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In the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, Qatar wants to give itself a winning image.
The opening match, in which Ecuador takes on Qatar, will take place at Al Bait Stadium on Sunday, November 20. From that day on, the group stage will be played until Friday 2 December. From then on, the dates are as follows:
- Round of 16: December 3 to 6.
- Quarterfinals: December 9 and 10.
- Semifinals: December 13 and 14.
Third and fourth places will be played at Khalifa International Stadium on Saturday, December 17, while the 2022 World Cup Final will be played at Lusail Stadium on Sunday, December 18.
What to do during the World Cup besides the games?
There will be plenty of free time between matches to explore this small country of only 11,500 square kilometers but with many attractions, some of which are truly state-of-the-art and specially made to visit during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In between matches, fans tend to cherish the tournament experience by keeping an eye on Qatar’s 2022 World Cup odds and speculating on which team has the best chance of clinching the cup. Moreover, they engage in popular exploration activities in Qatar as it is an unsuspected outdoor paradise with inland sea, desert, mountains for climbers and sporting events.
With that in mind, here’s how to plan your trip and what not to miss in the Arab country during FIFA World Cup 2022:
1. Walk or take a dhow along La Corniche
The Corniche, a beautiful waterfront promenade from the Museum of Islamic Art to Sheraton Park, is walkable at any time of the day or night.
The Corniche was created after dredging the Doha Bay area, which shaped it and created the waterway. More recently, the waterfront has been landscaped and equipped with recreational, sports and dining facilities.
The Promenade is one of the most spectacular views of Doha, with the skyline of the famous skyscrapers. There are many food and beverage outlets, less than 150 establishments, three stages for live concerts, water, light shows and even a Bedouin village. From the harbor you can also sail on a “dhow”, a sailing boat of Arabic origin characterized by triangular sails and a shallow draft.
2. Free tours and discounts with the Qatar Museums Culture Pass
The Culture Pass is the official membership and benefits program of Qatar Museums. It offers members access to Qatar’s cultural institutions and exclusive benefits for unique and memorable experiences, including the Qatar National Museum, the Museum of Islamic Art, Al Riwaq Gallery, M7, Fire Station, Qatar Olympics 3-2-1 Museum and Mathaf , the Arab Museum of Modern Art.
It offers an extensive program of benefits to satisfy all artistic passions and gives exclusive behind-the-scenes access to guided tours, lectures and workshops. Culture Pass Plus and Family members have unlimited access to all Culture Pass program events, which provide an opportunity to learn about Qatar’s heritage, culture, environment and vision for the future.
In addition, there are up to 25 percent discounts in restaurants, cafes and gift shops and offers at participating hotels.
3. Try the international cuisine
If you travel to Qatar, you must taste the traditional and elaborate Arabic cuisine. We are, of course, talking about food from Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Yemen.
The best place to experience it is Souq Waqif, with its endless alleyways. However, if you want to expand the range of exotic cuisines on offer, head to Aziziya Street, a bustling commercial area between Salwa Road and Al Waab Street with great eateries from high-end to fast and cheap.
Here you can enjoy Chinese, Egyptian, Lebanese, Qatari, Thai, Turkish and Western dishes. But if you want a European touch, you should go to Qanat Quartier, an exclusive island with Venetian-style streets and its Marsa Arabia, with an exceptional view of the marina and luxury yachts there.
4. Discover the cultural village of Katara
Katara Village is an architectural project still under development but can already be visited, created to create a space for culture. It is known as the most important cultural plan in the country. The name of this majestic space comes from the fact that Katara was the historical name used for Qatar before the 18th century.
The complex is built in a style that combines oriental architecture and classical romanticism, giving it a unique look that differs from the latest cultural buildings in Doha. Prominent among the attractions is the amphitheatre, an architectural beauty balanced between the concept of classical Greek theater and features of the Islamic tradition. The construction was completed in 2009 and had a capacity of 5,000 people.
5. Ride the desert dunes by camel and 4X4.
What could be better than a camel ride through the gentle dunes before venturing out on a thrilling desert safari to Khor Al Adair, accessible only to 4×4 vehicles? Surfers can have a unique experience by sandboarding in the dunes or exploring the dunes by quad bike, ATV or buggy.
You can also try the Qatari’s favorite pastime of camping, by day, evening or night, with one of the many companies offering this Bedouin-style desert experience with all the comforts of home.