Microsoft in Bed with Gartner?

Outside, it's a harsh blue sky and white sand day. Qatar is a remarkable country sitting on billions of dollars worth of natural gas and with only a few hundred thousand citizens to share the benefits.

Last night, it took longer to reach the end of the queue here in Doha than to fly here from Bahrain. I was disappointed as Qatar has been hailing its progress towards electronic government and this was a fine example of what the country needs to replace.

Bahrain, Oman, Dubai and Kuwait make visas a painless process. Qatar and Saudi Arabia are quite the reverse, culturally and practically and why this is so I have no idea but it doesn't and shouldn't have to be this way as all the other Gulf states are now competing on quality of service and welcoming foreign business.

Microsoft's Mansour with Gartner's Gordon Frank

Bahrain has been transformed by last week's Formula One race. One immediate beneficiary is the Duty Free area at the airport, which has been expanded and boasts two F1 racing cars among the shops.

Back to Kuwait this evening and from there, on to London and Easter. I wonder if my motorcycle is where I left it at Heathrow?

Meanwhile, four US fighter jets scream overhead the Marriot hotel as they leave the airport towards Iraq


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