You can’t pick up a newspaper or switch on the news without hearing someone’s opinion about what’s going on in Doha and Qatar at the moment. But indulge me a little by clearing your mind of all that you have heard for just a moment, and allow me to tell you about what this city is really about to me; let me tell you about ‘my Doha’.
Family and tradition
Because Doha is still so young, it is a city which remains deeply rooted in history and tradition. It only really started to develop when it was officially declared the country’s capital as the country gained independence in 1971 and the booming oil trade pumped money into the city. Prior to this time, Qatar was a tribal nation, with an economy based on pearl diving, and culture and values based on strong family ties and religious belief, and much of this tradition can still be seen in and around Doha today.
I love the fact that despite being an economic centre which is growing in importance on the world stage, Doha hasn’t completely given into modernisation. Retaining the country’s unique culture and tradition is incredibly important to most Qataris.
Beauty and architecture
There is no doubt about it, the skyline of Doha is a spectacle to behold. I will never forget that first taxi ride I took from the airport into the city back in September 2013 – I practically had my nose pressed against the window as we rounded a bend in the Corniche and the sea and city came into view.
There are some truly spectacular pieces of architecture in the city, including my favourites: the Museum of Islamic Art, designed by famous architect I. M. Pei.
And the beautiful blue-tiled mosque in Katara Cultural Village.
New beginnings and opportunity
For the thousands of people that arrive at Hamad International Airport every day seeking a new job and new life, Doha represents hope, change and development. The make-up of Qatar is changing by the day, as the country diversifies its economy to supplement the oil trade, and people flock from all around the world to take advantage of new opportunities.
I was no different. Doha presented me with a new and incredibly exciting job as a CSR Senior Communications Specialist with the team that’s delivering the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and along with the job came some incredible opportunities which I could only have dreamed about before.
At the same time, Doha was the place where my blog started to gain a following, and suddenly the invitations and media opportunities came flooding in, giving me the chance to experience new concepts, explore new places, make new friends and consume some of the best food I’ve ever eaten in my life.
Did you know? Doha was voted as a New7Wonders city precisely because of the new opportunities it is presenting to the world.
In a city which is overwhelmingly composed of expats, there are plenty of opportunities to meet like-minded people from similar cultures and backgrounds. Likewise, because of the diversity of Doha’s demographic make-up, it is also very easy to build friendships with people that originate from countries that are very different from your own. Whatever you look for in your friends, one thing is for sure: the people that you live near, work with and spend your time with will rapidly become your expat family and support network out here, and you will lean on them like you’ve never leaned on friends before.
I am incredibly lucky to have met some of the most amazing and inspirational people in my two and a half years in Qatar, and forged some unbreakable bonds. I have a lot of love for my adopted Doha family!
Most importantly for me, Doha will always be the place where my relationship was cemented.
It was where Mr Sunshine proposed to me one night in a cabana on the beach at Sharq Village and Spa.
It was where we moved into our first home together.
It was where I became pregnant, and where we will shortly have a family of our very own.
In short, Doha for me is love, and Doha for now is home.
Over to you Qatar bloggers! What does Doha mean to you? Is it the place that serves up all of your favourite foods? The city that inspires your passion for fashion? Your long-term family home? Or simply a temporary living arrangement? Feel free to write about anything your heart desires.
How To Join In:
Write a post and add it to the widget below which you can find here or
on PinayFlyingHigh. The link-up will be open from the 15th until 21st of
comment and share at least three posts in the link-up. Link parties only
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3. You can use the hashtag #QatarLinkUp for any of your social media shares.
We will be running this link-up with a new theme on the 15th of each month from now on, and are asking as many of you Qatar-based bloggers as possible to participate by linking up your posts and getting the word out on social media. We are hoping it will be a great way to meet some new Qatar-based bloggers and share some blogging love in Qatar!
We’re super excited to read your posts.
FYS & PFH X