‘Bubble inside the bubble’: the artificial island that Qatar built for wealthy foreigners

Color photography shows an aerial view of an island with three bays and many tall buildings

Credit, Getty Images

photo caption,

The artificial island simulates the shape of pearls

“If Qatar is a bubble within the world, The Pearl is a kind of bubble within Qatar.”

The phrase is from the British Siobhan Tulley, resident of the ostentatious artificial island that Qatar built for wealthy immigrants.

The streets of A Pérola do not seem to be on the Persian Gulf: its constructions imitate the buildings of Mediterranean Europe. But they’re all brand new, as the island was built in 2006, and they mix styles from different countries, almost like a theme park.

There are Spanish-style squares and canals and Venetian buildings. The roundabouts, adorned by fountains, are walkways where sports cars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars parade by. The island’s bays are circled by huge buildings with more than 20 floors, with swimming pools and even private beaches. In the Porto Arabia marina, there are buildings that imitate the Arab construction style.

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