DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Qatar is still bustling with life just days before the end of the first World Cup in the Middle East.
At Katara beach in Doha, children play soccer on the golden sand during the day, while others go for a swim at night in waters lit by the capital’s glimmering skyline.
Men follow the call to prayer at a nearby Ottoman-style mosque. Members of the Qatar Armed Forces Band Regiment march in formation as boats with sails in the national colors of the four remaining World Cup teams hover in the harbor.
Qatar expected some 1.2 million visitors for the tournament. Many fans have returned home, but for those who remain, there’s still plenty to do.
The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra has been playing on the Corniche, a 7-kilometer (more than four-mile) crescent walkway around Doha Bay that stretches from the pyramid-shaped Sheraton Hotel at the northern end to the Museum of Islamic Art at the south. In between are parks, restaurants and cultural attractions along the waterfront promenade.
Those who venture to Doha’s labyrinthine Souq Waqif bazaar will find stores hawking spices and perfumes, scented oils, silk scarves and shimmering crystal chandeliers.