Today our group visited “The Pearl,” which is an upscale residential area on a man made island in Qatar. They advertise as “the best address in the Middle East,” which I definitely see why. This place is unlike anything I’ve been to. It’s a very enclosed space first of all. While driving over there, I saw walls from all directions, but they were mostly ads. It’s literally its own little city–they plan to have their own primary and secondary schools, hospital, masjid, supersonic waste management (seriously, the guy explained to us how you put your trash in this vaccum and then gets sucked underground instantly–wild!)
I also went walking down this neighborhoods shopping area near the Hermes, Gorgio Armani and Jimmy Choo and Ferarris. The most interesting site: their ads! The ads portrayed mostly western couples and the captions said things like “I want to buy that” and “I like it.” Get the title? Seriously–very straightforward messages. If you couldn’t tell, the topic of today was consumerism in Qatar.
So what’s it cost to live in “Ze Pearl?” It costs anywhere from $5000-$8000 per square meter–yah! Not to mention the actuall expenses of living here–Pshhh…my caprisun-sized peach drink cost me $6! (and just as a note, caprisun wins by far!) I remeber the spokesperson that talked to us about this place said “we’re selling a lifestyle,” which is obvious. The ads tell me that this place is not only targeted towards Qataris. He actually mentioned that one small area is a nude beach–again, not “Qatari” in the sense of social norms.
To switch gears, I’m really stressing about my project. If anyone knows of a good story idea that connects Egypt and Qatar, holla!