WELCOME, FRIEND!

Salaam Pardner!

Driving from Doha airport into the city centre, visitors can hardly fail to notice the huge full length likeness of the Emir himself, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, with his arm upraised in welcome. This is a model of hospitality that many cities would do well to copy. Making no comparisons, Las Vegas, having no Emir, can only offer Vegas Vic, the fifty foot neon cowboy. Vic's arm used to wave a welcome, and he used to roar "Howdy Pardner" at passers-by, but the mechanism and the voice are no more. Perhaps there is an opportunity for his Highness here? Howdy Habibi!

Watch the Birdies

It isn't every day that the car you're asked to review turns out to be a metallic blue Bentley Continental GTC. Such a car is as much at home in a photoshoot as on a country lane, so Doug, never one to miss an opportunity, drove it straight to Bur Dubai's number one night-spot. Doug's preference has always leaned towards Uzbekistan, with Kyrgyzstan a close second, so it wasn't long before Chalky's Bar had emptied these nationalities onto the street to form a neat, orderly queue for their chance to sit behind the wheel. And though Doug kept the keys securely pocketed throughout the proceedings, there were smiles all round as poses were struck and pictures taken, many of which will already be brightening otherwise dingy bedroom walls in Bishkek. Security, as a reward for keeping onlookers at arm's length, had his own moment of glory before Doug drove off, alone.

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