(CNN) — 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.