Since me and Chia moved to Saudi Arabia two years ago, we've been going on road trips because we decided to explore the middle east by car. The thing is, I am so impressed with this region subhanAllah. I didn't realise how fast development is taking place here.
Let's face it. When gas is cheaper than water, tax is almost non-existent and it is a muslim country, I would have to conclude this place as the best destination for a holiday. It is of course, provided you are into desert landscapes (clear blue skies with majestic rocky mountains), designer/ luxury hotels and award winning restaurants that serve halal food. My family is into decadent desserts, French and Italian dining so I am biased to these kind of gastronomical galore.
Would it cause a dent in your pocket? Yes if you compare to Asia but no when compared to Europe. Luxury hotels and award winning restaurants are a lot cheaper here than Europe. Plus I can eat whatever I want without the option of going vegetarian and seafood. Comparing Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar, I enjoyed Qatar the most. Although Dubai is more advanced in terms of its infrastructure and development (lady taxi drivers at the airport for women travellers, like wow masha Allah!) I find Qatar to be more quaint. As long as you take uber (avoid 'metered' taxi in Qatar, so unsafe), this place is nothing but delightful.
The best time of the year would definitely be winter i.e. November - January. That's because it's too hot during summer (temperature around 40°-50°) . And unlike the general feel of grey, cold and wet winter in most cities, it's clear blue skies (generally, it does occasionally rains) here. With temperatures of 18°-21° during the day, a light jacket or a cardigan would suffice for a relaxing stroll outside.
I wouldn't really spend money shopping because let's face it, Love to Dress rocks and FashionValet ships to the middle east, bahahaha..... But it's also because if I do feel the itch to buy a luxury item, for sure I'd buy them from Net-a-Porter. Duh! Who would pass the sweet sweet heaven of the black box.
I'm still trying to convince my family to come here for a holiday instead of the States or Europe. Different regions offer different things obviously. But even as I dream of going to NYC, I cannot help but to take a pass when I think about going around the city in subways! hahaha.. I would prefer to uber it all the way but the traffic, ya Allah! Middle East it is for me now :-), alhamdulillah.
Dress: Raeesa in Black
Hotel: W Hotel, Doha