Sunday, January 21, 2018

Waterfront Cities of the World - a follow-up

About 5-6 years ago I was invited to be on a travel documentary show called Waterfront Cities of the World. I have a post about it from 2015 when someone posted the episode on YouTube, you can find the link here.

I mentioned many times on this blog, even on the TV show, how things have changed so much in Doha and there is a constant flurry of construction. Well, I was wandering around the neighbourhood where I took the TV crew and things have changed since they were there.

Here's stills from the show, followed by how it looks now:

That building behind us is now an empty lot.

The daytime picture is from the other side of the street, facing where the cameraman would have been. Most of the buildings on the street have been shut and soon the buildings will be torn down.

I believe that this is due to the expansion of the Musherib Project, the edge of which was maybe 100m from where I was chatting with the lady from the TV show. Earlier in the TV show they got an overview of the Musherib project and was viewing it from a nearby hotel. I didn't realize the project was going to expand further into the surrounding neighbourhoods.

So another of the old neighbourhoods is gone. I know that progress needs to happen but those old neighbourhoods were some of the liveliest areas of the city. The new buildings will never have the urban density of the old areas, and the shops and rents will be expensive, basically pushing the lower-income people to areas further out. No, these old neighbourhoods are not pretty but they were teeming with people and life. Like it or not these places are the real 'soul' of the city. Most new developments are more sterile and nowhere near as busy. The crowds you see surrounding us in the TV show are never going to happen in new neighbourhoods.

If anyone from Waterfront Cities of the World is watching -- some of what you saw is no more.


Anonymous said...

Are there any news about Souq Najada, another neighborhood being transformed as extension of Souq Waqif.

Glen McKay said...

I just went by there. Most of it looks finished and ready for shops to do fit out. I'm guessing another 2-3 months before it's up and running.