Marco Barbieri – Land of Plenty

Built by the many for the few: Doha is a city with a short history, an ever growing skyline, and public infrastructure rising from the ground. Despite the stagnation of its oil and gas economy due to the economic blockade imposed by other Gulf States, the city is being rapidly transformed in the run up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

I ended up in Doha four times in the space of a year to work on one of these huge projects. I found a land of stark class division, where migrants work around the clock for the small elite of Qatari nationals and for a much bigger population of Westerners employed in the Gulf.

I took a number of photos along the way and documented a surreal place run by a traditionalist monarchy, and serviced by a class composed mainly of migrants from Africa, the Indian Subcontinent or the Philippines. Building sites give way to luxury developments and life-size replica of the Venice Canals, while the Emir’s face appears everywhere from the facades of skyscrapers, to fridge magnets.

Published 21 August 2019