Monday, 3 March 2014

Oops I'm in the Middle East!

There certainly won't be any house related posts today as I'm far too busy doing absolutely nothing lounging in the glorious sunshine next to the Arabian Sea as this week I'm in the Sovereign Arab Emirate of Qatar.   

Intercontinental Doha
So idyllic, so peaceful!
The view from our room to the left!
This is the view to the right, that skyline is awesome!

Qatar is diversifying into tourism in a big way, and they are dropping big money to draw the crowd.  In fact, Qatar is slated to be the next big thing after Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, they have already bettered their neighbours by submitting the winning bid for the 2022 World cup, and you never know, they might get the Olympics too. 

Why am I here you may wonder, well good question!  My friend entered a competition in the London Evening Standard sponsored by the Qatar Tourism Authority, and she won, and as she's awesome, she asked me to come along for the adventure as I was all 'DIY and no fun make Eve a dull girl' I literally snatched her hand off!  

The trip included return flights, 4 nights bed and breakfast at the Intercontinental Doha, one of the nicest 5* hotels I have ever stayed in, and finally 3 excursions with Qatar International Adventures!  It's been amazing....the City is very impressive now, but there is new stuff flying up on every corner, and you can see there has been billions spent!  The architecture is stunning now, so wait till you see it in a few years!  

Bullet Tower with a crane, which is the national bird
of Qatar 
Tornado Tower
The World Trade Tower Doha

 There are restaurants, coffee shops, and shopping to die for in downtown Doha, plus some of the best luxury brand hotels on the planet.  Outside of the City, there is desert for miles and miles and massive sand dunes you can go dune bashing in…I have a bruised collar bone from that exciting adventure!  And as the 2 million strong population are only 3/4 non Qatari, and you can only own the lesser share in property here, they have built a man made Island just for the expats called the Pearl, which is the only place in Qatar that none Qatari nationals can buy property outright, it's got everything needed for the jet set lifestyle, Hermes, Fendi, Chloe, Missoni and of course a Rolls Royce and Ferrari dealership!  

We are having such a brilliant time here, so it's annoying we leave for London tomorrow afternoon, but we have seen the sights, we have stuffed our faces on amazing Middle Eastern food, we have eaten the best seafood of our lives and had a massage, life's very tough right now.  NOT!

As an aside; to counteract the eating of ones own body weight, washed down with a few glasses of vino at the hotel (hotels are the only place you can purchase and consume alcohol in Qatar) I did actually bring my work out gear as this hotel has an amazing gym, yoga studio, tennis & squash courts.  However, I was so busy checking out the Museum of Islamic Art's amazing I.M. Pei architecture and the amazing view of the Doha skyline, I fell down a 3 inch step and sprained my ankle!  Awesome, as now I have an airtight excuse as to why I have not set foot in the gym or on a tennis court, or in a spin class…..etc.!  

We save toured the city, seen the desert and it has been fab, we are now off to enjoy our last evening in Doha, so see you next week from the rain sodden UK!  Boo! 

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