The Middle East is a Scary Place? | Layover in Doha, Qatar

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When I was looking up flights to India, without hesitation, I chose whatever was the most convenient to my schedule. In this instance, Qatar Airlines was the best choice since it meant I’d only have to deal with one stop in Doha, Qatar. I booked my flight without batting an eyelash.

I realized later though after reading Oneika the Traveller’s post about Islamophobia that some people would have scoffed at the idea of a layover in a Middle Eastern country. Because, you know, the Middle East is such a scary place and all according to American news outlets and Trump’s Muslim Ban.

Well, not only did I have my layover there, I…gasp…left the airport. Let me show you just how scary my 24-hour layover in Doha, Qatar was.

If I thought the Middle East was a scary place, I would have never enjoyed:

Riding in Style to Banana Island Resort

Boat ride to Banana Island Resort

In order to get to Banana Island, we had to ride on a luxury boat.

This Lit Welcome Party

Before I stepped off the boat, the first thing that caught my attention was the music I heard playing. I walked outside to see the staff putting on a show to welcome everyone who had arrived. They sure do have a way of making you feel important.

Being Greeted with Rose Water

They went out of their way to ensure my hands smelled like heaven.

Banana Island Resort in Doha, Qatar

I was greeted with fragrant rose water for my hands.

This Unearthly Blue Water

For some, the Middle East immediately conjures up images of sandy deserts–not sparkling blue water like this.

Banana Island Resort

The water was so blue!

Fruit So Good, It Looks Fake

Banana Island Resort in Doha, Qatar

How can fruit look this perfect? This shouldn’t be real.

Long Walks on the Beach (in Slow Motion)

Banana Island Resort in Doha, Qatar

There was a door leading from my room out to this beautiful view.

A Hammam. Wait What’s That?

Oh it’s just the most amazing traditional Middle Eastern spa treatment that will leave your skin feeling baby soft for days. I guess you can say it’s the Islamic version of a Roman bath. I’m going to need someone to open up a hammam spa in my home city ASAP—seriously, how can I go back to normal spas after this??

Hammam Spa Treatment at Banana Island Resort

Hammam Spa Treatment (aka a Turkish Bath) at Banana Island Resort

If you have ever hesitated to travel to the Middle East out of fear, I encourage you to get over that. And if you happen to have a long layover in Qatar, consider turning it into an adventure! Leave the airport and get out to explore the city of Doha. I spent my 24 hours at Banana Island Resort, and as you can see in the photos above, it was the complete opposite of scary. Welcoming, beautiful, breathtaking—I think those words are much more fitting.

All the GIFs from this post were taken from my vlog about my layover in Doha (except for Adam Sandberg of course).

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Have you ever traveled to the Middle East? Let me know in the comment section below.

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24 Hour Layover in Doha, Qatar