By Bakshish Dean
Entrenched in tradition and opulent heritage, Qatar is to be seen to be believed.
I experience the Qatar Airways business class as they say ‘First in Business’ on my way to Doha. Check in is a breeze. Once I arrive at my seat, I can immediately tell that I am going to relish a stress-free and pleasant journey. I begin with a flute of champagne and slip into my lie flat bed, without much ado.
The pyjamas come with complimenting cotton slippers, designed to keep the feet extra warm, and both are nothing short of extremely comfortable!
Also on offer are niceties including a lavish Nappa Dori vanity pack, as well as noise cancellation headphones for the Oryx inflight entertainment.
The ‘Dine on Demand’ concept suits me fine, allowing me to doze or eat at my own will. Totally relaxed and nurtured I reach Doha…all ready to explore. In flawless accord with the Business Class is their Premium Terminal.
A 25 minutes’ drive from Hamad International Airport brings me to Al Messila Resort & Spa, the first Luxury Collection resort in Qatar, set within an ethnic botanic sanctuary of Doha, offering unparalleled lifestyle, wellness and hedonistic brilliance in a gated, ‘reserved palace’ style setting, here genuine welcome is perfected with the distinguishing balminess of Qatari Culture.
Redesigned with natural Mimosa and Acacia trees, beside a profusion of lively vegetation, Al Messila is the vital haven escape inside a vibrant city.
This unforgettable journey of extravaganza, and perfect old-style hospitality, epicurean indulgence and relaxation, complimented by exceptional European flair, is rewriting the idea of indulgence in Qatar.
Interestingly, The Pearl-Qatar traversing nearly four spectacular square kilometres, looks rather like a pastel painted Venice and is predominantly empty in the daytime making it somewhat a veiled gem. Locals assure me that it comes to life in the evening but I really relish its inexplicable tranquillity.
One can spend a complete day visiting the art centre, music academy, fine arts & photographic society as well as the Amphitheatre at the Katara cultural village.
The gold walls, gleaming cheerful mosaic of tiles embellishing the mosque, towers and building walls are adequate to keep one in awe for a long while.
Souq Wakif is electric after the sun sets. The lively market streets of spices, oils, handicrafts, clothes, pearls and pets take on a life of their own. Restaurants fill in the blink of an eye.
Doha is plenteous with museums for delightful works of art as well as edify on past and future eras of Qatar.
I would positively recommend counting the Museum of Islamic Art to appreciate Calligraphy, figure in art, initial Islamic art and a distinctive exhibitions gallery.
Shaken not stirred, with a sprint of glamour in between, The Ritz-Carlton, Doha received the tailored Asprey beverage trolley for a festivity of workmanship and a conglomerate amid two iconic brands and I was lucky to attend the preview event supplemented by a limited trunk show emphasizing Asprey accessories.
Interestingly, made wholly for The Ritz-Carlton brand, the Asprey trolley magnets stimulus from the most inspired and state-of-the-art bar designs from the 1920s and 1930s when craft potions marked the height of style and also when Asprey began producing beverage shakers.
Rejoicing this golden age of exceptional blends and Art Deco glamour, the silver-plated and tempered glass trolley is on display at the elevated Ritz Carlton Doha Club Lounge until the end of November.
Fitted with the most high-class of extravagance accessories, the trolley features custom made paraphernalia in tallying to handmade shakers and mouth blown, hand engraved glassware. Skilled guest mixologists whisked up handcrafted drinks, using indigenous ingredients for locally curated beverages.
Road to FIFA 2022
Ascertaining Qatar’s road to 2022 Soccer World Cup is an adrenaline-charged treat. I am lucky to see mini-versions of the 8 arenas all with cooling systems, solar panels and best of all; assembled edifice so post-world cup they can be scrutinized and bestowed to underprivileged countries in desolate need of sports arenas.
The on-going stadiums in Qatar will use abundant precincts to become full combined into communities thereafter whether it be for athletics or other sports training. Owing to Qatar’s size, soccer fans will never have to travel more than an hour to reach another game, allowing fans the facility to see more than one game in a day. I am excited to see how the Middle East’s first world cup pans out.
Best Way to Reach: Fly Qatar Airways
Place to Stay:
Al Messila, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Doha
WHERE? Al Messila, 970 Um Al Saneem Street, Doha, Qatar
Tel: 974 4445 0000 Fax: 974 4445 0010