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Saturday, May 25, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
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 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.
(From left) Sartoro Geneve co-founders  Saro and Arto at DJWE's Alfardan pavillion. PICTURE: Ram Chand.
Qatar
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.
Qatar
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
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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
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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).
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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
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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
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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.
Qatar
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.
Qatar
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.

QIFF 2024 pays tribute to the Qatar- Moroccan Year of Culture 2024. (Screengrab from Visit Qatar website)
Qatar
Qatar set to host diverse array of events in February

Qatar is set to host a diverse array of events in February, featuring major sport competitions, an equestrian event, prestigious exhibitions, culinary celebrations and tech conferences.The festivities start with the Arabian Horse Festival at Katara - Cultural Village, running from tomorrow (February 1) until February 11. It celebrates the strength, originality and pride associated with purebred Arabian horses.Organisers noted that this 4th edition promises exceptional competitions and beautiful events on the grounds of Katara, showcasing the Global Champions Arabians Tour and the Arabian Peninsula Horse Show.The World Aquatics Championships - Doha 2024 is set to take place from February 2 to 18, making its debut in the country and hosting around 2,600 athletes from 190 nations. The Aspire Dome, Hamad Aquatic Centre and Old Doha Port will be the venues for various competitions, offering ticketed and free viewing for spectators.Art and luxury converge at the 20th edition of Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), scheduled from February 5 to 11 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, bringing together more than 500 brands from 10 countries. It will also shine a spotlight on Indian and Turkish pavilions, as well as Qatari designers.The Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) returns for its 13th edition from February 7 to 17 at the Expo Family Zone at Al Bidda Park. Organised by Qatar Tourism (QT), the festival will feature more than 100 stalls, live cooking shows, masterclasses, and cooking competitions with participation from renowned restaurants in Qatar and the region.QIFF 2024 pays tribute to the Qatar-Moroccan Year of Culture 2024 and will showcase renowned chefs and personalities from the global gastronomic scene, according to QT.The Qatar ExxonMobil Open, from February 19 to 24 at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex, will see the return of 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, along with other top-ranking players, making it a must-watch on the ATP Tour calendar.Closing the month is the Web Summit Qatar 2024, scheduled from February 26 to 29 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. With more than 7,500 international entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders in attendance, the summit aims to boost the region's tech scene and unlock economic opportunities. Web Summit CEO Katherine Maher has underlined the event’s potential for positive social impact.Entertainment takes centre stage with a series of concerts by renowned regional and international performers. The lineup includes Najwa Karam, OneRepublic, Nassif Zeytoun, Amine Boudchar, Nawal El Kuwaitia and Ahmed Saad, who are set to captivate audiences at various venues across Doha, including the Katara Outdoor Theatre, throughout February.

Malaysian ambassador Zamshari Shaharan
Qatar
Malaysia-Qatar ties set for greater heights, says envoy

Plans for exchange visits at the highest level between Qatar and Malaysia are underway as the two countries mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year, Malaysian ambassador Zamshari Shaharan has said.“We have a very good basis, a warm and close relationship,” the envoy told *Gulf Times, expressing optimism about the future of their ties. “There is still room for moving forward and to explore and increase co-operation between the two countries.”Shaharan underlined the potential for further co-operation and exploration, both at the diplomatic level and in cultural and artistic collaborations.He noted that the cultural exchange between Qatar and Malaysia took a significant leap during the FIFA World Cup 2022, where Malaysian groups showcased their talents.This was further strengthened during the ongoing AFC Asian Cup with various groups representing the nation seen performing remarkably.Shaharan lauded the organisation of the AFC Asian Cup in Qatar, expressing confidence in the country’s capability due to its successful hosting of the World Cup 2022.Despite the Malaysian football team not qualifying for the round of 16, the ambassador commended their fighting spirit, particularly highlighting the thrilling 3-3 draw against Korea.In celebration of the 50th anniversary, a “Malaysia Truly Asia” Hi-Tea event took place last Friday in Doha, organised by the Malaysian embassy, in collaboration with the Malaysian community in Qatar.It showcased Malaysia’s cultural diversity through various performances, traditional activities, and culinary delights.

Al Majed Jewellery unveils an antique sapphire, diamond, and natural pearl tiara, a piece of art dating back to 1890. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
Top DJWE exhibitors preview collections

As the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) gears up for its 20th edition, five top exhibitors provided a sneak peek into their collections, promising a celebration of glamour and excellence like never before.The prestigious event, scheduled to take place within a 30,000sq m space at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) from February 5-11, will witness the participation of more than 500 international brands from 10 countries.A recent press conference set the stage for an immersive experience, showcasing statement pieces from Alfardan Jewellery, Al Majed Jewellery, Fifty One East, Al Muftah Jewellery, and Bvlgari in an interactive digital exhibition.Tiffany & Co takes the spotlight with the unveiling of their new “Bird on a Pearl” collection, a collaboration that unites the world’s rarest pearls with the artistry of Jean Schlumberger.The suite, adorned with authentic saltwater pearls from the Gulf region, will debut at the Alfardan pavilion, featuring pieces obtained from the personal collection of Hussein Alfardan.Some of the standout pieces that will be displayed at Alfardan pavilion include a vintage Vacheron Constantin Overseas silver dial chronograph men’s watch, a vintage Breguet 3700 Marine Hora Mundi Yellow Gold, a pearl necklace from AlTawash vintage collection, and a vintage Gub-Gub headpiece made of gold, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.Al Muftah Jewellery presents a vintage gold and diamond jewellery set, blending timeless elegance with sophistication, which reflects craftsmanship and design aesthetics of a bygone era.The versatile set is designed for various occasions, promising enduring allure and style.Al Muftah is also presenting Sarcar timepieces, which bring exclusivity to a new level with “The Exceptional” collection, featuring limited-edition timepieces and unique pieces of art.“The Twist”, a progressive masterpiece, fuses traditional and futuristic gem-setting techniques, anchored by a floating one-carat brilliant-cut diamond – a world-first achieved through advanced micro-engineering.Bvlgari is set to grace the exhibition with an extraordinary Imperial Spinel necklace, showcasing a rare 131.21-carat spinel from Tajikistan.This one-of-its-kind piece, requiring 1,400 hours to create, features a combination of pink-fuchsia shades with green emerald beads, true to Bulgari's trademark style.Al Majed Jewellery unveils an antique sapphire, diamond, and natural pearl tiara, a piece of art dating back to 1890.The tiara, signed by G Confalonieri, Milano Roma, is enhanced by 11 drop-shaped Qatari natural pearls by Mohamed Almajed of Al Majed Jewellery.Fifty One East and Rolex, with a relationship dating back to 1951, presents Rolex watches from Fifty One East’s Private Collection.The watches exemplify the pinnacle of horological craftsmanship, underscoring the enduring connection between these iconic brands.

Malaysia ambassador Zamshari Shaharan with guests at the event Friday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
Malaysia Truly Asia Hi-Tea marks 50th anniversary of Qatar-Malaysia ties

An array of cultural performances and traditional activities took centre stage at the “Malaysia Truly Asia” Hi-Tea in Doha Friday, marking the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations between Malaysia and Qatar.The event, organised by the embassy of Malaysia in Doha in collaboration with the Malaysian community in Qatar, showcased and celebrated Malaysia’s cultural diversity: from performing arts through music and dances, traditional cuisines and games to costumes and fabrics.“In a small way we want to showcase Malaysia and to kick off the celebration for the year,” Malaysia ambassador Zamshari Shaharan told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the celebration.He said that this event aligns with the government’s vision for fostering collaboration between the Malaysian community in Qatar and the embassy in enhancing Malaysia’s global visibility.Shaharan stressed that such occasion serves as the start of the upcoming “Visit Malaysia Year” in 2025, as announced by the Malaysian prime minister.This initiative aims to attract 23.5mn international visitors, generating an anticipated revenue of RM76.8bn.According to the embassy, the tagline “Malaysia Truly Asia” represents the essence of the country’s unique and rich diversity and underlines Malaysia as an extraordinary tourist destination where the vibrant colours, flavours, sounds, and sights of Asia converge to create an unparalleled experience.At the event, visitors were treated to a cultural performance featuring the artistry of the 'kompang' (shallow hand drums).Classified within the percussion group of musical instruments, the 'kompang' holds a prominent place as the most popular traditional musical instrument among the Malay community.Originated from the Arab world, this instrument is thought to have made its way to Malaysia, either introduced during the era of the Malacca Sultanate by Indian Muslim traders or brought by Arabian traders in the 13th century.Other presentations include the 'joget' dance, a traditional Malay dance that originated in Malacca in the colonial era influenced by the Portuguese dance of Branyo; 'Kuda Kepang' dance, especially famous in Johor state where dancers use horse dummies made of woven bamboo and without legs, just the bodies, heads and tails only; and 'Mak Inang' dance, also known as 'Si Kembang Cina', which reflects the existence of Chinese influence in its music.Attendees also had the chance to experience various activities such as hands-on activity of colouring batik and traditional games for adults and children like 'congkak' and 'Batu Seremban', in addition to a wide range of popular Malaysian dishes.'Congkak' is a traditional game thought to have been introduced to the Malay archipelago from India.'Batu Seremban' enjoys popularity in the Malaysian states of Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan, and Johor.Alternatively known as 'Permainan Batu Selambut' or 'Serembat', this game is played individually or in groups of two to four people.To play, participants require five objects referred to as 'buah' (game pieces), which can be rubber seeds, glass marbles, bean bags, pebbles, or small cloth wrappings, among others.

Hessa Jewels has been gaining increasing acclaim for its unique fusion of traditional and contemporary designs filled with a creative touch.
Qatar
Hessa Jewels to shine at DJWE

Hessa Jewels, originally a participant in the Young Qatari Designers initiative, is set to take centre stage at the 20th edition of the Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE), joining as a regular exhibitor.One of Qatar's most-anticipated exhibitions is scheduled to take place from February 5 to 11 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, bringing together more than 500 brands from 10 countries who will showcase their finest creations.Established in 2017 by Qatari jewellery designer Sameera al-Mulla, Hessa Jewels, which derives its name from ‘pearl,’ became an integral part of Qatar Museums in 2019, presenting collections such as “Al Battola”. This collection features designs adorned with diamonds and gemstones, a symbol of elegance worn by women.Hessa Jewels has been gaining increasing acclaim for its unique fusion of traditional and contemporary designs filled with a creative touch. Notable creations from Hessa Jewels include the Kohl, the Mashmum, and the Regal Palm.Despite al-Mulla’s background with a Master’s degree from Aberdeen University and a career in the banking sector, her passion for jewellery shines through in the artistic works of Hessa Jewels.During a recent press conference, Qatar Tourism’s (QT) chief marketing and promotion officer, engineer Abdulaziz Ali al-Mawlawi said that special edition and statement pieces have been carefully curated for this edition of DJWE, with a focus on new brands joining the roster.He stressed that Hessa Jewels serves as an inspiration for emerging talents and symbolises the success achieved by Qatari designers who started as part of the initiative.Over the years, the Young Qatari Designers initiative reached new heights, with its jewellery designs and creations gaining widespread popularity. It provides a platform for Qatari designers to stand alongside some of the most prestigious local and international brands, fostering an environment where designers inspire and are inspired.QT, through DJWE, has been a catalyst for the success of Qatari designers. Many participants from previous years have evolved into prominent jewellers, contributing to the industry's growth.The roster of Qatari designers participating in this year’s DJWE includes Al Ghla Jewellery, De Trove, Ghand Jewellery, H Jewellery, Kaltham’s Pavilion, Midad Jewellery, Nouf Jewellery, Thameen Jewellery, and Trifoglio.

Ahmed al-Ameer presents his lecture at the conference Tuesday. PICTURES: Thajudheen
Qatar
Conference on private sector's role in sustainability highlights commitment to environmental responsibility

A conference Tuesday held at the Expo 2023 Doha’s Congress Centre, puts a spotlight on the private sector’s commitment to environmental responsibility.The event, titled “The Role of the Private Sector in Sustainability” and organised by Kuwait Pavilion’s commissioner general Samira al-Kandari, featured three presentations that tackle the importance of working towards a sustainable and environmentally responsible future.A lecture by Gulf Bank titled "Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance and Sustainability Progress," delivered by Corporate Communications’ deputy general manager Ahmed al-Ameer, underlined a comprehensive set of standards and components to enhance governance management strategies.He unveiled Gulf Bank’s pioneering Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) strategy for 2030 and presented the Sustainability Progression report. He noted that the bank financed (external) $1 billion in projects classified as “environment friendly.”Internally, Gulf Bank showcased its commitment to sustainability with initiatives such as branch and head office refurbishments, featuring sustainable elements, a shift towards paperless operations, centralised printers, reusable water bottles for employees, and substantial efforts in electronic and material recycling. The “Rebag” initiative was also introduced to encourage the adoption of reusable shopping bags, described as a crucial step toward positive change.The conference further explored responsible banking with a lecture by Kuwait Finance House (KFH), titled “Responsible Banking to Achieve Sustainable Growth,” which was presented by Mohammed al-Arbeed, executive manager of Governance and Sustainability.He said that KFH is known for its pioneering role in Islamic Finance and Shari'a-compliant banking, noting the importance of banking policies and procedures in ensuring the accurate implementation of sustainable growth strategies.Al-Arbeed said a Memorandum of Understanding between KFH and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was signed, aimed at strengthening alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under the agreement, UNDP will provide technical support to facilitate investments that align with SDGs through key instruments such as SDGs impact standards and the Green Sukuk framework.The third lecture of the conference, presented by Engineer Bashayer al-Maraghi from Equate Company, focused on “Reducing the Carbon Footprint at the Source.” She outlined Equate's efforts, particularly in polyethylene and ethylene glycol plants, to decrease the use of feed streams contributing to emissions. The goal is to minimise the carbon footprint at its source, aligning with global efforts to combat climate change.

HE Saad Bin Ali al-Kharji at the press conference Tuesday. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
20th DJWE to feature 500 plus brands

Indian and Turkish pavilions, along with 10 exhibitors under the Qatari Designers pavilion, will have a significant presence at the 20th Doha Jewellery and Watches Exhibition (DJWE) this year, it was announced Tuesday.The latest edition of DJWE, scheduled to take place from February 5 to 11 at a 30,000sqm space at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, will bring together more than 500 brands from 10 countries around the world.At a press conference at Raffles Doha, Qatar Tourism (QT) noted that the new additions to the lineup include Key Gems, AlMajid Home, Renee Jewels, Naylah Jewelry, Kooheji Jewellery, and Hessa Jewels.The spotlight remains on the “Big 8” for this year's exhibition: Alfardan Jewellery, Al Majed Jewellery, Ali Bin Ali Luxury, Amiri Gems, Fifty One East, Al Muftah Jewellery, Blue Salon, and Bulgari.DJWE 2024 will showcase exclusive pieces, such as Tiffany & Co's 2024 Bird on a Pearl and the bespoke ‘High Jewellery’ necklace from Bulgari. AlMajed Jewellery and Blue Salon will introduce new jewellery brands, along with a fresh collection of ‘Qatar Limited Edition’ watches.According to QT, Phillips, a prominent global platform for trading 20th and 21st-century art and design, will participate in this year's DJWE. Phillips, in association with Bacs & Russo, holds the world record for the most successful watch auctions.A consistent presence at DJWE, Education Above All, has confirmed its return this year with collaborations with Brazilian jeweller and designer Silvia Furmanovich, and Qatari designers.Citing the importance of DJWE in attracting a large number of international visitors, QT chairman HE Saad bin Ali al-Kharji said: “The release of the Qatar National Vision 2024-2030 identified tourism as a major sector within the economic diversification clusters entrusted with contributing to achieving sustainable economic growth.“Over the past years, Qatar has been able to strengthen its position as a premier tourist destination, working on designing tourism assets, maintaining the excellence of services, providing new tourism services, and designing unique experiences for visitors”.He thanked DJWE partners, including QNB as the official sponsor in this year’s exhibition, who he described as “the reason behind its development and success over the last years.’’QNB Group chief business officer Yousef Mahmoud al-Neama said: “Our prestigious role as the official sponsor of the 2024 DJWE marks a significant milestone in our commitment to supporting local and international events within the dynamic landscape of the tourism sector.“It also affirms the long-term sponsorship we value having with QT. The DJWE serves as a unique platform, bringing together creativity, craftsmanship, and innovation, elements that resonate deeply with our core values at QNB”.The unveiling of DJWE’s 20th edition branding coincided with the introduction of the “Jewellery Connoisseurs” campaign, which was showcased at the press conference. It features renowned model and Russian television personality Irina Shayk, along with former professional footballer and current sports broadcaster Thierry Henry. It was accompanied by an extraordinary original score composed by Qatari composer Dana Alfardan.

One of the highlights of the Qatar Kite Festival is the day-night kite flying, where kites will fill Qatar’s sky both day and night, creating a breathtaking visual experience.
Qatar
Kite Festival to add colour to Qatar skies

The Qatar Kite Festival 2024 is set to adorn the skies of Old Doha Port from January 25 to February 3, featuring colourful kites, cultural celebrations and family-friendly activities.Safe Flight Solutions, organiser of the Qatar Balloon Festival, noted that the latest edition of this picturesque event will showcase giant kites flown by 60 participants from various countries.The 10-day festival also provides an opportunity for both Qatar residents and visitors, especially families, to spend quality time together and delight in the mesmerising spectacle of the kites in the sky, organisers said.The event, organised with the support of strategic partner, Qatar Tourism, and venue partner, Old Doha Port, will be held in front of the cruise terminal, adding an extra layer of excitement for international passengers during the bustling cruise season.Visit Qatar noted that attendees can look forward to a variety of activities, including workshops, arts and crafts and thrilling kite-flying competitions. International kite experts will also be on hand to showcase their vibrant creations.One of the highlights of the festival is the day-night kite flying, where kites will fill Qatar’s sky both day and night, creating a breathtaking visual experience. In addition, children can participate in free kite workshops, building and decorating their kites under the guidance of experts, and take home their creations as souvenirs.The event is free and open to all, making it an ideal family outing. Visitors can join in public flying sessions, learn the art of kite handling, and enjoy the festivities with food carts and kiosks offering delicious treats and children's entertainment.The previous edition of the festival saw a vibrant and scenic view of the Doha skyline and the skies surrounding the Museum of Islamic Art park.

Gulf Times
Qatar
Over 2mn passengers 'used Doha Metro, Lusail Tram since start of Asian Cup'

The Doha Metro and Lusail Tram networks in Qatar carried a total of 2,164,211 passengers since the start of the AFC Asian Cup until the end of the second round, Qatar Railways company (Qatar Rail) has said.A Qatar Rail post on X noted that 2,086,162 passengers used the Doha Metro while 78,049 passengers utilised the Lusail Tram.During the first round of the tournament’s group stage, Qatar Rail transported more than a million passengers, with a statement noting that from January 12 to January 16, the total number of passengers reached 1,079,340. Out of this, 1,040,973 passengers used the metro and 38,367, the tram.According to Qatar Rail, the networks witnessed huge demand, particularly on the opening day of the tournament, which featured the Qatar versus Lebanon match at Lusail Stadium. On this day alone, the metro and tram combined transported 234,862 passengers.Qatar Rail noted that the Doha Metro played a key role in providing connectivity to key event areas and attractions, including Souq Waqif, Lusail Boulevard, Katara and Al Bidda Park, where the Expo 2023 Doha is currently being held. The metro is directly connected to Al Bidda and Corniche stations on the Red Line.The busiest stations on the Doha Metro were Lusail QNB, DECC and Msheireb while Legtaifiya emerged as the busiest stop along the Lusail Tram route.For the AFC Asian Cup, Qatar Rail has deployed its fleet of 110 modern, comfortable and secure Doha Metro trains, including six-carriage trains on the Red Line. This doubled the capacity to 1,120 passengers per train.To ensure the efficient movement of passengers, Qatar Rail adopted advanced systems and closely monitored the Command Suite, providing real-time information about passenger flow before and after matches. It also deployed additional staff at stations and introduced complimentary Day Passes for match-day ticket holders, improving the overall transportation experience for fans.