Christmas in Doha: sorted
All the answers you need to make this a very merry Christmas 1 Comments
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Where can I buy a Christmas tree?
If a real tree is what you seek, you might have trouble finding one in Qatar. But who says a Christmas tree can’t be a potted palm? You can go the eco-friendly route and get a potted plant. And it’s not all Charley-Brown style either—get creative, keep a plant alive, and add a touch of green to your home all at the same time. Try Gardenia on Salwa Rd (4444 0789) or Al Saad (4434 2150). If you really must have an evergreen, Carrefour (4413 9666) and Lulu Hypermarket (4466 7780) generally have you covered with a selection of fake trees, some even pre-decorated! Other greenery can be found at Home Centre in City Centre (4483 9990), or Homes R Us in Hyatt Plaza (4469 4848): they have a good selection of fake plants all year round. Or ask around: with the constant migrations of expats, there is abandoned Christmas magic to spare.
What about decorations?
Don’t get your jingle bells in a twist: Qatar’s got lots of sparkle to deck your halls. For local, try Hand Made in Qatar (www.handmadeinqatar.com) who make stockings and decorations from majilis fabric. Hallmark (4486 2889) has surprisingly adorable decorations, as well as Events in Royal Plaza (4413 1155) and Party Kingdom in Gulf Commercial Centre (4435 3501). And don’t forget the home décor stores like Home Centre in City Centre (4483 9990), or Homes R Us in Hyatt Plaza (4469 4848). Even Carrefour (4413 9666) gets in on the act with decorations at reasonable prices (although they also seem to have a passion for incredibly creepy plastic Santa’s that haunt our nightmares).
What is Christmas without cookies?
Christmas isn’t complete without a little something sweet, but you need the right supplies to keep your gingerbread house from getting condemned. Check out Lakeland at City Centre Mall (4483 9990) for a vast selection of kits and supplies to make all your visions of sugarplums a reality. This is a store that in good conscious stocks miniature cupcake makers. These are the things baking dreams are made of. We’re in love with their fancy fluted tins for our minced pies this year. But if fancy pies and cakes aren’t your thing (were you not hugged enough as a child?), you can get something with a bit more bite at Virgin Megastore (4413 5823): they carry a variety of kitschy items, including cookie cutters featuring one-legged, one armed, and otherwise chomped on Gingerbread Men. These cookies not only know the muffin man, they know where he’s buried. Cute enough we almost forgive them for taking up shelf space from the books.
My gifts are looking naked: where can I get wrapping paper?
You can buy paper at Hallmark (4486 2889) year round, but they start to offer holiday-themed wrapping this time of year. You can also pick up coloured cellophane at Carrefour, which is great for wrapping food. But why not skip the bad-for-the-environment wasteful wrapping paper this year? Go for reusable gift bags, available at most party stores like Crazy Party in Villaggio Mall (4450 7777), Events in Royal Plaza (4413 1155) and Party Kingdom in Gulf Commercial Centre (4435 3501).
Have your best Christmas in Doha
Curses! We need to book a party!
Ah the holidays. The crackle of the festive fire. The smell of cinnamon and childhood greed. And the pounding stress headache if you’ve been put in charge of the party planning. Flip to p12 for our full list of Christmas events, or make your own fun! Pick your favorite restaurant and give them a call: Doha’s hotels are known for service, and whether making you a specially decorated table, coming up with a set menu at a set price for your group, or even setting you up in a private room, solutions abound. But why stay on land? Nothing says Christmas in the Gulf like a dhow trip! Hit the high seas and celebrate in style: dhows can be booked from the Dhow Warf, just off the Corniche (enter by the Pearl statue). Prices vary by size and service, from no-frills budget trips to dhows that provide a barbecue and banana boats. The skys the limit, from laid back holiday barbecues to fist pumping DJs on deck. Just remember, while rules might be relaxed on the water, dress appropriately to board the boat and remember to gift wrap or leave behind items that may cause offense! Or let the professionals take care of it for you: If a meal is what you seek, head to Mövenpick Hotel Doha (4429 1111) and get 10 per cent off the total bill for tables of 10 people, 20 per cent of for tables of 20 and 30 per cent off for groups of 30 or more. If you want to dance the night away, The Qube (4428 1428) offers special Members Party Packages all month, offering a variety of group discounts on food and beverage, as well as a complimentary glass of bubbly for groups of more than 40 people. Or head poolside at Rocca (4448 1272), offering up a variety of packages from classy cocktail receptions with finger nibbles to traditional British turkey dinners for all sizes of groups. Make a booking for 30 guests or more, and they’ll even provide a free DJ for the night.
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