AP PHOTOS: Qatar bustles with traditional and tourist stops

Nov 26, 2022, 3:15 PM | Updated: Nov 27, 2022, 5:56 am
A plane flies over the Crescent Tower Lusail during sunrise in Lusail, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 20...

A plane flies over the Crescent Tower Lusail during sunrise in Lusail, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

              A worker walks at the Doha Corniche in front of the skyline on the day before the start of the Soccer World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              A child plays with a soccer ball at Katara Beach during the World Cup soccer tournament, in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
            
              Brazil's soccer team fans jump for a photo along the Doha corniche in Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
            
              Shop staff wait for customers in front of a souvenir shop at the Souq Waqif Market in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
            
              A mural painting of late soccer star Diego Maradona is seen as people pass by, during the second anniversary of his death at West Bay, in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
            
              Beachgoers enjoy the day in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
            
              People dance in a wooden boat at the Corniche sea promenade in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Pearl fishing drove Qatar's economy until the 1930s. The dangerous, seasonal trade employed nearly all the former British protectorate's young men and many slaves. But the market collapsed in the early 20th century with the Japanese invention of artificial pearls. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
            
              Visitors walk at the Souq Waqif Market in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
            
              People gather at the Corniche in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
            
              A man walks at the Doha Corniche in front of the skyline on the day before the start of the Soccer World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              Kantcho Doskov from Canada shows his ball skills on the sand at a beach in Al Wakrah, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022. The World Cup soccer tournament is being held from Nov. 20 to Dec. 18 in Qatar. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
            
              Women buy ice-cream at the Corniche, in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. (AP Photo/)
            
              Tourists taking pictures at the Doha Corniche in front of the skyline on the day before the start of the Soccer World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              A fisherman works on a tool at Katara Beach during the World Cup soccer tournament, in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
            
              People take photographs of the Pearl monument at the Corniche sea promenade in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Pearl fishing drove Qatar's economy until the 1930s. The dangerous, seasonal trade employed nearly all the former British protectorate's young men and many slaves. But the market collapsed in the early 20th century with the Japanese invention of artificial pearls. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
            
              Fahid Mohamed from Qatar smiles into the camera as he watches the World Cup soccer match between Qatar and Senegal in his house in Al-Ruwais, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
            
              A former pearl diver Saad Ismail talks to a client in his pearl shop in Souq Waqif market in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
            
              A flag waves over a house as the sun sets in Al-Ruwais, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
            
              People play cricket in the streets in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. As dawn broke Friday as Qatar hosts the World Cup, the laborers who built this energy-rich country's stadiums, roads and rail filled empty stretches of asphalt and sandlots to play cricket. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Worshippers pray at a mosque in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)
            
              With the city skyline in the background, a traditional dhow boat sails at the corniche in Doha, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 17, 2022. Final preparations are being made for the soccer World Cup which starts on Nov. 20 when Qatar face Ecuador. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
            
              People watch the soccer match between Qatar and Senegal at a public viewing area in Al-Ruwais, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
            
              People play cricket in the streets in Doha, Qatar, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. As dawn broke Friday as Qatar hosts the World Cup, the laborers who built this energy-rich country's stadiums, roads and rail filled empty stretches of asphalt and sandlots to play cricket. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
            
              Old wooden boats anchor at the Doha Corniche in front of the modern skyline on the day before the start of the Soccer World Cup in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
            
              A plane flies over the Crescent Tower Lusail during sunrise in Lusail, Qatar, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The winding cobbled alleys of Souq Waqif create a labyrinthine bazaar stuffed with dozens of small stores hawking spices and perfumes, scented oils, silk scarves, shimmering crystal chandeliers and glittering jewelry.

The Qatari capital’s oldest souq also features shisha lounges, antique stores, art galleries, restaurants and a stop where shoppers can have a falcon — the national bird of this small Arab country jutting out into the Persian Gulf — sit on their arm.

Qatar was once a dust-blown pearling port transformed into an ultra-modern hub following its 1990s natural gas boom, when expatriates, Western consultants and engineers, and low-paid South Asian construction workers and cleaners poured into the country.

The 1.2 million visitors expected during the World Cup in energy-rich Qatar can sample the daily life of the 350,000 residents through a variety of tourist attractions and everyday activities.

The beaches have golden sand and shallow, warm turquoise waters. Qatar has over 560 kilometers (348 miles) of coastline and Al Maroona is the most popular beach.

Want to get on the water? Take a cruise on the Arabian Gulf in a dhow, an integral part of Qatari culture and, before the oil era, the traditional boats were used for pearl diving, fishing and transporting goods. The dhows are a daily visual of Qatar’s centuries-old maritime heritage.

Take a casual stroll down the Doha Corniche, a seven-kilometer (more than four-mile) crescent walkway around Doha Bay that stretches from the pyramid-shaped Sheraton Hotel at the northern end to the Museum of Islamic Art at the south. In between are restaurants, clubs, parks and cultural attractions along the promenade overlooking the waterfront.

Don’t have World Cup match tickets? Big screens have been erected and soccer fans can often be found crowded around the televisions catching a game.

___

AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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AP PHOTOS: Qatar bustles with traditional and tourist stops