Al Sadd. Rings a bell. People get quite patriotic about living there, don’t they?
They do indeed. And who can blame them? There are great shops, cafés and gyms plus some excellent restaurants.
Go on then, where can I get the best grub?
Al Sadd is particularly good for quality casual dining. For excellent coffee, croissants and other baked goods, hit The French Olive. For plastic-topped tables, gargantuan portions of mandi and huge doughy naans, head to Yamani House, or for sushi and Korean barbecue there’s Yee Hwa where they do a mean kimchi pancake.
Do you do anything except eat?
We’re glad you asked. We are partial to a spot of sporting fun and Al Sadd happens to be home to a great sports club with teams for volleyball, handball, athletics and table tennis, as well its most popular, football.
But how great can a Doha sports club really be?
Good enough that one of the world’s best players, Xavi Hernández, was signed from Barcelona FC last year. It’s worth checking out a match there – they are unexpectedly raucous affairs.
Fair. What about post-game refreshments?
The towering skyscrapers of West Bay may have some impressive views, but Sky View at La Cigale Hotel isn’t half bad. It may only be on the 15th floor, but its view of Doha’s space-age skyline is pretty spectacular. If you’re feeling particularly wild, Wyndham Grand Regency’s Brew Parlour has a cold brew happy hour featuring some pretty exotic coffee flavours between 4pm and 6pm Monday to Friday.
And those shops you mentioned earlier?
If you’ve got big bucks to spend, Al Sadd is a haven of car show rooms and jewellers. On the other end of the scale, there’s a load of cheap sell-everything stores packed with affordable home essentials (try Al Mufatah Centre), and at Royal Plaza mall you’ll find a fairly odd assortment of high-end stores (Mont Blanc, Givenchy), cheap and cheerful boutiques and great home shops like Tavola.
Only in Al Sadd
This is the area to find the beloved little neighbourhood Italian joint that’s famous for pizza, pasta and Luigi – the amiable owner – who knows his regulars and has managed to give this place something too often missing in Doha: a real, friendly, family-run atmosphere.
Open daily noon-11pm. Al Difaaf Street, behind Royal Plaza mall (4434 1601).