Saturday, April 20, 2024 | 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.
Geekdom 3000, taking place at the Geekdom Building in Lusail Boulevard, features an extensive lineup of programmes. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Geekdom 3000 empowers Qatar's creative community

Geekdom 3000’s extensive lineup of programmes this year underlines its growing popularity and role in empowering Qatar’s vibrant creative community, founder Abdulla al-Mosallam has said.“There is a huge demand every year. When we opened the registration, we realised that the number keeps growing, people want to participate... we're trying to accommodate everybody. There is so much talent in Doha that deserves showcasing,” he told Gulf Times.The festivities return this year at the Geekdom Building in Lusail Boulevard. It features gaming tournaments, screenings, live concerts and escape rooms, among other activities taking place from 3pm to 11pm daily until February 24.According to the organisers, “Sixth Dimension”, a pioneering and interactive space at Geekdom that harnesses state-of-the-art digital technologies to inspire imagination, creativity and innovation, will run until March 14.Among the highlights, according to the Doha Film Institute, include the Gaming Tournament, powered by Showdown; and the annual cosplay competition, in partnership with Nakama.Citing Geekdom’s positive impact on Qatar’s creative talents, he said Qatar’s premier pop culture event is not just a treat for gaming fanatics and die-hard enthusiasts but also a platform for local creatives to flourish and launch their businesses.He recounted Geekdom’s journey, from its inception to becoming a catalyst for the community's growth, saying: “I’m so proud like 11 or 12 years ago there was no opportunity for the creative people in pop culture here in Doha, they had to travel and be part of other events outside Doha.“Once we opened the first event here, it was very widely accepted and hugely popular to the point that people kept pushing and asking for more, and we're happy to be the catalyst for these creative people”.Al-Mosallam noted that a series of workshops, in collaboration with Qatar Development Bank and various organisations, was held. He said this aims to refine participants’ skills, particularly in financial management, inventory control and pricing strategies.Some participants, he pointed out, transitioned from hobbyists to successful home-based entrepreneurs, while others managed to open their businesses.“It helped them operate their business, make it more profitable not just for fun... So we’re very proud to be part of this ecosystem,” al-Mosallam said.Looking towards the future, he said he envisions Geekdom evolving into a global hub for creativity, attracting international talent and companies to Qatar. With its grassroots approach and focus on local talent, he said Geekdom aims to foster innovation and collaboration while enriching Qatar’s economy.

Officials announce details of the Match for Hope at Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium Sunday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Match for Hope football match to support EAA projects

The charity football event, ‘Match for Hope’, set to kick off on February 23 at the Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, aims to generate more than $1mn to support various Education Above All (EAA) initiatives in Mali, Rwanda, Tanzania, Pakistan, Palestine, and Sudan, the organisers said Sunday.At a press conference at the stadium, Match for Hope project manager Qassim al-Jaidah highlighted the significance of this initiative, saying: “This gathering of cultures from around the world, for the love of football, love of sports is very important.”The event, a collaboration with EAA and the Qatar Football Association, promises to be a star-studded affair, bringing together renowned content creators and former World Cup legends at the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium.Renowned personalities AboFlah and Chunkz have been announced as the team captains, utilising their extensive social media presence to amplify awareness and garner backing for EAA's educational endeavours.The EAA Foundation, established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, is dedicated to transforming lives through education. With a belief in education as the cornerstone for poverty reduction and societal progress, EAA aims to unlock the full potential of every child, aligning its mission with the Sustainable Development Goals.According to al-Jaidah, the choice of content creators as team captains is strategic, tapping into their wide-reaching influence among youth and football enthusiasts. With entertainment activities planned in collaboration with Katara Studio, including a modernised reproduction of FIFA Qatar World Cup 2022 artwork, a concert, and a fan zone, the event promises to captivate audiences both in-stadium and through live broadcasts on Al Kass, BeinSports, and YouTube.EAA’s Abdullah al-Bakri underlined the organisation's commitment to providing education opportunities to marginalised children worldwide. With more than 100 projects and 15 million beneficiaries to date, EAA’s focus extends to addressing key issues such as access to quality education, aided by the support garnered through initiatives like Match for Hope.“In EAA, we believe that sports is a key tool that is known and recognised in achieving goals of development and peace, respect.“The donation and funds raised will be fully dedicated to support education initiatives led by EAA so as to guarantee precious education opportunities for marginalised children in Palestine, Sudan. Besides, the funds raised will overcome challenges that hinder the education of the children of Mali.“The returns will also help in aiding Pakistan dealing with gender educational gender gap and high school robotry. Moreover, the youth in Tanzania will benefit from our project that aims to reach zero out-of-school children rate,” al-Bakri said.The venue manager of Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium, Ali al-Sulaiti, underscored the venue’s esteemed history of hosting major events, including the recent FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.He noted that the stadium is of World Cup standards, and “has a very good record of history of hosting big events such as the Arab Cup and the biggest sporting event, World Cup Qatar 2022”.

The e-Bus demo will run until February 22 in Education City. PICTURES: Thajudheen.
Transport ministry plans to conduct more e-Bus demos

The Ministry of Transport (MoT) plans to conduct more demonstrations of the Qatar's first self-driving electric bus (e-Bus) in safe locations, a representative told Gulf Times.The MoT, in collaboration with Mowasalat (Karwa) and Qatar Foundation, is currently implementing a demo of the e-Bus until February 22 via a fixed route in Education City, an enclosed area, and may repeat the demo in other safe locations, such as Lusail.“In open areas, it is not yet planned because it is a new technology and we are trying to deploy it somewhere (safe). We should ensure the safety requirements... we are (currently) studying the type of movement around the area (Education City),” MoT representative Najla al-Jaber told Gulf Times.Speaking on the sidelines of the e-Bus demo week launch in Education City on Thursday, she underlined the necessity of building the required and suitable infrastructure for autonomous vehicles before proceeding with any deployment on the nation's main roads.“We should plan for this. We are taking our first step and looking for something like doing wider on that. Why not? Hopefully (soon),” al-Jaber said.According to MoT, the introduction of the autonomous e-Bus represents a significant advancement in integrating technological innovation with environmental responsibility. Running on clean electric energy, the e-Bus ensures emission-free operation, aligning with the nation's aspirations for a sustainable future.In 2023, MoT announced the launch of the Autonomous Vehicles Strategy aimed at fostering innovation and staying abreast of global advancements in the industry. This strategy entails implementing a comprehensive plan over the next five years to establish regulations governing the use of such vehicles in Qatar. The aim is to develop intelligent and environmentally friendly transit systems.Regarding her experience on the autonomous e-Bus, al-Jaber said she was fascinated during the short ride, noting there were cameras all around, giving passengers a complete view from inside.The system, she added, uses these cameras to apply brakes and sound horns when necessary for safety, stopping to avoid any moving obstacles like pedestrians, other vehicles, or buses, describing it as a highly sophisticated and secure system.The e-Bus, equipped with state-of-the-art onboard sensors, high-definition cameras, lasers, and ultrasonic radars, establishes a new benchmark in transportation safety and efficiency.Such an initiative, al-Jaber said, aligns with the key strategies of MoT, Qatar National Vision 2030, and the National Environment and Climate Change Strategy. It includes the gradual transition to an electric transit system by adopting eco-friendly and autonomous vehicles to protect the environment.According to MoT, this event demonstrates Qatar’s dedication to innovation, safety, and environmental stewardship within its transportation sector.

Gulf Times
11th AgriteQ from Feb 21

The 11th edition of Qatar International Agricultural Exhibition (AgriteQ) is set to take place from February 21 to 27 at the Expo 2023 Doha, at Al Bidda Park, bringing together agricultural professionals and experts from different parts of the world.The event, organised by the Ministry of Municipality in collaboration with public and private institutions, provides an opportunity for participants and visitors to explore the latest advancements in the field.According to the organisers, AgriteQ 2024 offers an array of benefits for participants, including workers and specialists in the agricultural domains. It allows them to showcase their products, machinery, and technologies to a diverse audience, engage with key stakeholders to expand their market reach, forge partnerships with distributors and potential buyers, elevate brand visibility, glean insights into Qatar’s agricultural landscape, and exchange knowledge with peers on both local and global fronts.AgriteQ 2024 exhibitors will represent a wide variety of sectors, including agribusiness technologies, farm management systems, animal feeds, crop protection, transportation, and more.Organisers noted that visitors would comprise various stakeholders such as agricultural organisations, governmental bodies, contractors, farmers, food product traders, and industry professionals, among others. They will have a chance to discover an extensive range of specialty products, agro-technologies, and equipment while facilitating networking opportunities with influential figures from the public and private sectors. AgriteQ, established as a cornerstone of Qatar’s National Food Security Strategy, evolved into a key platform for fostering dialogue, showcasing innovations, and driving progress towards sustainable agricultural practices.The latest edition of AgriteQ will focus on showcasing the latest agricultural technologies, equipment, and related products, facilitating meaningful interactions between attendees and key decision-makers to uncover innovative practices and strategies. The previous edition of AgriteQ witnessed remarkable growth, with 675 exhibitors from 55 countries and more than 30,000 visitors converging at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.Local participation surged by 80% compared to previous years, underscoring AgriteQ’s growing significance within Qatar’s agricultural landscape. A total of 120 tonnes of packaged dates were also presented to Katrina Gallouzi, the deputy director of the World Food Programme (WFP) Office and the programme representative in the GCC, at Agriteq 2023.This initiative reflects Qatar’s commitment to supporting WFP operations in various nations. This donation highlighted Qatar’s collaborative approach with WFP, a primary UN agency dedicated to humanitarian and international endeavours. It delivers food aid to individuals affected by conflicts or crises, and fosters transformative change through sustainable development initiatives, impacting millions of lives.

Qatar Olympic Committee officials announce the National Sport Day activities.
All set for Qatar National Sport Day

Qatar is all set to mark the National Sport Day (NSD) 2024 with an array of activities and events across the nation, aimed at promoting a healthy and active lifestyle among residents.Various public and private organisations and institutions have come together to host a diverse range of activities, from sports competitions to several recreational activities for different age groups to take part.One of the highlights includes the collaboration between Msheireb Downtown Doha and several prominent entities, including the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC), PSG Academy Qatar, Cyqlone, and Zulal Wellness Resort, curating a variety of engaging activations throughout the area and promising a day filled with sports and fun.The NSD activities, endorsed by the QOC, are set to commence at 8am and will continue until 6pm, inviting members of the public to participate freely. Notable figures from the QOC, including Sheikh Khalifa bin Khalid al-Thani, QOC’s director of Sport Sector, stressed the significance of these events in fostering a sports culture within the community.Sheikh Khalifa highlighted the participation of Team Qatar stars, aiming to inspire individuals to incorporate sports into their daily lives. The NSD festivities coincide with the second edition of the Schools Olympic Programme Race, where thousands of students will compete in running races of varying distances at Lusail Boulevard.Dr Hafiz Ali Abdullah, senior director of Corporate Communications at Msheireb Properties, expressed pride in promoting a healthy lifestyle and encouraged everyone to join the celebrations at Msheireb Downtown Doha.Abdulhadi Deyab al-Sahli, head of media section at QOC, highlighted the organisation’s continuous efforts to foster a sports culture among individuals across the country. The main aim is to encourage everyone to embrace physical activity as an integral aspect of their lives, he added.“The QOC is fully aware of the value of sport for everyone’s physical and mental health, that’s why the QOC will keep organising sustainable events like National Sports Day and Schools Olympic Programme,” added al-Sahli.The activities at Barahat Msheireb will cater to diverse interests, offering interactive sports stations and thrilling tournaments open to the public. A special Human Foosball Arena promises to provide a unique experience for visitors.Meanwhile, Cyqlone will challenge participants with outdoor cycling classes and a 5-kilometer run, while Zulal Wellness Resort will host on-stage classes including yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates.Family-friendly activities are also scheduled at various locations across Qatar, including The Pearl Island and Education City, offering races, football tournaments, and engaging games for all age groups.The Expo 2023 Doha at Al Bidda Park will host a range of competitions and challenges, promoting sports and fitness in line with Qatar Sports For All Federation’s goals. The event will feature activities such as archery, Muay Thai, and fitness classes, ensuring a dynamic experience for attendees.In addition, Katara – the Cultural Village and Aspire Zone Foundation have curated activities dedicated to health, wellness, and sports, further enriching the NSD celebrations.

QIFF proved to be a crowd-puller event with its array of culinary offerings and shows that cater to different age groups. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
QIFF proves hugely popular

The 13th edition of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) continues to attract a large number of visitors with its exceptional culinary offerings and experiences – complemented by a diverse lineup of live entertainment shows and activities.With over 100 food stalls and kiosks representing more than 15 international brands, the Qatar Tourism (QT)-organised event offers a diverse range of gastronomic experiences at a 61,600sqm area at Expo 2023 Doha’s Family Zone at Al Bidda Park. It features more than 120 entertainment shows, nine zones, and daily fireworks displays.From vegan and gluten-free specialties to Michelin-starred delicacies, the 10-day festival caters to all. Renowned chefs from around the world are showcasing their culinary prowess through live cooking shows.Among the culinary celebrities participating in the festival are: Noor al-Mazroei from Qatar, renowned for her expertise in vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free cuisine; Najat Kaanache (Morocco), celebrated as the foremost female chef in the Middle East and North Africa; Faycal Bettioui, a Moroccan culinary maestro boasting a Michelin star and mastery across all culinary genres; Eric Lanlard (UK), acclaimed as one of the world's premier patissiers; Thomas Graham (France), specialising in warm cuisine, sauces, and fermented delicacies; Abir al-Saghir (Lebanon), recognised as the sole Arab personality featured on the TikTok discovery list for 2022, delighting audiences with culturally infused recipes; Pankaj Bhadouria, winner of MasterChef India's inaugural season in 2010 and a globally recognised figure for her expertise in Indian cuisine; Aruna Vijay, a finalist from MasterChef India 2013 renowned for her mastery of Tamil Nadu cuisine; and Jamila al-Lingawi from Kuwait, a certified expert in restaurant and kitchen management renowned for crafting bespoke menus tailored to Kuwaiti palates.This year, QIFF is spotlighting a special Qatar-Morocco theme to mark the Year of Culture 2024. In a press statement, QT chairman Saad Bin Ali al-Kharji expressed enthusiasm for the cultural exchange, aiming to strengthen ties and showcase the rich heritage of both nations.The festival, he noted, has become a highly anticipated event in Qatar’s winter calendar, reinforcing the country’s position as a global destination for culture and legacy.QT noted that the festival unveils a new theme daily, ranging from seafood gastronomy to desserts, vegetarian specialties, and spices, among others. Visitors also have the opportunity to take part in masterclasses and workshops to deepen their understanding of gastronomy and culinary arts.The Torba Market, QIFF's Official Market Partner, celebrates local artisan foods, promoting a community-centric atmosphere with fresh, organic produce and handcrafted goods, organisers said.Beyond culinary delights, QIFF offers entertainment for all ages: from film screenings that provide a relaxing evening activity to fireworks displays in the evening.According to QT, the festival presents nine distinct zones, each tailoured to satisfy diverse palates and offer an immersive culinary journey: They are The Lounge, Dinner in the Sky, Cafés, Main Street, Garden, The Stage, Heenat Salma Bazaar, Torba Market, Cooking Studio.

The Qatar International Food Festival, has returned for its 13th edition, featuring an array of local, regional and international cuisines, as well as exciting activities for visitors to enjoy, until February 17 at Expo 2023 Doha’s Family Zone at Al Bidda Park. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.
QIFF a winter delight

The Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF), described as the country’s biggest culinary celebration, has returned for its 13th edition, featuring an array of local, regional and international cuisines, as well as exciting activities for visitors to enjoy.From local delicacies to international flavours, the Qatar Tourism-organised event – taking place until February 17 at Expo 2023 Doha’s Family Zone at Al Bidda Park – offers a gastronomic journey like no other.QIFF 2024 presents an impressive array of more than 100 stalls, spotlighting the culinary expertise of Qatar and the most celebrated restaurants from the region.Live cooking demonstrations, masterclasses, and cooking competitions led by esteemed chefs across the region and beyond serve as the highlights, attracting a large number of visitors seeking culinary inspiration.The Dinner in the Sky remains to be a popular offering at the festival, enticing many food lovers who want a unique dining experience.One of the festival’s attractions is the Cooking Studio that caters to different age groups. Titled ‘Dessert Oasis: Blissful Bites in the Sweet Haven’ engaged young visitors with a series of workshops and activities. From Moroccan sweets with Chef Najat to Gingerbread Souffle with Chef Eric Lanlard, the studio offers a delectable adventure for budding chefs. Additionally, the Black Box competition and live music performances add to the festive ambiance.The cold weather also adds to QIFF's charm, giving visitors a pleasant moment to explore the different sections of the event.The inaugural days of QIFF enthralled attendees with a mixology show, bento cake decoration workshop, and cooking competitions, showcasing Mediterranean cuisine and Monkfish Wellington.‘Painting the Flavours of Morocco with Chef Najat Kaanache’ showcased a unique blend of culinary and artistic expression. This year’s QIFF edition shines a spotlight on Moroccan cuisine to mark the Qatar – Morocco Year of Culture 2024.Festival-goers can look forward to an Ice Carving Competition, a Healthy Lifestyle Challenge workshop, and an exciting journey through Asian street food in the coming days, according to the organisers.Some of the highlights include ‘Cooking with PSG Legends’ featuring Chef Alexandre Guillo; and a Vegan Chocolate workshop with Chef Lorena Loriato.For those interested in nutrition and sustainability, QIFF will host a ‘Vegan Talk’ with renowned chefs Gaz Oakley, Ghanim al-Sulaiti, and Loriato, discussing farm-to-table practices and the benefits of plant-based diets. In addition, a ‘Barista Show’ will introduce attendees to the art of brewing, elevating the festival experience beyond mere culinary indulgence.QIFF is also featuring live entertainment shows and a fireworks display every night until February 17.

Gulf Times
Alfardan Jewellery, Tiffany & Co sign partnership at DJWE 2024

Alfardan Jewellery and Tiffany & Co sealed an agreement on February 8 at the 20th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), further strengthening their relationship and setting new benchmarks in luxury, opulence and craftsmanship.The signing ceremony, held at the Alfardan pavilion, was attended by Alfardan Group chairman Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan, Alfardan Group vice chairman and Alfardan Jewellery president Ali Alfardan, and Tiffany & Co’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) president Kolia Neveux, among other guests.“We are very proud that we have Tiffany & Co as our partner in Doha since it is the biggest brand in the world as a jeweler,” Ali Alfardan told Gulf Times, highlighting the significance of the partnership.He cited the longstanding relationship between the two entities, dating back to the early 1980s. He underscored the enduring strength of their collaboration, particularly highlighting Tiffany & Co's reliance on Alfardan Jewellery for natural pearls, marking a key milestone in their partnership.Detailing the agreement’s terms, Ali Alfardan revealed plans for a 15-year commitment, which can be extended for another 15 years, with potential expansions of their retail footprint in Doha.He said the synchronisation of product launches between New York and Doha will allow a smooth integration of their operations within the newly formed partnership.Ali Alfardan shed light on the future direction of their collaboration and the innovative endeavours ahead, saying that it will grow further, especially with the unveiling of Tiffany’s new high jewellery collection. Tiffany launched “Bird on a Pearl”, a homage to the rich heritage and tradition of pearl diving in the Middle East.He also hinted at customising jewellery models to resonate with Qatar’s cultural nuances, ensuring a bespoke experience for local clientele.As Alfardan Jewellery marks its 70th anniversary this year, Ali Alfardan shines a spotlight on the remarkable journey of the institution, from a modest shop in Souq Waqif to a regional powerhouse.“After one small shop in Souq Waqif, today we are everywhere,” he said, citing their expansive presence across Qatar, and in neighbouring GCC countries, including the forthcoming venture in Oman. Such extensive reach, he noted, highlights their lasting impact and influence in the jewellery industry throughout the Middle East.Ali Alfardan noted that they have seven shops in Doha, three in Saudi Arabia, and two in the UAE. “We are so proud that we are one of the biggest in the Middle East in this field,” he added.

Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, along with Swiss ambassador Florence Tinguely Mattli, was welcomed by Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan and Ali Alfardan at the Alfardan pavilion on February 8. He also toured at various renowned Swiss brands at the pavilion. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Swiss delegation visits DJWE, Expo 2023 Doha

A high-profile Swiss delegation, led by Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, visited the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) 2024 yesterday (February 8), underscoring the deepening ties between Switzerland and Qatar.The delegation, accompanied by Swiss ambassador Florence Tinguely Mattli, engaged in a comprehensive tour of prominent Swiss brands showcasing their exquisite craftsmanship at the prestigious event.Parmelin was received by Alfardan Group chairman Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan and vice chairman and Alfardan Jewellery president Ali Alfardan, at the Alfardan pavilion.The Federal Councillor explored Gallery Al Tawash and had the opportunity to acquaint himself with the natural pearls on display. He also toured at a number of booths, including Vacheron Constantin, Girard-Perregaux, and Chopard, further cementing Switzerland's reputation for unparalleled watchmaking expertise.Parmelin, who heads the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), utilised the opportunity to enhance economic collaboration between Switzerland and Qatar. His presence in Doha coincided with the second session of the Joint Commission on Financial and Economic Areas, signaling a concerted effort to promote bilateral relations and explore synergies in finance and economy for mutual prosperity.Established in 2022, the Joint Commission serves as a key platform for enhancing collaboration between the two nations, building upon the foundation laid during the inaugural session held in Switzerland.With a diverse delegation comprising experts from Switzerland's prestigious watch industry, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, banking, and reinsurance sectors, Parmelin’s visit highlights Switzerland’s commitment to nurturing close partnerships with Qatar.Beyond the confines of DJWE, Parmelin was also expected to visit the Swiss pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha, which underlines Switzerland's active engagement on the global stage and its keen interest in fostering bilateral exchanges across various fields.

(From left) Sartoro Geneve co-founders  Saro and Arto at DJWE's Alfardan pavillion. PICTURE: Ram Chand.
Sartoro Jewellery shines at DJWE with exclusive collections

Sartoro Geneve has unveiled its meticulously crafted pieces at the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) 2024, including the debut of Éclat creation from its Swiss Thematic High Jewellery Collection. “Our existing collections are the pillars of our Maison, but we always have a new collection to introduce at the show (DJWE) because we love our clients here, and we thank them for their loyalty and trust,” Sartoro Geneve co-founder and CEO Arto Artinian told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the exhibition. The renowned luxury brand marks its 10th year at the prestigious event and reaffirms its dedication to the Qatari clientele, showcasing iconic and signature creations. From the stunning Éclat to the captivating Gaia, each piece tells a story of artistry and elegance that reflect the Maison’s commitment to timeless design and ethical principles. Éclat originates from the Swiss Collection, which draws its inspiration from the breathtaking landscapes and cultural heritage of Switzerland, the home-base of Sartoro. Each piece is imbued with the essence of the picturesque mountains, natural fauna, glamorous social gatherings, or iconic architectural marvels of the region. The Gaia creation pays homage to timeless jewellery design, exuding innate allure while maintaining a delicate, elegant, and self-assured demeanor. As a cherished component of the Maison's High Jewellery collection, this carefully curated selection captivates with its iconic silhouettes and impeccable style. “This year, we are having our Dualité collection, it's one of our latest fine jewellery novelties launching for DJWE 2024. Dualite has a very unique and distinctive design, an innovative creation. “Apart from Dualite, we have our high jewellery collections. We as founders, are very passionate in gemstones. We love to collect rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. It has always been our family’s backbone,” said Arto, who was joined by his brother Saro, who is also co-founder and creative director of the brand. Another highlight of the Sartoro collections is the Alba High Jewelry Set, symbolising the beauty of new beginnings with its radiant design. Reflecting on the significance of the 20th DJWE and the 70th anniversary of Alfardan Jewellery, Arto shared his pride in being part of the celebration, saying: “It is very special for us to be here, we are proud to be part of Alfardan Group, our partners, and we feel like family, they welcomed us almost 12 years ago, in 2012, and we are very fortunate to be part of this great celebration." He highlighted their strong bond and shared commitment to excellence with Alfardan Jewellery, thanking Alfardan Group chairman Hussain Ibrahim Alfardan for his visionary leadership and his company’s profound impact on Qatar’s jewellery industry and beyond and Ali Hussain Alfardan, vice chairman of Alfardan Group and president of Alfardan Jewellery for his trust and support in building a strong foundation and future together. Arto also acknowledged the sophistication of the Qatar market, describing Qataris as jewellery connoisseurs who appreciate quality and craftsmanship. Regarding DJWE, Arto expressed his admiration, labeling it as one of the premier jewellery exhibitions globally. He lauded the event's refinement, highlighting the exceptional quality of the exhibition, its excellent organisation, and the distinguished caliber of its attendees.

Robert Wan showcases the elegance and uniqueness of Tahitian pearls at the 20th DJWE this year.
Robert Wan - elegance, uniqueness mesmerizes visitors

Robert Wan offers a captivating experience for visitors at the 20th Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) by curating a visually stunning display that highlights the elegance and uniqueness of its Tahitian pearls.A global market leader for the most luxurious and beautifully-crafted Tahitian pearls, the brand showcases its latest collections at the Alfardan pavilion, alongside other luxury brands.“The booth design will emphasise the elegance and uniqueness of our Tahitian pearls, creating an immersive environment that reflects the brand’s essence. We will highlight the exceptional craftsmanship and intricate designs that set Robert Wan apart in the industry,” Robert Wan general manager Wafa Habbar told Gulf Times.About their continuous efforts to improve the quality of Tahitian pearls, she elaborated on the brand’s five-decade commitment to achieving unparalleled perfection in craftsmanship.The process, Habbar noted, involves rigorous quality control measures at every stage of pearl cultivation, from oyster production to harvesting and sorting. Robert Wan invests in cutting-edge technologies and collaborates with experts in the field to stay at the forefront of pearl cultivation practices.Discussing the impact of major events on the luxury jewellery market, she acknowledged the opportunities presented by events such as the FIFA World Cup 2022, saying: “Robert Wan perceives these events as opportunities to showcase our exquisite collections to an international audience. The company plans to capitalise on the momentum generated by such events by engaging with the local market through strategic partnerships, exclusive events, and limited-edition releases”.Habbar recognises the growing demand for personalised jewellery, especially in Qatar. Robert Wan’s bespoke service allows customers to create unique pieces tailoured to their preferences, incorporating personalised touches such as specific pearl sizes, colours, and settings.She underlined the significance of the Doha market for Robert Wan, noting Qatar’s emergence as a key hub for luxury and high-end products. The brand closely monitors local preferences and trends, tailouring its collections to align with the sophisticated tastes of Qatari consumers, often drawing inspiration from the rich cultural heritage of the region.Habbar also shines a spotlight on how Robert Wan maintains a competitive edge in the luxury jewellery industry. The company, she added, fosters a culture of innovation and creativity, exploring new concepts, materials, and techniques while collaborating with renowned designers and artists to bring fresh perspectives to their collections.“By embracing innovation and staying attuned to global market trends, Robert Wan ensures that our Tahitian pearl jewellery remains at the forefront of luxury fashion, captivating discerning customers worldwide,” she said.

Shelley Kabilu showcases Shelley and Co's latest collections at DJWE 2024. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Shelley & Co unveils exquisite collections at DJWE

Renowned jewellery brand Shelley & Co returns to the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) this year, showcasing an array of exquisite collections – inspired by the beautiful world of diamonds and gems in various colours.Sharing her insights into the inspiration behind the showcased pieces and the brand's unique approach to sourcing and crafting its jewellery, Shelley Kabilu, the owner of Shelley & Co, draws parallels between her designs and the nostalgic sweetness of childhood candies.“They remind me of different candies I loved when growing up. I integrated my inspiration into the jewels. Pink diamonds, remind me of bubble gum. The various colour diamonds, and gems in unique beautiful pieces that are sweet, and pretty like your favourite candy,” she told Gulf Times.Among the showcased collections are timeless classics such as the bridal collection, featuring diamond engagement rings, stud earrings, necklaces and solitaire pendants. Additionally, Shelley & Co introduces pieces from its new Constellation Spiral collection, a daily wear line inspired by the celestial beauty of galaxies and space.The brand also unveiled its latest creation, the Equestrian Diamond Jewels collection, inspired by Kabilu's experiences at prestigious equestrian events in Doha, including Al Shaqab and the Longines Global Champion Tour.“We have a collection for ladies and also a collection for men, including cufflinks and tie pins,” she added, stressing the brand's commitment to catering to diverse tastes and preferences.About the sourcing and creation process of their unique diamonds, Kabilu elaborated on her extensive travels around the world to procure stones for clients and designs.As one of more than 500 brands from 10 countries participating in DJWE, Kabilu said Shelley & Co distinguishes itself through its hands-on approach and commitment to excellence. She oversees every aspect of the design and production process, from sourcing stones to crafting the final piece — a rarity in the industry.With a history of supplying stones and manufacturing jewellery for renowned brands, she noted that Shelley & Co brings a wealth of expertise and a personal touch to the exhibition.Reflecting on previous experiences in Doha, particularly during the 19th edition of DJWE and the FIFA World Cup, Kabilu expressed admiration for the city’s transformation and its status as a global destination. She highlighted the importance of participating in such major events in strengthening the brand’s presence in Qatar and fostering connections with the local community.“Participating in different events strengthens our connection to Doha and of the Shelley & Co brand to Qatar. We love it here and would love to have a Shelley & Co store in Doha one day,” Kabilu said, underlining the brand’s aspirations for future expansion and continued engagement with the vibrant Qatari market.

Gulf Times
Mouawad unveils spectacular novelties at DJWE 2024

Mouawad has unveiled at the 20th edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watch Exhibition (DJWE) a groundbreaking concept that seamlessly blends tradition with contemporary vision. The heart of Mouawad’s presentation in the Alfardan Jewellery Pavilion includes the stunning novelties inspired by the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’. These breathtaking masterpieces, meticulously crafted with precision and artistry, left attendees in awe and served as a testament to Mouawad’s legacy of excellence. The event witnessed Mouawad’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of craftsmanship and desirability, setting new industry standards. It was attended by Fred Mouawad, founder, chairman and CEO of Synergia One Group of Companies, and 4th generation co-guardian of the Mouawad family; Pascal Mouawad, also 4th generation co-guardian of the Mouawad family; Ali Alfardan, vice chairman of the Alfardan Group and president, Alfardan Jewellery; and Qatari composer and distinguished singer-songwriter Dana Alfardan, among other Mouawad officials and guests. Adding to the allure of the exhibition was the presence of Sheynnis Palacios, the reigning Miss Universe title holder, who graced the occasion as Mouawad’s guest of honour. Palacios, exuding elegance and charm, engaged with clients and showcased high jewellery pieces with regal finesse. Her presence underscored Mouawad’s ethos of beauty, grace, and exclusivity, creating unforgettable moments for attendees. Fred Mouawad expressed his excitement about the novelties and future collections, stressing the brand’s commitment to making luxury more accessible. He underlined the significance of DJWE as a platform for global jewellers to showcase their finest creations, thanking Ali Alfardan for the longstanding partnership. “Mouawad is known for being the very high end and as we go forward we want to make our prices more accessible, so we are expanding our collections in what we call the fine jewelry line,” he said. About DJWE, he said: “(The exhibition in) Qatar is one of the most important jewellery shows around the world. This is where all the jewellers come to showcase their best jewellery and this is a unique opportunity for us to do it under the umbrella of Alfardan and doing it specifically in Doha, which is a country we strongly believe in as our roots are in Lebanon, the Middle East. “We want to make sure that we do the best and represent our region and our origin to the rest of the world”. Pascal Mouawad revealed that the collection would be rolled out throughout the year, featuring three chapters, with the DJWE marking the debut of the first chapter. Ali Alfardan expressed his delight at Mouawad’s participation, citing the longstanding relationship between the two families. He lauded the renowned luxury brand’s contribution to the exhibition and expressed optimism about future collaborations. The event also witnessed the presence of Dana Alfardan, who echoed Ali Alfardan’s views, stressing the deep-rooted partnership with Mouawad, further cementing the bond between the two esteemed brands. DJWE 2024 is taking place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre until February 11.

The Rose team is led by Purnima Sheth (second, right).
Indian jeweller Rose lauds partnership with Alfardan

The partnership with Alfardan Jewellery has played a key role in Rose’s successful expansion in Doha, according to leading Indian jewellery house Rose's founder and senior sales director (luxury) Purnima Sheth.Rose returns to Qatar for the 20th edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), which takes place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre until February 11.“Alfardan has been our partners for the past 7-8 years and gave us the platform to showcase our brand in the Qatari market. Over the years, our business during the show grew exponentially leading up to DJWE in 2020, which was our best show in the region at that time,” she told Gulf Times.Following the cancellation of shows due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Rose experienced a surge in orders from Qatar. This prompted the realisation that the brand needed a more permanent presence in the country, leading to the collaboration with Alfardan.Sheth disclosed that the enthusiastic response from the people of Qatar contributed significantly in influencing Rose’s choice to establish four stores in Doha. The admiration for the brand’s distinctive designs, which seamlessly blend various gemstones with diamonds, was a key factor in making this decision.“This was important because while our clients were happy to place orders via our Instagram channel, jewellery is still a touch-and-feel category and it was thus valuable to have pieces in Qatar to allow new customers to see our quality before placing orders,” she said.Regarding Rose’s international expansion strategy, Sheth highlighted the Middle East as an essential market, with the brand participating in over 10 shows across the region annually.According to Sheth, Rose is also in the process of setting up an office in Dubai to better serve its Middle Eastern clients. Rose’s presence in Doha mirrors its flagship stores in Mumbai and New Delhi.To stay innovative and relevant in the competitive jewellery market, she reveals that Rose adapts to evolving consumer preferences and industry trends. Underlining the brand’s responsiveness to changes, she cited the example of introducing a line of fine jewellery after observing a shift in consumer preferences towards everyday wear post-pandemic.About DJWE, Sheth lauded the organisers and underscored the significance of the event in their calendar, noting that: “This is one of the biggest events of our calendar and allows us to showcase our collection alongside the industry’s best and we have been enthused by the response of our patrons in Qatar who have appreciated our designs and craftsmanship and patronised us over the years.”“We have been participating in DJWE for the last several years. In our opinion, DJWE is the largest and best show in this part of the world as it is the only existing show that brings all the brands of watches and jewellery under one roof for the customer. We look forward to taking part in DJWE for many years to come,” she added.

The latest Noudar collection draws inspiration from Islamic motifs, Omani mosaics, and the beauty of Henna patterns.  PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Noudar unveils exclusive collection at DJWE 2024

Noudar, a globally acclaimed Qatari jewellery brand inspired by the enduring opulence of Arabian civilisation, is showcasing its exclusive collection “Maha’s Henna” at the 20th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE).The collection pays homage to the legacy of its parent company, Alfardan Jewellery, on its 70th anniversary. It represents a feminine reinterpretation of the classic Henna collection, maintaining the modernity and versatility inherent in all of Noudar’s lines.The latest Noudar collection draws inspiration from Islamic motifs, Omani mosaics, and the beauty of Henna patterns.Maha’s Henna presents romantic yet bold designs meticulously crafted to cater to the modern woman's penchant for timeless pieces.Reinventing patterns with a modernist approach, the collection serves as a bridge between the past and the present, showcasing the aesthetic allure of Henna designs.Established in 2012 by Noor Ali Hussain Alfardan, Noudar is Alfardan Jewellery’s inaugural local in-house brand, capturing the essence and sophistication of Arabian culture and blending it with a contemporary approach to luxury jewellery.Recent high-profile appearances by celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Sofia Vergara, Jenna Ortega, Ashlee Simpson Ross, Charli XCX, Issa Rae, Keke, Chrissy Teigen, Erin Lim, and Becky G have brought attention to Noudar’s popular and timeless pieces.Noor draws inspiration from geometric forms, Islamic patterns, and traditional ceremonial jewellery, stressing meticulous craftsmanship to elevate both functionality and versatility in contemporary luxury jewellery.As a proud Qatari brand, Noudar has been a leader in design and innovation locally and globally for over a decade, captivating hearts worldwide.Noudar’s bold collections stand as a symbol of sophistication, gracing local events and international celebrity red carpets.The intricate patterns, rooted in traditional jewellery, now find a global stage through Noudar’s visionary designs.

The Alfardan Jewellery pavilion at the DJWE 2024 houses several renowned luxury brands. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Alfardan pavilion takes centre stage at DJWE 2024

The Alfardan pavilion takes centre stage at the 20th Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), showcasing an array of unique and exclusive collections from renowned luxury brands.The DJWE 2024, taking place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) until February 11, brings together more than 500 international brands from 10 countries under one roof, according to Qatar Tourism (QT).At the Alfardan pavilion, Chopard is presenting novelties such as L’Heure du Diamant, Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph, and Happy Diamonds Planet.Qatar Special Editions like the Mille Miglia GTS with a green dial and exclusive references of Mille Miglia and L’heure du Diamant are also on display.Tiffany & Co unveils its 2024 Bird on a Pearl collection for the first time at the event.The exhibition is also featuring 2023 Schlumberger by Tiffany Bird on a Rock and a campaign showcasing creations worn by House Ambassador Anya Taylor-Joy.Vacheron Constantin displays novelty timepieces, including Overseas self-winding, Overseas moon phase retrograde date, Overseas self-winding in gold and light, Traditionnelle manual-winding, and Patrimony retrograde day-date.Marli showcases signature collections including Tip-Top, Empire, Cleo, Avenues & LIFE, with a special focus on the newly introduced LIFE collection from the previous year.Girard-Perregaux’s spotlight is on the Neo Constant Escapement and the Esmeralda A Secret Edition, featuring four new limited colours, including pink gold and purple enamel, pink gold and brown enamel, white gold and grey enamel, and white gold and green enamel.Franck Muller showcases the exclusive Zodiac collection along with other Qatar’s Vanguard limited edition watches in various captivating colours.Chaumet reveals an exclusive, one-of-a-kind Iris High Jewellery necklace, featuring a rare 24.26-carat Tanzanian spinel.Another highlight is the Soir de Fete High Jewellery set, capturing the essence of Qatar's rich pearl heritage with intricate diamond details.Noudar will launch the Maha’s Henna collection, inspired by the classic Henna and Enamel collections, while Satoro is focusing on its Happy collection.Gallery Al Tawash, curated by Aisha Alfardan, presents the Aisha Collection, embodying the intersection of tradition and modernity within Qatar's pearl heritage.Dolce & Gabbana is making its mark at the DJWE in collaboration with Alfardan Jewellery, showcasing its exquisite creations throughout the event.Butani Jewellery debuts its new Bridal collection at the DWJE 2024, capturing the essence of eternal love and celebrating the beauty of brides on their special day.Alfardan Jewellery’s 70th-anniversary celebration offers a breathtaking experience, merging tradition with innovation, and showcasing the finest in the world of luxury and craftsmanship.

HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani inaugurates the 20th DJWE at DECC Monday.
PM opens dazzling 20th edition of DJWE

Qatar’s Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani inaugurated the 20th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) Monday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.HE the Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad al Thani, Qatar Tourism (QT) chairman Saad Bin Ali al-Kharji, and a number of dignitaries were present at the opening of the QT-organised event which runs until February 11.In a statement, al-Kharji said: “For the past two decades, DJWE has been a symbol of luxury and sophistication at the local, regional, and global levels for two decades. The continued success of the exhibition is consistent with the increased momentum of the tourism sector. In fact, at the beginning of this year, we marked a record-breaking number of visitors.“Our goal at QT is to strengthen Qatar's position as a premier tourist destination by constantly developing its tourism assets and maintaining its proven track record in service and hospitality excellence, as well as developing new and innovative tourism products and services.“Our support for Qatari youth is at the top of our priorities, this comes with the support of HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani, indicating the state’s interest in nurturing and developing Qatari talent in the jewellery industry,” al-Kharji said.The QT chairman added that over the years, the ‘Qatari Designers’ initiative evolved into an autonomous pavilion within the exhibition, providing a platform for emerging Qatari designers, regardless of gender, to showcase their collections alongside globally acclaimed jewellery brands.Several internationally renowned brands, including Dolce & Gabbana, Key Gems, AlMajid Home, Renee Jewels, Naylah Jewelry, Kooheji Jewellery, and Hessa Jewels have made their debut at DJWE.The Qatari Designer pavilion shines a spotlight on the extraordinary artistry of 10 homegrown Qatari designers. DJWE reveals a thoughtfully curated assortment of distinctive creations that capture the individual philosophy and influences of each designer. The featured designers for this year include Al Ghla Jewellery, De Throve, Ghand Jewellery, H Jewellery, Kaltham’s Pavilion, Midad Jewellery, Nouf Jewellery, Thameen, Trifoglio, and DW Jewellery.Alfardan Jewellery, one of Qatar’s largest and most influential jewelry retailers that plays a key role in shaping the country's jewellery landscape since the mid-1900s, marks its 70th anniversary at DJWE.The prestigious exhibition partnered with Education Above All (EAA), an initiative founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, collaborating with Brazilian jeweller and designer Silvia Furmanovich, alongside several Qatari designers, to present exclusive designs as part of the 'Educate A Child' initiative. This initiative, spearheaded by EAA, aims to enhance global access to education.Qatari Designers contributing to this meaningful cause include Papion, offering a brooch; Nouf Jewelry, presenting a necklace; De Trove Jewelry, showcasing a bracelet; Ghand Jewellery with details to be confirmed; and Mahain Jewellery, contributing two brooches.

Some of the colourful and spectacular kites from the event Friday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Spectacular Qatar Kites Festival concludes Saturday

Fuelled by powerful winds, dozens of colourful kites adorned the skies of Old Doha Port Friday and attracted a large number of spectators at the Qatar Kite Festival 2024.The 10-day event, which concludes Saturday, is showcasing several kites of varying colours, size and designs from 20 countries, in addition to a number of cultural presentations and family-friendly activities.Speaking to Gulf Times, organiser Wolfgang Schimmelpfennig described the festival’s latest edition as 'special, bigger and successful', taking place at a beautiful and scenic venue in Doha.“This park is one of the best spots I have seen in all my 40 years of kite experience, it is huge, wide, and the grass, and the wind from the sea, it’s perfect,” he said, noting that kites were flown in other locations in Doha in the previous edition.Schimmelpfennig expressed confidence that the festival will become an annual gathering of kite enthusiasts attracting more visitors from different parts of the world.He noted that China has a significant presence in the event, showcasing unique kites like the centipede, decked with a remarkable row of 1,000 discs soaring into the air. He said that this year's festivities include Qatar-themed kites, celebrating the nation’s role as the host of the AFC Asian Cup.Besides Qatar, other participants include teams from Thailand, Malaysia, and neighbouring GCC countries such as Oman, among other nations from other regions.Schimmelpfennig cited the efforts of Safe Flight Solutions CEO, Captain Hassan al-Mousawi, who he said “made this possible as he likes kites very much and he wants to establish this for the next couple of years.”“Everybody wants to come to Qatar, and we are a group of organisers so we make our decisions to select only the best ones (kite flyers) in the world,” he said.Mohamad Izwan, a participant from Malaysia, said they are featuring a number of exceptional kites: one is a yellow millipede, which portrays the colour of Malaysia’s national team in the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar.As a first time participant, he thanked the host country and the organisers, saying: “It is the best organiser ever in terms of the facilities, the feel, and also we are blessed here in Doha because of the windy environment.”As Izwan looks forward to participating in the next editions of the festival, he urged the Malaysian community in Doha to support and see the beautiful and colourful kites from Malaysia, as well as other participating kites.