A new golden age rises under the desert sun
Qatar's Education City has the look of a technology super-state
in the making, but can it deliver on its promise, asks Anjana
With temperatures that reach 50C (122F) in the summer and the
constant, abrasive swirl of sand grains in the air, Qatar
feels like little more than a desert. But the mirages are different
here. Instead of shimmering pools of water that vanish on closer
inspection, huge structures rise from the bone-dry landscape. Some
are squat and boxy; others curve elegantly into the sky. The
skyline is dotted with skeletons of others yet to be finished.
Education City, on the outskirts of the capital, Doha, is at an
embryonic stage. But it represents Qatar's grand attempt to turn
itself from fossil-fuel nation into scientific superpower.
Famous universities such as Carnegie Mellon and University College
London have opened satellite campuses amid the fake grass. Shell,
Total and GE have set up research centres. Virgin Health Bank has
opened an umbilical-cord blood bank. There is a technology park for
start-ups seeking escapees from Silicon Valley.
The Qatar Foundation, the non-profit organisation set up by one
of the ruling emir's three wives, hopes that it will become an
intellectual jewel in the Gulf and in the wider world.
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Source - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/