Qatar was work so I shouldn’t have too much to say other than I hope it will turn out to have been a fruitful trip and not just hot hot hot air. Am a bit glad not to be mainlining hommous any more and gladder to be able to wander the streets at will. There was a weird rather ominous beige tint to the sky over Doha, which turned out to be a nicely abrasive sand-sky. For someone who likes to have a good root about at my own will it was a bit of a challenge and not really my natural habitat…

But it’s always an eye opener to go to a new region and I was pretty bowled over by the people – it’s a striking sight seeing the Emiratis in their starched white robes. But then the ladies arrive – quelle flamboyance – I can see why gold is the shimmer of choice, it’s all that can stand up and out against those rather glam black abayas. It’s the way you work it clearly.

The girl next to me on the return leg home was making full use of her Qatar Airways colouring book. Loved the ‘We’re rich! We’ve sprung treasure’ spread. Says it all really… Ah yes, I should acknowledge the airline’s HR dept for bringing together such a group of international stunners – Virgin move over. 

It’s most likely Doha won’t attract too many visitors until 2022 by which time it’ll be a dramatically different place – they’re sure working on it. But if you do happen across the city here’s a mini lowdown: don’t bother with La Cigale’s Sky Bar – the view is long and hazy. The rather souped up W Hotel has a nicely hemmed in terrace with a striking vertical view. Kempinski next up. Four Seasons is a little too stiff. Yep – you can only drink in the hotels, but given that they’re all clustered round West Bay you can sort of hop from one to t’other. The new, old Souk Waqif is good – totally deserted during the day, springing to life well after sunset. And as per pervious mention, the Museum of Islamic Art is deeply becalming. And check out Jean Nouvel’s Doha Tower, see images above.