Posted on July 13, 2011

Many Koreans don’t consider putting Europe and the Middle East together on their itinerary when planning a trip overseas.

However, with Qatar Airways one can experience the essence of the Middle East on their way to Europe at a very reasonable price. The airline, one of only seven awarded a 5-star rating by Skytrax, offers many routes from Seoul to European cities via a stopover in Qatar. One can save up to 400,000 won by stopping over in the city of Doha instead of taking Korean or European airlines’ direct flights to Europe.

Panoramic view of Doha from Al-Corniche (Yang Dong-chul/The Korea Herald.)

Qatar, an Arab emirate in the Middle East that occupies the small Qatar Peninsula, is only one ninth-the size of South Korea and is ideal for short-term tours. Qatar Airways offers special tour programs that for those visiting Doha en route to Europe or other countries.

For $30, the “Doha City Tour” will take you to the sea-front Corniche, Dhow Harbor, Old markets, and the City Center Mall of Doha, the capital where 80 percent of the country’s population resides. The tour runs every day except Friday from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. If you’d like to see the spectacular panoramic views of Qatar’s magnificent sand dunes and the Inland Sea, check out the airline’s “Dunes Discovery Tour” which costs $70. It’s a four-wheel vehicle tour offering the chance to experience the never-to-be-forgotten adventure while enjoying the thrill of driving over shifting sands. The tour runs everyday from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Based in Doha International Airport, the only commercial airport in Qatar, Qatar Airways serves 101 destinations worldwide, including 25 major European cities. All Qatar Airways flights to and from Incheon International Airport serve kimchi, and have a flight attendant who speaks fluent Korean to assist Korean-speaking passengers.

By Yang Dong-chul, Koreaherald

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