An Experience NOT To Be Missed In Qatar!

DSCF8339Qatar has one of the most beautiful deserts that I have ever seen.. beautiful sand dunes that run along the sea. It is definitely one thing that you should NOT miss if you ever visit Qatar. But that’s not all, keep reading…

I have been in Doha for the last 14 years and have been to the desert countless times but I had never ever experienced camping overnight in the desert until recently. To be honest, I need a washroom with running water and there aren’t many organized campgrounds here where you can get access to a bathroom. And call me spoilt but I am not the rough camping material, especially with 3 kids wanting to pee a hundred times in a day!DSCF1059That’s the only reason that we have only ventured as far as the Sealine Beach Resort, which is quite nice but that has a hotel feel to it. So this time we planned a trip to Regency Sealine Camp and we absolutely LOVED it! DSCF1105

Disclaimer: This is NOT a Sponsored Post. We paid for our trip but since I got so many queries on my Insta-stories, followed by tons of phone calls from friends asking about the details, I thought of doing this post. Plus we loved it so much that I wanted you guys to know how can you experience the serenity of the desert in comfort of modern luxuries. DSCF1104


Rates and Booking Process:

The booking process was quite simple and easy. I called them on the number (at the end of the post) and requested a quotation which they promptly emailed me. The rates are different for weekdays and weekend but since we chose a weekend this is the rate we got.

QAR 1300 Per Tent Per Night for 2 adults on Half Board Basis (Breakfast + Dinner)

The maximum occupancy of a tent is 5, but extra charges apply for additional people as per below

  • Additional Adult (12+ years) – QAR 400
  • A Child (7-12 years) – QAR 200
  • A Child (below 6 years) – FREE

Once we confirmed the booking, we had to make a FULL payment in advance at the Movenpick Tower in WestBay a week prior to the trip.DSCF1047.jpg

How To Get There:

On the day of the check-in, we had to meet them at the Sealine Roundabout in Messaid. They had given us a number to call 20 minutes prior to reaching there so they could mobilize their drivers and they could be ready for our pickup.

The camp is about 15 minutes further into the desert and only 4×4 wheelers can go in.  You will park your car outside Sealine Beach Resort overnight and they will then drive you in their vehicles to the campsite. You have the option to take your own 4 wheeler in and follow them to the campsite if you wish to (and which we did)DSCF8285

The Camp Ground:

After about 15 minutes of a ride through the beautiful Qatari desert, we reached the campsite.

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The camp has 15 beautiful Arabian style tents with all the modern amenities, a Dining Hall, a Majlis (living area), 15 Cabanas, 3 Bonfire Pits and a Play Ground.

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The Reception Tent

 

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The Majlis, Bonfire Pit and a Tent at sunset
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Inside the Majlis
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The Cabanas by the beach
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The Cabanas by the beach

 

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The Cabanas with the campground at the back
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The Royal Tents

Rooms/Tents and Amenities:

The camp has 15 beautiful traditionally furnished tents and each tent comes with 1 king size bed and 2 twin beds and has space for an additional bed (One tent can sleep max of 5)

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The interconnected tents

One tent can sleep 5, so if you are in a bigger group, you can also have two inter-connected tents (which is what we did, since we went with my cousins)

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Tent No 1: The King bed on one side of the tent (you can also see the passageway and door to the next tent)
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Tent No 1: The Twin Beds on the other side of the same tent

Each tent has modern facilities like a Minibar, Safety box, Air Conditioner (and heater), TV with satellite, electricity outlets, a bathrobe and bathroom slippers.

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Tent No 2
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Tent No 2

And the most important thing – a functional bathroom with clean running water, shower, toilet paper, towels and toiletries! It was very basic but clean and in perfect working order!

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The attached bathroom with every tent!

Food:

We booked on Half Board basis which included the dinner buffet and a breakfast buffet. The Dinner buffet is served from 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm in the Dining Hall while the breakfast buffet is served from 7:30 am – 10:30 am in the same place (These meals were included in the Half Board package)

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The Dining Hall

There is also a beverage station where you can help yourself with tea, coffee, soft drinks and water all day – free of charge. You can also order Ala-carte menu anytime at the beach or in the room for an additional charge.

My kids got hungry playing at the beach and we ordered an early dinner for them at the cabana by the beach where they stuffed themselves with some Pizzas and Chicken Nuggets (for an additional cost). DSCF1018.jpgThe dinner was served in the Dining hall which had quite a decent selection of starters (soup and salads), Arabic Grilled Meat, Veggies, Majboos Rice and some Continental dishes along with some plain pasta with white sauce (ideal for picky eaters like my kids!). To my own surprise, the food was actually flavorful and the Chicken Shish Taouk reminded me of Turkey Central’s Shish Taouk (Doha peeps would understand what I mean, but for others, simply put – it was really good!)

Dinner

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The breakfast buffet also had a decent variety including Fruits, Cereals, Croissants and a selection of Bread, Scrambled eggs, Boiled eggs, Pancakes, Hash browns, Baked beans and Fruit Yogurts to name a few. They also serve made to order Fried eggs and Omelettes at NO additional cost (the vegetable cheese omelette with green chillies was quite yum!). They do serve juices, tea and coffee, however, Karak is available for an additional charge.

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Breakfast buffet

Activities:

There are some activities at the camp like Volley Ball, a playground for kids and bonfire at night (the lovely staff at the camp start the fire – so don’t worry about not knowing how to do that)

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The playground for kids right next to the cabanas
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The bonfire that they start after sunset

Other than these there are some activities that can be done at an additional cost like Camel Riding, Desert Safari and Dune Buggies (ATVs).

DSCF8284However, we didn’t do any of those and still had a great time relaxing by just soaking the feet in the sea…DSCF1054I took some beach toys for the kids which kept them busy for hours while we relaxed, sitting in the cabana. KidsrelaxWe enjoyed the desert, walking on the beach, sitting by the bonfire till midnight and then waking up to see the gorgeous sunrise (Although it was very foggy and we couldn’t see the sun, the colours were just magical at that time!)

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The magical colours at sunrise
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The beautiful morning walk…

What To Bring With You:

  1. Beach toys and some board games for the kids
  2. Swimwear, flip-flops, hats and sunscreen
  3. An extra pair of clothing and sleepwear
  4. A hoodie/jacket (it gets cold in the night in the desert)
  5. Medicines and First Aid Kit (I always bring my own)
  6. Hairdryer (they didn’t have one in the room)
  7. Chargers (they have power outlets in the room and you can charge your phone and other devices)
  8. Toiletries, Toothbrushes, Hairbrush etc. (although they do provide toiletries as well)
  9. Snacks for the kids (I took some fruits, chips, cookies and flavoured milk for the random requests)
  10. Cash for paying for the additional charges like dune bashing, camel riding and extra meals.

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Would I Go Again?

YES! I would highly recommend it if you want to experience the desert and disconnect from the crazy city life. We went with my cousins which was fun in its own way but I would love to do it with only our family as well. It was such a refreshing short break!

During the 14 years I never spent a night in the desert and now after this experience, I want to do this once every year (till we are living in Qatar).DSCF1262.jpg

Cancellation Policy:

Though the weather is perfect these days (not too hot and not too cold), Doha dust storms are always tricky and unpredictable. In fact, two days before our trip there was a massive sandstorm and I called them to ask what will happen in a situation like that, because (of course) I don’t want the kids to be in the middle of the desert in a dust storm.

They told me that they won’t do a refund if the weather is bad, they can change the booking and move it to another weekend.

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Early morning views

Contact Details:

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Hope I have answered all of your questions. If not, gimme a buzz!


 

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