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Saturday, April 20, 2024 | Daily Newspaper published by GPPC Doha, Qatar.
 Shafeeq Alingal
Shafeeq Alingal
Shafeeq Alingal is a Staff Reporter with Gulf Times. He has mainstream media experience of six years. Health, environment and wildlife are among his specialties.
With Qatar residents making final preparations for Eid-al-Adha celebrations, shopping centres and retail outlets across the country are experiencing good business. PICTURES: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
Eid shopping rush peaks across Qatar

With Qatar residents making final preparations for Eid-al-Adha celebrations, shopping centres and retail outlets across the country are experiencing good business. One such market, Souq Al Ali in Doha, is witnessing a flow of customers who throng tailoring shops to get their new clothes stitched. The market, which has many clothes and tailoring shops, is a popular destination for clothes, footwear, and gifts. “There is competition among these shops. This lends us a huge variety of clothes while helping us get our clothes stitched at reasonable prices,” a Qatari customer said. During the first days of Dhul-Hijjah (the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar), the market started to witness brisk flow of customers. “There are only two days remaining before the Eid holidays. Most families have already completed their shopping, so only the final rush is being felt now,” said Momin, who runs a clothes shop. Another merchant said people from across Qatar converge on Souq Al Ali as the market is a favourite among Qataris for Eid shopping. The traditional headwear (*gatra) and skull caps (*gahfiya) for men and children are also in demand. Special readymade *gatras are also sought by buyers. Shops selling Oud and perfumes have also been experiencing good business, as the Eid is a time for shopping for perfumes for use or as gifts during the celebrations. “Oud as well as other perfumes are in demand. We also get buyers for watches and rosaries,” said one shop employee. Flower bouquets and sweets are available for Eid celebrations. The market is strictly following coronavirus (Covid-19) preventative and precautionary measures prescribed by the authorities concerned.    

Cleanup outside a mosque in the run-up to Eid.
Qatar
More than 900 mosques and prayer grounds to host Eid prayers

More than 900 mosques and prayer grounds across Qatar will host Eid-al-Adha prayers, the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) has announced. Awqaf published the list of the mosques and prayer grounds on its social media accounts. Name, number and location of the 924 mosques and prayer grounds are available on Awqaf’s Twitter handle - https://twitter.com/AwqafM/status/1416706718948544515?s=19. Eid prayer will start at 5.10am. Eid al-Adha will be on July 20 based on astronomical calculations, Qatar Calendar House (QCH) has said. The mosques will be reopened at various areas including Ezgava, Umm Saneem, Al Salata Al Jadeeda, Umm Slal Ali, Umm Slal Mohamed, Umm Ghuwailina, Umm Qarn, Umm Lekhba, Bin Omran, Bin Mahmoud, Bu Sidra, Al Thumama, Al Jumailiya, Al Kharaitiyat, Al Jeryan, Al Huwaila, Al Kharrara, Al Khalidiya, Al Kharsaah, Al Kheesa, Al Dafna, Al Doha Al Jadeed, Al Thakira, Al Soudan, Al Sailiya, Al Sheehaniya, Al Ebb, The Pearl, Al Murra, Al Messila, Al Mirqab Al Jadeed, Al Meshaf, Al Mamoura, Industrial Area, Al Najada, Al Hilal, Al Wajba, Umm Ghuwailina, Al Khor, Al Duhail, Al Rayyan Al Jadeed, Al Rayyan Al Qadeem, Al Sadd, Simaisma, Al Sailiya, Al Sheehaniya, Al Shamal, Al Azeeziya, Bani Hajer, Bu Samra, Bu Sidra, Dukhan, Raas Lafan, Rawdat Al Hamama, Rawdat Al Khail, Rawdat Al Fars, Rawdat Aba Al Heeran, Semaisma, Onaiza, Fereej Al Nasr, Fereej bin Dirham, Fereej Al Manaseer, Fereej bin Omran, Fereej bin Mahmood, Fereej Abdul Aziz, Leibeib, Legataifiya, Meraikh, Mesaieed, Messaimeer, Msheirib, Nuaija, Wadi Al Sail, Ain Kahled, Al Ghanem Al Jadeed, Al Gharrafa, Fereej bin Omar, Al Luqta, Madinat Al Shamal, Madina Khalifa South, Madina Khalifa North, Al Matar Qadeem, Hamad International Airport, Al Mamoura, Muaither South, Muaither North, Al Najma, Al Wakra and Al Wukair. Meanwhile, strict Covid-19 preventive and precautionary measures announced earlier will be in place at mosques and prayer grounds where social distancing will be applied since Awqaf and the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) have announced no relaxation. No place will be available for women, and children aged below 12 years at mosques and prayer grounds. As per the earlier advisory by Awqaf, Ehteraz with green code should be shown. Believers should co-operate with competent authorities and should not shake hands or crowd around the doors of the mosques. The Ministry of Municipality and Environment is carrying out cleanliness drives across the country while cleaning and sanitising mosques and prayer grounds ahead of Eid-al-Adha prayers.    

With the participation of around 80 farms from across Qatar, the festival is organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Souq Waqif management.
Qatar
Greater sales pitch as Local Dates Festival starts at Souq Waqif

* Last year, the sale stood at more than 250 tonnes and we are expecting a good sale during this episode of the festival as the number of participating farms has gone up —Adel al-Kaldi al-Yafei, MME The sixth edition of the Local Dates Festival started at Souq Waqif Thursday, featuring varieties of delicious fresh dates that drew many date lovers on the opening day. With the participation of around 80 farms from across Qatar, the festival is organised by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) and Souq Waqif management. Running until July 30, the festival offers various varieties including Al Khalas, Al Shishi, Al Khenaizi, Al Barhi, Al Saqai, Nabt Saif, Al Lulu and Al Razizi.   Assistant director of the Agricultural Affairs Department at MME Adel al-Kaldi al-Yafei told Gulf Times that the festival will be a big draw this year with more sales and public participation. “Last year, the sale stood at more than 250 tonnes and we are expecting a good sale during this episode of the festival as the number of participating farms has gone up,” al-Yafie said. The festival aims to help local farmers get direct access to customers and make locally grown products popular. Al-Yafie noted that MME is implementing several schemes while supporting the local date farmers. These, according to him, include providing electricity, technical support, export advice and subsidies for farming. “The festival helps local date farming grow while giving them a venue to get a better market for their products,” he said.   Manager Mohamed Abdullah al-Salem said Souq Waqif will host another dates festival in November. He said the festival ensures the development of the agriculture sector while helping consumers buy good quality fresh dates at moderate prices. He added that the festival is held while keeping all Covid-19 precautionary measures in place.     Director of Business Relations at Hassad Food Mubarak al-Sahuti hailed MME and Souq Waqif management for organising the festival, noting that it’s an opportunity for local farmers to prospser while it helps customers get good, fresh locally grown dates. He added Hassad is supporting farmers and markets process dates after procuring them from local farmers. Hassad has a stall in the festival where dates and date syrup are sold.    

Perfume, textile, and tailoring shops at the souq are witnessing a steady flow of people. Photos by: Shaji Kayamkulam
Qatar
Souq Waqif gears up for Eid al-Adha shopping

The corridors of Souq Waqif are coming “alive” again, after having been “deserted” for a number of months on account of government measures to control the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). The Eid al-Adha season is bringing cheer to the merchants here, with residents starting to visit shops here in preparation to celebrate the Eid. Perfume, textile, and tailoring shops at the souq are witnessing a steady flow of people. “No crowd in large numbers is being witnessed so far. However, we’re starting to see a rush, with a few days remaining for the Eid,” said cloth merchant Zainudheen. Qatari men mostly come here to shop for the traditional *thawb (also spelt *thobe) and pants that they wear during Eid celebrations, while Qatari ladies go for traditional *abayas and *jalabiyas. *Thawbs are sold mostly in white, while *abayas and *jalabiyas are available in various designs and colours. “Some pick readymade clothes, while most buyers go for the clothes that they get stitched from the shops here,” said Abdul Rahman, another cloth merchant. Stitching services are available at some shops that sell the clothes. Arabs, according to seller Jaya Prakash, go for *thawb and *kameez while those of other ethnicities pick *jubbas, pajamas, shirts, and pants. Women from India and Pakistan, according to the cloth merchants at Souq Waqif, tended to pick conventional *churidars. The merchants added that no change has been observed with regards to the clothing choices among Qataris and expatriates. Souq Waqif has rows of shops that beckon buyers with the traditional headwear (*gatra) and skull caps (*gahfiya). Shop owners here say that readymade *gatras have been in good demand for the past few years. *Gatras for both men and children are available in various colours and designs, apart from the normal one in white. Qataris also have a penchant towards buttons that are sold here in multiple designs and sizes. “For some Qataris, the Eid is the time to buy new rosaries and watches,” said Abdul Rahman. Sales of perfumes and Oud also tended to see a spike during the Eid season. Ahmed Shahbaj, who runs a perfume shop, said that people are increasingly coming for perfumes and Oud after the lull attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. “The scenario remains grim after Covid-19 crisis struck the market. But things are improving,” he said. Shahbaj added that most people prefer to come and shop in the evening to avoid summer heat during the day.    

Employees can collect their plants from the Kahramaa Awareness Park, Kahramaa building in Abu Hamour, Kahramaa Tower 1 and the Customer Service building in Al Hilal. This can be done Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9am to 2pm.
Qatar
Kahramaa calls on staff to plant trees

The Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (Kahramaa), represented by the National Programme for Conservation and Energy Efficiency (Tarsheed), has launched a plant distribution initiative as an Eid gift for its employees. "We believe that at Kahramaa, we are one family. As an Eid gift, we are giving out plants to our employees to grow them at their homes, and contribute with us to make Qatar greener. This initiative mirrors our vision to plant 10,000 trees by Kahramaa and those collaborating with us," according to a post on the Tarsheed Twitter page. Employees can collect their plants from the Kahramaa Awareness Park, Kahramaa building in Abu Hamour, Kahramaa Tower 1 and the Customer Service building in Al Hilal. This can be done Tuesday and Wednesday, from 9am to 2pm. In January this year, Kahramaa launched an initiative to plant 10,000 trees as part of the ongoing ‘Plant a Million Trees’ initiative by the Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar that works under the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) in co-ordination with several ministries and other entities such as the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Qatar Museums, Qatar Rail, Private Engineering Office and others. The trees are planted at its buildings and facilities, starting with the Awareness Park. The initiative comes as a fulfilment of its social responsibility, and Kahramaa, represented by Tarsheed, co-operates with the Public Gardens Department at the MME in the initiative to plant trees. The initiative is being implemented as part of Kahramaa’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions following the Qatar National Vision 2030 environmental goal of sustainable development.    

Girish Jain, left, and Manzoor Moideen with their book u2018Decoding Communication- A Complete Handbook for Effective Communication' photo by Shaji Kayamkulam
Community
Book on communication by Doha residents wins accolades at Amazon

A book by Qatar residents has received accolades from Amazon where it has secured the Best International Seller tag. Named ‘Decoding Communication – A Complete Handbook for Effective Communication’, the book is jointly authored by Girish Jain and Manzoor Moideen. “Lack of effective communication is always a shortcoming. The book is an attempt to help people from various walks of life to improve their communication skills while sharing tips and ways for effective communication,” said Girish. He added that the recognition from Amazon is indeed an achievement and indicates the response which the book could evoke within a few weeks after it was published. Girish is a chartered accountant from India with CPA certification from the University of Illinois. The graduate from Law Campus, University of Delhi is a finance professional in Doha while actively getting involved in philanthropic activities, training and motivational speaking. The book was authored driven by the quest of bringing the vital elements of communication together. “We share simple techniques to improve communication. The book tries to teach readers to learn from examples. And it helps students, teachers and professionals alike,” said Manzoor. The Keralite expatriate is a Doha based entrepreneur and is active in social activities. The book includes 11 chapters that deal with various types of communication ranging from conversation to texting. Also, they explain the techniques to improve communication and ways to successful communication. Manners that should be kept during communication are also detailed in the book while explaining the ways to attract the audience. The need for good listening is also dealt with by the book. The book helps speakers as it has exclusive parts to improve speaking skills. The chapters explain the art of good conversation and teach to articulate well for effective communication. They discuss the values and virtues of good persons and the importance of body language while sharing tips to acquire good vocabulary. Also, some motivational quotes have been given in a bid to inspire the readers and motivate them to work hard on improving their speaking and communication skills. “We have covered everything from day to day conversations to professional meetings from candid talks to consequential discussions,” said Girish. “The book has real life examples and case studies from skillful people. And we held talks with experts and surveys in order to provide readers with better experience,” said Manzoor. The chapters end with survey results and opinions from the experts along with their observations. What makes the book special is that it includes exercises that enable the learners to improve their skills by holding practices. Also, the book has graphic content and illustrations that help the readers better understand the theories.    

First Lieutenant Ahmed Abdullah Salem Ghurab al-Marri, Officer of the Follow Up and Technical Office at Search and Follow Up Department, left, and First Lieutenant Abdul Azeez Saleh al-Rashedi, Head, Studies and Technical Research Section at the Criminal Evidence and Information Department, centre.
Qatar
Fingerprinting to resume in evening after Eid

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) will introduce more features with Metrash 2 while enabling services to check absconding reports against the users along with new features that help them file absconding reports. First Lieutenant Ahmed Abdullah Salem Ghurab al-Marri, Officer of the Follow Up and Technical Office at Search and Follow Up Department, said the process to introduce these features is on. He was attending a virtual seminar that was organised by MoI’s Public Relations Department in cooperation with the Search and Follow-up Department on its services. First Lieutenant Abdul Azeez Saleh al-Rashedi, Head, Studies and Technical Research Section at the Criminal Evidence and Information Department, said the evening services of fingerprinting will resume after Eid- al-Adha noting the service is presently available from 6 am to 1 pm. The seminar was attended by several administrative affairs and human resources managers, government relations officials and delegates from private companies and institutions. Al-Rashedi explained the functions and missions of the department and proceedings to complete fingerprinting and get various certificates from the police and authorities concerned. Al-Marri, while explaining the functions of the Search and Follow Up Department, asked the residents and companies to follow the rules regarding the entry and exit. “Enter or exit the country without a passport or travel document or entry permit is a violation that draws imprisonment upto three years maximum and/ or fine up to QR 50000. Entry or exit the country through points other than the specified ports causes imprisonment up to three years maximum and/or fine up to QR 50,000,” he said adding that illegal visa trading can cause imprisonment up to three years maximum and/or a fine up to QR 50,000 for the first time and QR 100,000 in case of repetition. “Failure of the employer to proceed residence permit and renewal procedures within the specified period not exceeding 90 days from the expiry date will draw a fine up to QR 10,000. An employer’s failure to hand over passport to the employee after completing the procedures for getting or renewing permit draws fine upto QR 25,000 while the employer’s failure to allow the expatriate to approach the competent authorities during 30 days from the date of entry into the country to complete the resident procedures can cause fine up to QR 10,000. Failure of the expat to complete these measures will be subject to a fine up to QR 10,000,” he explained. He added that the department runs a well set up detention centre where all facilities are available for detainees who are held for violating the provisions of the law regulating the entry and residence of foreigners in the country.      

The formal exchange of the documents of handing over the Commercial Avenue premises to the university. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
Qatar
First Indian university set to go operation

The first Indian university in Qatar will operate from The Commercial Avenue on Industrial Area Road in Ain Khalid, where it will offer undergraduate programmes from September this year. Milestone International Education, a company registered in Qatar, has partnered with Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) in India to set up the MIE SPPU Institute of Higher Education. A ceremony was held on Monday to hand over the designated premises at The Commercial Avenue to the institute. The handover took place in the presence of Dr Khalid Abdullah al-Ali, acting Assistant Undersecretary for Higher Education Affairs at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MoEHE), Indian ambassador to Qatar Dr Deepak Mittal, MIE chairman Ali A Latif al-Misnad, The Commercial Avenue chief executive Abdulla Haider, DPS Group chief patron Mohamed bin Hammam al-Abdulla, and MIE president Hassan Chougule. The institute is fully licensed by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Qatar and will offer the following undergraduate programmes: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Business Administration. The officials said that the MIE SPPU Institute of Higher Education’s admissions and academic teams started functioning in Qatar in June. The institute will launch its academic programmes, under Savitribai Phule Pune University’s academic governance structure, in September. "The programmes offered by SPPU encourage academicians as well as learners to inculcate knowledge that has the ability to adapt and change as per modern circumstances,” a press statement noted. “A multidisciplinary method of educational instruction is used whereby a student learns about a topic from a variety of viewpoints.” “The approach inculcates interdisciplinary aptitude, attitude, ability and perspective," the statement added. "SPPU provides programmes of study that enable employability and opportunity globally for its graduates." Al-Misnad said there is close co-operation between the university and the MoEHE, noting that the institute was set up after several rounds of deliberations and visits to India. He added that the institute will be one of the universities that the "Qatar government and private sector can count on".“ Our graduates will be ready to join the market,” al-Misnad said. “The academic faculty conducting these courses will be recruited and deputed by Savitribai Phule Pune University and will have enough academic and industry capabilities to enable the holistic development of students and get them prepared for futuristic careers in Qatar," said Chougule. The campus will have well-structured and modern educational facilities, laboratories and libraries to ensure that students get all the required amenities. Dr Mittal said the launch of the university marks a milestone, stressing that there are vibrant India-Qatar relations in several fields. Dr al-Ali, while addressing the ceremony, said students of the institute will not require equivalency certification. “All universities outside need to get equivalency for their certificates in Qatar. But students of MIE SPPU Institute of Higher Education won’t need them,” he added. Students of MIE SPPU Institute of Higher Education will study on a state-of-the-art campus facility in The Commercial Avenue, Industrial Area Road, Ain Khalid. Prospective students and parents have been advised to register for admissions as soon as possible by contacting the admissions counsellor at 55008444 or by making an admissions enquiry on the website, www.miesppu.edu.qa Savitribai Phule Pune University is a state-owned public university established in 1949. It is a multi-disciplinary institution consisting of 50 departments and 900 affiliated colleges and institutes.    

Bangladesh ambassador Mohamed Jashim Uddin
Qatar
Prime Minister's interview reflects Qatar's transformation

HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani's interview reflects Qatar’s transformations that position the country as a pioneer in multiple areas of public welfare, Bangladesh ambassador Mohamed Jashim Uddin has said. In an exclusive statement to Gulf Times, the ambassador said the interview with chief editors of Qatari newspapers also speaks of the presence of an enlightened, dynamic and visionary leadership of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. “The ongoing global pandemic and the success with which Qatar managed and contained both the waves of the deadly virus is testament to the commitment and capability of the authorities, especially the excellent health infrastructure that played a pivotal role in rendering medical treatment to both the citizens and residents. We are truly grateful to the government of Qatar for this support. Qatar also set an example in successfully rolling out vaccines and by now has covered a significant percentile of the population. As HE the Prime Minister rightly pointed out, Qatar has picked the best vaccines early on and that has surely made a big difference. The excellent arrangements put in place to vaccinate the population since December last year are yielding positive results for the country to gradually return to normalcy,” the ambassador noted. The envoy expressed his delight to see that Qatar is preparing for the Shura Council election to strengthen the Council and to ensure participation of its citizens. “With the commitment from the highest political leadership, as has been elaborated by HE the Prime Minister, the citizens of this country are poised to experience a new chapter of their participation in the electoral process to move towards strengthening the Shura Council. We wish Qatar all the best in this initiative of holding the elections for the Shura Council,” Jashim Uddin said. “Living in Qatar now, I can see the extraordinary efforts the Qatari leadership has put into preparing for the mega world cup football meet in 2022. The infrastructure is excellent as some of the stadiums have been used as venues for matches where Bangladesh football team also had the opportunity to participate. I completely agree with HE the Prime Minister that Qatar is ready to host the tournament in all respects. I am particularly pleased to see that the pandemic couldn't put a brake in slowing down the pace of the construction of the infrastructure. The balancing act of containing the pandemic and carrying on the construction activities speak of not only the commitment but also the strategic vision of the leadership here. I think the World Cup in Qatar will go down in history as one of the most remarkable ones,” he explained. The Bangladesh ambassador also hailed the positive impact on the lives of the workers and with commitment and dedication and concerted efforts with the participation of all authorities concerned saying the reforms measures to strengthen labor law will go a long way in further improving the lives of the workers. “It will benefit the employers and therefore help project Qatar as a pioneer in this area too,” he noted.    

Parakkal Abdulla
Qatar
PM's announcements give hope to expatriate community

The announcements by HE the Prime Minister and Interior Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani are giving hope to the expatriate community, Doha based Indian businessman and social worker Parakkal Abdulla said. "The statements underscore Qatar’s keenness to achieve further development while ensuring the welfare of all. Development initiatives are implemented in the country while taking the interests of expatriates into account. Expatriates are paid for there contributions,” the former Member of the Kerala Legislative Assembly said. Qatar’s labour reforms and stands in favour of oppressed people have won international accolades, he stated. “Qatar has secured much improvement in various sectors while adding several achievements into it's credit in the past few years," he added.    

Dr Abdullatif al-Khal speaking to Qatar TV on Thursday.
Qatar
Covid-19 third wave not expected in Qatar: Dr al-Khal

A third wave of Covid-19 is not expected in Qatar as the vaccines used in the country provide high levels of protection and are among the best in the world, stated Dr Abdullatif al-Khal, chair of the National Strategic Group on Covid-19 and head of the Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad Medical Corporation. “We are on our way to winning the battle against the Covid-19 with 60% of the population vaccinated with one dose and 46% with two doses," he told Qatar TV Thursday in an interview. Pointing out that 40% of the eligible population is yet to receive the vaccination and hence vulnerable to infection and spreading Covid-19, Dr al-Khal urged caution until 80 or 90% are vaccinated. "This is because the virus has mutations,” he explained. “I advise everyone to take the vaccine and give the vaccine to their children (12-17 years) as its effectiveness and safety have been proven. The side effects of the vaccine are generally mild and there is no medical objection to vaccination except for people who are allergic to the first dose,” he said, noting that the allergy rate from the first dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is very low. The Covid-19 situation in Qatar is improving as reflected on all indicators monitored by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in terms of daily infection, the percentage of daily positive examinations and the number of hospital admissions and intensive care cases. “Going back is possible, as it happened before. When we entered the second wave of the pandemic several months ago we had to go back and impose more restrictions. We were able to control the epidemic by imposing more restrictions in addition to expanding the vaccination,” he said. Dr al-Khal urged everyone to continue to adhere to the precautionary measures. “It’s like an adventure because the virus, even for the youth, is difficult to predict its symptoms. And even if the person recovers, he may suffer from chronic symptoms such as fatigue, lack of focus and headache,” he said. The official warned that the symptoms of infection and illness may be more severe if the vaccine is not taken. "Those who do not take the vaccine are risking their health and lives because they leave themselves exposed to the virus." Dr al-Khal further explained that giving exemptions for vaccinated people from the restrictions is not discrimination. “The infection rate among the vaccinated in closed places is less unlike among those unvaccinated."    

The district cooling plant for Al Bayt Stadium.
Qatar
Kahramaa eyeing District Cooling System expansion

The Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa) is eyeing an expansion of the District Cooling (DC) System, which presently covers 19% of the total cooling capacity in the country, at over 1mn tonnes. “And this figure is expected to reach 24% by 2030,” a Kahramaa tweet said. Kahramaa, represented by the District Cooling Services Department, is looking to extend DC services to individual villas. A feasible study has been launched to help set up investment projects of DC plants in order to enable individual villas and houses to benefit from the most efficient cooling system. Kahramaa's District Cooling Services Department was established in 2012 as a regulator in the field and to provide services that contribute to enhancing energy and water sustainability. DC, considered one of the most efficient, environment-friendly and energy-saving systems, helps reduce about 40% of electricity consumption and 98% of water consumption, compared to conventional cooling solutions. This supports the efforts made to ensure the sustainability of water resources. Kahramaa works to enhance water security in the country by switching to the use of treated wastewater instead of potable water in all district cooling plants, taking advantage of the best sustainable system in the region. The cooling plant is equipped with the latest equipment and intelligent monitoring and control systems that provide the highest levels of energy performance through the use of treated water for cooling.    

Kaharamaa is sharing tips that help electricity and water consumers bring down consumption while helping the corporation achieve the goal.
Qatar
Tarsheed steps up awareness programmes

The Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), represented by the National Programme for Conservation and Energy Efficiency (Tarsheed), has intensified awareness programmes while implementing its new initiative to reduce water and electricity consumption by 5% in the residential sector. Kahramaa has urged residents to fill out a residential consumption questionnaire, which is available on its website, as part of its efforts to assess habits related to water and electricity consumption. The form can be found at https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=wrLTTGTT8U2IjXG6Q6aSaIPHiBvakf5GiD2AK6hU8slURFpSTjNHRFVGMklNRjhWM0pKNEdXNlNFMi4u As part of the ongoing awareness campaign, Kahramaa is sharing tips to help people bring down electricity and water consumption while enabling the corporation to achieve its goals. Also, Kahramaa has published consumer guidelines on the use of air-conditioners, lamps and other appliances. In April, Kahramaa launched it's initiative to obtain 5% reduction in consumption by using practical and available solutions at the lowest possible cost. In the case of saving electricity by 5%, which is estimated at about 600 gigawatts per hour. In the case of saving 5% of water it’s about 11mn cu m. This is expected to help the country achieve savings estimated at about QR 212 mn. The initiative contributes to Qatar National Vision 2030 by raising awareness, endorsing rationalisation techniques and promoting responsible consumer behaviour with detailed follow-up techniques being implemented to provide customers with support and guarantee long-term results. The initiative will be implemented in 2021 and 2022 in four basic phases. It’s designed according to the consumption pattern and housing type for everyone who takes part. The campaign is run in various phases that include filling out the residential consumption questionnaire, analysing the results of the questionnaires and launching an interactive platform on the Tarsheed page on the Kahramaa website to follow up on the participants on how to reduce 5% of the electricity and water consumption in every home. Besides, an interactive platform through an electronic application will be launched. This will provide a plan designed for each subscriber to achieve the efficiency of electricity and water use specifically in each house and according to the number of electrical appliances and the quality of water tools. Results of the efforts in various phases will be announced.    

The project will accommodate surface and storm water volumes received from the drainage networks located in different areas in Doha.
Qatar
Mesaimeer Pumping Station and Outfall project to resolve sewage and waterlogging woes

The Mesaimeer Pumping Station and Outfall project will bring a facelift to the sewage management in Qatar while decreasing the surface water level and reducing pumping costs in construction projects across the country. Ashghal has informed that the project will be completed by the end of this year. The main tunnel will connect the existing and future drainage networks. The tunnel will operate to drain surface water from sub-networks located in different areas, spread over an estimated 170sq km area, and minimise rainwater catchments, especially in tunnels, as it is connected with rainwater drainage networks in 22 tunnels for vehicular traffic. It will also help preserve the foundations of buildings by reducing waterlogging. Once completed at a total cost of about QR920mn, the 10km long outfall will become an important step towards providing a sustainable solution for the discharge of surface and stormwater in the country. The project will accommodate surface and storm water volumes received from the drainage networks located in different areas in Doha. The water is treated according to the highest internationally-approved specifications, and then pumped 10km away from the seashore via the Mesaimeer pumping station and outfall tunnel. The excavation of the outfall tunnel, at a depth of 15m below the seabed and about 3.7m in diameter, is considered a “major construction challenge due to the variable geology that increases the exposure to unexpected conditions”. The excavation is carried using a highly-specialised tunner boring machine (TBM) that uses a technique called “Earth Pressure Balance”, and is designed to operate in a range of ground conditions in Qatar, and along the variable geology along the tunnel. The TBM incorporates advanced technologies that ensure the efficiency of the drilling process, providing the maximum safety standards for tunnel workers and operators, as well as monitoring the work execution through all its stages. The safety features include a “closed mode” feature, used in the case of ground deterioration to prevent water from entering the tunnel and thus protect the workers, in addition to rescue chambers that protect personnel during emergencies, fire detection and suppression, as well as emergency electricity generation systems.    

The Mesaimeer Pumping Station and Outfall project will bring a facelift to the sewage management in Qatar while decreasing the surface water level and reducing pumping costs in construction projects across the country.
Qatar
Mesaimeer Pumping Station and Outfall project to resolve sewage and waterlogging woes

The Mesaimeer Pumping Station and Outfall project will bring a facelift to the sewage management in Qatar while decreasing the surface water level and reducing pumping costs in construction projects across the country. Ashghal has informed that the project will be completed by the end of this year. The main tunnel will connect the existing and future drainage networks. The tunnel will operate to drain surface water from sub-networks located in different areas, spread over an estimated 170sqkm area, and minimise rainwater catchments, especially in tunnels, as it’s connected with rainwater drainage networks in 22 tunnels for vehicular traffic. Besides, it will help preserve the foundations of buildings by reducing waterlogging. Once completed at a total cost of about QR920mn, the 10km long outfall will become an important step towards providing a sustainable solution for the discharge of surface and stormwater in the country. The project will accommodate surface and storm water volumes received from the drainage networks located in different areas in Doha. The water is treated according to the highest internationally approved specifications, and than pumped 10km away from the seashore via the Mesaimeer pumping station and outfall tunnel. The excavation of the outfall tunnel, at a depth of 15m below the seabed and about 3.7m in diameter, is considered a “major construction challenge due to the variable geology that increases the exposure to unexpected conditions”. The excavation is carried using a highly specialised tunner boring machine (TBM) that uses a technique called Earth Pressure Balance and is designed to operate in a range of ground conditions in Qatar, and along the variable geology along the tunnel. The TBM incorporates advanced technologies that ensure the efficiency of the drilling process, providing the maximum safety standards for tunnel workers and operators, as well as monitoring the work execution through all it's stages. The safety features include a “closed mode” feature, used in the case of ground deterioration to prevent water from entering the tunnel and thus protect the workers, in addition to rescue chambers that protect personnel during emergencies, fire detection and suppression, as well as emergency electricity generation systems.    

In a major move that will strengthen environmental protection, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has adopted the policy of using higher grade and cleaner premium diesel fuel that meets the European emission standard Euro 5 specifications.
Qatar
Qatar adopts Euro 5 standards for heavy vehicles

In a major move that will strengthen environmental protection, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has adopted the policy of using higher grade and cleaner premium diesel fuel that meets the European emission standard Euro 5 specifications. MoTC tweeted that this will apply for imported trucks and buses starting with models manufactured for 2022. The plan, according to the tweet, is to implement the initiative in coordination with various bodies concerned including Qatar Petroleum (QP), the Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology (QS) and the General Directorate of Traffic. “The major goals of the initiative include creating a cleaner, healthier and safer environment for current and coming generations while bringing down carbon emission by 17% by 2022 in a move to reduce greenhouse gases, combat climate change and maintain an economic-environmental balance,” the tweet said. The policy is adopted as part of the ongoing strategy to switch to eco-friendly electric vehicles in Qatar while upgrading the specifications of buses and trucks to conform to the clean Euro 5 diesel. MoTC said this will help achieve environmental sustainability by rolling out more of clean technologies, clean fuel and electrical energy to reduce vehicle exhausts and harmful carbon emissions. The Euro 5 specification provides best standards and modern technologies. The specification for carbon monoxide (CO) does not exceed 1.5% while Euro 2 diesel specification causes more pollution . With Euro 5 specification, maximum diesel sulfur content is 10 parts per million (ppm) and smoke opacity is 1.0-1.5 ppm while diesel sulfur content is as high as 500 ppm and smoke opacity is up to 0.46 ppm with Euro 2 specification. Currently, MoTC is working on the strategy for shifting to eco-friendly vehicles and encouraging the public to use the multimodal public transit system. Several strategic projects to develop the bus network and provide a fresh set of special routes and services along with initiatives to provide the necessary infrastructure and relevant logistic services are being implemented by the MoTC. Among these, are building eight bus stations and four bus depots and various parking spaces for vehicles and buses, establishing 2700 bus stops and setting up stations and parking spaces for water taxis. These projects are implemented in collaboration with the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). The Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation (Kahramaa), in coordination with MoTC, has developed a strategy for electric and hybrid vehicles for Qatar in order to secure the country's needs of clean energy permanently and regularly. This is in addition to identifying the alternatives to secure it and thus help the country achieve Qatar's second National Development Strategy (2018- 2022) and Qatar National Vision 2030.    

Ayed al-Qahtani.
Qatar
Focus on vaccination, compliance with rules as commercial outlets welcome customers

With Phase 1 of the gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions beginning tomorrow, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) official has stressed the need for both workers and customers to be vaccinated to be allowed at indoor commercial establishments such as restaurants, barbershops, etc. They should have completed 14 days after the second dose, Ayed al-Qahtani, director of the commercial registration and licensing department at the MoCI, told Qatar TV yesterday. This is not to give vaccinated people any advantage but to successfully complete the first stage and ensure that there will be no new cases. He said barbershops, salons and gyms will be allowed to operate from tomorrow subject to certain conditions, as the first phase of lifting restrictions targets vital sectors that concern citizens and residents. He said this is based on a study to resume work and expand key commercial and entertainment activities. “We urge owners of restaurants in commercial complexes to ensure that all their workers are vaccinated, especially in closed spaces,” he said. The official urged business establishments and stores to follow the Covid-19 restrictions during the first phase of easing of restrictions, stressing that the ministry will make sure that the rules are complied with. He added that intensive campaigns will be carried out at commercial establishments to look for violations and offenders will face serious actions. “The goal is not punishment but to proceed to the second stage,” he said.  “If the occupancy level is found at 50%, for example, the owner of a restaurant or cafe will be notified and alerted that he has exceeded the stipulated 30%. If he responds to us, we will not close the place. If he fails to respond, legal action or closure will be initiated. We are looking to co-operate with the shop owners,” al-Qahtani said. The MoCI official urged the owners of establishments and stores to strictly follow the stipulated measures during the first phase of lifting restrictions. “We will ensure that we will go to the other stages and I think the public understands the situation,” he explained, urging the public to co-operate with the MoCI and give information on any failure to follow the restrictions and apply precautionary measures.   MoI to continue efforts to ensure rules are followed Lieutenant-Colonel Masoud al-Qahtani, head of the Ehteraz Unit at the National Command Centre, has stressed that the Ministry of Interior (MoI) will continue to make the necessary efforts to ensure that the rules are followed during the easing of Covid-19 restrictions. He said the ministry will continue to work with other competent authorities round-the-clock to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in Qatar.

Qatar residents celebrated Eid al-Fitr Thursday abiding by the preventive and precautionary measures against the spread of Covid-19. They had a cheerful day with the authorities concerned opening the doors of mosques and prayer grounds for special Eid prayers.
Qatar
Eid al-Fitr prayers offered while adhering to preventive measures

Qatar residents celebrated Eid al-Fitr Thursday abiding by the preventive and precautionary measures against the spread of Covid-19. They had a cheerful day with the authorities concerned opening the doors of mosques and prayer grounds for special Eid prayers. “Restrictions often leave us staying inside the home, but this Eid was different and the day started with joy early morning," said Badrudheen Thotty Abdulrahman. The resident of Al Wakra said it was good to have most of the mosques opened as it helped the faithful to easily find a place where they could participate in prayers and listen to the Eid sermon. The Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf) and Islamic Affairs made arrangements in 1,028 mosques and prayer grounds in various regions of the country to receive worshippers for the Eid al-Fitr prayers, which started at 5.05am while maintaining the Covid-19 precautionary measures. Last year, mosques and prayer grounds remained closed during Eid-al-Fitr while the Mosques Management Department at the Ministry readied only 401 mosques and prayer grounds for the Eid al-Adha prayer. “The number of opened mosques and prayer grounds doubled this year while precautionary measures were strictly followed," said Rayees Ali, who performed his prayer at Al Aziziya prayer ground. Awqaf and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) made arrangements to ensure the convenience and safety of the faithful at mosques and prayer grounds where MME's Public Cleaning Department carried out cleanliness campaigns. Special teams with the latest equipment and machinery cleaned the prayer grounds across the country and prepared them to receive the worshippers. The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) deployed volunteers at mosques and prayer grounds in order to maintain safety and ensure the smooth conduct of the prayers. "People were very co-operative," Abdulrahman said. Rayees noted that Eid came as a relief even though restrictions are in place. Meanwhile, residents abstained from holding usual family visits and tours taking note of the directions. “The usual meets were held virtual. Organisations opted for virtual meets and cultural programmes were not held," the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) Kerala state committee secretary said. KMCC, like other organisations, had a special virtual Eid meet on Thursday. “Earlier, we used to meet in the office and hold household visits. But, this Eid had the routines going virtual," he added. PICTURES: Jayan Orma and Shaji Kayamkulam.