Photos of Disappearing Doha

New Zealand photographer Bas Van Est's eerie photographs capture the old city crumbling in the face of relentless development .

by Bas Van Est
18 August 2016, 12:04am

It's hard to describe the scale of the building frenzy in and around Doha. Qatar's capital city is one giant construction site. Everywhere you look cranes are lifting new buildings out of the ground: shopping malls, housing compounds, schools, hospitals. A new metro rail network will be ready for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

When New Zealand photographer Bas van Est visited Doha this year to see his parents, who are teaching there, he discovered another side to the city. A tiny country with a population of half a million people, Qatar has been changing at breakneck speed since the discovery of one of the world's largest gas fields in the 1990s. In only 20 years, it has become the third richest nation in the world per capita.

Bas' photographs capture a country on the verge. They are eerie images, which document a moment in time before old Doha crumbles in the face of this relentless development. "Walking around downtown I noticed the amount of construction notices hanging on the doors of older establishments, that were often already surrounded by the rubble of their former neighbours," Bas told VICE.

See more of Bas's work on Instagram and here.