Global Venues: Doha

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

Destination: Doha

Our next stop on Finding Global Venues takes us to the city of Doha. From a Pearl Village to a modern marvel, Doha, the vibrant capital of Qatar, boasts an impressive skyline, and scenic beaches surrounded by captivating sand dunes.

Middle Eastern Metamorphosis

Originally a humble pearling village on the Persian Gulf, Doha has grown and transformed. From a flourishing pearl trade in the 20th century to the rise of oil and gas industries in the 1950s, the city’s population has grown from 14,000 to 650,000 in a century.

Doha: A Cultural Oasis

Qatar, an independent nation since 1971, revolves around its capital, Doha, housing most of its inhabitants. A nation the size of Yorkshire with a population surpassing Merseyside, Qatar holds significant sway. Doha’s multicultural fabric shines, with over 22,000 British expats and an 88% population from South Asia.

As the hub of the nation, Doha beckons with its futuristic skyline, renown Islamic museums, luxurious hotels, inviting beachfronts and most recently FIFA World Cup hosting abilities. Beyond the spectacular urban scene, a short drive leads to a traditional Bedouin life and multiple desert adventures. Ideal for perhaps some extra curriculum activities?

Near the popular waterside location called La Corniche, lies bustling ancient Bedouin market – Souq Waqif. Adjacent is Falcon Souq, that encapsulates the deep and passionate element of Qatari falcon heritage.

Throughout this blog, we’ll briefly navigate the positives of Doha’s offerings and provide an insightful starting point to help launch your event planning journey.


Qatar is a semi-constitutional monarchy, with the Emir serving as the head of state and chief executive, holding nearly all the executive and legislative authority. The current Emir is Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

No Income Tax:

Qatar is known for having no personal income tax.


While Arabic is the official language, English is widely spoken and used for business and international communication.

Modern Transportation:

Qatar has a well-developed transportation network, including the Doha Metro, which began operations in 2019.

Cultural Diversity:

Qatar’s population is diverse, with a significant expatriate community. This diversity is reflected in the country’s cuisine, events, and cultural offerings.


Finding global venues – The Beginning

At AP LIVE, we understand that a successful event starts with strategic planning. When searching for venues in Doha, early preparation guarantees top picks and also gives you the time to secure the support necessary. A strong foundation,  lays the groundwork for your event to dazzle.

Culture and Religion:

Qatar’s rich heritage will certainly be the foundation for your event’s success. Respect local practices, licencing needs, and rules, paying tribute to Qatar’s ancient traditions. Always plan in Prayer times into your agenda and consider space dedicated in the venue to ensure you give ample change and space for delegates to go and pray.

Mastering Multilingualism:

Communication opens doors. Create bilingual event materials for smooth engagement for English and Arabic-speaking attendees.

Navigating Climate:

Qatar’s climate is metrologically described as a hot desert climate. So, scheduling outdoor events is a must during cooler months. Indoor events offer year-round versatility. Qatar has long summers from May to September characterised by intense dry heat, with temperatures rising above 45°C. Winter temperatures are mild but can fall below 5°C.




Middle Eastern Delights:

Doha’s diverse culinary caters to all. Majboos (made with lamb or chicken) is Qatar’s national dish although vegan and vegetarian options are plentiful. Add Arabic coffee servers for the local and always welcome touch.

Blend Innovation and Tradition:

Elevate the cultural experience of your event with traditional performances and entertainment. Please note however, all live acts, require prior approval from the Ministry of Culture.

Visas, Travel, and Accessibility:

Doha’s entry visa system gives a straightforward access for international visitors. Given potential variations, it’s vital to thoroughly investigate entry requirements early in your planning process. A list of countries and their subsequent processes can be found here.

Hamad International Airport:

Upon arriving in Qatar, you’ll touch down at Hamad International Airport. Situated strategically, its infrastructure guarantees a smooth shift into the city. Notably, this airport hosts the acclaimed Qatar Airways, which, alongside partners like British Airways and Iberia, consistently links Qatar with the rest of the world.

Event Excellence

Doha’s blend of tradition and modernity offers a unique venue setting.  As you navigate logistics from abroad, Doha’s friendly welcome and dedication to world-class experiences make it an ideal event destination.

Ministry of Culture

Safety and security assurances

For the safety and security of all events, the Ministry of Culture now requires Civil Defence and Security Systems licenses as prerequisites. This includes event venues submitting certificates to validate their eligibility for hosting events. However, while conventional event spaces typically have this in place, if you’re transforming any other space into an event venue, these measures ensure the presence of adequate security and safety standards.

It’s always advisable to ensure this license is in place for all cases. Additionally, it’s worth noting that places like restaurants and shopping malls must also secure a license from Qatar Tourism. The Ministry provides guidelines on these matters.

The primary objective behind these mandatory measures is to safeguard your guests. The ministry underscores the importance of cultivating a safe environment for all venues.

From January to June 2023, the Ministry of Culture issued around 3,000 licenses for a diverse range of cultural, artistic, and social events. This proactive approach underscores the commitment to maintaining safety standards and facilitating captivating events in their country.

Sustainability effort

Qatar is stepping up in the battle against climate change while inspiring the next generation to make a difference. Sustainability is now the driving force behind its economic growth strategy. The nation is acting by investing in solar power, ensuring a steady supply of sustainable food and water, and orchestrating clean-up campaigns that safeguard its heritage and elevate environmental consciousness.


AP LIVE's top choices of 2023

The Ned

In 2022, five years after the successful launch of Brit-born members club, The Ned, London; The Ned, Doha opened its doors.

Located in the former Ministry of Interior building, the 39,976 SQM iconic modernist building was remodelled by the 2023 Pritzker Prize-winning architect David Chipperfield.  Chipperfield’s team worked in collaboration with Soho House Design. It took just two years to complete.

The Ned Doha includes Ned’s Club, a members’ club that gives access to boutique spaces including a rooftop terrace, 90 bedrooms, a health club with spa, gym and 30m outdoor pool. The stunning event space, with a punch of Seventies décor, called Corniche Hall, is one of AP LIVE’s favourites. It has a standing capacity of 48 to 600 guests, with in-house catering, beverage, and A/V services. Additional spaces in their three stunning restaurants are also available for events.

Located on the Corniche with impressive city views and near Al Bidda Park, the Grand Mosque, and the Diwan (the Emir’s seat of government).

The Torch (also known as the Aspire)

Among the modern structures, The Torch Doha reigns supreme at 300 meters. Located in the Aspire Zone complex in Doha it embraces breath-taking city views.  Relish entertaining guests at Three Sixty, a revolving restaurant on the 47th floor. The eye-catching landmark boasts 6 meeting options that range from a capacity 32 SQM to 913SQM. All spaces offer a combination of modern and unique designs, with the candelabra-filled ballroom, able to accommodate 500 guests.

Katara Towers

The impressive towers, also known as the Crescent Towers, is located overlooking the Arabian Gulf in the city’s green district Lusail. Shaped to resemble the national emblem of crossed scimitars (single edged swords). The Katara is home to two luxury hotels. The Fairmont Doha and Raffles Hotel.

Traditional touches

For a traditional touch, you may want to consider the Qatar Museum Group venues.  For an open-air location Al Zubarah Fort provides a unique option.

Venues of all sizes

Doha offers an effective and modern infrastructure to facilitate events of all sizes. For large scale expos maybe consider premier venues like Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) and Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC).

There is a wealth of options option to a variety of event sizes. Whatever your requirement, if you can navigate the complexity of planning an event here, Doha delivers.

Navigating the Process

As we explore finding global venues in Doha, especially from abroad, we should never underestimate the demand for meticulous planning and local insight. Complying with rules and understanding cultural, legal, and logistical factors are crucial for success here.

That’s where AP LIVE comes in. Our passion lies not just in organising fantastic global events, but also in sharing our expertise to make your events shine. We provide a free global venue location service to help you navigate this complex yet vital aspect of your event.. Contact us here and lets start planning!


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