Camels, Flamingos and Singing Sand Dunes

Qatar is a small country that does not get a lot of attention, but GoNOMAD writer Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey recommends the beautiful middle eastern nation for vacations abroad. She writes a GoNOMAD Destination Miniguide – Qatar: Capturing the Magic of Arabia which tells potential visitors the best places to stay, eat, and do while there.

“The country has fewer than one million inhabitants, some 80 per cent of whom are expatriates, mainly from India, Pakistan and the Philippines. Although there are several small towns and villages, 75 per cent of the population live in the capital Doha, on the east coast of Qatar.

It is hot in summer, with temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) and above. But the heat is mostly dry, with humidity limited to evenings and nighttime. The best time to visit is in spring and fall, generally any time between October and April, bearing in mind that in December and January the sea cools down a little, but daytime temperatures are great.

Qatar is a very small country with limited sites, but the desert around the Inland Sea is an absolute must. The Inland Sea is an inlet of the Arabian Gulf that nearly cuts Qatar off from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula and literally runs along the border, so that you will be looking at Saudi Arabia across the water. The secluded beaches attract flamingoes at certain times of the year and are also visited by free-roaming camels on regular occasions.

The best way to experience the desert is by camping, and organized tours drive you through the desert to luxury bedouin tents, set up dinner and organize camel rides or sand-skiing for you. And after spending the night comfortably in the desert under more stars than you ever thought existed, you can go swimming in the Inland Sea before having a picnic lunch and heading back to town.

Mention the Singing Dunes to your guide, he can arrange for you to have a go at sliding down the horse-shoe-shaped dunes and making them sing!”