In 2003 my friend’s son said to me that he wants his young daughter to see the change that was happening in Dubai and be part of it, and in 2006 My Qatari friend’s daughter told me that when she went back to Qatar during her university break she saw a skyline and was amazed.  Here we are talking about Dubai and Doha and being amazed about what happened in these two countries.  Dubai had managed to amaze everyone in the world, as wherever I go people ask me where are you from, I say Dubai they say wow, its amazing, and its true, for a person that came here in 1981 and saw the sudden change that occurred from 2003, I felt sad that I didn’t see gradual change, and I felt sad that for 18 years I was driving to Jebel Ali day in and day out amidst empty roads, and only when I left the company the skyline appeared, I felt sad that I wanted my kids to be part of the change that took Dubai by a storm, luckily my grand kids will see it allbeit when they visit me from time to time.

However, this Blog is about Doha.  I went there in 2003, I saw nothing, and I went again on an annual basis to attend Doha Debate, which I loved by the way as Tim Sebastian is great and makes the crowd say what they think and not regurgitate what he thinks,  but since 2006 the tremendous and clever change is not just amazing its genious. 

Last week I met some one who told me that what happened in Dubai relates to “Profit”, but what is happening to Qatar is prestigious, as they have loads of cash and want to improve their country in education, sports, leadership and art at any expense.  What started as giving away schools to people who proved that they are able to run them has become an exercise of power, only those that can run schools stayed in the market and others who couldn’t exited, the result is amazing and students are now able to speak the languages and are having a strong outlook in life, everyone wants to study either in the strong universities that Shaikha Moza brought to the country (all Ivy league universities) or go abroad and again to study in top schools. 

The sports field is also ingenious, they have Aspire city, and they have all these new stadiums that are being built in such a way that one just wants to admire their looks in preparation for 2022, and they have the schools that produces the sports people.  Their clubs are built with love, and nothing was spared as there is no shortage in cash.  The only thing over there is that you have to face the person you are doing business with to make a point, don’t try to send an email or a phone call, you have to be there.  You must show seriousness in working with the Qatari people, and once you do, and you prove that you are trust worthy, they will give you what you want.  Basically you have to be high quality and know your subject, don’t be fooled that they will not figure you out!!

They have  school of leadership, they choose the students that has leadership potential and train them further.  Their museums are worth every cent that is spent on them, Qatar spend more Money on Art than any other country in the world, and Katara is a proof of that, a whole town that is built around the art field.  a visit to that place will provide you with all the knowledge you need and will inject you with a doze of art education that you never got accustomed to so you will fall in love with it.

My sisters came with me this time to Doha, I was in the exhibition but they were out all day, and at night when we gather I can tell from the glow on their faces that they are happy and relaxed, as despite the traffic, feeling the luxury of life makes you feel good.  I think if an opportunity arises, I wouldnt mind moving.  I will miss Dubai, but its a stone throw away, I can come back to visit my friends.