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CULTURAL AND ECONOMIC INFLUENCES ON MULTICULTURAL CITIES: THE CASE OF DOHA, QATAR.

Abstract
By : Yasser Mahgoub and Reham A. Qawasmeh

 
Population diversity is one of the main challenges facing metropolitan centers worldwide. Especially in emerging Arab Gulf countries, where the population is composed of multiple nationalities; socio-physical, socio-economic, and sociocultural presence in the city is highly noticeable. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is an example of Gulf cities that attract an inflow of foreigners to live and work due to its economic prosperity. It is noticeable that utilization of urban spaces in Doha is affected by socio-cultural and socio-economic backgrounds of its inhabitants. This study focuses on investigating the experiences of the multicultural groups within the city’s spatial dimension. It aims at understanding the cultural, economic and spatial connections of these diverse groups and how the urban environment of the city can be improved to support the experiences of these multicultural populations. The paper explores the experiences of different nationalities according to the social activities distribution of the sub-cultures as an exemplary of other Gulf cities. In depth interviews, questionnaires and systematic observations were conducted to gather information from Qatari and non-Qatari populations focusing on their weekly activities and preferred urban spaces in the city. The paper argues that urban spaces define limits and boundaries for social experiences and interaction based on the cultural and economic background and suggests measures to improve the quality of urban experience of the diverse cultural groups.
Keywords : Multicultural cities, socio-cultural, socio-economic, socio-physical, Doha, Qatar.

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