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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.
Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan at Hospitality Qatar 2023. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
Indonesian envoy highlights tourism opportunities at Hospitality Qatar 2023

Hospitality Qatar 2023, which concluded Wednesday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre, provided an opportunity to showcase Indonesia’s diverse range of hospitality products and introduced the concept of the ‘10 New Bali Destinations’, ambassador Ridwan Hassan said.Citing its consistent presence at the event over several years, the envoy told Gulf Times that Indonesia’s participation sheds light on the many offerings and opportunities for bilateral co-operation between Qatar and Indonesia, particularly in the tourism sector.“As a tourism destination, Indonesia has a lot to offer. The most famous destination is certainly Bali Island, but you know that Bali is already self-promoted and we are more than happy to provide anything. Then we also have other destinations, we call it the New 10 Bali Destinations,” he said.Hassan noted that hospitality covers not only tourism but also other related sectors, underlining Indonesia's vast potential as a tourism destination.He said the '10 New Bali Destinations' is a strategic initiative aimed at developing other regions and islands, with some destinations already in the advanced stages of preparation.According to the envoy, Indonesia’s unique geographical makeup, consisting of numerous islands and regions, has prompted the nation to look beyond Bali to expand the tourism industry.Among the notable destinations included in Indonesia's ambitious '10 New Balis' project are Borobudur Temple, Belitung, Mount Bromo, Labuan Bajo, Lake Toba, Thousand Islands, Mandalika, Wakatobi, Tanjung Lesung, and Morotai. Each of these destinations offers unique features and scenic beauty that even Bali cannot replicate.Hassan highlighted the diverse aspects of tourism, stressing that it involves more than just inviting people to visit Indonesia but also fostering investments in the tourism sector.He urged Qatar to explore opportunities in Indonesia’s tourism industry, pointing out the notable enhancement in accessibility, with Qatar Airways now providing six daily flights to the country.Hassan estimated that approximately 2,000 to 3,000 Qataris visit Indonesia annually. While Qatari visitor numbers may not be large, he said the resident population in Qatar represents a substantial market segment.About ease of entry for other nationalities, he said that Indonesia regularly reviews its policies. He hinted at potential adjustments to accommodate the growing number of visitors, especially in light of the increased accessibility provided by Qatar Airways. He mentioned plans to add more countries to the list of those eligible for visa-free entry or visas on arrival.The envoy said the ‘Growing Kopi, Drinking Qahwa; Stories of Coffee in Qatar and Indonesia’ exhibition at the National Museum of Qatar has been receiving positive responses from the public. The show, on view until February 17, 2024, explores the cultural significance of coffee. The envoy stressed that coffee is a commodity and a vital aspect of culture.Hassan underlined the strong relationship between Qatar and Indonesia, supported by a history of bilateral co-operation. He lauded the contributions of the Indonesian community in Qatar, who not only work but also actively engage in the cultural life of the country.He highlighted the significance of the Qatar-Indonesia Year of Culture in 2023, viewing it as a milestone in the partnership and expressing a commitment to sustaining and strengthening cultural ties in the future.

Coffee crafted with passion and skill.
Baristas shine at Hospitality Qatar 2023

Sixteen of Qatar’s finest baristas took part in a competition at Hospitality Qatar 2023, demonstrating their expertise in crafting and creating intricate coffee latte art.The competition saw the baristas face off in four rounds.In the first round, participants showcased their mastery of traditional patterns such as hearts, rosettas, and tulips.The second round called for free-pouring, challenging contestants to create original designs without the use of tools.Round three brought a twist, as baristas were tasked with replicating each other's designs.The final round raised the stakes higher, demanding that contestants execute free-pour latte art in espresso cups.The judging panel comprised renowned coffee connoisseurs Sorina Suliman, Aleksa Novicic, and Huber van Blokland.According to the organisers, the competition not only provided participants with a platform to showcase their talent but an opportunity to be recognised before an audience at an event of this magnitude in Qatar.Ronnie Llorin, coffee expert and member of the organising committee of the competition, told *Gulf Times that the barista competition will not only further promote the already highly popular beverage but also inspire baristas and enthusiasts to be more creative and innovative, in addition to constantly raising the level of their skills in crafting coffee.In addition to the contest, Hospitality Qatar 2023 features some of the most reliable and well-known coffee machines and accessories.Besides displaying the latest trends in the coffee industry, it has also captivated coffee enthusiasts and industry professionals in Qatar and the region.According to IFP Qatar, the organiser of Hospitality Qatar, this year's programme included a range of training sessions and workshops, the highly anticipated Restaurant's Choice Awards by talabat, and the Salon Culinaire competition, alongside live cooking shows.The event at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre concludes Wednesday.

Undersecretary HE Sultan bin Rashid al-Khater and Haidar Mshaimesh, along with ambassadors and guests, touring the various pavilions at Hospitality Qatar 2023 Monday. The event will run until Wednesday at DECC. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Hospitality Qatar 2023 opens

Hospitality Qatar 2023 kicked off at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre Monday, bringing together more than 150 suppliers and service providers from the hospitality, tourism, and food and beverage sectors from over 20 countries.HE Sultan bin Rashid al-Khater, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, inaugurated the IFP-organised event. Dignitaries including Saudi Arabian ambassador Prince Mansour bin Khalid bin Abdullah al-Saud, Turkish ambassador Dr Mustafa Gokso, Kuwait’s deputy director general of the Industrial Exports Sector at the Public Authority for Industry Dr Sanad al-Ajmi and others were present.“We are delighted that Hospitality Qatar has reached today’s leading level, as confirmed by the remarkable turnout and active participation in the eighth edition,” IFP Qatar general manager Haidar Mshaimesh said in a press statement.He noted that the three-day event, which concludes Wednesday has gathered leading global companies for interactive activities, facilitating the exchange of successful experiences and showcasing the latest innovations. It also aims to offer fresh solutions to propel the rapid advancements within Qatar's tourism and hospitality sector.Mshaimesh expressed confidence in the success of Hospitality Qatar’s latest edition as it strives to enhance the experience for both exhibitors and visitors while also playing a role in bolstering national initiatives to attract more tourists to Qatar.Described as “the most exclusive and longest-standing international trade fair” for hotels, restaurants and catering (Horeca) in Qatar, the event provides an opportunity for investors and industry leaders to explore potential investment opportunities in the country’s hospitality and tourism market.“Fourteen Turkish companies are participating in this year’s edition of Hospitality Qatar to underline the close relationship between Turkey and Qatar, as this event has strengthened the trade and economic relations between the two countries,” Turkish ambassador Dr Mustafa Gökçu said.Some of the activities at this year’s event include the Salon Culinaire live cooking competitions, attracting more than 150 chefs from 37 leading four- and five-star hotels in Doha across a diverse range of more than 20 categories.Day two will witness a coffee competition, providing some of the best baristas in Qatar the chance to demonstrate their creativity and expertise in the art of coffee making.IFP noted that Hospitality Qatar features an exhibition, conference, and business matchmaking and training programmes, allowing industry professionals and senior players to network and market their products and services.Citing a Euro News recent report, the organiser noted that Qatar's hospitality market is currently the fastest-growing globally. The report anticipates sustained progress in this sector in the upcoming phase, largely attributed to Doha's strategically advantageous geographical location.This positioning, the report added, allows approximately 80% of the world's population to be reachable within a six-hour flight, significantly enhancing the likelihood of Qatar emerging as a prominent tourist destination in the Arabian Gulf. This, in turn, paves the way for the realisation of Qatar's goal of hosting 6mn visitors annually by 2030.

Mexican ambassador Guillermo Ordorica (second right) with dignitaries and cultural performers at the unveiling of the Mexican pavilion at the Expo 2023 Doha Sunday. PICTURE: Thajudheen
Mexican embassy unveils pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha

The embassy of Mexico unveiled the Mexican pavilion at Expo 2023 Doha Sunday, highlighting the Latin American country’s significant advancements in science and technology while also positioning it as an attractive hub for investment and tourism.The opening ceremony led by Mexican ambassador Guillermo Ordorica and attended by ambassadors from various missions in Qatar and Expo officials, among other guests at Al Bidda Park, also shines a spotlight on Mexico’s cultural heritage, featuring a short cultural presentation and a taste of Mexican cuisine.“We are here to demonstrate Mexico's strides in science and technology, particularly in combating desertification – a shared concern that resonates deeply with the climate challenges faced by Qatar and the broader region,” the envoy said. “Through collaboration, we aim to establish a mutual exchange of knowledge and solutions to preserve our planet’s precious resources.”“Our pavilion is more than just a space for exhibition. It is a vibrant canvas showcasing Mexico as a prime investment and tourism destination, and a robust business partner,” Ordorica added. “We envision Qatar not merely as a host for this exposition but as the pivotal centre of operations from which Mexican companies can project themselves into the markets of the Arabian Gulf.”He noted that Mexico is dedicated to advancing innovation and technological progress with a broader vision that goes beyond mere economic expansion.According to the envoy, the Mexican pavilion will feature exhibitions from Mexican fruit and vegetable companies and provide a platform for dialogue on innovations from research institutions.It will also highlight Mexico's comprehensive National Water Programme, which addresses issues such as drought, soil improvement, sustainable water use, conservation of biodiversity, and genetic resources.Ordorica said Mexico is also keen to establish itself as a bountiful supplier of healthy, nutritious food for the Middle East and Asia.The expo, he added, serves as a platform to forge technical and commercial alliances within the agri-food sector, sharing the rich heritage of Mexican values, culture, and gastronomy.“As the 12th largest food producer and the 7th largest food exporter in the world, Mexico is on a quest to diversify markets and forge new alliances,” Ordorica pointed out. “We are here to showcase the high quality of Mexican produce, which we are confident will find a revered place in the Middle Eastern market.”The envoy said that the Mexico pavilion will also serve as a bridge that connects and a beacon that guides towards a sustainable future for all.He said he hopes for “fruitful engagements, lasting partnerships, and shared successes” in the pursuit of a greener tomorrow.About Expo 2023 Doha, the ambassador lauded the event, noting that it not only celebrated the diversity of flora and ecological ingenuity but also provided a platform for Mexican entrepreneurs and organisations to introduce indigenous plants to the Qatari ecosystem.This initiative, he stressed, plays a vital role in bolstering biodiversity and ecological robustness in the region.

Tania al-Majid guides viewers through the museum’s 11 galleries, where the story of Qatar unfolds across three chapters (screengrab from Visit Qatar's YouTube page).
'Voices of Qatar' spotlights NMoQ, cultural heritage

Qatar Tourism’s (QT) latest initiative puts a spotlight on the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) and the voice of its cultural affairs deputy director Tania al-Majid, to celebrate the country’s rich heritage and promote understanding.'Voices of Qatar' aims to showcase the contributions of local talents to the nation's history, present, and future, with a particular focus on NMoQ with al-Majid’s YouTube video tour. She highlights the museum’s role in bridging gaps and breaking stereotypes about Qatar. Her presentation offers viewers a transformative experience, urging them to question, learn, and engage with Qatar's history.“This space makes you ask questions. It’s also a space that bridges gaps that change stereotypes and create understanding,” she said, stressing the importance of documenting Qatar's history and culture.“A lot of our culture is intangible, which means it’s handed down through generations. It’s very important for us to document Qatar’s history and culture because it isn’t really documented. But it’s very important for us a museum to preserve that, to be able to communicate it to future generations,” al-Majid noted.The NMoQ official guides viewers through the museum’s 11 galleries, where the story of Qatar unfolds across three chapters.She elaborates on NMoQ’s role as a custodian of Qatar’s heritage, painting a vivid picture of how the people of Qatar historically navigated their environment, moving with the seasons in search of pearls along the coast in the summer and water in the desert during the winter.“NMoQ gives voice to the nation’s heritage and culture. It represents the past, the present and the future. Through the galleries, you experience stories about the people of Qatar how they move to navigate depending on the season,” al-Majid adds.She describes the museum as a transformative space that engages visitors through a multi-sensory experience, utilising images, scents, models, and interactive exhibits to transport them through time.“NMoQ is designed in a way that caters to everybody... People are very surprised when they come to the museum and see the types and amount of objects that we have, but especially when it comes to historical objects that date to thousands of years,” al-Majid says.According to QT, “Voices of Qatar” initiative is set to continue spotlighting individuals who have made significant contributions to Qatar's cultural landscape. From accomplished chefs to pioneering innovators, and from gifted artists to victorious sports champions, the series will offer a unique perspective on Qatar’s cherished traditions and dynamic contemporary culture.

The workshop tackled cyber threats related to AI and their impact on the media sector. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
NCSA holds ‘Risks of AI in media sector’ workshop

The National Cyber Security Agency (NCSA) organised a workshop for journalists on artificial intelligence (AI) on November 2, aimed at educating stakeholders and raising awareness about the potential risks and opportunities linked to the adoption of such technologies in the media sector.The event, titled “Risks of AI in the Media Sector” witnessed the participation of both government and private media entities. Speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, NCSA’s Cyber Security Strategies and Policies director Abdulrahman al-Shafi highlighted the need for such activity, particularly in light of the emergence of technologies like Deepfake and the increasing role of AI in the media field.“The importance of having this workshop is (because) in recent years, there has been the introduction of emerging technologies such as AI and more specifically, the ‘Deepfake’ technology, where it harms probably some of the security controls.“We believe that the media sector will benefit from having an awareness session about what are the cyber risks and threats they are facing when it comes to AI,” he said, noting that the use of AI in the media and content industry comes with a multitude of associated risks and threats.Regarding the safety of media outlets in Qatar from such threats, al-Shafi cited the agency’s mission in safeguarding the critical infrastructure and information of the State, with the media sector being a key component of this effort.The initial step, he noted, should involve recognising the specific risks and threats that they may encounter. Once aware of the nature of these potential challenges, he noted that they can then take proactive measures to be prepared and effectively address them.The workshop shed light on the growing reliance on digital media, which AI directly influences. It also proposed measures to mitigate these risks through specific recommendations.Speaking at the workshop, Buthaina Thani al-Khulaifi from NCSA’s Cyber Operations Department underscored the significance of utilising technologies such as AI to protect copyrights and privacy, and combat threats using algorithms. Her presentation also stressed the significance of issuing certifications, providing awareness education, and developing legal frameworks.The workshop also tackled cyber threats related to AI and their impact on the media sector, including fraud, data leakage, and personal privacy breaches. It also discussed strategies for addressing these challenges, as well as procedures for responding to cyber incidents and implementing recovery mechanisms.Mounir Kamal from the National Cyber Governance and Assurance Affairs, in his lecture titled “Risks of AI in the Media Sector,” spotlighted the importance of not only identifying potential threats but also recognising opportunities in using these advanced technologies, particularly AI. He pointed out that Qatar’s media sector - which includes print and online media, news agencies, and broadcast, among others - being highly critical, has been subject to persistent cyber threats since 2008.

Nasser al-Attiya invites viewers on a thrilling ride, shedding light on the adrenaline-fuelled moments that have defined his extraordinary path to success. (Screengrab from Visit Qatar’s YouTube channel)
Rally champion Nasser al-Attiya in ‘Voices of Qatar’ series

Qatar Tourism’s (QT) latest initiative, “Voices of Qatar,” has unveiled an enthralling feature on the esteemed rally champion, Nasser al-Attiya.Through a compelling YouTube video, al-Attiya provides a firsthand account of his extraordinary journey in the world of motorsports.“Driving a rally car is exhilarating. From a young age, it was my dream to become the world champion,” shared the Qatari racing legend, reflecting on the profound passion that ignited his illustrious career.Al-Attiya’s introduction to the world of motorsports was a cherished memory spent alongside his father, behind the wheel at a mere 10 years old. This key moment marked the inception of a lifelong pursuit.“The first time I drove with my father, I was about 10 years old. It was my childhood dream to win the Dakar Rally. That dream came true, then came the victories,” he recounted.His achievements are nothing short of remarkable, with an illustrious record of five Dakar Rally championships, five world championships, and an astonishing 18 Middle East championships.The most recent triumph was clinched in Qatar, showcasing al-Attiya’s undeniable prowess on his home turf.In his video, al-Attiya stresses the intense beauty that Qatar presents to its fortunate inhabitants. “Qatar is very beautiful, we are lucky. We have the seas, we have the desert. Everyone loves the desert terrain in Qatar,” he said, highlighting the country’s diverse natural splendours.The desert holds a special place in al-Attiya’s heart, an affinity mirrored in his admiration for the majestic falcon, renowned as the fastest bird in the world.“There is a strong relationship between me and the desert, between me and the falcon. The falcon is the fastest bird in the world. I was inspired by the speed of the falcon,” al-Attiya said, offering a glimpse into the sources of his inspiration.Al-Attiya’s dedication to maintaining a position at the pinnacle of his field is evident in his unwavering pursuit of challenges. “Speed is part of life. When someone wants to remain at the top, there are always challenges. I love the challenge and I don’t want to lose, I love being number one,” he stressed, providing insight into the relentless drive that propels him forward.According to QT, its “Voices of Qatar” series serves as a platform to celebrate local talents and their enduring impact on Qatar’s past, present, and future.Through filmed interviews and personal narratives, this initiative offers visitors a unique and immersive perspective on Qatar’s rich heritage and vibrant contemporary culture.As Nasser al-Attiya shares his fascinating narrative, he invites viewers on a thrilling ride, shedding light on the adrenaline-fuelled moments that have defined his extraordinary path to success. His story stands as an inspiration, resonating not only with motorsport enthusiasts but with all those who aspire to turn their dreams into reality.

Global Wellness Summit 2023.
November packed with diverse events in Qatar

Qatar is gearing up to host a diverse array of events this November, catering to interests ranging from education and sustainability to falconry and equestrian sports.The Qatar Events Calendar is packed with opportunities for learning, networking, and entertainment. The Qatar Leadership Conference (QLC) is scheduled from November 2-4 at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). Organised by Thimun Qatar, the QLC is a platform for students, teachers, and industry leaders to exchange ideas and establish partnerships with a broad range of more than 44 workshops.Najah Qatar 2023, formerly known as University Expo Qatar, is slated from November 2-3 at the QNCC. The event is dedicated to helping prospective university students, parents, and teachers, explores higher education options. Over 80 regional and international institutions are participating.The 10th edition of the Qatar Falconry Championship “Isfari” will be organised by Al-Gannas Association from November 3-9 at Al-Gannas Qatari Society Event Building, Ras Laffan.Qatar Sustainability Week returns on November 4-11 at the Expo Doha Congress Centre. A national campaign aimed at engaging the community in various sustainability-oriented activities, it serves as a platform to showcase Qatar's progress in sustainability and promote community engagement in achieving the nation's sustainable development goals.The eighth edition of Hospitality Qatar will bring together local, regional, and international hospitality and tourism companies from November 6-8 at the DECC.The Global Wellness Summit 2023 at Msheireb Downtown Doha (Doha Design District), scheduled from November 6-9, will bring together leaders and visionaries to shape the future of the global wellness economy. This annual event offers expert-based predictions on the future of wellness and explores innovations in the wellness sector.Precision Medicine and Functional Genomic (PMFG), described as the largest precision medicine conference in the region, is set to take place from November 11-14 at St Regis Doha.Experts from various industries will converge at the Qatar Cloud and Cybersecurity Summit 2023 from November 13-14 at The Pearl Island. Participants will discuss the latest challenges, impediments, and applications of cloud computing and address cybersecurity concerns.The 2023 Qatar Airways Grand Prix for MotoGP is set to take place from November 17-19 at the Lusail International Circuit. Al Shaqab International Arabian Horse Show takes place from November 17-19 at Al Shaqab. Another major event taking place from November 20-22 at the Doha Exhibitions and Convention Centre (DECC), the Qatar Travel Mart will provide a platform for new investments in tourism development. It hosts high-level discussions and insights from regional and international tourism experts.The World Innovation Summit for Education 2023 returns on November 28-29 at the QNCC, an event dedicated to shaping the future of education by fostering meaningful discussions and seeking solutions to critical educational issues.In partnership with Fira Barcelona, Smart City Expo Doha will bring together global experts from November 29-30 at Al Bidda Park to discuss and share ideas on creating smarter, more sustainable cities.Various sports events including tennis, squash, rugby, shooting, basketball, cycling, and triathlon will be held throughout November, providing ample opportunities for sports enthusiasts to indulge in their passions.

Gulf Times
Hospitality Qatar 2023 set to spotlight new trends, opportunities

Hospitality Qatar 2023, scheduled to take place from November 6 to 8 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC), will once again spotlight the cutting-edge trends and lucrative opportunities within the hospitality and tourism sectors. Organised by IFP Qatar, the event’s eighth edition will bring together local, regional and international hospitality and tourism companies under one roof, promising unrivalled offerings. “In 2022, Hospitality Qatar, the country’s flagship and only trade event for Hospitality, F&B (food and beverage) and Tourism was a testament to the country’s readiness to host the FIFA World Cup 2022. “In 2023, it will build on the tangible role it has been playing for eight years now in developing and supplying the hospitality industry in Qatar to cater for the growth expected ahead by providing an unparalleled platform for suppliers in the hospitality industry to connect with key decision-makers and buyers from top hotels, restaurants, and F&B outlets in Qatar,” the organiser noted, adding that the event will highlight top-notch providers of equipment, technology, and services tailored for the hospitality sector. In partnership with Qatar Tourism, the organiser said that a multi-themed conference would run concurrently with the Hospitality Qatar International Trade Exhibition. It will explore tourism, entertainment as well as food and beverage sectors while highlighting investment opportunities in the Qatari market. The event will also showcase a dedicated B2B matchmaking and hosted buyers' programme, a platform designed to streamline business ventures, enhance networking opportunities, and enabling participants to secure agreements on the spot, thereby optimising return on investment. In addition, Hospitality Qatar’s Certified Training Programme is set to offer essential industry insights and supports the continuous development of professionals and practitioners in Qatar's hospitality sector. As a key platform for exploring the most current trends and prospects within the sector, Hospitality Qatar has solidified its position as Qatar's exclusive and longest-running International Hospitality and Hotel, Restaurant and Catering (Horeca) trade show. Organisers underscored the importance of the hospitality industry as the Qatari economy continues to flourish. It pointed out that the tourism sector is projected to reach a value of $9bn by 2023, with an annual growth rate of 6.5%. This surge, it noted, is driven by ongoing infrastructure development, including the construction and expansion of hotels. It is learnt that Qatar's hospitality market is on a trajectory to grow by 89%, boasting more than 56,000 hotel keys by 2025, with an estimated investment of $7bn. The country aims to welcome nearly 7mn tourists by 2030, contributing 12% to Qatar's global domestic product. According to the organisers, the previous edition of Hospitality Qatar, which took place in a 5,368sqm space at DECC, witnessed the participation of 101 exhibitors from 10 countries and received more than 12,000 visitors.

The “De/Constructed Meanings” exhibition introduces a device that uses a programmed coding system to inscribe on sand. 
PICTURE: Thajudheen
Four unique exhibitions at Mathaf to showcase contemporary Arab art

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art is set to open four unique exhibitions today, as it puts a spotlight on the diverse range of contemporary art across the Arab world.On view until March 5, 2024, Mathaf’s latest exhibitions promise an insightful journey into the vibrant landscape of Arab art, welcoming Qatar residents and visitors to explore the rich artistic expressions within the region.“This fall, Mathaf will present a bounty of inspiring artworks in exhibitions that underscore the remarkable creative capacity of artists across our region. These shows represent four different ways to delve into the ever-present themes of heritage and identity while continuing to reimagine what modern and contemporary Arab art can be,” Mathaf director Zeina Arida said in a press statement.Renowned Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar unveils a collection of new and existing pieces across various media in his inaugural solo exhibition in Qatar and his first in the region in almost half a century.The show, titled “Introspection as Resistance” and curated by guest curator Amin Alsaden, challenges established Western-based classifications of Moutashar's work as Abstraction, Minimalism, or Op-Art.With more than 25 artworks covering five decades, the artist’s creations show a deep understanding of the region’s aesthetic traditions and celebrate the limitless potential within its geometry.Also curated by Alsaden, the “Distilled Lessons: Abstraction in Arab Modernism” exhibition highlights the distinctive approaches Arab artists have taken in utilising abstraction. Drawing from Mathaf's exclusive collection, the show reveals how regional artists have incorporated elements from the rich heritage of the Arab-Muslim world, particularly calligraphy and ornamentation.Among the featured artists are Wafa al-Hamad, Thuraya Hassan al-Baqsami, Shakir Hassan al-Said, Samia Halaby, Omar el-Nagdi, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Madiha Umar, Ibrahim el-Salahi, and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi.Conceived and curated by Lebanese multidisciplinary artist Abed al-Kadiri of Dongola Limited Editions in Beirut, “Cities Under Quarantine: The Mailbox Project” offers a personal and creative archive of responses to the Covid-19 pandemic.This initiative, according to the curator, explores the contrasts that defined this historic moment such as life and death, certainty and uncertainty, safety and exposure, loneliness and friendship.Inspired by a remark from artist John Baldessari on the difficulties of sending a painting through the mail, al-Kadiri reached out to artists in 22 cities worldwide. This endeavour resulted in 59 handmade books with bespoke covers designed by Reza Abedini.Artists including Raed Yassin, Mahmoud Obaidi, and Mona Saudi, among others, have used various media such as photography, painting, collage, drawing, among others, to transform these books. This project debuted at Villa Romana in Florence, Italy in 2021.Titled “De/Constructed Meanings”, this exhibition – a partnership between Mathaf and Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar faculty and staff – is an installation by Giovanni Innella, Hala Amer, Saga Elkabash, and Levi Hammett. It introduces a device, utilising a programmed coding system to inscribe on sand.Influenced by Jacques Derrida's philosophy, the lines and shapes generated by the device suggest the impermanence of Arabic script and the evolving interpretations throughout history. This exhibition, co-curated by Noora Abdulmajeed and Rim Albahrani, offers an experimental exploration of the shifting postcolonial culture in the Arab region.

(from left)  Prof Mohamed Adlin Sila, Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan, and NMoQ director HE Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Thani at the opening of  ‘Growing Kopi, Drinking Qahwa; Stories of Coffee in Qatar and Indonesia’ exhibition Monday at NMoQ. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
Longest-ever Indonesian exhibition opens at NMoQ

‘Growing Kopi, Drinking Qahwa; Stories of Coffee in Qatar and Indonesia’, described as the longest-ever exhibition about Indonesia to be held in Qatar, opened Monday at the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ). The exhibition, which will be on view until February 17, 2024, portrays the global history of coffee cultivation, trade, and consumption as it highlights the enduring and evolving coffee cultures of Qatar and Indonesia. The show features engaging interactive displays, immersive projections, multi-sensory experiences that combine visuals, scents, and audio, alongside specially crafted contemporary artworks, among other elements. Part of the event includes a five-day coffee-tasting activity, introducing a variety of coffee beans from Indonesia; and an exhibit of various batik designs, which serve as a symbol of Indonesian identity. In a press statement, NMoQ director HE Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Thani said: “The Qatar – Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture is a testament to the power of shared narratives in fostering understanding and collaboration, something we see come through quite clearly through the 'Growing Kopi, Drinking Qahwa' exhibition. “That extends to our shared traditions of hospitality, dialogue and creativity fueled by the practice of brewing, serving and sharing coffee. NMoQ is proud to host this milestone exhibition for the Qatar – Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture, which was created in partnership with the National Museum of Indonesia, the Embassy of Indonesia in Qatar, students who participated through the Ajial Altarbwy Centre, and Qatar Museums internship programme participants.” The exhibition is a collaborative effort between the curatorial teams of NMoQ and the National Museum of Indonesia. This included Dr Marie-Pierre Lissoir, a specialist in Exhibits and Multimedia Interpretation; Najma Ahmed, a researcher in Social and Oral History; Tania Abdulmonem al-Majid, deputy director of Curatorial; Sara Saqr al-Mohannadi, associate curator of Social History; Sara al-Maadheed, associate curator of Oral History; Amal al-Hideous, head curator of Oral History; along with Sheikha Rawdha al-Thani, an oral history researcher from Qatar; and members from the National Museum of Indonesia, namely Handoko Hendroyono, Daroe Handojo, Prawoto Indarto, Sekar Arum Romadhani, and Nusi Lisabilla Estudiantin. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the event, Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan said: “Coffee has a very important role in connecting people from different cultures, and also connecting the rest of the world. "The event not only because it signifies collaboration between Indonesia and Qatar, but also holds the potential to foster greater mutual understanding among people worldwide. Coffee, as a symbol, represents humanity itself. “In Indonesia, the preparation and consumption of coffee involve particular processes and rituals, typically accompanied by the act of socialising, sharing stories, and building connections with loved ones and friends,” said Hassan, who was joined by Prof Mohamed Adlin Sila, expert staff to the Minister of Education and Culture of Indonesia. According to Qatar Museums, Expo 2023 Doha plays a key role as the lead sponsor in making the exhibition possible, with further support from Partner & Partners. “Through this partnership with Years of Culture, Expo 2023 Doha aims to solidify Qatar’s position as a global tourist destination. This exhibition is a testament to the power of co-operation in curating narratives that resonate across cultures and generations,” Expo 2023 Doha secretary general Mohammed al-Khouri said. The exhibition is divided into five sections, which cover the journey from coffee cultivation to consumption as part of shared traditions, in addition to topics about sustainable farming practices and cultural development. The ‘What is Coffee?’, section provides visitors with a wealth of information about the coffee plant and its beans. It details the origins of the term kopi (coffee in Bahasa Indonesia) from the Arabic word for coffee, qahwa. In the ‘Cultivation and Trade of Coffee’ section, the spotlight is on the historical significance of coffee in the Arab world and Indonesia, explaining the journey of coffee from the forests of Ethiopia to the island of Java in Indonesia. This segment also showcases a contemporary art installation, titled ‘Bloom in Agony (2022)’ by the Indonesian artists' collective Gegerboyo, exploring the connections between Indonesia's colonial past and contemporary coffee culture. The ‘Roasting and Brewing section gives visitors an opportunity to learn about qahwa brewing from a Qatari coffee expert through videos, as well as enjoy a coffee-making competition that reveals the unique recipes of different Qatari families. The ‘Serving and Drinking’ section features some of the ceremonies linked to coffee drinking in Qatar and Indonesia, especially the 360-degree projection that takes visitors to Filosofi Kopi, described as “an iconic coffee shop in the heart of Jakarta.” A circular space that portrays a Qatari majlis screens a short film created in partnership with Qatari youth, underlining the intricacies of coffee serving and drinking etiquette in Qatar, often with humorous outcomes. The last section, ‘Coffee and Creativity’, examines the various ways in which coffee plays a role in nurturing creativity within individuals and industries in both Qatar and Indonesia. It underscores Indonesian cultural traditions such as batik textiles and traditional mask dances, while also celebrating the talents and innovation of Qatari artists and entrepreneurs. As part of the exhibition, a lecture on Qatar and Indonesia’s coffee culture will take place tomorrow (October 25) at NMoQ from 5pm to 7pm, exploring the unique traditions and captivating stories from these diverse nations. Talented baristas in Qatar will have the chance to showcase their skills and coffee artistry in a brewing and storytelling competition on October 28 from 3pm to 7pm. A unique tour will be held from October 30-31 (1pm-2.30pm for English and 4pm-5:30pm for Arabic), giving participants the chance to learn about the history of Arabic coffee as well as the traditions, necessary equipment and rituals related to preparing and serving the qahwa in Qatar.

For al-Sada, the sea is not merely a workplace; it is a sanctuary where he feels most alive. (Screengrabs from Voices of Qatar's YouTube channel).
Qatari pearl diver shares view on nation's heritage

Qatar Tourism (QT) has opened a window into the captivating world of ancient pearl diving through its new initiative, “Voices of Qatar”, offering “visitors a fresh and unique perspective on Qatar – its heritage and its contemporary culture”. In the latest instalment of this series, Qatari pearl diver Mohamed al-Sada offers an intimate look into the age-old traditions of pearl diving that have shaped Qatar’s rich cultural heritage for nearly 7,500 years. Recounting the origins of his journey, the seasoned pearl diver reveals that the call of the ocean runs in his blood, handed down through generations. For al-Sada, the sea is not merely a workplace; it is a sanctuary where he feels most alive. “The ocean is my life. This is my favourite space to spend my time... When I started diving, I was looking for the fish, but my father told me, ‘you are a diver why don’t you go and look for the oysters just like your grandfather before?’ So now I’m discovering the old diving spots in Qatar’s sea,” he said on Visit Qatar’s Youtube video as he shared his deep-seated connection to the sea. “Voices of Qatar” is an initiative by QT that showcases the remarkable talents woven into Qatar's cultural fabric. This series of videos offers a unique perspective on Qatar, blending its storied history with its dynamic contemporary landscape. “Under the water, you will feel that you are flying. You can feel that you are in the sky, not in the water,” al-Sada said, painting a vivid picture of the surreal experience that accompanies pearl diving. He stressed that the art of pearl diving was once fraught with peril as divers pushed the boundaries of their physical limits to retrieve these treasures. In the past, he noted that divers would submerge at dawn, emerging only as dusk descended, their breath-hold abilities reaching astonishing depths of up to 30m. “Pearl diving before was very dangerous. Now we have different equipment. I don’t need the man in the surface to pull me up. I’m using my fins,” al-Sada said, reiterating that modern equipment has transformed the trade today, affording divers greater safety and autonomy. “The salt is in my blood. It is very important to maintain this tradition and I will teach my kids to do it,” he said, putting a spotlight on the enduring legacy of Qatar's pearl-diving heritage. According to al-Sada, one pearl that has eluded divers for centuries is the elusive “Dana”. It is a jewel of unparalleled rarity and size, boasting dimensions surpassing 10 millimetres. His quest to find this exceptional gem embodies the unyielding spirit of pearl divers past and present.

An array of offerings at the MIA Bazaar, which reopened yesterday at MIA Park. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
MIA Bazaar returns

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Bazaar returned to MIA Park Friday, offering an extensive selection of food and non-food items – from artwork, apparel and handicraft to an array of cuisines.A large number of residents and visitors thronged the reopening of one of the most anticipated marketplaces in Doha, which will run until March 2024.According to the organisers, this annual event ensures weekends filled with lively culture, art, and entertainment.It has firmly established itself as a key feature in Qatar’s cultural agenda, bringing together both locals and tourists for weekends of leisure and discovery.“The MIA Bazaar serves as a nurturing ground for budding artists and entrepreneurs offering them a platform to showcase their craft and products,” IN-Q Enterprises (IN-Q) chief executive Kirstin Mearns told *Gulf Times.IN-Q is the commercial arm of Qatar Museums (QM).“It also fosters cultural exchange through the display of native items from various countries, evoking the vibrant atmosphere of the traditional Souq,” she said.Apart from shopping, visitors can indulge in a diverse selection of local and international traditional sweets/desserts, complementing the offerings from food trucks and kiosks spread throughout MIA Park.These include authentic street foods and snacks from various countries – prepared mostly by vendors from different expatriate communities.“We are delighted by the enthusiastic response from artisans and entrepreneurs vying to be a part of the bazaar,” IN-Q Food and Beverage operations director Yves Godard said. “Starting with a hundred vendors on the first weekend, we are excited to announce that the second weekend will showcase an even more diverse array of talent with 150 stalls.”The MIA Bazaar provides an ideal escape for people of all ages, whether seeking a leisurely stroll or quality family bonding time, especially during the onset of cooler months.Organisers said that this family-friendly and free-of-charge event operates on Fridays from 2pm-10pm, and on Saturdays from 10am-8pm.

Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan at the event, held at the Qatar National Library yesterday. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Years of Culture supports Indonesia’s bid for Unesco World Heritage

Qatar Museums’ (QM) Years of Culture (YoC) initiative and Indonesia’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology have partnered to conserve and highlight the historical and cultural significance of the Spice Route.The two institutions are working towards securing Unesco’s recognition of the Spice Route as a World Heritage Site, with plans to compile substantial evidence for submission by the following year.In his address at a panel discussion yesterday (October 17) at the Qatar National Library (QNL), Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan thanked and acknowledged the partnership between Qatar and Indonesia in the framework of the YoC initiative.He highlighted the programme’s unique focus on exploring the historical and cultural connections along the Spice Route, underlining its profound influence on global heritage.“The relationship between the Arab world and Nusantara has a deep historical connection, characterised by centuries of cultural, trade, and diplomatic ties. One of the most significant aspects of their relationship is the ancient Spice Trade route. This maritime network connected the Arab world with Nusantara, facilitating the exchange of valuable spices, such as cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper, as well as other goods.“In fact, the Spice Trade route was not only about the exchange of valuable spices, but also facilitated a significant cultural exchange. Arab traders, who were predominantly Muslims, began to settle in various port cities and trading hubs across the Nusantara region, until Indonesia became the world’s largest Islamic country by population,” the envoy said.The project commenced with the “Appreciation of the Cultural Actors on the Spice Route” residency programme, enabling scholars to traverse countries along this ancient trade route. Their mission is to gather evidence showcasing the cultural impact of the Spice Route through archaeological findings, historical documents, and local intangible heritage.The initial leg of this residency covers three countries, including Qatar. Participants Idris Masudi, Adimas Bayumurti, Fathurrochman Karyadi, supervised by A Ginanjar Sya’ban, are leading this endeavour.“Qatar was chosen as one of the first host countries of the residency programme due to its rich collections of cultural artefacts related to Arab culture and history, and deep insights into the historical trade relations between the ancient Arab world and Nusantara. We hope these studies will enrich historical knowledge, enhance understanding, and strengthen its eventual bid for Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites.“The residency programme marks a crucial step in safeguarding this invaluable heritage for future generations,” Hilmar Farid, Director General of Culture in the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, said in a press statement. Researchers participating in the residency programme shared their significant findings at the panel talk at QNL, with spokespersons including Hassan and researcher/academic Adimas Bayumurti, among others.According to QM, numerous cultural institutions in Qatar are actively involved in the residency, providing researchers access to their collections of manuscripts and artefacts. The National Museum of Qatar, housing a diverse collection from the Cirebon shipwreck in the Java Sea, offers a unique opportunity to explore maritime culture and trade relations. QNL provides access to Arabic sources on Archipelago Spices, particularly pre-16th-century accounts of Arab travellers and traders in the Indian Ocean region.“The Spice Route had a profound impact on the cultural tapestry of the Arab world. This was more than a conduit for precious spices, but was also one of the best examples of cultural exchange and human connection.The ties it forged transcended centuries, enriching our understanding of the past and setting a path for an interconnected future. We are honoured to take part in such a worthy endeavour,” a YoC representative said.

Molteni&C’s Flagship Store in Doha marks a significant milestone for the company and solidifies Qatar's position as a burgeoning design hub in the Middle East.
Molteni&C opens region's first store in Doha

Renowned Italian high-end furniture brand Molteni&C has set its sights on Qatar as the strategic hub for its Middle East operations, inaugurating its first-ever store in the region at Msheireb Downtown Doha.Speaking to Gulf Times on the occasion, Molteni&C CEO Marco Piscitelli highlighted Qatar’s importance in the brand’s expansion strategy, saying: “We found Qatar to be the right place to be our hub in the Middle East region... we want to be close to the market, close to our clients”.He underlined the alignment between Molteni&C’s ethos and the blend of tradition and innovation embodied by Msheireb. The destination, he pointed out, in a sense, mirrors the essence of their brand, as it captures both the historical core and the burgeoning innovative spirit of the city, while also infusing a touch of design into its fabric.Tracing back to the company’s founding in the 1930s, the CEO pointed out that maintaining balance between heritage and the sense of responsibility for their identity is not a simple task.However, he said that their drive lies in perpetual innovation, seeking fresh solutions not solely on a technical level but also in enhancing the aesthetic appeal of their creations.“In the 1930s, the founder of the company decided to go through this longer process of evolution of innovation, which brought us to the design, to the modern furniture, but always keeping in mind from where we started.“It's not easy to keep the balance between the two, these two topics like the heritage and also the responsibility we feel for what we are, what wear, but again the push is to continuously innovate in finding new solution, not only technical solution, it is more related to the beauty of the things we do,” Piscitelli said.He added that collaboration with globally acclaimed architects and designers plays a key role to Molteni&C's creative process, noting they take the inspiration from the designers.“We elaborate the inspiration and we finalise them into a product. This approach culminates in a comprehensive lifestyle concept rather than individual products,” the CEO said. “This collaboration among all of these guys, together with our creative director, generate the final result.”Regarding the company's expansion, Piscitelli stressed the direct involvement in the Qatari market, avoiding the traditional dealer model. He said: “We are here directly not with a dealer... we have chosen Qatar to establish our company here in Doha because we feel it’s the right size to start a company.”According to Piscitelli, Molteni&C has many subsidiaries in the world – from the US to Australia – but decided to come to Qatar due to its huge potential in terms of human resources: the local populace’s inclination towards design.“There is a good ground, the grass is green here, so it's not over busy, it's not crowded and so we have space enough to develop our human resources and then we also think there’s a potential in terms of business: the potential of having a local business is to be found in qualified local human resources through which we deliver our service, mainly hospitality, residences and VIP villas, with quality and expertise.” he said.In addressing the market in Qatar, Piscitelli puts a spotlight on Molteni&C’s consistent style, parallel to renowned fashion brands, saying: “Wherever we go, we bring our style, we think that we are quite good enough in bringing design using the right proportion between the materials, the colours, which is quite crossing all the tastes.“In general, we like to bring our essence, our style, and we like to do it in a coherent way so we don't change them much. We hope we are able to do it even here in Qatar, but I mean, we started here in 2016 so this is an evolution of our presence here but I think we now know enough about Qatar,” he added.With influential designers like Vincent Van Duysen, Jean Nouvel, Foster + Partners, Gio Ponti, Aldo Rossi, Rodolfo Dordoni, Yabu Pushelberg in the collection, he said ensuring a cohesive representation in the flagship store is a delicate task.He credited their art director, Vincent Van Duysen, for bridging these creative forces, noting that Vincent has been instrumental in shaping the image the company projects and a key player in harmonising his unique design perspective at Molteni&C with the diverse contributions from other designers.Lauding Qatar's growing sensitivity towards design, Piscitelli cited their involvement in monumental projects such as the Qatar National Library with Rem Koolhaas, furnished by UniFor, the National Museum of Qatar with renowned architects and designers such as Jean Nouvel, and recent ventures like the Qatar Airways lounge and the Oryx Tower.He stressed that the opening of Molteni&C’s Flagship Store in Doha marks a significant milestone for the company and solidifies Qatar's position as a burgeoning design hub in the Middle East.

Salman Jassem al-Darwish (right) and Ahed Dawood at the launch of the new Cayenne. PICTURE: Thajudheen
New Porsche Cayenne unveiled

Luxury automotive manufacturer, Porsche, has unveiled the new Cayenne in Qatar – the latest addition to its lineup – expanding its already impressive range of luxury SUVs.“The original Cayenne was a breakthrough model for Porsche both globally and here in Qatar," recalled Porsche Centre Doha (Al Boraq Automobiles Co) CEO Salman Jassem al-Darwish in a statement. .text-box { float:right; width:550px; padding:10px; border:1pt solid black; margin-top: 10px; margin-right: 15px; margin-bottom: 5px; margin-left: 20px; }@media only screen and (max-width: 767px) {.text-box {width: 65%;} } Cayenne: epitome of luxury and performancePorsche has integrated a completely revised display and control concept into the new Cayenne. The new Porsche Driver Experience, first introduced in the Porsche Taycan, focuses on the driver's axis and optimises operation. Functions that the driver uses frequently are located directly on or immediately next to the steering wheel. For the first time, the redesigned cockpit of the Cayenne includes a fully digital 12.6-inch instrument cluster with a so-called curved and free-standing design and variable display options. An optimised head-up display is available as an option. The new Cayenne now has a particularly expressive appearance. A new front end combined with more strongly arched wings, a new bonnet and technically appealing headlights emphasises the vehicle’s width. Three-dimensionally designed tail lights, uncluttered surfaces beneath and a new rear apron with integrated number plate holder characterise the rear end design of the new Cayenne. Porsche now equips the Cayenne at the factory with a steel spring suspension including Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM). New shock absorbers with two-valve technology and thus separate rebound and compression stages allow optimised performance in all driving situations. In particular, comfort at slow speeds, handling during dynamic cornering, and pitch and roll support have been noticeably improved. "Not only did it revolutionise the SUV market 21 years ago by introducing a performance - luxury option for the first time to European buyers – something which every other manufacturer has since followed – but especially for here in Qatar, and the Middle East in general, it let our Porsche sports car owners explore the vastness of our beautiful dunes and coastline for the first time in a Porsche that could carry the whole family in comfort,” he explained.Porsche has undertaken a substantial overhaul of the third-generation Cayenne, implementing comprehensive changes to the powertrain, chassis, design, and equipment. This has not only enhanced on-road and off-road performance, but also elevated the levels of everyday comfort and luxury.Introducing the Porsche Driver Experience: a novel control concept and a cutting-edge digital cockpit. The exterior design has been imbued with expressiveness, featuring radical changes, such as the innovative HD Matrix LED headlights.The chassis features a new two-valve suspension system. All engine variants now offer increased power, further emphasising the Cayenne's performance capabilities.Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch event, Porsche Centre Doha brand manager Ahed Dawood said the hybrid variant is just one of several models available within the Cayenne lineup. Presently, he pointed out that the Cayenne model range comprises a standard Cayenne with a V6 engine featuring a single turbocharger. Moving up is the Cayenne e-hybrid, equipped with a V6 turbo engine, like the combustion engine, augmented by a battery that grants the vehicle a combined output of 470hp. It offers an electric range of up to 90km, marking a significant advancement in hybrid technology. “Then you move to the Cayenne S, which also changed its V6 bi-turbo engine into a V8 bi-turbo engine producing 474hp now, and then the Cayenne turbo GT, which is on the stage today, with 659hp, and 0 to 100 impressive speed of 3.2 seconds,” Dawood said. Noting that the Cayenne holds a significant share in the brand’s market in Doha, he said Qatar boasts an SUV-dominated market. “That is why the Cayenne consists of around or more than 40% of our sales year over year,” Dawood said, describing the demand for Cayenne models as “astonishing”.

The attractions include a towering yellow teddy bear, a reproduction of the famed Lamp Bear at Hamad International Airport. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam
Attractions galore at Expo 2023 Doha

The “Qatar Airways Garden” has emerged as one of the most visited areas at the Expo 2023 Doha, captivating visitors with a blend of iconic landmarks across the globe and innovative features.Nestled within Al Bidda Park, this garden has become a must-visit destination, offering a range of activities and immersive experiences.Among the standout features is a towering yellow teddy bear, a reproduction of the famed *Lamp Bear at Hamad International Airport (HIA).The garden also transports visitors to the timeless beauty of the Gardens of Versailles.The QVerse platform at the garden, an augmented reality experience, seamlessly integrates digital innovation into the botanical surroundings.A meticulously crafted orchard reminiscent of the HIA's Al Mourjan Garden and an overhead maze of artistic delight add to the allure.The Leaning Tower of Pisa stands tall as a testament to global landmarks.The picturesque backdrop of the Qatar Airways Garden provides a rich canvas for Expo-goers exploring its diverse sections.Thousands of visitors have been fascinated by its vibrant beauty.The Expo also showcases the Qur’anic Botanic Garden, an educational haven, which puts a spotlight on environmental conservation efforts.Visitors can expect an array of engaging activities and events soon, courtesy of the garden's collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Wildlife.A special focus at the Qur’anic Botanic Garden lies on the rehabilitation of Rawdat Al-Faras, as part of a larger campaign to combat desertification and preserve biodiversity.One of the garden’s key features is the herbarium, where plant samples are preserved, serving as a permanent record of these species.This conservation section underlines the commitment to preserving Qatar's native and wild flora.Expo 2023 Doha also boasts a plethora of other activities, including board games, art workshops, and live performances on stage.The Cultural Arena, Congress Centre, Exhibition Centre, and Picnic Area offer a diverse range of experiences for visitors of all interests.

Gulf Times
Parade of Excellence kicks off at Lusail Boulevard

The “Parade of Excellence” kicked off yesterday at Lusail Boulevard, featuring a convoy of up to 100 unique and exceptional cars, setting the stage for a grand celebration of automotive culture.The event, in collaboration with the Sealine Circuit Sports Club – Mawater, forms part of the inaugural Geneva International Motor Show (GIMS) Qatar 2023, which will conclude on October 14.The two-hour parade showcased an eclectic mix of vehicles, ranging from newly revealed cars, supercars, classic automobiles, to museum-worthy pieces.According to the organisers, each selection was meticulously curated to align with the grandeur of the GIMS Qatar, ensuring that attendees were treated to a display of automotive excellence in its various forms.Adding to the experience were roaming acts and performances that enthralled and entertained the crowd.Attendees were treated to a sensory feast, as the sights, sounds, and even the scents of the automotive world enveloped the event venue.The “Urban Playground”, a highlight of the GIMS Qatar, hosts an array of captivating events.This ambitious venture is aimed to transform Qatar into the ultimate automotive festival with unique experiences spread across the country’s prominent tourism destinations.