Mikolai Napieralski worked at Qatar Museums during the heyday of its run when oil prices were three times what they are today. Even then, he says, the expat community suffered a numbing sense of futility.
More to the point, Napieralski, who is writing a memoir of his time in Qatar, says its all been washed away by the new Emir, the hostility of the locals and a flood of money turning into a trickle.
Here’s Napieralski’s version of what happened published on Quartz:
the reality of day-to-day life for the staff at QM was a series of temper tantrums, meltdowns, threats, and people running to the bathroom in tears. But I guess that’s to be expected when you throw a couple hundred expats into a 14-story tower in the desert, pair them up with local bureaucrats, and tell them to launch a series of ludicrous exhibitions and international conferences in a country where a single shipping form or budget request can take months to process. […]
As a result, Western expats at QM eased their guilt with generous tips for the service staff and a heavy dependence on alcohol. $25 cocktails at the W Hotel were an excellent way to forget that you were in the middle of the desert, surrounded by glaring wealth disparity and labor abuses. When the booze failed to fix things, people would simply implode, getting arrested, fired, and deported for a kaleidoscope of offenses.
Qatar’s oil boom created the world’s most extravagant art and museum scene—and also led to its demise (Quartz)