Discover Qatar’s natural themepark for the ultimate adrenaline thrills
Tuesday 21, August 2012
Qatar offers exhilarating adventure itineraries to suit all tastes and abilities, ranging from camel back safaris, 4x4 rides along the dunes and Arabian nights beneath the stars.
Whilst the capital of Doha is currently undergoing a period of sustained growth with new hotels and restaurants popping up regularly, the majority of Qatar still remains in the form of deserts and sand dunes, offering the perfect environment to escape the city for a cultural adventure amongst the golden dunes.
For the ultimate in exhilaration, not much can beat driving a 4x4 in the desert, powering down one sand dune and whizzing up the next. Take to the sands on a quad bike with experienced Qatari guides, an activity known as “dune bashing”. It’s an adrenalin filled ride that’ll rival any rollercoaster. Half or full-day desert safaris are available from local companies including Qatar Adventures (www.qataradventure.com).
Sand Boarding and Sand Skiing
Discover the unique activities of sand boarding and skiing. Similar to snowboarding, except imagine exchanging the high mountains and snow for endless shifting sands. With vast beaches and deserts in this diverse country, the opportunities are endless. Jump on traditional skis and ride the smooth dunes of the Qatari desert. Visit the inland sea or Khor Al Adaid for the perfect giant sand dunes to glide down, testing newly acquired skills or improving on snow sports ability (www.qataradventure.com). A half day desert safari package (including dune bashing, sand boarding and sand skiing) starts from QR 225 (approximately £40) per person for a group of four.
Arabian Night Safari
To see the shifting sands in a more romantic light, partake in a mystical twilight sand dune experience. Watch the dunes transform in the shadows and as darkness falls the adventure truly begins. Stay overnight in a traditional campsite near the shoreline and warm waters of the gulf and experience sleeping under the Arabian stars. Before settling for the evening, sample an Arabian feast whilst absorbing the picturesque surroundings (www.arabianadventureqatar.net). Prices start from QR 1,200 (approximately £213) per person for a group of three.
Camel and Horse Racing
Qatar is known worldwide for the high quality of its Arabian thoroughbreds and history of horse breeding. The Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, established in 1975, continues the traditions today through the pure breeding of Arabian horses as well as hosting horse-racing events. Camel racing across the Arabian Peninsula dates back many centuries, it has been known as the “sport of sheikhs”. Today the tradition continues in the town of Al Shahaniya, where visitors can take a trip to Qatar’s main camel racetrack to experience this unique activity. The camel racing season runs from October to April. Guests can take to their own vehicles to ride alongside the camels during the 11 mile track and take photos of the close-up mammals as a souvenir.
For those looking for a truly genuine Arabian experience, the vast deserts of Qatar promise exotic adventure through numerous unique activities ranging from the traditional camel racing through to the more modern 4x4 pursuits, offering an unforgettable stay. Venture out of the city and experience the desert’s natural thrills and traditional sports for an adrenalin pumping stay in this exciting country.
For more information on Qatar, visit www.qatartourism.gov.qa
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