Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

A Tale of Two Cities: Kuwait and Doha

Departing Kuwait was chaos. The gates down which you walk straight into the plane seem to be non-operational, and the teeming hoardes are shipped out to the planes in buses. At gates 22-23, security was clearing people for flights to Dubai, Muskat, China and Doha, all at the same time.

People would crowd toward to gate, only to be told “Not Now! Not Now! Now is Muskat!” “Now is Doha!” “over there is China!” but as some people spoke neither English nor Arabic, there was mass confusion. Planes, unable to depart on time because passengers had not been boarded, were only steps from the airport, but still, passengers were boarded onto buses and taken out. Sheer chaos.

Arrival in Doha was smooth, if quirky. In Doha, if your baggage is marked Priority or Business, it comes off the plane last. Not just this time, but the entire time I lived in Doha, this uniqueness was the rule rather than the exception.

Doha has the Miss America entrance just like Kuwait, and fortunately my friends were there to greet me and whisk me away. But in Doha, unlike Kuwait, the exit is chaos. Private cars are waiting for arrivals, taxis, limos, and a thousand laborors stand dazed at the exit, waiting to be told what to do. Threading our way through the chaos, we race for the car and exit, making our way into the city where we meet our husbands for dinner.

It was a very short trip, but I have a few more Doha photos to share with you. The Doha skyline is changing dramatically. Here is the new Museum of Islamic Art, due to open shortly – notice anything?


This is the new Qatar Center for the Presentation of Islam building – it includes a mosque, library, coffee shop and meeting rooms (the one on the left):


This is the first we have seen of dhows being built in the old way in Doha:


Last, the continually changing Corniche skyline:

January 27, 2007 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Lumix, Photos, Qatar, Social Issues


  1. I love the new QCPI building – and cannot believe how “full” the Doha skyline looks now.

    The only thing I notice about the Museum of Islamic Arts (aside from its striking architecture – bravo for choosing I.M. Pei, whose buildings brighten the Des Moines cityscape as well) is that it is still closed. I have never seen the museum open, in its old or new location. I can’t wait for this one to finally open its doors!

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | January 27, 2007 | Reply

  2. I.P. Pei with a suble sense of humor. Look at the top.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 27, 2007 | Reply

  3. hahaha I see “her” eyes now! he does have a sense of humor – the windows at the Des Moines Art Center spell out his initials (IMP), very subtly.

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | January 28, 2007 | Reply

  4. I think it is very clever. From every angle, watching over Doha and the Doha waters. A very sweet, cleverly designed building. I can hardly wait to see the inside. Maybe we will go together!

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 28, 2007 | Reply

  5. […] one of the many expat bloggers in Kuwait shares with us his views on his trip to Doha, which he sums up in two sentences: Departing Kuwait was chaos Arrival in Doha was […]

    Pingback by Global Voices Online » Blog Archive » A Week Goes by in Kuwait | February 4, 2007 | Reply

  6. What a valid post. I enjoy reading the posts on this site and will be sure to return on a regular basis.

    Comment by Joanne Graham | May 7, 2007 | Reply

  7. Welcome, Joanne, glad you are enjoying the view!

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 8, 2007 | Reply

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