I went to Qatar for the first time last week for a meeting. It’s only an hour away by plane, but it felt like going much further. Living in Dubai you can forget that you are in the Middle East – it’s just so westernized. But in Qatar you definitely feel it. After work we went for dinner in an authentic (not man made!) souk, with real shops and cafes, and nearly everyone was in national dress, which I love.
Just to keep up the contrast though we did stop for a g&t at a rooftop bar on the way to the airport that would not look out of place in Manhattan. All bean bags, moody lighting, and a view to die for.
I liked Qatar. It has an interesting feel to it – apparently reminiscent of Dubai 10 years ago – ie not as crazy and a slightly slower pace. That said, the traffic was diabolical, worse than Dubai, and I never thought I’d say that of anywhere in the world! I’m enjoying these travels, reminiscent of trips around the UK when working on clients like the Co-Op (happy days!) only with much more sand, heat and planes. If I could have imagined then that life would take me here – well. That’s the beauty of it all, I guess.