Read the blog post on the June Theme ~ HOLIDAYS
photo by Kai-Henrik Barth
Imagine relaxing by the pool, reading a book, just day-dreaming, or enjoying a night on the beach under the stars, without having to step out too far. That’s right, staycations are increasingly popular as a great way to recharge and rejuvenate. It is less stressful, less expensive, and definitely much less taxing on our ecological footprint. Check out one of the many Doha hotels for attractive staycation packages!
When we choose to spend vacation time in Qatar we instantly eliminate the major travel stressor, air travel, and the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with it. For example, traveling economy class to Rome, Italy (8,100 km) releases 1.5 tonnes of carbon or an equivalent of 129 full grown trees to offset that amount of carbon. Find out how much carbon you’ll save by taking a staycation with this climate calculator and how many trees it would take to offset a flight with this one.
We recognize that the heat is intense during the summer, but we still have some options in the wild. For an entirely new and refreshing perspective of Qatar explore the lush mangroves of Al Thakira by kayak through crystal-clear blue water at high tide. You can also visit Purple Island to pick some plastic bags and garbage from the otherwise pristine place, where you’ll be accompanied by birds, jumping silver fish, and heron crabs. You will want to time your visits to the beach for early morning or late afternoon and evening.
The heat of the summer provides a great opportunity to take in one of the many indoor activities in Doha.
- Visit one of Doha’s Museums
- The National Museum of Qatar, constructed in place of the original Qatar National Museum, was designed by architect Jean Nouvel who got his inspiration from the desert rose crystal.
- Museum of Islamic Art was designed by IM Pei, the architect of the Louvre pyramid in Paris and hosts the largest collection of Islamic art in the world.
- Methaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is situated in Education City in Qatar Foundation (QF), it has a collection of over 9,000 works.
- Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museums is one of the biggest private museums in the world.
- Explore Doha’s many art galleries
- The Qatar Museum Katara Galleries provides an intimate venue for public art projects in Katara Cultural Village.
- The Katara Art Center is dedicated to contemporary art and trans-disciplinary creative endeavors, projects, and practices.
- Fire Station Gallery is a creative space that allows emerging talent in Qatar to further their practice, research, and work.
- Anima Gallery focuses on exhibitions, art consulting and execution.
- At the Souq Waqif Art Center you can buy art directly from local artists (no commissions apply).
- Salam Chernovol Art Gallery hosts a contemporary art collection and aims to promote talented contemporary artists who have yet to establish a profile on the international scene.
- Enjoy summer entertainment
- Many malls have family-friendly activities under the patronage of the National Tourism Council (NTC) as part of the Summer in Qatar programming.
- NTC also sponsors music and comedy festivals as well as tours of the various parts of Qatar.
- For children, Doha offers various game parks that offer cool indoor entertainment
- Visit Qatar Foundation’s Al Shaqab equestrian club of Arabian horses, renowned for the breeding, grooming, and training of its world champion Arabian horses.
- Spend time exploring the Qatar National Library and discover its many resources and activities.
Developing responsible travel practices right here at home can be really exciting because we can explore and discover, learn, and contribute together to creating unique destinations in support of the spirit of a carbon-neutral 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar while protecting our fragile environments on land and underwater.
And our responsibility does not stop there. According to a 13 Jan 2019 Gulf Times story, “The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) reported 345 environmental violations in 2018 and issued 900 warnings as part of its effort to put an end to such violations and to protect the environment.” Developing responsible tourism in Qatar requires everyone’s effort and MME wants us to report violations immediately to 998. If you see something, say something.
Staycations give us an opportunity to enjoy Qatar with less people and traffic and to reduce our own environmental impact with the recently-launched Metro linking these attractions and growing numbers of responsible tourism sites for connectivity from our doorsteps. With the Metro system and the connecting bus network, even the stress of driving can be greatly reduced while hopping between the various cultural and entertainment venues.
This challenge supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, by using public transportation, and 13: Climate Action, by reducing emissions due to air travel.