Besides Souk Waqif and the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar has some interesting experiences for the visitor. There is a Camel Market with the different types of camel segregated – for example Qataris buy their racing animals here. The area is scrubland/semi-desert which is full of fenced pens and the camels munch contentedly but their eyes betray a deep upset with the world. Nearby is the Omani souk, a drive through garden market where people can buy plants, bamboo canes, furniture, and garden tools. Visitors who walk through are stared at as though they are mad.
Doha does have a Sports City area which was largely built for the 2006 Asian games. There’s a hospital just for sport’s injuries. I wasn’t allowed to look inside the indoor stadium as I didn’t have permission. The architecture is impressive and the facilities are well used judging by the number of vehicles in the car park.
Next door is the Villaggio Mall. Imagine your local shopping mall where all the shops are Hermes, Armani, Yves St Laurent etc and you have the Villaggio. Should you be looking for some excitement, there is a small, delicate canal running through the mall and you can take a gondola ride under two mini Rialto bridges – the cost was 15 rials around 2 pounds. There is also an ice hockey rink where the Qatari Raiders play. This place is fully air-conditioned too. I felt very poor.
Julian has written articles on Middle Eastern and European architecture for the US magazine Skipping Stones. He has written travel articles that were published in The Toronto Globe and Mail, Fate Magazine, National Catholic Register, and Northwest Travel. Julian has also written articles for the In The Know Traveler, Go Nomad, InTravelmag, and Go World Travel websites. He has also taken many photographs that have appeared in travel guides by National Geographic, Thomas Cook and The Rough Guides. Examples of his work can be found at http://www.photographersdirect.com/sellers/details.asp?portfolio=13734