The horses in a resort in Qatar are having the time of their lives and we can't help but be jealous. With amenities like a swimming pool, beauty parlor, gymnasium, personal trainers and a maternity unit, this place is heaven for horses.
It is a vast horseshoe-shaped complex on the outskirts of the Qatari capital Doha. The horses here experience a refined lifestyle that more closely resembles a five-star spa resort than a traditional stud farm.
From leg-stretching gallops on a private racetrack, daily grooming sessions to individually getting tailored fitness programs, the horses enjoy it all. At night or during the desert heat of midday, these thoroughbred beauties retire to spotless air-conditioned stables.
The Al Shaqab equestrian center is home to 740 horses with long, cool rows of indoor stables. The inquisitive heads of elegant animals poke through the gates of each roomy stall to greet visitors.
There's also an equine education department, where young Qataris between the ages of six and eighteen come to learn all aspects of equestrian life in the hope of fostering the country's next generation of horse riders, breeders, and experts.
The showstopper of the Al Shaqab tour is the elegant and large performance arena at the center of the horseshoe layout. Here, a swooping white and gray shell encloses both an outdoor arena and, in almost mirror image, an indoor arena for use in summer.
On-site, there's also a fine-dining restaurant and a four-star hotel that's open during events to accommodate to those involved.
Further down the line, Al Shaqab is planning to build a proper 7-star luxury hotel to cater for the horse enthusiasts and others who wish to soak up the equine atmosphere of the center's lush, green estate.