Arabia meets Disneyworld….it is like walking through Epcot, around the lake. But it is real. For the Middle East, it is considered a “destination.” There are mega yachts in the man-made marina, and you can buy a Ferrari or a cup of cappuccino at one of the waterfront cafes. By the way, in case you need directions, the Ferrari dealership is just across from the Rolls-Royce dealership, can’t miss it.
“The Pearl” is a Riviera-style, mega property being built on a 4 million square foot man-made island chain lying on the old hunting grounds of the Qatar Pearl Divers. The Pearl-Qatar has been dazzling investors and visitors alike. The level of quality and workmanship is superior and world class. The shops, the restaurants, the apartments, the architecture are all designed and built for the consumer who has the most Epicurean taste. Like the owners of Disneyworld, they want your money and will replicate any fantasy served up with service amentias to get it from you. Costumed doormen and concierges are everywhere to assist you. You are in the Arabian Nights.
The super rich of the world have been invited…
The Pearl islands are artificial peninsulas constructed of sand dredged from the bottom of the Persian Gulf. The sand is sucked up and sprayed by special dredging ships onto the required area in a process known as “rainbowing” because of the arcs in the air when the sand is sprayed. How appropriate the term, as pots of gold are traditionally found under a rainbow. They keep spraying until the mound gets larger and larger. No one has discussed the possible impact on the local ecosystem or marine environment. No one here cares.
It is all, however, a Western fantasy. The Pearl“, and its lifestyle, does not represent Eastern culture. It was conceived and built to bring the Western world here to Qatar, to proudly say, “look what we built.” The world will come to Qatar for the FIFA cup in 2022. The Pearl should be completed by that time. How long can this man made fantasy last? And how does the “cut” and “paste” creativity to transplant cultural architectural pastiche across time and space work? Is it successful? I will keep you posted.