There’s a reason you need a four-wheel drive in Qatar…and it’s not the desert! Qatar’s infrastructure is…to use a very overworked adjective…AMAZING! Road building is a serious affair here as any commuter will tell you having suffered innumerous re-routings, some quite lengthily on the way to work. The scale of roadwork is impressive.
In addition to the roadwork the rail system is going up all over Qatar from inside the city to the outskirts.
Large, soaring, raised highways are everywhere including the very impressive entrance to Lusail, still very much a construction site but apparently already inhabited!
Sometimes the highways precede the need for them as is the case for the north or shamal road leading to Ruwais, a sleepy little port town at the extreme north of Qatar. Riding this stretch of the road is akin to having your own private highway.
At other times the vision of the future is unclear with spanking new highways ending abruptly in the desert.
Side by side the new highway wonders are some poorly maintained inner city roads struggling to cope with the heavy traffic caused by massive apartment construction. When it rains, as it has done quite frequently this year, your guess is all you have as to what’s under that lake of water.
And be prepared for “Road Diversions” as the road infrastructure is constantly in a state of flux!
Pedestrians remain a very neglected group. Workers can often be seen on Friday hugging the edges of the highway either heading to or from their labor camps.
At other times elaborate sidewalks exist without the corresponding footfall. The weather most of the year makes walking along the mostly unshaded roads unthinkable.
An elaborate bus system exists with beautiful bus stops but the size of the city and frequency of stops makes using them unfeasible for most.
There is no doubt that Qatar is a place of car lovers and has been for some time.
Some old beauties are still on the road.
All in all life behind the wheel is always full of surprises!