Baku, Azerbaijan: Similarities with Doha, Qatar

I still couldn’t get enough of AZERBAIJAN. Her beauty is so enchanting that i still think and talk about it even few days after.

In this post, I will be sharing some similarities with Qatar that i noticed while doing an advance reading about Azerbaijan and during my short stay in the beautiful city of Baku.

However, many would often call Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, as the Dubai of the Caspian Sea, for some striking resemblance especially for its “outlandish architecture and appetite for gold”.

In one of the displays at Heydar Aliyev Museum, we can see a luxury resort BILGAH BEACH HOTEL that looks like Jumeirah in front and Burj Al Arab at the back.

Architectural highlights include the futuristic Heydar Aliyev Center designed by Zaha Hadid; the SOCAR Tower which is considered the highest tower in the Caspian peninsula; and the magnificent Flame Tower skyscrapers, which represents Azerbaijan’s wealth in oil and gas reserves.

Just like Dubai, they also have desires to break world records including the tallest flag pole in 2010 which was soon overtaken by Tijikistan (2011) and KSA ( from 2014 up to present).

They are also supposed to build the world’s tallest tower, the Azerbaijan Tower, in a man made island in Khazar Island which was planned to be constructed from 2015 to 2019 but was later on cancelled.

But as a resident of/expat in QATAR for a long time, I couldn’t help but immediately notice some peculiar similarities with Doha as well. While Baku (2,130 km²) is 16 times bigger than Doha (132 km²), both cities share interesting commonalities that many some of you may not know.

Here Are Six Striking Similarities that I observed:

1. They call their trains, QATAR! Azerbaijani or Azeri, also referred to as Azeri Turkic or Azeri Turkish, is a language spoken primarily by the Azerbaijanis (wiki). Though not much was written about it online but a local friend told me that they call their trains, QATAR.

And for whatever strange reason, people have a different look at me when i say I’m from Qatar – probably thinking that i work at the train station or something.

train is qatar

train is qatar2

train is qatar2

2. The city has a waterfront promenade they popularly call boulevard much like Doha’s stunning corniche. Same with how the people of Qatar adore the beautiful corniche overlooking Doha Bay, the Caspian Sea also offers the same feeling. It is great to spend a morning walk, having picnic with family or friends, bird feeding, or even watching the sunset and enjoying the magnificent view of Baku in at night.

3. The country is rich in oil and the infrastructure development in the city is massive. The country’s success in recent years can be largely attributed to their oil-driven economy. Influx of foreign investments and tourists drove the economy to its global status now.

4. Both capitals (both having 4 letters) have beautiful airportsDOHA/DOH (Hamad International Airport) – BAKU/GYD (Heydar Aliyev International Airport). While the size isn’t the same (the latter being smaller in total area), the modern design of Heydar Aliyev International Airport with its tricorn shape and semi transparent roof is surely a reflection of Azerbaijan’s bright future.

4. They both have a healthy Political and Economic ties with Turkey. During my short stay in Baku, I immediately noticed the strong Turkish influence in Azerbaijan lifestyle – from the language, the religion, food and music, and more.

5. Experience to host international events. Baku hosted the Eurovision 2012, Baku 2015 European Games and the recently concluded Baku 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games while Doha hosted the 2006 Asian Games and many other global sporting events in Tennis, Athletics and more. Qatar will be hosting the much anticipated FIFA World Cup 2022 while Azerbaijan will be the venue for 2018 Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grabnd Prix and is positioning its bid for the 2025 World Expo.

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