Nothing much lies on Qatar’s border with Saudi Arabia. A few sunbaked outposts and miles and miles of vast, empty desert in all directions.
Then, earlier this year, something very different appeared in the middle of this nowhere: A huge, gleaming luxury hotel complex, complete with its own theme park.
The Hilton Salwa Beach Resort & Villas is clearly no ordinary hotel.
Seen from the air it resembles an entire coastal town. Pristine twin beaches peel away from a central harbor. Above the sands, bright white villas and buildings cluster around blue swimming pools. Behind them, oasis greenery. It’s one of the Middle East’s largest resorts.
So what happens, when a gigantic upscale hotel appears miles from anywhere just as a pandemic freezes global travel?
It gets really busy, according…