On the way to Houston to catch Qatar Airways to Doha. A 14 hour direct flight and I'll be there. Looking ahead, the weather in Doha is about the same as in Austin, except it has only about 20% humidity!
I am still unsure where I am staying when I get there. Since the Qatari government is picking up the tab, they say trust them. They will have someone meet me at the airport and drive me to the conference/hotel. I sure hope so! The conference was at the Ritz Carelton last year on the northern end of the city. That little problem aside, the trip should be uneventful.
Seems everyone I talk to about going to the Middle East asks me the same question. It is safe? I suppose that shows how little we Americans know about the Middle East, or perhaps it shows how effective the fear mongers have been since 9/11. Qatar has been the home of the U.S. Central Command since the first Iraq war and Qatar is a close ally to the U.S. And Bahrain next door is home to the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet. I've also talked to several servicemen who have told me that they are often flown to Qatar for R&R!
As for being in the desert, here is a picture from the Ritz hotel. Hmm, I can cast that far...maybe I need to pack a fishing rod.