The heat is almost unbearable as I walk through The Pearl, a unique artificial island spanning nearly four million square metres. The stunning view of the ocean with the huge yachts, the numerous modern buildings and hotels, the Rolls Royce and Maserati showrooms cannot but remind me of the unimaginable wealth of this oil rich country. It is only one of the major developments planned in the view of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Qatar is having a full make over.
The infrastructural projects include the renovation of existing facilities and building of new ones such as stadiums, roads, railway network, hotels and malls. Billions of dollars are being injected in these works and how can it be otherwise when we look at the development plans? The construction works can be seen everywhere in Doha with cranes almost everywhere!
Amongst its plans, I was stunned to see the one about the construction of the billion dollar ‘Silver Pearl‘ hotel; a luxurious hotel built off Doha coast, resembling two half moons with stainless steel and glass exterior. The hotel will reflect the ocean and is meant to sparkle like a Pearl at night.
The hotel has been designed by a New York based firm and will have 1000 rooms. It will be accessible by a bridge, by yachts and even by helicopters. Obviously, the ‘Silver Pearl‘ will also have conference centres, restaurants as well as high end shops. I cannot wait to see such a jewel in front of me after seeing the plan.
I was also amazed at the zero-carbon emitting stadiums being built for the World Cup 2022, which will be also be air conditioned; although this doesn’t seem to be much of a problem after the announcement of the games being moved to winter (despite major uproar and huge upheaval to the European Leagues calendar). These stadiums will have a seating capacity ranging from about 45000 to 86000 spectators! Not talking about the building of Lusail city from scratch or the total renovation of Mushareib city, which will be the new Doha downtown. On top of these, there will be some more shopping malls among which the ‘Mall of Qatar’, adjacent to a host stadium for the World Cup 2022. Planned to be the biggest mall of Qatar, it will have over 500 stores, 7000 parking spaces and live entertainment throughout the year. It will be a definite must-see!
My day out with my family ended at the beautiful Katara where we enjoyed a chapati and a karak. As I sat there, I couldn’t help thinking of how much more lively and vibrant this whole place is going to be a few years from now. I don’t know if I will still be Qatar in 2022, will you?