Expedition

Amazing Qatar

Precious pearls and aromatic coffee, state-of-the-art architecture and social initiatives — the State of Qatar which is to host FIFA World Cup in 2022 impresses your imagination with its splendor and subtle ability to blend ancient traditions with forward-thinking mindset. Within the framework of the Year of Culture Qatar-Russia 2018, Artemy Lebedev and his team set off on a journey to Qatar to see it all with their own eyes. Meanwhile, we are sharing details of their journey with you at project blog.

 

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Architecture

Revenues from fossil fuels constitute about 70 percent of state income, although Qatar, like most of the Persian Gulf countries, is gradually moving to a post-oil economy. This affects its architecture: instead of functional skyscrapers made of glass and concrete, Qatari people prefer Arab neoclassicism and build using traditional materials, authentic forms and classical engineering techniques, complemented by contemporary technologies.

At the same time, they enlist the world’s best architects like Zaha Hadid (stadium in Al-Vakr), Jean Nouvel (National Museum of Qatar) or Rem Koolhaas (National Library of Qatar).
A good example of synergy between tradition and modernity is the new downtown of Doha, which is planned to be completed by 2020: the quarter is being built around with the inclusion of old commercial buildings made of clay, limestone and fine gravel. 

“The district doesn’t look like anything that is being built today in any of the eastern countries. It looks similar to the developments in France, Germany, Austria – and in the finest sense. The difference is that in Europe this kind of projects are based on an established urban framework and in Qatar it is done from scratch. It staggers belief,”  – said Artemy Lebedev.

Equally noteworthy are the National Museum of Qatar, which is styled to resemble the so-called desert rose, which is a cluster of mineral crystals forming a quaint pattern of a flower, and Al-Bayt and Al-Thumama stadiums with outlines looking like a Bedouin tent and a kufi – traditional Arab men’s headdress.

This return to the traditions in Qatari architecture, however, does not affect the completely futuristic scale of construction. The new city of Lusail, for example, will hold the World Cup 2022 opening match and its final and afterward house 500 thousand new residents. The project will cost the country $ 45 billion and become the first smart metropolis in Arabian Peninsula featuring human-induced microclimate comfortable for inhabitants, an integrated information center and a large artificial island with hotels and beach clubs.

Quiz

Myths and facts about Qatar

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