Saturday, March 16, 2013

Growing Pains

Unless you are living it, it is difficult to explain the rapid growth that Doha is undergoing.  In the 3 1/2 years we have lived here, so much has changed, been built, evolved.  Many of the people we met when we arrived have moved on to different job assignments across the globe.  Among the majority of the people we know, we are often looked at as "old-timers," but I still feel so new in this city.  I have met and talked with people who lived here before there was really a city, and that wasn't too long ago. A few pictures help get the point across.

The top picture is the Sheraton hotel in 1975, near the end of its completion.  Below are two shots (taken from the opposite direction) of the downtown area now (2013), crammed with high-rises.  The lower right shot has the Sheraton circled.

Below is another set of comparison shots taken from about the same location.  You'll notice the Sheraton hotel again in the top shot.  This is taken nearly 20 years after the original shot above, and you'll notice, still not much competing.  So, between 1975 & 1993, there wasn't much change.  Take that same shot 20 years later and a multitude of change. 

I wish I had a picture of the skyline when we arrived in 2009, because even it would show some drastic changes from the 2013 view, and this is only downtown.  The city itself has grown outward.  It seems like streets change daily.  Thankfully, they are starting to try to implement more official street names and mapping for the city.  It will probably take years to catch on, but it will be helpful to be able to tell someone what street to turn on rather than a description, especially when stores are knocked down and relocate so often.  Experience this type of change has truly been fascinating, and comes with its own set of challenges, but it is also exciting.


  1. I love reading your posts. It's so interesting to see what you do, where you go and to read about the cultural differences. Thanks for keeping us updated!

  2. We should have a panoramic from about 2006 and maybe 2010. Would you like those?

    1. Would love to see those, Darla. I can point out buildings that I have watched go up, but having a picture would be more effective in trying to explain.