Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mid-East Blog # 4

March 1, 2016

Last night provided an opportunity to meet the tour guide and our fellow travelers. Most of the people were well traveled. Following an introductory discussion by the tour guide, we walked to one of the hotel restaurants to have dinner and to get to know the other travelers.

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This was the first full day with Tauck. Originally, the group had an invitation to visit a private Arabian horse stable owned by one of the "Royals." This experience was cancelled at the last minute. It seemed that "important guests" would be coming at the same time and two groups would not be accommodated at the stable at the same time.

We "changed horses" so to speak and headed off to where camel racing takes place. 

On the way to the racing track, we passed by the headquarters for Qatar's special forces 

"Checking out" camels might have been a better experience. There were hundreds of camels - all being "exercised" by camel riders and by robots. 

It seems that robots work better than human beings. The robot weighs less and are more reliable. The main for the robots was because the riders were becoming sterile from all the bouncing up and down.

Different Colored Blankets Represent The Camel Owner's Stables

Using Blanket Colors To Identify The Camel/Camel Owner is Like Our Jockeys That Wear Color Jackets Representing The Horse Owner

Some Camel Jockeys Choose To Wear Scarves To Keep Dust Out Of Eyes and Mouth

These Are One Hump Camels - dromedary.

Hundreds of vehicles (including a Bentley) are given away as prizes to the winning jockeys and trainers.

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Driving from the city center area to the camel training center and rack track took about 30 minutes. It was startling to see easily over one hundred square miles of desert and rock being transformed into what will be planned communities. 

Old, expensive villas are being torn down and replaced with even more expensive villas.

Soon To Be Torn Down

A New Villa

Not Yet Moved In

Brand New: Money Is No Object

A Doho (government) cultural center was our next stop. We had an opportunity to learn in more detail about Doha's master plan. The master plan, or what will soon be a planned community, is in the process of being built in conjunction with a "metro system."  

Soon To Be A Metro Station Stop

The Doho metro will connect Doha with other Qatar communities as well as with Bahrain and UAE. 

In the same area, American Universities are building huge campuses: Georgetown, Northwestern, Carnegie-Mellon, Virginia Commonwealth, etc. 

A New University

New Convention Center

Typical  Retail/Commercial Areas That Most Likely Will Soon Be Torn Down

It seems that there is more building being done in Doha then in China. All of this building is to accommodate a projection of 2 million more residents and the 2022 World Cup.

Old Doha

New Doha

Future Doha

Old Doha Buildings Were Open And Faced Ocean Breezes To Counter 120-140 F Summers

Buildings Were Positioned Close Together To Create Shade

Future Construction Will Be Green And Energy Efficient

Buildings Will Be Lit by Sun and Cooled By Ocean Breezes - Just Like The Old Building Construction

Design Patterns Will Duplicate Past

Like The Past, Buildings Will Be Positioned Close Together

Residents Will be Able To easily (And With Security) Access Their Private Parking Areas

There Will Be Light Rail Transportation And Pedestrian Walkways

5 to 10 Years From Now - Doha Will be Amazing!

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It was starting to get hot. Time to head back to the relaxing hotel.
Hotel Lounge Area

Another Lounge Area

Business Meeting

Time To Cool Off

Another Wonderful Dinner


Another Surprise!

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