The same weekend we went to Doha, I happened to come across this article about where the world’s millionaires live. This top 15 list ranked households with a million dollars or more in assets as a percentage of all households in the country. Dubai, with all its flashiness and pomp, is only number 9 on the list. Doha comes in at number 1 with millionaires representing 14.3% of its population.
The very next morning in Doha, I opened up the newspaper,The Peninsula, to this front page article about how construction companies are largely ignoring guidelines set to establish decent living quarters for the laborers.
It’s this all-too-familiar dichotomy that colors any visit to big cities in the Gulf. Shinning skyscrapers. Blue jumpsuits. Custom-painted Rolls Royces. Rickety labor buses. Conspicuous consumption. Dumpster diving. I know I’ve written about it before and maybe it’s becoming an old hat, but I still find that it encroaches on my experiences like a dark looming shadow.
The slideshow below features some pictures of our evening at Souq Waqif and I also included a few snapshots of buildings we passed while driving through Doha. The souk was a pleasant surprise. A market has existed here for decades, but even though the structure looks old, it’s newly built. (Nothing here is as it seems.) Some might say it’s a bit Disneyfied, but the vibe is authentic and really quite vibrant. There were more local women here than I’ve ever seen anywhere in the Gulf outside of a shopping mall. In the evening, the breeze picked up and even though it was hot and humid, we enjoyed window shopping and marveling at the trinkets for sale. It’s a fabulous place to eat ice cream, drink mint lemonades and people watch.
For a more thorough review of Doha, visit this post by fellow Dubai blogger The Hedonista