In my endless quest to find something interesting to do in Doha, this morning’s excursion took me to Porto Arabia/The Pearl Qatar. The concierge described this to me as “the Beverly Hills of Doha.” And while two thirds of “The Pearl” is still under construction, this is a pretty neat man-made island of nothing but excess (then again, that seems to be a theme in Doha so far).
Sure enough there was every luxury brand anyone could want, from Armani to Ferrari dealerships. And out front, instead of having the “mine’s bigger than your’s” game that seems to be going on with cars in Beverly Hills, it was yachts on display here. The whole place was incredibly beautiful (at least as much as glitz and glam can be), but there was one thing missing: people. I walked around there for probably 90 minutes, and literally saw maybe a dozen people at most. Now, it was a Thursday, though I was there around lunch time and expected there to be at least some people. I mean, after all, the 100 or so luxury stores in Porto Arabia have to stay in business somehow, no?
Maybe the reason that I’ve felt Doha is lacking culture is because there aren’t many people, aside from the one’s driving endlessly like maniacs. The whole city feels a bit like a hotel that’s still under construction though is already having a “soft” opening with rooms on one or two floors for sale, with everything else closed.
So while I quite agree with all of the things I’ve heard about Doha so far, I’m also intrigued by the city. I kind of want to come back and see the “finished product.”