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Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families

Qatar’s balmy year-round temperatures and world-class beaches, edged by the idyllic waters of the Persian Gulf or Gulf of Bahrain, ensure the country is no slouch in the beach breaks department.

Fly and flopping families will find a wealth of great options among its myriad well-served, top-flight hotels and beach resorts, backed by an abundance of entertainment and dining options, their dreamy beaches lapped by calm waters, ideal for little ones and supporting oodles of watersports and fun activities. With temperatures still around 25C come December through February, it’s a solid option for winter sun breaks, and Doha’s excellent flight connections make the country ideal for twin centre breaks, too.

 

Days one and two

As the main point of this type of break is to relax and kick back, there’ll be no need for rigid itineraries here, not least for the first two days. In all reality, the family will be more than entertained by the distractions offered by their given hotel, maxing out the pool and beach areas and migrating among the various cafe and restaurant areas, not to mention the onsite entertainment and activity programmes.

What’s more, many of the properties — such as the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton — feature excellent kids’ club options and childcare facilities, helping to fill the days for little ones while ensuring some valuable alone time for their parents.

 

Day three

Having indulged in two days of quality downtime with the family, possibly squeezing in some indulgent pampering at the hotel spa, it’s time to expand your brood’s horizons by gently introducing them to some of the capital’s unique local attractions.

Solid daytime suggestions include touring the museums on the Corniche, stopping for lunch at a family-friendly place such as the Desert Rose Cafe, or heading over to nearby Souq Waqif. Visiting the Falcon Souq and sampling tasty Qatari snacks from the many stalls feature among the many highlights at the Souq. While you’re there, be sure to check out some of the ever-popular eateries such as Parisa, with its crowd-pleasing Persian dishes and exquisitely designed interiors.

Day four

Having whet the family’s appetite with some Doha discoveries, encourage them to spread their wings further and explore a different region of the country. One option is to head north, spending the day experiencing activities such as kayaking in the Al Thakira mangroves.

Alternatively, head south on a half- or full-day desert safari among the sand dunes of Khor Al Udaid, around the Inland Sea. As mentioned earlier, desert safaris are one of the most popular family activities in the country, enabling kids and adults to choose from an assortment of fun activities, such as sandboarding and camel rides, with the added option of overnighting in a desert camp and sleeping under the stars.

Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families
Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families

Day five

Well, you could certainly be forgiven for choosing to spend another day rinsing the resort facilities, possibly with a leg-stretching side trip to one of the capital’s green spaces such Al Bidda Park, or Aspire Park. Another option would be to decamp the family to one of the country’s best natural beach areas for the day, such as Fuwairit.

Alternatively, consider checking out another of the country’s many activity-backed resorts for a day. An excursion to Salwa Beach Resort, around 60 miles from Doha, for example would enable the family to see another part of the country. And did I mention the marina, two-mile stretch of private beach and its Desert Falls Water and Adventure Park, one of the largest theme parks in the entire region?

Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families
Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families

Day six

Consider keeping a suitably epic option under your hat to end the trip in style, such as an excursion to see whale sharks. Qatar is one of the best places in the world to see the world’s largest fish, which gather in their hundreds off the north-eastern shore between April and September.

In fact, local operator Discover Qatar recently launched a luxury expedition cruise focused on appreciating these gentle giants, and you’ll doubtless see other creatures such as bottlenose and spinner dolphins while you’re at it, with the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Al Zubarah among the area’s added attractions.

Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families
Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families

Where to stay

Families are truly spoilt for choice among Doha’s five-star hotel stock, but they can’t go wrong with The Ritz Carlton, especially if splurging on one of the 61 suites. Standout facilities include the marina, excellent spa and gym area, and indoor and outdoor pools, backed by a plethora of enticing food and beverage concepts, while the property’s location on a private island adds to the air of exclusivity.

Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families
Indulgent breaks for sun-seeking families

Not to miss