Sports to try in Doha
Badminton, swimming, golf and more sports to try in Doha Discuss this article
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Honestly: who doesn’t want to whack a birdie? A fun workout that’s accessible to all skill levels, there are loads of places in Qatar to learn to play and practice, many based on nationality. But if you want to get started, a safe bet is the Qatar Badminton Association (email@example.com). They offer nightly playing times from 5pm-10pm, including a court reserved for guests at the Qatar Badminton Club, adjacent to the Doha College. For kids lessons, try the Qatar Badminton Academy (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org). They organize lessons for kids between five and 16, based on experience level. Many players from the other societies turn up at these sessions, so they’re also great for networking!
There’s nothing quite like the grace and beauty of the Olympic Equestrian events, especially when watched from Qatar, a country with a long history with horses. There are many places in the city to watch horse races and other events, including the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club (www.qrec.gov.qa), who holds races and horse shows, but if you wanted to get in the saddle yourself, the Al Sahqab Riding Academy (www.alshaqab.com) is a good place to start. They offer lessons for all levels, from ages six right to adults. Prices vary by level, age and lesson. Email email@example.com for more information and for applications.
For golf, look no further than the Doha Golf Club (www.dohagolfclub.com). If you already know how to golf, play either nine holes from QR200-QR475 or 18 holes for QR310-QR590, depending on level and membership. Or, if you need to brush up on your swing, try a lesson with one of the five fully qualified British PGA Professionals at their academy. Individual lessons run from QR210-QR240 for 30 minutes, or QR380-QR420 for 60 minutes. Or, try the Ladies Group session for QR70-QR80 for 60 minutes, QR150-QR250 for on-course teaching, or QR110-QR130 for their short game clinic. They also offer on-course lessons for men and mixed groups on the 9-hole academy course or the championship course, junior coaching and starter/improver group lessons at various prices. You can even rent your equipment there! Registration and booking for tee-times required.
Whether it was the sprint or the marathon that got your heart pounding, running is a great form of exercise. But before you hit the track or the treadmill on your own, why not join a social club and learn to run? The Doha Bay Running Club (http://dohabayrunningclub.webs.com) is free to join, and has sessions for everyone from beginners to advanced runners. The main session meets Friday at 5.30am, starting at the Corniche near the Sheraton Resort & Convention Hotel. The Beginner group meets Sunday at 6pm at Hyatt Park, to run around the 4.3km track. There’s also an interval group that meets on Wednesday at 7pm at Qatar Sports Club, a great way to work on your sprinting prowess. And if it was the marathon that inspired your interest, why not try the Zekreet desert runs on Saturday at 5.30am? Not for beginners or the faint of heart, it takes advantage of Qatar’s landscape for a unique workout!
Ah, to swim. You might not be Michael Phelps, who at last count had 22 medals to his name, but you can learn to enjoy the water as much as he does! There are loads of classes for beginners of all ages, if you want to give your kids a head start in the pool or dip a tow in yourself. Try the Australian Swim School (www.aiss.com.qa) for parent and child classes for QR60 for members and QR70 for nonmembers, with other programs and classes for kids offered as well. Or head to the Cabana Club at the Radisson Blu (4428 1428) for adult classes—for an extra kick towards the butterfly, book a private session! QR550 for eight sessions.
Whether played in giant sports arenas or on the table in your friend’s basement, this is one that’s loads of fun and fairly easy to learn. We might not be as amazing as the athletes who ended up on the podium in London, but we can still have a good time at the Diplomatic Club (4484 7450), where tables, racquets and balls are available free of charge. It is first-come-first-serve however, so booking in advance is recommended!
If group sports are more your thing, head over to the Doha Rugby Club (www.doharfc.com). You can watch a regular match or training session, or you can join one of their teams and play yourself. They have two men’s teams, a women’s team and a veteran’s team, as well as teams for kids and teens. Beginners are welcome, but you must come with your own equipment. Games and training times vary—contact them directly to sign up!
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