. Website: https://www.theclubdoha.com
The Best Hotels In Doha For Expats
Doha offers high quality, luxury hotels for visitors. The following hotels offer the best combination of location to nightlife with western amenities:
Great Apartment Rentals In Doha
In addition to fabulous hotels, Doha boasts some outstanding apartments with great amenities. Be sure to check out our guide on how to use AirBnb for great stay at optional cost, here.
Here is my shortlist for top apartment rentals in Doha for expats:
Preparing A Trip To Doha During The World Cup
I have no doubt that Qatar will be prepared to host the World Cup in 2022. My experience visiting Moscow during the previous world cup taught me a few lessons.
First and foremost, I recommend booking accommodations between 12-16 months ahead of time to ensure you have the best hotel or apartment for your stay. Doha is an emerging modern city. While, construction is booming in preparation for this event, I foresee a storage to accommodations for Fifa-goers.
Don’t make the mistake on missing out on this once in a lifetime experience. In order to create the most memorable experience, book your accommodation soon. Most accommodations provide free cancellation so it comes at no cost to you to ensure proper accommodations if you are on the fence about going.
Keep up to date on the happenings of the World Cup. The following are great resources for the World Cup and travel to Doha:
Doha is emerging as a premier designation in the Middle East. It’s large expat community and underrated nightlife scene makes it a unique destination for opportunities to mingle and date with other like-minded people. As host to the 2020 World Cup, Doha will display on the world stage its hospitality, beautiful culture and world class amenities. Don’t miss out on Doha as a unique destination an chance for a one in a lifetime experience for the premier sporting event.