Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Qatar Part 1

As mentioned, I'm in Qatar visiting my friend Adrienne for the week.

So far, we've filled the days full with tons of local entertainment and delicacies.

After the 14 hours of flying, Adrienne knew just the trick to deal with stiff muscles and jet lag: we spent Saturday at the Ritz doing yoga, getting massages and catching up with some NBC friends that work here for Al Jazeera English.
The gorgeous Ritz lobby:
There are paintings and large photos all over the town of Qatar's royal leaders, His Highness the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and his son, the Heir Apparent:
We also dashed over to a large man-made island, the glitzy Pearl, where great hope was held in the fact that restaurants could serve alcohol since it is off-shore.  Unfortunately, the government changed its mind and snatched back that promise so the restaurants and shops are slightly empty.

Nevertheless, check out the great glamour of the large yachts next to the couture shops.  The Qataris don't like to hide their wealth status as the world's highest GDP per capita thanks to their natural gas resource.
Since the country is so young and the boom is at such a peak, check out the never-ending construction:
My visit coincided with the Qatar Masters golf tournament.
The locals don't quite understand the game, so the tournament was quite empty and we had a lot of access to the players and the course.

Hanging with John Daly and his wild pants:
18th hole Exxon tent:
Check out the VIP section at the 18th hole.  I learned there is a whole hierarchy for who sits where in the thrones and people are literally readjusted if someone of higher or lower stature arrives.
Fun fact: The Doha Golf Club uses 25% of the city's water supply.  Check out the stark difference between the lush course and the sandy desert.
Speaking of the desert, Adrienne took me out for a great adventure in the sand dunes.  We went "dune-bashing", which is basically off-roading on the sand dunes.  It's a lot like a roller coaster, without any safety guidelines or waivers.

Check out our wild ride:
We also stopped at the gorgeous Inland Sea, where you can see Saudi Arabia across the bay.
I'm having a ball, but definitely missing my boys.  I'll be home very soon.

1 comment:

  1. Your trip looks amazing! I can't wait to hear all about it.