A new diplomatic quarter is being built in Doha – around 50 high-rise buildings are under construction in close proximity to each other. Each building has a different design and an individual touch. This same attitude towards building new structures is behind Qatar’s bid for the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Compared to building a whole new quarter all at once, building just eight fully air-conditioned arenas shouldn’t be a problem – indeed one of Qatar’s selling points is that soccer fans will be able to see more than one game per day, due to the closeness of all the grounds.

Many new hotels are being built, again with different designs – one hotel will have three individual towers connected to a central lobby area. I wonder whether many soccer players could afford to stay there, let alone the fans who would come to support their countries.  

There’s also a brand new island called The Pearl. The first brands you see at the entrance are the Maserati, Ferrari, and Rolls Royce garages. Then you spy Hermes, Alexander McQueen, and YSL. Just in front of these shops are the yachts of the people who have bought apartments in one of the blocks beside the faux Italianate waterfront. It’s a different world and the construction isn’t stopping.

julian200Julian 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