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Wednesday, November 30, 2022 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
 Pratap John
Pratap John
Pratap John is Business Editor at Gulf Times. He has mainstream media experience of nearly 30 years in specialties such as energy, business & finance, banking, telecom and aviation, and covered many major events across the globe.
Qatar is continuing to talk to German buyers about additional LNG supplies; HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said and noted “many European and Asian countries now want natural gas that we do not have enough negotiators to cope.”
Business
Qatar committed to contribute to Europe's energy security; LNG supply talks on with German buyers for additional LNG supplies: Al-Kaabi

Qatar is continuing to talk to German buyers about additional LNG supplies; HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said and noted “many European and Asian countries now want natural gas that we do not have enough negotiators to cope.”Germany is set to receive new flows of Qatari liquefied natural gas (LNG) from 2026 after QatarEnergy and ConocoPhillips Tuesday signed two sales and purchase agreements for its export covering at least a 15-year period.A ConocoPhillips subsidiary will purchase the agreed quantities to be delivered to the German receiving terminal at Brunsbuttel in the northern part of the country, which is currently under development.“We are discussing other possible deals for Germany and with many Asian and European countries. We are negotiating with German companies to further increase the volumes being sent,” al-Kaabi said in reply to a question by Gulf Times Tuesday."We are committed to contribute to the energy security of Germany and Europe at large," al-Kaabi said.Lance hailed the accord as "a vital contribution to world energy security".“QatarEnergy and ConocoPhillips are excited for the opportunity to responsibly and securely supply world markets with LNG from the Qatari expansion projects.”“These agreements will provide an attractive LNG offtake solution for our new joint ventures with QatarEnergy and position the joint ventures as reliable sources of LNG supply into Europe,” Lance added.According to a Bloomberg dispatch, the five (LNG) import facilities chartered by the German government will cost a total of €6.5bn over the next 10 to 15 years. There is also one privately chartered terminal planned. Once operational, they will be able to cover around one third of Germany’s current gas demand, according to a government estimate.Last week, QatarEnergy entered into a 27-year sale and purchase Agreement (SPA) with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) for the supply of 4mn tons per year (MTPY) of LNG to China.Under the terms of the SPA, the contracted LNG volumes will be supplied from QatarEnergy’s North Field East (NFE) LNG expansion project and will be delivered to Sinopec's receiving terminals in China.QatarEnergy earlier this year signed five deals for North Field East (NFE), the first and larger of the two-phase North Field expansion plan, which includes six LNG trains that will ramp up Qatar's liquefaction capacity to 126mn tonnes per year by 2027 from the current 77mn in two phases.

GPCA secretary-general Dr Abdulwahab al-Sadoun
Business
GCC chemical revenue soars 10-year high 77% to $96bn in 2021: GPCA

Qatar will take part in the "exclusive" Ministerial Panel featuring energy ministers from across the GCC at the 16th Annual GPCA Forum in Riyadh in December, according to the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association.HE the Minister of Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi will be on the panel that will address the topic “Balancing net-zero ambitions in the energy sector with growth – a policymaker’s balancing act”.The other panelists are Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud, Minister of Energy, Saudi Arabia and Dr Mohamed Bin Mubarak Bin Daina, Minister of Oil & Environment, Special Envoy for Climate Affairs, BahrainAccording to GPCA research, GCC chemical revenue in 2021 soared by 77.2%, the highest level recorded since 2013 due to post-Covid recovery that led to increasing demand and high chemical prices globally. Quantifying, the chemical revenue grew to $96bn last year from $54.1bn in 2020.On the back of higher chemicals prices, GCC chemical trade balance revenue almost doubled between 2020 and 2021 from $27bn to $53bn, with trade balance volume also growing by 30%, reaching 56.5mn million tons.While the industry remained buoyant over the last 18 months, it is currently off track to achieve its ambitious net-zero targets by 2050. According to the International Energy Agency, globally direct CO2 emissions from primary chemical production amounted to 925tons in 2021, a 5% increase with respect to the previous year.This is due to a production increase to levels above those in 2019. In the GCC, average CO2 intensity increased by 3% in 2021 as emissions rebounded since the Covid-related lockdowns in 2020. Nonetheless, CO2 intensity has remained on a declining trend since 2013.GPCA Secretary General Dr. Abdulwahab al-Sadoun commented, “If the industry is to achieve its net- zero ambitions by 2050, it would need to focus on growing its utilisation of renewables, improving its energy efficiency, reducing its emissions, and capitalising on new markets for carbon and other by-products as part of the circular economy.“Regional producers alongside their regional and global value chain partners are taking concerted steps, committing new investments and accelerating their research and innovation efforts in line with their decarbonisation efforts. Both the public and private sector have a crucial role to play on the road to net-zero.“GPCA is, therefore, pleased to host some of the region’s most prominent policymakers for an exclusive ministerial panel where forum delegates will have an opportunity to hear first-hand about our regional governments’ plans and initiatives enabling the transition.”

More than 1mn visitors are expected to visit the country during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, which is likely to significantly boost the revenues for the retail industry and add approximately 7bn to the nation’s economy
Business
Qatar seen to record GCC's highest growth in retail sales, reaching $18.5bn in 2022

Buoyed by the World Cup, Qatar is expected to record the "highest growth" in retail sales in the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) region, with an estimated 36% y-o-y to reach $18.5bn in 2022, Alpen Capital said in a report.This can be primarily attributed to an estimated 145.5% y-o-y growth in tourist arrivals as the country hosts the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, one of the biggest sporting events globally.More than 1mn visitors are expected to visit the country during the event, which is likely to significantly boost the revenues for the retail industry and add approximately $17bn to the nation’s economy.However, growth is expected to normalise post the completion of the FIFA World Cup with retail sales reaching $21.2bn in 2026, equating to an annualised growth rate of 3.5% since 2022.Although Qatar is a relatively smaller market compared to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, it is likely to benefit from the long-list of global sporting events lined up to take place in the country during the forecasted period, Alpen Capital noted.The rise in number of football fans from across the globe will help increase retail sales not only in Qatar but also the neighbouring GCC nations. Qatar Duty Free has been named as the Official Retail Store for the global footballing event.This includes a licence to exclusively sell all FIFA World Cup 2022 merchandise and collectables in the fan zones and at all stadiums hosting the matches in Qatar.Fans will also be able to purchase tournament memorabilia at Hamad International Airport, the Official Airport of the FIFA World Cup 2022, and at numerous outlets in malls across the country. In addition to hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, the country has bid to hold several other international sporting events, festivals and tourism related activities in the coming years.Some of the major international sporting events lined up to take place in the country include the Formula 1, International Golf Championship, World Championship of Motorcycles, 2024 World Aquatics Championships, and 2030 Asian Games, among others.“These will help drive retail sales across the region,” Alpen Capital noted.

Workers refurbish the cargo hold of a Boeing Co 777-300ER aircraft, operated by Air France-KLM, at an Air France Industries hangar at Orly Airport in Paris. The air transport industry handles more than 1.25mn shipments of dangerous goods per year. To handle them safely, the industry must further improve compliance with global standards.
Business
Airlines in fire-fighting mode to mitigate dangers posed by dangerous goods’ shipments

Beyond the Tarmac The air transport industry handles more than 1.25mn shipments of dangerous goods per year.The growth of e-commerce and proliferation of lithium batteries in global supply chains are two indicators that the number of dangerous goods shipments will grow. To handle them safely, the industry must further improve compliance with global standards.The carriage of lithium batteries and other potentially dangerous goods on air transport continues to present a significant safety risk.In March this year, for example, Qatar Airways diverted a New Delhi-Doha flight to Karachi in Pakistan following the detection of smoke in the cargo hold. The incident is thought to have been caused by lithium batteries.Unless remedial action is taken, the risk caused by the transport of lithium batteries will only increase. This is due to the accelerating rate of improvement in the energy density of a battery. Consumers are demanding more from their battery life and capability, and manufacturers are working hard to deliver.Regulations cannot match this pace of development, rarely proceeding at anything other than a glacial pace.“This issue is not getting the attention it deserves,” said Andres Bianchi, CEO, LATAM Cargo, at the 78th IATA AGM in Doha in June. “It is my first concern from a safety perspective,” Bianchi noted.A four-step process will go some way to mitigating the danger. The first step is creating awareness. The lithium battery market is growing 30% annually, bringing many new shippers into air cargo supply chains. But compliance with existing regulations is difficult as they are complex and can be hard to understand.This creates an evolving risk of undeclared or misdeclared shipments.The aim is to help shippers understand the potential risk and whether there are dangerous goods in what they are trying to ship.The second step is appropriate standards, processes, and regulation. IATA has called for the development of outcome-based, harmonised safety-related screening standards and processes for lithium batteries. This would support the safe transport of lithium batteries and provide an efficient process for compliant shippers of lithium batteries.

Fireworks surround a large replica of the World Cup trophy before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group A match between Qatar and Ecuador at Al Bayt Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Al Khor, Qatar. Photo by Michael Regan - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images
Qatar
Qatar Airways celebrates historic opening of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is officially underway and Qatar Airways, as the official airline of the journey, is marking the month-long tournament with special football-themed experiences at the stadiums and at fan zones across the country.World-class sports infrastructure, a five-star airport expansion and a host of fun-filled tourist attractions and cultural experiences also await the 1.5mn fans expected to attend the event.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker, said: “The countdown is complete, and after more than a decade, our dream of bringing the world together has truly come alive. We have witnessed a spectacular opening ceremony, one that is truly worthy of honouring the greatest show on earth."We have 63 more matches ahead of us and I am sure every single one of them will be an unforgettable experience. We are excited to give the world a taste of Arab hospitality and share our passion for connecting the world through travel and sport.”Qatar’s national airline recently launched a FIFA World Cup campaign anthem on board flights arriving in Qatar and dedicated it to fans everywhere.“C.H.A.M.P.I.O.N.S.” sung by internationally acclaimed singer Cheb Khaled and superstar DJ Rodge has already received millions of views across the airline’s official channels.For the duration of the tournament, the Qatar Airways fleet is carrying the FIFA World Cup decal on 120 aircraft.The specially-branded aircraft include 48 B777s, 31 B787s, 21 A320s, 12 A330s, and eight A380s. Three specially-branded Boeing 777 aircraft are hand-painted in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 livery.Upon arriving to any of the eight stadiums on match day, guests are invited to enjoy various interactive and family-friendly games at Qatar Airways’ stands.Football fans staying in Qatar during the tournament are invited to visit the Qatar Airways Skyhouse, located at the FIFA Fan Festival at Al Bidda Park, which is situated along Doha’s beautiful Corniche. The Skyhouse has a zipline experience, a Neymar Jr. interactive challenge, a swing photo booth and a QVerse virtual tour of Qatar Airways’ award-winning business class. Global music acts and local artists will be also be joining the line up to entertain fans at the fan zone.Qatar Airways has also partnered with social media platform 433 ‘The Home of Football’ for the duration of the tournament, and will be broadcasting post-match analysis featuring football legends.In 2017, Qatar Airways announced its partnership with FIFA as the Official Airline. The alliance has gone on to connect and unite fans globally, with “The World’s Best Airline” also sponsoring numerous football tournaments such as the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the FIFA Club World Cup, and the FIFA Women's World Cup.

More than a million visitors are expected to arrive in Doha through HIA and Doha International Airport, which have made elaborate arrangements to receive fans arriving in the country for the “greatest sporting spectacle” on earth.
Business
 Busy time at HIA; 400 flights arrive on World Cup kick-off day

Qatar’s main gateway to the world - Hamad International Airport (HIA) - has started seeing a huge influx of passengers, mostly fans for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.Qatar Airways said: “It is a busy day at HIA with almost 400 flights arriving today.”HIA chief operating officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer told a media event in Doha at the weekend that HIA was expecting to receive approximately 44,000 arriving passengers a day and upwards of around 900 aircraft movements daily over the next month.More than a million visitors are expected to arrive in Doha through HIA and Doha International Airport, which have made elaborate arrangements to receive fans arriving in the country for the “greatest sporting spectacle” on earth.Curated for all departing passengers, passenger overflow areas at both the airports have commenced operations.Both the facilities, the first of their kind in the world, will be available to departing passengers round-the clock until December 31.While the passenger overflow area at HIA has the capacity to accommodate 24,000 passengers a day, Doha International Airport (DIA) will be able to handle 12,000 departing passengers a day.Set to offer fans “extended memorable experiences and seamless connectivity” throughout both airports, the passenger overflow areas will only be accessible for passengers arriving at HIA and DIA more than four hours and up to eight hours prior to their scheduled departure flight time – regardless of the airlines in which passengers are flying with.The passenger overflow areas at both HIA and DIA will be operating for 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and will include a variety of food and beverage options, retail stores, gaming areas, football pitches for children, quiet areas, luggage storage, a lost-and-found desk, flight information screen, a free Wi-Fi activation area and more.Departing passengers can access the overflow area at HIA by taking a shuttle bus from the airport’s metro station.Similarly, they can go back to the HIA terminal using the shuttle service.Passengers arriving at HIA can take the Metro Red Line directly into central Doha from HIA T1 metro station.Passengers can buy a travel card from any station. Until December 23, ticketholders can use their digital Hayya Card and the Hayya to Qatar 2022 app, available for iOS and Android, for free travel on the metro.Fans arriving at HIA have access to a direct shuttle bus service to and from the fan villages at Barwa Madinatna, Barwa Barahat Al Janoub and the cruise ship hotels at Doha Port.This 24-hour service runs every 15 minutes, until December 22.On the other hand, passengers arriving at DIA can take the Metro Gold Line directly into Central Doha. The National Museum Metro Station is located some 800mts from the airport (DIA) arrival terminal.For return journey, fans from abroad have been advised to take the Red line to Al Matar Al Qadeem Metro Station, which is located close to the airport departures terminal.

Gulf Times
Business
New developments significantly increase quality of Qatar's retail space in Qatar: Alpen Capital

New developments have significantly increased the quality of retail space in Qatar, Alpen Capital said in a report.Qatar’s supply of organised retail space exceeded 1.5mn sq m of gross leasable area (GLA). The most recent retail developments in the country include Abu Sidra Mall and The Galleria, both of which opened partially but are yet to reach full capacity.While there has been an increase in leasing activity and lease renewals, the impact of the pandemic led to more than 600 retail units within Doha’s 20 largest retail malls being vacant, representing a vacancy rate of approximately 20% by the end of 2021.The second half of 2021 saw an increase in leasing activity in City Centre Mall, Doha Festival City, and Mall of Qatar. While some of the major malls witnessed strong footfall and maintained full occupancy during the year, increasing competition and the challenging retail environment affected the performance of others. There was strong growth in retail performance in many of Qatar’s major malls with retail spending in these developments up by 10% to 20% y-o-y at the end of 2021.The opening of newer malls such as Place Vendome and the upcoming Commercial Boulevard, both in Lusail, are focusing on higher quality restaurants, entertainment, and leisure to complement their retail offerings.The recently opened Place Vendome, with a GLA of approximately 230,000sq m, is the third super-regional mall in Qatar after Mall of Qatar and Doha Festival City and the first major mall to open in Qatar since Tawar Mall in 2018.As of H1, 2022, supply of organised retail space within malls in Qatar reached 1.7mn sq m, reflecting an increase of 160% since 2015. Other upcoming retail developments in Qatar include Doha Oasis, 04 Mall, Waddan Mall, and the MENA District in Doha Port.Most of these projects are expected to complete during 2022, Alpen Capital said and noted: “Some of the busier malls have phased out rental incentives as footfall and retail spending continues to recover after the Covid-19 related restrictions have been eased.”

Italian ambassador Paolo Toschi, Italian Trade Commissioner Paola Lisi. PICTURES: Thajudheen
Business
Qatar, Italy post over 140% y-o-y trade growth in Jan-Aug 2022

Qatar and Italy recorded a more than 140% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth in trade volume to reach €4bn in the first eight months of 2022, according to data provided by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA) Doha Office.“It is worth pointing out that the total bilateral trade in 2021 was approximately €3.3bn.Italy ranks fourth among Qatar’s supplier countries after India and before Germany, and it is the ninth destination market of Qatari exports,” Italian Trade Commissioner Paola Lisi told Gulf Times.On both countries’ top export products, Lisi explained that Italy exported more than €1.1bn in machinery, furniture, fashion, semi and finished products, food and beverage, and pharmaceuticals to Qatar in the first eight months of 2022, registering a more than 45% y-o-y increase. Conversely, Qatar’s exports to Italy were mainly oil and gas, and plastics, she noted.ITA Doha Office is the Trade Promotion Section of the Italian embassy in Qatar. The ITA concluded the second part of its ‘Week of Italian Cuisine in Qatar’ initiative, which was held in Cucina Friday. The first part of the initiative was launched in Pizzeria Spontini.Italian ambassador Paolo Toschi said: “Italian cuisine is one of our ways of transmitting values, along with services and products. Among these values are sustainability and the understanding and empowerment of local traditions that are expressed in cuisine as they are in other forms.“We know that there is appreciation in Qatar for these values and endeavours, and it goes beyond the simple provision of goods and services, so we’re delighted to have Qatari friends explore Italian cuisine.”Regarding the ‘Week of Italian Cuisine in Qatar’ event, Lisi said a wide range of Italian food products are being exported to Qatar, such as pasta, bakery products, cheese, dairy products, vegetable sauces and preserves, chocolate products, and olive oil.“The variety of Italian food production is so extensive that we believe it is possible to increase the offer of our products on this market. The total value of Italian food products exported to Qatar during the first eight months of 2022 exceeded €39mn with an increase of more than 75% compared to the same period in 2021,” Lisi stressed.Asked about ITA’s partnerships with different hypermarkets in Qatar and the agency’s role in increasing Italian food exports here, Lisi said the ITA signed a cooperation agreement with LuLu Group International in 2020 and 2021.“This is part of continuing efforts to increase knowledge and raise the consumption of authentic Italian products in Qatar. The partnership was fruitful not only for Lulu and the Italian Trade Agency but also for Qatari consumers who now have a wider choice of Italian food products. We are always looking forward to strengthening the cooperation and partnership with Qatari companies in all fields,” Lisi said.She added: “To continue raising awareness and grow the consumption of authentic Italian products in Qatar, we will organise business missions for Qatari buyers to the main international exhibitions that will be held in Italy in 2023, such as Tuttofood, Cibus, and Sigep, among others. We also plan to sign another partnership agreement with a major food retailer in Qatar to bring in more Italian food suppliers here.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker at the media event yesterday as HIA chief operating officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer looks on. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Qatar
Qatar Airways, HIA and DIA ready to welcome World Cup visitors: al-Baker

Qatar Airways and the country’s two airports – Hamad International and Doha International — are all ready to welcome the more than a million visitors over the next one month to watch the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker said on Thursday.Addressing a media event at the ‘Passenger Overflow Area’ at HIA last night, al-Baker said the facility is the first one of its kind for the biggest football event in the world.The passenger overflow areas at both HIA and DIA will be operating for 24 hours a day, seven days a week (until December 31) – and will include a variety of food and beverage options, retail stores, gaming areas, football pitches for children, quiet areas, luggage storage, a lost and found desk, flight information screen, a free WI-FI activation area and more.The passenger overflow area does not include check-in service desks, so travellers can either check-in online while at the premises or visit the check-in halls at HIA or DIA. The passenger overflow area at DIA will be able to welcome up to 12,000 departing passengers per day. On the other hand, HIA has the capacity to accommodate 24,000 passengers a day.“All our airports will be crowded over the next month because of the millions of visitors and VIPs who will be arriving in Doha to watch the World Cup. Next month, our airports will get busier as we are expecting many fans from countries that qualify for the Round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and final,” al-Baker said.“The passenger overflow areas will allow fans to experience the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 until the very end of their journey in Qatar. It will allow travellers to utilise their waiting time prior to their flights by enjoying exciting activities, which includes shopping, resting and watching football matches,” he said.

Workers connect a Total tanker truck to an Airbus A350 passenger plane, operated by Air France-KLM, during fuelling with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy, France. SAF is currently expected to account for 65% of carbon mitigation in 2050.
Business
Incentivising SAF production provides fillip to aviation's net-zero carbon goals

Beyond the Tarmac The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recently agreed to adopt a Long Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This important step aligns with both the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and the net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 resolution agreed at the IATA annual general meeting last year.The significance of the LTAG agreement cannot be overstated, points out Conrad Clifford, IATA Deputy Director General. To achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050, government policy support in key areas of decarbonisation is critical, he noted at an industry event in Bangkok.Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require substantial and sustained investment and financing over the coming decades.One such area is in incentivising the production capacity of SAF. SAF is currently expected to account for 65% of carbon mitigation in 2050. It will be the largest contributor to future sustainability. But there are challenges.Airlines bought every drop of SAF available in 2021, and want to use more. They have committed to $17bn of forward purchasing agreements.The problem is the limited supply and high costs. In 2021, only 125mn litres of SAF were available on the market. That was less than 0.05% of the total fuel used.According to IATA, in 2021, irrespective of price (SAF is between two and four times the price of conventional jet fuel), airlines have purchased every drop of the 125mn litres of SAF that was available. And already more than 38 countries have SAF-specific policies that clear the way for the market to develop.Taking their cue from these policy measures, airlines have entered into $17bn of forward-purchasing agreements for SAF.In October 2021, IATA member airlines came together and took the monumental decision to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This commitment brings the industry in line with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5C goal.Climate change is the greatest threat facing the societies and achieving net-zero emissions will be a huge challenge as the expected scale of the industry in 2050 will require the mitigation of 1.8 gigatons of carbon.“I urge governments in the Asia-Pacific region to look at stimulating SAF production. Government incentives for SAF could see 30bn litres of production capacity by 2030. This will also reduce the cost of SAF,” Clifford said and noted, “Japan and Singapore have demonstrated an exemplary approach to SAF. They actively involve the industry in their consultation process, and also promote domestic production of SAF. We urge other States to take similar steps, and to support the efforts to develop a global framework for a Book & Claim system for SAF.”Research has shown SAF can reduce emissions by up to 80% during its full lifecycle. More than 450,000 flights have so far taken to the skies using SAF, IATA data reveal.On its part the ICAO, launched its Assistance, Capacity-building and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (ACT-SAF) programme in June.It will provide tailored support to countries on sustainable fuel development and deployment, and facilitate related partnerships and cooperation around the world.An increasing number of countries and international organisations are becoming actively involved in this programme, which recognises the key role to be played in this endeavour by sustainable fuels, and many more are expected to join in the coming months.To reduce the impacts of aviation on the global climate, countries, the industry, and all other relevant stakeholders have in fact been pursuing a basket of CO2 reduction measures through ICAO for many years now. This contributed to modern aircraft being 70% quieter and 80% more fuel-efficient than their early predecessors.“Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require substantial and sustained investment and financing over the coming decades. We must furthermore assure reliable and affordable support and capacity-building for the many developing countries and States with particular needs, who will be depending on it to help play their part,” ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano said at the COP 27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, recently.National airline Qatar Airways said it is willing to promote SAF if the costs are affordable.Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker said: “As for me, I will be delighted to fuel my aircraft as much as possible, provided the SAF costs are affordable. Worldwide, there is a huge demand for alternate fuel – sustainable fuels.”In an earlier industry event in Doha, al-Baker had said: “Refining companies should provide adequate sustainable aviation fuel so that the airline industry could buy SAF and meet the emission targets even faster.”“Right now adequate quantities of SAF are not available. At Qatar Airways, we have contacted many refining companies, but they are unable to provide us the quantities of alternate fuel that we want.”Clearly, wider aviation industry is collectively committed to ambitious emissions reduction goals. Sustainable aviation fuel has been identified as one of the key elements in helping achieve these.Therefore, governmental support is essential to using sustainable aviation fuels to achieve the industry's climate goals.

Gulf Times
Business
Qatar’s wholesale and retail trade grew 2.3% between 2015 and 2020 to reach $ 26.7bn

* Qatar is second largest duty-free operator in GCC with revenues of $600mn recorded in 2022, an increase of 74.5% from the previous year   Qatar’s wholesale and retail trade grew at a CAGR of 12.3% between 2015 and 2020 to reach $ 26.7bn, accounting for 15% of the GDP, Alpen Capital has said in its latest report. High level of wealth coupled with rising population, an expanding tourism sector and high investments towards infrastructure development has positioned the country (Qatar) as a promising retail market in the GCC, Alpen Capital said in its ‘GCC retail industry’ report. According to Alpen Capital, Qatar’s organised retail space is currently going through a period of rapid expansion, credited to a strong pipeline of projects in the build-up to several global sporting and business events that are set to take place over the next few years. Qatar remains the richest country in the world with a GDP (PPP) per capita (at constant prices) of $95,273 (as of 2021). Qatar is also regarded as the world’s fastest-growing luxury market as the country’s state-owned investments arm (Mayhoola) holds a majority stake in several high-profile fashion brands including the Italian company Valentino and French company LVMH as well as landmark department stores Harrods and Printemps in London and Paris, respectively. Additionally, Qatar is the second largest duty-free operator in the GCC with revenues of $600mn recorded in 2022, an increase of 74.5% from the previous year. The wholesale and retail trade contribution to GDP has remained stable over the years, indicating the growing importance of the industry within the economy, Alpen Capital noted. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic causing business disruptions, Qatar’s retail industry fared well during 2020 as the majority of stores and malls were allowed to reopen by summer with a range of mandatory health guidelines in place. During this period, the country witnessed several changes in consumer behaviour, especially in terms of buying patterns, spending trends, payment solutions, and utilisation of e-commerce platforms. The use of e-commerce witnessed a significant boost as consumers were forced to stay at home and rely on online channels. As per the Ministry of Transport and Communications, about 60% of the consumers in Qatar signified a desire to shop online. This led to the country’s retailers to restructure their strategy to incorporate online sales platforms, Alpen Capital noted. Consequently, many retailers in Qatar have moved to a blended, omni-channel distribution strategy, which involves boosting and expanding their digital offerings while also maintaining a brick-and- mortar footprint. However, the phased easing of Covid-19 restrictions in 2021 resulted in an encouraging return to pre-lockdown footfall levels in most retail malls. Consequently, the country’s retail market is estimated to have recovered from the slowdown during the pandemic, due to overall economic activity improving during the first year of the pandemic while inflation remained in the negative territory. Recovery can be attributed to the government’s initiatives to contain the pandemic, changes to the visa regulations, and an increased focus towards tourism as the country gears up to host several mega events. In addition to the FIFA World Cup 2022, some of the major international sporting events lined up to take place in the country include the Formula 1, TP Tennis Competition, International Golf Championship, the World Championship of Motorcycles, 2024 World Aquatics Championships, the 2030 Asian Games, European Tour Golf, and the MotoGP among others. Apart from these, Qatar is also vying to host a variety of business forums and conferences as it seeks to establish itself as a business hub in the GCC. Moreover, it has been hosting several events in the run up to the FIFA World Cup 2022 – helping the industry recover from the lows of 2020. Consequently, tourist arrivals in the country increased by 5% y-o-y in 2021 while total travel and tourism spending revenues reached $16.5bn, contributing 10.3% to the country’s GDP – the highest amongst the GCC nations. “All these factors are estimated to have helped revive the retail industry in Qatar,” Alpen Capital noted.

Gulf Times
Business
Qatar economy able to maintain growth trajectory: QIIB CEO

Qatar’s economy has the ability to maintain growth with contributions from hydrocarbon as well as non-hydrocarbon sectors, noted QIIB CEO Dr Abdulbasit Ahmed al-Shaibei. Global rating agencies including Moody’s and S&P have upgraded Qatar’s sovereign ratings recently and maintained stable outlook. “All estimates indicate that Qatar will achieve growth this year, ranging between 4% and 5%. This is considered one of the best rates globally. This must be seen in the backdrop of economic crises we are seeing in some countries around the world,” the prominent Qatari banker said when asked whether the Qatari economy will slow down after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. The North Field expansion will raise Qatar's production capacity of liquefied natural gas to 126mn tonnes annually, which is the largest project in the history of global LNG industry. “We are proud that our country will maintain leadership in the field of liquefied natural gas. For the Qatari banking sector, there are certainly key opportunities that can be tapped in areas such as project financing, which includes pipelines, infrastructure, tankers, storage containers, and processing plants. The Qatari banking sector is a reliable and important partner in various projects that drive the national economy,” al-Shaibei noted. Qatar’s focus on developing knowledge-based and tourism and aviation industries will contribute to its economic diversification initiatives, he said. As for tourism, al-Shaibei said, “It is a sector with great opportunities. Qatar has already become a global tourist destination thanks to phenomenal development in infrastructure, hospitality, and the leadership enjoyed by our national carrier – Qatar Airways. Efforts are being made to turn Qatar into a leading destination in medical tourism, as well as in higher education by attracting students from many countries.” On QIIB’s focus on the local market, he said there are “promising opportunities” in Qatar and the country would remain the bank’s "top priority". “As for external expansion, even if we focus on the local market, we will not neglect opportunities abroad if they are of low risks with potential for good returns. “Currently, we are proceeding with our investment in Morocco through Umnia Bank, which has expanded very well with some 48 branches in the kingdom. Recently, we signed a partnership agreement to establish the Takaful Insurance Company in Morocco in partnership between Atlanta Insurance Company, Moroccan Real Estate and Tourism Loan Bank – CIH and Qatar Islamic Insurance Company. On the Treasury Sukuk launched recently by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB), al-Shaibei said, “The monetary policy of the Qatar Central Bank is managed very wisely. Certainly, the issuance of treasury bonds is a positive matter and considered one of the important tools that enable us as Islamic banks to invest liquidity surpluses, if any.”

Dr Abdulbasit Ahmed al-Shaibei, QIIB CEO.
Qatar
Driven by digital banking, QIIB set to meet customer needs during World Cup: Al-Shaibei

 * QIIB CEO said 'detailed plan' drawn up to ensure 'smooth and uninterrupted' banking services during World Cup   Aided by “digital transformation”, QIIB is all set to meet the needs of customers and visitors to the country during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, according to CEO Dr Abdulbasit Ahmed al-Shaibei. “We launched many services within the framework of digital transformation, which constitute a qualitative addition during the World Cup, such as digital contactless payments of various kinds. These include payments through wearable devices ‘Fitbit’ and ‘Garmin’. We also launched digital wallets – Apple pay, Google pay and Samsung pay – which make online and mobile purchases easy,” al-Shaibei said in an interview with Gulf Times yesterday. In order to test the bank’s “ability to withstand the pressure on the services and the network” during the greatest sporting spectacle on earth, al-Shaibei noted, “We conducted stress tests through qualified and specialised companies, and these tests are an essential part of preparing for the World Cup.” The QIIB CEO said a “detailed plan” had been drawn up to ensure “smooth and uninterrupted” banking services during the World Cup. Al-Shaibei said, “To ensure that our fans and customers do not face any issues with regard to money transfer or accessing ATMs during the World Cup, we have made elaborate arrangements. In this respect, we are working closely with money transfer companies and those responsible for feeding the ATMs. “Our call centre is ever alert and is also fully ready to meet the needs of our customers and thousands of fans visiting the country during the World Cup. We are sure; God willing, Qatar’s banking sector is 100% ready to play its role in serving visitors to the fullest during the World Cup," the prominent Qatari banker noted. As an “integral part” of the country’s economic system, Qatari banks, al-Shaibei emphasised, “have a duty and great responsibility” in the success of the World Cup events. “This World Cup is one of the prominent titles that show the prestigious position of the State of Qatar at all levels under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. “We at QIIB are ready to provide various banking services during the World Cup, to all fans; whether they are Qatar residents or guests coming from outside. Our role is to facilitate access to banking services for everyone, while they stay in our country. “At QIIB, we have made many preparations for the World Cup as is the case with all banks, in co-operation with the banking sector’s supervisory authorities, who have developed many plans in order to enhance the banking sector’s contribution to the success of the World Cup and provide us with all kinds of required support and assistance,” al-Shaibei noted. Highlighting some of the cutting-edge products and services that QIIB launched this year, he said, "Perhaps the most important thing we have done at QIIB this year is to enhance digital transformation in an unprecedented way. We have turned challenges associated with the pandemic into a golden opportunity to develop our work mechanisms. As a result, most banking services are available through our various digital channels. "Besides Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay, we also began issuing digital bank cards and Western Union services (for money transfer to international accounts). On the corporate side, we launched two new corporate branches in key locations - the first on Salwa Road and the second in the New Industrial Area."

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Business
Qatar fiscal surplus at 8.8% this year and in 2023: Oxford Economics

Oxford Economics sees Qatar government fiscal surplus at 8.8% this year and in 2023, before falling back to 7.3% in 2024. Credit ratings agency S&P upgraded its rating for Qatar and maintained stable outlook, following on from Moody's positive credit outlook change last week. This, researcher Oxford Economics noted, “reflects the shrinking debt burden as, like the rest of the region, Qatar's economy benefits from higher oil and gas prices, but also an expectation that government spending will moderate in the medium term after the World Cup. Qatar’s inflation will moderate to 2.1% in 2023 from 4.3% this year, Oxford Economics said. The country’s fiscal balance has been forecast at 9% of GDP this year and 9.3% in 2023 by Oxford Economics. The country’s current account surplus, according to Oxford Economics will be 16.8% of its GDP this year and 14.9% in 2023. Qatar’s real GDP growth has been forecast at 3.6% this year and 3.5% in 2023. On COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, it said the climate summit has also put the spotlight on climate action in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has committed $2.5bn worth of spending on green initiatives, including support for renewable energy sources and clean hydrogen production, as the country aims to become a pioneer for climate change. The Arab Co-ordination Group also pledged $24bn by 2030 to fund the energy transition, climate resilience, and energy security in developing countries. Egypt and the UAE also made significant agreements on renewables. With Egypt as the host of this year's conference, the divide between the climate concerns of developing economies and developed economies will be more apparent. Egypt has noted it will steer the COP27 focus to adaptation and climate finance. These issues are more pressing for developing economies given their exposure to physical climate risks and budget constraints amid competing development demands. “We expect COP27 to build on the momentum generated by COP26, but progress has so far been underwhelming. Climate goals remain elusive, and current nationally determined contributions (NDC) pledges will likely lead to significant warming above industrial levels. “The key takeaway for the green transition is that it needs to be just and equitable if developing economies are to actively engage in the climate agenda, and developed economies need to take the lead. Our Sustainable Development Scenario for our Global Climate Service sees the policy burden fall more on advanced economies and those with large emissions,” Oxford Economics noted.    

Newly expanded three-level HIA terminal has added 125,000 square meters to the world-scale airport with five new contact gates, 22 bus gates and improved access and services on 12 existing remote aircraft stands.  Pictures: Thajudheen
Qatar
New terminal adds 125,000 square meters to Hamad International Airport

* The new facility has added five new contact gates, 22 bus gates and improved access and services on 12 existing remote aircraft stands   Newly expanded three-level HIA terminal has added 125,000 square meters to the world-scale airport with five new contact gates, 22 bus gates and improved access and services on 12 existing remote aircraft stands. HIA will therefore continue to operate within a single expansive terminal of 725,000 square meters (previously 600,000 sqm), so passengers can “seamlessly” transfer from one area to another. The newly expanded area will have a brand-new expansive transfer hall- ‘Transfer-C’, which means HIA will now have three transfer halls within the terminal. According to Hamad International Airport, ‘Transfer C’ will ensure minimum connection time for transfer passengers arriving at the North Plaza of the airport and will deliver “unprecedented” levels of security, customer service and efficiency. On November 10, Hamad International Airport opened the newly expanded terminal as part of its ‘Phase A’ expansion, which means the state-of-the-art airport will now be able to cater to 58mn passengers annually. HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani inaugurated HIA’s newly expanded terminal and toured the facility. He was also briefed on HIA’s capacities in terms of receiving incoming and departing passengers, as well as the modern systems used. The Central Concourse project is the extended area of the airport terminal, located at the North Plaza of Hamad International Airport. The focal point of the Central Concourse is the Orchard, which consists of an indoor tropical garden, water feature, retail and F&B, under a grid shell roof. The transfer facility will have some 14 security lanes, a Central Image Processing Room for centralised security inspection and analysis and a transfer hall capacity approximately 5,600 passengers every hour. New scanner features mean passengers do not require passengers to remove either liquids or larger electronic items from their bags. Up to six passengers can load their items into trays at the same time, for faster passenger processing. The new facility incorporates passenger boarding pass scanners prior to screening which will electronically ‘tag’ each passenger’s belongings to boarding card to ensure the belongings are tracked. Once passengers remove their possessions from the tray, the system scans the tray to ensure no items are left behind. The system also incorporates a shoe screening capability conducted in only a few seconds without the need for passengers to remove their footwear. HIA said Orchard is integrated with the existing terminal, so passengers can seamlessly transfer from one area to another. Therefore, the Hamad Airport will continue to operate within a single expansive terminal. The Orchard is connected to the South Plaza (Lamp Bear Area) of HIA via the passenger train and accessible by passengers. It takes 90 seconds to connect the North and South plaza stations (and vice versa). The two stations can also be accessed by travellators, buggies etc. Extensive flora, include more than 300 trees and 25,000 plants and shrubs sourced from sustainable forests from around the world. The designers have developed a column free, long span 85m grid shell roof with performance glass to control and filter the light required to maintain a rainforest with mature trees. The newly expanded terminal houses HIA’s second airport hotel - ‘Oryx Garden’ that will come in handy for passengers during their stopover flights in Doha.

HIAu2019s u2018Orchardu2019 u2014 an indoor tropical garden that has sourced 300-plus trees and 25,000 plants from sustainable forests around the world. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Qatar
HIA Phase B expansion to increase passenger capacity to 70mn annually

Hamad International Airport (HIA) ‘Phase A’ expansion will cater to 58mn passengers annually, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker said yesterday. He noted that ‘Phase B’ of expansion, which is set to commence in early 2023 will further increase capacity to more than 70mn passengers annually. The newly expanded terminal encompassed a total of nine projects, which includes Central Concourse – The Orchard, retail & F&B, Oryx Garden Hotel and North Plaza Lounges, Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Remote Transfer Baggage Facility (RTBF) building and system, Virtual Air Traffic Control Tower, Western Taxiway and Stand Development works, Western Fuel Farm and Midfield Fuel Farm expansion works and Cargo Bridging. With sustainability at the core of HIA’s plans, the airport has managed to have four of the expansion projects achieve a 4-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) from Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (Gord). This includes the Orchard, Oryx Garden Hotel & north plaza lounges, Al Mourjan Business lounge – the Garden and the Remote Transfer Baggage Facility. HIA Phase B expansion will increase capacity to more than 70mn passengers and include new concourses and cargo terminal. New Concourses: a 95,000sq m plus extension of Concourses D & E to fulfil the final expansion of the passenger terminal connecting to the Orchard and converting adjacent remote aircraft stands to contact gates. A new western Satellite Concourse of approximately 300,000sq m converting the 34 remote aircraft stands to contact gates with an automated people mover connection to passenger terminal.  New Cargo Terminal 2 (CT2) will be a dedicated transfer cargo facility designed to handle 3.3mn tonnes per annum. It will be located on a 300,000sq m plot beside the existing Cargo Terminal in the HIA Midfield Area with a built-up area of circa 240,000sq m divided over three material handling floors and four office floors.

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani and other dignitaries at the inauguration of the HIA expansion yesterday.
Qatar
PM inaugurates newly-expanded HIA terminal

Hamad International Airport (HIA) has opened the newly expanded terminal as part of its ‘Phase A’ expansion, which houses the second airport hotel and ‘Orchard’ – an indoor tropical garden that has sourced 300-plus trees and 25,000 plants from sustainable forests around the world. Consisting of ‘one expansive’ terminal, the airport will welcome passengers with facilities and services curated for all ages. The expansion now enables travellers to ‘seamlessly transfer’ from one area to another, ‘exploring the wonders that HIA has to offer with its infused warmth and hospitality’. HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani inaugurated the expansion of HIA yesterday. He toured the new passenger terminal and was briefed on its capacities in terms of receiving incoming and departing passengers, as well as the modern systems used, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported. He was also briefed on the various facilities and equipment and the related development in all operational processes in order to receive travellers, Qatar’s guests, and fans of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior was accompanied by a number of ministers and senior officials.  The expansion is in line with the expected flow of visitors and fans for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. It will facilitate aircraft movement and air control, in conjunction with the requirements of operational intensity during the World Cup, which is only a few days away. This will enhance the opportunities to meet the increasing demand for individual travel and air freight, QNA added. From discovering new flavours with exquisite fine dining to exploring the depths of the art collections and luxurious shops – the airport continues to actively enrich travellers’ experiences with tranquillity and profound culture. According to HIA, the airport’s expanded operations will greatly reduce waiting time, thanks to the new transfer hall on concourse C (Transfer Hall C) – the level of security, customer service and efficiency will allow passengers to smoothly arrive and depart the award-winning airport. In the expanded terminal, Qatar Duty Free is offering world-class retail and F&B options with more than 65 retail and dining outlets spread across its three levels. F&B options at the HIA expansion includes over 20 cafes and restaurants offering delicious local and global cuisines for an ultimate dining experience. To Page 2 The retail and F&B offer at the expansion features many world firsts and exclusives, including a ‘Fendi Boutique’ with the first ‘Fendi Café’ in an airport, and the first ‘Ralph’s Coffee Shop’ in an airport. The North node also houses the world’s first ‘Oreo Café’ in an airport. The enhanced retail offer also includes an unrivalled selection of luxury boutiques, including the first Dior Boutique at HIA, only FIFA Shop in the world, Thom Brown (only store in an airport), largest Ray Ban store (in an airport), and a lineup of prestigious brands such as flagship Louis Vuitton Boutique, Gucci, Burberry, Tiffany and Co., and Bvlgari. Passengers travelling through HIA will be able to explore hundreds of curated experiences all under one roof, surrounded by a true architectural and tropical masterpiece. As part of the overall expansion, HIA has launched the second airport hotel within its transfer area, the ‘Oryx Garden’ hotel. Located in the north plaza, the 100-room hotel focuses on sustainability, with rooms ranging from king to twin, as well as suites strategically located moments away from the boarding gates. To enhance the overall experience at the Oryx Garden Hotel, guests can use the passenger train to visit the near-by Oryx Airport Hotel in the south plaza should they want to use its ‘Vitality Wellbeing Spa and Fitness Centre’. The centre features a 25-metre swimming pool, gym, spa and squash court. As part of the expansion project, HIA has four brand new lounges for passengers to relax and unwind, namely ‘Al Mourjan Business Lounge- The Garden’, ‘Al Mourjan Business Lounge- North’, ‘Platinum and Gold lounge- North’ and ‘Silver Lounge – North’. Addressing a media event at the newly expanded terminal, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker stated, “We are very pleased to be launching the expansion of Hamad International Airport, an airport that has truly grown to become the ultimate example of a successful, sustainable global facility. “HIA continues to impress with its innovative planning, execution and investment – enhancing its position as the preferred hub for global travellers and reinforcing HIA’s position amongst the top leaders of this industry. The opening of our newly expanded terminal further connects the growing number of travellers to all corners of the world, enriching people’s experiences and proudly representing the State of Qatar’s rich culture and prestige.”   Commenting on the expansion, HIA Chief Operating Officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer said, “We are immensely proud to officially launch our airport expansion. Our growth plan will see us welcome over 58mn passengers annually – offering global travellers the best services the industry has to offer. “Through the expansion, we have upgraded our facilities and offerings – creating the ultimate destination for passengers. From world-class services to endless F&B and retail offerings, the expansion further strengthens our ambition as we look towards maintaining our status as the best airport in the world.”

Hamad International Airport
Qatar
HIA ‘Phase B’ expansion to boost passenger capacity to 70mn annually

•    Newly expanded terminal caters to 58mn passengers annually     Hamad International Airport (HIA) ‘Phase A’ expansion will cater to 58mn passengers annually, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker said on Thursday. He noted that ‘Phase B’ of expansion, which is set to commence in early 2023 will further increase capacity to more than 70mn passengers annually. The newly expanded terminal encompassed a total of nine projects, which includes Central Concourse-(The Orchard, retail & F&B, Oryx Garden Hotel and North Plaza Lounges, Al Mourjan Business Lounge, Remote Transfer Baggage Facility (RTBF) building and system, Virtual Air Traffic Control Tower, Western Taxiway and Stand Development works, Western Fuel Farm and Midfield Fuel Farm expansion works and Cargo Bridging. With sustainability at the core of HIA’s plans, the airport has managed to have four of the expansion projects achieve a 4-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) from Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD). This includes the Orchard, Oryx Garden Hotel & north plaza lounges, Al Mourjan Business lounge- the Garden and the Remote Transfer Baggage Facility. HIA Phase B expansion will increase capacity to more than 70mn passengers and include new concourses and cargo terminal. New Concourses: a 95,000sqm plus extension of Concourses D & E to fulfill the final expansion of the passenger terminal connecting to the Orchard and converting adjacent remote aircraft stands to contact gates. A new western Satellite Concourse of approximately 300,000 square meters converting the 34 remote aircraft stands to contact gates with an automated people mover connection to automated people mover connection to passenger terminal. New Cargo Terminal 2 (CT2) will be a dedicated transfer cargo facility designed to handle 3.3mn tonnes per annum. It will be located on a 300,000m2 plot beside the existing Cargo Terminal in the HIA Midfield Area with a built up area of circa 240,000m2 divided over three material handling floors and four office floors. Ends