I started trying to write an article about the historic sites of Qatar, but gave up because I found myself writing ‘it is closed for redevelopment’, or ‘you used to be able to go there, but you can’t any more’. When we went on our trip to the north of the country our guide kept saying things like, ‘it is the biggest airport in the world, but not finished yet’; ‘it is the biggest football stadium in the world, but still being built’, and so on… And we were disappointed to find that the award winning heritage museum in Doha was now a building site, presumably due to emerge from the rubble bigger and better than before.
At present most of the visitors to Qatar are business trippers, expat workers, or visiting friends and relatives. It is said that it is also favoured by American service personnel taking short breaks from Afghanistan – desert sports including dune bashing are popular. However attempts are being made to boost tourism by building hotel complexes along the coast. Presumably the country will look very different – less like work in progress – when it hosts the World Cup in ten years time.We enjoyed Doha though. The souq managed to combine traditional shopping with a cosmopolitan feeling restaurant area.
We had some great Arabic food, including Moroccan at Tajine in the Souq.
|Vegetable couscous at Tajine, Doha Souq|
And we had an unscheduled stop at a camel farm in the north of the country.
|Camel farm, Qatar|
The Museum of Islamic Art was excellent, and you can read about it here – Visiting the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha.