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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

At the Typists in Sofatel, Doha

Today I was down in the Sofatel area - the area around the Mercure (formerly the Sofatel). We couldn't help noticing the difference between this grimier and grottier area of town - which has been marked for demolition - which is a stark contrast to much of the newer and remodeled Doha.

Sofatel corridor
However, there is a reason people go this area. Not just because of the myriad of small computer shops hidden away below the basement of the Mercure - which contain products you can't find anywhere else in Doha - but also because of the humble but immensely valuable typist shop.

At the typists
These gentlemen not only type up your documents, they also have an encyclopedic knowledge of Qatar's beaurocracy. They are able to tell you what docyments you need - and what documents you don't need despite having been told you do need - where to go and what to do. They also keep copies of the forms for you to use for free.

Typist at work in Qatar

All for the cost of a miserly five riyals. And they refused my tip!

Also see: Qatar Visas and our Doha Guide

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