You look at the clock and the big hand indicates that it’s the end of your class time. Finally, it is that time of the year again. Your most satisfying break. One month of rest to make up for all the hard work of the semester. However, a whole month is pretty useless if it is not spent doing fun activities. The Daily Q have created a short guide for you that includes a list of things you can do over the winter break. Our guide includes a variety of activities that range from ideas to spice up a regular day spent at home to cheap destinations to travel to.
Go Camping and Dune Bashing in the Qatari Desert
One of the most beautiful places in Qatar is the desert. The vast stretches of sand host a variety of different landscapes within it, including beaches, hills and empty sandy areas where you can camp with your friends. The Qatari desert is especially breathtaking at night when the gleaming stars are so clear in the sky above you, which is a sight you will not come across in the busy city of Doha. However, going to a desert can often be a challenging ordeal especially if you do not have the right car and if you do not know the perfect spots to camp in. Thankfully, desert trips are a specialty here in Qatar and there are several, inexpensive travel agencies that you can sign up with for a group desert trip with your friends. One of the most trusted travel agencies is 365 Adventures. They have many desert packages and our favorites is the Desert Safari with Lunch or Dinner, which lasts for eight hours and costs 567 Qatari riyal. Additionally, their Over-Night Arabian Camp trip, which costs 600QR, is also great. For a chill morning by the sea, you can also try their Relax at In-Land Sea trip, which only costs 187QR. So, grab your sleeping bags and blankets and head to the desert for some fun and a chance to really connect with your friends.
Kayak in the Mangroves Under the Stars
365 Adventures also offer a package which includes a fun combination of barbecuing and kayaking. The price of the trip is 300QR per person and you go there in a large group of 40 people. If you feel more daring than usual, you can even head to the mangroves completely alone and get to know similar adventure-seeking people. You can either head to the 365 Adventures official website to book your adventure, or you can join their MeetUp Page and join a group that is already going.
Climb Some Rocks with Doha Climbers
Join the Doha Climbers community, and embark with them on an adventure of rock-climbing in the Qatari desert. Climbing equipment can be really expensive to buy and if you are an inexperienced climber trying it for the first time, joining the group would be really beneficial. Doha Climbers includes regular professional and amateur climbers, who own their own climbing equipment and who are willing to lend it to those who go climbing with them. Furthermore, Doha Climbers have regular pick up points that they set up on their Facebook page for people who do not have a 4×4 car that they can take to the venue in the desert. So, head over to their closed Facebook page and become a member to know about all their upcoming adventures and just tag along, alone or with your friends. The best thing about this experience is that it is completely free!
Enjoy a Meditative Yoga Session on a Helipad
Whether you are a sports enthusiast or not, a calming yoga session after a heated semester is an activity you should consider trying out. But what is more exciting is the venue where these relaxing yoga sessions are held. Fraser Suites West Bay in Doha hosts its yoga sessions on the roof of its building on a helipad. The peace and quiet of being on top of Qatar will help you to disconnect from the world, be mindful of your body and surroundings, while enjoying the fresh breeze of the winter. What is better is that it is quite affordable, costing only 40QR for the registration fee. Go ahead with your friends and call Fraser Suites West Bay to book your mat in one of their upcoming sessions.
Join a Community and Make New Friends on Meetup
If your friends are heading away during the break and you find yourself alone, don’t worry, a lot of people are facing the same dilemma. Qatar is a place with so many diverse expats and locals who are interested in meeting others. Head over to MeetUp and check out the different groups in Qatar. Meetup is an online platform that hosts different groups based on specific themes, where people with similar interests can meet. The groups post updates about regular meet-up locations and dates that members can attend. Some of the groups that you can join to meet cool people include Doha Ladies Coffee Morning, Social Help MeetUp, where you can volunteer by teaching workers basic computer skills and so on, Doha Live Music MeetUp, Doha Outdoor Fitness MeetUp, Doha Photography MeetUpand Doha Writers Forum. There are so many more MeetUp communities, so head over to the MeetUp website to look for the group that is perfect for you!
Spend a Night in and Pamper Yourself on a DIY At-Home Spa Day
University can really take its toll on your physical and mental state. After the long fall semester, a lot of us just want to relax at home, while trying to zap some of the damages that have been done to our appearance. If you decide to stay at home alone or with your friends, jazz up your night-in by designing your own spa-inspired day. You can customize your own spa treatments based on the needs of your skin and body to get the full benefits of the experience. There are many guides online to making your own perfect, at-home spa day, but this one by Glamour is one of our favorites.
Enjoy the Food and the Winter Sun at the Farmers Market
Head out on a Friday or Saturday to the Torba Farmer’s Market at the Ceremonial Court in Education Cit, for some fresh food on a beautiful, sunny winter morning. The market includes stalls that sell all kinds of vegan and healthy food and products. The weather in Doha in December is always amazing, with the sun shining gloriously for a well needed dose of Vitamin D. So, grab your friends and head there for a great winter experience.
Join Local Singers and Song Writers in the Keep It Original Sessions
If you are a musician or a music enthusiast, the newly founded Keep It Original sessions might just be the perfect hang-out spot for you and your friends. The Keep It Original sessions meet regularly and host different local artists, who perform their own original content. Even if you are not a musician, you might find it interesting to head over to the beautiful venue inside the Sheraton hotel and enjoy amazing music by different local talents. The stage is also open-mic, which means you can even present your own original content whenever you want as well as be exposed to the musical community of Qatar. Join the Facebook group to be notified about their upcoming events.
Take Your Friends out on a Game Night
If you are bored and have nothing to do, just round up your friends for an outing to one of the many game venues in Qatar. Some of these game venues include Anger Room, where you can experience a de-stressing session and smash a bunch of random objects, including televisions, microwaves, tables and more with an axe! Additionally, you can head to Adventure Rooms, where you work to solve hints to get out of a locked room. The total price depends on the size of your group, but a group of two costs 300QR per person, but it can go down to 100QR if you are a larger group of six or seven. For some more carefree fun, head to Bounce and spend a few hours jumping around on their trampolines while letting your inner-child shine. To end this with a bang, you can also try Archery Tag for a real adrenaline rush, where players try to aim non-lethal arrows at each other to score points. A game of Archery Tag will cost 80QR per player.
Spread your wings with Skydive Qatar
If you have ever wondered what it feels to jump off a plane and fly with no restraints in the sky, then head over to Skydive Qatar. The beginner “Tandem Jump” costs 1699QR with no videos or pictures and 1999QR if you want to have pictures taken of you in the air. The experience is a truly magical one, which you will surely never forget.
Fly Over Qatar in a Plane
Another experience that you can try out alone or with a friend is flying over the Mangrove Forest of Qatar in a Piper Archer aircraft. You can sign up with 365 Adventures for a remarkable experience that is going to definitely spice up your vacation. The trip is 700QR per person and takes you over the Al Thakira Mangrove Reserve and Purple Island, in addition to Al Bayt Stadium, which is one of the biggest 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar stadiums in Qatar being currently constructed.
Pack Your Bags and Travel Abroad
If a change of scenery and culture is what you need, just pack your bags and get out of Qatar. Some of the destinations that you could journey to this winter break (that are fairly cheap and have great weather) include Jordan, Greece, Nepal, India, Oman and Thailand. Some of the prices of these prices vary from 1180QR to Kathmandu/ Nepal and 1314 QR to Goa/India, to 2288QR to Athens/ Greece, for example. You can also always further customize the range of the price you are willing to pay throughout your trip by heading to forums like TripAdvisor for advice from fellow travelers about the cheapest ways to roam around these countries. To reduce accommodation expenses head to Airbnb to enjoy cheap, local accommodations instead of more expensive accommodations like hotels.