GLIMPSES OF OLD QATAR

I first visited Qatar in 1975 when it was still a quiet backwater. This I understood was due to its old merchant families being unable to agree on who owned the prime real estate  in capital Doha. In June 1995 when Crown Prince Hamid al-Khalifa deposed his father in a bloodless coup, Doha stirred, then sprang to life. Today the flat, desert state still has no natural water—not even a stream—but vast reserves of oil and gas makes native Qataris the richest people per capita in the world. Where the highest point on the peninsula was once the top of Bedouin tent, today Qatar challenges Dubai with a plethora of stunning skyscrapers overlooking the Gulf. The following photographs taken on several visits during the 1970s-80s, are a record of Qatar’s not so distant past. I have not been back since then. The final photo by Global Insight shows how Doha looks today.

ARID LANDSCAPE IN CENTRAL QATAR MORPHS INTO TRUE DESERT IN THE SOUTH
RUINS OF AN EARLY COASTAL SETTLEMENT NEAR AL-ZUBARAH
ANCIENT WELL-HEAD NEAR AL-ZUBARAH TAPPED A SUBTERRANEAN SPRING
BEFORE OIL WAS DISCOVERED IN 1939, PEARLING WAS A SOURCE OF INCOME
FISHING DHOWS MOORED IN AL-RUWAIS 1976
BEDOUIN IN THE INTERIOR WERE STILL LIVING IN TENTS IN THE 1970s
THE WOMEN EXCELLED AT WEAVING, HERE A CAMEL SADDLE BLANKET
WASTE GAS FLARES FROM AN ONSHORE PROCESSING PLANT IN 1975
THE VAST OIL AND GAS PRODUCING FIELD OF AL-DUKHN IN WESTERN QATAR
OLD CORAL STONE HOUSES WERE BULLDOZED TO MAKE WAY FOR NEW ONES
DELICATE NAQSH PLASTER WORK IN A TRADITIONAL HOUSE
LAST OLD ‘GULF COAST’ STYLE MOSQUE ON THE NORTHERN TIP OF THE PENINSULA
HOUSE IN THE FORMER FISHING VILLAGE OF AL-WAKRAH DEMOLISHED IN 1976
AERIAL VIEW OF THE GULF COASTLINE SOUTH OF DOHA IN 1976

 

TYPICAL ARCHITECTURE IN CENTRAL DOHA
TRADER SORTS A GOOD CATCH IN DOHA’S FISH MARKET
A TRADER PUFFS ON A NARGILA IN SOUQ AL-WAQIF, CENTRAL DOHA
PROFESSIONAL SCRIBE TYPING DOCUMENTS FOR A MIGRANT WORKER, DOHA, 1975
SCENE IN THE VEGETABLE MARKET IN 1975, QATAR NOW GROWS ITS OWN PRODUCE
THE DOHA SHERATON, QATAR’S FIRST 5-STAR HOTEL OPENED IN 1979
2017, STUNNING SKYSCRAPERS LINE THE ONCE CONTESTED WATERFRONT IN DOHA

 

http://www.visitqatar.qa

 

About Travels with My Hat

Australian photojournalist and author. Used London as a base for nearly forty years while freelancing in the Middle East, Arabian peninsular, Africa and South Asia. Have written and illustrated more than a dozen books and travel guides. Operates a well regarded religious images stock photo library: www.worldreligions.co.uk. Live in Leura in the Blue Mountains outside Sydney.
This entry was posted in Culture, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.