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Did you know? A canal with gondolas runs through the Venicethemed Villaggio Mall, which has designer brands, an ice rink, theme park, cinema and a good selection of restaurants. villaggioqatar.com

The Lagoona Mall, meanwhile, features elegant beams of natural light through skylights, diffusing light across the artistic mosaic tiles. Wide corridors and soaring, ceilings create a relaxing shopping atmosphere.

Time to relax

(Souq Nasser Bin Saif); and fabrics, perfume and luggage (Souq Al Aisery). For an even more authentic Arabian flavour, the Falcon Souq is dedicated to falconry – some of the prized animals are worth more than sports cars. For a more modern retail experience, Festival City mall features more than 530 shops and 100 restaurants, while the Mall of Qatar, has more than 500 stores alongside dining and entertainment. The huge City Centre Mall, bedecked in waterfalls, fountains and glass-fronted lifts, houses 370 stores including familiar European chains, a bowling alley, multiplex cinema, climbing walls, ice rink, amusement arcade and restaurants.

Qatar is home to some of the world’s best spas, where visitors can relax and indulge in five-star treatments. These excellent facilities, along with impressive fitness centres and gyms, are mostly located in major hotels or clubs. Among the best spas are Six Senses Spa in The Sharq Village, which offers the latest in contemporary treatments. Hightech facials are available alongside relaxing rituals, holistic techniques and age-old therapies such as a traditional hammam. The acclaimed Banana Island Resort by Anantara is located on an island 25 minutes’ boat ride from Doha, with this luxurious retreat featuring a range of Thai and Arabic treatments. Other top spa offerings include Eforea Spa at The Hilton; Chi, The Spa at The Shangri-La Doha; and Bliss Spa at The W.

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Visit Qatar  
Visit Qatar  

Firmly fixated on the future, and with centuries of fascinating culture to celebrate, Qatar is an exciting, must-see destination