Blogs from Qatar, Middle East - page 8

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Middle East » Qatar » Doha February 29th 2012

I'd already been to the Gulf a handful of times - but only for a few hours each time on a stopover to Australia or Southeast Asia, never leaving the airport. Since I'm a naturally curious guy, I couldn't let that slide. Hence I booked a three-day stopover in Doha before my onwards flight to Shanghai. I really needed to know what these small, rich countries are all about. Qatar has become somewhat of a regional global player, or at least, that's how it sees itself. In 2006, it hosted the Asian Games, in 2011 the Arab Games. Last year the FIFA shocked the world when they announced that Qatar will host the football World Cup in 2022. On the political side, Qatar has become synonymous with the TV-channel Al-Jazeera, "the world's best known - and ... read more
Star tile
Finally some decent hummus again
Pretty Persian cat with 'lion-shave'

Middle East » Qatar » Doha February 20th 2012

Doha is a strange place. People from all over the (poor) world working here at this airport. Mostly friendly. Have a good feeling bout nepal. I like travelling... (And they have excellent samosas here)... read more

Middle East » Qatar » Doha December 27th 2011

Well, 2011 hasn’t been my best year. In January, G and I left our idyllic life in Cyprus to do something more useful in Africa. We had secured work as volunteers for an American non government organization in Uganda. The work was interesting and rewarding in terms of the results and the differences that we could see in the community. This meant helping individuals build their own businesses from scratch and training them in finance, negotiation and business skills. However, unexpectedly, G died suddenly and I was on my own. I decided to return to Uganda after the funeral and carry on the work we had started together and to ensure the locals achieved their dreams . The north of Uganda is not the most comfortable of places to work, but the people are lovely, hospitable ... read more

Middle East » Qatar » Doha September 25th 2011

As I sit here overlooking the sunbleached tarmac of Doha International, as planes come and go into the hazy blue sky and shimmering heat, I don't think things have really sunk in yet. Nothing quite seems real, like I'm stuck in a dream. And to tell you the truth, at times I don't even know how or what I'm feeling, or if I'm even feeling anything at all. I thought I'd be a barrel of emotions, bubbling over, but I feel like I'm in a trance, daydreaming and sleepwalking to Heathrow. But then, at other times, the realisation dawns on me. It sinks in that I've come to the end of the trip. It sinks in that I've already left Africa, that the UK is but a few hours away. And suddenly a cold chill grips ... read more

Middle East » Qatar » Mesaieed July 2nd 2011

We left the best of Qatar for our friend G..'s last weekend. We went dune bashing in the desert south west of Mesaieed, right near the Saudi Arabian border. It was amazing. Those drivers know their stuff, and it helps that they let most of the air out of the tires of the 4x4 before we set out. I think the pictures tell the whole story. Loads of fun, even if you're not an adrenaline junky.... read more
Dune bashing
Dune bashing
Dune bashing

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Middle East » Qatar » Doha June 15th 2011

Well after much ado, I am in Doha, Qatar. Almost in Africa. I wrote last blog that I was worried about getting out of Melbourne. By the time I left home on Wednesday morning I was no longer worried about getting out of Melbourne but out of Perth at the other end. The Ash cloud was moving over Perth and looked like it was going to settle there and raise children. By the time we had driven the 3 hours down to Melbourne (after trying for over 30mins to talk to Jetstar in their queue) we found out as we arrived that my flight from Melbourne to Perth had been cancelled. I ended up calling the Travel Agent (many times), the airlines, my insurance company and used up ALL the full battery I had on my ... read more

Middle East » Qatar » Mesaieed May 30th 2011

Visited all the corners of Qatar with our German friend G... Zubara fort is to the north, Dukhan beach is the west, the singing sand dunes are in the east and Sealine beach is in the south. In between it's desert and that's where the Sheikh Faisal museum is located. The singing sand dunes are near the large American military base. We got there in the heat of the day, and the sand dunes were super hot. We found it hard to try and run up the dunes, as the hot sand got inside our footwear (We were not wearing boots). G.. even lost his sandals a little bit up, and was hopping up and down in his bare feet at the bottom while N.. and W.. went back up the dune to recover them. The ... read more
Al Zubara fort
Dukhan beach
Camels by the beach

Middle East » Qatar » Doha April 14th 2011

Hi all Yes, it's a 10 hour stay in Doha airport. Aargh! I'm heading now to find the quiet room, unroll my little sleeping bag inner and hope for some sleep. Brussels was great but I really one-of-those-days yesterday. I literally had only that day to get my visa for Pakistan so I prepped my bag the night before, headed out for some sightseeing (more on that later), met up with the boys from the training course for dinner at one of the girls' places and crawled into bed pretty late for the early start I had planned. Btw I found a great Boschendal wine at the local supermarche for the dinner!! So, up early, first train, at the office 30 min early, go in, can't find passport, panic, run for train back to hotel, punch ... read more

Middle East » Qatar » Doha April 10th 2011

One of my rules is to be critical in accordance with the claims that someone makes; if you are a humble 2-Star then I don't think I'm entitled to criticise you on the basis of 5-Star standards. But by the same token if you claim, as Qatar Airways very stylishly does in its TV adverts, to be "The World's 5-Star Airline" then watch out for the 5-Star criticism. Only fair. I just made a somewhat arduous journey from Bangkok to London and back via Doha on Qatar Airways. Not really THE World's 5-Star, maybe soon, but not quite yet. Now the aeroplane and the cabin crew are indeed pretty good. Compared with many airlines QA runs new 'planes (a Boeing 777 on the BKK-DOH leg and an A330-200 on the DOH-LHR leg - I prefer the ... read more

Middle East » Qatar » Doha April 6th 2011

The time of our trip seems to have flown around with all the usual excitement and worrying. Getting through Heathrow Airport took a while as we seemed to be at the opposite end of the airport from what we needed every step of the way. There was a brief moment of panic for Pete as Julie disappeared to buy toothpaste as the clock ticked towards departure. Eventually we saw her running across the airport towards us and aboard we all got. On arrival at Doha everyone seemed determined to persuade us not to leave the airport. We were told that we wouldn't have time and that the souq would be closed. Maybe they'd heard about Mam's punctuality problems. Our doubts grew further when the passenger in front of us was refused a visa. The girl behind ... read more
Spices
More of the Spice Shop
Doha's Souq




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