I’m still in the planning process of my first trip to Asia and Australia during this summer (from Europe). I know that I’m flying into Hong Kong so far and then flying out of Melbourne to Abu Dhabi. So I still have to work out the flights within Asia and to Australia and then the flights from the Middle East back to Europe.

I’m flying Etihad First Class from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi on their A380, which is going to be an amazing experience (cost: 60k AA miles). I’m also flying Cathay Pacific First Class from Europe to Hong Kong in order to somehow get to Asia (cost: 70k AA miles). I was thinking about flying THAI First Class from Bangkok to Sydney for 40k United miles and then fly from Sydney to Melbourne using BA Avios.

Now for the Middle East part: I’m arriving into Abu Dhabi and want to fly out of Dubai (I will be 2-3 days in each city). So I was thinking of flying from Dubai to Doha to Abu Dhabi to London. I already have the Etihad First Class award locked in from Abu Dhabi to London (cost: 40k AA miles) and now I just need to figure out the shorter flights within the Gulf.

Middle East Sunset

Middle East Sunset

I was thinking of spending 1-2 days in Doha, Qatar… but then someone told me that a day is good enough and I should be able to see everything that I want to in Doha in less than a day. This actually would be really nice because then I can just fly from Dubai to Abu Dhabi “via” Doha all on one award and it wouldn’t cost me more, like if I was staying in Doha for more than 24 hours.

So I looked at award availability and the best flight that I could find leaves Dubai in the early afternoon and then I have about seven hours in Doha before I need to head back to the airport (so realistically about 9 hours total in Doha), and then a quick flight in the middle of the night to Abu Dhabi.. eventually continuing to London in Etihad First Class on the A380.

Is 7-9 hours in Doha enough? Lots of people are telling me “yes” and then there are other people who are telling me that I’m crazy and that I should stay at least 3 days to fully enjoy Qatar and the culture. So I need your help.

What should I do? Stay in Doha for a few hours as part of one award or actually fly to Doha for 2-3 days and really enjoy it? Keep in mind that this will be in conjunction to me spending several days in Asia and Australia beforehand.. so while I’m flying First Class on many flights, I’m still probably going to be super exhausted since I will be changing time zones every 4-6 days.

What should I book?