You CAN do a pub crawl in Doha! There are Irish and Aussie bars and a British pub called the Red Lion among the watering holes hidden away – but you have to navigate airport-style security and passport checks
- There is a range of traditional-style pubs as well as the more flashy rooftop bars
- The Red Lion is the most ‘British’ pub and a favourite of England and Wales fans
- With beers priced from 28 Qatari Riyal (around £6.40), word has spread fast
Bars feel like a well-kept secret in Doha but a pub crawl is possible – you just need to know where to look.
There are several venues showing football and serving booze, though finding them is not easy given there is no advertising outside. They are all in hotels, often hidden on the top floors, and you must navigate airport-style security and passport checks first.
There is a range of traditional-style pubs as well as the more flashy rooftop bars. Expensive, yes, but not the eye-watering prices some may expect. Once inside, you may even feel at home.
There are several venues showing football and serving booze but they are not easy to find
Up on the 14th floor of the Best Western Plus hotel is an Irish bar, literally called ‘The Irish Bar’. The decor is everything you would expect: green lighting, a huge floating Guinness and pictures of famous Irish stars including Father Ted and Mrs Brown.
There is a happy hour, although it is not clear what time that starts or finishes until suddenly the bar is besieged by people trying to order before the prices rise.
It is fair to say most of these pubs are not used to being so busy. The Red Lion is probably the most ‘British’ pub in Doha and England and Wales fans have been drinking it dry most nights.
On one visit, all of the beers on tap, barring a pale ale, had run out. With a happy hour all day and beers priced from 28 Qatari Riyal (around £6.40), word has spread. People are finding they have to book to guarantee entry and on busy days, fans must buy three drink tokens for 99 QR (£7.50 per drink) or six for 175 QR (£6.60 per drink).
The ‘Hive Aussie’ pub in Doha is decked out clad with Australian props and ornaments
If you are looking for a more up-market setting, places like Shots Bar in the Hilton Hotel or O’Glacee restaurant inside the Al Wadi are good alternatives.
Shots Bar, located right at the back of the hotel, offers a daily happy hour from 4-7pm with 30 per cent off drinks if you sit outside. The roof terrace has stunning views while the inside is decked out like a classic sports bar.
O’Glacee restaurant has the most exclusive feel, with a pool right beside the bar. The setting makes for a more tranquil atmosphere, but tables do fill up quickly.
Back to the more traditional pubs, there is another Irish bar called the Shamrock Tavern, located in the Magnum Hotel.
As is the case with most of these places, you would have no idea it was there judging from the outside. The decor is classically Irish with phrases and famous people on the walls and the ‘Shamrock Special’ offers customers a roast dinner for 60 QR (£13.70).
There is a range of traditional-style pubs as well as the more flashy rooftop bars in Doha
Another themed pub is the ‘Hive Aussie’ which, you guessed it, is decked out with Australian props and ornaments. There are boomerangs stuck on the wall and a giant crocodile on the ceiling.
The bar gets busy on days the Socceroos are playing but is also a popular venue with Welsh fans. This is another pub hidden away in a hotel but it has seen lively atmospheres, largely to do with their 469 QR (£105) three-hour all-you-can-eat-and-drink offer.
The Hangout, in the Grand Regal Hotel, offers something most places in Doha do not – a pool table. A staple of most British pubs but not something that seems to have caught on in Qatar.
There may not be alcohol in the football stadiums, but a dry World Cup this is not.
The Red Lion is probably the most ‘British’ pub and a favourite of England and Wales fans