Vast natural gas resources have driven Qatar’s rise as the world’s wealthiest nation and transformed its capital, Doha, from a once-declining fishing and pearl-diving town into the Persian Gulf’s future-forward cultural gem. Intriguing landmarks by the likes of Rem Koolhaas (Qatar National Library), I.M. Pei (Museum of Islamic Art), and Jean Nouvel (National Museum of Qatar) dot the skyline. Many others are in various stages of completion in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, including a stadium designed by the late Zaha Hadid to resemble a dhow, the region’s traditional wooden fishing boat. (To best take in the shimmering skyline, book a harbor cruise on a dhow at sunset.) Plan for at least one desert adventure outside the city: Head southeast for Khor al-Adaid, the “Inland Sea,” a former refuge for Abu Dhabi pirates that’s now a haven for sea turtles, ospreys, flamingos, oryx, and other wildlife. Just out of town, Al Shaqab keeps Qatar’s equestrian heritage alive and welcomes visitors to races and shows with its elegant Arabian horses.