The bags didn't arrive at the airport last night, the lifts didn't work at our media apartments this morning, my computer started playing games, and my mobile telephone refuses to accept the local sim card. Needless to say, it hasn't been a warm welcome to Doha. This town is one big construction site. Even though the opening ceremony is on Friday, you could be forgiven for thinking it is still a year off, because preparations appear to be still under way. That is the impression one gets as our taxi fights its way through traffic along boulevards where the paving is still only half done, surrounded by towering buildings with cranes perched atop like lone sentinels. Doha beat Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi in 2000 for the rights to host the quadrennial event, which is the second largest multi-sports event after the Olympics. Organisers boast that the city is ready to give the world 'the games of your life'. And yes, you guessed right, this is also the slogan of the two-week extravaganza. Doha, formerly a sleepy fishing port that thrived on the pearl trade, has been transformed into a wealthy city on the back of Qatar's huge deposits of natural gas. The wealth of the sheikhs was possibly one reason why the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) voted for Doha. Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur were regarded as favourites and Doha an outside chance when the 41 members of the OCA met in Pusan six years ago. After the first round of voting, the Indian capital was eliminated having got only two votes. In the second round, Doha got 22 votes, KL 13 and Hong Kong six. Since Doha had a majority already, they were declared winners. The promise of brand new facilities and of all sports that wanted inclusion being accommodated - there are a record 39 this time - probably swayed the majority of the OCA to go with Doha. This is the second time the games have been held in the Persian Gulf - Tehran was the host in 1974. Doha, straddled around a horseshoe-shaped bay, has built everything from scratch. Hong Kong might have promised to refurbish and renovate tired old buildings like the Queen Elizabeth Stadium and the Hong Kong Coliseum, but it had no chance against the Qataris, who promised to provide state-of-the-art facilities. In total, Doha has built 44 permanent and temporary sports venues to stage the 423 medal events. These include the world's largest sports dome, several multi-purpose stadiums, new hotels, a state-of-the-art athletes' village, and of course apartment blocks for the media. All are up and running. How well? It's hard to know yet. However, a group of around 15 journalists got stuck in the lifts in our block on our first morning. But with billions of dollars pumped in to make these games a success, the glitches should be minor. Hopefully the lights won't go out during the opening ceremony at the Khalifa Stadium because Qatar is eagerly looking forward to its big coming out party. 'The games have become the key to Qatar's identity because the attention of the whole world will be focused on us in December,' says Abdullah Khalid Al-Qahtani, director-general of the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee. The athletes are here, the games are just around the corner and the city of pearls is ready to shine. Number of the Day: 2.8 billion. US dollars that is, which is the amount of money invested in these games.