Qatar
Abū Sudayrah

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3 travelers at this place

  • Day44

    Breakfast at Saravanaa Bhavan

    November 6, 2019 in Qatar ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Thaxi drops us at Saravanaa Bhavan for breakfast; it's a favourite of his. It's off the main streets and my initial thoughts is that it's a bit dodgy. But I got over that: it's ok for the road to be rough with lots of stones on it, it's ok for traffic to be going in eight different directions at once, all hooting madly, it's ok to be on some strange back street in Doha by yourself. You know, it really is ok.

    On his recommendation we order the ghee roasted dosa with a spiced potato filling and some sauce accompaniments. It arrives in next to no time and is rather good. To follow, it's medhu vada, which are crispy lentil doughnuts, with the same sauces as before. John also goes for a frothy tea. This restaurant is a good choice. Breakfast has just cost us £6. We may be back tomorrow!
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  • Day44

    The Qatari Museum

    November 6, 2019 in Qatar ⋅ ☀️ 32 °C

    Our taxi drops us in the Qatari Museum car park but we wander around wondering if we're even in the right place. There are no signs at all and the ground is just unfinished. It was only opened a few months ago so we'll put it down to teething problems.

    Once we find our way in, this building details the history of Qatar over the millennia. It's quite nicely done but I prefer the Islamic Art one from yesterday. The light coloured beautiful rug in the photos is actually embroidered with about 1.5 million Basra pearls! Again, there are no signs, even for fire exits but we do run across the hidden away reproduced fort whilst we're trying to find our way out.

    After that it's a very slow taxi back to the hotel. We're sick of this traffic. It takes so long, there's so much of it, the traffic lights have lengthy waits. It's tedious and not that safe. Horns are used a lot here, and abs.

    I'm now sitting by the pool again, enjoying the sun on the final afternoon. We've got a nice infinity pool but it's a shame infinity finishes 15' away with a hedge. As the sun comes off the pool we move to the pool bar for a drink and a plate of hot meze.

    We're bored with fighting the traffic so spend our evening in the rooftop bar with snacks. But we're still on Oz time so it's early to bed for us again.
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  • Day2

    Dohadration

    July 28, 2018 in Qatar ⋅ ☀️ 37 °C

    A promotion through Qatar airways of two nights in a 5 star hotel for $50 was too good to pass up, which is how I found myself in Doha during the middle of summer, with a case of heat stroke and struggling to remember that old saying.. something about offers that sound suspiciously good??

    I love the heat, but Doha in July is something else. It’s difficult to convey how hot it is, and the temperatures I read online didn’t do it justice. The thermal mass built up in the buildings and sidewalks makes you feel like you are being grilled and roasted at the same time. When I ventured out at 10am on my first morning I came across a thermometer next to a doorway that read 48 degrees. AT 10AM!!

    Taking the hint, I took a taxi to the museum of Islamic art figuring the imposing and very geometrically attractive building down on the waterfront would be gloriously air conditioned, which it was. Almost as an added bonus it was also full of the types of impressive artefacts one would expect from one of the richest societies in the world hell bent on making themselves THE cultural hub for the region. Not sure if that goal is within reach, but they have got to do something. In 50 years they have gone from a sleepy backwater fishing port to being one of the richest countries in the world on a per capita basis. However, the oil, or the worlds thirst for it, isn’t going to last forever and, while they are trying, it’s hard to see what, if anything, will keep the money flowing.

    What a ride it’s been for the resident population though. The Qatari’s make up only 13% of the population, but they are hard to miss. Ostentatious, brash, arrogant and supremely confident, you almost feel their presence before you see them. Still wearing the traditional starched pure white garb they walk around like they.. well.. own the place, which technically they do seeing no foreigners are allowed to own freehold property. When one walks into a shop, everyone stands aside to let them to the front of the queue, it’s like the entire nonqatari population are their servants. I have rarely seen such a stratified population, there is no middle class. You can see it in the food where there are either insanely expensive cafes and restaurants, where the prices make my eyes water, or ridiculously cheap street food and local places.

    The food has been the saving grace for my time in Doha. Drawing hundreds of thousands of migrant workers (slaves) from across Asia and Africa has led to a delicious melting pot of some of the best cheap and amazing food options I have ever seen.

    Not that the rest of my time has been all bad. My opulent hotel provided a comfortable way of getting over jet lag and had 3 different pools, which were well utilised. Always a sucker for a good market, Souq Waqif gave me plenty of options for when I could face the oppressive temperatures. Entirely renovated (read rebuilt) a few years ago, the Souq thankfully retains an old school air and remains fully operational and buzzing. What sets this market apart from the others I have been too through the Middle East is the working camel, horse and, most impressively, falconry sections. Falconry is big business in Qatar, with individual falcons selling for up to $1.5 million. With such huge figures on the table, it’s little wonder that the market should have such a thriving service section, hand-making hoods and all the other accessories required to bring down whatever crazy and hardy animal that can survive out in this god forsaken climate long enough to be hunted down by a million dollars worth of talons and feathers.

    On the whole though, I wouldn’t recommend anyone visit Qatar in July. Almost makes me miss Canberra winter..

    Almost.
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  • Day43

    Arriving in Doha

    November 5, 2019 in Qatar ⋅ 🌙 24 °C

    It's 05.00 local time and we're quarter of an hour off landing. It's been a long flight. I did drop off for less than an hour for which I am grateful. The seat next to me was free so I managed to twiddle myself round and curl up in a bit of a ball. Not great but better than sitting upright.

    So, the final part of our trip is about to start!

    The airport is enormous. After disembarking and walking for a good bit we see a sign saying baggage reclaim is still an 18 minute walk! Luckily there is a monorail to take us most of the way. Passports and visas are slow, but our luggage is just passing us on the carousel as we walk up.

    We duck the taxi touts at arrivals and take an official one. The traffic is crazy busy; obviously we are running into the start of rush hour. There is so much building work going on, all the road have concrete barriers along the sides to protect the contractors and everything is covered in hoardings. There's lots of hooting, and pushing and shoving, and more than once I dig my nails into my leg wincing at the too close proximity of another car.

    But we make it to the Westin Hotel in one piece, are checked in and into our room by 07.00. It's quite a nice room but has no view. Well, it does but of a large expanse of industrial flat white roof. Hardly surprising as it's costing us $25 USD, courtesy of Qatar Airlines and their campaign to get tourists to visit Doha.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Abū Sudayrah, Abu Sudayrah, أَبُو سُدَيْرَة

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