Side-effects of a growing economy … and Olympic aspirations

Well, burgeoning and bursting, actually, may be better descriptions of the situation. Qatar is expanding, and space, quite literally, is on a crunch, as Doha is still the only major city, in addition to being the capital city.

It’s incredible to see the differences in the year-and-half that separated my last visit and this one – traffic jams are the norm to the extent of an empty road being seriously anomalous (my parents tell stories of how they leave home in the afternoon on Fridays and are back home by sundown, to avoid road congestion and to find parking spots), parking spots are literally non-existent (it is incredible, really, to see huge parking lots in front of a hypermarket being completely, completely full, and a queue of cars awaiting entry to the parking lot), prices are going up (quite significantly at that, too – I was quite shocked initially to see some of the prices going around).

Among all this chaos, Qatar actually put in a bid to host the Olympics at Doha!!! Qatar was recently host to the Asian Games, and that stretched Doha resources to its limit, and perhaps even beyond. One shudders to imagine what the Olympic Games would do to Doha.

I for one am not sorry at all that the bid was turned down. Qatar has a long way to go to expand beyond having Doha as its only major city for it to think of hosting the Olympics.

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