Travels in Qatar
Last weekend I very unexpectedly had the fantastic opportunity to visit the Gulf state of Qatar. I have to admit I had a few stereotypical images in my mind but really no proper idea of what to expect.
All along Al Corniche, the main bay of Doha, there are dozens of new high rise buidlings, each one an architectural masterpiece.
We were rather surprised to find the F1 Speedboat Championships in all it’s glory right there in the bay!
Al Mourjan restaurant sits right on the water’s edge with a terrace jutting out into the bay and was a great place to watch the action of the race.
As the sun starts to set on the city the buildings begin to light up. Once it’s dark they get pretty colourful!
Next day we decided to explore the coastline below the city. Lots of open space, and then further on sand dunes with hundreds of dune buggies and quad bikes. And our first sight of a camel!
Not too far away from Doha you begin to see what this country is all about and the source of the vast wealth. The gas & oil works are immense but I can’t show you those I’m afraid – photography is prohibited.
Day 3 we went to the north of the city towards Katara beach and The Pearl. Like most places in Doha there is lots of construction work but you begin to see the potential and where the vision is leading.
About 50km north of Doha is the city of Al Khor. Home to many of the workers in the northern oil & gas fields, but the main industry historically is fishing. I loved it here and could have spent many happy hours taking pics…
Back in Doha we were very keen to visit the Museum of Islamic Art. Currently the recent Damien Hirst exhibition Relics is showing next to the MIA.
The MIA is another archtectural triumph standing on it’s own island in 64 acre grounds and contains one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts.
The interior space is even more impressive than the outside and was designed by the same team that worked on the Louvre in Paris.
As the sun started to set again we headed over to Souq Waqif which is close to another amazing piece of modern architecture the Spiral Mosque.
The city lights sparkling again. I could hardly believe how much we had seen and learnt in just 3 days. What an incredible country this is!
Images copyright Sally Crane. All rights reserved.