Qatar trip report



Oil and gas have made Qatar the richest country in the world - rich enough to be ready to spend $200 billion on stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup even though they don't know much about football.



Doha is a combination of modern and traditional buildings, with a large expat population. Doha is the type of place where if you revisit it in 10 years you wouldn't recognise it. There's a big building boom, a walk along the waterfront promenade, the Corniche, shows glass and steel towers rising like an artificial forest from what was once a shoreline of flat sand. Large expensive shopping malls have also sprung up in recent years, counting many luxury brands.
For a more traditional Arabian shopping experience there's Souq Waqif, a replica since the original souq was torn down and rebuilt to look old. An interesting part is the falcon souq. Falconry is a popular sport amongst Qataris. You can buy all kinds of falconry accessories including the birds themselves, and there's even a hospital just for falcons.

Downtown is a ghost town during the afternoons, but everything comes alive in the cool evenings when all the shops are open and the streets are full of people.