New app invites you to take a journey through Qatar

Sally Crane

Richard Serra “East-West/West-East” near Dukhan

There’s more to do in Qatar than check out Souq Waqif, the Museum of Islamic Art and the Corniche, according to the designers of a new app.

Noora Al Thani and her colleagues assert that there are at least 40 places of interest in Qatar, and that number is growing.

She and her team have listed those venues in a new app called “Jawlah” (which means journey in Arabic).

Mohammed Ismail

Al Zubarah fort

The free app aims to guide you through your options in Qatar, from forts and beaches to mosques, parks and museums.

“We want to help sustain tourism in Qatar,” Al Thani told Doha News in an interview this week. She added:

“We want people to know about more places – including Qataris. Lots of people we asked thought Qatar only had 20 or 25 tourist attractions.”

Charity project

Al Thani and her six colleagues – Ala Saif, Wasan Al Sumaiti, Sara Al Emadi, Ayah Al Ansari, Hanan Al Kurbi and Al Maha Shams – are all young women hoping to make a difference.

They met through the ROTA (Reach Out To Asia charity) youth social club, and then teamed up to create the app for the ROTA Youth Challenge.

The program urges young people to invoke change in their communities.

Supplied

Five of the members of the Jawlah team at a ROTA youth conference

The group, who range in age from 17 to 21 years old, were asked to create an app that would support Qatar’s 2030 vision, of which a new tourism strategy is a key part.

The resulting app, which they designed themselves with technical support from a programmer, has now been launched for Apple devices.

And an Android version will be rolled out soon.

Traditional and modern

A key feature of the app, which is available in both English and Arabic, is its opening question: “Where do you want your next Jawlah to be? Modern or traditional?”

The team decided to ask this to encourage people to find out more about traditional Qatari culture.

Jawlah

The team’s pitch for Jawlah

“Modern things exist almost everywhere in the world. However, culture is what makes a country different,” Al Thani said.

If a user selects the “Traditional” section, they are offered a range of options including Zekreet, the souqs and Al Zubara fort.

If they choose “Modern,” they are recommended museums, parks, mosques and shopping malls.

Feedback welcome

The app also includes listings of tour operators and limo companies, and gives visitors the option of leaving a comment on an attraction for other users.

Jawlah

A screenshot of the Jawlah app

Additionally, Jawlah suggests a week-long tourist schedule, with venues for meals, and activities mapped out in different locations on each day.

There are already several tourism apps for Qatar available in the Apple Store – some free, some for a fee.

But Al Thani said she is confident that Jawlah is “more up to date, and more specific” than its competition.

“We have been gathering information from all over the place, and it doesn’t already exist in one place,” she said.

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