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In the very same building, Doha is doing something that all the other Gulf capitals have so far failed to do. Despite the on-site competition from Ramsay and the soon-to-be-opened Hakkasan (an outlet of the famed Chinese restaurant group due to open in early 2013), the hotel has successfully brought jazz music to the region. In a major coup for the St Regis, Jazz at Lincoln Center opened in October 2012 to massive fanfare, expanding outside the US from its New York-base for the very first time. It is an unprecedented partnership that speaks volumes about how global brands are beginning to invest in the city, and also helps pinpoint its cultural differentiation with elsewhere in the Middle East. Credible names already swinging through the velvet, ambient lounge include the Eric Reed Quintet and the Aaron Diehl Quartet, both hailed for their virtuoso performances by the New York Times. What better way to steal the thunder from your rivals than by making a huge song and dance about it?

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