Qatar is generously splashing out to put Arabic on curriculum in British schools, The Times of London has reported.
Amid long-term decline of French and German in the British school system, Qatar is donating £400,000 to a British Council programme that promotes Arabic teaching in British schools.
Less than 1% of schools currently teach Arabic, and Qatar is rebranding Arabic in the hope that it will "capture the imagination" of British schools and parents as one of the foreign language options, according to The Times.
The report added that reaction was largely positive in schools that started to introduce Arabic to its curriculum, noting that the impact of the language learning was not just about opening up promising opportunities but also enhancing cultural integration and understanding.
The British Council expected Arabic to rank second to Spanish in the list of most used foreign languages in Britain in 20 years.
The financial contribution was paid through Qatar Foundation International, a US-based Qatar Foundation member that offers scholarships and brings together intellect leaders in issues related to international education, open education and education technologies.