The Future's So Bright, We Gotta Wear Shades
The 2022 World Cup
Nine new ultra-modern stadiums. Three renovated stadiums. Loads of Fan Zones. People you haven’t heard from for ages popping up and asking to stay. The possibility of an older-but-still-gorge Cristiano Ronaldo having a cry when Portugal gets knocked out. We can’t wait to welcome people from all over the globe.
INFO: www.fifa .com/worldcup/qatar2022
With the opening of the Qatar Rail Development Program slated for 2016, the ability to zip around and above Doha’s snail-like traffic is so close we can almost hear it. We’re getting four lines; the Red Line (otherwise known as the Coast Line), the Green Line (Education Line), the Gold Line (Historic Line) and the Blue Line (City Line), that will cover the Greater Doha area with one of the most advanced transit systems in the world. Sliding Doors opportunities ahoy!
Msheireb Downtown Doha
We’re all used to futuristic skyscrapers scattering the skyline round here, but we’re more excited by the prospect of Doha going green with the latest in ‘eco-friendly’ technology, and the world’s first sustainable downtown regeneration project (which at the moment you may know as ‘the traffic around Souq Waqif’). Costing a whopping QR20 billion, Msheireb DD will be a combination of residential, commercial and social areas with tons of parking cleverly hidden underground.
Marsa Malaz Kempinksi Hotel
This ultra-lux resort will have 281 rooms, (including 69 suites), two Presidential Suites, two Royal Suites, a private beach, outdoor pools, water sports, gardens, tennis courts, world-class restaurants, a healthy spa café, a roof-top nightclub and so much more – and it’ll be all on our doorstep by the end of the year, fingers crossed.
Qatar Bahrain Causeway
Almost as quickly as the flight from Qatar ascends, it begins its descent into Bahrain – which is why we think having the option to drive there would be fantastic. The Qatar and Bahrain Governments have been talking about linking the two countries with 40kms of road and bridge that’ll begin in the west cost of Qatar and end in Bahrain. Or the other way around, depending where you start, obviously. Hopefully, this’ll happen early next decade.
The Banana Island Resort
Fancy arriving at your destination by luxury yacht or helicopter? Yes please. Situated on a tranquil island just 20 minutes off the coast of Doha on an island shaped as the eponymous fruit/herb (we’re not going to get into that particular argument), Anantara’s newest resort promises to be the perfect stay-cation option when you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. The overwater villas remind us of the Maldives, only located so close that we could practically swim there. But don’t worry, we won’t. Set to open very soon indeed...
Doha Festival City
Move over, Dubai – the shopping opportunities in Doha are going to be ratcheted to the stratosphere in the near future. Festival City already has a massive IKEA; the remaining 550 shops and services will be taken out of their flatpacks and assembled very soon, resulting in one of the Middle East’s largest leisure and entertainment destinations. Even better, for our convenience (one of our favourite words), there will be an abundance of zoned parking so that you can drive right into the heart of the section of your choice. Roll on 2016.
The Mall of Qatar
Actually, roll on next year. The largest retail centre in the county will burst into life next September, boasting over 4000 outlets, its own metro station, and QLIVE – a non-stop entertainment hub that will host sporting events and live performances. They are expecting 20 million customers a year but we want to be the first through the doors!
We all know this neck of the woods is where East meets West, but – finally – North meets South in the very near future. West Bay Bridge, the Cultural City Bridge, Sharq Bridge and an underwater tunnel to link Hamad International Airport with Katara and the central business district of West Bay will commence next year, scheduled to be ready for 2021.
The National Museum of Qatar
Noticed the jumble of flying saucers along the Corniche of late? Don’t worry, it’s not Doha’s version of Area 51. Designed by multiple prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, it’s inspired by the desert rose rising from the ground. Once completed, expect a modern take on history with entire walls transforming into cinematic displays. There’ll be two restaurants, a dedicated food forum, and a stunning park filled with indigenous plants. Wonderful!