Posted by: englishdubai | August 9, 2006

Doha go again

I took my first trip to Doha, Qatar two days ago. It is always nice to visit a country for the first time though my first trip to South Africa left me with mix fix feelings. Doha on the other hand could not have been more far removed from Jo’burg.

After a rather torturous wait at the immigration queue – caused by all Non-GCC citizens having to pay 55 Riyals at passport control for the visa – we were through the airport in a flash. It made a nice change from Dubai airport where you typically have to hike for up to 20-30 minutes to get where you need to go. I am sure though the long walks in a Doha Airport will be a feature of the new one that is due to be built soon.

We took a drive along the Corniche and I marvelled at how much it reminded me of Abu Dhabi 20 odd years ago. There is a smattering of modern tall buildings, dispersed with construction sites and the sea looked great as it glistened in the hot and humid weather. I can well imagine in 10 years time Doha will be a spectacular coastal city.

My Father worked in Doha for a year in 2005 – I asked him what he thought of the place – his response was “Not much there son, just some tarmac on the sand”. Well I have to agree with him – but it is changing and at a rapid pace.

I made a brief stop at the Intercontinental Hotel to meet a colleague and I was suitably impressed by the pool and beach offering – I took a quick photo. I wouldn’t mind spending a relaxed weekend there.

I enjoyed my short visit to Doha – the people were friendly, the driving was civil and the weather was even more humid than Dubai. I am sure I will be back soon.


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