The Diplomatic Club is an absolutely stunning piece of real estate sitting quietly by the mouth of The Pearl. If you’re looking to spend a day that blends together energy and relaxation, there’s no better place to chill out and recuperate than here. Take Craig Ferriman’s word for it…
Opened in the year 2000, The Diplomatic Club marked the very city limit of Doha then. This was a time when West Bay had no skyline, The Pearl had not been built and Lusail hadn’t even been conceived. And while all this expansion development has amassed around it and construction has progressed further north up the coast, this property remains a timeless gem and a wonderful oasis amidst the bustle of the capital city it hides within.
I live close to it and see it every day yet I had an ill-judged notion that it was purely for members and, well, diplomats. I was wrong. Yes, diplomats frequent it and members populate it but its facilities and grounds are very much open to all visitors. There is a lot of recreational activity to partake in, both indoors and outdoors.
I started a fresh morning out in the sun and on the water. The assistant recreation manager, Pami, took me out with his colleague, Shanil, on the strip of water that runs from the open sea into West Bay Lagoon for a crash course in wake-boarding. I’d never tried it before but that didn’t really matter because they were able to get me into it at a beginner’s level. It was a little embarrassing to start with as I strapped my feet to the board and clung onto the rope being tugged along by the motor boat and I’d be lying if I said I let go and fell flat a few times but Pami and Shanil’s patience was remarkable and they were great instructors. It would be untrue to say I was a natural but it was a huge amount of fun and I’ll be keen to get out there again soon!
The guys gave me an amazing spin in the boat around the crescent and in a momentary fantasy I felt like James Bond or Matthew Bourne as we worked up a bit of speed and raced towards the skyline and then did a U-turn taking in the gorgeous towering views of The Pearl, on the ride back.
Back at the club, I cooled down from the adrenaline rush by taking a dip in the pool and sipped a warm tea catching some rays on one of the sun loungers. This place aims to create a home away from home vibe. On a day out here, you could get your hair done in the salon – separate for male and female.
There was a sizeable gym with plenty of equipment from cardiovascular machines to TRX units and weights and abs tools. I spent an hour with a personal trainer called Ahmed who put me through my paces with a high intensity workout that worked my abs. I felt like my quads had well and truly been stretched by the end of it and could feel the positive effects within just an hour. I’d more than worked up an appetite and enjoyed a light lunch sat outside at Al Borj restaurant by the private beach looking across at the majestic Pearl. The menu was a mix of light salads and sandwiches. It was casual and relaxed and I indulged in a chicken fajita and a refreshing watermelon juice.
My day at the Diplomatic Club ended rather perfectly with a visit to the spa. My therapist, Tekad, gave me a Thai massage which got into all my pressure points and knocked all the internal stress right out of me. It was full on but I left feeling like I could float! The staff are highly professional here but they’re also friendly wanting to make you feel as welcome here as you would at home. They are discreet too.

There is a glass squash court and a tennis court too for those who enjoy racquet sports but, honestly, you might not be able to tear yourself away from the beautiful beach. It’s the kind of weekend or day retreat that you can go to again and again for relaxation and recreation and there is plenty to do that’s both high octane or chilled out – depending on your mood. And the best bit of all, you don’t have to be a member or a diplomat as I had always thought! ✤