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Three Perfect Days: Doha

In just a few years, the capital of Qatar has gone from desert backwater to major player in global tourism, offering cultural riches, top-notch cuisine and a bottomless supply of bling

Author Alistair Crighton Photography Aurelie Korady

A camel tender atop his mount at Al Shahaniya Camel Racetrack

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QATAR HAS COME A LONG WAY IN A SHORT TIME. Having gained its independence only four decades ago, this small spit of desert jutting into the Persian Gulf now boasts the world’s highest per-capita GDP, and is punching well above its weight in the fields of hospitality, finance and international sport.

It’s a far cry from the 1930s, when a Japanese invention—cultured pearls—devastated the pearl diving industry on which Qatar’s economy relied. Then the discovery of fossil fuels here in the 1940s reversed its fortunes overnight. More recently, Qatar has been on a development binge that’s transformed it into one of the most vibrant and attractive spots in the Gulf.

With the soccer World Cup heading to Qatar in 2022, the capital city’s revival is being stepped up. After spending years in the shadow of nearby Dubai, Doha is emerging as a destination to be reckoned with: a place where travelers can immerse themselves in the best of Middle East culture while knowing that a hot nightspot, hip restaurant or fleet of matching Rolls-Royces is never far away.

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2 Responses to “Three Perfect Days: Doha”

  1. Martin Says:
    September 8th, 2013 at 5:33 am

    I am surprised Doha is covered in the “Three perfect days” series, and not the “whirlwind” series which features 5-hour-stays. Whoever survives three days in Doha without being bored to death deserves a medal-of-travel-honor. Nice for a day trip, but better make it back to Dubai or Beirut at night.

  2. Korean Clothing Says:
    October 7th, 2013 at 2:34 am

    This place is a wonderful place, wish i can travel there in the future

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