Thursday, 11 December 2014

Sometimes, a day off in Doha can feel like a day on a luxury holiday.

I say sometimes, as although the sun is shining in the State of Qatar 99% of the time, it still doesn't mean it's always ideal sunbathing weather. Just like in the UK we have rain, here in Doha we have sand storms. You wouldn't believe - unless you live here - how windy it can be, and with it how much sand gets whipped around. We have rain too, just maybe four days of the year instead of everyday of the year like in England. In the winter, sometimes, just sometimes, it's actually too chilly to be outside (in my opinion, at least!)

In contrast, the summer months are ludicrous, with the temperature reaching almost 50 degrees, which often makes it too hot to be outside. The humidity can be unbearable, so sometimes staying inside in the air conditioning is preferable.

Yesterday, however, the weather was the perfect 20 degrees, with a light breeze, making it an ideal day for a trip down to the St Regis hotel pool and beach.

Sometimes I get so caught up in moaning and griping about the frustrations of Doha that I often need to remind myself how lucky I am to have these facilities on my doorstep. Literally on my doorstep. As a resident of the neighbouring apartments, myself and the other residents in my tower block get complimentary access to the St Regis hotel facilities Sunday - Thursday (the Qatari working week).

Matt had the day off too, so we took a walk down to the Regis, signed ourselves in, and got ourselves comfy in the double sun beds, overlooking the stunning, palm tree lined pool.

We lounged in the sun for an hour or two, reading books (me) and playing Football Manager (him), before talking a walk along the beach. I have come to the conclusion that Shadow-Holly looks incredibly like a Teletubby.

The beach looks out onto the Pearl to the left - a manmade residential island home to some beautiful apartments, restaurants, and a lovely marina that docks some impressive mega yachts.

To the right is the city view, the Diplomatic area, home to businesses, banks, malls, and 5* city hotels. Not to mention some of my favourite restaurants in Doha.

Matt was enlisted as chief photographer while I got my pose on, realising I don't think I have a single photo of me on the beach from the whole time I've lived here. Sorry mum, I'm doing the arm pose again, I know how much it annoys you!

Whilst we were down on the beach, we watched some of Qatar's military planes and fighter jets as they practised their flight routines for Qatar National Day, on Thursday 18th December. Qatar National Day is an enormous celebration of the heritage of the country, with the major celebratory events taking place on the Corniche and at Katara. Last year, my colleague Jason and I couldn't get a car home from work as the roads just become gridlocked, so it took us three hours to walk home (we got lost, of course). This year, I would love to attend the celebrations at Katara and watch the National Day fireworks display, so I think I'll be leaving work a little earlier!

We took a walk along the pier and out on to a tiny jetty. This is probably one of my favourite places in Doha. It feels so peaceful, and a world away from the noise of the traffic, the stress of work, or the chaos of the malls.

Just me, the sea, and the city.

Not to mention an excellent posing location!

We headed back up to the pool, flopped back onto our sun bed, and were immediately brought over ice cold mango smoothies by the St Regis pool staff, who are all fantastic. In particular Sajid, who makes so much effort with all of the guests, chatting away and making them feel right at home.

Such a lovely morning in my back garden with the loved one. Same again on Monday?!


  1. I'm so jealous! It all looks so beautiful xxx

    -Sarah Speaks

    1. If you ever need a holiday destination for some winter sunshine Sarah, definitely consider the Middle East! Probably Dubai more than Qatar though as way more to do :) xx