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”.

—-****—-

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.

Trying Doha Metro Red Line from DECC to Katara

<—-Previous Story

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—->

Peeking Ice Rink at City Center Doha

<—-Previous Story

Sign pole on Omar Al Mukhtar Street as a marker for the presence of DECC MRT station.

My adventure in West Bay area was already in extra time. But it didn’t break my spirit to keep exploring new destinations in the vicinity. I wasn’t in a hurry to leaving West Bay, even though my steps had arrived at Doha Exhibition & Convention Center (DECC) and DECC MRT station gate was already tempting in front of my eyes. In the midday heat, I made my way to a modern shopping center in this business district. It was the ​​luxury in it that attracted me to explore this entire modern mall.

Arriving at a large T-junction, I took a right to follow the flow of vehicles on Conference Center Street. Three hundred meters later I entered City Center Doha malls’s drop off path. I didn’t go straight into it, but I tried to get the best picture in front yard of this famous shopping mall. Understandably, I had to queue with other impromptu photographers.

Conference Center Street situation right in front of City Center Doha.
This is the face of City Center Doha (CCD Mall).

I slowly started to enter a mall entrance. Through an automatic glass door, I slowly stepped stairs on the right and found a information desk right in the middle of room. Meanwhile, to the left of mall entrance, you can see a large replica of a dhow boat which is a model of a traditional Middle Eastern ship. While behind the information desk, is an ice rink arena.

Mall entrance to CCD Mall.
Dhow Boat replica.
Ice rink on first floor.

Stepping floor-by-floor, I felt like playing “hide and seek” with African-looking security guards. Looks like they’ve been watching me for a long time. Maybe my arrival that didn’t look like to shopping and was just busy taking floor-to-floor photos made them watch me. I sometimes just sit on a few chairs provided on several sides of this mall. After they seem off guard, then I would immediately take pictures of some points which I targeted.

The mall roof made from glass made my curiosity unstoppable, through the escalator I stepped one by one CCD floor until it was right under the roof. Looked so beautiful the view of skyscrapers tip.

The view from top floor.

Then from top floor I started to explore mall corridor on right to see some well-known stores such as QuiCksilver apparel from Australia, Columbia Sportswear from America, Adidas from Germany, Sun & Sand Sports and also Max Fashion from Dubai.

Al Afkar Art Gallery on fifth floor.

Please note that this mall is connected to three international standard hotels, namely Shangri-La Doha, Marriot Marquis Hotel and Rotana City Center Doha. It occupies an area of ​​14 hectares and has 350 shops in it. Built by Aamal Company Q.P.S.C, the retail market leader in Qatar. This is the largest shopping mall in West Bay area which is located right in the heart of business district

Right wing corridor.

Before ending my visitation, I went down to ground floor to see restaurant area. I saw that there was a place which was so crowded compared to other places in same location, i.e dining tables in front of House of Tea, a cafe company from Qatar.

House of Tea in restaurant zone.
Mosque and toilet.

That was a little story about City Center Doha which is the largest modern shopping center in West Bay area.

Next Story—->

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

<—-Previous Story

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—->

MIA Park, Closing Day One in Qatar

<—-Previous Story

West Bay area from distance.

I left the busyness of Dhow Harbor to head to my next destination. At first glance, I passed a row of Catamaran ferries which leaning in a side of beach with guarding by big body security guards. What I understood at a glance was that this was part of cruise to Doha’s famous Banana Islands Resort. This was tourism activity of wealthy tourists who have to spend about 400 Riyal per night for just staying in a banana-shaped artificial island in the Persian Gulf.

I continued along corniche promenade. A forbidden path for cyclists that allowed every tourist to enjoy corniche view very freely on the wide expanse of promenade.

I arrived at the beginning of a very large city park. Being parked Doha Hop On Hop Off Bus in this park showed that this spot was one of main destinations for sightseeing tours around the city. Right next to the shelter, lied the front gate of a spot which was marked by a circular pond. The spot was the Museum of Islamic Art.

Front gate of the Museum of Islamic Art.

Simultaneously I was in a large park called MIA Park. MIA stands for Museum of Islamic Art. As the name implies, before going to it, everyone could certainly understand that this park was located right in front of the Museum of Islamic Art.

Starting to explore the park in its south side.

This park covering an area of ​​​​approximately thirty hectares which orbited on a semicircular corniche. And MIA Park surrounded it on north, east and south sides. Fifty percent of the entire park was green area while the other half was used as a plaza, promenade, parking area and other public facilities.

Semicircular corniche with openings to the sea in its west.
Free water station around the corniche.

This park was often be the official state venue for celebration of national holidays, but it was also often used as a venue for musical performances, bazaar activities or other regular concerts. The park also provided several food & cafe trucks for visitors at several points. Meanwhile, specifically on Tuesdays and starting on 17:00 hours, this park became a special public area for women who were usually led by personal trainers in cardio and fitness training.

Location for MIA Bazaar.
Dareen Sweets…..Cafe truck in the park area.

In the eastern area of park there was a fairly long plaza, bordered by shady trees on both sides and in the middle there was a pond along the plaza. Creating cool conditions when the heat stinged the city. While next to this eastern plaza, there were kids playgrounds which were very spacious for the size of a park.

East Plaza MIA Park.

Stepping in the park on north side, I was presented with a garden shape which resembled a hill, rising from the south side and descending sharply towards the sea on the north side. Sitting on a slope with a view of West Bay area that looked closer to my eyes was a satisfaction in itself. To pampering visitors in enjoying the view of a scatter of skyscrapers, a large coffee shop area was provided on the north side of this park.

MIA Park Coffee Shop.

Back in the original direction heading my starting point, I passed a different promenade from the direction which I came from. Now I passed the southernmost promenade which was directly adjacent to Al Corniche Street. View of street on the left side was buildings with modern architecture. I could also see the Qatar Museum Gallery and a very large MIA Parking area.

The QNB Head Office and “The Fountain” were separated by Al Corniche Street in southwest of the park

With finishing in my visittion to MIA Park, my first day of exploration in Qatar was over. I would start my second day trip tomorrow.

Where was the next destination?….

Next Story—->

Dhow Boat and Doha Corniche

<—-Previous Story

Damn…. I haven’t showered since yesterday morning.

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. A seven-kilometer long promenade reveals the arch of Doha Bay which be crammed with skyscrapers at its end. Meanwhile, distribution of traditional tourist dhow boats which were quietly anchored along the bay became a natural interior which made charming situation.

The sun was starting to fade, the sea breeze added to the coolness along promenade. The pedestrian path on the shores of Doha Bay looked neat and beautiful. The shoreline was bordered by smooth and flat concrete at the height of an adult’s hip following the curve of beach. While the promenade was lined with good quality paving blocks and bordered with Al Corniche Street, there was an elongated garden with green grass and colorful flowers which brought to life by hydroponic techniques. So, if you visit the Middle East region, the view of hydroponic hoses planted on the ground to grow beautiful flowers is common.

Right in front of The Pearl Monument beach, there was an artificial land outcrop which was used to lean by hundreds of Dhow Boats. therefore this place was known as Dhow Harbor. The port, which juts out into the sea for half a kilometer, had a main port area of ​​four hectares.

The main surface of this port was still in the form of white sandy soil, while on all four sides there were paved paths which allowed vehicles to entering port area. This sandy part was used for docking several boats for repairs.

Seen along the rocky embankment of the port, residents used it to channel their fishing hobby. Meanwhile, I just sat on embankment and stared at beautiful West Bay area from a distance.

On other hand, I was being followed by a South Asian face, in a white robe and red turban. His funny behavior and continuously imitating my activities, made me not feel scared but rather amused. I decided to approach him and talk. His name is Safwan and he had only left Dhaka for three months to work in Doha. He didn’t seem to know that I was a tourist, so he felt like he had a friend who worked in Doha….Hahaha, so what did you think? What profession did he think about my job in Doha?….Wkwkwk.

Our conversation ended with each other taking photos with background view of West Bay Area….See you later, Safwan.

On the right side of Dhow Harbor, I could see an iconic building which made as if it floated on the surface of water. This building was known as the Museum of Islamic Art. Needed to spend for about 50 Riyal to entering this beautiful building and got to know about the history of Islam in Qatar in the past.

Still on the right side precisely at the edge of harbor, I could enjoy in detail about the beauty of Dhow Boat which was neatly parked in calm waters without waves. A brown wooden boat with a terraced deck which was usually used as a tourist boat to navigating the beautiful beaches of Doha.

So make sure that you visit the Doha Corniche when in Qatar.

It’s a really cool place…

Next Story—->

The Pearl Monument Before Black Gold

<—-Previous Story

The pedestrian tunnel starts from an elevator in a glazed room in north of Souq Waqif, right in front of Al Jomrok Boutique Hotel which has a black anchor logo, showing me that I was on the east coast of Qatar now. Gliding underground with a button touch, I stepped beneath the surface of two main streets namely Abdullah Bin Jassim Street and Al Corniche Street. Enjoying step by step in underground tunnel with air conditioner in it.

The hallway is like a mall corridor, decorated with artistic lighting decorations, with Digital LED along wall and luxurious brown marble floors. As I remembered, I passed a minimalist stand with the letter Q logo belonging to Qatar Charity, the leading non-governmental charity in that Gulf state.

Continued straight towards Doha Corniche.

I continued into a different room with view of huge pillars between car parking lots. This is an underground multi-storey parking area with a capacity of 2,000 vehicles. You know, now I was in the economic center of Qatar.

This was the first time in my life, seeing an underground crossing which had a multi-storey parking lot….Hmmh.

At the end of tunnel, I started up a gentle slope, circling clockwise. Now I was treading a new area. Long beachfront pedestrian path, paved with paving blocks, concrete fenced in beach side and hydroponic garden combined with low palm trees on the side of road. This was the famous Corniche Promenade in Doha.

Wait, guys….

I wasn’t going to discuss Doha Corniche with you guys first….

I would go to a monument in the shape of a giant pearl shell called “The Pearl Monument”. I have an obligation to visit this landmark.

I thought not only travelers, even all Qatari citizens should be obliged to visit The Pearl Monument. Through this monument, all audiences should know that prior to 1939, the era before the discovery of “black gold” in the bowels of their earth, Qatar was a poor country whose income depended on the catch of pearl oysters in Persian Gulf.

I thought Qatar was quite self-aware because they haven’t forgotten their economic roots in the sea. A gamble for the soul of people who must find a pearl shell from ten thousand of them. How not, the toll diving method was a simple dive method which wasn’t safe from attacks by sharks, barracudas and sea snakes. It was also just a seasonal job between June and September with a voyage of more than two months in the middle of Persian Gulf.

Thanks to “RICH”

The monument is located right at the pearl dive site, on Corniche Road before entering Dhow Harbour. This is a form of respect from the Emir fot Qatar’s pearl history. A monument built with view background of West Bay area, decorated with a collection of country’s iconic skyscrapers.

Tha was a little story about my visitation to a beautiful monument. Let me show you how beautiful Doha Corniche is….

Next Story—->

26 Tourist Attractions in Doha, Qatar

<—-Previous Story

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—->

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.

Menjajal Doha Metro Red Line dari DECC ke Katara

Menjajal Mass Rapid Transport (MRT) di negara yang memilikinya telah menjadi tradisi dalam setiap perjalananku, walaupun transportasi pilihan pertamaku adalah bus kota. Sebelum mencoba Doha Metro, aku sendiri sudah pernah mencicipi MRT di Singapura, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong, Tiongkok, Jepang, Korea Selatan, India, Uni Emirates Arab dan tentu MRT Jakarta sebagai moda transportasi massal kebanggaan Jakarta.

Keluar dari pusat perbelanjaan modern City Center Doha di area West Bay, aku kembali menelusuri jalur keberangkatan ketika menuju shopping mall tersebut, kembali mengukur jalanan Omar Street menuju Stasiun DECC. DECC boleh dikata sebagai Jakarta Convention Centernya Qatar. Karena terletak persis di sebelah gedung DECC inilah maka pemberhentian Doha Metro ini bernama serupa dengan venue itu.

Eksterior bangunan stasiun DECC sendiri lebih tampak seperti pintu masjid daripada bangunan stasiun. Masih mengandalkan lengkungan ala Persia dengan bukaan yang lebar dengan warna otentik, coklat padang pasir.

Bangunan Stasiun DECC.

Inilah rapid transit system kebanggan Qatar yang salah satu tujuannya adalah untuk menyambut gelaran Piala Dunia 2022. Jalur Doha Metro yang pertama kali dioperasikan pada tahun 2019 adalah jalur merah yang sedang kusasar ini.

Memasuki bangunan stasiun, semuanya mengkilap, bersih dan nampak baru. Aku memilih jalur tangga untuk turun ke bawah tanah dan mencari keberadaan automatic ticketing vending machine, walaupun pengelola Doha Metro menyediakan lift untuk mempermudah akses.

Kita cobain jalur tangganya dahulu.
Saatnya berburu tiket.
Automatic ticketing vending machine.

Doha Metro sendiri  memiliki tiga jalur yaitu red line, green line dan gold line dengan rataan panjang 76 Km dan keseluruhan memiliki 37 stasiun. Harga tiket sebetulnya hampir setara dengan harga tiket Karwa Bus yaitu berkisar Rp. 8.000 untuk sekali perjalanan tunggal (single journey) dan Rp. 16.000 untuk satu hari penuh perjalanan (day pass). Satu kelebihan dalam sistem Doha Metro adalah keberadaan free feeder bus yang mengkoneksikan stasiun dengan hotel tempat kita menginap atau tempat lain yang tak terjangkau oleh jalur Doha Metro. Bus pengumpan ini dikenal dengan nama Free Doha Metrolink Shuttle Services.

Ini dia peta jalurnya.
Standard single journey, tiket jenis ini bisa dipakai untuk dua moda transportasi yaitu Doha Metro dan Mshreib Tram.

Begitu tiba di platform, beberapa petugas Doha Metro berkebangsaan Philippines berusaha dengan ramah menanyakan tujuan akhirku dan mengarahkan untuk menunggu di platform yang tepat, walaupun sebetulnya aku sudah terbiasa mencari sendiri keberadaan platform berdasarkan petunjuk yang ada.

Platform Doha Metro.

Kereta milik Doha Metro ini adalah kereta termodern yang memiliki kecepatan jelajah sekitar 100 Km/jam dan dinobatkan menjadi  kereta tanpa pengemudi tercepat di dunia. Secara kepemilikan, 51% saham Doha Metro dimiliki oleh Hamad Group, 49 % saham dimiliki oleh perusahaan transportasi umum milik negara Perancis

Lihat route boardnya!
Sepi….Sumpah….

Dalam 15 menit aku dihantarkan sejauh 5 Km oleh kereta ini hingga Stasiun Katara. Sepinya penumpang Doha Metro membuat perjalananku nyaris tanpa interaksi, aku tak bisa merasakan hiruk pikuk warga Qatar dalam keseharian mereka.

Turun di platform Stasiun Katara.

Turun dari Doha Metro, kini aku akan menuju ke permukaan tanah dengan menggunakan lift yang disediakan.

Nah, sekarang baru cobain lifnya.

Mirip seperti kondisi bangunan stasiun DECC, Stasiun Katara juga tampak gres. Sepinya lalu lintas warga kota yang menggunakan jasa Doha Metro menjadikan bangunan stasiun tampak kosong dan memamerkan kelegaannya kepadaku. Sementara para pegawai Doha Metro berwajah Asia Tenggara itu menghias di setiap stasiun.

Itu dia automatic fare collection gatesnya.
Keluar dari bangunan Stasiun Katara.

Aku sudah tiba di Katara Cultural Village dan siap untuk melakukan eksplorasi. Yuk kita lihat seperti apa pusat budaya Qatar ini !.

Eksterior Stasiun Katara.