The end of the year is nigh and here in Qatar we’re ready to celebrate. Lazing by a swimming pool, topping up your tan might not be the Christmas card ideal of how to spend the winter months, but it is time to update your traditions. Who wants wet, cold and blustery weather at this time of year anyway?
But while we’re happy to swap the prospect of an icy Christmas with bobble hats, scarves and gloves for summer shorts and suntan cream, there are a few traditions we’re not ready to lose just yet.
Thankfully, there are traditional meals, tree lighting ceremonies and even carol singing events around the city, and we have picked out some of the best to enjoy.
Plus, we’ve got the skinny on the top hotels offering takeaway turkey services for Christmas Day and the finest New Year’s Eve parties to end the month and year in style. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year indeed!
Christmas Day meals
No washing up and no cooking, just great quality festive food and, if you’re lucky, an appearance from Father Christmas himself.
This cool Italian lounge with gorgeous views is a super spot for a family Christmas. The “Giorno di Natale in Famiglia” brunch is an à la carte offering with exclusive dishes and a warm, festive atmosphere.
QR320 (with soft drinks), QR440 (with selected beverages). Noon-3.30pm. Antica Pesa, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.anticapesadoha.com (4035 5011).
You would expect one of Doha’s finest steakhouses to serve up a top traditional Christmas meal. There is a sharing feast concept with à la carte offerings served in fine St. Regis style.
QR295 (with soft drinks) QR395 (with selected beverages), full non-refundable payment required before Thu Dec 15. Noon-4pm. Astor Grill, The St. Regis Doha, West Bay, www.stregisdoha.com (4446 0105).
A pre-Christmas escape to a Brussels Christmas market may be beyond possibility, but the InterContinental Doha’s Belgium-style hangout can make up for that. A Christmas choir and a Santa visit are highlights, while a turkey ballotine stuffed with wild mushroom and truffle mousline work out foodie muscles.
Prices à la carte. 7pm-2am. Belgian Café, InterContinental Doha, West Bay, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
Even Olympians need a cheat day occasionally, so this Aspire Zone-facing restaurant and brunch is a place to enjoy live cooking stations and a decent-value brunch.
QR190 (with soft drinks), QR95 (kids aged 6-11), free (kids under six). 12.30pm-4pm. Blue, Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah, Aspire Zone, www.movenpick.com (4445 5535).
Coral All Day Dining
This lively brunch will feature plenty of traditional festive treats alongside music from the InterContinental’s resident band Soul Shake. Kids will love the visit from Santa and the haul of gifts he brings with him.
QR420 (adults), QR210 (kids aged 6-12). 12.30pm-4pm. Coral All Day Dining, InterContinental Doha, West Bay, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
Santa is coming to brunch and he’s bringing kids’ activities, a playground and toys for little ones. Thanks Santa – join us for a mince pie?
QR200 (adults), QR100 (kids 6-12), free (nannies and kids under six). 12.30pm-3.30pm. Cosmo, Millennium Hotel Doha, Jawan Street, Al Sadd, www.millenniumhotels.com (4424 7777).
There are three courses and a lot of buffet to get through, as well as a visit from Santa himself. A dedicated play area for kids and a turkey carving station sound like the stuff of future Christmas legends.
From QR295. Noon-3pm. Crossroads Kitchen, Marriott Marquis City Centre, www.marriottmarquisdining.com (4419 6134).
The Marriott is calling Christmas brunch The Big Day and has ticked, more or less, every box on the festive list. That includes a choir, bouncy castle, games and tables full of Christmas roasts, desserts and drinks.
QR350 (with soft drinks), QR450 (with selected beverages), booking and payment required 48 hours in advance. Noon-3pm. Doha Marriott, Ras Abu Aboud Street, www.marriott.com (4429 9499).
More feliz navidad than Merry Christmas, there is a strong Spanish theme at this casual à la carte brunch. There will be live entertainment and more tapas than turkey, plus a happy hour deal later in the afternoon.
QR395 (with soft drinks), QR495 (with selected beverages), QR150 (kids aged 6-12). 12.30pm-3.30pm. El Faro, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
If reindeer and sleighs flying through the air are not enough fantasy for you, then a visit to this quirkily decorated buffet specialist in The Torch will add a little more magic to the day. Festive foods and an oversized brunch await.
QR220 (adults), QR105 (kids aged 6-12). 12.30pm-4pm. Flying Carpet, The Torch, Aspire Zone, www.thetorchdoha.com (4446 5600).
Several restaurants combine to create this mega-brunch, which brings together Il Teatro, Elements and Arabica, as well as the amazing beach terrace. The Friday brunch here was the recipient of our 2016 award for Best Brunch, so we expect their Christmas Day to be just as, if not more, spectacular. There will be many traditional dishes and international bites to sample, plus a play area for kids.
QR550 (with selected beverages), QR680 (premium package), QR280 (kids aged 5-12). 12.30pm-4.30pm. Four Seasons Hotel Doha, West Bay www.fourseasons.com (4494 8600).
Head here for traditional favourites with a few modern touches, and plenty of festive spirit.
QR220 (with soft drinks), QR290 (with selected beverages). Noon-3pm. Hyde Park, Radisson Blu Doha, Salwa Road, www.radissonblu.com (4428 1555).
Whether you are a) Brazilian, or b) wondering how South Americans celebrate Christmas, this is a party brunch for you on December 25th. Not a snowman in sight, but you can see live music, party packs and a big dose of Brazilian flair.
From QR325. 12.30pm-3.30pm. Ipanema, Marriott Marquis City Centre, www.marriottmarquisdining.com (4419 6134).
La Spiga by Paper Moon
We think this is the best Italian restaurant in all of Doha. So, for the best à la carte Italian food this Crimbo, get along to West Bay. There will be music from Doha Jazz and we dare say there will be some festive spin as well on both food and entertainment.
QR250 (food only). Noon-4pm. La Spiga by Paper Moon, W Doha, West Bay, www.laspigadoha.com (4453 5135).
Market by Jean Gorges
Under the auspicious guidance of triple-Michelin star-winning chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, you can expect this W Hotel buffet to be a foodie tour de force, plus there will be some funky live jazz along with thetraditional food.
QR350 (with soft drinks), QR450 (with selected beverages). Noon-4pm. Market by Jean-Georges, W Doha Hotel & Residences, West Bay, www.marketdoha.com (4453 5135).
There will be a buffet table, there will be a choir, there will be a Santa and there will be a performance from the Bouzouki Band. But more than all that, there will be Christmas cheer and merriment. Expect traditional Christmas food like roast turkey, as well as live carving stations for lamb and beef, plus plenty of Greek mezze, and traditional festive desserts like Melomakarona. Oh, and Santa has gifts.
QR295 (with one selected beverage), QR145 (kids aged 6-12). 12.30pm-4pm. Mykonos, InterContinental Doha, West Bay, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
New York Steakhouse
A four-course set menu of Christmas fare is a festive treat, and comes with a brunch atmosphere at this highly-regarded steak restaurant.
From QR295. Noon-3.30pm. New York Steakhouse, Marriott Marquis City Centre, www.marriottmarquisdining.com (4419 6134).
The St. Regis
The celebrity super-chef himself might not be in the kitchen on Christmas Day, but Opal by Gordon Ramsay is teaming up with neighbouring Vine for a Christmas edition of their famed Grand Brunch out on the terrace. There will be plenty of live music (we’re sure they will play Jingle Bells) and a kid’s corner.
QR555 (with soft drinks), QR655 (with selected beverages), full non-refundable payment required by Thu Dec 15. 12.30pm-4pm. Opal by Gordon Ramsay, The St. Regis Doha, West Bay, www.stregisdoha.com (4446 0105).
Okay, bouncy castles and face-painting might not have been part of your festive traditions growing up, but they will be for your children. There will also be a memorable visit from Santa to occupy little ones, while adults make the most of the traditional festive buffet which features everything from live carvery stations to elaborately decorated Yule logs.
QR495 (with soft drinks), QR595 (with selected beverages), QR150 (kids aged 6-12). 12.30pm-4pm. Sawa, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
Westin brunches have quickly become quite legendary since the hotel opened this year and we expect a touch of glamour to be served with the festive-themed fodder.
QR320 (with soft drinks) QR395 (with selected beverages), QR160 (kids 6-12). 12.30pm-4pm. Westin Doha, Salwa Road, www.westindoha.com (4492 1555).
Best-known for the themed nights throughout the week, this Mövenpick buffet spot is looking as seasonal as the name suggests, with lashings of chestnut stuffing, rosemary potatoes, cranberry sauce and turkey. And sprouts, don’t forget the sprouts. Special family activities are planned for younger kids.
QR275 (food only), QR137 (kids aged 6-12), free (under six). Noon-3.30pm. Seasons, Mövenpick Hotel, Al Salata www.movenpick.com (4429 1111).
The Time Out Doha Highly Commended Best Brunch will be one of the party destinations of Christmas Day, as DJ Santiago Vittorelli will be supplying the beats that Father Christmas himself is turning up to enjoy. Expect plenty of traditional Christmas dishes alongside a buffet of international cuisines.
QR299 (with soft drinks), QR499 (with selected beverages). 12.30pm-3.30pm. The Grill, Grand Hyatt Doha, West Bay, www.doha.grandhyatt.com/doha (4448 1234).
There are a few surprises promised at the Al Jawhara Christmas brunch, but even if they don’t transpire there will definitely be Christmas log, roast beef and turkey, plus a host of activities for kids.
QR255 (with soft drinks), QR355 (with selected beverages), QR455 (premium package), QR128 (kids aged 6-12). 12.30pm-3.30pm. InterContinental Doha The City, West Bay, www.intercontinental.com/dohathecity (4015 8888).
Way up of the 47th floor, there is always a touch of “wow factor” about this impressive hangout. For those not in the know, this is Doha’s revolving restaurant and Christmas Day could be the special occasion you have been waiting for.
QR280 (with soft drinks), QR140 (kids aged 6-12). 12pm-3pm. Three Sixty, The Torch, Aspire Zone, www.thetorchdoha.com (4446 5600).
Sing, eat, decorate and buy your way through a series of festive events, markets and activities in Doha.
Afternoon tea with Santa
Father Christmas himself will be the guest of honour at this cosy holiday treat. There are photo opportunities (which are great for kids and Instagramming adults alike), gingerbread house decorating and an afternoon tea buffet.
QR190 (adults), QR95 (kids aged 6-12), free (under six). Dec 19-24, 1pm-3pm and 5pm-7pm. Venezia Ballroom, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
chocolate house and buffet at Banana Island
This year, not only is Zest café on Banana Island building an entire chocolate house (made with hundreds of kilos of chocolate, gallons of royal icing and thousands of pieces of candy), but they will also be having an all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet featuring more than 100 chocolate desserts.
Chocolate buffet: QR80 (adults), QR40 (kids aged 6-12). Dec 1-31, daily noon-9pm; Chocolate house, from Dec 15. Banana Island Resort by Anantara www.doha.anantara.com (4040 5050).
Festive afternoon tea at Seasons Tea Lounge
The Four Seasons scooped up our 2016 award for Best Afternoon Tea, so we’re excited to see what festive treats they’ll have lined up for their tiered trays this Christmas.
QR215 (with one hot or cold beverage). Dec 19-21, 3pm-6.30pm. Seasons Tea Lounge, Four Seasons Hotel, Doha, West Bay, www.fourseasons.com/doha (4494 8600).
Festive tree lighting at The Westin
This is the first time The Westin has had an official tree-lighting ceremony, and they’re going all-out with a choir, treats and festive food and drink.
Free. Mon Dec 19, 4pm. Lobby, The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, Salwa Road, www.westindoha.com (4492 1555).
InterContinental Doha tree lighting
West Bay will sparkle a little brighter when the InterContinental switches on the tree lights. The glittering ceremony will have festive drinks and pastries, Santa handing out gifts to kids, a choir belting out Christmas tunes and even the opportunity to snap up festive hampers.
Free. Mon Dec 19, 7pm. InterContinental Doha, West Bay Lagoon, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
Kempinski tree lighting
There is a giant tree coming to the lobby of the Kempinski Residences and all the decoration, stollen and ambience you could hope for. But what we’re most excited about is the first sip of the signature Valrhona hot chocolate. We don’t care how hot it is outside.
Free. Tue Dec 20, 6pm. Lobby, Kempinski Residences, West Bay, www.kempinski.com (4405 3333).
K Festive Boutique
This festive emporium of gingerbread houses, cookies, traditional stollen cakes, panettones, cinnamon stars, mince pies and more transform the lobby into a winter wonderland.
Daily from Mon Dec 19, 10am-10pm. The Grand Lobby, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
Marriott Carol Singers in Lobby
A choir will be delivering festive music and seasonal cheer every night from Monday December 19 all the way up to Christmas Eve. It’ll really put you in the festive mood.
Free. Dec 19-24, 7-8pm. The Lobby, Doha Marriott, Ras Abu Aboud Street, www.dohamarriott.com (4429 8499).
Rugby Club winter market
Nothing says Christmas quite like a game of rugby. Er, actually that doesn't sound right, but there is a strong community spirit and market stalls, a grotto, bouncy castle and good vibes at the club’s festive market.
QR10 (adults), free for kids. Sat Dec 3, 9am-1pm. Doha Rugby Club, Ahmed bin Taymiya Street, www.doharfc.com (6674 4905).
Second Chance Christmas Fair
A Christmas fair with a good cause, browse handmade crafts, book and more. There will be a Santa’s grotto, face painting and a bouncy castle, as well as raffle prizes and seasonal cheer. All proceeds go towards raising money for the more than 200 rescued dogs and cats at the centre.
QR50 (adults), QR25 (kids). Fri Dec 2, 4pm-8pm. Parkview Pet Center, Madinat Khalifa North, www.parkviewpetcenter.net (4417 1560).
All the delicious meat, gravy and vegetables of a restaurant, enjoyed while sitting at home in your new Christmas onesies? Yes please. Takeaway turkeys from top Doha hotels is a good option. Place your orders at least two weeks in advance, and then all you need to worry about is washing up and buying crackers.
Just think how easy it would be to select the size of bird you want and let the Marriott chefs roast it for you while you concentrate on pulling crackers and emptying your stockings.
QR640 (4-5kg), QR980 (7-8kg). Doha Marriott, Ras Abu Aboud Street, www.marriott.com (4429 9499).
Turkeys of all sizes and shapes. Er, actually they are all turkey-shaped, but sizes do vary in the Four Seasons kitchen. Get an expertly prepared bird to suit the size of your party and snip the stress out of your day.
QR150 per kilogram. Four Seasons Doha, Doha Corniche, www.fourseasons.com (4494 8600).
The InterContinental Doha’s festive hampers are something of an institution in the city. As well as the traditional turkey to take away, there are lots of sweet options to choose from including attractive centrepieces like an edible ginger house.
Price on request. InterContinental Doha, West Bay, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
InterContinental Doha The City
This West Bay hotel has gone the extra mile.We give them extra credit for including bread sauce along with the gravy and cranberry, and mashed, as well as roast, potatoes. Optional extras include salmon or beef as turkey alternatives and pudding options include six (yes, six!) different kinds of Yule log.
QR350 (5.5kg), QR550 (7.5kg). InterContinental Doha The City, West Bay, www.intercontinental.com/dohathecity (4015 8888).
Pick up the turkey and all the trimmings to takeaway and do your very best not to pull over in your car and have “just a little bit” on the drive home. Check out the online order form to hand-pick the food you want in
From QR495. Quick Bites, Marriott Marquis City Centre, www.marriottmarquisdining.com (4419 6134).
Marsa Malaz Kempinski
We rate the kitchen teams at the Marsa Malaz Kempinski highly, so we reckon the turkey in a box (complete with onion and sage stuffing, sauces, spuds and honey-glazed vegetables) will make your Christmas at home stress-free and delicious for five or six people.
QR995 (serves five-six). Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
Millennium Hotel Doha
This great value-for-money option gets you a family-sized turkey with all the condiments for less than QR600. If that's not a deal, then we don't know what is.
QR595. Catering, Millennium Hotel Doha, Jawan Street, Al Sadd, www.millenniumhotels.com (4424 7777).
Buttered carrots, broccoli, roast potatoes, onion, sage and apricot stuffing and lots of gravy and cranberry sauce to splash over a turkey big enough for eight people. Sound good to you? Get your order in with the Radisson Blu.
QR600 (turkey only), QR680 (turkey with trimmings). Palm Garden, Radisson Blu Doha, Salwa Road, www.radissonblu.com (4428 1555).
The St. Regis Doha
Traditional trimmings for this turkey include parsnips, sprouts and roasted potatoes and even a Bûche de Noël for good measure. The St. Regis chefs suggest it is enough for eight diners, but we’re sorely tempted to try and take it on by ourselves…
QR990 (serves eight). The St. Regis Doha, West Bay, www.stregisdoha.com (4446 0105).
The black pepper and pomegranate molasses-glazed turkey comes with optional sides (for QR30 each) such as velvety mashed potatoes, vanilla-scented sweet potato purée and marshmallow and roasted chestnuts.
QR790 (serves 8-10). W Café, W Doha, West Bay, www.wcafedoha.com (4453 5385).
The Westin Doha
Hunter’s is well-known for its weekly roasts, and you can take the experience home with you on Christmas Day with all the traditional trimmings, and for an extra QR150 the chefs will throw in a festive sharing dessert, too.
QR750 (serves 6-8). Hunters, Westin Doha, Salwa Road, www.westindoha.com (4492 1555).
New Year's Eve parties
It has been a brilliant year. Celebrate it at these party spots, and we’ll see you next year for more of the same.
A night of Italian style and finery start with an Italian five-course meal and live jazz music. If you take a dining table, you’ll get free access to a reserved table in the lounge for a DJ set inspired by the film The Great Beauty.
QR380 (with soft drinks), QR440 (with selected beverages). 8.30pm-2am. Antica Pesa, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.anticapesadoha.com (4035 5011).
Bab Al Baher
Right down on the water’s edge, you can get the sand-between-your-toes beach vibe with an Arabic atmosphere, a three-course set menu and shisha.
QR450 (per couple, with soft drinks), QR550 (per couple, with selected beverages), QR2,000 (cabana for a minimum six people). 7pm-1am. Bab Al Baher, Hilton Doha, West Bay, www.hilton.com (4423 3447).
Champions Sports Bar
The American-inspired, sporty hangout is going Cuban for the night and that means the beverages, fashion, food and music will all have a hint of Havana about it. Head here for a fun, casual evening.
Free. 5pm-2am. Champions Sports Bar, Marriott Marquis City Centre, www.marriottmarquisdining.com (4419 5000).
For those that like a brunch (and there are plenty of us out there), you will be in familiar territory here. Live cooking stations and tempting foodie sights abound, and a resident DJ stops you from slipping into a food coma.
QR425 (food only), QR525 (with selected beverages), QR215 (kids aged 6-12). From 8pm. Choices, Oryx Rotana, Airport Road, www.rotana.com (4402 3333).
Elements, Arabica ad Il Teatro combine to make a giant circus space. There will be circus games and live performances from circus stars for one night only.
QR600 (with soft drinks), QR800 (with selected beverages), QR300 (kids 5-12). 7pm-1am. Four Seasons Doha, West Bay, www.fourseasons.com (4494 8600).
International house and R ‘n’ B stars Luciana (famed for collaborating with Tiësto and Hardwell) and MIMS are performing at a massive W Doha party. Bring dancing shoes and expect beats to be turned all the way up. Entry price includes one beverage.
QR250 (gents), QR150 (ladies). 9pm-2am. Crystal Lounge, W Doha, West Bay www.crystaldoha.com (5500 3898).
You don’t need us to explain why Dunes’ special NYE Liquid Brunch will be one of the best places to be at midnight. DJ Santiago Vittorelli (and his upgraded disco lighting) will be on the decks, and the event’s loyal crowd will no doubt be throwing plenty of shapes on the dancefloor.
QR299 (house beverages), QR39 (selected beverages), QR499 (premium package). 9pm-2am. Dunes, Grand Hyatt Doha, West Bay www.hyatt.com (4448 1234).
We love the artsy, Barcelona-vibe at this cool Spanish lounge. Tuck into the six-course Spanish menu while congratulating yourself on choosing such a stylish and delicious New Year’s Eve bash. The live band will help, too. Turn to page 113 for a chance to win dinner and a stay at the hotel.
QR425 (with soft drinks), QR550 (with selected beverages). 7pm-2am. El Faro, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
The black lights are on, so wear white or neon to stand out and glow at Glo. Watch out for a splash of UV paint, glow sticks and more surprises at this rave-style lounge.
Free (before 9pm), QR50 (after 9pm). 5pm-2am. Glo, Marriott Marquis City Centre, www.marriottmarquisdining.com (4419 5000).
The dress code is listed as “Strictly Disco Glam” (a theme we can definitely get involved with) to go along with the gala dinner and 12-piece band flying in from the US. This is bound to be one of the biggest, and certainly funkiest, options of the night.
QR995 (with selected beverages). From 8pm. Great Room, W Doha, West Bay, www.whoteldoha.com (4453 5135).
There’s a three-course dinner at this jazzy lounge, and a refined atmosphere, with plenty of cool jazz performances to get you swinging.
QR450 (dining), QR250 (entry only). From 8pm. Jazz Club, Oryx Rotana, Airport Road, www.rotana.com (4402 3333).
You could do far worse than seeing in the New Year at this charming Irish pub to the tunes of a live band. Rock your way into 2017 at this laidback affair.
QR220 (with two selected beverages). 8.30pm-2am. Irish Harp, Sheraton Grand, Al Corniche Street, www.irishharpdoha.com (4485 3000).
Mixed Mexican drinks, party favours, balloons and a fun, chilled-out atmosphere make this buffet and party spot a cheery place for a New Year’s Eve party to remember.
QR270 (with selected beverages), QR135 (kids aged six-12), free (kids under six). 7.30pm-1am. Latino Steakhhouse, Sheraton Grand Resort, www.latinodoha.com (4485 3000).
Always one of the biggest and best-attended nightspots in the city, you can always be sure of a buzzing atmosphere at this party. Special decorations, lighting and guest DJs are promised at a clubbing hotspot with access to Paloma.
QR150 (before 11.30pm), QR200 (after 11.30pm), QR1,000-QR3,600 (table packages). 8pm-2am. InterContinental Doha, West Bay, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
Madison Piano Bar
Renowned singer Fadi Harab will be performing at the distinguished venue along with resident performer Shadi El Bacha, topped off by tunes from DJ Chadi Axen. All you have to do is dance 2016 away.
Price still to be confirmed at the time of writing. Call ahead to check. 10pm-2am. Madison Piano Bar, La Cigale Hotel, Sulhaim Nin Hamad Street, www.lacigalehotel.com (4428 8665).
Ring in 2017 in one of the largest outdoor dance areas in the city. It’s usually one of the busiest spot in this part of town and we expect no difference on the year’s biggest party night.
QR499-699 (early bird tickets), QR799 (on door). 7pm-2am. Mix Bar, Westin Doha, Freej Bin Mahmoud, www.mixbardoha.com (4492 1555).
Expect traditional Greek plate smashing on the stroke of midnight and a Bouzouki band that is likely to get feet tapping no matter how much goat’s cheese tart and octopus you ate from the four-course menu.
QR450 (adults), QR225 (kids aged 6-11). 7pm-1am. Mykonos, InterContinental Doha, West Bay, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
New York Steakhouse
The Marriott Marquis crew are promising live entertainment, but the real highlight of this intimate event is the five-course menu.
From QR495. 6.30pm-12.30am. New York Steakhouse, Marriott Marquis City Centre, www.marriottmarquisdining.com (4419 5000).
The brainchild of Nobu Matsuhisa and his business partner, a certain Mr Robert DeNiro, this sleek Japanese-Peruvian lounge has a seven-course omakase menu and a countdown party on the rooftop lounge.
QR750 (food only). 7pm-1.30am. Nobu, Four Seasons Doha, Doha Corniche, www.fourseasons.com (4494 8600).
Enjoy a Peruvian menu with dishes like langoustine tempura and wasabi foam or lemon tart with honey and mascarpone ice cream. Resident band Soul Shake will keep the tempo high. Includes access to Lava.
QR450 (four-course menu with a beverage), QR150 (admission before 11.30pm), QR200 (admission after 11.30pm). 8pm-2am. Paloma, InterContinental Doha, West Bay, www.ihg.com (4484 4919).
Excellent Iranian food and entertainment is on the cards at a late-night family-style event.
QR375 (with a welcome beverage). 6.30pm-midnight. Parisa, Sharq Village, Ras Abu Abboud Street, www.ritzcarlton.com (4425 6666).
The “Glitz and Glamour” themed dinner promises excellent food and live entertainment, plus it includes a free ticket to the after party at The Bridge.
QR390 (with a selected beverage). 8pm-11.30pm. Prime, InterContinental Doha The City, West Bay, www.intercontinental.com/dohathecity (4015 8888).
The UK’s DJ Melody is in town at the massive nightclub and we’re looking to this spot to deliver dance moves and plenty of it than on New Year’s Eve.
Free (ladies before 10pm), QR50 (ladies after 10pm), QR130 (gents). 8pm-2am. Qube, Radisson Blu Doha, Salwa Road www.radissonblu.com, (4428 1555).
This is a reliable option for big groups of friends and families seeking a buffet and live musical entertainment. The food at Sawa is top-notch and, the whole thing is set in the palatial Marsa Malaz Kempinski with plenty of glittering decorations. Perfect for the occasion.
QR495 (with soft drinks), QR595 (with selected beverages), QR150 (kids aged 6-12). From 7pm. Sawa, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
The Mövenpick’s signature restaurant will be putting on a buffet spread and live band, plus the dinner price also gets you access to the Jazz Up bar for the countdown.
QR295 (with selected beverages). 6.30pm-1am. Seasons, Mövenpick Hotel, Al Salata, www.movenpick.com (4429 1111)
The atrium hangout has live musical entertainment and a buffet on offer for the evening.
QR250 (food only). 8pm-2am. Sky Lounge, Oryx Rotana, Airport Road, www.rotana.com, (4402 3333).
The Sky High New Year’s Eve party price includes welcome drinks, an izakaya tasting menu and jaw-dropping views.
QR250 per person. 9pm-2am. Strata, InterContinental Doha The City, West Bay, www.intercontinental.com/dohathecity (4015 8888).
The St. Regis
The chefs from Astor Grill, Opal by Gordon Ramsay and Vine join forces for this grand evening celebration. The evening New Year’s Eve version of the hotel’s Grand Brunch will, without doubt, be one of the liveliest events in the city. And when it comes to buffet spreads the food is pretty unbeatable.
QR555 (with selected beverages), QR655 (premium package), full non-refundable payment before Tue Dec 20. 8pm-1am. The St. Regis Doha, West Bay, www.stregisdoha.com (4446 0105).
This could be one of the busiest parties in Doha. Guests at any of the restaurants at InterContinental Doha The City receive a free ticket to join the fun, but you can skip the food and head straight to the dancefloor, too.
QR150 (includes a beverage). 8pm-2am. The Bridge, InterContinental Doha The City, West Bay, www.intercontinental.com/dohathecity (4015 8888).
This Noche Vieja party brings a Spanish twist to the evening at this popular tapas spot. Celebrate one of the world’s most fashionable cuisines and cultures with a set menu and cool party vibes.
QR300 (food only). 8pm-2am. The Cellar, Oryx Rotana, Airport Road, www.rotana.com (4402 3333).
There have been some big parties here in the past 12 months, but none likely to exceed the scale of this impressive al fresco event. As usual for this St. Regis party spot, there will be a DJ, plus you'll have the chance to snaffle a few canapés as well.
QR200 per person, QR3,000-6,000 (tables). 8pm-2am. The Rooftop, St. Regis Doha, West Bay, www.rooftopdoha.com (4446 0105).
The evening brunch will have all the usual live cooking stations and food bars, plus complimentary passes to the after-party on the bridge.
QR355 (with soft drinks), QR555 (with selected beverages), QR177.5 (kids aged 6-12). 8pm-11.30pm. InterContinental Doha The City, West Bay www.intercontinental.com/dohathecity (4015 8888).
Celebrity chef Richard Sandoval’s ludicrously trendy lounge concept will have a pan-Latin set menu of sharing dishes that you can enjoy before joining the party upstairs in the lounge.
QR390 (with soft drinks), QR490 (with selected beverages), QR590 (premium package), QR150 (lounge only, with two beverages). 8pm-2am. Toro Toro, Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl-Qatar, www.kempinski.com (4035 5011).
There ain’t no party like a faux Polynesian party. There will be a Cuban band and DJ at ocean-facing Trader Vic’s, and both dinner and walk-in drinks packages are available to see you comfortably into the New Year.
QR350 (entry and two beverages), QR850 (food and selected beverages). 8pm-2am. Trader Vic’s, Hilton Doha, West Bay www.tradervicsdoha.com (4423 3118).
The buzz around the stylish lounge is down to critically-acclaimed DJ Paula Serra and saxophonist Ramon Riera’s performances. The pair have played with the biggest names in dance music and are bringing star quality to our shores to kick off to 2017.
QR250 (ladies selected beverage package), QR350 (premium package), QR450 (gents selected beverage package), QR600 (premium package). 7.30pm-2am. Wahm, W Doha, West Bay, www.wahmdoha.com (4453 5135).
Zengo and Z Lounge
Just thinking about the 61st-floor location of this hip restaurant and lounge makes us swoon a little. At Zengo, a five-course set menu is centre stage while neighbouring Z Lounge has tunes from DJ Alex to whip up a party atmosphere. We’re also intrigued by the promise of digital fireworks at midnight.
QR350-450 (Zengo), QR100 (Z-Lounge ladies), (Z Lounge gents). 8pm-12.30am. Zengo, Kempinski Residences, West Bay, www.kempinski.com (4405 3333).
Festive films to watch
The Snowman (1982)
Raymond Briggs’s book came to life once a year throughout many childhoods, as the animated film was shown on TV without fail. Nominated for an Oscar, the short film tells of a boy whose snowman magically becomes real. Add the haunting song Walking In The Air and you have a true Christmas classic.
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
A moving tribute to the power of the individual, Frank Capra’s snowy festive classic is a true delight, as entertaining as it is message-driven. James Stewart puts in the performance of a lifetime as a troubled man who’s given a second chance.
This festive comedy makes full use of Will Ferrell’s man-child charm by casting him as a naïve human raised by elves and thrown into a cynical, modern-day New York. Highlights include a duet of Baby, It’s Cold Outside with an unwitting Zooey Deschanel.
Home Alone (1990)
Parents go on holiday, forget a kid, then he can eat ice cream and watch movies as much as he likes, before getting the chance to invent some booby traps to catch burglars. Four sequels followed.
The Polar Express (2004)
Robert Zemeckis sprinkled his family-friendly magic on this performance-capture animation starring Tom Hanks. This one ticks a lot of Christmas boxes including reindeer, elves and a whole heap of snow.
A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)
It’s only 25 minutes long, but this beloved cartoon manages to pack in more warmth, more wit and more honest seasonal spirit than most full-length Christmas movies. It’s largely down to Vince Guaraldi's flawless, jazz-tinged score.
Die Hard (1988)
“Now I have a machine gun… Ho ho ho.” Die Hard was voted the greatest action movie of all time in a Time Out poll of stunt people and filmmakers. But where would it be without the ironic jingle of Let it Snow on the soundtrack, or Bruce Willis firing off festive quips.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
The finest Christmas comedy of them all? Chevy Chase and his extended family suffer a series of unfortunate, unlikely and often downright gruesome seasonal setbacks. Chevy’s madcap speech at the dinner table is an all-time classic.
Love Actually (2003)
This is either unbearable schmaltz or a festive heart-warmer, depending on who you ask. Even a school play is an opportunity for romance in this ensemble comedy-drama. Comic standouts include Bill Nighy as an ageing rock legend.