Sorry I have not blogged lately. These past four days Scott and I have been exploring Doha, Qatar! We had a long weekend and thought we’d take advantage of it and visit another country in the gulf region. Jenna and Dave lived in Doha last year and were able to tells us what to see and do. But before I talk about the trip here is a map to get you oriented:

Qatar Map

As you can see, Qatar is not far from us and to drive from Al Ain, UAE to Doha, Qatar would take a little more than 6 hours. The big problem is that Saudi is in between us. It is very difficult to get a travel visa (or any visa for that matter) to enter Saudi. In addition, if we did get a visa we would need to submit fingerprints and because I’m a woman, I couldn’t drive. It sounds like a lot of hassle just to drive and try to save some money – so fly it was! From Dubai, Doha is only about an hour by air and we found really cheap tickets. I like to think of Qatar as the Michigan of the Arabian Gulf! Qatar is about half the size of Michigan though. You could drive around the whole country in 3 hours! And I thought the UAE was small!! Okay, that’s enough trivia for now – let me catch you up on the start of our journey and our hotel and then I’ll call it a night.

While waiting for our plane to leave in the airport, Scott and I found ourselves a Starbucks. The guy working there thought Scott’s name was Skard – new nickname? I think yes!! If Scott was a pirate, that would be his name : )

DSCN6372After the short hour plane ride and getting our visas we arrived in Doha, Qatar at 8:30pm. We quickly discovered how difficult it is to find a taxi in Doha (a fact that Jenna and Dave warned us of). When we stepped out of the airport a bunch of men approached us offering to drive us to our hotel in their cars – umm, I think not! They know that taxis are scarce and are trying to make an extra buck by driving people around. We could have been fine but I felt much safer waiting a couple minutes and paying a little more for a legitimate taxi. Thankfully we found a taxi and arrived at our hotel, the Amari. The hotel was incredible and exceeded our expectations. The only down side is that there is a huge construction site right across the street. We couldn’t hear construction noise in our hotel room but the traffic was really congested because of it and that made finding a taxi in this city even more difficult. Our hotel though was really tranquil, relaxing, and beautiful. They have 30 other hotels scattered around Thailand and this is their first outside of Thailand. It was only built in January. The hotel is rated at four stars but the service was five stars! The staff was so friendly, accommodating, and even remembered our names. Okay, enough talk here are some pictures:

Spacious and cozy room

Spacious and cozy room

Modern bathroom

Modern bathroom

doha hotel roomThe best feature was the rooftop pool with an enclosed air-conditioned sitting area for reading, relaxing, and taking in the skyline.

DSCN6388Big jacuzzi Big jacuzzi

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That ended our first night in Doha – stayed tuned . . . tomorrow I will post more!!!

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