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Brunch has taken on new meaning in the Middle East, evolving from a light late-morning meal into a veritable feast that spans long into the afternoon. You haven’t seen the best of Doha until you’ve experienced the party atmosphere of this regional institution alongside scores of merry expats. The city is chock full of great brunch offerings, and these are seven of our favourites.

The skyline of the modern and high-rising city of Doha in Qatar, Middle East. Image by Fitria Ramli / ShutterstockWalk off a Friday feast along Doha’s Corniche © Fitria Ramli / Shutterstock

Friday brunch at The Four Seasons

Combining live food stations and static buffets serving cuisines from across the hotel’s world-class restaurants, the signature Friday brunch at The Four Seasons Doha is sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. Some of the best chow that Doha has to offer is on the Friday brunch menu, including delicious, warming noodle dishes and the freshest sushi in the city. The space really comes alive during autumn and winter when temperatures drop low enough for diners to sit out on the terraces and enjoy views of the hotel grounds and the pristine beach beyond. Dining here also includes complimentary access to the hotel’s Kids Club for the little ones in your party. Fridays from 12.30pm to 4.30pm, QR340 with soft drinks, QR450 with house beverages.

The Pearl island marina, Doha, Qatar. Image by Shutter Stuck / ShutterstockVenture to the Pearl, Doha’s picturesque marina, for a weekend treat © Shutter Stuck / Shutterstock

Signature brunch at the Marsa Malaz

Marsa Malaz Kempinski is a stunning, palatial hotel that occupies its own private island attached to Doha’s iconic man-made marina, The Pearl. Their signature brunch, which takes over the all-day dining restaurant called Sawa, is a great option for the choice, quality and presentation of the food on offer. The live cooking stations extend outside onto the restaurant’s patio, where you can select which ingredients you want to add to your pasta sauce or which toppings to have on your burger and watch the chefs at work as your meal takes shape before you. The brunch includes a wide selection of international cuisines, a dedicated playroom for children and an entire room dedicated to cheese. Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm, QR350 with soft drinks, QR450 with house beverages.

Go big at the Big Apple Brunch at the Marriott Marquis © Polly Byles / Lonely Planet

Big Apple Brunch at the Marriott Marquis

Doha’s newest brunch on the block, the Big Apple Brunch at New York Steakhouse at the Marriott Marquis City Center Hotel is big, bold and brazen, offering bottomless champagne, roving drinks and carvery trolleys and an expertly curated menu of made-to-order delicacies. This brunch stands out amongst many of its competitors because it is a la carte rather than buffet-style, which means that the food retains the restaurant’s usual high standards of presentation and delivery. The plush mahogany and rich fabrics that adorn the interior of this restaurant add to the luxurious feel of this upmarket spot. Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm, QR350 with soft drinks, QR500 with house beverages and champagne.

Farmer's Brunch table at the Ritz-Carlton Doha. Image by Polly Byles / Lonely PlanetFind locally sourced brunch staples at the Ritz-Carlton’s Farmer’s Brunch © Polly Byles / Lonely Planet

Farmer’s Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton Doha

Another newbie to Doha’s brunch scene, the Farmer’s Brunch at The Ritz-Carlton Doha leans heavily on the farm-to-table concept, using locally sourced and organic ingredients. This is a very different take on brunch in Doha, and it’s the only spot solely focused on sustainability and support for local farmers. With platters of fresh fish, a cheese market and avocado stand, as well as a cake-decorating station, there’s lots to love about the food on display. What’s more, the setup is entirely unique. The rustic decor, with plaid tablecloths, homemade signs and wooden cooking stations, and the resident pony, chickens and rabbits to visit in the farmyard outside create the atmosphere of a friendly and bustling local market. Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm, QR249 with soft drinks, QR379 with house beverages.

We Love Saturday brunch at the Intercontinental Hotel, Doha, Qatar. Image by Polly Byles / Lonely PlanetDon’t miss the Qatari delicacies at the Saturday brunch at the Intercontinental © Polly Byles / Lonely Planet

‘We Love Saturday’ Brunch at the Intercontinental Doha Hotel

One of Doha’s longest-running and best-loved Saturday brunches, the Intercontinental Doha Hotel shows that Friday doesn’t always have to hog the crown when it comes to a weekend feast. It’s held in Coral, the bright and welcoming all-day dining restaurant on the hotel’s lower floor, and features an extensive buffet, including a wide array of local Arabic and Qatari delicacies. If you have kids in tow, this is the brunch to go to. The hotel puts on interactive cooking classes for the over-fours, and there is a state-of-the-art playroom next door, with interactive ‘hubs’ that include flat-screen TVs with the latest blockbusters and fun plunge ball pits that will keep the kids entertained while you go back for seconds. Saturdays from 12.30pm to 3.30pm, QR195 with soft drinks, QR250 with house beverages.

Oysters at St Regis Brunch, Doha, Qatar. Image by Polly Byles / Lonely PlanetYou’ll need a map to make your way around the enormous brunch space at St Regis Doha © Polly Byles / Lonely Planet

Grand Brunch at the St Regis Doha

St Regis Doha’s Grand Brunch is the feast that proves that bigger definitely can mean better. It’s so large, in fact, that it actually requires a map to navigate around the 2500 sq m of food stations. Brunch at St Regis houses some of the biggest fruit and salad displays this side of the Gulf, as well as fresh lobster, oysters and a roast dinner station, complete with all the sides. Diners can choose between the comfortable yet refined space within the hotel’s restaurant, Vine, or outside seating on the enormous terrace, where the shaded tables overlook the azure blue waters of the Gulf and a live jazz band plays lilting beats all the way through to sunset. Fridays from 12.30pm to 4pm, QR350 with soft drinks, QR450 including house beverages.

Soak up the sun at the Garden Brunch at the Sheraton © Imran’s Photography / Shutterstock

Garden Brunch at the Sheraton

The pyramidal Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel is one of the most recognisable buildings on the Doha skyline, but many people don’t realise that within the hotel’s walls lie some of the city’s most beautiful gardens. Beds of bright flowers and palm trees border the extensive green lawns, and strategically placed seating areas dotted throughout the resort take advantage of the hotel’s perch at the edge of the Corniche, with its panoramic views of the sea and the Doha skyline. The hotel has played up its unique setting by adding the Garden Brunch to their already impressive array of weekend offerings. Your nose will immediately lead you to the barbecue, where the grilled meats and seafood are the highlights, but save space to sample the Middle Eastern delicacy of roast camel. This is the only brunch in Doha with an entirely outdoor setting. It hasn’t been running for long, but judging by its popularity, it’s rapidly becoming Doha’s pick of the brunch. Fridays from 1pm to 3.30pm, QR315 with soft drinks, QR415 with house beverages.

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