I have never met anyone, except myself, who doesn’t hate Doha. Qataris excluded, because I have never met one, all the other residents truly hate it. All the conversations are about what a shit place it is and how they desperately want to move somewhere else.
I don’t really blame them. There’s not a lot to do here, for one.
Like, even if you google “Things to do in Doha”, all you get is a set of ten places to go to and that’s including the Souq and the Musuem. On top of it, the weather isn’t too bad but the excessive humidity makes it worse. I mean, there are so many parks but are you really going to take a walk only to be left dehydrated by the end of it? I didn’t even know sandstorm was a thing until I witnessed one here.
Another important reason is the culture. It’s not so open and I think in someway, most people find it very limiting.
I don’t intend to say that Doha is the best place on earth but I don’t necessarily hate it as much as everyone else. Here’s why:
The cultural events:
Cultural events and festivals are a thing here and lucky for me, I dig such things (I am not of the “Rock concert” type, I’m more of the artsy type)
I do agree that there are a few places of entertainment here but it is also here where I first heard a Polish Jazz band playing instrumental music. And yeah, when I tell most people, they don’t believe me. And remember the exhibition for Giacometti and Picasso? And the one for JR?
But here’s the thing : You won’t read about such things in Time Out. Or even online. You hear it from people. So here, socializing is an important aspect.
My life is considerably better here. It is much safer than home. Of course, if you come from U.K, you wouldn’t even give this a second thought but to me it is important. I have never felt scared walking the streets of Doha, even at night.
I am in love with Labneh:
Ever since I have moved here, I have started eating Labneh (with other things, of course)for breakfast. And when I go to Zaatr, I don’t ask for ketchup with my cheese fries, I ask for Labneh. If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re missing out.
And when I have the occasional craving for Pakistani food, I can get it in as cheap as QR 20. It’s all about knowing your surrounding well. You could get the same dish in a fancy restaurant for as much as QR 65, mind you. And yeah, the taste might be slightly better, but if you’re thinking about your wallet, you’d be happy being a cheap-eater like me.
Some bars have great live music:
Live music. In bars. Enough said.
I can save a lot:
My company pays for my accommodation, transport and meals. Which means, I can end up saving a lot, if I am successful in resisting my temptations. Splurging temptations, I mean..I mean, I am not a shopaholic but some skirts are really too good to let go.
Still, if you hate Doha…..you hate it and frankly I don’t care. Moaning about the bad things in our life all the time never really helped anyone. I am just going to eat my fries with Labneh and watch you whine.