So, Al Waab. Let’s cover the basics. Why is it great?
Three reasons: shopping, greenery and some of the most brilliant cafés in Doha. You might be surprised to hear this, but we’d even go so far as to say that it kind of, almost, has a sort of “café culture”.
Café culture, you say? Go on…
Well, kitsch, vintage-inspired Sugar & Spice serves some of the most indulgent desserts we’ve ever seen, including a pistachio cheesecake covered in candy floss. Victoria Tea Lounge at the Grand Heritage hotel is a good spot for afternoon tea. Torch Tea Garden is a classy affair with its faux-garden-interiors, awesome views, and lengthy drinks menu with everything from mocktails and speciality coffees to super healthy juices and, of course, tea. There’s also a branch of Papa Roti in Villaggio Mall. It may not be unique to Doha, but there’s no denying that those buns with their crispy, sugary exterior and buttery centre aren’t one of the best things you’ll ever eat.
A faux garden is nice, but a real one would be even better. Where's this greenery?
Aspire park has lovely green lawns and lake. If you want to get away from all the hustle and bustle, but stay within easy reach of the city, there’s nowhere better. The park also has a good running track dotted with outdoor gyms if lazing lake-side with a burger from Burgeri isn’t quite active enough for you.
Sounds like an area with more than just food. What activities can I find? Anything fun?
You’d be right. You can sign up for a spot of laser tag, bowling, ice skating or go-karting in Gondolania indoor theme park at Villaggio Mall. There are also arcade-style games, some mini roller coasters, a flume ride and something called Horror Street Dark Ride that we haven’t yet had the guts to try out.
You’ve mentioned this Villaggio Mall a few times, what’s there?
What isn’t there? Clothes, luxury jewellery, home furnishings, games, kids' toys. It’s the only place in Doha to find a few popular high-street brands like Topshop and high-end shops such as Versace and Carolina Hererra.
Only on Al Waab
The Torch is home to Three Sixty, Doha’s only revolving restaurant. It’s up on the 47th floor so views of the city are spectacular. If the thought of moving in a circle while eating makes you feel a bit queasy, head to Panorama in the same hotel for seafood, stationary tables, and almost-as-good city views.
Al Waab Street, Aspire Zone (4446 56 00).