F1 2023 Insider's Guide No. 18 – Qatar

06 Oct 23


F1 2023 Insider's Guide No. 18 – Qatar - GLOBE-TROTTER

Qatar’s Grand Prix is the new kid on the block. It’s only happened once before, back in 2021 and did not take place last year due to the FIFA Football World Cup. Qatar has sought to put itself on the world stage with the World Cup and now with this Grand Prix, which takes place at the Lusail International Circuit where the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team will be seeking more on-track success.

Qatar is a small country that was little known a decade ago, but huge changes have catapulted it into the modern world: almost all its hotels, attractions, architecture and sports facilities are brand new. More and more people are now coming to visit the former petro-state that is trying to diversify and modernise, and many are surprised at what they find.

How to see great art?

IM Pei's Art Museum – The Museum of Islamic Art was such a plum project that it persuaded the modernist great IM Pei to come out of retirement to design this showpiece building, which opened right at the start of Qatar’s transformative years back in 2008. It sits on the Doha waterside in an imposing position. As such it is something of an old favourite in the Emirate where everything seems so new on every corner. Inside, displays chart the history of the most important visual art from the Islamic world.

Where to learn about Qatari history?

National Museum of Qatar by Jean Nouvel – Dating from 2019, the National Museum of Qatar is a striking complex designed by the starchitect Jean Nouvel, which has few similarities with any other building anywhere. Its unique design features dozens of huge saucers which shade the complex below from the desert heat. The breadth of information and artefacts inside means that a day here can bring you immediately up to speed on Qatar’s intriguing history.

Where can you stroll with the locals?

The Corniche, Doha – In a city not known for walking (day temperatures can get up to oven-ready levels) the Corniche is a welcome change: here locals and visitors stroll together as the waters of Arabian Gulf lap up against this stately 7 km curving promenade which runs from the Museum of Islamic Art round to the brutalist Sheraton, one of Qatar’s first luxury hotels which dates back to 1982. Along the way the Corniche passes squares, parks and heritage buildings.

How can you catch a Qatar icon?

The Teddy Bear sculpture inside the airportThe new Doha Airport features luxurious and calming interiors of this spacious, and is a modern and well- designed airport. At its centre sits the famous Teddy Bear sculpture by Swiss artist Urs Fischer. The 23 foot tall yellow bear is stuck inside a lamp and its intriguing shape has made it a number one photo opportunity for visitors to Qatar.

Where to enjoy the old town of Doha?

MGallery Doha – The best bit about staying in this old part of Doha is the historic architecture around every corner. You feel like you’re getting a bit of Arab tradition with the slightly crumbling buildings and the atmospheric Souq Waqif, where you can buy various trinkets. The MGallery Alwadi sits in the heart of this area and its design harks back to earlier times. Its pool is a perfect place for an afternoon cool-off.

Where can you enjoy deserts, fun and beaches?

Hilton Salwa Resort – Make the trek over to the west of the country and you can visit an ancient mosque, a camel farm and a range of beaches where there are various watersports. There’s also desert and mountain hiking trails and wildlife spotting. The Hilton Salwa Resort sits right on the shoreline for easy water access. There’s a waterpark in the resort, a spa and seven restaurants.

Where can you have a relaxing spa session in Doha?

Intercontinental Doha Beach and Spa – The spa at the Intercontinental in Doha will relax tired travellers and will be just the wind-down session you need after a busy, sweaty, noisy day (or night) at the Lusail International Circuit. From a massage to a sauna and every treatment option in between, you’ll feel re-invigorated. The newly decorated rooms are relaxing in themselves, plus there’s access to Doha’s longest private beach directly from the hotel.


The Globe-Trotter x Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team partnership celebrates a shared commitment to craftsmanship, innovation, and heritage; bringing together the timeless style of Globe-Trotter’s handcrafted luggage and the cutting-edge design and performance of the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One® Team

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