Best Cafe “Offices”
Work-from-home parents are masters of making anywhere work as a secondary office—car, kitchen counter, couch, you name it, we’ve probably managed it. Having an office at home is important when you need to escape from the kids during important phone calls or video conferences, but sometimes you need a place away from home either for a change of scenery or as an option to get some work done between your kids' activities.
We asked a few work-from-home parents about their favourite work spots around Doha and put together a list (in no particular order) of some of the best cafes and restaurants around Doha with strong and free wifi hotspots, tasty food and quiet atmospheres.
Walk past any Costa Coffee, and you’ll almost always see someone with a laptop plugged into a nearby outlet. Pretty much any location will do, but we’re preferential to the Ezdan Mall and Medina Centrale locations as they are often quiet during the day. When you buy your food or drinks at the counter, ask for the wifi password. A password lasts for one hour before expiring, but staff are usually generous in providing you with additional passwords if your time runs out.
A popular working lunch spot during the week, Eatopia offers a range of cuisines from which to choose. Find a table on the veranda that overlooks the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre Metro stop for a sunny and interesting view. Check the placard on your table for the wifi password.
The quinoa salad at Lina’s is one of our favourites, and the staff are always kind and accommodating to food requests. Despite its busy location near one of the entrances of Ezdan Mall, inside the cafe is always mellow and relaxing. The booths are comfortable if you want to sit at a proper table, but the couches are also cosy if you’re looking to sit back.
Bread and Bagels
Bread and Bagels might just have the best bagels in town. Couple that with free wifi and comfortable seating and you might not want to leave. They have three locations, but the original in Beach Tower on Diplomatic Street is our favourite.
The W Cafè
The W Cafe is a nice quiet cafe tucked away into the corner of the W Doha Hotel. Bring your appetite for this place though as their selection of cakes and sweets can’t be missed. If you are looking for a more substantial meal, the Market by Jean-Georges offers a lovely, though sometimes busy, breakfast buffet during the week from 6am to 11am.
For an upscale “office” feel, Murano Cafe at Marsa Malaz Kempinski The Pearl Doha is a great place for meetings. The food is superb, the cafe is quiet, and the view is amazing. The price point is worth it if you need a place where you can buckle down and focus.
If tea is more your style, then Argo Tea at Gulf Mall and Landmark Mall might be right up your alley. Both locations are always fairly quiet, offer delicious food (check out their tasty raw bars), and if you still need a coffee caffeine kick, they serve illy brand coffee.
This vegan cafe on the Pearl–Qatar has amazing wifi and excellent French-press coffee all wrapped up in a lovely, laid-back atmosphere.
Santa Monica Breakfast Club
During the week, this brunch spot at the Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel is quiet, the staff are helpful, and the wifi is quick.
Another great coffee shop that’s easy to pop into for a quick work session is Caribou Coffee. According to their website, there are 12 locations around Doha, offering great coffee, cosy seats and a quiet atmosphere.
This hip, homegrown coffee shop has it all—a fantastic location on the Pearl–Qatar, great music, a laid-back vibe, excellent coffee and the best turmeric latte in town.
This funky café has three locations around Qatar. With free wifi, a generous menu and cosy seating, Mokarabia is a solid choice for a morning catching up on email.
Using public wifi safely
It’s always important to remember that you can put your computer and mobile devices at risk when you log into a public wifi network. Sauquat Hussain, the technology security manager at Vodaphone Qatar, offers a few tips to protect yourself when using public wifi.
- Before you connect to a public wifi spot, ensure your device has an up-to-date antivirus software installed and that your installed applications are also updated.
- Check your internet browser and computer operating system for security options, such as pop-up blockers and firewalls, which block malicious connections to your device.
- When available, use two-factor authentication on your accounts. Two-step verification requires not only a password and username but also something that only that user has on them. For example, a piece of information only they should know, a physical token or a text message from the service provider.
- Avoid public hotspots without passwords or login pages—these are the least secure networks. Similarly, do not use a network that requests sensitive information such as personal details or financial information.
- Look for “https”, a padlock symbol or “secure” in the URL bar of your browser to ensure the website you are visiting is secure.
- Disconnect from any hotspot that causes multiple pop-ups or ads to populate your screen.
- Avoid sharing personal information—especially any banking or financial information—when you are connected to a public wifi access point
- Turn off your device’s wifi access when it is not in use and make sure it isn’t set to automatically connect to hotspots.