Doha Metro Red Line from Downtown to Hamad International Airport

My flight was still in the afternoon. 7 pm to be exact. So I was going to relax first until my staying time at Casper Hotel ended at noon. Since the Shubuh prayer, I rolled up again with dormitory blanket, it was very comfortable to close my eyes in a warm blanket in the midst of freezing morning. Until the alarm was jealous and shouted at me….It was nine o’clock. I have to get up, have breakfast and got ready.

After taking a shower I folded my clothesline which was still damp, I would definitely place it in a separate plastic bag in my backpack later. I properly separated every piece of equipment which had been dismantled five days ago. Toiletries, t-shirts, camera, tripod, snacks and trousers were packed in each plastic bag.

Followed by chewing parathas made by GRANDMA Bakery and Sweets along with two pieces of my own hand-made beef eye eggs.

Exactly 12:30 hours, I was ready to go…..

I hugged and shook hands with three of my new Pakistani friends and family who worked at hotel. After saying hello, I went back to hometown.

Thank you friend.

As usual I was standing at the bus shelter just to the left of hotel gate.

“It’s time to try Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Services, coincidentally, my Karwa Smart Card has already run out of balance,” I thought to myself. But the Metrolink bus never stopped when I tried to stop it. When stopping the third bus, the Metrolink driver pointed to a sign pole at the end of block. He pointed to himself then pointed to me then pointed to sign pole. I quickly interpreted the signal: “Run there, I’m waiting for you!”. I spontaneously ran, when the bus overtook me and stopped at the pole.

“Good morning, friends. You must stop this Metrolink in its shelter, Okay!. Tommorow if you want to use it, you must wait at this pole”, he said as he quickly stepped on Metrolink pedal.

“Oh okay, Sir”, I said understanding, he didn’t seem to know that I was going to my hometown and the next day I was no longer in Doha.

“Where will this metrolink stop?” I asked the Nigerian driver.

“It will stop in Oqba Ibn Nafie Station, It’s free, if you want back to hotel just wait this bus in Oqba Ibn Nafie Station again, okay!”, he answered in detail, apparently he knew I was a free seeker traveler….Hahaha.

Ten minutes later, I arrived at Oqba Ibn Nafie Station…..

I no longer have change and I also knew that the ticketing vending machine didn’t accept large denominations. I went straight to customer service which was occupied by Filipino staff. I meant to exchange money, lucky they provide small denominations. I was willing to convert the Riyal into small denominations which would certainly affect its exchange rate to US Dollars at the airport, more smaller the denomination, more cheaper the price. But that was okay, there wasn’t other option.

I started taking the Doha Metro Red Line to Hamad International Airport T1 Station. Traveling in a distance of 10 km, not passing by a single station, I arrived in twenty minutes.

Arriving at Hamad International Airport T1 Station platform.
 Looking at the interior….Cool right?
Very artistic.

Hamad International Airport T1 Station is a transportation shelter which is connected to Hamad International Airport by a luxurious pedestrian bridge. This refrigerated and roof-covered pedestrian bridge has glass walls and features with travelator. Straddling the main routes of vehicles around Hamad International Airport. Also passing by iconic venues such as the HIA Mosque with its fantastic minaret.

Vehicle lanes traversed by pedestrian bridges.
HIA Mosque minaret.

Had time to leave the connector for a moment, I was passed on to the airport parking lot which was quite large, then I was going back into a connector to the main terminal building.

Airport parking slots.
Travelator on the connecting bridge.

Walking for ten minutes I finally arrived at Departure Gate. It was still 14:05 hours, I still needed to wait about two and a half hours for the check-in counter to open. I went straight to the check-in area to find a comfortable waiting area and at the same time to rest.

In front of the Departure Hall.
Check-in area.
Waiting for PR 685 to Manila.

You know Philippine Airlines?……

Mohammed Bin Jassim House: Designing the Future City

Left side of Mohammed Bin Jassim House.

Museum Staff : “Hello, how many part of museums which you have visited, Sir?”

Me : “Just two….Company House and Bin Jelmood House, Ms”.

Museum Staff : “Oh, you’re on the right step. Now you are in Mohammed Bin Jassim House. It will tell you about old Msheireb and the modern one”.

Me: “Sounds pretty good”.

Museum Staff : “Is that your own camera? Are you professional? “

Me: “Yes, my camera. I’m a travel blogger. Is it okay to bring inside?”

Museum Staff : “Oh sure. Enjoy your visitation, Sir”.

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This gallery was dedicated to Msheireb natives. Collections depicted everyday life in Msheireb that can be remembered by Qatari youth as well as foreign workers working in the oil-rich country.

Clay as a building material of old building.

In the early days of Qatari civilization, people used desert to raise livestock, but over time they created a special area for housing. History began when residents from Al-Jassra established a settlement in Msheireb. The construction of their houses initially used stone and clay before introducing gypsum and bricks.

Religious Events and Celebrations Session

Past dining utensils.

In the early days of Msheireb, residents often celebrated religious holidays, such as Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr. Festivals were held to celebrate it, restaurants would be open until well past midnight and houses would open their doors.

Residents used drums to wake people up for sahur in the morning and used them to sing religious music at night. Then, Eid was determined by the crescent moon seen in Saudi Arabia. At that time Saudi Arabia did not have radio and television broadcasts. News would be obtained by Qatari citizens from Bahrain.

During Eid, residents will dance Tanbora, Laywa, Fajery, and Haban. There were so many traditional dances at that time.

Electricity” Session

Street signage and some mid-1950s electrical equipment.

Doha’s first electric generator was installed at the Company House in the late 1930s. Then in the mid-1950s, a power station was built in the city and underground power lines began to be laid. The path which was through by underground cable line was then given the name Al-Kahraba Street (“Al-Kahraba” itself means “electricity”).

Then Al-Kahraba Street was bustling with shops selling electric tools.

It was said that Doha citizens neatly sat in their chairs when their Emir Sheikh Salman cut a pipe to inaugurate their first power plant.

Al-Kahraba Street was Qatar lifeblood. Throughout the day and night during Ramadan month, the street was fully light. And Al-Rayyan people came here just to see the street.

It was narrated by a resident named Hassan Rasheed that the first television he bought came from Al-Kahraba street with the brand “Andrea”, it was shaped like a small cupboard, the cupboard had to be opened first to see the screen.

Shopping and Eating” Session

Shops signage and other service businesses, including the equipment which was used.

Between 1950-1990, the Msheireb District flourished and was teeming with commercial buildings. Many new and first-time businesses appeared there such as the first hotel, the first bank, the first pharmacy, the first coffee shop and the first cold drink place. Residents could buy supplies and equipment, television, saris and shoes here. Tailors, barbershops, opticians, butchers, doctors, dentists, chicken shops and cafes greatly contributed to enliven Msheireb.

A resident said that the streets of Msheireb were very lively, there was the Al-Nasr Fountain, a pharmacy owned by Hussain Al-Kazim, Lebanese shops and restaurants, the Al-Tilmeethe library and bookstore owned by Abdullah Naima. At the corner of street there was a tailor who specializes in suits. The first bank in Doha was The Ottoman Bank and the main landmark at that time was The Bismillah Hotel.

Resident Abdullatif Al-Nadaf said: “If you need something that isn’t in Doha then you will find it on Al-Kahraba Street”.

Schools, Healthcare and Security” Session

School learning equipment and medical equipment.

To ensure Qatari children could contribute to the development of Qatar’s oil industry and the nation’s economic growth, in September 1947 the first modern school named Al Islah Al Mohamadia was established. The Bin Jelmood House was used as a Qatar police station in the 1950s. The legendary hospital in Qatar was Rumaillah Hospotal which had been in operation since 1956, opened with 200 beds with ambulance services and outpatient facilities.

Msheireb Downtown Doha” Session

Modern design at MDD.

Next, a session on Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) was described as a Sustainable City Regeneration Project in the Msheireb Region.

Under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Msheireb Properties which was a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation was building urban districts where Qatari citizens and expatriates would live, work and socialize.

In this MDD session we would learn how patrons, planners, architects and engineers carefully reinterpreted Msheireb’s original architecture, sustainable construction with community traditions, commercialization and innovation to create a modern area but still firmly rooted in history and created a sense of place.

Old Msheireb was very popular with business activities. Shops and restaurants were built along the main road. Making this district a popular place to live and for anyone to visited. Since the first shops opened in the early 1950s, Doha had played an important role, not only for Qatar’s economic growth but even for the global economy. Doha was currently a promising business destination and tourist destination for travelers around the world. And Msheireb Downtown Doha would play an important role in maintaining the city’s commercial prominence.

At the southern end of Al-Kahraba Street had become a new business district with offices, banks, restaurants and cafes. And within this business district, Doha Metro would take passengers to West Bay and Hamad International Airport.

It was estimated that when the Msheireb Downtown Doha development project was completed, more than 2,000 residents would occupy an area of ​​31 hectares. Residents would mingle with thousands of workers, commercial consumers and tourists.

Although the scale of MDD was very broad, it would evoke the intimacy of Old Msheireb. The pedestrian path would be drectly connected to Souq Waqif. The entire MDD would be connected to a network of underground roads and underground parking which would make the street area very friendly-pedestrian.

MDD’s tradition of innovation also provided solutions to Old Msheireb’s three challenges, namely traffic congestion, waste management and water conservation. MDD would have 12,000 underground parking slots which would clear congestion and create a pedestrian-friendly environment. The state-of-the-art waste disposal system would recycle waste from the source and would be disposed of via underground pipes. Around six million liters of recycled water would be used daily to flush toilets, irrigate crops, and would cool buildings in MDD.

Corridor at Mohammed Bin Jassim House.

The same innovation would produce hot water and electricity through thousands of solar cells installed on each building’s roof.

There were seven steps that make buildings at MDD unique:

1. The continuity of the past, present and future through timeless urban design motifs.

2. Harmony and diversity through architectural language which was accepted by all.

3. Informal setting of buildings reflecting the original view of Msheireb

4. A living environment which provided privacy, security, indoor and outdoor areas, a family spirit and community care.

5. Creating a vibrant street life that could make pedestrians comfortable and provided shaded spaces.

6. Maximum comfort with minimum energy consumption through traditional and modern technology by utilizing energy and conserving natural resources.

7. The sustainability of Qatari design through a new architectural language that connected with past designs.

The design and layout of old Msheireb buildings respected the environment by minimizing the effects of the sun, maximizing ventilation and using local materials. These traditional practices were still being implemented in the development of MDD. The design and layout of MDD were made by utilizing the sun’s shade and the coastal breeze. Construction materials were taken from local sources. Renewable energy utilized solar panels on the roof of the building. Clean water would be saved by efficient use of every faucet and shower. The recycled water would be used for irrigation and other purposes.

MDD would reduce people’s dependence on vehicles. For example, this district would be friendly to pedestrians, it would be easy, safe and comfortable when walking from one place to another in the shade of trees and interspersed with parks. The district would provide routes for cyclists and buses. Doha Metro would connect Msheireb with other regions. Centralized waste recycling would eliminate the need for garbage trucks entering the city.

Cooking a Backpacker-style Menu in Qatar

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Apart from visiting free tourist spots, cooking is a common thing that backpackers do to reduce spending on their travel days. Because they must also be good in creating reserve funds to anticipate unexpected costs. Likewise with my days in Qatar, cooking has become a routine every morning and night considering the living cost in Qatar isn’t cheap.

That afternoon, it started on the return journey from Katara Cultural Village using Doha Metro. I headed for Souq Waqif Station and departed from Katara Station via Red Line and connected with Gold Line at Msheireb Station. This was my second trip using Doha Metro.

Platform at Katara Station.
This is a sign for toilets, prayer rooms and child care rooms…That’s funny..
Doha Metro Red Line.

From Souq Waqif Station I continued journey by Karwa Bus No. 12 from Al Ghanim Bus Station to go to Casper Hotel where I stayed while in Qatar. This was my 9th trip using Karwa Bus. The return journey that afternoon took two hours to arrive at the hotel. Before arriving, I had time to shop first at Abdulla Ali Bumatar minimarket which is located near the hotel to buy logistical needs until my last day in Qatar.

Not a hotel, rather this is an inn.

After finishing in bathing, I immediately performed maghrib prayer in congregation at the musholla near the inn. Entering relaxing time, I rushed to pantry to do routine night activities….Yes, cooking.

Come on go to the pantry!

The main food ingredient which I ate every day was Kerala Paratha bread made by GRANDMA Bakery and Sweets, quite cheap, I bought three parata sheets for 2 Rial. Three pieces of parata were more than enough to make me feel full.

As for the side dish, I chose to buy the cheapest packaged sardines on display at minimarket. I give 3 Rial to get a can with three medium pieces of sardines in it. Because this was the cheapest sardines, of course it would affect the taste, the taste was plain. It looked like sardines poured into palm oil only.

Paratha Bread.
Reheat the packaged sardines.

When traveling, luxury food isn’ t my concern so far. The most important thing is how to keep trying to eat three times a day at an affordable price but nutritionally feasible. So I can be sure that I will rarely eat at a restaurant, except if I am going in a business trip….. Yes, because a business trip is paid by my office.

Then, how about my menu on next day, before starting my fourth day exploration in Qatar. Do you want to know?…..

Here is it:

Very simple breakfast, right?
It’s a noodle from my country. I found in Qatar.

So that’s one of my many ways to save money while exploring Qatar. Don’t be imitated….It’s so torturous….Hahaha.

Come on, let’s go for exploration…

Next Story—->

Trying Doha Metro Red Line from DECC to Katara

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Exploring Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) in a country which has it has become a tradition in my every trip, even though my first choice transportation is city bus. Before trying Doha Metro, I myself have trying MRT in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, India, United Arab Emirates and of course Jakarta’s MRT as a pride mass transportation mode in my capital city.

Exiting a modern shopping center “City Center Doha” in West Bay area, I retraced departure route when heading to this shopping mall, again walking through Omar Street to DECC Station. Because it’s located right next to DECC building, nearest Doha Metro station has the same name as this venue.

The exterior of DECC station building itself looks more like a mosque door than station building. Still relying on Persian-style arches with wide openings with authentic colors, desert brown.

DECC Station Building.

This is Qatar’s proud rapid transit system, one of the goals of which is to welcoming World Cup 2022. The Doha Metro line which was first operated in 2019 is the red line which I was currently aiming for.

Entering station building, everything was shiny, clean and looked new. I chose stairs to go underground and looked for an automatic ticketing vending machine, even though this station provided an elevator to make access easier.

Let’s try the stairs first.
Time to hunting for tickets.
Automatic ticketing vending machine.

Doha Metro itself has three lines, i.e red line, green line and gold line with an average length of 76 km and a total of 37 stations. The ticket price is actually almost equivalent to Karwa Bus ticket price, which is around 2 Riyal for a single journey and 4 Riyal for a full day of travel. An advantage of Doha Metro system is the existence of a free feeder bus whivh connects station to hotel where we are staying or other places which aren’t covered by Doha Metro line. This feeder bus is known as Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Services.

This is the route map.
Standard single journey, this type of ticket can be used for two modes of transportation, i.e Doha Metro and Mshreib Tram.

As soon as I arrived at the platform, several Filipino Doha Metro officers tried to kindly ask my final destination and directed me to wait at the right platform, even though I was used to finding the platform myself based on the instructions.

Doha Metro platform.

This Doha Metro train is the most modern train with a cruising speed of around 100 km/hour and has been named as the fastest driverless train in the world. By ownership, Doha Metro is 51% owned by Hamad Group, 49% is owned by a French state-owned public transport company

Check out the route board!
Quiet….I swear….

In 15 minutes, I was transported 5 Km by this train to Katara Station. The minimum of Doha Metro passengers made my trip almost without interaction, I couldn’t feel the hustle and bustle of Qatari citizens in their daily lives.

Get off at Katara Station platform.

Get off the Doha Metro, now I would go to ground level using elevator provided.

Well, now just tried the lift.

Similar to the condition of DECC station building, Katara Station also looks brand new. The quiet traffic of city’s residents using the services of Doha Metro made the station building look empty and showed me its relief. Meanwhile, Many Southeast Asian-looking Doha Metro employees worked in every station.

That’s the automatic fare collection gates.
Exit the Katara Station building.

I’ve arrived at Katara Cultural Village and was ready to explore. Let’s see what this cultural center of Qatar looks like!.

Katara Station Exterior.

Next Story—->

West Bay….The Origin of Burj Doha which Amazes the World

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Indonesian made noodles was caught when displaying at Abdulla Ali Bumatar mini market.

Indonesian made noodles was caught when displaying at Abdulla Ali Bumatar mini market.

Dinner….Finally I tasted my favorite noodles after two weeks of adventure leaving my hometown. Made the mood for my trip back to top level.

Next day….Near noon but still freezing cold, at ten o’clock in the morning, I started my second day of adventure in Qatar. Take my Karwa Bus subscription which had number 12, I went to Al Ghanim Bus Station. For the third time, I would take a Karwa Bus with a different number.

Here it wass….Karwa Bus No. 76 to West Bay.

Ten minutes later, I was hurtling towards West Bay via Al Corniche Street. Since this is a circular service, I let myself flow with the flow of Karwa Bus. I didn’t get off when bus started to reaching the West Bay area, the bus turned at Al Fundug Street, continued on Omar Al Mukhtar Street, and switched to Conference Center Street, then closed its circular route on Al Corniche Street to return to Al Ghanim Bus Station.

I got off right at the beginning of West Bay area which was near the most famous skyscraper in Qatar, Burj Doha. The bullet-shaped building which was the Best Tall Building Worldwide eight years ago.

Three phenomenal buildings from left to right: Al Bidda Tower, Qatar Petroleum Headquarters and Burj Doha (white).
Burj Doha was closer.

I chose to walk inside of the corniche to feel a sensation of walking under the mighty skyscrapers on the left and the blue Persian Gulf on the right. The sights were truly extraordinary and immeasurable and were still etched in my memory until today.

Making time for lunch.

I started to go deeper into West Bay area, then I passed a road to the left of Burj Doha and I’m completely immersed in many towering skyscrapers of Doha.

Tornado Tower belongs to QIPCO Holding which is engaged in investment and shares.

I arrived at Al Funduq Street and this streets were very busy. The car runs very slowly because the shoulder of the road is used as a parking lot for vehicles. Looking like that parking was still a problem in West Bay area…..Similar to Jakarta, isn’t it?

From left to right: Ministry of Justice Building (white), Al Fardan Twin Building (workspace provider), Woqod Tower for offices (pointed out).
Navigation Tower (Building for offices with adjoining architecture).

In a moment, I was in the heart of West Bay area. Located at the end of Al Funduq Street, which then traffic was directed through country’s protocol streets, namely Majlis Al Ta’awon Street and Omar Al Mukhtar Street.

The left bend is the end of Al Funduq Street.
My photo with background of Palm Tower (offices tower).
Omar Mukhtar Street view towards DECC.

The sun was at its highest when I entered the center of West Bay. Activities in this area were also starting to get busy. A protocol road with five lanes in each segment was starting to become congested with vehicles. I slowly approached DECC (Doha Exhibition & Convention Center) which was the main event venue in Doha.

You need to know, apart from Karwa Bus number 76, West Bay is a business district which can be accessed by Doha Metro Red Line. There are at least two MRT stations in this area, namely West Bay QIC Station and DECC Station.

The entrance to DECC MRT Station is set against the west side of DECC Building.

Before leaving West Bay area, I would briefly visit one of shopping centers in this area which providing ice rink facilities.

Come on!….Seeing for a moment.

Next Story—->

26 Tourist Attractions in Doha, Qatar

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Maybe, a person who was influencing me to go to Qatar was Valentino Rossi. Yes….The living legend of premium iron horse racing had indirectly influenced me to visit Losail International Circuit through television screen for a long time. During the years of watching MotoGP that too, the intention to visiting Qatar began to disturb my sleep at night.

That dream had became a beautiful reality when for five days I was able to explore Qatar in early 2020. Now is the time for me to tell you about its beauty. Here are a few of the memories which I got in the country which rich in “black gold”:

1. Hamad International Airport

It can be said that Hamad International Airport (HIA) is a perfector to Qatar’s tourism gateway. Since seven years ago, HIA had succeeded in replacing the role of Doha International Airport. You need to know that naming of this airport is taken from the name of Emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

That sunny morning, I agreed with the splendor of this airport which was located on the shores of Persian Gulf. This is the airport which holds an asset of “Yellow Bear” worth 6.7 million US Dollar…Wowww.

2. Karwa Bus

As a person who adhered to backpacker ethic codes, I was only faced with two choices to get to downtown…..Train or bus?. That time, bus was my first choice.

Haven’t seen and boarded it yet, I already imagined that I would ride a modern-looking city bus when I left the airport.

Doha city buses are known as Karwa Buses and require a KARWA Smart Card to ride them. All Doha city buses are operated by the state transport company “Mowasalat”. The average one-way fare is also very affordable, which is around 2.5 Qatari Riyal.

3. Al Ghanim Bus Station

After checking in at Casper Hotel and putting all my equipments down, I started exploring Doha. The first place which I traced was Al Ghanim Bus Station as final destination for Karwa Bus number 12 which picked me up from hotel.

Located in Municipality Ad Dawhah, Al Ghanim Bus Station is an important landmark. This bus terminal certainly covers most of Karwa Bus routes in Qatar. Al Ghanim Bus Station takes on the role of a central terminal in Qatar as well as being the headquarters of Mowasalat. If you intend to explore Qatar tourism by bus, surely you will often visit this terminal.

4. Abdul Aziz Nasser Theater

This is a performance space for multidisciplinary arts which supports local and international artists. Located in Doha downtown with a capacity of almost a thousand seats. Even to facilitate the implementation of large events, this theater is directly connected to Al Mirqab Hotel which is located right on its west side.

5. Al Fanar Mosque

I visited this mosque after exploring Al Ghanim Bus Station. The location is only a kilometer in north of terminal. Al Fanar is a Qatar Islamic Cultural Center better known as Al Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zaid Al-Mahmood Islamic Cultural Center. Apart from introducing Qatari culture through Islam, the Fanar Cultural Center also organizes social and educational activities.

6. Souq Faleh

Souq Faleh and Al Fanar Masque are only separated by Al Tarbiya Street. It’s one of many old markets in Doha. If you are an Abaya lover, then this market is right place to hunt it, because the price which is offered is relatively cheaper than other markets.

7. Domes Mosque

While I was busy in visiting Souq Faleh, suddenly I heared the call to Dzuhur prayer. It seemed that I should end my exploration for a moment and heading to an old mosque in southeast. This mosque with many domes and pillars still proudly stands in the middle of modern city. The Dzuhur prayer was filled with worshipers who came from all over. And it was my first congregational prayer in Doha.

8. City Souq

Adjacent to Al Fanar Mosque in east, right at a corner of the intersection of Al Tarbiya Street and Al Bareed Street, is a modern shopping mall with a seven-story which then looks to dwarf the Central Municipal Center building in opposite. I entered it just to hunt for a fridge magnet and then took some photos of situation inside.

Known as City Souq, this mall provides clothes, garments, shoes, perfumes, children’s toys, stationery, blankets and abayas. Practice haggling before shopping at this place !.

9. Souq Waqif

More than two centuries old, doesn’t make Souq Waqif change its architectural form. Being the only ancient traditional market in all of Qatar.

Waqif means standing. Because during pioneering period, not a single stall was built. This was due to overflow of sea water from Doha coast which inundated market. Even at the beginning, buyers would come by boat or ride camels to get around inundation and sellers would stand around all day offering their goods.

10. The Pearl Monument

Leaving Souq Waqif for a moment for me to revisit on next day, I targeted The Pearl Monument at across of Al Corniche Street which provided underground crossing facility under it. I think, not only travelers, even all Qatari citizens should be obliged to visit this monument which in the form of gaping pearl shells. Through this monument, all visitors should know that prior to 1939, era before oil discovery in their earth belly, Qatar was a poor country whose income which was depended on catching pearl shells in Persian Gulf.

11. Corniche Promenade

Visiting The Pearl Monument made me happy beyond measure, in addition to exploring Qatar history, my eyes were spoiled by beautiful view of Doha Corniche. The seven-kilometer long promenade reveals the arch of Doha Bay which was crammed with skyscrapers at the end. Meanwhile, distribution of traditional dhow boats which are quietly anchored along the bay becomes a natural interior which makes situation more charming.

12. Museum of Islamic Art

Right at the eastern end of Doha Corniche, there is building which is erected like floating on the shores of sea. It’s the Museum of Islamic Art which exhibits the richness of Islamic culture from three continents which is more than 1,400 years old. This is Qatar’s flagship museum which is founded by the sister of their Emir, H. E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The existence of this museum has ordained Qatar as the cultural capital of Middle East region.

13. MIA Park

MIA in this park name stands for Museum of Islamic Art. As name implies, before visiting it, everyone can be sure to understand that this park is located right in front of Museum of Islamic Art. The park is often be the official state venue for national holiday celebrations, besides that, this park is often used as a venue for musical performances, bazaar activities or other regular concerts. Meanwhile, specifically on Tuesdays and starting at 17:00 hours, this park becomes a special public area for women who are usually led by personal trainers in cardio and fitness training.

14. Doha Hop On Hop Off Bus

For those of you who don’t want to bother exploring Doha. Qatar Tourism provides Hop On-Hop Off Sightseeing Tour. So you just sit down from the top of this bus and will be delivered to several tourist destinations in Doha. This bus spans thirty minutes in operation. Passing through Qatar’s main tourist destinations, namely Souq Waqif, Katara Cultural Village, The Pearl Qatar and the Museum of Islamic Art. To pamper travelers, this bus also stops at Marriott Hotel, Sharq Village and Spa, Sheraton and Hilton Hotel.

15. West Bay

Day Two….The air was very windy and cold of course. Boarding Karwa Bus number 12 and continuing with number 64, I headed for West Bay. The skyscraper complex seemed to be waving at me when I looked at it from the other side of Doha Corniche yesterday afternoon.

Now I was right in the middle of this business area on east coast of Doha. An area that covers three districts at once, namely Al Qassar, Al Dafna and West Bay Lagoon. Finally up close, I could enjoy the Burj Doha, the most iconic building in Qatar.

16. City Center Doha

Tracing every inch in Wes Bay streets, I came to one of the oldest shopping malls in Qatar. City Center Doha which is located in the business center but is targeted to serve customers from the middle economy class. Located right in the middle of West Bay area, this shopping mall is directly connected to three luxury hotels, namely Shangri La Hotel, Rotana Hotel and Merweb Hotel.

17. Doha Metro

For the first time I ride Doha Metro. Qatar’s newest mass transportation system which has been in operation since last year. The three-line MRT (Red Line, Green Line and Gold Line) owned by Hamad Group is ordained as the fastest driverless train in the world with a cruising speed of 100 km/hour.

This time, I enjoyed its luxurious facilities from DECC Station (Doha Exhibition & Convention Center) in Wet Bay to Katara Station which is the access to visit Katara Cultural Village.

18. Katara Cultural Village

Doha Metro dropped me off at Katara station. It only took a half kilometer walk to reach Katara Cultural Village, a cultural center in Qatar. Located on east coast between West Bay and The Pearl, this cultural village dates back ten years.

Katara itself was the name for Qatar before 18th century. The word “Catara” in the first century AD was pinned to naming Qatar Peninsula which is located in south of Persian Gulf.

19. Aspire Park

My third day of exploration in Qatar I started a little bit late. Waiting for the sun to rise, because I would play in an open area, namely Aspire Park. The name of this park is taken from the name of an area, namely Aspire Zone which is the well-known name of Doha Sports City in Baaya District.

Karwa Bus number 301 dropped me off at Villaggio Shelter Bus at exactly 11:44 am. I walked to the park which is located in the west of Qatar. Aspire Park is a beautiful and spacious park which is equipped with a playground, fountains, several coffee shops and even the only artificial lake in Qatar.

20. The Torch Doha

Still in Aspire Zone Complex, stepping a little to east, I was right under a 300 meter high hotel. Often referred to as Aspire Tower, although its official name is The Torch Doha.

The work of an architectural consultant from France, this building is currently the tallest building in Doha. This 36-floors hotel has contributed to Qatar as a focal point for the 15th Asian Games.

21. Khalifa International Stadium

Khalifa International Stadium is right next to The Torch Doha. Often called by the name National Stadium. Like their magnificent airport, this football arena also bears name of the Emir of Qatar Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. This is the official home of Qatar national football team with forty thousand seating capacity.

Owned by Qatar Football Association, this stadium was the witness where Australia was overthrown by “the blue samurai squad” with Tadanari Lee’s only goal in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup final.

22. Villaggio Mall

My visit to Doha Sports City, ended by entering Villaggio Mall. This mall in the outskirts of Al Waab Street was developed by Gondolania Entertainment, therefore the concept of gondola tourism in Venice was adopted in this one-story shopping center.

Designed in it’s 150 meter long indoor canal complete with gondola boat, reminds me when I visited The Venetian in Macau 4 years ago.

The main retailer at Villaggio Mall is Carrefour, but this shopping center also accommodates 200 stores selling well-known brands from America, England, Italy and Germany. Come on, those who like shopping, please stop by here!

23. Al Koot Fort

The fourth day, I intend to explore the MDD (Mshreib Downtown Doha) area, which is a replacement city for Mushayrib District whose its development is planned in detail.

But before entering MDD area, I took time to stop at the 93-year-old Al Koot Fort. It was the services of fourth Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani who built this fort with the aim of protecting Souq Waqif from notorious band of thieves at that time.

After stopping at Al Koot Fort or Doha Fort, then I stepped into the MDD area. Let’s see what’s in MDD?

24. Msheireb Museum

The main tourist spot which I visited in Mshreib Downtown Doha was Msheireb Museum which was developed by Msheireb Properties (Qatar National Real Estate Developer). I diligently traced four historic heritage homes which make up the main part of Msheireb Museum. Namely Bin Jelmood House which reveals the history of slave trade in that country, Company House which reveals the story of pioneers of Qatar’s oil industry workers, Mohammed Bin Jassim House which is a house built by son of the founder of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim Al Thani and Radwani House which is a duplication of original Qatari house model.

If you go to Qatar, you have to come here…. Free ticket anyway.

25. Msheireb Tram

Riding the Msheireb Tram is an easy way to experience the beauty of MDD. This mass transportation was launched by Msheireb Properties with a two kilometer long loop track and is able to connect every spot on MDD in just eighteen minutes.

You have to feel the comfort of an American-made electric tram that uses a filtering glass panel which is said to be able to prevent sunlight from entering the tram cabin by up to 90%.

26. Doha Free Metrolink

Before leaving Qatar, on the last day I tried to try out Doha Metrolink which is a feeder bus network to connect anyone with Doha Metro Station within a radius of two to five kilometers.

There is no charge for using this feeder bus service. The Qatari government provides forty-two Doha Free Metrolink lines that operate from six in the morning to eleven at night.

If you want to travel cheaply in Qatar, look for a hotel which is passed by this bus route. Especially if the hotel is a bit far from the downtown, it will definitely save your pocket more…. Hihihi.

Hopefully this COVID-19 pandemic will end soon and you can immediately travel to Qatar….Amen.

Next Story—->

Hamad International Airport….The Best in Middle East

<—-Previous Story

On exactly 5:16 am, a white apron shuttle bus belonging to Qatar Aviation Services (QAS) completed its task of transporting all Kuwait Airways flight KU 621 passengers. Qatar Aviation Services itself is the main company which focuses in ground handling at Hamad International Airport (HIA) .

Go to immigration counter.

From arrival time, it would take thirty minutes to complete the immigration process, then crossing exit gate and enjoyed fresh situation of Arrivals Meet and Greet Hall.

Baggage conveyor belts.

Arrivals Meet and Greet Hall

Bottom view.
Top view.

Hunting for information about Qatar tourism at information desk, I was silent watching a display in neon box. The pattern which shows that HIA has obtained Airport Carbon Accreditation Level 3. This shows that the airport is able to respond to climate change through energy optimization programs and is successful in collaborating with stakeholders in managing third party emissions.

Information desk.

The time that was too early morning was able to put me to sleep in a chair covered in brown leather and located under a date palm tree which towered over the room.

Waiting chair….

An hour and a half later, I was shocked. The sun peeked at hall and airport visitors were already busy passing by. I stepped to airport’s east wing to wash and prepared to leave the airport.

Toilet.
Very clean.

Two water bottles which had dried up since last night were now filled. I left front area of toilet which was decorated with a herd of long-horned deer scattered on a side of the hall. Shiny chocolate like a fighter deer.

Free water station.
Contemporary Dutch art, “8 oryxes” represents a herd of deer typical of the Arabian Peninsula.

In the airport’s west wing, I hunted for money changers. A little tricky to find it, a little bit to right from main hall. 144 US Dollars changed to 479 Qatari Riyals, then 70 Riyals were left to buy a 2.5 GB SIM Card with a validity period of 30 days.

Travelex Qatar Money Changer.
Oredoo booth.

Aku menemukan lagi karya seni kontemporer setelah menukar Dollar. Karya tanpa nama sebagai bentuk penghormatan kepada para pekerja pembangun HIA. TaI found another piece of contemporary art after exchanging Dollars. An anonymous work as a form of respect for HIA construction workers. It looked like their signature was etched on that work of art.

Italian taste art.

Still on west wing, finished in equipping myself with drinking water, SIM Card and some Riyal money sheets, it was time to go to downtown using airport bus number 727. To riding it, I needed a KARWA Smart Card which could be purchased at automatic ticketing machine in waiting room of airport bus terminal.

Waiting room of airport bus terminal.

Departure Hall

If four days earlier I went to downtown using the airport bus, then when I left Doha, I used Doha Metro to HIA. Just wanted to feel the difference. From Casper Hotel, I took a Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Service. A brown colored pink bus dropped me off at Oqba Ibn Nafie Station. Gliding with Doha Metro, one station later, I arrived at Hamad International Airport T1 Station.

Airport station interior.

Before passing through airport car park, the HIA Mosque tower became the best view on skybridge route which connected Doha Metro Station and Terminal 1. Then,travelator helped me to relieve my tired calf muscles after five days of exploring hot streets of Doha.

HIA Mosque tower.
Terminal 1 parking lot.
Travelator to Terminal 1.

Now I was sitting in check-in counter zone waiting for Philippines Airlines flight number to appear on one of 12 LCD screens on wall. Like waiting for a lottery number, I was happy when the number actually appeared. I rushed to check-in counter PR 685 which seemed quiet.

Seventh line check-in counter.

Hi, please queue, Sir!” warning from a ground staff who automatically braked my steps. He pointed to a queue of Filipinos starting from an airport pole. They all laughed at me and lowered my face in shame.

Check-in counter.

After stamping my passport, I went down stairs and found an old dream. It was obvious how cute the Lamp Bear was sitting helplessly stuck to a black lamppost. Every passerby scrambled to immortalize themself with the ill-fated bear. A Bangladeshi finally helped immortalize myself with the bear.

Duty free zone with a Lamp Bear mascot in the middle.
Yihaa….

I started looking for gate D3, a gate from which I flew to Manila. Took an escalator and rode skytrain to concourse D. Within 2 minutes, the skytrain dropped me off at a new hall with many forks leading to all gates at councourses D and E. The junction was marked by contemporary art titled “Cosmos” in the center.

Going to gate D3.
HIA skytrain.
Contemporary French art called “Cosmos” which symbolizes the world’s traveling culture.

Finally I arrived at waiting room at gate D3 and waited for Philippines Airlines to arrive to pick me up.

Gate D3.

How about Hamad International Airport, how magnificent is it?

Next Story—->

Doha Metro Red Line dari Doha ke Hamad International Airport

<—-Kisah Sebelumnya

Penerbanganku masih sore nanti. Jam 19:00 tepatnya. Jadi aku akan bersantai dahulu hingga masa inapku di Casper Hotel habis tepat di tengah hari. Sedari Shalat Subuh, aku kembali menggulung badan dengan selimut dormitory, nyaman sekali memejamkan mata dalam hangat selimut di tengah bekunya pagi. Hingga alarm iri dan meneriakiku….Sudah pukul sembilan. Aku harus bangun, sarapan dan bersiap diri.

Selepas mandi kulipat jemuran yang masih lembab, sudah pasti akan kutempatkan di kantong plastik tersendiri di backpackku nanti. Kupisahkan dengan baik setiap peralatan yang sudah terbongkar sejak lima hari lalu. Toiletries, t-shirt, kamera, tripod, snack dan celana panjang kupacking pada kantong plastik masing-masing.

Berlanjut kemudian dengan mengunyah paratha buatan GRANDMA Bakery and Sweets beserta dua lembar telur mata sapi karya tanganku sendiri.

Tepat 12:30, aku undur diri…..

Aku berpelukan dan berjabat tangan dengan tiga sahabat sekaligus keluarga baruku asal Pakistan yang bekerja mengurusi penginapan itu. Seusai mengucap salam, aku pulang.

Terimakasih kawan.

Seperti biasa aku berdiri di shelter bus tepat di sebelah kiri gerbang penginapan.

“Saatnya mencoba Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Services, kebetulan Karwa Smart Cardku memang sudah menipis saldonya”, batinku beride. Tapi bus Metrolink itu tak pernah berhenti ketika aku stop. Saat menyetop bus ketiga, sopir Metrolink itu menunjuk sebuah tiang di ujung sana. Dia menunjuk dirinya lalu menunjukku lalu menunjuk tiang itu. Aku cepat memaknai isyarat itu: “Larilah kesana, aku menunggumu!”. Aku spontan berlari, ketika bus mendahuliku dan berhenti di tiang itu.

Good morning, friend. You must stop this Metrolink in its shelter, Okay!. Tommorow if you want to use it, you must wait at this pole”, ucapnya sembari menginjak Metrolink itu cepat-cepat.

Oh Okay, Sir”, ucapku memahami, dia tak tahu rupanya bahwa aku akan pulang dan esok hari sudah tak berada lagi di Doha.

Where will this metrolink stop?”, tanyaku pada pengemudi berkebangsaan Nigeria itu.

It will stop in Oqba Ibn Nafie Station, It’s free, if you want back to home just wait this bus in Oqba Ibn Nafie Station again, okay!”, jawabnya detail, rupanya dia tahu aku pengelana pencari gratisan….Hahaha.

Sepuluh menit kemudian, aku tiba di Stasiun Oqba Ibn Nafie…..

Aku sudah tak punya receh dan aku juga tahu bahwa ticketing vending machine itu tak menerima pecahan besar. Aku langsung menuju customer service yang diduduki oleh para staf berkebangsaan Philippines. Aku bermaksud menukarkan uang, beruntung mereka menyediakan uang pecahan kecil. Aku rela menukarkan Riyal menjadi pecahan kecil yang tentu akan berpengaruh terhadap nilai tukarnya ke Dolar Amerika di bandara nanti, semakin kecil pecahan tentu harganya akan semakin murah. Tapi tak apalah, tak ada opsi lain.

Aku mulai menaiki Doha Metro Red Line menuju Stasiun Hamad International Airport T1. Menempuh jarak 10 Km, tak berselang dengan satu stasiun pun, aku tiba dalam dua puluh menit.

Tiba di platform Stasiun Hamad International Airport T1.
Lihat interiornya….Keren kan?
Artistik banget.

Stasiun Hamad International Aiport T1 adalah sebuah shelter transportasi yang terhubung dengan Hamad International Airport oleh sebuah jembatan penyeberangan mewah. Jembatan penyeberangan bernaung atap dan berpendingin ini berdindingkan kaca dan berfasilitaskan travelator. Mengangkangi jalur-jalur utama kendaraan di sekitaran Hamad International Airport. Juga melewati venue ikonik sepeti HIA Mosque dengan minaretnya yang aduhai.

Jalur kendaraan yang dilewati oleh jembatan penyeberangan.
HIA Mosque minaret.

Sempat keluar sejenak dari connector itu, aku dilewatkan pada lahan parkir bandara yang cukup luas, kemudian aku dimasukkan lagi ke dalam sebuah connector menuju bangunan utama terminal.

Parking slot bandara.
Travelator di jembatan penghubung.

Berjalan selama sepuluh menit akhirnya aku tiba di Departure Gate. Masih jam 14:05, aku masih perlu menunggu sekitar dua setengah jam hingga konter check-in dibuka. Aku langsung menuju check-in area untuk mencari tempat tunggu yang nyaman dan sekaligus beristirahat.

Di depan Departure Hall.
Check-in area.
Menunggu PR 685 menuju Manila.

Tau kan Philippine Airlines?……

Kisah Selanjutnya—->

Mohammed Bin Jassim House: Merancang Kota Masa Depan

Sisi samping kiri Mohammed Bin Jassim House.

Staff Museum   :     “Hello, how many part of museums which you have visited, Sir?

AKu                       :     “Just two….Company House and Bin Jelmood House, Ms”.

Staff Museum   :     “Oh, you on right step. Now you are in Mohammed Bin Jassim House. It will tell you about old Msheireb and the modern one”.

Aku                        :     “Sounds pretty good”.

Staff Museum   :     “Is that your own camera? Are you professional?

Aku                        :     “Yes, my camera. I’m a travel blogger. Is it okay to bring inside?

Staff Museum   :     “Oh sure. Enjoy your visitation, Sir”.

—-****—-

Galeri ini didedikasikan untuk warga asli Msheireb. Koleksi di dalamnya menggambarkan kehidupan sehari-hari di Msheireb yang bisa dikenang oleh generasi muda Qatar dan juga para pekerja asing yang bekerja di negeri kaya minyak itu.

Tanah liat sebagai bahan konstruksi bangunan tempoe doeloe.

Pada masa awal peradaban Qatar, penduduk menggunakan gurun untuk beternak, tetapi lama kelamaan mereka membuat area khusus untuk perumahan. Sejarah dimulaiketika penduduk asal Al-Jassra mendirikan pemukiman di Msheireb. Konstruksi rumah mereka pada awalnya menggunakan batu dan tanah liat sebelum mengenal gypsum dan batu bata.

Sesi “Religious Events and Celebrations

Peralatan rumah makan masa lalu.

Pada masa awal Msheireb, penduduk sering merayakan hari raya keagamaan, seperti Ramadhan dan Hari Raya Idul Fitri. Festival diselenggarakan untuk memeriahkannya, restoran akan dibuka hingga lewat tengah malam dan rumah-rumah akan membuka pintunya.

Penduduk menggunakan drum untuk membangunkan masyarakat menjalankan sahur di pagi hari dan menggunakannya untuk bernyanyi musik religi di malam hari. Lalu, Idul Fitri ditetapkan dengan bulan sabit yang terlihat di Saudi Arabia. Saat itu Saudi Arabia belum memiliki siaran radio dan televeisi. Berita akan didapat warga Qatar dari Bahrain.

Saat Idul Fitri , warga akan menari Tanbora, Laywa, Fajery, dan Haban. Banyak sekali tarian tradisional kala itu.

Sesi  “Electricity

Papan nama jalan dan beberapa peralatan listrik pertengahan 1950-an.

Generator listrik pertama Doha di pasang di Company House pada akhir 1930-an. Lalu pada pertengahan 1950-an, pembangkit listrik dibangun di kota dan kabel listrik bawah tanah mulai dipasang. Jalur yang di lewati oleh kabel bawah tanah ini kemudian diberi nama Al-Kahraba Street (“Al-Kahraba” sendiri berarti “kelistrikan”). Kemudian Al-Kahraba Street ini ramai dengan pertokoan yang menjual alat-alat listrik.

Dikisahkan warga Doha rapi duduk di kursi ketika Emir mereka Sheikh Salman melakukan pemotongan pipa untuk meresmikan pembangkit listrik pertama mereka.

Al-Kahraba Street menjadi nadi kehidupan Qatar. Sepanjang siang dan malam selama bulan Ramadhan  jalan itu menjadi juaranya cahaya. Dan orang-orang dari Al-Rayyan sengaja datang hanya untuk melihat jalanan itu.

Dikisahkan oleh seorang warga bernama Hassan Rasheed bahwa televisi pertama yang dia beli berasal dari jalan Al-Kahraba bermerk “Andrea”, bentuknya seperti almari kecil, almari itu harus dibuka dahulu untuk melihat layarnya.

Sesi “Shopping and Eating

Papan nama toko dan usaha jasa lainnya, termasuk peralatan yang digunakan.

Antara tahun 1950-1990, Distrik Msheireb berkembang dan penuh sesak dengan bangunan komersial. Banyak usaha-usaha baru dan pertama kali muncul disana seperti hotel pertama, bank pertama, apotik pertama, kedai kopi pertama dan tempat menikmati minuman dingin pertama. Warga dapat membeli perlengkapan dan peralatan, televisi, kain sari dan sepatu di sini. Penjahit, tukang pangkas rambut, ahli optik, tukang daging, dokter, dokter gigi, kedai penjual ayam dan cafe-cafe sangat berkontribusi meramaikan Msheireb.

Salah satu warga mengatakan bahwa jalanan Msheireb sangat meriah, ada Al-Nasr Fountain, apotik milik Hussain Al-Kazim, toko-toko dan restoran-restoran Lebanon, perpusatakaan dan toko buku  Al-Tilmeethe yang dimiliki Abdullah Naima. Di pojok jalan ada penjahit khusus jas. Bank pertama di Doha adalah The Ottoman Bank dan landmark utama kala itu adalah The Bismillah Hotel.

Warga bernama Abdullatif Al-Nadaf berkata: “Jika kamu memerlukan sesuatu yang tidak ada di Doha maka kamu akan menemukannya di Al-Kahraba Street”.

Sesi “Schools, Healthcare and Security

Perlengkapan pembelajaran di sekolah dan peralatan medis.

Untuk memastikan anak-anak Qatar dapat berkontribusi dalam pengembangan industri perminyakan Qatar dan pertumbuhan ekonomi bangsa, pada September 1947 didirikan sekolah modern pertama bernama Al Islah Al Mohamadia. Sedangkan Bin Jelmood House dimanfaatkan sebagai kantor kepolisian Qatar pada tahun 1950an. Rumah sakit legendaris di Qatar adalah Rumaillah Hospotal yang dioperasikan sejak 1956, dibuka dengan 200 tempat tidur dengan layanan ambulan dan fasilitas rawat jalan.

Sesi “Msheireb Downtown Doha

Desain modern di MDD.

Selanjutnya dijelaskan sebuah sesi mengenai Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) sebagai Proyek Regenerasi Kota Berkelanjutan  di Kawasan Msheireb.

Dibawah kepemimpinan Yang Mulia Sheikha Moza binti Nasser, Msheireb Properties yang merupakan anak perusahaan Qatar Foundation membangun distrik perkotaan dimana para warga negara Qatar dan ekspatriat akan tinggal, bekerja, dan bermasyarakat.

Di dalam sesi MDD inilah kita akan belajar bagaimana patron, perencana, arsitek dan insinyur secara hati-hati menginterpretasikan lagi arsitektur asli Msheireb, konstruksi yang berkesinambungan dengan tradisi masyarakat, komersialisasi dan inovasi untuk menciptakan kawasan modern tetapi tetap berakar kuat pada sejarah dan menciptakan sense of place.

Old Msheireb sangat popular dengan aktivitas bisnis. Toko-toko dan restoran dibangun di sepanjang jalan utama.  Membuat distrik ini populer untuk tinggal dan untuk dikunjungi siapa saja. Sejak pertokoan dibuka pertama kali pada awal 1950-an, Doha memainkan peran penting,  tidak hanya untuk pertumbuhan ekonomi Qatar tetapi bahkan untuk ekonomi global. Doha saat ini menjadi tujuan bisnis yang menjanjikan dan destinasi wisata bagi para pelancong di seluruh dunia.  Dan Msheireb Downtown Doha akan memainkan peranan penting dalam mempertahankan keunggulan komersial kota.

Di ujung selatan Al-Kahraba Street telah menjadi distrik bisnis baru  dengan perkantoran, bank, restoran dan cafe.  Dan di dalam distrik bisnis ini, Doha Metro akan mengambil penumpang menuju West Bay dan Hamad International Airport.

Diperkirakan jika proyek pembangunan Msheireb Downtown Doha selesai, lebih dari 2.000 warga akan menempati wilayah seluas 31 Ha. Warga akan berbaur dengan ribuan pekerja, konsumen komersial dan para wisatawan.

Meskipun skala MDD sangat luas, MDD akan membangkitkan keintiman Old Msheireb. Jalur pejalan kaki akan terkoneksi langsung dengan Souq Waqif. Keseluruhan MDD akan terhubung dengan jaringan jalan bawah tanah dan parkir bawah tanah yang akan membuat area jalanan sangar ramah buat para pejalan kaki.

Tradisi inovasi MDD juga memberikan solusi dari tiga tantangan Old Msheireb yaitu kemacetan lalu lintas, pengelolaan sampah dan konservasi air. MDD akan memiliki 12.000 slot parkir bawah tanah yang akan menghapus kemacetan dan menciptakan lingkungan yang ramah untuk para pejalan kaki. Sistem pembuangan sampah yang canggih akan mendaur ulang sampah dari sumbernya dan akan dibuang melalui pipa bawah tanah. Sekitar enam juta liter air daur ulang akan digunakan sehari-hari untuk menyiram toilet, mengairi tanaman, dan akan menjadi pendingin bangunan-bangunan di MDD.

Koridor di Mohammed Bin Jassim House.

Inovasi yang sama akan memproduksi air panas dan listrik melalui ribuan sel tenaga surya yang dipasang di setiap atap bangunan.

Ada tujuh langkah yang membuat bangunan-bangunan di MDD menjadi khas:

  1. Berkesinambungannya masa lalu, masa sekarang dan masa depan melalui motif desain kota yang abadi.
  2. Kehamonisan dan keberagaman melalui bahasa arsitektur yang diterima semua kalangan.
  3. Pengaturan bangunan informal yang mencerminkan pemandangan kota Msheireb yang orisinil
  4. Lingkungan tempat tinggal yang menyediakan privasi, keamanan, area indoor dan outdoor, semangat kekeluargaan dan kepedulian masyarakat.
  5. Membuat kehidupan jalanan yang bersemangat dan mampu membuat nyaman pejalan kaki dan menyediakan menyediakan ruang-ruang teduh.
  6. Kenyamanan maksimum dengan konsumsi energi minimum melalui teknologi tradisional dan modern dengan memanfaatkan energi dan melestarikan sumber daya alam.
  7. Kelestarian desain Qatar melalui bahasa arsitektur baru yang terhubung dengan desain masa lalu.

Desain dan layout bangunan-bangunan lama Msheireb sangat menghargai lingkungan dengan meminimalisir efek matahari, memaksimalkan ventilasi dan menggunakan material lokal. Praktek-praktek tradisional ini tetap diimplementasikan pada pengembangan MDD. Desain dan layout MDD dibuat dengan memanfaatkan naungan matahari  dan tiupan angin pantai. Material konstruksi diambil dari sumber-sumber lokal. Energi terbarukan memanfaatkan panel-panel surya di atap bangunan. Air bersih akan terselamatkan dengan penggunaan yang efisien di setiap keran dan shower. Sedangkan air daur ulang akan dimanfaatkan untuk irigasi dan keperluan lainnya.

MDD akan mengurangi ketergantungan masyarakat pada kendaraan. Sebagai contoh, distrik ini akan bersahabat untuk para pejalan kaki, akan mudah, aman dan nyaman ketika berjalan dari dari satu tempat ke tempat lain dalam naungan pepohonan dan diselingi taman. Distrik akan menyediakan rute buat pesepeda dan bus. Doha Metro akan menghubungkan Msheireb dengan wilayah lain. Daur ulang sampah yang tersentralisasi  akan menghilangkan kebutuhan akan truk-truk sampah yang memasuki kota.

Memasak Menu ala Backpacker di Qatar

Selain mengunjungi tempat-tempat wisata gratisan, memasak adalah hal lazim yang dilakukan para backpacker untuk mengerem pengeluaran di hari-hari perjalanannya. Karena mereka juga harus pandai menciptakan dana cadangan untuk mengantisipasi jika terjadi biaya tak terduga. Begitu pula dengan hari-hariku di Qatar, memasak sudah menjadi rutinitas setiap pagi dan malam mengingat biaya hidup di Qatar tidaklah murah.

Sore itu, bermula pada perjalanan pulang dari Katara Cultural Village menggunakan Doha Metro. Aku menuju Stasiun Souq Waqif dan bertolak dari Stasiun Katara melalui kombinasi Red Line dan bersambung dengan Gold Line di Stasiun Msheireb. Ini adalah perjalanan keduaku menggunakan Doha Metro.

Platform di Stasiun Katara.
Ini tanda toilet, musholla dan child care room…Lucu ya.
Doha Metro Red Line.

Dari Stasiun Souq Waqif aku menyambung perjalanan dengan Karwa Bus No. 12 dari Al Ghanim Bus Station untuk menuju Casper Hotel, tempatku menginap selama di Qatar. Ini adalah perjalananku ke-9 menggunakan Karwa Bus. Perjalanan pulang sore itu membutuhkan waktu dua jam hingga tiba di penginapan. Sebelum tiba, aku sempat berbelanja terlebih dahulu di Abdulla Ali Bumatar minimarket yang terletak di dekat hotel untuk membeli kebutuhan logistik hingga hari terakhirku di Qatar nanti.

Bukan hotel, lebih tepatnya ini adalah penginapan.

Setelah selesai membersihkan diri, aku segera menunaikan shalat maghrib berjama’ah di musholla dekat penginapan. Memasuki waktu bersantai, aku bergegas menuju pantry untuk melakukan kegiatan rutin malam hari….Yes, memasak.

Yuk masuk pantry!

Bahan pangan utama yang mejadi santapanku setiap hari adalah roti Paratha khas Kerala buatan GRANDMA Bakery and Sweets, cukup murah, tiga lembar parata kubeli dengan harga Rp. 8.000. Tiga lembar parata sudah lebih dari cukup untuk membuatku merasa kenyang.

Sedangkan untuk lauknya aku memilih membeli sarden kemasan termurah yang dipajang di minimarket. Kuberikan Rp. 12.000 untuk mendapatkan satu kaleng kemasan berisi tiga potongan sedang ikan sarden. Karena ini sarden termurah, tentu akan berpengaruh pada rasa, rasanya plain, kawan….Hmmhh. Itu tampak seperti ikan sarden yang dituang ke dalam minyak sawit saja…..Hahahaha.

Roti Paratha.
Memanaskan sarden kemasan.

Ketika berpergian, kemewahan makanan bukanlah menjadi concernku sejauh ini. Yang terpenting adalah bagaimana tetap mengupayakan makan tiga kali sehari dengan harga terjangkau tetapi layak nutrisi. Jadi bisa dipastikan aku akan jarang sekali bersantap di restoran kecuali jika yang kujalani adalah business trip…..Ya, iya lah, business trip kan dibayarin kantor. Hahahaha.

Lalu, bagaimana dengan menuku di keesokan harinya, sebelum memulai eksplorasi hari keempat di Qatar. Mau tahu?…..

Ini dia:

Sarapan yang sangat sederhana, kan?
Bonuss…..

Nah itulah satu dari sekian banyak caraku untuk berhemat selama menjelajah Qatar. Jangan ditiru….Itu sangat menyiksa….Hahaha.

Yuk lah, kita jalan lageee…..