The world has descended on Doha, as thousands of fans reach the country everyday bringing along various cultures and languages and the Doha Metro has taken the central stage of cultural exchange.
With the Doha Metro being the major transportation option for the football fans and visitors to reach the stadiums as well as other major locations in the country, it has turned out to be a melting pot of cultures.
At every Metro station, thousands of fans from various countries can be seen moving around, mingling together and going to various places as they start their daily routine from morning. Many of them come in groups and move along while many others could be singles or couples. Several of them exchange their phone numbers and make sure to meet every day at a given time and the metro stations are the main rendezvous point for them.
Croatian fan Tomislav who reached alone a few days back said that he has made friends with many Qataris and other residents as well as several other nationalities. “This is my first time in Qatar. I met many Qataris who were very nice to me. They told me about the country and its heritage. I also met several tourists who have come here to support their teams. I met an American who has invited me for the next World Cup offering all the assistance for the visit. I am sure I will be visiting all the three countries hosting the Next World Cup in 2026,” he said.
Hailing from the Croatian capital, Tomislav also noted that he was impressed by the culture of the host country which is very unique. “Being my first visit to Qatar, I am learning a lot about various customs in the country through frequent visits to the shops, museums and other culturally important locations which are very different from my country. This has been an eye opener and realisation for me,” he added.
Cultural exchange is a major element of the metro travel itself. People from different countries travel in groups and they start greeting others in their own fashion. They also start singing and dancing in the metro and invite others also to join in their festivities. This continues as different nationals join the party and enjoying the interactions and festivities.
Qatar residents also are happy to join the party and make sure that they make more international friends. This is also a learning experience for many fans who have attended previous editions of the World Cup. “As we are all moving together we learn more about other people, their countries and their traditions and culture. I find this experience very unique as I had travelled to Russia for the Word Cup in 2018. Since more people are moving together here, there are more interactions and therefore more cultural exchange,” added an Argentine fan.
Football fans from various countries at a Doha Metro station.