Cultural Voice eZine

Monday, 19 December 2011

Culture Under Construction: DOHA


In Doha, Qatar, one of the most constant things these days is a changing cityscape. It is rumored that 1 in 6 supercranes in the world are currently in Doha!

As the city expands, there is chalky dust, roads lined with construction workers, construction matterials and off limit zones marked by advertisments in beautiful arabic and english everywhere. With plans for a super renovated airport to be completed within he next two years; and plans to create a man-made island; also for the development of the North Beach, which is to include 10 resort hotels, golf courses, 3000 villas, 300,000 sq meters of retail shopping, 6,000,000 sq meters of commercial sace and 12,000 apartments, there is no stopping the transformation that is happening in this city centre.

But as the cityscape changes what of the cultural landscape, in a country where less that 20% of those resident are Qatari Citizens. The building boom started in the 1960s and attention is paid to integrate islamic art into the constructions in an effort at cultural preservation. Still even with these efforts, what truly signifies Qatari Culture? Is this culture now being created to fit the new cityscape?

Quick Facts Qatar
  •  A small peninsula on the western shore of the Arabian Gulf
  • Male foreign workers come without their families and there is an imbalance of males and females
  • Foreign workers generally cannot obtain citizenship abd reside in country on temporary visas
  • Foreigners are permitted to practice their religion publicly
  • Qataris are internally stratified according to factors such as tribal affiliation, religious sect and historical links to settlement patterns.
  • Ruled by an Emir
  • (quick facts from everyculture.com)

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