6 Things to do in Doha

And here we go again, hello from Doha!

I have to be honest with you guys and tell you when I first arrived to Doha, I thought that I am going to get bored in here and leave very soon, but somehow this city has managed to change my mind. Just like any other city around the world there is a charming side to Doha, and i can say I was lucky enough to find that part and explore it.

Here I am writing this while enjoying my half hour bus drive to work sharing with you my list of the main 6 things I think you should do if fate ever brings you to this city. Hoping it will help you finding your own way to enjoy staying here in Doha.
1- Early morning breakfast.
This might seem common, and you might think that this could be done anywhere in the world, but trust me in here the options are endless! Mainly because of all the people from different backgrounds and countries who live here and have managed to bring with them all their authentic food which means you can be in so many cities all at the same time and the options vary widely from strict vegetarian to fish or meat.

My favorite place is a South Indian vegetarian restaurant Sarvan Bhavan! I simply cannot get over their food especially the vada, masala dosa and their fresh filtered coffee.

2- Night at the souq!!
Whenever you feel lonely at any time of the day just head to Souq Waqif, you will find shops that open 24/7 and you will always find people there. I always go to the same shop, Tajin, a Moroccan restaurant and cafe where I enjoy the Moroccan mint tea while smoking shisha!

img_0297
Sunrise from the souq with the spiral Mousque in the background

3- Wild Doha !!!
Not so wild though :p. For me the one and only issue with night life here is that the law requires that all the bars, clubs and I guess any restaurant that serves alcohol must close at 2 am! Other than that there are so many options! Basically each bar or club has its own atmosphere and regular crowd.
I suggest you try Lava club in Intercontinental Doha, and try the terrace at the Double Tree, those two are my favorite.
4- Late night – early morning walk
Recently this has been my favorite activity to do. And since my workplace is a walking distance from the Souq and Corniche I always find myself ending up walking there alone. Especially at this time of the year when the weather is so refreshing, nothing

image
Sunset at the harbor

can beat this. Do this walk and you will see Doha like you never did before, I guess this is what helped me to fall in love with the city.

5- Shopping!
Well, just like many other cities shopping here is crazy! The number of malls and shopping arcades you have is uncountable! In every mall you go to you will find a couple of shops that you want to buy things from (at least that’s me, I am on my way to become my family’s shopaholic). So while doing shopping you would end up visiting 5 to 6 different malls going home with dozens of bags and yes and empty wallet and credit card!

6- Photography (to the photographer side of you)
It is true that I’m only an amateur, but I still like to go from time to time to take new pictures, try new features.¬†And here in I found so many places that you will never get over. Just for example if you head to the Souq I guess you would need a whole day and might not be enough to capture images of all the allies and streets there.

image
Always carry your camera with you, you never know when you will find a cat waiting for a picture.

As I said these are my top favorite things to do in here, but there is still way more things to do, for instance going to Katara, or hiking in the desert and much more, have you found your top things to do in here yet?

Sincerely an orange,
KJ

Moving to Doha

Marhaba from Doha !!

Moving to Doha! Sounds easy, no? For some people it is so easy, they get on the plane, sit for 5-6 hours or so, and they are in Doha enjoying their life one day at a time. Well, I wish I was one of these people.

Anyway preparing to move here took me a couple of weeks, the hardest part was to find out what to bring with me and what to leave behind. Believe me when I tell you, that it was not an easy task as I didn’t know what I would need here, how the weather is like, what I would not find here that I need to bring with me and so on . Personally, I searched and looked around the web none of the blogs that I came across had the information that I was looking for.

VISA

Issuing the visa will totally depend on your sponsor, the more they need you, the faster they will follow up with the authorities, and the harder they will try to get it as fast as possible. However, sometimes the process would still take some time. I personally was lucky enough to get my visa in one day, however one of my friends here had to wait 3 months till she got her! So if your visa is taking time be patient and don’t worry, it is just a matter of time ūüôā

PACKING

Summer is super hot, but I have to admit that it is not as humid as other gulf countries. I personally prefer the weather here rather than the weather in Dubai for example. In winter the weather gets cold during night times and early mornings so a sweater is needed. Make sure you bring a couple with you, and during some nights a light jacket would be a must. So make sure you get light clothes for summer and get ready for the heat waves, and don’t forget sweaters and light jackets for winter.

GETTING HERE

Don’t pay attention to any of the stereotypes that you here about the Middle East. People don’t live in tents and they are not riding camels and they also are not the characters portrayed with Jack Bauer in 24!! People are friendly and you will find everything when you arrive, everything is available at the airport. You can get your SIM card, exchange money and what have you. The only thing you won’t be able to get is alcohol, as here in Qatar in order to buy alcohol you will need to issue your own alcohol license which will allow you to purchase and enjoy your alcohol, a license valid only for you!

GETTING AROUND 

There are buses that have a schedule online and taxis that are available all the time. A subway is currently under construction.

“Karwa” is the official company that is monitoring all the transportations, taxis, public buses and even limousine services. All the official taxis have Karwa written on their doors. And when I say official I mean it, as you will find here that wherever you go and while waiting for a taxi, you will be approached by strangers asking you if you need a taxi. Be aware of scammers!

This is not an official transportation method and your safety now is in your own hands. That being said, there are some drivers who operate on their own and you’d find that some would actually be very kind and helpful, and would pick you up anytime of the day or night for that matter. Just make sure to ask your friends for a driver that they trust or deal with. Otherwise, always use a Karwa taxi.

Karwa’s official website http://www.mowasalat.com/en/portal

  

These are some of the basics things that crossed my mind, but feel free to comment below if you have any questions and hopefully I’ll have an answer for your questions ūüôā

Welcome to Doha, and enjoy.

Salam from an orange !

Kj

Milk chocolate cashew nut cookies 

Hello from Doha, Qatar!

It has been a while since I blogged, as I was busy moving to start my new work here in Doha. Moving to Doha was not an easy thing to do !!! Not at all !!!

Anyway on the night before flying to Qatar, I baked a couple dozens of my favorite cookies, cashew nuts and milk chocolate. I got this recipe while doing my apprenticeship in Hong Kong from my French pastry chef. It is simply delicious and very easy to make. Just make a batch and freeze them. Once you need some cookies take them out of the freezer, cut them, and bake them. It won’t take 10 minutes. The best part of it is that you can simply decide whether you like it chewy or hard by following a simple trick you that would give you the texture you want.
Ready?

Here we go :Milk chocolate cashew cookies

  • 300 g ¬† Butter
  • 525 g ¬† Brown sugar
  • 180 g ¬† Eggs
  • 600 g ¬†Flour
  • 5 ¬† ¬† g ¬†Baking powder
  • 5 ¬† ¬† g ¬†Salt
  • 5 ¬† ¬† g ¬†Bicarbonate soda
  • 500 g ¬†Cashew nuts
  • 500 g ¬†Milk chocolate

*For soft and chewy cookies use dark brown sugar. Since it has more molasses, it will leave your cookies moist and soft. And for harder cookies I just use light brown sugar!

Method:

  1. Beat the butter and the sugar together then add all the ingredients following the order.
  2. Weigh the dough and divide it into 450 g portions, roll the dough in parchment paper and freeze.
  3. Once you want some freshly baked cookies, remove your roll from the freezer leave it for a couple of minutes till it is softer to cut but still firm to get nice identical cookies.
  4. Bake at 180 C for 6 minutes, et voila!

Happy baking,

KJ