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Friday, September 19, 2008

Doha's Industrial Area

The Industrial Area in Qatar

This is the industrial area; a drab and dreary district on the edge of Doha, where all the industry, garages and factories that might spoil the beautification of Doha has been placed. We visited it one Friday morning, a rare interval of peace in the area's hectic week. At busy times - which is most of the time - queues back up for half a kilometre along the wall, an unpleasant bullying mass of pickup trucks, tractors and giant lorries which often grind great holes into the roads. At present it is in better condition, although that will not be much consolation to the man who died after his car fell into one of the holes. For much of the year it is dusty, a dust that gets into your throat and your lungs, but on the rare occasions it rains there are floods - at such times, it is best to study the movements of the cars in front of you to avoid those holes.

A long and dusty road in The Industrial Area

It's not just heavy industry which is removed from Doha. As more and more cheap accommodation has been mowed down in Qatar, many of the poorer sections of the population have been forced, through lack of accommodation in the center, to remove themselves from below the eyes of the rich and to join the factory workers who live here.

Clothes hung to dry

If you live here, chances are that at some point you will be forced to visit the Industrial area - and, despite or perhaps because of the contrast with the more modern areas of Doha, it makes a fascinating visit, if not always a very pleasant one.

Heavy machinery