A trip to the “Beverly Hills of Doha”

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.”

Comments

  1. Kind of reminds me of the numerous harbors around Monaco – I couldn’t even afford the zodiacs in the ‘boot’ of the ships with all the other dive equipment the staff was preparing for an outing. Except for one thing – where ARE all the people?

    Pictures look great!

  2. Your report only re-affirms the head scratching involved with FIFA awarding the 2022 World Cup there. Oh wait, that’s right, it was awarded because of Qatar’s rich soccer (or to the purists – football) history! At least it will give you a convenient excuse to return in the future as you desire.

  3. They hosted the Asian Games 2006, and today I still wonder why they got the games, the decision was made in 2000!

  4. Like most of the Middle Eastern “new” cities, there won’t ever be a finished product. There will always be a new project that starts before the previous one ends.

  5. Hey stop making fun of this country. It is still developing. Did the USA or England just came out looking perfect! No they didn’t. So just give Qatar a chance and they will develop the country to make somthing amazing!

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