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Today, Qatar is the world’s richest country per capita.

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The history of the Qatar Peninsula—or Catara, as first labeled on an ancient map drawn by the Greco-Roman polymath Claudius Ptolemaeus—dates back to the Paleolithic Age. By the 1930s, the tiny Gulf state was struggling to maintain its position as the center of the pearl trade, but soon after, in the 1940s, it found itself at the forefront of economic growth and progress after the discovery of its vast oil reserves. Today, Qatar is the world’s richest country per capita; its capital Doha an ever-growing crop of shiny high-rises, with occasional buildings by the world's most sought-after architects thrown in for effect, its skyline flecked with tireless cranes, and its suburbs strewn with bulldozers, machinery, and endless mounds of displaced sand.

Seen in these photographs by Manuel Alvarez Diestro is a record of the country's impatient race towards an extravagant desert dream.

ARCHDAILY: Extract from "Against All Odds, Photos Show's Qatar Determination to Construct a World-Class City", by Zoya Gul Hasan. October 2017.