I’ve heard of Aspire Park. Is it the same thing?
No. Aspire Park is in Aspire Zone, which, as the name suggests, is a massive complex comprising several fitness and sporting activities and venues. So whether you want to play basketball (for free), shake a leg with some Zumba lessons or go swimming, you can try it all here. Aspire Zone also holds the famous Khalifa Stadium, too.
Swimming in this weather? Not sure how I feel about that.
Well, Hamad Aquatic Centre is an indoor, fully air-conditioned complex that houses two Olympic-size swimming pools. It also has a gym, among other things, and you can register here to swim either on a daily or monthly basis. Families and men have separate pools each, with special timings for ladies. Swimming lessons are available too, for an extra charge.
Sounds good. What else?
There is the Aspire academy – which again is a complex within the Aspire Zone – that conducts various fitness activities from aqua aerobics and Zumba to weight lifting and cardio training. Men and women have separate areas, so it’s comfortable and private, as well as healthy.
I might get hungry after all that.
Then you have to go over to our award-winning café – Sugar & Spice. It’s a standalone café near Aspire Park and looks like a beautiful, white house with quirky interiors, a great selection of coffees and some of the best desserts in town. Right opposite, there’s Burgeri. No points for guessing what you can eat there.
You said there’s a park nearby?
Oh yes, and it is possibly one of the best open spaces in Doha. Aspire Park is beautifully landscaped, with a soft walking/jogging track, play area for children, lots of greenery, small hills and an artificial lake with fountains in and around it. They’ve even thrown in a few real ducks to optimise your experience. We are big fans of the free cardio equipment around the park. So you can squeeze in some cross-training while you walk around the park.
What about the free basketball?
Aspire Zone is one of the only spaces in Doha with public courts for free. They’re packed on weekends, but you can always half-court it and shoot some hoops of your own. It’s not just basketball, they have a volleyball net, as well as a football pitch. It’s pretty much the most comprehensive sporting arena in Qatar and definitely one to visit.
Aspire Academy (4413 6570).
Four other top things to do nearby
Check out this Venice-themed mall with gondola rides and lots of shopping and eating. There’s also Gondolania where you can ice-skate or ride a mini roller coaster.
Three Sixty at The Torch hotel is Doha’s only revolving restaurant (albeit very slow) and the best place to catch spectacular views of the city.
Pool with a view
That little projection in The Torch hotel you’ve always been wondering about is actually a swimming pool; it even changes colours at night.
You cannot miss the chance to try an authentic English afternoon tea at Victoria Tea Lounge in Mövenpick Hotel Al Aziziyah, if you’re in the area.