To celebrate Qatar Airways commencing flights from Doha to Sydney, personal travel managers Ric Pattaro, representative for Haberfield and Vicki O’Dea, representative for Lane Cove joined an exclusive famil dedicated to members of CT Partners, to experience Doha the capital of Qatar. Qatar Airways and Shangri-La’s Hotels and Resorts hosted the whirlwind two night, three-day famil.
Rich in history, Islamic traditions and architecture, Doha with its blend of international influences and constantly changing skyline is a fascinating city to visit, as O’Dea discovers.
“It’s extremely rare to see a city in the making but Doha is very much a modern developing destination. Doha is a dynamic city that offers a new and unique holiday experience for travellers en route to Europe.”
Soaking up Qatar’s culture at the Katara Cultural Village are famil participants from left Stella Vlahos – Qatar Airways, Ric Pattaro – TravelManagers, Victoria Woolnough – Egencia, Darren Olsen – CT Connections, Vicki O’Dea – TravelManagers, Alexandria Cullen – Travel Beyond, Amber Hawkins – Travel Edge
Pattaro was awed by the incredible city architecture.
“A visit to Doha wouldn’t be complete without seeing Museum of Islamic Art, it’s a shining example of how Doha is modernizing its city yet retaining the heritage and character, a blend of old and new. Rising from its own purpose-built island the museum is shaped like a postmodern fortress with minimal windows to reduce energy use and houses the largest collection of Islamic art in the world.”
For O’Dea the night visit to the traditional Qatari Bazaar of the Souq Waqif was most memorable.
“Known as the social heart of Doha, the Souq Waqif is a wonderful place to explore. With its labyrinth of narrow streets and traditional architecture we had an absolute ball exploring and bargaining with the street traders.”
The outdoor cafes at the Souq Waqif are a great place to enjoy a drink and watch the world go by!
A significant amount of construction work is currently underway as the city prepares for the 2022 Soccer World Cup.
“Doha doesn’t currently offer any public transport although a light rail system is currently being build. Taxis are aplenty and very inexpensive, as are the boats across the harbour. I highly recommend taking a boat ride at night to view the city lights, it is a spectacular must do,” says O’Dea.
O’Dea discovers Qatar Airways is an airline with a real commitment to service.
A ladies get together! The traditional dress for women in Qatar includes long black robes with black coloured Hijab.
“Travelling on Qatar Airways was an absolute pleasure. The aircraft are new, clean and very comfortable which proved invaluable on the long-haul flight. The friendly crew providing unfaltering service combined with its modern features and amenities ensure I will now recommend to airline to my clients without hesitation.”
The group stayed at the luxurious Shangri-La Doha.
Qatar’s skyline is spectacular at night
“I can highly recommend this hotel. It’s central location and being connected to the City Centre Mall provides easy access to a wide range of dining and entertainment options. The pool area is simply stunning and a great place to relax and unwind after a day of exploring,” says O’Dea.
Pattaro from his personal experience offers some valuable and practical advice for travellers looking to visit Doha.
“A visa is required on arrival at a cost of 100 Qatari Riyal, it will be processed on your credit card. The currency of Qatar is the Qatari Riyal and is not available to purchase in Australia. Take some Australian dollars and recommend you change currency at one of the shopping malls. The malls are incredibly huge and offer the all of the international brands, Doha is truly a shoppers dream. Its travel tips like these that I know will make my clients’ travel the absolute best it can be.”
The impressive cityscape of downtown Doha
The TravelManagers’ personal travel manager educational programme is backed up by strong state and national support, which includes a national partnership office and seven state-based business partnership managers.
“TravelManagers national partnership office provide access to virtual office technology, training, marketing, fares and ticket as well as 24/7 access to all mid and back-office processes. Combined with local business partnership managers and valuing key preferred supplier relationships, personal travel managers have access to the broadest and most in-depth support nationwide. This type of behind the scenes central and local state-based support is crucial,” says Michael Gazal, TravelManagers’ Executive General Manager.
For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599.
Souq Waqif renowned for selling traditional garments, spices, handicrafts and home to dozens of restaurants and shisha lounges