Greetings From Pearl Qatar

I am writing this from the most Arabic of Arabic rooms in all of Arabia. The walls are built from carefully crafted limestone and the plates on the table in front of me are filled with hummus and ghanoush. You may find that difficult to believe, especially after looking at the above picture. But what if I told you that the above was taken not in Italy, but is in fact, a real-life duplicate of the Venice canal, Rialto bridge and all, but minus the filth, rust, and also the people, and sits not in Italy but rather on Pearl Qatar – a country where gas emits naturally from the ground and is sold at an egregious premium, enabling men to build things like the above?

This country has far too much wealth for it’s own good. Healthcare and education are world class and practically free, yet taxes are zero. Imagine that. Your neighbors all drive Ferraris not because they can, but simply because there are no other car dealerships in the area, so why the fuck not?

I am here visiting a relative who happens to stay in the last tower on Portio Arabia drive, pictured above. He moved here exactly 21 years ago in search of a better future, and ended up with much more than he bargained for. Now he manages projects around the world measured in the billions of dollars. A true rags to riches story with a twist, and always a source of inspiration for me.

Qatar is quite a remarkable country, but not a place I’d like to live. Working here might be good – pay is high and tax-free, but take those earnings and spend it elsewhere, where it’ll go much further.

Currently, Qatar is on the receiving end of one of the most egregious embargoes the world has ever seen. Naturally, it is not uncommon to be envious of a place where lands are filled with valuable gases. But to scheme together with other countries to cut off trade with a particular nation is both childish and ridiculous, and will not pan out well in the long run. Meanwhile, the tourism industry here may suffer but that was never a source of income for this country anyway.