July 06, 2023

Five Delightful Diversions for the Devoted

Date night is essential to any relationship; it's not just a perk for new couples. After all, a relationship doesn't stand still; it continues to develop throughout your time together. And, like an investment, it needs to be cared for and nurtured to keep all the stockholders happy. So whether you've been dating for four months, four years or forty, date nights should still be a regular occurrence. 

There are so many benefits to date nights. Taking time out of the daily humdrum, away from the stresses and strains of life, and 'discussions' over whose turn it is to take the rubbish out and who left their dirty washing on the floor gives you the time to communicate, focus on one another, stay current in each other's lives, be affectionate with each other, and have fun together. Indeed, regular time away from the hamster wheel of life, where often couples feel like ships passing in the night as they juggle work, childcare and general everyday chores, allows you to reconnect with your significant other, strengthen your bonds of friendship over shared interests, and, ultimately, to feel closer. 

Luckily, there are plenty of date night activities in Doha to help you to keep your relationship fun, fresh and fit against the rigours of life. So, if you are looking for some ideas, whether you plan something romantic or relaxing, exhilarating or entertaining, simple or luxurious, we have listed some of our favourites that cover all bases:

Date Nights in Doha

Check out the following ideas for the ultimate date night, no matter your style or budget; you don't need to stick to one idea - why not mix and match several options across one date and make the most of your time together?

For Foodies:

Image: RamenRestaurant/Facebook

Doha is jam-packed with great restaurants, from fine dining and gourmet eateries to quirky side-street diners. So many places offer, apart from the unbelievably good food, the perfect atmosphere or location for a romantic dinner for two. You can choose cosy candle-lit settings, rooftop restaurants with breathtaking views, oceanfront diners, eateries under the stars, and meals onboard yachts; the choice is endless. However, if you need some recommendations, check out the following:

If you love Asian food, fine dining, excellent views and a classy, romantic atmosphere, you will be besotted with Zengo. On the 61st floor of the Kempinski Residences in West Bay, Zengo is Doha's highest restaurant, and the views across the West Bay and the ocean to The Pearl and Lusail do not disappoint. Crafted food, exceptional views and low-lit ambience make Zengo a top choice for romantic foodies. 

Or try dining somewhere with an Arabian nights vibe - a beach majlis or a traditional hilltop kashta (a Middle Eastern tent) with ocean views, comfortable, cosy cushion-style seating surrounding Persian rugs and open fire pits, or a more opulent waterfront version with sumptuous Middle Eastern furnishing. Sukar Pasha Ottoman Lounge at Katara offers all three styles of romantic camps, with a mouthwatering Turkish menu to make the night a fantastic experience. 

Or, for a slightly more pocket-friendly option, try one of our favourite Japanese/Korean eateries, Ramen Restaurant. This super relaxed eatery in Msheireb has a quirky, traditional-style, with hanging paper lanterns shaped like Koi carp, Japanese and Korean knick-knacks adorning shelves and bookcases, wooden-cabin-style booths, and traditional Japanese Shoji blinds offering partitioned areas for private dining on low tables and floor cushions - perfect for dining duos. The food is fresh, and the menu offers a host of choices aside from the delicious ramen.

For Active Duos:

Image: Escalar

They say that couples who play together stay together, and playing or taking part in many sports requires teamwork, good communication, and, in some cases, trust - all essential skills for dating pairs. Plus, a little healthy competition can add a little spice to any relationship. So why not give date night a playful twist at one of the following activities:

Racket sports like tennis, badminton, squash and padel are great couples activities - playing one on one, it's intense, gets the blood flowing and the endorphins circulating, putting you both in a great mood. Our top pick for date night would be padel, similar to tennis, though played on a smaller-sized, enclosed court, and similar to squash, in that you can play off the court walls. An excellent racket sports all-rounder, padel can be played all over the city, but we recommend hiring courts out at 14/Love on the 14th floor of the Gate Mall. These rooftop courts definitely add thrill to any date night. 

For something more partner-orientated, why not try rock climbing? This activity is trust building (after all, you need to trust your belay partner will catch you if you fall) and requires communication, support and patience; plus, it's a workout and fun - what's not to love? Check out the wall at the Aspire Zone in Al Waab. Escalar is Qatar's only outdoor climbing centre with 10.5-metre walls and a bouldering gym offering top rope, lead and free climbing. 

Or for something a little more laid-back and with plenty of time for conversation, try bowling - fun, social and with amazingly attractive shoes; it's perfect for date night. We love the six-lane bowling alley at the Metropolis Bowling at the entertainment centre of the same name at The Pearl. And, once you’ve had your fill, you could always try the centre's other activities (darts, billiards, table tennis, Escape rooms, VR games, racing simulators or karaoke) and make a night of it.

For Relaxing Rendezvous:

Image: Qatar Living

Finding time for date nights amid busy schedules can be difficult, and finding the energy to invest in our chosen rendezvous can be even more challenging. However, investing in relationships helps to keep our connections stronger, our commitment deeper, and our partners happier! But date night needn't be hugely active or intense; a relaxed or simple affair can be just as fulfilling. Here are some suggestions to get you in the mood even when you're feeling frazzled:

Sometimes the simplest pleasures are the best ones, and walking and talking with your significant other is the perfect opportunity to take a break from the norm, take in the scenery and the fresh air, get some gentle but invigorating exercise, and spend some quiet, focussed time with your partner. There are many places to walk in Qatar, especially lovely in the evening with the sea breeze, low lighting, and multitudes of people out and about, creating a buzzing atmosphere. Try Al Bidda Park along Doha’s seafront promenade (another excellent place to stroll). The park is Qatar's biggest, with winding paths threaded across the green expanse, up and down rolling hills, alongside water features, heritage sites, play parks, cafes and restaurants. And the views from the park across the city at night are magical and very romantic! 

If you don't fancy a walk, what about chilling in your favourite cafe? You could have a coffee at home, but heading out to a different locale, grabbing a drink and a comfy spot with your other half removes you from the norm, the TV, and your phone and allows you to focus on one another instead. Our favourite coffee shop is Voute Cafe in the Museum of Islamic Art park. The cafe is a delightful place to spend time with open-air tables looking across the ocean to West Bay's skyscrapers, the beautiful MIA in the background, and the surrounding green lawns. And, if you want to be alone, the cafe has numerous air-conditioned glass bubble domes that offer a little one-to-one privacy. 

You could always try a spa for a truly relaxing date night experience. There are a variety of spas in Doha offering couples massages and other signature treatments to iron out the knots in your muscles and relax your and your partner's minds, bodies and souls. We suggest the private spa at the Four Seasons Hotel in West Bay, an intimate couples beachfront suite with a whirlpool, steam room, Swiss shower and various spa treatment options.

For Entertaining Dates:

Image: Luna Karaoke

While quiet, romantic dates for two are a great option for couples, sometimes taking time to see a show, watch a film on the big screen, or some other live performance is equally beneficial for a relationship. Date night with entertainment, such as a night at the cinema, the theatre, a comedy club, or a gig, gives you a chance to share common interests, something to talk about, the opportunity to laugh, cry or even sing and dance together. So what does Doha offer couples who want to be entertained?

Take a trip to the cinema to see the latest flicks. It's hardly quality time together sitting in a dark room with a multitude of others, you say? Well, cinemas offer a lot more than that these days! Take VOX Cinema at the Doha Oasis in Msheireb. The VIP and VVIP options at the cinema allow you to dine before or after your chosen film at one of two luxury eateries - giving you a chance to catch up before your preferred movie or digest the on-screen events afterwards. Once inside the theatre, the VIP experience is completed with stylish surroundings, plush carpets underfoot, soft leather reclining chairs with waiter service pushbuttons, optional privacy screens (perfect for dating duos), warm blankets and pillows for extra comfort. 

For something a little more interactive, guaranteed to release some feel-good chemicals in your brain, and strengthen our relationship bonds through laughter, try a good comedy club with your loved one. Doha has an excellent troupe of local comedians, known as Stand Up Comedy Qatar, from all over the globe who regularly perform side-splitting comedy nights across the city. 

And, if you can’t find something or someone to entertain you and your better half, why not entertain one another…with karaoke? You may or may not be able to sing, but a little karaoke is a great way to step outside of yourselves and have some fun. Our top spot for singing the blues is Luna Karaoke at Xuan Tea, near downtown Msheireb. Decked out with UBox karaoke systems, with over 60,000 songs in many different languages, mammoth TV screens, comfortable sofas and air-conditioning, these mirrored lounges are the perfect places to go to relax, have fun and sing your hearts out. Plus, you can also get your fix of Bubble Tea and several traditional Taiwanese dishes - crispy taro balls, fried chicken and street potato balls - in between bouts of song!

For Cultural Twosomes:

Image: Shutterstock.com

If you're interested in history, heritage, culture and the arts, there are plenty of things to do as a couple in Doha. There are heaps of museums, art galleries, cultural centres and heritage sites to keep you entertained across numerous date nights. Most are located in genuinely awe-inspiring locations and buildings. 

Our first port of call for a cultural date night would be a trip to the National Museum of Qatar on Doha’s Corniche. IIt is a spectacular location to take a loved one. Built to resemble a Desert Rose, the complex architecture is breathtaking. And inside, the museum is a delight, a captivating journey encompassing the nation's natural history, the lives of ancestral Bedouins and early seafaring settlers, the establishment of the Qatari state, the discovery of oil, modern-day life in Qatar, and a glimpse of the state's vision for the nation's future. If you and your date feel peckish while there, pop into the museum's Jiwan Restaurant, serving refined Qatari cuisine from a rooftop terrace, with private booths offering stunning views across the ocean. 

Alternatively, head across the road to the Corniche’s other museum, the Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA), another sublime building of geometric lines, cool water features and waterfront vistas. Aside from being an architectural spectacle, MIA houses over fourteen centuries’ worth of Islamic art - one of the world's most significant collections. The galleries and exhibitions host works from three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe) and as far and wide as Iran, Central Asia, Egypt, Syria, Turkey and India, and cover, amongst other things, calligraphy, writing, figures, patterns and science in Islamic art. 

If you and your partner bond over classical-style music, catching a show from the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra would be a great date night . Playing in various locations, such as the tree-like structure of the Qatar National Convention Centre and the other-worldly National Library in Education City, the music and the surroundings should help your evening feel suitably romantic.

Main image: Ayoub Khari-Kayor/Shutterstock.com

Published: July 06, 2023
Last updated: July 06, 2023
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