A pair of giant pandas arrived in Qatar in October 2022, making it the first country in the Middle East, and the 20th in the world to have giant pandas. Located in Al Khor City, the Panda House is the new home of the Chinese Pandas.
Here is everything you need to know about Qatar’s latest family attraction, the Panda House Qatar, including opening hours, ticket rates and how to book tickets.
Suhail and Thuraya: The Giant Pandas
The two giant pandas arrived in Doha on a special plane from China to fulfil a cooperation agreement on giant panda conservation and research between the two nations. According to the agreement, the pandas will stay in Qatar for 15 years.
They were both born at the Wolong panda camp, which is part of the Chinese Conservation Centre in southwest Sichuan.
The giant pandas, the first in the Middle East region, have been given Arab names: the 3-year-old female Si Hai is now called Thuraya and the 4-year-old male Jing Jing is now Suhail. Both are named after stars in the sky.
Qatar’s Chinese Ambassador Zhou Jian was part of the welcoming function. In his statement, he said that the arrival of Chinese pandas has uplifted the relations between China and Qatar.”
Panda House Facilities
The pandas are housed in a sustainable environment in accordance with the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), and the standards adopted to conserve energy and the environment. The expanse of the Panda House Park contains 464 trees and 2,814 bamboo plants.
A nursery room, treatment room, food preparation room, and air-conditioned sports field are provided to provide breeding, food supply, and medical safety for the giant pandas. In order to keep the panda couple comfortable, the air-conditioning systems are precisely controlled so that the temperature and humidity are at the ideal levels.
To care for the pandas, the Panda House has hired experienced breeders and veterinarians. A veterinarian and two breeders from the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda have come to Doha to accompany the animals during this transition.
The bamboo is mainly transported from China’s Sichuan. Apart from bamboo, the pandas’ diet also includes carrots, apples and traditional Chinese pancakes.
Panda Park was designed similarly to the mountains of their homeland, the Minshan Mountains in the Chinese province of Sichuan.
Visiting Panda House Qatar
The 120,000 sqm Panda House in Al Khor was inaugurated by Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani in November 2022.
Qatar’s Ministry of Municipality has invited the public to visit the Panda House and enjoy watching the two giant pandas.
As of December 2022, the number of visitors is growing daily and has reached 1,200 visitors a day, Lulwa Al Mohannadi, from the Public Parks Department of the Ministry of Municipality, said while speaking to Al Rayan TV.
“People are booking days in advance. We are increasing the number of visitors gradually following the capacity of Panda House Park and the comfort of pandas,” said Al Mohannadi.
Panda House Qatar Location and Attractions
The Panda House is located next to Al Khor Park and Al Bayt Stadium, in Al-Khor City, 35 km away from Doha. Here is the link to the Google Maps location. Up to 300 parking spaces are also made available for visitors.
The Panda House premises also has an outdoor garden pathway, outdoor booths, sculptural gardens, a bamboo forest trail, and an audiovisual tower. Visitors can also access gift shops, a cafe, a veterinary clinic, as well as prayer rooms.
While visiting Panda House, you can also enjoy amazing entertainment options at the family-oriented Al Khor Park. There’s a zoo, museum, skating area, mini-golf, basketball court, children’s play area, food kiosks, and an amphitheatre. From the Panda House, there is a connecting door to Al Khor Family Park and Zoo.
Here is a video about Panda House courtesy of Sailu & Jen’s Youtube channel:
Panda House Qatar Opening Hours
The Panda House’s operating hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
How To Book Panda House Tickets
Currently, tickets can be booked only through the Oun application. You can download the app here:
Panda House Al Khor Ticket Prices
According to the Oun app, Panda House ticket prices are:
- QAR 50 for those above 14 years
- QAR 25 for children under 14 years
The ticket can only be used on the day and time the ticket was booked for – it can’t be used on another day. Also, note that the ticket is not refundable.
Visitors are required to maintain peace and calm during their visits to ensure the safety of pandas.
Plans are afoot to make Panda House Park a major tourist spot
17 January 2023 Update: The Ministry of Municipality plans to make Panda House Park a major international tourist destination by adding a number of attractions to the facility.
“A worldwide campaign will be launched in coordination with Qatar Tourism and Qatar Airways to introduce the Panda House Park, a 120,000sqm state-of-the-art facility in Al Khor, housing two giant pandas ‘Thuraya’ and ‘Suhail’,” said the Director of the Public Parks Department, Eng. Mohammed Ali Al Khori.
Al Khori said Panda House Park is attracting 1,700 daily visitors with advanced booking through the Oun app of the Ministry of Municipality.
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