Friday, March 02, 2012

Quick trip to Doha

I made a whistle stop trip to Qatar yesterday and landed the day after a sand storm. As you can see the air was still thick with minute particles throwing up a hazy flat light. As a consequence there aren't any spectacular pics today.
Doha is in the midst of a building frenzy reminiscent of Dubai in its "go-go" heyday. That gold rush ended in tears in the  UAE, but given Qatar has 35% of the world's natural gas reserves, its pockets are a bit deeper.
Since the 2022 world cup was awarded to this tiny place, they're determined to be ready and presenting a shiny western face to world.
Except there's no booze to be had .
Well very restricted access anyway.
This country of 300,000 doesn't have any football stadiums of note but will build 8 with a capacity of 90,000 each by the time the games begin. 
A seating capacity of 720,000.
More than double the population.
 If you do the math its easy to see that if all games are played at once and every citizen goes that still leaves 420,000 visitors.
Where will they stay?
Hotels are being built but there's no way you can create that many rooms for a one off event.
Qatar is building a new city for 80,000 from scratch.
Yes,that's what they're going to do.
The stadiums will be state of the art.
Open roofed they will have an "artificial cloud" hovering above which will move with the sun to keep the field in the shade.
it will be circa 100 degrees F.
even at night.
What will they do with these palaces when the World cup is over?
Dismantle them and give them to African countries.
That's the plan.
Now anyway.
Stay tuned cause it will be interesting.
For Qatar's sake the next winters in Europe better be cold ones.....

That's it for today folks
Stay well

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