Friday, September 22, 2023 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
 Joey Aguilar
Joey Aguilar
Joey Aguilar has been a journalist since 2013 at Gulf Times, reporting on events related to Qatar. He was earlier a journalist for eight years in the Philippines. He became one of the 2015 United Nations Foundation Global Goals Press Fellows. He has also attended a number of journalism seminars in the Philippines.
Swiss photographers' works that put a spotlight on the importance of u2018Humanitarian Principles.u2019 PICTURES: Joey Aguilar
Photo exhibition by Swiss embassy brings humanitarian principles to focus

The Embassy of Switzerland in Qatar has inaugurated a one-of-its-kind exhibition at the Doha Fire Station, featuring the works of 10 Swiss photographers that shed light on the importance of ‘Humanitarian Principles’ and provide a platform for discussion. “The 10 Swiss photographers they have done some photographs to somehow reflect on the issue of violence, of inspiration, but also of hope, that through the respect of international principles of humanity these violations of human rights can be avoided and ended even in the direst conflict situation,” Swiss ambassador Edgar Doerig told Gulf Times. Swiss ambassador Edgar Doerig at the opening of the Humanitarian Principles Here and Now exhibition. The contemporary art installation, titled ‘Humanitarian Principles Here and Now’ is curated by the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland and being held in Doha until October 19 in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. The exhibition, shown in 50 locations around the world, aims “to give the visitors a better understanding and deeper insight into the significance that humanitarian principles have in everyday life and provides a space for dialogue on humanity.” It started in Geneva two years ago. Some of these photographs include Virginie Rebetez’s Memorial Garden, Mark Henley’s Facing Prejudice, Rebecca Bowring’s The Mechanical Bride, and Sarah Carp’s Renaissance, among others. Doerig said that 10 short films around the same topic are also being screened at the Doha Fire Station cinema, in addition to a symposium on International Humanitarian Law (IHL). “The conventions are maybe not so easy for the access for the general public but there you can really see what is not allowed even in war situations, but it boils down at the end to respect of life, of human behaviour – even prisoners – they have rights, they cannot be tortured, etc… and that is expressed here in these photos, in these films, and also in the general principles,” the envoy said. The embassy noted that Qatar residents and even those from abroad can also follow the exhibition via QR codes to see the photos, videos, and reactions of the public in 11 languages. They can also take pasrt and share their views, personal thoughts, feelings, questions and stories in the worldwide conversation #DialoguesOnHumanity. Speaking at the event, ICRC Qatar Head of Mission Cherine Pollini underlined the significance of the exhibition saying “it allows us to dive into those humanitarian principles and leads us to think about the impacts of war, natural catastrophes, and more recently, of pandemics and their bearing.” “There is a special relationship between the ICRC and the IHL, the ICRC was founded more than a 150 years ago in recognition of the reality that even in armed conflicts there must be limits and those limits are enshrined under IHL,” she said. Pollini also stressed that ICRC remains constant in its neutral, independent, and impartial humanitarian approach to providing protection and assistance to victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence. The opening of the exhibition was also attended by Sultan Barakat, director of the Centre for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies; Doha Fire Station exhibitions co-ordinator Amal Zeyad Ali; and other dignitaries and guests.

The exhibition, titled u201cPlastic Seas: Eco-Fables on Showu201d, which will run until October 2, originates from the artistic projects of Farina and Mohammed, who partnered with the Italian embassy in Doha to bring attention locally on the global climate emergency.
Katara exhibition draws attention to dangers of plastic pollution

The Italian embassy, in partnership with Katara – the Cultural Village, opened a unique exhibition at Building 19 Sunday, showcasing the works of Qatari artist Fatima Mohammed and Italian artist Elisabetta Farina aimed at raising awareness on the dangers of plastic pollution. “I would like to thank the two artists… for enlightening us with their works, through their imagination, allowing us to understand that this problem goes beyond human understanding somehow, you need art to actually, somehow, through art and irony put a spotlight on this incredible programme that we all have to face, which is pollution, not just of the ocean but also of land,” Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas said in his speech. The exhibition, titled “Plastic Seas: Eco-Fables on Show”, which will run until October 2, originates from the artistic projects of Farina and Mohammed, who partnered with the Italian embassy in Doha to bring attention locally on the global climate emergency. The event was attended by Katara general manager Prof Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, Unesco regional director and representative in the GCC and Yemen Anna Paolini; British ambassador Jon Wilks; Qatar Foundation’s (QF) CEO Office Strategic Initiatives and Partnership Development director, and head of  QF’s delegation attending the pre-Conference of the Parties (COP) 26 Aysha Abdulhameed A J al-Mudahka; Education Above All  pre-COP26 delegate Dana K al-Anzy; Arab Youth Climate Movement Qatar executive director and Youth Representative Qatar in Milan Neeshad Shafi; and Youth representative Qatar in Milan Fatima Abuhaliqa. “Environment and climate change degradation are undermining the rights to health and well-being of many communities whose survival is at risk. These issues must be urgently addressed by the International Community before it is too late,” the envoy added. The exhibition also underscores the urgency of ridding seas, as well as lands, of plastic pollution, which is reflected in the works of the two artists. “I hope the show raises awareness about the (dangers) of plastic pollution and how we should try to protect the environment,” said Mohammed, whose work is focused on the social anatomy of the Arabian Gulf and how it has evolved over time. Mohammed’s works also showcase “the grim reality of plastic islands” in the ocean: patches of floating plastic debris and deep in the waste land, following the wanderings and explorations of Anaj, the character which she created. The eco-fables on show – through art installations, design objects, photos and projections – aims to highlight how climate change is threatening seriously the earth and the presence of mankind. Farina lauded the works of Mohammed and thanked Prof al-Sulaiti, Prunas, and embassy officials, for their contribution to the event, which she hopes “to give a little contribution to raise the awareness on this huge and urgent environmental issue”. This year, Italy is leading these efforts to protect the environment by assuming the G20 presidency and co-chairing with the UK the COP26, a key milestone in the global fight against climate change.   Before COP26 takes place, Italy is hosting in Milan from September 30 to October 2 a preparatory meeting called pre-COP, which provides a selected group of countries with an informal setting to discuss and exchange views on some key political aspects ahead of the event. Italy is also committed to increase the non-state actors engagement by hosting during the pre-COP a range of initiatives promoted by nonprofit organisations, associations and civil society. “I am very glad that Qatar has ensured the participation of a large delegation led by QF with a full programme of very interesting activities. “It proves that the commitment by our countries at government level against climate change is deeply shared and supported by our peoples, especially young generations. I am also very pleased that two young delegates from Qatar have been selected to take part in the youth event “Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition,” Prunas said, congratulating Abuhaliqa and Shafi. During the event in Milan, Abuhaliqa and Shafi, the envoy added, “will have the chance, together with other young participants coming from all around the world, to put forward ideas and concrete proposals on some of the most pressing issues on the climate agenda.” For her part, al-Mudahka said: “At QF, we believe we play a key role in supporting the nation’s vision of a future that is pegged on sustainability. For the past 25 years, we have made significant investments in social development, research and innovation, and education – all of which are integral to shaping a nation that reflects not just environmental sustainability, but sustainability in all its forms. “Driving our efforts further, we are very excited to be participating in Youth4Climate: Driving Ambition that is taking place in Milan next week. Through our active participation, we are demonstrating how we believe sustainability should be constantly at the top of the global agenda, and that conversations about how to build a more sustainable world should be taking place where the most urgent action is required.” Al-Anzy, meanwhile, said: “During times of environmental crisis the provision of education is generally the first service provision to be affected, forcing many children to drop out of school. The most marginalised might not return at all to school due to economic hardship. Our programmes have geared an approach to tackle climate change as a global challenge with support from our strategic partner QFFD.” In a press statement, Wilks said: “On behalf of the UK Government and the British embassy in Doha, I am delighted to participate in the launch of this exhibition. This event draws attention to one of the most pressing issues contributing to degrading the global environment. I wish all the participants success in building public support for decisive action to limit pollution and preserve a sustainable marine environment for all.” Paolini, on the other hand, said: “The UN have declared the decade 2021-2030 as a decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Unesco is a major partner in leading the decade through its International Oceanic Commission. “From the many UN, experts, and activists’ statements and appeals, each of us is now aware of the urgency to change behaviour in the way we leave and in the decision we take. Raising awareness about the criticality we globally face is also through events like this. While we admire art though, let’s not forget to act”.

Gulf Times
Doha student's website gives free access education

A 16-year old female student based in Doha has developed a unique and interactive website aimed at promoting and giving access to education free of charge. “In a gist, my website - - gives students like myself an opportunity to be a mentor and a tutor to students who need academic guidance,” the founder of the website, Priyanka Bansal, told Gulf Times.  Priyanka Bansal The goal, she said, is to offer services and courses that promote student success in a collaborative and inclusive environment: Peer-to-peer interactions, supported by the site, centre on the growth and development of the learner and the peer educator. Bansal, a grade 11 student of DPS Modern Indian School, Doha, noted that such platform helps increase the knowledge and academic independence of the participants. “The ultimate goal of the website is to empower students as they develop resiliency and successful habits in their fields of study and beyond. It has been designed to help students by their peers who are A graders (GPA 3.7 and above) in all subjects and are capable of assisting the students free of charge. “These tutors support the students in their free time as part of their community services to society. This also helps the students grow into thoughtful and caring individuals who can be upstanding pillars of society,” she added. According to Bansal, the website received positive feedbacks from student users, vouching for its reliability and has been supporting them based on the topic or course they have selected. A student named Veda Tripathi lauded her Computer Science teacher saying: “Vanishka did a very good job is clearing the concepts on qbasic. Tutors in the class are very competitive and they know the subject well. This is very helpful for kids and a must-try for all students.” Two students – Pranshu and Mohamed Syed – said their Mathematics class was great and helpful while student Shubhang Srinivasakumar noted that everything in the Physics class was proper. Meanwhile, Savaaa, an 11th-grade student, said: “I never knew that physics could be so easy to understand.” As participants, Bansal said students will have the opportunity to gain one-on-one attention during the sessions, improve academically, develop positive learning habits, get self-motivated for independent learning, enhance self-esteem, and create a stress-free workspace. Student tutors, meanwhile, can strengthen their knowledge in subject comprehension, polish their communication skills, help them gain problem-solving skills, and improve their organisational skills. They can also get a chance to earn a certificate for community services to help them apply for universities abroad. “The purpose of tutoring is to help students help themselves or to assist or guide them to the point at which they become independent learners, and thus no longer need a tutor,” Bansal said. She added that many of the students in Doha who previously registered and had tried the programme are requesting for more courses. “This proves that they are happy with the service and so far we have more than 50 students registered in one month,” Bansal said. About what inspired her to create and develop the website, she said it started when she couldn’t find online tutoring opportunities, “where I could teach students of my age and those who are younger than me, because I knew I was capable of that and somehow wanted to give back to society”. Felt upset and unable to find a platform that will fulfill her requirements, Bansal said her mother suggested in a casual manner: “Why don’t you just make your own solution, then?" After a series of brainstorming with her mother, Bansal, with the help of her cousin decided to put up the website, and “the rest is history.”

Khalifa International Stadium, The Torch Doha, and Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel u2013 have been illuminated with the colours of the Mexican flag
Qatar landmarks adorn colours of Mexican flag to mark Mexican National Day

A number of Qatar’s iconic landmarks – Khalifa International Stadium, The Torch Doha, and Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel – have been illuminated with the colours of the Mexican flag on Thursday to mark Mexico’s National Day. Described by Mexican ambassador Graciela Gomez Garcia as “a generous tribute to Mexico and to the Mexican community in Qatar”, the festivity is “a great opportunity to meet with our fellow nationals and to share our unique identity, full of values and traditions built and consolidated over time”. “Last year, the pandemic prevented us from getting together as a community and therefore, todays’ celebration is even more special,” the envoy said. The celebration of the ‘200th Anniversary of the Consummation of the Independence of Mexico’ in Doha also served as a symbol of unity and patriotism among Mexicans living in Qatar and the close relations between the two countries – particularly in the field of sports. The event was the first time that a national day of a foreign country was celebrated in an official act within the Aspire Zone and Public Domain, and the first time that a country’s banner was lit in these famous venues. Hundreds of Mexicans and their friends have gathered at the Qatar Olympic and Sport Museum esplanade to join the occasion as the envoy led the civic ceremony of “El Grito” the Cry of Independence and the singing of Mexico’s National Anthem. “We receive this gesture of friendship from our host country with gratitude and humbleness. Thank you for such a precious gift. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, as well as the directors of Aspire Zone, Aspire Logistics and Public Domain, for their invaluable support to make it possible for the Mexican community to gather here at the most emblematic date for us Mexicans who live abroad and find ourselves thinking of our families and missing our country. “Let us remember that ‘Mexico begins where a Mexican is,’ and here in Qatar, our country is present and it is being seen and heard as never before,” the Garcia said. Dressed in green, white and red costumes representing the flag, Mexican families who attended the celebration enjoyed the choreographies “Me nace del corazón”, “El Jarabe Tapatío” and “El Son de la Negra”. It was performed by the Ballet Folklórico Latinoamericano, and directed by renowned choreographer Cristina Cobos, who has a long career in the promotion of Mexican culture through dance in Qatar. Active in Qatar for 11 years, this dance group’s performance wowed attendees while the lady dancers’ colourful attires have energised the place despite the humidity. Garcia said: “Dear friends, living outside of our beloved Mexico and in cultural contexts different from ours, we experience our Mexicanness differently, and we cherish the few occasions in which we can gather to express with all our emotion the love and joy we feel for our country.” In line with the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, she said they are anticipating the Mexican National Team to have a wonderful performance in the prestigious tournament, which will be held in Qatar, “hence, the importance that we are gathering tonight at the football epicenter of Qatar, the historic Khalifa Stadium, amidst the true heart of 2022.” The Embassy also kicked off its countdown for the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the event, which saw Mexicans taking photos and videos and sending it to friends in their home country. The Embassy noted that it has been deeply engaged in a sports diplomacy strategy aimed at linking Mexico to Qatar through sports in general, and football in particular… especially with the 2022 FIFA World Cup around the corner and the 2026 that will be hosted by Mexico (including the US and Canada). As such, the Embassy added, the 2022 baton will be passed from Qatar to Mexico. In addition, the Embassy said that Mexico is so far the number one sender of football fans for 2022, “so it’s very likely that Mexicans will be largest fan community in Qatar’s World Cup.” The envoy also underlined the Embassy’s close collaboration with the Supreme Committee and Delivery, and several stakeholders in Mexico and Qatar, to ensure an amazing experience for everyone during the prestigious tournament.

u201cThis exhibition is something that we are proud of, this is our way to show that Italy in general as a country is very committed to sustainability and to fighting climate change,u201d Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas told attendees at the event.
Italian embassy opens travelling exhibition

The Italian embassy in Qatar opened a travelling exhibition titled “3CODESIGN - 3R: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse” on Wednesday at the Doha Design District, Msheireb Downtown Doha, putting a spotlight on Italian design that promotes environmental sustainability. A project by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation curated by Silvana Annicchiarico, the exhibition is being held until September 29 in Qatar in partnership with Msheireb Properties. “This exhibition is something that we are proud of, this is our way to show that Italy in general as a country is very committed to sustainability and to fighting climate change,” Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas told attendees at the event. He said 3CODESIGN - 3R: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse is an innovative exhibition project that explores a key topic for our planet through the contemporary works of emerging designers and internationally renowned names. The exhibition features a sustainable installation plan designed by Bruno Morello. It offers an inevitably concise yet sufficiently paradigmatic overview on how Italian design is working in this direction, according to the latest environmental sustainability needs – a real inversion of trend compared to the systems of production and design strategies employed during the 20th century. The process is an overall and radical rethinking of a production model that aimed at the over-exploitation of resources; this means reviewing all stages of design and production, starting to think, from the beginning, of objects and products that become repairable, reconditionable, reusable, shareable, and recyclable. Instead of ending up as landfill, the value of an object must remain in circulation by regenerating itself continuously. “The aim is to ensure a sustainable presence of humankind starting from a new creative design approach, based on reducing the use and waste of raw materials, recycling what has been consumed, and reusing outdated products,” Prunas said. “This need has now turned into an emergency due to the rapid process of land degradation and climate change”. “In 2021 Italy has a great responsibility in leading the green transition at international level. The Italian presidency of the G20, the Pre-COP events in Milan and the presidency of the COP26 co-chaired with the UK in Glasgow witness the importance and the relevance of our country’s commitment. Italian design, thanks to visionary protagonists, has the potential to lead the change in the right direction, laying the foundation of a creative process more focused on the concept of sustainability,” the envoy said. The event, he stressed also wants to show how designers and artists can contribute to sustainability and to fighting climate change. “We are delighted to host the “3CODESIGN - 3R: Reduce, Recycle, Reuse” travelling exhibition at Doha Design District which addresses the important aspect of environmental sustainability, that has a direct impact on our communities and the planet,” Msheireb Properties acting CEO Eng. Ali al-Kuwari said in a press statement. Thanking the Italian Embassy and the artists for this initiative, he expressed confidence that such partnership “will further strengthen awareness of the need to embrace environment-friendly practices in our daily life. “Msheireb Properties is committed to promoting sustainability and places it at the heart of everything we do to support the goals of the Qatar National vision 2030, which prioritises sustainable development.” Explaining the process, Annicchiarico said: “We need to make sure that rubbish turns into raw materials and place recycling and reuse at the base of a circular economy that can overcome squandering and wasting. “Not only rethinking design and production, keeping environmental sustainability in mind, but also building a new sociality based on sharing, responsibility, and respect for future generations. “These are some of the connotative traits in the latest Italian design, referred to as ‘Ecodesign’, whose primary objective is to contribute to the creation of a new ecology of the artificial.” Ecosocial artist Luca Gnizio, an emerging Italian designer, whose work is aimed at transforming every item of industrial waste into a precious commodity and a means of ethical education, attended the opening of the exhibition in Qatar. Some of his iconic design pieces include Forstreet, Forsoulworld e Forsoulmoon. “Through creative action, I’m constantly seeking to disprove the idea that waste materials yield products of inferior value. Quite the opposite. Waste can be transformed into something that is beautiful and functional. I don’t just mean works of art; my work involves ecological innovation that leads to new patented processes and products,” said Gnizio, who has been engaged in creating increasingly vast eco-synergies through his own "eco-socially" approach since 2009. In addition to his art, some of which is on permanent exhibit at a number of museums, he also holds award-winning ecological patents and collaborates with multinationals and universities.

French violinist Lyonel Schmit, renowned for his phenomenological approach to music, will be the concertmaster and conductor of the performance.
Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra’s new season set to kick off Saturday

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra’s (QPO) 2021 – 2022 season is set to kick off with a one-of-its-kind concert “with an unusually festive programme” on September 18 at the Qatar National Convention Centre Auditorium 3, it was announced. The concert, taking place between 4pm and 7.30pm, will only allow fully vaccinated or individuals showing a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the concert to enter the venue (including children). In a press statement, QPO’s opening performance – featuring many and classical romantic music composers such as Tchaikovsky, Grieg, and Khachaturian, among others – aims to welcome back concert-goers but adhering to Covid-19 protocols to ensure their safety. The programme includes ‘Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin - Polonaise’, an opera in three acts he composed in 1878, followed by his ‘Music from The Nutcracker, Op. 71 –March, Chinese, Spanish and Russian Dance (Trepak)’, which he arranged for a concert performance in 1892. QPO noted that The Nutcracker, which was a tale by ETA Hoffman before it became a ballet, tells the story of Clara, a little girl “who receives a magical nutcracker in the form of a little man for Christmas”. “Tchaikovsky based the ballet he created upon on a translation of the original story by Alexandre Dumas.” QPO’s performance will also include Alexander Porfiryevich Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia, a music “full of great tunes and beautifully comprehensible”; and Edvard Grieg: Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 - I. ‘Morning Mood’ and Op. 23 ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’,  which brought Gynt to the international stage. Part of the programme are: Aram Ilitch Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite- Waltz, written in 1941 as incidental music for a production of the play of the same name by Russian poet and playwright Mikhail Lermontov; Jean Sibelius: Finlandia, Op. 26, a work that has become a powerful statement of triumph amid the political climate in Finland in 1899; and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphony No.4 in F Minor, Op. 36 – Mov. 4: Finale, dubbed as “one of the most performed symphonies of the end of the twentieth century.” French violinist Lyonel Schmit, renowned for his phenomenological approach to music, will be the concertmaster and conductor of the performance. He has been the concertmeister of the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra since 2012 before joining QPO in September 2019 as 1st concertmeister.

Shops, boutiques, and other retail outlets, including restaurants and cafes, received a huge number of customers u2013 adhering to Covid-19 protocols set by the Ministry of Public Health u2013 to benefit from the various offers as part of the month-long festivity.
Month-long Shop Qatar kicks off

Shop Qatar’s fifth edition kicked off on September 10, offering an array of discounts and promotions at participating malls and shopping centres. Shops, boutiques, and other retail outlets, including restaurants and cafes, received a huge number of customers – adhering to Covid-19 protocols set by the Ministry of Public Health – to benefit from the various offers as part of the month-long festivity. An employee of a popular American restaurant at a participating mall told Gulf Times that “the first day of Shop Qatar is a good start for us as we received many customers, both returning and new ones, and it’s more than the usual number.” She hoped the trend would continue even during the weekdays for the next four weeks of the event, scheduled to conclude on October 10. Some 15 retail partners across the country are taking part in the festival, including Qatar Duty Free, The Pearl-Qatar, Doha Design District at Msheireb Downtown Doha, Qatar National Convention Centre, and more than 60 hotels. Other official partner includes the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. Besides giving away up to 90% discounts, Shop Qatar also provides an opportunity for shoppers to participate in four weekly digital raffle draws and win over hundreds of prizes, including cash and cars wort more than QR4mn. To be eligible for the raffle draw, customers must register via WhatsApp number +974 4499 7499 by sending Hi. They should spend QR200 at any participating outlets, take a photo of the receipts, and send it to the specialised Whatsapp number to earn a digital raffle ticket. Organisers noted that “receipts from other branches outside of Shop Qatar participating malls will not be accepted.” The schedules of the raffle draws are as follows: September 17 at Doha Festival City, September 24 at Hyatt Plaza Mall, October 1 at Lagoona Mall, and October 8 at Mall Of Qatar. According to Qatar Tourism, Shop Qatar will also host live music concerts, featuring renowned regional artists. Names of the performers and details of the tickets will be announced soon through International and regional celebrity makeup artists will share some of the newest trends in the world of fashion and makeup at three masterclasses during the festival. “Shop Qatar celebrates the country's wide range of retail, beauty and entertainment options and unfolds around popular Doha shopping malls. It's an annual event that aims to enhance Qatar's fashion and lifestyle scene and showcase its hospitality. At the same time, Shop Qatar introduces various compelling workshops and masterclasses and presents exciting surprises,” Qatar Tourism said. BOX: Step 1: To participate, send “Hi” on WhatsApp to “+974 4499 7499” and scan the QR code advertised in the mall. Step 2: Enter your details. Create a customer profile by requesting National ID and retrieving name, number, nationality, email, gender and other details to know your customers. Step 3: Purchase confirmation. Send the message “Win” to the WhatsApp Virtual Agent 2. The Virtual Agent asks the customer to send an image of the purchase receipt. Point system: QR1 = 1 point; i.e 200 points = 1 raffle ticket. (source:    

HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani addressing the event.
Qatar deeply concerned with access to education in Afghanistan for children, youth: FM

Qatar is deeply concerned with access of children and youth to education in Afghanistan, and is doing its utmost to support them, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has said. He made the observation while participating in the high-level event to commemorate the International Day to Protect Education from Attack (September 9) on Thursday. HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said Qatar is honoured to host this important event to mark the second International Day to Protect Education from Attack. "Over a year ago, the State of Qatar spearheaded the efforts that led to the adoption of landmark Resolution 74/275, establishing September 9 as the International Day to Protect Education from Attack," he said. "We did this because education is a core political and development priority for the State of Qatar." HE Sheikh Mohamed continued, “We deeply believe in education’s transformative power. Therefore, it is of key importance that we ensure the continuation of education during armed conflict, and to provide and facilitate international co-operation and assistance programmes working to prevent or respond to attacks on education. This is not an option but an imperative. "It is an imperative because education gives girls and boys hope, confidence and dignity. It equips them with knowledge and skills to escape poverty. It saves lives and reduces the spread of preventable diseases and pandemics." Education plays a vital role in rebuilding conflict-affected communities as they transition to peace, he stressed. "By influencing people’s attitudes and behaviours, education is a key channel for better mutual understanding, tolerance and respect for each other and our planet." "We all know this to be true. Yet, millions of children and youth are out of school due to living in - or having fled an emergency or conflict," HE Sheikh Mohamed said. "Furthermore, in recent years there has been a significant increase of attacks on schools and their infrastructure, resulting in an alarming number of children denied access to quality education. What worries the State of Qatar the most is that many of the affected children and youth will be forgotten and they might never resume their education." "We must also prioritise the education of girls in conflict situations. When girls are not in school, the risk to their safety and dignity mounts significantly," he added. About the situation in Afghanistan, he said Qatar is deeply concerned with the access of children and youth to education. “For instance, a group of 111 Afghan schoolgirls attending a special leadership school in Kabul, sponsored by the Government of Qatar, were able to fly out to Doha. Members of Afghanistan’s famous girls’ robotics team are also in Qatar. They were flown out of Kabul to Doha with the assistance of the Qatari government. They will be given the chance to continue their education and robotics work." “We are as well working continuously with our international partners to protect civilians in Afghanistan in the context of the current political situation in the country, including students and scholars, citizens of friendly countries and journalists who are seeking to leave Afghanistan by providing safe passage to travel to Doha and beyond," he pointed out. “To conclude my remarks, I would like to reaffirm that the State of Qatar spares no efforts to strengthen monitoring and reporting mechanisms, including investment in data collection and analysis, in order to ensure accountability for violations committed against children and teachers, as well as attacks against schools in contravention of international humanitarian law,” HE Sheikh Mohamed added.    

HH Sheikha Moza participated Thursday in a virtual event marking International Day to Protect Education from Attack. PICTURE: AR Al-Baker
Sheikha Moza urges international community to protect education

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), urged the international community to unite in asking the United Nations (UN) Security Council to take action and bring to justice those who commit atrocities against education – and what it represents. “Those who attack education are criminals who steal far more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. Such criminals should be held accountable,” Her Highness Sheikha Moza said at a panel discussion marking the ‘Second International Day to Protect Education from Attack’, held virtually on Thursday. Titled “Protecting Education and Building Sustainable Peace”, the talk was organised by Education Above All (EAA) Foundation in partnership with Unicef, Unesco, and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict. It was moderated by The New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Her Highness Sheikha Moza, who is also the Chairperson of Education Above All Foundation, and a UN Sustainable Development Goals advocate, believes the international community should ensure that those responsible – with strong evidence behind the attacks – must be brought into account “to face the consequences and pay for the damages they have done.” Her Highness Sheikha Moza highlighted the importance of holding the event saying it aims “to draw attention to the magnitude of an issue and to provide a rallying point because there are millions of children who no longer have schools as a result of conflicts.” Her Highness Sheikha Moza stressed that despite the global health crisis and the UN secretary general’s call for global ceasefire, the number of attacks to education has increased by a third in 2020. “One year alone, there were nearly 2,400 attacks on students and staff,” Her Highness Sheikha Moza said, noting that these victims were not collateral damage but were deliberately targeted and “attacked in cold blood in the various places where they should be safe and play.” “Let me repeat, deliberately targeted, and why? Because schools are places where new generations start their language, learn their history, culture and traditions, develop a sense of identity and confidence,” stressed Her Highness Sheikha Moza, underscoring the importance of the annual event. Protecting education has been on the forefront of the international agenda since the International Day to Protect Education from Attack was established in 2020 as per UN General Assembly Resolution A/74/275. The second edition of the event witnessed the participation of UN secretary-general António Guterres, Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger; Audrey Azoulay, director general of Unesco; Henrietta Fore, executive director of Unicef; HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs; Karim Khan, chief prosecutor, International Criminal Court; Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross; and Josep Borrell, High-Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; among other speakers.    

The report covering the January-June 2021 period noted that average room rates (ARR) increased by 16%, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by 24%, all outpacing 2020 monthly averages.
Accommodation sector shows signs of bouncing back, says Qatar Tourism H1 performance report

Domestic tourism played a key role in boosting Qatar’s hospitality sector amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic situation, registering a 7% increase in hotel accommodation supply between the first half (H1) of 2020 and H1 2021, a mid-year performance report of Qatar’s tourism and hospitality sectors has shown. The report covering the January-June 2021 period noted that average room rates (ARR) increased by 16%, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by 24%, all outpacing 2020 monthly averages. Properties that have been utilised as quarantine/Covid-19 response facilities have been removed from the full market data set from March 2020 to date. “The upswings in Qatar’s accommodation sector can primarily be attributed to an increase in domestic tourism,” Qatar Tourism said in a statement yesterday. It is learnt that many residents, especially families, have opted for local “staycations” at hotels and resorts, as well as dining in several restaurants, in the country instead of travelling overseas in H1 2021, giving a fillip to these sectors. The 7% overall increase in hotel accommodation supply between H1 2020 and H1 2021, the report said, was mainly driven by additional hotel apartment and five-star hotel keys in operation across Qatar. The total number of keys at the end of Q2 2021 amounted to 29,688 keys, compared to 27,829 keys in the same period in 2020, it added. The report noted that the lifting of the blockade and opening the borders to GCC nationals in January 2021 also helped to boost the number of arrivals from neighbouring countries to Qatar, witnessing a 9% increase in Saudi visitors and 100% increase in Emirati visitors. Qatar Tourism cited the high vaccination rates and issuance of approvals for hosting and organising events and necessary business activity as factors that will support the gradual recovery of Qatar’s tourism and affiliated sub-sectors such as aviation, hospitality, entertainment, and retail. “Qatar’s government is keen to provide safe and enjoyable travel experiences for international visitors and is taking all necessary precautions to ensure visitors have a safe experience,” Qatar Tourism said. While the number of international visitors in the first six months of 2021 remained low due to the pandemic, the report said it is seeing a return of “business and leisure visitations” with the partial reopening of Qatar’s borders in July this year. As such, it also expects hotel occupancy to improve further with more foreign visitors arrivals. “International visitation decreased by 82% in H1 2021 as compared to H1 2020. This decline is largely due to very strong visitor arrivals figures for January and February 2020, just prior to border closures in March 2020,” the report noted. However, the report stressed that “despite the negative impacts of the pandemic, Qatar’s hospitality sector fared exceptionally well compared to global benchmarks”. “Doha had the 6th highest occupancy rate worldwide and the smallest RevPAR decline, by far, among all key cities in 2020,” it added. The report is available at    

HE Akbar al-Baker announces details of Shop Qatar on Tuesday.
Country’s biggest retail and entertainment festival 'Shop Qatar' returns

Shop Qatar is set to return from September 10 to October 10 with more than QR4mn worth of prizes at stake, and marks its international debut with the participation of Qatar Duty Free (QDF) at Hamad International Airport. The fifth edition of this month-long shopping and entertainment festival – themed 'One Festival. Countless Experiences' – will be the first major event taking place in the country in 18 months. Shop Qatar 2021 will be held in 15 venues across Doha, offering discounts up to 90% at participating malls and retail outlets, in addition to fashion-forward and cultural events, concerts, workshops, and hotel and restaurant promotions. “As one of the most significant events in our annual calendar, Shop Qatar brings the best fashion, entertainment and retail offerings to the country, providing shoppers and visitors with more experiences, offers, and chances to win than ever before,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and Qatar Tourism Chairman HE Akbar al-Baker, told a press conference yesterday. “We are also going international as we welcome QDF at HIA to the festival for the first time,” he said, adding that shoppers will get a chance to win thousands of gift vouchers and avail a wide range of discounts at QDF. “Although it is a local event, we have an international reach, and thanks to our borders which are now open, we look forward to welcoming friends and families not just from the Gulf countries but from across the world,” HE al-Baker noted. He hoped Shop Qatar will encourage a boost to retail activity, local businesses, and the country’s economy, saying “it is a significant first step on the road to recovery and normality.” HE al-Baker highlighted the key role played by Qatar government, particularly the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), in preventing and controlling the spread of Covid-19, which resulted to a significant drop in Covid-19 cases in the country. “Our infection rates are dropping rapidly, our vaccination rates are among the highest in the world, and that people are now getting confident, and the authorities are getting confident that we can gradually open up and attract people to our country in order for us to make our life as normal as possible,” he said. HE al-Baker also thanked the efforts and continuous support of private and public sector partners from the retail and hospitality industries as Qatar Tourism marks the return of Qatar’s major events. Four weekly raffle draws will take place during the festival with hundreds of prizes, including cash and cars worth more than QR4mn, can be won. To be eligible for the digital raffle draws, shoppers must spend QR200 at any participating retailer to receive a coupon. More than 60 leading hotels nationwide will offer promotions and fun-filled activities for guests and visitors while shoppers will get the chance to win thousands of QDF gift vouchers. The Shop Qatar Design Week will be held at Doha Design District at Msheireb Downtown Doha for the first time and host pop-up shops, design workshops, and two international fashion shows to mark the Qatar – USA 2021 Year of Culture. Prominent musicians, designers, and artists will hold master classes, fashion shows, workshops, and music concerts at the festival, which will be attended by renowned American-Indian and New York-based fashion designer Naeem Khan and Bollywood celebrity designer Manish Malhotra. According to Qatar Tourism, the Doha Design District will feature exclusive activations and pop-up shops from October 3 to 9 from 3pm to 10pm. It will host local entrepreneurs who will be showcasing their designs, international designers, various food and beverage outlets, and workshops organised by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar. The District will also host other creative initiatives, “offering a space to visitors to exchange cultural activities and authentic craftsmanship.” (Details of the workshops will be shared on “This year’s Shop Qatar contains unmatched offers and experiences, with social distancing measures at all events and malls, in addition to successfully obtaining the Qatar Clean certification required for each participating hotel and restaurant. A key initiative by Qatar Tourism and MoPH, this initiative facilitates the return of in-person events, while maintaining health and safety,” HE al-Baker said. He added that Qatar Tourism “continues to work closely with partners in the retail and hospitality sectors to develop more diverse festivals and events appealing to newer market segments, to encourage a boost in retail activity within the country.” Retail partners include Al Khor Mall, City Center Mall, Doha Festival City, Ezdan Mall Al Gharrafa, Ezdan Mall Al Wakrah, Galleria Mall, Gulf Mall, Hyatt Plaza, Lagoona Mall, Landmark Mall, Mall of Qatar, The Gate Mall, The Pearl-Qatar, Villaggio Mall, and QDF at HIA, while Qatar National and Convention Centre (QNCC) and Doha Design District Msheireb will also host events and activities. All events will be held in adherence to guidelines by MoPH. Design workshops and masterclasses will be conducted with a limited number of vaccinated individuals, and music concerts will be held at 30% capacity at QNCC.    

The six-day celebration, led by the Marriott Worldwide Business Council Qatar and Junior Business Council Qatar, and in collaboration with Education City Golf Club aims u201cto promote holistic wellbeing in the workplace and the local community.u201d
‘Wellness Week’ events to take place across 10 Marriott hotels in Doha

Workshops, fitness classes, and fun activities will put a spotlight on this year’s dedicated ‘Wellness Week’ in Doha scheduled to take place across 10 Marriott International hotels and resorts from September 18 to 23, it was announced. The six-day celebration, led by the Marriott Worldwide Business Council Qatar and Junior Business Council Qatar, and in collaboration with Education City Golf Club, also marks the ‘World Wellness Weekend’ and aims “to promote holistic wellbeing in the workplace and the local community.” “It is the pleasure for our hotels and resorts in Doha to host such an inspiring event that benefits not only the wellbeing of the Doha community but additionally the environmental wellness of this wonderful city” Rick Enders, chairperson of the Marriott Worldwide Business Council Qatar, said in a press statement. Four of the participating hotels – Sharq Village & Spa, a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Doha, Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Hotel, and Al Messila, a Luxury Collection Hotel – are owned by Katara Hospitality. The six remaining Marriott hotel properties – The St Regis Doha, W Doha, JW Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, Marriott Marquis City Center Doha, The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa, and Four Points by Sheraton Doha – are under different ownerships. The hotels will offer a range of free and fee-based activities for guests and residents to enjoy as part of the celebration such as Zumba on the beach, sunset yoga on a helipad, swimming for a cause, golf clinics, social tennis, paddle fitness, and Tae Bo sessions. According to Marriott International, the last day of the week will feature events that focus on improving the environment and wellbeing of the local community, including a beach cleanup at Al Salfiya Island, clothing drive at a labour camp, and a family-friendly walkathon. Members of Marriott’s travel programme, Bonvoy, can avail exclusive access to select events and special savings during the Wellness Week, including 15% savings on select spa and salon treatments at participating properties in the city. Members can also get complimentary access to a sunset yoga session on the helipad of the JW Marriott Marquis City Center Doha on September 22 but pre-registration is mandatory.    

*Gandhiu2019s Three Monkeys by Subodh Gupta at Katara u2013 the Cultural Village.
Qatar Museums events this month aim to provide 'transformative' experiences

Qatar residents, especially Culture Pass members, stand to benefit from several Qatar Museums (QM) activities and programmes this month which aim to provide “authentic, transformative cultural experiences”. For the month of September, Culture Pass Plus or Family members will have the opportunity to attend Fannek events – “a full month of programmes dedicated to celebrating the exciting world of public art” – such as talks, tours, and workshops, the QM said in an e-mail to Culture Pass members on Sunday. Participants can visit some of the country’s popular public art spots on Fannek’s guided tours to Qatar Foundation, Richard Serra’s iconic sculpture *East-West/West-East in the Brouq nature reserve, Katara – the Cultural Village, and the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ), among others. “Public art brings colour and dialogue to the streets and buildings of Qatar. Fannek helps us highlight and celebrate the many wonderful works of art – from striking sculptures and specially commissioned photography – spread across Doha and beyond,” the QM said on its website. “This month-long programme of events offered each autumn brings you behind the scenes as you explore Qatar's immersive, informal and interactive public art scene.” According to the QM, participants also have the chance to explore art pieces, speak to artists, and “find out more about the public art scene in Qatar via talks held throughout the month”, in addition to enhancing their skills at various art workshops. Besides Fannek, the QM noted that Culture Pass also holds other programmes focusing on one theme every month such as Atharna, Menthaar, Mathafek, Marchitecture, and Turtle Hatching season. Atharna is a month-long series of activities, exhibitions and talks dedicated to the wonders of archaeology, while Marchitecture is an annual celebration of architecture and urban design, created exclusively for Culture Pass members, where participants can explore Qatar’s beautiful architecture through tours and workshops offered throughout the month of March. Menthaar, meaning “taking a closer look” in Arabic, helps participants “get involved in projects across a range of educational, cultural, environmental and historical fields, all of which are designed to give them the tools and knowledge to help build a better tomorrow”. Meanwhile, Mathafek “provides members exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the QM’s venues to gain an understanding of the inner workings of our museums and galleries”. Culture Pass members can also take part in the Architect's Hub virtual talk titled *Study Architecture? An holistic framework for a systems approach to education and practice, scheduled on September 15 at 7pm. The panel includes Dr Raffaello Furlan, head of Qatar University’s Department of Architecture and Urban Planning, and two young architects and alumni, Sara al-Sada and Heba ElGihani. Qatar residents can now virtually visit the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim (FBQ) Museum and explore unique collections with its newly launched mobile app (available for Android and iOS). “Pop-up Museum highlights and audio commentaries appear on your phone on the go during your tour at the museum. “Save your favourite items, and watch the photo galleries or listen to the audio tracks after your visit.” Culture Pass members can also claim their complimentary exhibition tickets to visit a number of exhibitions in Doha, including the Mal Lawal 3 at NMoQ (until September 15) and Beautiful Memories of Palestine at the Museum of Islamic Art Library (extended until December 31).    

This year, an estimated 10,000 people are expected to visit the three-day event u2013 spread on a 10,000sq m area.
Build Your House exhibition set to take place from September 20 to 22

The second edition of Build Your House (BYH) exhibition is set to take place from September 20 to 22 at the Qatar National Convention Centre with a record number of local and international exhibitors and potential visitors, organiser NeXTfairs has said. Some 120 exhibitors participated in BYH 2020, attracted more than 8,600 visitors of whom 90% were Qataris, and hosted more than 30 workshops and seminars. This year, an estimated 10,000 people are expected to visit the three-day event – spread on a 10,000sq m area. NeXTfairs added that BYH 2021 will feature a Technology Area, in addition to seminars, live demonstrations, and an awards ceremony. It also serves as a unique platform for local and international companies to showcase and promote their products and services. Visitors will also have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the industry in Qatar, learn about new products, benefit from special offers and promotional packages, select qualified contractors and consultants and suppliers, identify the ongoing trends and anticipated growth, and knowledge sharing with experts. “The second edition of Build Your House will build on the immense success of the inaugural edition, the first of its kind exhibition in Qatar that served as a conduit between various segments of the house building industry with Qatari nationals. “BYH 2020 received the patronage of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior and unwavering support from various Ministries and government bodies; exhibition space fully booked; both visitors and exhibitors registered high rates of satisfaction levels; an estimated value of deals worth QR400mn was generated,” the organiser said on Visit Qatar – the official social media account of Qatar Tourism. The event, according to NeXTfairs, also provides visitors the details on key areas in constructing houses, from design to the “criteria for selecting the consultant and contractor”, among other information. Besides giving advice on legal and financial matters, experts from different ministries, government organisations, and industries are also expected to share their knowledge on building, designing, and decorating homes during the seminars and workshops. BYH 2021 will also highlight some of the market trends and topics such as colour and designs (nature-driven, modern, minimalistic, biophilic, and resimerical), as well as energy efficiency and sustainability.    

QRCS officials with Movenpick West Bay Doha team.
‘Kilo of Kindness’ global charitable campaign returns to Qatar

Qatar residents will again have the opportunity to help the needy by donating at least one kilo of food, clothing, and educational supplies through the ‘Kilo of Kindness’ campaign. The charitable drive, organised by Mövenpick Hotel Doha and Mövenpick Hotel West Bay Doha in partnership with the Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS), is taking place throughout September. The initiative, now in its sixth year, marks the United Nations International Day of Charity on September 5. In a joint press statement, the general managers of the hotel properties, Ghada Sadek and Sami Aawar said: “Mövenpick believes that sustainability isn’t only about the environment – it is about caring for our employees, our neighbours, and our community here in Doha, Qatar. “Last year our efforts were focused on supporting people through the pandemic crisis and we are now pleased to be able to return to our annual ‘Kilo of Kindness’ campaign which provides non-perishable food items and educational supplies to those in need – especially individuals and communities who deserve our attention and care.” The hotels join more than 45 Mövenpick hotels across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East as part of the charitable drive aimed at collecting 25,000 kilos of donation, which will be shared with local communities in need. In 2019, participating hotels received and donated a record 21,921kg of supplies – a figure Mövenpick hopes to surpass with its September 2021 campaign. From September 1 to 30, guests and visitors can drop at least one kilo of supplies at the lobby of the Mövenpick Hotel Doha and Mövenpick Hotel West Bay Doha. High-priority items include books, notebooks and stationery such as pens, pencils, rulers and erasers; and canned foods such as tuna, soup, fruit, vegetables and concentrated milk; dry foods like rice, beans, oats, pasta, cereals, flour, powdered milk, baby formula, tea and coffee for adults and children. “While each guest is encouraged to donate a ‘Kilo of Kindness’, generosity knows no ideal weight. Every gram counts and all contributions are welcome and gratefully received,” Accor chief marketing officer Steven Taylor said. Mövenpick Hotel Doha and Mövenpick Hotel West Bay Doha are part of the Accor Group of Hotels. Mövenpick Hotel Doha and Mövenpick Hotel West Bay Doha encourage acts of kindness by sharing stories of donations, philanthropy and community service. Throughout September, guests, fans and followers are invited to spread the word about the ‘Kilo of Kindness’ campaign, using #AkiloOfKindness and #InternationalCharityDay to tweet on Twitter, post on Facebook or share on Instagram.    

The tournament serves as an opportunity for Qatar to showcase its world-renowned hospitality.
FIFA Arab Cup offers Qatar chance 'to reveal ultra-modern facilities to global audience'

The FIFA Arab Cup, scheduled to take place from November 30 to December 18, provides a golden opportunity for the country to showcase its world-renowned hospitality offerings and to “reveal its ultra-modern facilities to a sports-loving global audience”, Qatar Tourism has said. “The opening game features a match between Qatar and Bahrain. Between matches, fans will be free to enjoy Qatar’s world-famous hospitality and explore all that this appealing, unique peninsular has to offer: excellent dining, pristine beaches, nature reserves and diverse water sports,” Qatar Tourism posted on its official social media account, Visit Qatar. The country offers a wide range of hotels and resorts that “accommodate all needs”, featuring luxurious rooms and suites, one-of-its-kind recreational facilities, and an array of local and international cuisines, in addition to an array of curated experiences. These include St Regis Doha, Ritz-Carlton Doha, Sharq Village & Spa, and Al Messila Resort & Spa, among others, which are known for their bespoke luxury rooms and suites, as well as the services they provide. Many of these hotels and wellness resorts also offer luxury spas and several types of treatments for guests to enjoy. Qatar Tourism noted that countries and spectators – “football-infatuated Qataris and thousands of highly enthusiastic travelling fans” – will have the chance to “experience the spirit of Qatar and the iconic stadiums that will host the World Cup in 2022” during the 19-day tournament. “Museums resplendent with ancient artefacts; forts with a history of defending the nation; and high-end retail malls offering world-famous brands,” Qatar Tourism said. “Compact Qatar, with minimal travel distances between football venues and perfect winter weather, is quite simply the ideal destination for an event of this magnitude.” According to Qatar Tourism, 16 teams from across the Arab world will be competing in this major sporting event in six “futuristic venues” in the country. One of the stadiums, the 60,000-seat capacity Al Bayt Stadium, is described as “an amazing example of architectural excellence”, with its design inspired by Bedouin tents, and features a retractable roof and innovative cooling technologies. It will host the opening and final matches of the tournament. Two other venues, the Al Thumama Stadium (its exterior, designed to resemble Arab headwear) and Ras Abu Aboud stadium, are also state-of-the-art, as are the Ahmad Bin Ali, Education City, and Al Janoub stadiums. Apart from stadiums, Qatar is also home to other world-class sporting venues such as Doha Golf Club, Education City Golf Club, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, and Khalifa International Stadium. The first phase of ticket sales for the FIFA Arab Cup ended last August 17. A second phase is set from September 28 to October 12, and a third one will start from November 2 and until the end of the tournament.    

Thai ambassador Nathapol Khantahiran with Abeer Saad al-Kuwari and Lolwa al-Naemi at QNL.
Thailand embassy in Doha donates books to Qatar National Library

* To commemorate the 41st anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and Qatar   The Thailand embassy in Doha donated recently a collection of 141 books to the Qatar National Library (QNL) to mark the 41st anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, which falls on August 7. “QNL is one of most prominent libraries in the Middle East which offers learning resource for people from all walks of life, not only for the Qataris but for all regardless of their nationalities. “The collection of books that are donated today present several aspects about Thailand, such as Thai history, the Sufficiency Economy Philosophy of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej The Great, Thai arts and culture, architecture, tourism, Thai culinary and Muay Thai, as well as Thai language studies and children's books,” Thai ambassador Nathapol Khantahiran said. The envoy, who was welcomed by QNL’s Research and Learning Services director Abeer Saad al-Kuwari and Strategic Planning director Lolwa al-Naemi at the event, added: “We hope that these books will help expand the growing collections at QNL, cultivate the culture of reading and lifelong learning, and promote better understanding about Thailand among the general public in Qatar.” “Through these books, which serve as a source of knowledge and wisdom, we hope to bring the peoples of Qatar and Thailand closer together, especially the younger generations who will become our future. This will enrich people-to-people understanding which has been the fundamental aspect of our cordial bilateral relations for the past 41 years,” Khantahiran said. The envoy thanked QNL, Qatar Foundation, and Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their collaboration in celebrating the 41st anniversary of Thailand - Qatar diplomatic relations.    

Movenpick Hotel Doha
Hospitality sector to continue upward trend

Qatar’s hospitality sector, including the food and beverage (F&B) industry, will continue to be on an upward trend up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup as more people get vaccinated and the current situation continues to improve further, a hotelier has said. "The drop in room rates since their last peak in 2019 for 4- and 5-star hotels/resort properties has attracted high volumes of local guests," Movenpick Hotel Doha’s Public Relations and Communications assistant manager Ritika Ramani told Gulf Times. “The aspect of being able to an affordable local vacation in a safe and hygienic environment has been an added attraction,” she said. It is learnt that the summer season this year is witnessing a demand surge for local hotel bookings particularly during the weekend, mostly families who find staycations practical than travelling abroad. Qatar remains to be one of the safest countries in the world for visitors and residents, Ramani said while citing that it retained its position as number one globally in terms of safety on the Numbeo Global Index. Qatar government’s efforts to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and in vaccinating the population also play a significant role in boosting customer confidence to dine at restaurants and other food outlets. Ramani noted that several hotel restaurants in Doha, which offer seafood buffets, have enticed residents to dine and spend their evenings or weekends at hotels. “A lot of hotels on the stretch, including ourselves do a seafood night and I guess people like it because the variety that you get with something like that is extensive at a very valuable price. Many hotels in Qatar, including Movenpick Hotel Doha – locally owned and operated by Katara Hospitality – have either renovated or currently making some structural changes as they prepare for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. “Closer to this prestigious tournament, there will be other changes. We want to make sure we are supporting team Qatar and we just want to showcase the Qatari flag across the hotel. “We want to make sure we are up to date when it comes to next year specifically for the World Cup,” said Ramani, adding that Movenpick now has 148 rooms. It introduced a spa last year and has recently opened a men’s barbershop.