east meets west + mystery village + film city

In about an hour and a half you can drive to the western Qatari desert and visit the four most beautiful and obscure fifty foot steel pillars you have ever seen. American sculpture Richard Serra designed ‘East-West/West-East’ or, ‘East Meets West’ as it’s commonly known here as a project commissioned by the Emir.

Though I can’t tell you exactly what these pieces mean, I can encourage you to make the journey to do some soul searching to figure it out.

There are two dropped pins for this one. The first is for the point where you exit Dukhan Highway (PIN). The second is for the artwork (PIN) itself. When you get off the highway change your end destination to the artwork’s pin and follow the ‘road’ as it curves along. The structures will be on your left.

I am not kidding when I tell you this is indeed in the middle of nowhere. It is best to travel with at least two 4WD vehicles that can handle the rocky desert. There are no dunes there so be sure you bring a spare tire (AND LOTS OF WATER!). I went in the middle of August and had to replace my car’s battery after the trip. I think it melted.

Mystery Village + Film City: 

After ‘East Meets West’ you can visit Mystery Village and Film City, just a short drive away. Again, I am not sure why either of these places exist but it can help make your desert trek a bit more fulfilling. Rumor has it that movies (Transformers?) were filmed out there, but who really knows. All I know is both names are rather fitting.

You will see something that resembles a road on your way to Mystery Village (PIN). Along the way you will pass through a gate. Why? To keep the ‘wild’ oryx and gazel in, of course! Keep an eye out for the lovely creatures as you drive.

You will then come upon Film City. I believe it is part of a UNESCO Heritage Site. I was not able to go inside the city when I visited but it would be worth another try.

Once Film City is a check on your list, drive on to the wonder of Mystery Village. There is a cool structure there that you can climb. I have yet to do it but I am tempted to try camping there come winter.

Please keep in mind there are no shops once you leave the highway. BRING LOTS OF WATER. But of course, there is cell reception so if God forbid you have an emergency AAA can pick you up.

Take lots of pictures, make your friends back home think you are roughing it in the Qatari desert and tag us in your pics. Safe travels! #Dohallywood


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