England fan explores 'hidden Qatar' and finds apartment blocks where workers lived
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An England fan at the World Cup supporting his team managed to find his way into the ‘hidden Qatar’ and had a completely different experience to most other fans attending the tournament.
You can see what he found in the video below:
Once he managed to get off the beaten track, 21-year-old Rob Dawley discovered a ‘migrant camp’ as well as ‘eerie abandoned apartment blocks’.
However, he also had a second intention, which was to see some parts of the host country that many won’t get a chance to see.
He travelled to the city of Mesaieed on a tip from a former resident and managed to find some areas that most tourists won’t see.
Rob explained: “I messaged my mate who's dad used to live in Qatar and asked him to recommend somewhere he wouldn't go - he gave me a list and Mesaieed was on there.
"I got on the local metro in Qatar and met someone called Hassan at the bus stop, he told me he was a migrant doctor and living in a camp nearby so I followed him.
"They didn't let me in the camp, so I got a cab to the city centre of Mesaieed and I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
"I'm a sucker for an eastern European tower block, and there were 25 to 30 of them completely abandoned, I just thought this is a bit of me.
"But when I walked up there were no entry signs everywhere, I could have easily hopped the fence but I thought I’d better not - I am in Qatar.
"Luckily, I saw a security car, so I walked over and got chatting to one of them in the car and he said 'You know what mate, I'm going to give you a private tour - they're demolishing them in a few months anyway.'
"His name was Sadiq and he was an absolute top geezer."
Rob shared a TikTok video of the experience, which has since been viewed more than two million times.
In that vid, he explores the seemingly abandoned apartment block where – security told him – those who helped build the World Cup venues stayed.
Rob claimed that it was ‘far better than my university accommodation’ but said he didn’t know how many people were living in them.
He continued: "Personally I was surprised by how decent it was and how well it was all put together.
"The infrastructure was brilliant, there were two balconies in the flat and one of the rooms had an en-suite.
"Of course, it depends how many people were staying in the flat.
"If there were six or seven per room then it would be absolutely horrible, but if you renovated that flat and put it in London it would be worth millions.
"I must say it was very eerie though, I don't think the TikTok quite captures that."
Rob has been travelling for a few years now, having visited 23 countries in total, including 12 in 12 months in 2019.
He wanted to see ‘the unseen side of Qatar’ on this footballing pilgrimage, and it’s fair to say he seems to have achieved that goal.