The Corniche is one of the gems of Doha

One of the things I love about living in Qatar, is when I step out of my apartment, walk for about 20 minutes. Then find myself in the picture postcard location that is the Corniche.

In an attempt to try and stay alive a bit longer, I am walking a bit more these days. And I am lucky enough to live very close to the Corniche. A quick walk through Al Bidda Park and I am there.  On the way I pop into Woqod to buy a nice big bottle of water to keep me hydrated while out.

I have said multiple times, and I will say it again “there are only two things I don’t like about Qatar, the roads (or the drivers on them more to the point) and Qatar Import Customs Department. Apart from those two things, you will not hear me moan about Qatar. However expats I come into contact with from all over the world, tend to moan about a lot of things regarding Qatar. Mind you, they are probably moaners back home in their own country as well.

Yesterday I was on vacation. Well actually it was only my day off, but my goodness it felt like I was on vacation. I was sat at a table in the Marriott on the Corniche. I was sat looking out of the huge glass window overlooking the pool, watching people enjoying themselves in the sunshine, splashing in the pool, sipping a cool drink etc. with West Bay as a backdrop in the distance. And I realised that I was looking at what would be a photograph in a holiday brochure I could be reading back home in the UK. It was gorgeous to view.

Marriott Hotel Qatar
“I can go on vacation anytime I want without travelling further than a short taxi ride”

I was in a small group of four friends enjoying a Friday Brunch there. Now I have had Friday brunches all over Qatar, and they are all about the same price, and are all of similar quality. But the Marriott just so happens to be my favorite. I am sat there, watching this scene from a TV holiday program playing out in front of me. I’m enjoying and indulging in limitless food covering cuisines from all around the world and prepared to such a high standard. My glass of beer magically refills every time it gets close to finishing and we are being waited upon by a beautiful, friendly and bubbly young lady who is ensuring we have everything we need. I wasn’t just on vacation, this was a fabulous vacation.

Most people back home, have to save for an entire year to enjoy for one or two weeks what I was enjoying right there and then. On Friday’s the Marriott is filled with western expats. Of course there are plenty of other nationalities as well, but I would say mostly western looking expats, and it truly reminds me of the kind of holiday resorts that are featured in western holiday TV programs. However everyone is dressed like they are on vacation, relaxed like they are on vacation and very happy like they are on vacation.

All this fun and happiness, all the great food and drink, the spectacular vista out of the window, has not just cost a years worth of saving, it has cost less than an average night out in the UK. Just £56 and I was on a £3,000 plus vacation. And I can go on vacation anytime I want without travelling further than a short taxi ride. Let off steam, forget about the hard week in work and enjoy this pure opulence in the company of three fabulous friends. I am truly blessed. And everyone in that brunch was blessed, to be able to so easily and cheaply enjoy such a fabulous day. I hope they are able to see how lucky they are, and I hope like me they count their blessings that they have such wonderful opportunities. And I hope they truly realise just how lucky they are!