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Published: March 27th 2020
Doha SkylineYOU CAN CLICK ON ANY PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT - RECOMMENDED -
Modern skyline with old pearl diving boats (now used for tourists) in front.
THEN GO BACK TO THE BLOG OR GO THROUGH THE 24 PHOTOS - CLICK ON NEXT OR PREVIOUS) IN THAT ENLARGED FORMAT. I PUT LOTS OF INFORMATION IN THE PHOTO CAPTIONS SO YOU CAN SKIP THE NARRATIVE, JUST LOOK AT THE ENLARGED PHOTOS AND CAPTIONS AND YOU'LL STILL GET MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU EVER WANTED. TO RETURN TO THE BLOG ENTRY, CLICK YOUR BACK BUTTON OR ON THE NAME OF THE BLOG - BELOW THE NUMBERS ON THE LEFT.
As you have probably figured out, these travel blogs are a way for Bernard and me to keep track of our adventures. I can't tell you how many times we've referred back to one of our over 70 travel blogs looking for various details, maps, dates, etc. That said, feel free to enjoy the photos and just skim or ignore the text.
February 15 - 20 Doha, Qatar
As is our wont, whenever possible, to add a place we've not been to our itinerary, we stopped for five days in Qatar on our way to the Jean-Pictet International Humanitarian Law competition in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.
Souq Waqif, Doha
A must when in Doha, the Souq Waqif which comes alive at night
We stayed at a super nice hotel very near all the places we wanted to **
visit and had a fabulous visit. Taxis were readily available and very reasonable, so we didn't rent a car. For our countryside excursion, we hired a car and driver - very reasonable and well worth it. **
Qatar Islamic Art Museum, National Museum of Qatar, various architectural treasures like mosques, cultural centers, government buildings, Waqif Souq.
The weather in Doha in February was delightful - sunny and dry with warm days and cool nights. You could wear summer clothing (had to be modest) during the days, but a jacket at night was welcome.
Although there is no dress code as such, for foreigners, it is better to wear modest clothes, and conservative clothing is recommended. This implies no shorts for men, and no mini-skirts or tank tops for women. Foreign visitors are expected to dress in a style that is sensitive to Islamic culture. Local women wore chador and we saw some with niqab, but expat workers and foreigners just dressed modestly.
Qatar is a very safe country to travel in. Its
crime rates are low, including violent crimes that are extremely rare, especially towards foreigners.
Background & History
A country of eastern Arabia on a peninsula in the southwest Persian Gulf, Qatar is a traditional monarchy. It was a British protectorate from 1916 until 1971, when it became independent. Oil was first produced commercially in 1949 and its production still dominates Qatar's economy.
In early 2017, Qatar's total population was 2.6 million: 313,000 Qatari citizens and **
2.3 million expatriates. Islam is the official religion of Qatar. The country has the highest per capita income in the world. Qatar is classified by the UN as a country of very high human development and is widely regarded as the most advanced Arab state for human development. Qatar is a high-income economy, backed by the world's third-largest natural gas and oil reserves. **
Seems that ALL the workers in Qatar were from somewhere else, Indians being the biggest ex-pat population, but we met workers from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Macedonia and Kenya. In fact, our total interaction with 'the locals' was with expatriate workers.
Qatar has amassed a sovereign wealth
Qatar Nat'l Museum of Islamic Art
Most of the modern buildings in Doha were built in the last 10 years, such as this museum
fund of $170 billion thanks to revenues from oil and natural gas. It has begun to invest it like a hedge fund. In 2006, Qatar passed Indonesia to become the largest exporter of liquid natural gas in the world with revenues from oil and natural gas amounting to 60%!o(MISSING)f Qatar's GDP.
Qatar has been ruled by the House of Thani since Mohammed bin Thani signed a treaty with the British in 1868 that recognized its separate status. Following Ottoman rule, Qatar became a British protectorate in the early 20th century until gaining independence in 1971. In 2003, the constitution was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum, with almost 98%!i(MISSING)n favor.
In the 21st century, Qatar emerged as a significant power in the Arab world both through its globally expanding media group, Al Jazeera Media Network
, and reportedly supporting several rebel groups financially during the Arab Spring. For its size, Qatar wields disproportionate influence in the world, and has been identified as a middle power. Qatar is currently the subject of a diplomatic and economic embargo by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt,
which began in June 2017. Saudi Arabia
Idam Restaurant in Nat'l Museum of Islamic Art
We happened upon the this French Restaurant at the Museum of Islamic Art (owned by the Emir's sister) and what an experience we had: 5 starters in addition to soup, salad, a trolly of amazing breads, a main and 2 desserts. We were taken into meet the chef (he was a young Frenchman and adorable) and see the kitchen. We didn't have dinner that night, needless to say.
has proposed the construction of the Salwa Canal, which would run along the Saudi-Qatar border, effectively turning Qatar into an island.
A big reason for the embargo is that Qatar shares a good relation with Iran. Both countries own the South Pars/North Dome Gas-Condensate field, the world's largest gas field, having a big influence in the Irani-Qatari relation. Saudi Arabia is at odds with Al Jazeera for their anti-Saudi reporting.
Because of the embargo, Qatar has started developing its own industries, farms, etc. For example, they had no diary farms until the embargo, but now produce enough dairy products for the entire country. The Qatari people are very proud of what they've accomplished and we heard several voice the opinion that the embargo was a good thing - making them more self-reliant. During our countryside excursion we saw many new farms arising from the desert, thanks to irrigation from desalinized ocean water.
Our five days in Qatar were wonderful, busy and extremely interesting. We highly recommend a visit if you are in the area or if, like us, you can fly through Doha (AMAZING airport not unlike in Dubai) and just
The walled coastal town of Al Zubarah in the Persian Gulf flourished as a pearling and trading centre in the late 18th century and early 19th centuries, before it was destroyed in 1811 and abandoned in the early 1900s. A layer of sand blown from the desert has protected the remains of the site’s palaces, mosques, streets, courtyard houses, and fishermen’s huts; its harbour and double defensive walls, a canal, walls, and cemeteries. Excavation has only taken place over a small part of the site.
stay a few days. DON'T FORGET TO LOOK AT THE PHOTOS (TOTAL of 24) BELOW (VERY BOTTOM, BELOW THE AD, OUR PROFILE, THE BLOG OPTIONS, NORTH AMERICA, TRAVELBLOG AWARDS, TOP PHOTOS - YES, RIDICULOUS!!)
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Great to have your blog again! The history and information reminds me of Bahrain and Oman where I had the privilege to visit in 2012. The Middle East is beautiful and exotic. So very different from US in culture, but similar in people’s lives and dreams and expectations. Thanks, Berh
Kathy, the pictures are absolutely stunning. Yes, you deserve a lot of credit but the subject matter in the pictures was amazing. Obviously, I know almost nothing about Qatar, but I learning as I read. Thank you for inviting me to view your info and pictures!!
Loved the Desert Rose Museum!
Glad you are back home in your cozy Tucson abode (with new floor tiles!) Hope you are well and staying safe as we all walk through this most surreal chapter of humanity!
Great to see you are still up to your old tricks. Stay healthy...
Truly spectacular pic...one for the ages!