Home / Country Recap / Life in the Middle East, the easy way in Qatar!

Life in the Middle East, the easy way in Qatar!

I am staring up a massive sand dune in Qatar, the driver in the Land Cruiser in front of me charges up the dune as if it is not even there. He stops at the top, turns around and frantically waves his arms at me signaling me to give it stick and tackle this dune.

I back the Jeep up a bit, take a deep breath, put it in gear, drop the clutch and floor it! The Jeep bucks and weaves a bit in the steep soft sand, but the sheer power and ability of the Jeep makes it easy to reach the top. I am very relieved! The Qatari Land Cruiser driver walks over to me with a massive smile, grabs my shoulder through the open window and says: “My friend, you drive very nice!” I laugh back and say: “Nasser, after you went up, I had no choice but to follow”. I was talking to Olympic Shooting medalist and two-time Dakar Rally winner, Nasser Al-Attiyah! I had just spent a wonderful day with him at his winter camp in the Qatari desert. What a cool dude! 12 months earlier I landed in Qatar, so let us back track a bit.

I met Nasser at the FIM Qatar International Rally. He liked my T-Shirt!



Sitting at the departure gate at OR Tambo, looking out over the Emirates Airbus A380, I was not sure if I am doing the right thing. I had just said good-bye to the people I love and I was not sure when I would see them again. I had no idea what awaited for me in Doha. I was nervous, but also pretty excited! This would only be my 2nd international flight after London in 2010. But of course we generally faff and worry over stupid things, and the flight to Dubai went smooth, where I connected for the short flight to Doha. I arrived in my hotel room at 05:00 in the morning and at 08:00 I was at work. It was a rough start to my life in the Middle East!

I was pretty excited sitting at OR Tambo keeping an eye on the staff making sure they prepare the glorified commuter bus correctly! The A380 is an awesome piece of kit!!


My home for the next few months. I had a room on the 27th floor!


Warning! This post has A LOT of photographs! I had over 3,000 photos that I took during my time in the Middle East, and selecting the few to share with you guys on this blog post was a very difficult task! So rather enjoy the pics as the story is a bit crappy! Covering a 15 month stay in one blog post is harder than I thought! Eventually I decided that my little point and shoot camera is not really up to the task and that if I want to improve my photography skills I need some better kit. So I splurged on a Nikon DSLR. So the pics in this blog post is a mix between my little Canon point and shoot and the Nikon and even some cell phone snaps!

For those of you that is not sure where Qatar is……………..well here it is!


After my first week in Doha, it took me some adjusting to get to grips with a Sunday to Thursday work-week. But when Friday arrived we took a boat cruise into the Doha Bay. It was a perfect winter’s day and we could not have asked for better weather. I was a very happy camper! Little did I know that this would be the first of many such boat trips and that every one would be great fun out in the bay!

My new hometown!


Downtown Doha from the bay



Doha is truly a beautiful city, that is, when you stay close to the main “Corniche” area of Doha. From here you can see the skyline over the bay and at night it is truly spectacular. I spent many evening hours walking here after work. The rest of the city is a bit of a shit hole with crazy drivers, very heavy traffic, and endless road works. Qatar is on a massive infrastructure drive to catch up to Dubai and Abu Dhabi and to get ready for the 2020 Soccer World Cup.

This is one of my favorite photos of my time in the Middle East. It was taken with my little Canon, I could not believe that it came out so nice!


This was with the Nikon, I had no idea what I was doing and just played around with the shutter speed. This was of a boat leaving its mooring


The Corniche is a really cool place to hang around at. This is the Sheraton Hotel in Doha


The Kempinski Hotel, as far as I know this was the highest building in Qatar at the time


Doha Bank, with me stuffing around with a wide-angle lens, having no clue what I am doing!


I really liked this building


Aspire Tower


The Museum of Islāmic Art in the Doha Bay


Speaking of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, I was fortunate to visit these two cities in the UAE quite a few times during my stay in Qatar. I really loved the time spent in Dubai. It is such a westernized city and I think it would be a really good place to live. It is so much more developed than Doha.

The inside of Abu Dhabi Airport. This is actually a pretty crappy airport for such a major hub!


Some sites around Abu Dhabi city


I was in Abu Dhabi in July and it was incredibly hot and humid, so I did not spend a lot of time walking around. Only took a few snaps


I loved the time in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is truly an impressive sight!


We managed to spend a day at Wild Wadi Waterpark right next to the famous Burj Al Arab hotel


Also killed a bit of time in the biggest mall in the world, next to the tallest building in the world!


Everyone who has flown over Dubai has seen these!


The World Map Islands is going a bit pear-shaped!


Back in Qatar one of the highlights that kept us sane in this crazy country was a place called “The Inland Sea”. This huge lagoon type thing sits at the southern end of Qatar. Qatar borders only one other country, Saudi Arabia, and you can pretty much swim across to Saudi from Qatar at some places! Not that we ever did this of course……..


Here in the high sand dunes anything goes, and it is as if you are a world away. We had a lot of fun swimming, drinking, camping, fishing and just having fun on weekends. Qatar is a pretty strict Muslim country and respect is always shown to the local Qatari’s. That is why we head out deep into the desert, away from anyone else.

We can like to braai big time! 🙂 Saudi Arabia there on the other side


Camping chairs and cooler boxes filled with ice-cold beer placed right in the water


Me and my Jeep


Buggering around in the sand with the Chevy V8 Silverado


It is here in the Inland Sea that I had the privilege of spending an entire day in the company of Nasser Al-Attiyah. I had met him at the Qatar International Rally where we had a good chat. He then invited me to visit him in his desert camp. I was blown away by his friendliness and his great hospitality. We spent the day with him and his family, drinking sweet Arab tea, eating the fish we caught, and chatting about the Dakar Rally. It was so much fun listening to a Dakar winner and to hear his views on the race, the other competitors and what it takes to compete (and win) the most EPIC Motorsport race in the world. I rate this day as my best day in all my time in Qatar!

We caught a fish, this was our lunch for the day!


Karolina from Poland, she was very funny! Her boyfriend is a press photographer for the FIM and they also joined us for the day


Nasser on the phone at his camp


The most chilled out afternoon ever, just talking DAKAR and drinking sweet Arab Tea


These guys arrived at the camp and Nasser asked if he can have a go in one of the dune buggies…..How do you say no to a Dakar winner??


Getting a crash course in how this thing works….he was gone in a flash and we saw him getting some airtime on a dune in the distance!


Did I mention it was a chilled day……hehehe


Staying in Qatar gives you access to some great sporting events. I was blown away at how cheap it was and at the things you can have access to! I saw the following sporting events live!

  • Moto GP
    • Saw all the races and riders in all classes for all practice days and sessions, qualifying and all three races on race day
Lorenzo getting ready


Casey Stoner with the Honda


I was so bummed that I did not get a good pic of VR46. This was before I had the DSLR, my little Canon was not up to the task!


And they are off!!


And they are done! 1. Lorenzo, 2. Pedrosa, 3. Stoner


  • ATP Tennis World Tour (Mens)
    • Saw Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
The view from my seat


Nadal giving it all he’s got!


Federer getting his chase on!


After the match Federer played a few shots against this little dude, the crowd loved the kid and cheered like crazy every time he struck the ball back to Roger


  • ATP Tennis World Tour (Womans)
    • Saw Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams
Maria Sharapova


I could not believe how tall she is (1.88m = 6ft 2in)


  • FIM Qatar International Rally
    • I met Nasser Al Attiya
      Nasser going flat-out in his WRC car. He told me afterwards that the damage to the car (no crashes, just normal race damages) amounted to $50,000 for one day. I cannot understand how a sport like this can be financially viable….but hey, it seems to be!


  • Scuderia Ferrarri Street Racing in Doha
    • Watched Fernando Alonso race his F1 car through the streets
F1 Ferrari and a Qatari Ferrari


  • IAAF Golden League Athletics
    • Saw David Rudisha run a magical 800m race and saw my first sub 10sec 100m race in real life with Asafa Powel winning
IAAF Diamond League



  • UCI Tour of Qatar Cycling
    • Watched Mark Cavendish, Peter Sagan, Chris Froome etc battle it out!
I was amazed at how loud this racing is. Not only the sound of the bikes and the gears in such a big group, but all the shouting and screaming from the riders getting their teams organised for the sprint!


  • Qatar International Motor Show
    • Never seen so many Aston Martins, Lambo’s, Ferrarris, Bugatti Veirons, Maclarens in one place, ever!
My friend Johan looking smart next to some local’s car!


  • Qatar Masters Golf on the European Tour
    • Saw Sergio Garcia, Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson and a bunch of others play golf
The Pearl Trophy for the winner of the Masters



One of the things I got asked most is how you adapt to a culture so radically different from your own. Well it is doable if you abide by one word…. RESPECT. I admit is not always easy as life and work can be incredibly frustrating at times (most times), but at the end of the day you need to adapt and try to fit in. You are never going to change the way they do things, you need to change your views and expectations. I did not find this all that hard to do in the Middle East.  You will learn from a later blog that I eventually moved to Zambia, and found the adjustment to Zambia much harder (more frustrating I guess) than Qatar!

As Qatar is such a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities living and working together (out of 1,800,000 odd people, only 300,000 odd are Qatari) you interact with people from all over the world. This is a great thing to teach tolerance, but you can also very clearly see “general trends” for every nationality / culture.

Walking around the local Souq


Qatar does have some good sunsets


Another end to a tough day in the desert!


I do like a good sunset…. As Phil Dunphy says, make sure you watch at least one sunset a day…


I like this pic


But there are some sand storms as well….


And people with very weird tastes……






Zubara Fort in Zekreet on the North Western side of Qatar


Another great thing about living in the Middle East is that you are in a hub that makes travelling so much easier than trying to travel from South Africa (or Australia / New Zealand for that matter) at the arse end of the world! In the blogs that will follow I am going to cover some of the trips I managed to do from Qatar. I have seen some great things, and it planted the seeds to travel and explore more!


Doha is really a great city to live in. I do miss it, not all of it, but most of it!


I hope you enjoyed reading a bit of my life in the Middle East. This was just a short overview as it will be impossible to cover every aspect of life in the Middle East. Please leave a comment if you would like any more information or if you have any questions.







  1. Like!! I blog quite often and I genuinely thank you for your information. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  2. Good one! Interesting article over here. It’s pretty worth enough for me.

  3. Thanks so much for the blog post.

  4. Like!! Really appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really thank you! Keep writing.

  5. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.

  6. I always spent my half an hour to read this web site’s articles or reviews daily along with a mug of coffee.

  7. I love looking through a post that can make people think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

  8. I’d like to find out more? I’d want to find out some additional information.

    my blog post – https://Www.bradmcallister.com

  9. My brother ѕuggested I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just
    how much time I had spеnt for thіs іnformation! Thanks!

  10. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about best hosting.

  11. As the admin of this website is working, no uncertainty very rapidly it will be
    famous, due to its feature contents.

  12. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was entirely
    right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info!

  13. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this
    onto a colleague who was conducting a little research
    on this. And he actually bought me lunch simply because I found it for him…
    lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this topic here on your website.
    adreamoftrains web hosting

  14. May I just say what a comfort to uncover a person that actually understands what they’re talking about online.

    You actually understand how to bring an issue to light and make it important.

    More people need to check this out and understand this side
    of your story. I was surprised that you aren’t more popular since you surely possess the gift.

  15. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website so
    i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to improve my web site!I suppose its
    ok to use a few of your ideas!!

  16. This paragraph will help the internet visitors for creating new weblog or
    even a weblog from start to end.

  17. 855298 906661Hey there! Nice stuff, please keep me posted when you post something like this! 143713

  18. Good post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject?

    I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further.

    Bless you!

  19. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you really
    understand what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally seek advice from my website =).
    We may have a hyperlink trade agreement between us

  20. Hello to every single one, it’s in fact a fastidious for me
    to pay a quick visit this web page, it includes valuable Information.

  21. Spot on with this write-up, I honestly think this website needs far more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read
    through more, thanks for the advice!

  22. I have been surfing online more than 3 hours today,
    yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me.
    In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did,
    the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  23. It’s very simple to find out any matter on net as compared to books, as I found this article at this website.

  24. Hi, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your website in web explorer,
    may test this? IE still is the market chief and a big component of
    other people will omit your excellent writing because
    of this problem.

  25. Hello! I realize this is kind of off-topic however I needed to ask.

    Does building a well-established blog like yours take a
    massive amount work? I am brand new to blogging however I do write
    in my diary everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share
    my personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any kind of recommendations or tips for
    brand new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it!

  26. This is a topic that’s close to my heart… Thank you!
    Where are your contact details though?

  27. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it,
    you can be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and will eventually come back very soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work,
    have a nice afternoon!

  28. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Opera.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The design and style look great though! Hope you get the issue solved soon. Thanks

  29. Hi, I want to subscribe for this webpage to take latest updates, therefore where can i do it please
    help out.

  30. I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!!
    I absolutely enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you saved as a favorite to look at new things you
    post… 2CSYEon cheap flights

  31. Good post. I will be facing many of these issues as well..
    cheap flights yynxznuh

  32. I was curious if you ever considered changing the
    structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way
    of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two images.

    Maybe you could space it out better? 31muvXS cheap flights

  33. Awesome things here. I’m very happy to see your post.
    Thanks so much and I am looking ahead to touch you.
    Will you kindly drop me a mail?

  34. Great web site you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find high-quality writing like yours these
    days. I really appreciate individuals like you!
    Take care!! cheap flights 3gqLYTc

  35. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right.
    This publish truly made my day. You cann’t believe just how much time I had spent for
    this information! Thanks! yynxznuh cheap flights

  36. I know this web site offers quality based articles or reviews and other
    material, is there any other website which provides such things in quality?
    cheap flights y2yxvvfw

  37. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on web hosting company. Regards

  38. Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment (it was super long) so
    I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.

    I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new
    to everything. Do you have any tips and hints for inexperienced blog
    writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

  39. After looking at a few of the blog posts on your web site, I truly like your technique of blogging.
    I added it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future.
    Please visit my web site as well and let me know what you
    think. cheap flights 31muvXS

  40. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.
    It’s always interesting to read content from other authors and
    use something from other websites.

  41. Nice weblog here! Also your website loads up fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate
    link for your host? I want my web site loaded up as fast as
    yours lol

  42. Wow, this paragraph is good, my sister is analyzing these things, thus I am
    going to inform her.

  43. Hi, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog site in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, very good blog!

  44. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes
    it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often.
    Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Superb

  45. What’s up friends, how is everything, and what you wish for to
    say on the topic of this piece of writing, in my view
    its truly awesome in favor of me.

  46. hello there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here.
    I did however expertise some technical issues using this website,
    as I experienced to reload the website many times previous to I
    could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK?
    Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times
    will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising
    and marketing with Adwords. Well I am adding this RSS to my email
    and could look out for a lot more of your respective intriguing content.

    Make sure you update this again very soon.

  47. Wow, incredible weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The total look of your web site is excellent, as smartly as the content material!

  48. I like looking through an article that will make
    people think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!

  49. As the admin of this site is working, no hesitation very rapidly it
    will be renowned, due to its quality contents.

  50. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a blogger, and I
    was curious about your situation; we have created some nice
    practices and we are looking to swap methods with other
    folks, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

  51. Appreciation to my father who stated to me on the topic of this website, this weblog is
    really awesome.

  52. Hello to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting
    more from this site, and your views are pleasant for new people.

  53. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any
    problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing a few months of hard work due to no backup.
    Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

  54. Everything is very open with a really clear
    explanation of the issues. It was really informative.
    Your website is useful. Thanks for sharing!

  55. Can you tell us more about this? I’d want to find out some additional information.

  56. Very shortly this website will be famous among all blogging people, due to it’s nice articles

  57. I have been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or weblog
    posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally
    stumbled upon this site. Studying this info So i’m satisfied to show that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I found out
    exactly what I needed. I such a lot definitely will
    make certain to do not put out of your mind this web site and give it a glance on a constant basis.

  58. Thank you ever so for you post.Much thanks again.https://salesalevia.com/

  59. Thanks so much for the post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.https://viagrahuupup.com/

  60. Just want to say your article is as astonishing. The clarity in your post is
    just spectacular and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.

    Fine with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated
    with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

  61. This post is truly a fastidious one it helps new web users, who are wishing in favor
    of blogging.

  62. Hey there, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility
    issues. When I look at your blog in Safari, it looks
    fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, wonderful blog!

  63. Amazing things here. I’m very satisfied to look your
    article. Thanks so much and I am taking a look
    forward to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  64. I’d like to find out more? I’d love to find out some additional information.

  65. It is not my first time to pay a visit this web site, i am visiting this
    web site dailly and get nice data from here everyday.

    Here is my website – joe biden we just did

  66. I have read a few good stuff here. Certainly
    price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you place to make this kind of
    wonderful informative site.

  67. I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted
    at this web site is genuinely good.

  68. Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work
    due to no data backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

  69. The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole
    my iPad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is
    now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off
    topic but I had to share it with someone!

  70. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic.
    I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more.
    Thanks for excellent info I was looking for this
    info for my mission.

  71. Hi, i feel that i noticed you visited my weblog so i came to return the
    prefer?.I am trying to in finding things to enhance my
    website!I guess its ok to use a few of your concepts!!

  72. Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this website needs a
    great deal more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks
    for the advice!

  73. After looking at a number of the articles on your
    web page, I truly like your technique of writing a blog.
    I book-marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back
    soon. Please check out my website too and tell me how you feel.

  74. Excellent items from you, man. I’ve be mindful your stuff prior to and you’re just too fantastic.
    I really like what you have bought right here, really like
    what you are saying and the best way during which you are
    saying it. You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to care for to stay it wise.
    I cant wait to learn much more from you. That is
    actually a terrific website.

  75. hello!,I like your writing very so much! share we communicate more about your article on AOL?

    I need a specialist on this house to unravel my problem.
    Maybe that’s you! Taking a look ahead to peer you.

  76. It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people on this subject,
    but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

  1. Pingback: My Homepage

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *