Snow Days in Qatar?
The heat in Qatar can sometimes be oppressive during the Summer months of May to October as temperatures rise and hover, on average, between 35oC and 42oC, with occasional highs of 50oC. And while the cooler weather in the winter months is positively balmy, with average highs of 22-25oC, we can still be left wanting much cooler climes. But where to find more frigid activities in this desert nation?
You may not think this desert nation would have much to offer to keep your temperature from rising other than air-conditioned activities. However, despite the heat, you can still enjoy some bracing snow days or at least the icy touch of Jack Frost in Qatar’s capital city Doha.
Qatar’s Cooler Activities
You can find several chilly pursuits in Doha to keep you cool, summer and winter, just check out the following:
Snow Dunes Theme Park
Image: Trip Advisor
The last thing that springs to mind in Qatar's Arabian desert climate is spending hours frolicking in the snow. However, you can do just that at the Snow Dunes Theme Park in Doha Festival City Mall.
The park is an Arabian-themed indoor venue designed to resemble a Middle Eastern town submerged in snow. Traditional style building facades, walls and walkways, and even a beached Dhow boat give life to the theme. Among the town walls, visitors can enjoy twelve snow-based rides and attractions. Head down the Dune Dash, the park's longest raft slide at 50 m, or race friends and family down any duo-racer slides, Snow Slide and Snow Storm, or the snowy hillocks of the White Dunes. Or try out the Snow Spin's ice-bound bumper cars, skate around the Snow Ring ice rink, climb Snow Mount hill or scale the climbing walls of the Castle Climb. There are plenty of attractions to explore at the park.
If hunger strikes during your explorations, the park also offers a cafe, inside the replica Dhow boat, and a restaurant. The cafe's menu includes drinks and snacks, and the restaurant serves hot meals.
Admission to the park is offered in different packages - Silver, Gold and Platinum. Guests opting for the Silver package, at QAR180 pp, can enjoy up to two hours of fun, entry to the slopes, the Snow Slide, the Snow motion merry-go-round and Snowy Mount, and access to winter clothing, boots, socks, gloves and a secure locker. The Gold package, at QAR 240 pp, also offers the same as the Silver package but with three hours of play and access to the Snow Storm, Dune Dash, Snow Spin, Castle Climb and Snow Ring attractions for a single ride. The Platinum package, at QAR 450 pp, includes unlimited access to all rides and attractions for unlimited time, as well as entrance into the VIP lounge and changing areas and fast queue lanes, and the provision of Arabian tea and coffee, selected meals, and a photo of the day's adventures in a frame. VIP rooms are also available for QAR 1500 for three hours and up to six people.
There is something for everyone at Snow Dunes Park, from old to young and everything in between; the park offers a great family day out.
Location: Doha Festival City, Al Khuraytiyat, Doha
Location Map: Snow Dunes Theme Park
Nearest Metro: N/A
Hours: Sunday to Saturday, 7 pm - 2 am
Contact: +974 4042 0444
Email: [email protected]
Gondolania Ice Arena
Sticking with the active snow day theme, though more ice than snow, Gondolania Ice Arena is Qatar's largest and oldest ice rink. Located in Gondolania, an entertainment quarter inside the Venetian-styled Villaggio Mall, the ice rink is an Olympic-sized arena for recreational skating and ice sports.
The rink offers guests the opportunity to join public skating sessions or organise lessons for figure skating and ice hockey. You can also opt to join figure skating, ice hockey clubs, leagues, and winter sports groups available for kids and adults. Or, if you're not a fan of the ice yourself, you can join in as a spectator at one of the ice rink shows, generally organised over the winter holidays or in conjunction with public holidays.
Admission to the rink costs QAR 55 per person per session. Gloves and socks (QAR 10 each) and skating aids (QAR 15) can all be purchased alongside general admission tickets.
Tuition for basic skating, figure skating and ice hockey follows the Ice Skating Institute skating programme and is delivered by accredited coaches. Various learning packages are available, including six one-to-one half-hour sessions for QAR 750 or semi-private sessions for QAR 550 - both require a QAR 150 annual membership fee.
To head out onto the ice, you must wear gloves, long trousers (with no rips or holes) and fitted clothing (no abayas), and children under the age of seven must be accompanied by an adult.
So, if you feel like donning skates and gliding across the cool ice, head down to the rink solo or with friends and family for an exhilarating afternoon of frosty fun.
Location: Gondolania, Villaggio Mall, Al Waab Street, Al Waab, Doha
Location Map: 25° 15' 42.503" N 51° 26' 35.4217" E
Nearest Metro: Al Aziziyah Metro Station on the Gold Line
Hours: Saturday to Tuesday, 9 am - 11 pm,
Wednesday, 8 am - 11 pm,
Thursday and Friday, 9 am - 12 am
(closed 11 am - 12:30 pm Fridays)
Contact: +974 4450 7873
Email: [email protected]
Subzero Ice Lounge
We all love a coffee al fresco in the sun, but why not try a complete antithesis at Subzero Ice Lounge if you're looking for a cooler option?
Located at the Pearl, 20 minutes from central Doha, Subzero is a cafe with a unique difference; everything in it is frozen! The coffee shop comes complete with sculpted ice tables, chairs, walls, bookshelves and decor, including a host of icy sculptures. The sculptures include some of Qatar's famous landmarks, heritage attractions and traditional objects (such as the Pearl Monument, Fanar Mosque, a replica Dhow and an Arabian coffee pot), and other models of cultural significance (a camel, a cannon and a car, all big enough to sit inside!).
Visitors are provided with arctic-style fur and fleece-lined hats, gloves, jackets, slipper shoes and heavy Arabian coats before entry to the lounge to keep toasty warm while exploring the cafe's icy wonders. There are even furs on every chair to keep particular cheeks warm!
The cafe serves a variety of hot beverages, with one refillable drink included as part of the entry fee. The venue also offers a decent-sized menu of snacks and desserts, which are worth trying even if you must take off a glove.
The cost of entry to the lounge for one is QAR 85 pp; for each additional person, the price drops by QAR 5 (max six persons at QAR 60 pp).
So, if you're looking for some excellent cold but cool Insta-shots, a distinctive and fun experience, head to Subzero Ice Lounge.
Location: Marina Way 18, Porto Arabia, The Pearl-Doha
Location Map: Subzero Ice Lounge
Nearest Metro: Legtaifiya Metro Station on the Red Line
Hours: Saturday to Thursday, 10 am - 2 am
Contact: +974 5595 1101
Main image: allaboutpeople/Shutterstock.com
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