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'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Thursday, 31 October 2013

miss b loves ....... Doha, Qatar, a city of contrasts (Part 1)

Having read about the rapidly developing city of Doha, the capital of Qatar,  we decided to take a closer look as it's just a one hour flight from Dubai so ...... during our recent week in Dubai we headed over there ......

Qatar  is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the Al Thani family since the 19th century and it tops the list of the world's richest countries per capita by Forbes.

Urban development is more restrained than Dubai but it's an ambitious country and is due to host the 2022 World Cup. 

It's a fascinating, contradictory place with both traditional culture and futuristic buildings. The iconic Doha Tower (Burj Doha) was designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel ...... 

....and the beautiful, intricate façade was inspired by ancient Islamic screens .......

A quick tour of the Msheireb Enrichment Centre was a good starting point and gave us an insight into the history of Qatar ....

.......and its plans for the future. It's impressive that they are keen to retain their culture and traditions whilst at the same time embracing the modern world.

Wherever we went we received a warm welcome and as we strolled along the Corniche everyone we passed either greeted us with a 'Good Morning' or a wave!

Along this sweeping promenade with its palm trees and manicured lawns there are outdoor gyms ...

Now that's what I call a gym with a view!

Along the Corniche, walls are covered in colourful mosaics which depict Qatar's history, traditions and wildlife........

The traditional wooden fishing dhows set against the sparkling skyscrapers in West Bay was a photo opportunity not to be missed and sums up this city of contrasts .... where old and new blend together. The water really was this perfect turquoise!

The Museum of Islamic Art, located on its own man-made island on the waterfront, is a striking building designed by the world famous Chinese archtect IM Pei, who created the glass pyramid outside the Louvre in Paris.

The interior is truly stunning with a grand staircase and impressive atrium......

Several floors of exhibits, many priceless, span 1400 years of history from across the Middle East, Africa, Europe and Asia.......

We enjoyed a quick lunch in the MIA café by Alain Ducasse and what a view!

The café oozes with style ... from the cutlery to the chairs ...

On the top floor, the renowned French chef has opened a fine dining restaurant, called IDAM, serving French cuisine with an Arabic twist.

Outside there's a serene courtyard area with water features and more panoramic views of West Bay and the city ...........

Doha is certainly developing its reputation as a centre for art and culture.

Near to this museum, the Al Riwaq exhibition space was covered in Damian Hirst's famous multi-coloured spots design and inside his 'Relics' exhibition was due to open to the public the following day. 

The chair of the Qatar Museum Authorities, Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the sister of the Emir, is keen to establish the country as a centre of excellence for art and has just been named the most powerful person in art(ArtReview Power List 2013

She has overseen the installation of a number of outdoor sculptures including the most recent(and the most controversial!) footballers on the Corniche which was previously outside the Pompidou Centre in Paris.....

The five metre bronze sculpture depicts Zinédine Zidane headbutting Italy's Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup and it has already provoked much discussion and mixed reactions.

It has just apparently been removed having been criticised for glorifying violence. Others felt it captured the only negative moment in Zidane's otherwise exemplary career. Whatever your opinion, it does (did!) look striking against the backdrop of the sea.......

Please join me next time for Part 2 ...... a leisurely stroll around  the traditional souk and a shopping mall with a difference! 


  1. Hello Miss B, looks like an interesting City. Very modern and at the same time it is good that they are preserving their history and institutions too. Looking forward to your next post about the souks.

  2. Great pictures! Wonderful places!!


  3. You are so fortunate to have been able to experience this. It's stunning. You hear so much about these cities, but it's rare to read blog posts where people have actually visited them. It's certainly a place where they take pride in their history, culture and architecture. The Museum of Islamic Art is so imposing and even more so inside! Thanks for sharing, although it has left me wanting to book another holiday!

  4. Hey B! Stunning!!! Love the depth and beauty of the Enrichment centre; quite the metaphor for what it represents.

  5. Morning Miss B! Doha looks like an amazing and interesting city, I'm curious to visit it since I never visited that side of the world. I like the fact it is modern but at the same time save the traditional culture, and that is a centre of art. The tower is impressive! As well as the view at the café, outstanding!:) The sculptures of the footballers made me smil since I remember so well that episode..is funny though, I dont think it glorifies violence. Replying to your comment, yes, sun is still here dear but I fear the cold is arriving soon since they predict rain over the weekend! Kisses! xo

  6. Miss B, each of those buildings looks like a TREASURE! Gorgeous display of architecture. The designs are absolutely fabulous. I love mosaics! So when you showed those, I nearly died. I love the camel one especially. It's all so gorgeous! Even where you ate. HaHa Can I ask you a question? I hope it's not silly, but I really want to know. When you visit Dubai and Doha, do you have to cover your head, face & body? I was just curious. I know a lot of women cover up in Saudi Arabia but I wasn't sure if you had to there. I can't wait to read your next post. This was fabulous.

    1. That's not a silly question at all, Kim! It's not necessary to cover up in that way in Dubai and Doha. I just wear my usual clothes but not very short shorts or strappy tops in the malls (but its fine to wear them and bikinis etc on the beach) Local ladies often cover their head and body and some cover the face too. In Dubai I've seen tourists wear clothes which might be considered inappropriate or too revealing even in a mall in England!

  7. Oh, what a nice place to visit. I like the mosaic walls, especially the camel. The café looks charming, and would love to try one of those hot drinks. What a lovely view. You sure have visited some interesting places.

    Have a sweet day.


  8. I love these posts ... you bring the world to us via our computers.. we get to learn about places that we may not of otherwise known about. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Can't wait to see part 2. Hugs and blessings, C. (HHL)

  9. Preciosas fotografías!!

  10. Beautiful, beautiful architecture. If I lived there I would be at MIA cafe everyday, that view is magical. I also love that there's an outdoor gym. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos.


  11. I'm so envious of your travels! Doha looks like a really fascinating city filled with some amazing architecture!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  12. fabulous We are so lucky that you take us to so many worldly places I am not sure if I will ever see this in person, but nice to see through your eyes!
    Thank you !!

  13. What an exciting life you lead. The architecture is amazing. I agree I think it is so great to keep their culture. Have a lovely weekend.

  14. Wow, I'm impressed, I will have to add this to my list. I've not been to Doha, but it looks like you enjoyed yourself and wonderful photos to share as well. I would love to see the exhibits, also such marvellous architecture. xx/Madison

  15. I definitely need to put more Middle Eastern countries on my travel to list!!

  16. What a city! I'm fascinated by the Museum - amazing architecture!

    Sun and Sany

  17. Miss B-you constantly show me visual inspiration that has a unique twist. Gorgeous post of a spectacular place. I like that fabulous A.D. mia cafe!
    Sublime! Happy Weekend!
    xx, Heather

  18. You are my official travel guide, thanks for this wonderfully enlightening post on Doha, I always wondered what it would be like and if it was just another uber rich Middle Eastern city with futuristic landscapes. It seems a little less commercial than Dubai, which I like. Wow, that cafe has the most breathtaking view, thats a reason to go alone!Have a fabulous weekend sweety!

  19. What a lovely post, I absolutely love Doha :) I've only visited a few other cities in the Middle East but Doha is the one I look forward to returning to the most !


  20. I've already heard so many good things about Doha
    such a rich place
    and from your pics I can also see its beauty.

  21. Amazing pics!
    The architecture is incredible!


  22. Miss b, Love to come here because you get to the coolest spots. I have no knowledge of Doha, but know a little of Qatar. I'm amazed at the skyline. It appears to becoming another Dubai.Your photos were fantastic, talented girl! I especially love the old boats/new skyline and looking through the arches. Also, the museum! What a fascinating and intriguing spot. I am waiting for your next post!!

  23. The photos are so amazing. This place looks beautiful. I love seeing city skylines. They are always so interesting. The information you provided about the city is very interesting.

    Jessica @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

  24. I'm utterly charmed by your travel log, and happy to discover this less talked about city. It's truly impressive how new and old coexist in harmony and the amount of art I personally didn't know was there. I can't wait to read the second part!! Thank you Miss B!
    Coco et La vie en rose
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  25. I love these pics! Doha must be a really wonderful place.
    Miss Margaret Cruzemark

  26. what a cool place! I love how unique those buildings are! Very impressive! would love to visit there!


  27. I am loving the idea of an outside gym, really awesome. You always take such amazing pictures. I always leave your blog feeling inspired thank you for that. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on my last post, I appreciate it.


  28. That's some pretty impressive architecture! And looking at those blue skies, I much prefer to be in Doha right now than my grey and rainy corner of France :)

  29. Those buildings are unbelievable! Just breathtaking. x

  30. I have to say the architecture is amazing!

  31. I have been to Qatar very briefly for a day. Never got a chance to actually explore the city. Only thing that hit me was the weather at that point. But would love to actually walk around in the Middle East and to see most of that side of the world.

  32. Hi Miss B! Thanks a lot for stopping by, I remember well yours and love it! I need one too and will check it out Promod over here to see if I find something. Have a great day and week dear, kisses! xo

  33. wow...that museum is absolutely stunning. the architecture, the views...just amazing! i've neer seen anything like it!

  34. Gorgeous photos.. love beautiful architecture. xoxo, B

  35. You went to Dubai! How amazing! It is my dream to visit the UAE one day... Beautiful photographs! I'm jealous! How amazing they have lenôtre there :D


  36. Wow! Again, stunning photos. I feel like I properly escape when I read your posts. Thank you x Liz (from What Liz Loves) x

  37. De superbes photos, une architecture étonnante et magnifique.... quelle chance de pouvoir visiter ces pays!!!
    Merci pour ce beau partage!!!

  38. I often stop over at Doha airport but never had the time to visit the city, it looks very nice, quieter than Dubai :)

    1. We had a five hour wait at the airport a few years ago on our way to Hong Kong but there wasn't time to visit the city. I'm so glad that we decided to go back and take a closer look.

  39. I've enjoyed reading all your comments and impressions of Doha. I'm so glad we decided to spend some time there as it far exceeded our expectations. Thank you for taking the time to comment!


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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