20 Jan : Day off in Doha


I started the day off walking out of the hotel with two of the Indians I keep saying hello to every morning. I don’t know what they do but they are always there with their big smiles wanting to talk cricket.

They took me around the corner to show me a rather expensive car that had skidded in yesterdays rain and was basically written off.

Today was a day off!But still took my cameras with me. With two clients pulling out at the last-minute I need to make this trip pay so whilst exploring took some pictures to give to two other travel libraries that I contribute to.

I am so glad I went and explored today!


With the boys at the hotel with the Mercedes’ wanting £29 to take me to the city, I got a local metered cab and paid £3.15!

I was instantly impressed with the Museum of Islamic Art building, I did not go inside but its architecture was stunning.




Just like in Africa, many many locals WANTED their pictures taken. I may possibly go back to the shops in Souq Waqif and do a feature on the shopkeepers but I wanted to see as much as I could and without looking at the map found the old parts that Doha is famous for.






As Hara said the other day, the pictures look better with locals in them.



It seemed like an age to wait for four Argentinian girls talking in  Spanish to leave one corner in order for me to shoot locals walking down a street!


Although the tourists flock to this part of town, and no wonder, its gorgeous – the locals come here too.

I will aim to come back again next week and have a proper look around.

One reason was because I had run out of money.

I found a World Cup Trophy replica.

I bartered from 500 to 220. It still cost £37 but I have huge ideas for my purchase in the next few days or so! With the Qatar World Cup winning bid still in the news, hopefully I can create some editorial images to accompany articles to help pay for the room service bills that I have accumulated over the past few weeks.

With travel photography still in the forefront of my mind, I then stumbled upon the Grand Mosque, took some pictures of a rather huge clock with arabic numbers on it before I was taken away by a security man showing me a secret services pass in his wallet!

Regardless of what the future held, I did not want to lose the pictures I had taken already for the last three hours so I hid my card in my sock. If they wanted to delete the images or something then I would only lose 20 or so that was in my camera.

Apparently I had crossed an invisible boundary line where no TV or cameras are allowed. One man was insistent on something but a kind man who looked like Chemical Ali was relaxed and during this time I remained calm – which may surprise some – but I guessed showing respect and apologising, doing lots of don’t shoot me signs with my hands showed that I was not someone to take matters further with. After a heavy 10 minutes I was let go but told to walk back down the street I had come from, even though the road I wanted to go down was 15 meters away. It was best not to argue.

The two guards were still arguing when I left.


I walked along the Al Corniche street with the sea to my right.

Prime opportunity to get the trophy out.




I shot with the 2022 World Cup – the trophy looked OK. The picture taken was not stunning but I have seen worse.

Leaving the old Doha behind me I headed on a 4km walk to the new part.



Again – stunning.




Buildings that make some of the skyline in Tokyo and Dubai look feeble, I was very impressed with this city.



After watching CNN for an hour last night commenting on China, one building I fell in love with was one being built by a Chinese company.

It is called the Doha High Rise Office Building.

So named, just like it says on the tin I suppose!

With an aluminium facade Doha 9 as it is also called cost £100m to build.

I walked for about 2 hours around these amazing skyscrapers.

I headed back to the view of the skyline by the water in anticipation of sunset.

I was not disappointed. With lights changing colours every 30 seconds, the skyline made better TV than pictures.



The buildings took a different feel to them lit in the Doha early evening.



The mosque looked sensational, but I feared another situation happening if I took more images of it.



I wanted to venture back into the old part and see what that was like under lights, but my legs were hurting.

I had walked 12km today.

I decided to head back to the Islamic Art Museum because it looked amazing under the floodlights and also this was where I had spotted many taxi divers turn during the day.

It was very dark and I did not want to hang around for a taxi.

I could walk no more!

A kind security man let me through the shut gates to do a picture. Still from the rain yesterday Doha was still wet. Wearing my trusty Crocs, I went flying from slipping on a wet shiny marble surface. I did well to catch a camera but hurt my shoulder and finger. My nan’s friend used to have falls every week – she was 82. Felt a little embarrassed to write a status update “just had a fall”.

I got a taxi OK and at the hotel had some food then a long soak in the bath to rest my aching legs.

Finger swollen, I fear it may be broken. Luckily it’s not my shutter firing finger!

Today despite the fall was a good time out. Back to the football tomorrow with batteries fully charged – well my soul is, that reminds me I must recharge my camera batteries.

One response to “20 Jan : Day off in Doha

  1. APOLOGIES FOR THE BAD TYPE SETTING… seem to be having problems at the moment – it looks fine on the proofs but terrible on the actual page.

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