In case you haven’t noticed, it’s still very hot outside. Because of this, we have compiled a list of 50 things you can either do indoors, or anything outdoors that is bound to cool you down (usually involving water). From going to the cinema to martial arts and learning a new language, this eclectic range of activities and pastimes should keep you entertained this August.
1 Go to the cinema
There are some super films to enjoy this month. And, of course, it is the best way to escape the summer heat and have a few hours either by yourself, with family, or with friends. Don’t forget to watch Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. The fifth instalment of the Mission: Impossible franchise comes out on August 6. Most malls have an in-house cinema, but for a bit of luxury, try Novo Cinema.
Novo Cinema, The Pearl (4418 5736).
2 Have a night in
There’s no shame in having a bit of time at home. August is still brutally hot and it can be a good time to spend catching up on your latest TV programmes on Netflix or just enjoying quality time at home with your family. For us, this time will be taken up getting up to speed with Game of Thrones, possibly the epitome of epic television. It’s also getting pretty good in True Detective.
3 Go ice-skating
It’s important to cool off during the summer climes, and this is a perfect opportunity to get your skates on and have a cool time, in a shopping mall! There are two ice-rinks in Doha, one at City Center Mall on the bottom floor City Center Mall, West Bay, but the pick of the pair has to be at the Gondolania complex at Villaggio, where sessions on the ice for people of any age costs QR35 on the weekdays, QR40 on the weekends.
Villaggio Shopping Mall, Al Wabb, nr Aspire Zone (4450 7873).
4 Have a night out
We’re into August, and all evening jaunts are open! Depending on whether you want a few refreshments or a party, this could make all the difference. Want to watch a bit of sport when the domestic European football leagues kick off again? Give Champions, our 2015 best Bar Food winner, a try. Then you can pop downstairs to Glo Bar to finish off the night. Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, West Bay (4419 5000). Another place for football is the British-themed pub the Rose and Thistle.
Horizon Manor, Jabr bin Mohammed Street (4445 5470).
5 Learn Arabic
Now might be the time to learn a new language, and the perfect place to do this is at the FANAR Qatar Islamic Cultural Center, near Souq Waqif. There are lessons available for absolute beginners and those adding the finishing touches. You can go on the spoken course, learning the pleasantries or you can go on a course to learn the written language as well. Courses last two-and-a-half months and classes are twice a week, with a course fee of just QR300.
Abdullah bin Jassim Street, nr Souq Waqif (4425 0250).
6 Pub quiz at Champions
Every month the popular quiz, held at Champions Sports Bar, is a sell-out. Up to six people comprise a team, with the winners scooping a QR3,000 prize. It’s on from 7.30pm and this August will take place on Monday 10.
Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel, West Bay (4419 5000).
7 Trawl the malls
You’re guaranteed fully-functional air conditioning and to be able to escape the heat at one of the many shopping malls in the city (especially Ezdan Mall – it’s Baltic in there). For light bites, large dinners, family get-togethers, retail therapy and just to do your shopping chores, we’re spoilt for choice. For something new, head to Gulf Mall, positioned next to Ezdan and Landmark malls on Al Shamal Road in Gharrafa. Among other stores, you can grab a bite at Nando’s, as well as doing some clothes shopping at British retailers Matalan. City Center Mall is convenient for those that live or work at the heart of West Bay, and Villaggio Mall is good for finding high end retailers among others, near Aspire Zone.
8 Go to the MIA
Not just a very good spot to understand cultural heritage in the region, it is also just good to visit and marvel at the spectacle of the architecture. The number of Facebook followers the Museum of Islamic Art has is testament to its popularity – 2.1 million people like it – and the café is also a great spot to look out onto great views of West Bay without having to swelter. For those wanting more luxury, you can book lunch or dinner at the award winning IDAM by Alain Ducasse.
Museum of Islamic Art, Corniche Road (4422 4444).
9 Go to Gondolania’s theme park
A haven of fun, entertainment, sports and activities, all in a shopping mall. The Middle East certainly knows how to make the most of its malls, and Gondolania is a shining example of this. With go-karting, ten-pin bowling, and so much more, it is not just a place to do a couple of things. The theme park is ideal for little ones. It has activities such as flume rides, bumper cars, roller coasters, a kiddie boat, ferris wheels, trampolines, food outlets and more.
Villaggio Mall, Al Wabb Street, nr Aspire Zone (4413 5655).
10 Sheikh Faisal Museum
Head out of the city a little bit and enjoy all that Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum has to offer. There is an incredible range of personal artworks owned by Sheikh Faisal on show, including Islamic artefacts and sculptures, but the coolest thing is his incredible classic cars collection. You have to book to go to the museum, with slots from 10am-noon, 1pm-3pm, 4pm-6pm.
Just off Dukhan Highway, Al Duhail Street, nr Qatar University (4486 1444), firstname.lastname@example.org.
11 Go to Ted Baker
We’re excited that the British clothes maker has come to Qatar for the first time, recently opening up at Lagoona Mall. And the wide range of selections available for both men and women, as well as children, mean you can get a new wardrobe and look dapper in the summer heat. There are also Ted Baker accessories and the store is well worth a visit.
Lagoona Mall, West Bay Lagoon (4481 5042).
12 Eat at Al Mourjan
Al Mourjan, either on the Corniche or at Souq Waqif, offers an excellent dining experience. The Lebanese restaurant has ample seating inside at the Corniche, still not sacrificing the view of the vibrant West Bay skyline, particularly at night. The mezze selections are ample and the souq chain has a similar menu, with less steep prices.
Corniche (4483 4423); Souq Waqif (4436 5539).
13 Go and have a spa trek
One of Doha’s most popular pastimes, there are many hotels and budget places offering an excellent choice of massage options. Hotels with impressive facilities for spa treatments include the Sharq Village & Spa, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, Wyndham Grand Regency and the Marriott Marquis. But our pick this month is the anti-ageing facial at the Four Seasons, with increased firmness and elasticity and reducing lines on the face for QR2,110, lasting 100 minutes.
Spa & Wellness Centre, Four Seasons, West Bay (4494 8802).
14 Brunch o’ clock
It’s back on the agenda, and we have a whole supplement dedicated to it for the September edition coming up. Brunch is an institution in Doha, an essential part of life for many. For a party or vibrant atmosphere, try The Grill at the Grand Hyatt. Grand Hyatt, West Bay Lagoon (4448 1234). For style, give Market by Jean-Georges a go. W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay (4453 5000). For families and value, it has to be Seasons at the Mövenpick. Mövenpick Hotel Doha, Corniche (4429 1111).
15 Play Ten Pin
There are plenty of things to do to keep entertained when the summer temperatures soar, as long as they’re within reach of an AC remote. One of which is one of Doha’s most loved hobbies – ten pin bowling. As you’re probably aware there isn’t necessarily a shortage of places to test your skills, considering there’s an alley in nearly every shopping mall. A favourite of ours is in Villaggio’s Gondolania. We find it convenient that if you struggle on the lanes, you don’t have far to prove your worth on the go-karting track.
Villaggio Mall, Al Wabb St., nr Aspire Zone (4403 9800).
16 Go on a gondola
Sticking with Villaggio, it’s so much better riding on a gondola in a shopping mall than doing it in Venice (honestly...). For a minimal price you can make the most of the fun on offer at Villaggio and take the short trip along the waters for just a few riyals. If you daydream hard enough, perhaps you could imagine going around Venice’s waters, with a distant view of St. Mark’s Square. QR10 per person.
QR20 single rider. Villaggio Shopping Mall, Al Wabb, nr Aspire Zone (4413 5222).
17 Take up yoga
Spiritual, de-stressful, and a healthy pastime for body and mind, yoga is a good way to forget about a hard day’s work in the office. It’s also a good way to meet like-minded people and socialise. The Sharq Village and spa holds regular classes for reasonable prices and is a good place to take it up. There are also monthly yoga sessions under the stars one evening a month.
Sharq Village & Spa, Ras Abu Abboud (4425 6666).
18 Enjoy some gadgets at FNAC
Lagoona Mall’s FNAC houses all of the tech you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you want Apple’s newest release to satisfy your hipster needs, that huge TV to catch the weekend’s game or the latest gaming console, it’s at FNAC, and its calling your name.
Lagoona Mall, West Bay (4433 5599).
19 Become a toastmaster
Ever wanted to be able to do that killer speech at the workplace? Here’s your chance. There are a few toastmaster groups in the city for you to learn the skills to write and perform a great speech. The Qatar Toastmasters hold meets on the first and third Sunday of every month from 6.45pm-9.30pm at the Radisson.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Intersection of C-Ring Road and Salwa Road (5572 5293).
20 Enjoy go-karting
If you fancy letting out your inner speed-demon then go-karting is definitely for you. Found in Villaggio’s Gondolania Theme Park, compete against both family and friends to see who can set the fastest lap time regardless of whether you’re a rookie driver or a seasoned professional.
Villaggio Shopping Mall, Al Wabb Street, nr Aspire Zone (4403 9800).
21 Play basketball
It doesn’t matter whether you are seven feet tall or not. You can bring a group of friends and have a game at the Cabana Club at the Radisson and have a great time shooting some hoops. Getting fit, having a good time with friends and staying indoors makes this a three pointer any day of the week.
Radisson Blu Hotel Doha, Intersection of C-Ring Road and Salwa Road (4428 1428).
22 Learn an instrument
This may be the right time to be creative. The Qatar Music Academy is a perfect group to help you start or improve on an instrument. The Music For All programme is closed for this year’s itinerary, but you can enrol for next year’s course and learn a wide range of musical themes and instruments. There are also many classes for children and you can also get graded.
Katara Cultural Village, Building 8 (4454 8163).
23 Enjoy other museums
MATHAF, the modern art museum, is at Education City and has an Arab perspective on modern and contemporary art. Fancy something else with a contemporary vibe but less Arabic influenced? The Anima Gallery is a small space with intriguing art, including work from famous artists such as Tracey Emin.
30 La Croisette, The Pearl (4002 7437).
24 Scuba dive with the fishes
Many people are unaware of how abundant Qatar’s marine life is. This gives you the perfect reason to pull on your wet-suit and go and explore. Poseidon Dive Centre (PDC) is the perfect way for first timers or experienced divers to see what the Gulf has to offer. Scuba diving can be enjoyed all year round, and given how hot it is out of the water, you’d be silly not to be in it at any given opportunity.
Poseidon Dive Centre (PDC) nr Ritz Carlton, West Bay Lagoon (6608 4040)
25 Cooking classes with Chef Marco
Test your culinary expertise this summer with a cooking class from Four Seasons Chef Marco Arlotti. Once you trade the heat from outside for the heat of the kitchen it won’t matter if you can’t fry an egg. After one lesson with Chef Marco, you’ll be challenging to host the next season of MasterChef.
Four Seasons Hotel, West Bay (4494 8600).
26 Play squash or tennis
For an intense sporty workout indoors, we can think of nothing better than squash. National squash day is on October 10, but why not get started early and get a great workout either against another opponent or as a doubles match. The same applies for tennis, a good social sport and workout. Many compounds will have squash courts and some tennis, but for those who don’t have access to both of them, the Sheraton boasts both indoors, with rental for QR50 per hour if you are members, much more expensive if not.
Sheraton Doha, West Bay (4485 4600).
27 Enjoy swimming
For the best swimming facilities in the city, the Hamad Aquatic Centre is an ideal place to swim. Recently hosting the FINA world 25 metre swimming championships, the centre, part of Aspire Zone, is open to the public.
Aspire Zone, Al Wabb Street (4413 6208).
28 Go to A1
It’s Friday, you’re not at work and you’ve retreated indoors all day to escape the heat. If you’re looking for a little life, then A1 at the Grand Hyatt is the ideal destination for the biggest and best hip hop and RnB parties in Doha. A1 hosts internationally renowned artists and DJs from all corners of the globe, so if you’re looking for a night out, look no further.
The Grill, Grand Hyatt, from 9pm (7712 3440).
29 Get into badminton
The Qatar Badminton Club welcomes people of all levels and ages to play and enjoy the sport of badminton. The courts are open Mon-Thu 5pm-10.30pm and Sat-Sun 5pm-10.30pm and you can book direct or be part of knock-out matches as well.
Nr Doha College, Al Soudan South (4468 3293).
30 Enjoy the new Strata
Strata bar at the InterContinental Doha The City is always a trendy retreat for an after-work refreshment, and with a new interior as well. Located on the 55th and 56th floors, it offers a panoramic view of the city and a good selection of bites on the top floor and molecular choices.
InterContinental Doha The City, West Bay (4015 8888).
31 Try a range of fitness regimes
Ever fancied trying boxing, HATA yoga, Muay Thai, X-Fit, Zumba and even Olympic weightlifting? Well you can! All these classes are available at the Grand Hyatt and run through Evolve, formerly known as Fitness with Food. Each class lasts 60 minutes and is mostly QR65 for non Jaula members, QR50 for members, so not a bad price either. Yoga classes are QR60 for members, QR75 for non-members. Grand Hyatt, West Bay Lagoon (4448 1060). Similar classes are also run by Evolve at B/Attitude. Beverly Hills Tower, West Bay (4412 2046).
32 Adopt a kitten
If you’re an animal lover with a little extra room at home, then adopting a pet has probably crossed your mind before. With Qatar’s largest animal shelter QAWS full to the brim, looking after a furry friend this summer might be more than just an excuse to stay at home.
QAWS Animal Shelter, Al Rayaan (5539 6074).
33 Aqua Park Qatar
If laying by the pool isn’t really your thing, and as we are trying to beat the heat, it probably isn’t, Aqua Park Qatar may be the place for you. With loads of different attractions including a wave pool, and an assortment of huge water slides, it’s needless to say that the trip out of town will definitely be worth it.
Salwa Industrial Road (4490 5872).
34 Get your nails done
This one is for you, ladies. There are many places in the city to give you that extra sparkle. Why not try the new BD Nails with a wide range available? The Pearl (4481 2316). Or go to one of the branches of Glow American Salon. Glow American Salon, Salwa Road (4468 9945); West Bay Beach Tower (4411 7652); West Bay Lagoon Street (6686 7221), www.glowamericansalon.com.
35 Try a new haircut
Are you looking for that fresh summer look? Or are you just in need of another excuse to stay out of the heat? Visiting the Franck Provost salon in the Four Seasons hotel works for both, and a cheeky mani-pedi could be on the cards as well. Women throughout the week, men on Sundays from 3:30pm.
Four Seasons Hotel, West Bay (4494 8888).
36 Look at some sculptures at a hotel
If you can brave a few seconds outside then have a look at “The Horse” at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski. It’s outrageously large. If not, take a look from inside; you won’t be disappointed at the incredible stallion. Inside, you can admire the spring and winter samurais, as well as “The Tree of Life” chandelier, sculptured by Mohamed McKouk.
Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl (4035 5555).
37 Donate to charity
Nothing is more fulfilling than the opportunity to help others. And volunteering is a great way for those with a little spare time to make a large difference. Reach Out to Asia allows you to help with individual events or, if you have time, get involved with an ongoing commitment. Ring (4454 1603). Don’t have the time to volunteer but want to give something in aid? You can donate to Qatar Charity by giving at numerous shopping malls or online. The money goes to many good causes, including orphanages, healthcare, supplying clean water and much more in Qatar and across the region.
38 Learn a martial art
For a whole range of martial arts choice, enjoy what Qatar Mixed Martial Arts has to offer at QGym, including aikido (Steven Seagal is pretty decent at it), karate, jiu jitsu, kickboxing, Muay Thai boxing and taekwondo and general self-defence classes. So learn the bushido (the way of the warrior) and enquire now as you become the next Bruce Lee.
Behind Al Sadd Sports Club, Al Sadd (4459 4211).
39 Enjoy Wahm & Crystal
One of the most popular spots to enjoy in the evenings, Wahm and Crystal are two of the hippest places to frequent in town. Enjoy a trendy vibe for after work refreshments at Wahm before moving on to Crystal for a good party.
W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay (4453 5000).
40 Watch films provided by the Doha Film Institute
The Doha Film institute has events every month and special screenings for both adults and families. Screenings in the past have ranged from time old classics like Casablanca to themed viewings, such as French cinema, Italian cinema and more.
Held at Katara Cultural Village, Building 16 at the Drama Theatre (4420 0505). Visit www.dohafilminstitute.com for more information.
41 Get down to the Diplomatic Club
Perhaps not the best time to get all aboard the barbecue donut as the food would not be the only thing sizzling, the Diplomatic Club does offer other alternatives that can keep you cool. This includes seafood restaurant Al Sayyad, or, for a bit of adventure, you have many sports and fitness amenities to enjoy, such as squash courts, swimming, a plunge pool and a club for kids. There is also a spa and a beauty centre.
West Bay Lagoon (4484 7444).
42 Visit Banana Island
Confusion abounds about this place. Can we go as the general public? Can’t we? Well, we are delighted to say that you can hop on a boat from the dhow port on the Corniche and get over and enjoy some of the facilities as long as you ring up and book in advance, including four restaurants, the bowling centre, diving centre and the spa and the wellness centre. But, more fun than all of that is the fact the splash surf pool can be used to cool down, letting you surf the waves to your own abilities.
Banana Island by Anantara (4040 5050), www.anantara.com.
43 Fight you way to fitness
Fight against the heat in an air-conditioned environment and a load of punch bags. There are many places in Doha that provide boxing facilities. Quwaa Boxing Club has classes every Monday and Wednesday 6pm & 7pm, Saturday 6pm. Al Jazi Gardens, West Bay (3000 8974), and the Doha Marriott has a weekly schedule with coach Andrew, including boxing for beginners and boxercise classes for QR45 per session for non-members.
Doha Marriott, Ras Abu Abboud (4429 8888).
44 Take a staycation
Have a look at our staycation suggestions in this issue. For different reasons, we suggest you try the Four Seasons, St. Regis, Doha Marriott, Sharq Village & Spa or the Sheraton. You can have a relaxing day or two, enjoy the restaurants on show and use some of the on-site facilities that don’t involve the sun. There are many deals throughout the month.
To see the offers available, visit www.qatarsummerfestival.qa/en/promotions.
45 Go to P. F. Chang's
Villaggio seems a different place right now. Shops are half empty! The reason for this? Everyone is piling into the recently opened P. F. Chang’s restaurant to try great Chinese food at reasonable prices. Always full to the brim, the popularity of this establishment shows no signs of abating. Our favourite dish?
The Ma La Shrimp. Villaggio Mall, Al Wabb Street, nr Aspire Zone (4413 5444).
46 Visit the Corridor
On until the end of August, The Corridor is an exhibition that promotes an eclectic range of artwork from local artists, with a certain amount of proceeds from artwork sold going to charity.
Grand Hyatt lobby, West Bay Lagoon (4484 1234).
47 Have afternoon tea
The hottest part of the day when the sun is at its most dangerous, there’s only really one thing for it: treat yourself to afternoon tea! There are many great spots in the city, but the most consistent one over the years has to be at La Mer in the Ritz Carlton, with the best scones in town.
La Mer, Ritz Carlton Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4484 8000).
48 Sup on mocktails
Our resident food expert Gerald Tan has gone to town in this issue on the best mocktails to try in the city. And there’s no argument that Doha has some of the most creative, colourful and daring options there are. We like the selection at Emporio Armani Caffé The Pearl (4413 5306), but we also implore you to try the Charlie Parker at Opal. Opal by Gordon Ramsay, St. Regis Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4446 0000).
49 Try Hakkasan
Now might be the perfect opportunity to try the Time Out Doha 2015 Restaurant Awards Best Restaurant winner, Hakkasan. The Chinese fusion food and excellent refreshment pairings make it the talk of the town, and there’s brunch available, too.
St. Regis Doha, West Bay Lagoon (4446 0170).
50 Escape Doha
The United Kingdom is nice this time of year. Perhaps this might be the perfect time to escape the searing sun altogether and enjoy the possibility of wind and rain? Qatar Airways, direct to Heathrow, return from QR4,010. Not cool enough? How about a nice little trip to Oslo, Norway’s capital? Qatar Airways, direct to Oslo, return from QR3,670. Still not enough ice? Really? Ok, Iceland it is then!
Qatar Airways, to Reykjavik (Keflavík International Airport) via Stockholm, return from QR4,900.