Christmas Day in Qatar

Introduction – As my parents now live in Doha, Qatar, we (as a family) spent the Christmas holidays in Qatar. It was strange compared to most Christmases; firstly it was sunny and 20 degrees C (although cold and windy where we went). Also we didn’t spend Christmas day at home but more like sightseeing.

Summary – On Christmas Day itself we opened our presents early in the morning. We got ready and left at about 10am. We drove through the desert to get to a fort and the ruins of an old settlement. Afterwards we went to ‘City Park’ (ironically still in the desert) to have a picnic with Christmas crackers. Then on to the ‘beach’ which was more like a bay for wildlife with lots of sand dunes. After we got home in the late afternoon Mum and Dad picked up the Christmas dinner which we had ordered from a local hotel. In the evening we just drank wine, ate and watched films.

Christmas Morning
We got up early in order to open the presents before we left for the castle. Afterwards we got ready and left. Dad also gave us ‘I heart Qatar’ caps as he thought that would help along with the sunglasses we had bought a few days previously.
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Me and my new camel handbag
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Me and Tom with our caps and sunglasses in the car

Driving through the desert
The north part of the country where we were going was basically just bleak desert. There was very little other than the odd random town which was expanding and the odd petrol station. Oh, and the strange looking football stadium because it looks more like a castle than a sports ground. The total journey was about an hour; shows how small the country is.
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Where we went [taken inside the fort]
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Tom doing what he does best in the car
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The view out of the window for most of the journey
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The castle styled football stadium

The fort
We went to Al Zubarah castle. This castle was only built in the 1930s. It was very small and to begin with we were the only visitors. There were a few more when we left though.
Inside was lots of information about the area and history of the area. Including details of the neighbouring ruined town. It may look warm, but the wind made the temperature drop and be very cool (hint for the jumpers).
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The fort from the car
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Inside the fort
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Us outside the castle (complete with flag)
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The camels next to the castle

The ruins of the Al Zubarah town
This was only a few miles down the road from the fort. Unfortunately from the ground most of it just looked like desert. The parts which you could see were covered in concrete in order to preserve them in the hot sun.
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The bird’s eye view of the area of ruins from the a helicopter [picture taken in the fort]
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At the carpark
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I just liked this sign, it made me laugh
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Panoramic of the area
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The ruins of the palace which were ‘preserved’ (with concrete)

Picnic in the park
Afterwards we went to ‘City Park’ which ironically was in the middle of nowhere in the desert. It was pleasant we stayed for a while and we lost Dad for a bit of birdwatching.
Although it wasn’t Christmas dinner we still took the Christmas crackers and wore the silly hats in the park. There were very few people there (just like most places in this country).
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The enterance to the park
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Family selfie
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Me and Mum with our hats
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Typical photo of Dad
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Selfie with hat

At ‘the beach’
Dad described this as a beach. It wasn’t really much of a beach. It was more the sea coming around the sand dunes. It was quite pretty although perhaps not quite as much as Dad described to be and I was imagining more of a beach. We did go for a paddle, however it was clear that the main purpose was just for Dad’s birdwatching
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The view from the carpark
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Me and Dad paddling in the stream near the car
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Crossing the sand dune
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Me on the other side where the tide had gone out

Christmas Dinner
When we got home Mum and Dad went to get the Christmas dinner. We ordered it completely cooked from a local hotel. It was nice. The turkey was massive for just 4 people and the stuffing… well just wasn’t stuffing. They had no clue! It was more like black pudding. On the whole it was good though. We had a second round of Christmas crackers of course.
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Setting the table
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Family selfie (Dad and Tom just constantly seem to be pulling faces)

More photos from Christmas Day (in general here)

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