Katara – the Cultural Village Foundation Monday hosted the unveiling of the "world's largest football boot" amid a festive atmosphere. Held in co-ordination with Katara Public Diplomacy Centre, the event marked the launch of the Big Boot exhibition organised by Indian youth body Focus International. The function included a cultural gala that started with a colourful fan procession and featured musical performances by Indian community members. The unveiling ceremony was attended by Indian ambassador Dr Deepak Mittal, Katara Public Diplomacy Centre chief executive and Global Public Diplomacy Network secretary-general Darwish Ahmed al-Shaibani, Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) president P N Baburajan, Big Boot curator M Dileef, and representatives of various community organisations. The Big Boot exhibition has been organised to further strengthen the cultural ties between Qatar and the Indian community while supporting the country’s efforts to host the World Cup. The boot is designed by Kerala-based artist and curator Dileef, who is a Guinness World Record holder. The Big Boot is 17’ long, 7’ high, and is made of leather, fibre, foam sheet and acrylic sheet. The design of the made-in-India boot was completed in Qatar. Al-Shaibani told *Gulf Times that all communities in Qatar have joined hands to celebrate the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. “It’s great that communities share the ideas together and do their part while exchanging cultural values,” he said. “Katara will stand as a cultural transit hub during the World Cup and its doors are open to all while welcoming people from all over the world.” Focus International chief executive Shameer Valiyaveettil noted that the exhibition is aimed at introducing the tradition of cultural exchange between India and the Arab world to the new generation. “This is our attempt to express solidarity with Qatar’s efforts while ensuring the participation of the Indian community,” he said. “The exhibition is a sport and cultural event. The World Cup in Qatar is widely celebrated by Indians since they feel like the tournament has come to their home,” he said, expressing gratitude to Katara. He added that the Indian football team played without boots in 1948. Focus International chief operating officer Firos Chungathara noted that the exhibition highlights football as a sport that brings the global community together. The main sponsors of the exhibition are the ICC, La Cigale Hotel, iMax Gold, Reyada Medical Centre, NBK Tours and Travels, and Radio Suno.
Cycling is more than a passion for Indian national Fayis Ashraf Ali, on a ride from the southern state of Kerala's capital Thiruvananthapuram all the way to London, upholding the message of peace for humanity. The adventurer, who was in Doha last week during his expedition, received a rousing welcome from community organisations and interacted at multiple gatherings. “My mission is to leave strong messages about peace, healthy heart, fitness, zero carbon emission, drug free campuses and eradication of polio. I believe in the potential of cycling and my ride could make impacts and changes while I interact with people from various walks of life,” Ali, who entered Qatar from Saudi Arabia with a Hayya Card, told Gulf Times. The 34-year-old engineer from Kozhikode, embarked on his expedition on August 15 with a itinerary covering 1,000 destinations across 35 countries. Driven by the inspiration and energy obtained from the last cycle ride from Kerala to Singapore in 2019, Ali decided to make an effort to do something more special. “Discussions and interactions with various stakeholders are at the core of my mission,” he said. Ali holds discussions with academic institutions, universities, community centres, socio-cultural youth groups' gatherings, local and international voluntary organisations during his expedition. In Doha, he met the functionaries of various organisations and institutions including the Indian Cultural Centre, World Malayali Federation, Chaliyar Doha, Mindtune Waves, KMCC Elathur constituency committee, Al Muftah Rent A Car and GoMosafer. He visited various places including Doha Corniche, Souq Waqif, Aspire Zone and Al Bayt Stadium. Ali, who reached Qatar after cycling through Oman, the UAE and Saudi Arabia, is leaving Doha Saturday for Kuwait. He plans to cover Iraq, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey and enter more of Europe through Greece. His first expedition to Singapore took 104 days and more than 8,000km covering Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia.
A new Malayalam music video by an Indian expatriates’ collective has enthralled football fans, eagerly awaiting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 kick-off. Titled ‘Nenjum Konde’, which literally translates ‘with your heart’, the song supports the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/A7t6zCp__nY, the music video features iconic locations across Qatar including Souq Waqif, Katara and the Clock Tower. Driven by passion to support Qatar 2022 in an artistic and creative way, the initial idea was coined by project director Niyas Yusuf who shared the concept with director Rameez Azeez, who has to his credit a 45-minute Malayalam crime thriller, Thakkam. The initial works started in August and the song was released last week. Noted social media influencers are featured in the video. “The album is an attempt to do our part while preparations are on to host the World Cup. The track is composed in typical Malayalam style and the lines very much reflect the dedication, enthusiasm, cheer and excitement of the fans,” said production controller Faisel Arikkattayil. The song starts with the visualisation of Qatar winning the World Cup bid and showcases the emotions of fans through the eyes of a young football fan. Famous Indian film music composer and playback singer Jassie Gift is the lead vocalist. The album track has popular sports commentator Shaiju Damodaran commenting on Qatar’s preparations to welcome the mega event. 'Nenjum Konde’ is produced by Hadia MK under the banner of Soraparachill. Vysakh is the director of photography. Jayasankar and Jinshad Guruvayoor are the chief associate directors and Arjun Achuth, the associate director. Jayashankar is also the editor of the music video. The animation and VFX are done by Arif Backer who is also the creative director. The music is composed by Junaid Muhammed and the lyrics are by Harry Prasad. Labeeb Tanalur is production co-ordinator.
The Qatar Classic Cars Contest & Exhibition 2022 took off Wednesday under the patronage of Qatar Museums (QM) Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani at The Pearl-Qatar. The exhibition that alludes to the classic and vintage car collection while throwing lights to Qatar’s long affair with luxury car brands was opened in the presence of Gulf Qatari Classic Cars Association Board Chairman HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, Vice-Chairman Omar Alfardan, Ibrahim Jassim al-Othman, UDC president and chief executive and member of the board and other dignitaries. Dignitaries attending the inaugural session Dignitaries touring the exhibition The event, which is being organised by the Gulf Qatari Classic Cars Association in cooperation with United Development Company (UDC), and under the supervision of the International Classic Car Federation (FIVA) is held at Medina Centrale of The Pearl Island. To run until November 31, the exhibition is held this year under the auspices of Qatar Tourism, Qatar Airways and Alfardan Automobiles. While addressing the inaugural ceremony, Alfardan said that the exhibition lends car owners opportunity to exhibit their cars to the public while provide the car lovers with a platform to view the rich collection and know the specifications. He noted that the exhibition in its previous editions, achieved success with the cooperation of various stakeholders. “Due to this, the International Classic Car Federation joined the exhibition,” he said, explaining that the classic car sector in Qatar is growing remarkably. QM Chief Executive Officer Ahmad Musa al-Namla praised the efforts of the organisers for organising the annual event noting that the exhibition preserves the rich cultural legacy of Qatar. The exhibition features wide varieties of vintage luxury car brands and these include Ford that was manufactured in 1934 while Rolls Royce Phantom III attracts many with its distinguished features. Among the highlights are Ford Deluxe of 1939 and Cadillac Fleetwood of 1947. <b r /> The exhibition aims to bring together the largest number of owners of classic cars that represent different historical eras while helping Qatar attract a large number of visitors who are passionate about such events. Also, it helps cement the importance of hosting such events with the participation of the public, locals and residents alike. The exhibition and contest aim to promote collecting and investing in classic cars, which have become part of our society’s heritage, and to encourage young people to collect rare cars in Qatar and to take an interest in this tradition, highlighting its long-standing history and its developmental stages. </b
The United Nations (UN) Day celebrations Monday highlighted Qatar’s contributions towards strengthening global peace, education, sustainability, environmental protection and humanitarian activities regionally and globally. The celebrations were organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in co-operation with the UN organisations in Qatar at Flag Plaza on Doha Corniche. While addressing the gathering, HE the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmed bin Hassan al-Hammadi said that supporting the UN's initiatives is one of the top priorities of Qatar in the wake of the current challenges. He pointed out that Qatar has supported several UN initiatives and signed various agreements. “There are several international level UN initiatives supported by Qatar. The United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism was opened in Doha. There has been strong co-operation in various sectors including education, environment, sustainability and health,” he added. HE the Chairperson of the Qatar National Human Rights Commission Maryam bint Abdullah al-Attiyah noted there is strong co-operation between Qatar and UN, which are working to strengthen the efforts to ensure human rights and freedom. "Doha has become the capital of attaining the UN objectives while hosting conferences and discussions,” she said. Unesco Representative for the Gulf States and Yemen and director of the Unesco Regional Office in Doha Salah El Din Zaki Khaled praised Qatar’s support to the UN agencies and organisations noting that the country has always been committed to partnership with the international community to achieve the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. “The global community has committed to transform the world through the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These Sustainable Development Goals keep us focused on key development priorities and help us to monitor progress. PICTURES: Thajudheen “I take this opportunity today to commend the election of Qatar as President of the Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5), and for the honour of hosting the main conference in Doha,” he said, noting that this is an affirmation of Qatar's commitment to supporting the least developed countries and continuing its prominent role in the international community.
Fake accommodation bookings done by overseas fans for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will lead to a change in their Hayya Card status, a Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) official has said. Taking part in the 'Al Majlis' show on Al Kass Channel, Thani al-Zarraa, director of the SC Transportation Operations Department, said: “The Hayya Card status is constantly checked. One may receive approval, but this is regularly checked and may turn from active to inactive because of any fake accommodation reservation done by the holder. It is possible to check the Hayya Card at any time and change the status from approved to rejected." The Hayya portal accepts accommodation bookings made on websites other than the Qatar Accommodation Agency (QAA) for fans coming from abroad. Meanwhile, the official said Qatari buses will transport fans from within Saudi Arabia to the Abu Samra border crossing as part of a special service. The bus station will be located 9km from the border. The plan, according to al-Zarraa, will be implemented in co-ordination with the Saudi auhorities. Fans will be taken from the bus station to the crossing point to complete the procedures, and then transported to the 'Friends and Family' area in Al Qalayel or Al Messila. Regarding entry exceptions for those coming through the Abu Samra border crossing, Colonel Dr Jabr Hammoud al-Nuaimi, official spokesman for the Ministry of Interior and Tournament Security, said the preparations are in full swing and all facilities will be provided by the officials. “Buses have been provided from the parking lots to the arrival halls and vice-versa. Parking lots at Abu Samra are available for free for one-day fans only, and whoever exceeds one day will be subject to a violation. Any delay up to 48 hours is to be penalised with a fee of QR1,000, while those exceeding 48 hours will be charged with a fee of QR1,000 while they will also face legal measures for the violation,” he added. Meanwhile, airports in Qatar will receive around 5,700 passengers per hour during the before the World Cup this year, according to Saleh al-Nisf, senior manager of Arrivals and Department at Airports, said on Al Kass Channel. Of these, Hamad International Airport will 3,700 passengers per hour during the World Cup, while Doha International Airport will get 2,000 passengers.
The General Authority of Customs (GAC) has improved the capacity of the Customs building at Abu Samra border while preparing to welcome the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fans to Qatar. Ahmed Yousef al-Sahel, director of Land Customs at GAC, told Qatar Radio that additional halls are all set to serve travellers during and after the World Cup. The building has 24 passport counters, 14 security gates and seven x-ray inspection machines. “An external inspection yard is being set at Abu Samra as part of the extension programme,” he said, explaining that the development works were carried out in co-operation with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the Public Works Authority (Ashghal). The works included the reconstruction of passport counters and the passenger inspection yard as well as the building of two temporary halls with each one accommodating 2,000 people per hour. Al-Sahel noted that the port expansion programme would increase the flow of passenger and public traffic during the World Cup and that it’s considered a legacy beyond the event. MoI has improved the arrangements with the immigration counters to receive the World Cup fans at Abu Samra border where up to 4,000 travellers could be received per hour. The ministry has set up convenient and free transportation from the checkpoint to Al Messila in central Doha and to the Family and Friends Meet and Greet Area in Al Qalayel, 2km away from the border. The fans can contact their friends or family members to take them to their accommodation inside the country, or they can move by private taxi from therein. The measures specified for the entry of World Cup fans through the land border will start from November 1 to December 23.
* Grand welcome ceremony held at Panda House, Al Khor A joyous mood prevailed at Panda House in Al Khor Wednesday as Suhail and Thuraya - two giant pandas gifted by China to Qatar - were presented to an eager audience. With this, Qatar becomes the first country in the Middle East to have giant pandas, and the 20th in the world, according to the Ministry of Municipality. The ministry, represented by the Public Parks Department, announced the arrival of the two pandas at a programme hosted Wednesday at their new habitat - Panda House in Al Khor. It was attended by schoolchildren, Qatari and Chinese officials and the media. Star attractions * Suhail: originally named 'Jing Jing' in the Chinese language, which means shining crystal. The male panda was born on September 19, 2018. He has been given the Arabic name of Suhail, which means star in the sky. * Thuraya: originally named 'Si Hai', which means the four seas in Chinese. The female panda was born on July 26, 2019. She has been given the Arabic name of Thuraya, which means a group of shining stars. These two names have great significance in Qatari culture. The pandas have been gifted within the framework of strengthening the relationship between Qatar and China, and to celebrate Qatar's hosting of the FIFA World Cup from November 20. They will be taken care of by an international team of doctors and specialists. Panda House is expected to become one of the most prominent tourist and leisure destinations in Qatar, attracting a large number of visitors from home and abroad, the ministry said in a statement. Exciting had been building up in anticipation of the pandas' arrival in Qatar ever since the first announcement of the project, peaking with the news of their departure from China on Tuesday. Carrying 'panda' stuffed toys, balloons and the Qatari and Chinese flags to mark the special occasion, the children waited patiently for the pandas Wednesday and then greeted the duo with cheers as they made their first appearance. Suhail and Thuraya will be available for public viewing after the 21-day quarantine period is over, Public Parks Department director Mohamed Ali al-Khori said. Chinese ambassador Zhou Jian with children at the ceremony Addressing the ceremony, he stressed the ministry's role in building the park near Al Khor Park, Al Bayt Stadium and Al Khor-Al Thakhira Municipality in line with the highest international specifications and standards. The panda habitat is located some 35km from Doha. With an area of 120,000sqm, Panda House has an area for panda viewing along with a shelter in addition to green areas and service buildings. A medical facility is attached to Panda House to meet the needs of the animals at all times. “The public will have the opportunity to visit Panda House before the launch of the World Cup. Panda House has been designed by applying various specifications and configurations that provide the pandas with a habitat resembling their homeland- Minshan Mountains in the Chinese province of Sichuan. This is in order to preserve their special nature,” he said. “Convenience in terms of climatic conditions was considered while providing the required areas in addition to paths for visitors to view the pandas. Some 2,814 bamboo plants, which the pandas feed on, have been cultivated inside the facility. Some trees from Chinese forests were brought and cultivated inside the shelter." Chinese ambassador Zhou Jian hailed the arrival of the giant pandas in Qatar and said, "The co-operation on giant panda conservation and research between China and Qatar came as an important consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and His Highness the Amir. It is also the first of its kind in the Middle East, marking a new height of China-Qatar relations and a new chapter in Chinese-Arab friendship." Acting director of the Building Projects Department at the Public Works Authority (Ashghal), Jarallah Mohamed al-Marri, said the Panda House works were completed in co-ordination with the Ministry of Municipality. Ashghal achieved about 2mn work hours, while about 75% of the materials used were local, such as iron and steel, electrical and mechanical tools, glass and other materials. “Panda House has been designed in line with the highest standards of quality and safety in accordance with the standards of the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). Design and operational considerations were applied to achieve a 3-star rating in terms of saving energy and preserving the environment,” he added.
* With capacity of 478 buses, Lusail Bus Depot enters Guinness World Records for being largest electric bus depot * Depot first in Middle East to rely on solar energy as it includes 11,000 PV solar panels to generate 4MW of power daily * Depot to serve World Cup fans and includes special Bus Rapid Transit zone With a capacity of 478 buses, the largest electric bus depot in the world was opened in Lusail City Tuesday. The project also adds to the list of records set in Qatar, as the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and Public Works Authority (Ashghal) have achieved a new Guinness World Record by constructing the largest electric bus depot in Lusail. Besides, this is the fourth accomplishment by Ashghal, to be added to the list of world records it has achieved. The depot, located west of Lusail City, is part of the MoT’s Public Bus Infrastructure Programme. HE the Minister of Transport Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti inaugurated the bus depot in the presence of HE the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Sheikh Dr Faleh bin Nasser bin Ahmed bin Ali al-Thani, Public Works Authority (Ashghal) President Dr Saad bin Ahmad al-Muhannadi and a number of senior officials representing the Qatari transportation industry and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC). “Lusail Bus Depot, which is considered the world’s largest electric bus depot, has been inaugurated in the context of the Ministry of Transport's efforts to provide an integrated and sustainable public transit network that covers all areas of the country. The opening of Lusail Bus Depot and previous inaugurations within the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme are particularly important as they coincide with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and will contribute to supporting tournament’s mobility plans by providing multimodal, eco-friendly transportation that will offer visitors and the public an exceptional experience,” HE al-Sulaiti said. The bus depot, he noted, is the first in the Middle East to rely on solar energy as it includes 11,000 PV solar panels to generate 4MW of power daily to feed its buildings. This is in line with Qatar's National Environment and Climate Change Strategy goals, and helps achieve the leadership’s vision and Qatar National Vision 2030 goals, the MoT said in a statement. The depot has a special zone for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) e-buses, which is one of the newest mobility modes in Qatar that will contribute to supporting fan transportation during the World Cup, HE the Minister added. He thanked all those in charge of developing the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme, which backs the rollout of the strategy of transitioning to EVs that the MoT has developed in conjunction with the bodies concerned, aiming to position Qatar among the top countries in terms of public transit systems and environmentally conscious transportation services offered to citizens, residents and visitors. Lusail Bus Depot depot is built on an area of over 412,000sqm and consists of 24 multipurpose buildings, in addition to bus bays, service facilities, recreational facilities, green spaces and substations. It features approximately 11,000 PV solar panels covering a total area of more than 25,000sqm. The depot, located in in Lusail City north of Doha, near Wadi Al Banat Road to the north and Wadi Smaira Street to the west, is divided into three zones. The first zone includes 478 parking bays for e-buses equipped with 248 electric charging equipment, in addition to dedicated buildings for repairs, inspection, washing and vacuuming. The second zone includes accommodation for the depot staff with a capacity of 1,400 people, constructed in accordance with global specifications and the requirements of both the Ministry of Labour and the SC. This zone also includes service facilities such as dining along with convenience services, an indoor recreational facility, a mosque, an administration building, a services building, guardhouses and other service facilities. The third zone is a depot for BRT e-buses. It features 24 bays equipped with 24 electric chargers to support the operations of that type of buses. It also includes buildings for repairs, cleaning, vacuuming and quick inspection. An Operation Control Centre (OCC) building is also located in the depot over an area of more than 39,000sqm. It will serve as the central command centre from where all bus operations will be monitored and controlled. The solar-powered OCC will begin operations next year. According to Ashghal, the project involved over 10mn working hours without LTI. Director of the Technical Affairs Department at the MoT, Sheikh Mohamed bin Khalid al-Thani, said the opening of the depot is a result of concerted efforts made to deliver one of the Public Bus Infrastructure Programme’s most important projects that supports eco-friendly e-buses, thus boosting the transportation sector’s sustainable development. The programme’s fundamental goal is to improve public transit services in Qatar in step with the highest universal specifications, technologies and requirements, and to achieve integration with other modes of public transit such as the Doha Metro and Lusail Tram, to service fans during the World Cup and beyond. Al-Muhannadi stressed he was "proud of Ashghal's non-stop day-to-day accomplishments, achieveing the fourth Guinness World Record for the largest electric bus depot in a regional and international precedent."Ashghal projects became a globally high-end civilisational facade for Qatar," he added. The Ashghal president added that public transport services will be one of the most important lasting legacy elements after the World Cup.
Qatar will continue with best practices after the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, a senior official of the Supreme Committee of Delivery & Legacy (SC) has said. SC sustainability executive director Bodour al-Meer, while addressing a press conference Monday, explained that the World Cup will change the way upcoming tournaments are organised, including various major sporting events in the future. “We will work to establish a sustainable legacy that contributes to promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Qatar National Vision 2030,” she said, adding that the SC, in co-operation with FIFA, has developed a sustainability strategy. The strategy is being planned and developed jointly between FIFA, the host country and the local organisation concerned. “It reviews 22 goals and implements more than 70 initiatives and programmes. Sustainability has been a major focus of the World Cup from the beginning,” she said, adding that the community members are the most important partners in achieving sustainability goals. “Their social contributions will ensure that the ultimate goal is achieved and ensure that the World Cup will have a positive legacy for future generations." She explained that all the stadiums reduce water consumption by 40-47% while energy consumption is reduced by 30-40%, while 25% of the total buses have been transformed into electric. She pointed out that five commitments relevant to sustainability have been determined, including building human capabilities, protection of rights of workers, provide a holistic experience at the tournament level, incentivise the economic growth, offer innovative solutions, set a model for good governance and ethical corporate practices, affirming that community individuals are the core partners in achieving the sustainability goals, where their contributions will ensure the achievement of the optimal goal at the social level, which imply that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be a positive legacy for the advantage of future generations. (With inputs from QNA)
The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has made all arrangements to receive the World Cup fans at Abu Samra border where up to 4,000 travelers could be received per hour. Addressing a press conference Sunday, Col Dr Jabor Hamoud al-Nuaimi, official spokesman for the Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the World Cup Tournament Security Force, said Abu Samra is ready to receive visitors from November 1 until the end of the tournament. He added facilities here have been improved while increasing the number of immigration counters and setting up elaborate parking facilities that can be used free for 24 hours. Col Jassim al-Bohashem al-Sayed, executive director of the Office of the Commander of FIFA Cup Tournament 2022 Security Operations, was also present. “The Ministry has taken several measures as part of its preparation to receive the public at the Abu Samra border checkpoint while increasing the number of passport counters at the checkpoint to serve visitors to the country, including fans, citizens, residents and others and allocating a comfortable tent ready to receive more than 4,000 people per hour,” he said. “We have set up convenient and free transportation from the checkpoint to Al-Messila in central Doha and to the Family and Friends Meet and Greet Area in Al Qalayel, 2 km away from the border. The fans can contact their friends or family members to take them to their accommodation inside the country, or they can move by private taxi from therein,” he added. The measures specified for the entry of World Cup fans through the land border will start from 1 November 2022 until 23 December 2022. “Those who enter Qatar must use the passport registered with the Hayya card. The entry procedures to be followed at the border checkpoint have been divided into different categories,” he said. The first category is citizens, residents and GCC nationals who hold a Qatari ID card (cars with Qatari number plates). Their entry shall be as regular as is the case in normal circumstances. The vehicle carrying them shall have a Qatari number plate. A Hayya card is not compulsory. The second category is fans with an exceptional entry permit. These are the fans who wish to enter with their own vehicles, and their entry is required to have a vehicle entry permit approved through the Hayya platform. To obtain it, there should be a confirmed accommodation approved through the Hayya platform for a minimum of 5 nights (for the driver only) and they should submit a vehicle entry permit application through the official Hayya platform. If approved, an email with a link to obtain the vehicle insurance electronically will be sent. Upon completion of the insurance, the applicant must follow up on the platform within 24 hours to obtain the permit by paying a non-refundable fee of QR 5,000. There should be a minimum of three people in the vehicle and the number of passengers shall not exceed a maximum of six people, while all of them should carry a Hayya card. The vehicle entry permit can be used only once (not for multiple visits). No driving will be allowed in the restricted areas announced in advance in the press conference on transport regulations in some areas and roads during the tournament. The third category is one-day fan. Those coming through the Abu Samra land border to attend one or more matches within 24 hours only can enter and exit without a prior hotel reservation in Qatar. However, they need to carry a Hayya card (one-day fan category) while pre-booking a car parking lot at the border through the Hayya platform before arriving in Qatar is also mandatory. Parking is free for the first 24 hours from the time of entry. A service fee of QR 1,000 will be charged for the second day. If the vehicle has been parked for more than 48 hours from entry, the vehicle will be towed and another QR 1,000 towing fee will be charged. (Payment can be made electronically through a link that will be sent to their email registered on the platform). Fans can ride in Qatari buses from Abu Samra checkpoint to Doha Central Station (Al Messila) or to the Family and Friends Meet and Greet Area at Al Qalayel. The parking reservation service will be available from 1 November 2022 and can be accessed using the Hayya card. The fourth category is arrivals via buses. Those coming by buses must carry a Hayya Card and reach the arrival lounge at the checkpoint to complete the entry procedures into the country. They can take the Qatar buses from the border to Doha Central Station (Al Messila) or to the Family and Friends Meet and Greet Area outside the border at Al Qalayel. The fifth category is humanitarian cases. Those who don’t hold a Hayya Card can apply for the permit through the Ministry of Interior website -www.moi.gov.qa for entry through the airports. Applications will be reviewed and replied to within six hours. The permit will be sent to the applicant via email if the conditions are met. The permit can be used only once. The official noted that commercial trucks will be allowed to enter through the Abu Samra border crossing between 15 November to 22 December 2022 from 11 pm to 6 am to ensure smooth entry for football fans. He urged to contact the relevant authorities to learn the requirements for truck entry.
Sila, the brand that brings together Qatar’s public transport modes into an integrated network, is set to add more features including integrated and contactless payment options for public transport users. In exclusive statements to Gulf Times, Sila spokesperson at the Ministry of Transport (MoT) Muna Mohamed Sa’ad al-Kharji, said that the brand’s next milestone will be the launch of integrated and contactless payment options. “This includes making payment directly from the Sila app using a QR code, the Sila card and or bank cards on the different modes of transport. That means you will only need one app or one card to pay, even interchanging between bus, metro, tram and taxi,” she said. “Once fully launched, the Sila brand will become a recognisable icon on wayfinding signages and all public transport modes and infrastructure, bringing them all together and further easing public transport journeys and choices. The launch of other features, including integrated payment options, will be revealed in the near future,” she said. Once integrated payment options are launched, it will become even more convenient to use the public transport network because users can pay for their integrated, multi-mode trips using the Sila card, their bank cards or the QR code on the app. Ultimately, all of this will increase mobility, ridership and encourage the use of the public transport network. “Sila and its app and website will continue to evolve, keeping pace with public transport development to ensure that the information on them is up-to-date and that they answer the needs of travelers in Qatar. Future updates include integrating new modes of transport and additional functions on the website and app for example, points of interest, bus route search function and others,” al-Kharji said. Sila is a brand that was launched by MoT while integrating the public transport modes in Qatar and bringing them together under one umbrella. It includes the metro, bus, tram, and taxi. Key features of the brand are the Sila app and website which are designed to make travel around Qatar easy and seamless. The app and website include handy functions such as a journey planner to help users select the times, modes and routes that suit them best. “Qatar has made significant investments to offer citizens, residents, and visitors world-class public transport services. Sila is taking this a step further by integrating public transport modes to maximise ease and efficiency. I will give you an example: to get to City Center from Medina Central in The Pearl: the Sila journey planner will give step-by-step directions showing the bus stop you have to go to, the bus number, the time that the bus will arrive, and approximately how long the bus will take to get to the closest metro station, with the Metro line heading towards City Centre,” al-Kharji said. She added that Sila makes using public transport simpler and more convenient, enabling users to live, work, go to school, shop, and socialize with ease. “There is a positive impact that Sila has on the country as a whole. Firstly, public transport provides a sustainable travel alternative to private car usage, contributing to a greener and healthier environment for all of us. Secondly, public transport enables the movement of goods and people, which facilitates commercial and social activities. It also makes Qatar more attractive to tourists, which ultimately benefits the country economically. All these points contribute to strengthening Qatar’s position as a modern and connected country with a high standard of living,” she noted. According to al-Kharji, there is an increasing engagement on our social media pages as well as app downloads. “In the initial stage of our launch, we set out to introduce and increase awareness of using public transport. With the engagement that we are seeing now, I think this is a testament to the strength of Sila and our country’s public transport network. It also represents how the community has welcomed the enhanced public transport services that Sila brings,” she noted.
As many as 280 Street Child United (SCU) members from 25 countries, currently in Doha for the Street Child World Cup (SCWC), engaged in activities and performances Thursday at The Hamilton International School, a part of International Schools Partnership (ISP). They took part in sports activities comprising tennis, basketball and Frisbee, and attended academic and art lessons with students from The Hamilton International School and Park House English School, also an ISP school. The SCU's Wroe and Hamilton International School principal Senior interacting with some of the Street Child United members. (Supplied pictures) The evening show gave teams the opportunity to show the culture of the countries they are representing. With teams from Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Egypt, England, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Mauritius, Mexico, Nepal, Palestine, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Sudan, Syrian Forum, Tanzania, Uganda, the US, and Zimbabwe, the performances were vibrant and engaging for all. Hamilton International School principal Terry Senior said that it was wonderful to see the community coming together and all the children participating in a series of lessons. “The show in our theatre was also a chance for these children from around the world to showcase their cultures,” he said. “We want to thank our parent community who supported us with the food and beverage arrangements as our guests experienced a range of cuisines from our international community.” As their charity partner, the SCU is vital to the ISP’s charitable objective of working towards ensuring a world where every child can access their rights irrespective of their background, a statement explained. SCU co-founder and chief executive John Wroe said that the Street Child World Cup 2022 focuses on building a platform for all participants to highlight the issues and challenges that they are most likely facing. “The initiative calls for quality education, gender diversity, reduced inequality, peace, justice and strong institutions and partnerships to achieve goals,” he said. “The children are thrilled to play while sharing their experiences.” “Some of the students, who are supported by Qatar, could meet their sponsors in Doha,” Wroe added. “Our partnership with the SCU gives ISP students the opportunity to hear from, connect with, and support some of the most vulnerable young people in the world,” said ISP ME regional managing director Mick Gernon. “By interacting with some of these children, our students have the opportunity to not only understand the lives of some of these disadvantaged children, but it also empowers and enables our students to make positive changes in society now and in the future.”
Ahmed al-Obaidly, chief operating officer of Mowasalat (Karwa), said the company is set to serve FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fans with more than 2,300 buses. Addressing a press conference on Wednesday, al-Obaidl explained that nearly 800 buses will operate from 4am to 11pm, in addition to metrolink services that are linked to the Doha Metro working hours as well as the metroexpress service that will operate from 6am to 12noon. He said there are different types of buses that fans can use during the World Cup: 1. Transfer service from Metro stations to stadiums (buses for stadiums that are not directly serviced by Metro stations): Al Bayt Stadium will be served from Lusail Metro station back and forth; Al Janoub Stadium from Wakra station and Al Thumama Stadium from the Free Zone station. 2. Parking and transportation service around stadiums where fans can park their cars and move to stadiums. 3. Rapid transit buses 4. Buses serving the public throughout the day in central Doha. There will be 76 stops in central Doha. 5 Services linking fans' accommodation: hotels to and from the Souq Waqif South Bus Centre, Barwa Madinah to Ras Bu Fontas Metro station, and Barahat Al Janoob to Wakra Metro station. These will operate from 6am to 3am. As for floating hotels, buses will operate in front of them around the clock. 6. Transfer services from airports: providing transportation from Doha and Hamad International Airport to the Souq Waqif parking. Al-Obaidly said 3,000 taxis and limousines will also be provided at Hamad and Doha International airports and other vital places, and these can be booked through the application or the unified call centre. He added that more than 25% of the buses used in the tournament will be environmentally friendly and fully electric.
* Strict traffic regulation on A-Ring, B-Ring roads, around stadiums * Those affected by Corniche closure can submit request for permits through Ashghal website Strict traffic regulations will be put in place on A-Ring and B-Ring roads and streets surrounding FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums from 12noon until 2am. The restrictions will be in place on Fridays until the end of this month and on all days from November 1 until the end of the tournament. A fine of QR500 will be imposed for any non-compliance with traffic regulations, it was revealed at a press conference yesterday. First-Lieutenant Khaled al-Mulla, head of the Technical Team of the Corniche Closure Committee, said the movement of public and private transport will be restricted on the two roads. Also, vehicular movement will be restricted within a 2km radius of World Cup stadiums. He explained that these measures will enable citizens, residents and visitors to move to and from stadiums and central Doha smoothly. A vehicle plate management system will be implemented in central Doha from November 1. The area covered spans from Al Khafji Street in the north to C-Ring Road in the west and south, and Corniche Street in the east. Under the plan, which is currently being tested every Friday from 3pm to 10pm until October 28, vehicles with general transport plates and black private transport plates are diverted away from central Doha. This will be operational daily during the tournament. People who own only one vehicle, as well as public transport vehicles and emergency services, are exempted from the plan. Local authorities will issue fines for vehicles that access central Doha without meeting the exemption criteria. A-Ring Road has a dedicated bus and taxi lane. Drivers not authorised to use the bus and taxi lane will be fined. The lane will be open to all road users from 2am to 8am only until the tournament. The lane will be used exclusively by buses and taxis 24 hours a day during the tournament. To organise vehicle entry and exit, traffic will be restricted around Al Thumama, Khalifa International, Lusail and Al Janoub stadiums. Residents of the areas surrounding these venues are encouraged to use alternative routes. First-Lieutenant al-Mulla said that the Corniche will be designated for pedestrians from November 1 to December 19 while vehicles will be diverted away from Corniche Road at the intersections of Ras Bu Aboud, Al Mina, Al Seifen, Amiri Diwan, Al Maha, Barzan and Sheraton. He pointed out that all sides of Corniche Road have been provided with alternative entrances and exits. He added that those affected by the closure and diversion can submit a request for permits through the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) website.
* SC announces key transport information for residents and visitors The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 organisers have released key transport information for residents and visitors ahead of this year’s tournament, which will be held from November 20 to December 18. This was announced at a press conference attended by Abdulaziz al-Mawlawi, Mobility executive director - Event Operations at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC); First-Lieutenant Khaled al-Mulla, head of the Technical Team of the Corniche Closure Committee, Ministry of Interior; Abdulla Saif al-Sulaiti, chief of Service Delivery at Qatar Rail; Najla Malallah al-Jaber, head of the Land Transport Regulations and Policies Section at the Ministry of Transport; Mohamed Ali al-Marri, Doha City Designs lead at the Public Works Authority (Ashghal); and Ahmed al-Obaidly, chief operating officer of Mowasalat (Karwa). Al-Mawlawi said the organisers are fully confident in providing the best transportation services during the World Cup. “There will be different transportation alternatives in various places with the best plans to facilitate access to stadiums. The Metro, buses and taxis are fully prepared, and we advise everyone to plan before embarking on their trips. We worked on developing all solutions to be ready to facilitate the movement of transport throughout the period of hosting. We have tried different transport plans in various local and international events and worked on improving and modifying the plans to reach an integrated transport plan that will be implemented during the World Cup,” he said. He urged fans to use official platforms to get updates and said a comprehensive World Cup guide will be published. For arrivals at Hamad International Airport and Doha International Airport, the SC said fans will have a range of transport options when they arrive – including shuttle buses, the Doha Metro, taxis and ride-hail services, such as Uber and Careem. Shuttle buses will operate from both airports and help fans reach their accommodation and tourist attractions in central Doha. On match days, the organisers recommended that local residents use private transportation to get to tournament venues and to drive where possible, while visitors are encouraged to use the Doha Metro and public bus services. Direct bus services will be operational to stadiums from five locations around Doha and key accommodation sites. From November 1, Corniche Street will be pedestrianised as it prepares to host a variety of activities for fans during the tournament. Fans are encouraged to use public transport to visit either the Corniche Activation or FIFA Fan Festival, located at Al Bidda Park. Shuttle bus services will be operated so that fans can travel between entertainment areas. Free shuttle bus services are now operating between Souq Waqif Metro station and Al Bidda Park, connecting fans to various locations across B-Ring and C-Ring roads, and connecting accommodation sites to activations. Timetables and routes are available on the Mowasalat (Karwa) website. During the press conference, the officials said a vehicle plate management system will be implemented in central Doha from November 1. The area covered spans from Al Khafji Street in the north to C-Ring Road in the west and south, and Corniche Street in the east. Under the plan, which is currently being tested every Friday from 3pm to 10pm until October 28, vehicles with general transport plates and black private transport plates are diverted away from central Doha. During the tournament, this will be operational daily. People who own only one vehicle, as well as public transport vehicles and emergency services, are exempted from the plan. The local authorities will issue fines for vehicles that access central Doha without meeting the exemption criteria, according to the official Qatar News Agency (QNA). A-Ring Road now has a dedicated bus and taxi lane. Drivers not authorised to use the bus and taxi lane will be fined. The lane will be open to all road users from 2am to 8am only until the tournament. The lane will be used exclusively by buses and taxis 24 hours a day during the tournament. To organise vehicle entry and exit, traffic will be restricted around Al Thumama, Khalifa International, Lusail and Al Janoub stadiums. Residents of the areas surrounding these venues are encouraged to use alternative routes. Details on entry via the Abu Samra land border will be announced by the relevant authorities in due course. Al-Mawlawi said private parking will be provided next to Metro stations, and free transportation with the Hayya Card will be allowed from November 10 until December 23, QNA reported. He explained that the transportation operations revolve around transportation by Metro through 37 stations to all stadiums and event areas, and that buses will be present continuously during the tournament period to cover stadiums and other facilities. He added that the number of taxis is about 3,000, in addition to 11,500 Uber vehicles and 3,500 Careem cars, indicating that the sites covered by the transportation system are many, the most important of which are stadiums, media centres, ticket centres and Hayya Card support centres, airports, bus centres, fan zones, FIFA media centres, parks and transportation areas across five different areas in Doha, 37 Metro stations, six fan villages, three training sites and national teams' headquarters, and two ports. He noted that a mobility guide will be printed soon and include all options and details related to transportation, and that transportation services for people with disabilities will be available across all means of transportation, including taxis and buses, designated parking lots near stadiums and event venues, as well as the Metro network. Al-Mawlawi pointed out that access to the stadiums will be by different means, namely private cars, bus services, the Doha Metro with its three lines, and taxis (Karwa, Uber and Careem) from five locations, namely Qatar University, Al Qassar and Umm Ghuwailina, Al Wakra and Al Messila. First-Lieutenant al-Mulla said Corniche Street will be designated for pedestrians from November 1 to December 19, and a plan has been prepared to facilitate transportation during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Al-Mulla confirmed that there is a dedicated lane for authorised vehicles on A-Ring Road to separate the movement of buses on public streets to provide a smooth environment for the movement of light vehicles as well as other vehicles on the road. Concerning parking, he said the unavailable parking spaces are Souq Waqif parking lots, Al Shouyoukh Mosque and Al Bidda parking opposite Al Rayyan Street, which is opposite Al Istiklal Street, and all parking spaces inside the transfer area. Speaking at the press conference, al-Sulaiti said Qatar Rail is fully prepared to receive FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 fans, adding that Doha Metro lines are directly connected with five World Cup stadiums, while buses will transport fans to the other three stadiums. He added that Metro stations are directly connected to Hamad International Airport, Doha International Airport and central Doha districts like Msheireb, Corniche, Katara - the Cultural Village Foundation and other event locations. He said the Metro working hours will be extended to 21 hours daily, from 6am until 3am, while on Fridays the operating hours will be from 9am to 3am, stressing that 110 trains will be available to serve fans, and the waiting time will be reduced from five minutes to 165 seconds. He added that parking services will be provided near Metro stations, adding that Hayya Card holders can use the Metro and Lusail Tram for free. Al-Obaidly said hundreds of buses will be operated, 25% of which will be environmentally friendly and fully electric, and will have a role in transforming the transportation system into an eco-friendly one. He explained that the transport network has been developed to operate nearly 800 public buses from 4am to 11pm, in addition to the metrolink and metroexpress feeder services, noting that and more than 2,300 buses will operate throughout the day. Further, al-Obaidly said more than 3,000 taxis and limousines will be ready to serve fans and will be stationed at Hamad International Airport, Doha Airport and other vital places in the country. Al-Marri said Ashghal has implemented a sophisticated network of highways and main streets that will facilitate access to all World Cup stadiums, training and accommodation venues for the tournament and the most vital places in the country, fan zones, parks and Metro stations. The company has also installed 1,180 directional panels to facilitate access to the stadiums and different facilities related to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and the roads are monitored first through Ashghal's Road Network Control Centre in co-ordination with the tournament's control room. Al-Marri added that more than 6mn sqm of parking spaces has been provided to serve the championship buses and utility vehicles. Al-Jaber affirmed that the Ministry of Transport, in partnership with the competent authorities, has prepared ways to provide a flexible experience for users by working to expand mobility options and create sustainability options. The official said bus stations cover all districts of the country, adding that they are working to develop policies to encourage the use of public transportation and create the infrastructure supporting that, such as operating eight bus stations.
The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 organisers have released key transport information for residents and visitors ahead of this year’s tournament, which will be held from November 20 to December 18. This was announced at a press conference attended by Abdulaziz al-Mawlawi, Mobility executive director, Event Operations at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC); First-Lieutenant Khaled al-Mulla, head of the Technical Team of the Corniche Closure Committee; Abdulla Saif al-Sulaiti, chief of Service Delivery at Qatar Rail; Najla Malallah al-Jaber, head of the Land Transport Regulations and Policies Section at the Ministry of Transport (MoT); Mohamed Ali al-Marri, Doha City Designs lead at the Public Works Authority (Ashghal); and Ahmed al-Obaidly, chief operating officer of Mowasalat (Karwa) attended the press conference. Al-Mawlawi said the organisers are fully confident in providing the best transportation services during the World Cup. “There will be different transportation alternatives in various places with the best plans to facilitate access to stadiums. The Metro, buses and taxis are fully prepared, and we advise everyone to plan before embarking on their trips. We worked on developing all solutions to be ready to facilitate the movement of transport throughout the period of hosting. We have tried different transport plans in various local and international events and worked on improving and modifying the plans to reach an integrated transport plan that will be implemented during the World Cup,” he said. He urged fans to use official platforms to get updates and said a comprehensive World Cup guide will be published and printed. For arrivals at Hamad International Airport and Doha International Airport, the SC said fans will have a range of transport options when they arrive – including shuttle buses, the Doha Metro, taxis and ride-hail services, such as Uber and Careem. Shuttle buses will operate from both airports and help fans reach their accommodation and tourist attractions in central Doha. On match days, the organisers has recommended that local residents use private transportation to get to tournament venues and are encouraged to drive where possible, while visitors are encouraged to use the Doha Metro and public bus services. Direct bus services will be operational to stadiums from five locations around Doha and key accommodation sites. From November 1, Corniche Street will be pedestrianised as it prepares to host a variety of activities for fans during the tournament. Fans are encouraged to use public transport to visit either the Corniche Activation or FIFA Fan Festival, located at Al Bidda Park. Shuttle bus services will be operated so that fans can travel between entertainment areas. Free shuttle bus services are now operating between Souq Waqif Metro station and Al Bidda Park, connecting fans to various locations across B-Ring and C-Ring roads, and connecting accommodation sites to activations. Timetables and routes are available on the Mowasalat (Karwa) website. The organisers also shed light on the number plate management system, which will be implemented in central Doha from November 1, while stressing that A-Ring Road has a dedicated bus and taxi lane. Violators of these rules will be fined. Details on entry via the Abu Samra land border will be announced by the relevant authorities in due course. To organise vehicle entry and exit, traffic will be restricted around Al Thumama, Khalifa International, Lusail and Al Janoub stadiums. Residents of the areas surrounding these venues are encouraged to use alternative routes.
Traffic will be strictly regulated on A and B Ring roads and the streets surrounding World Cup stadiums from 12pm to 2am. The restriction will be in place on Fridays from October 14 and will be on all days from November 1. While addressing a press conference on Wednesday, First Lieutenant Engineer Khaled al-Mulla, Head of the Technical Team of the Corniche Committee, said a fine of QR 500 will be imposed for any non-compliance with the regulation. The movement of public and private transport will be restricted on the two roads while the movement will also be restricted within two km diameter of World Cup stadiums, he added. Al-Mulla explained that this procedure is to facilitate smooth travel of citizens, residents and visitors to the stadiums and to Central Doha. All vehicles that carry white private plates will not be not subjected to this regulation. Buses, which contain 15 passengers or below, are allowed all times while buses with the capacity of over 15 passengers (24 passengers - 32 passengers - 55 passengers) will be restricted. Light transport vehicles are also allowed if they are registered in a personal name. Light transport vehicles registered in the name of private companies also are subject to the regulation. Exceptions are made for vehicles equipped with refrigerators for distributing food supplies, processions, police and emergency vehicles, FIFA vehicles, championship buses, Karwa taxis and authorised vehicles. He said that the Corniche will be designated for pedestrians from November 1 to December 19 while vehicles will be diverted away from the Corniche road at the intersections of Ras Bu Aboud, Al Mina, Al Seifen, the Emiri Diwan, Al Maha, Barzan and Sheraton. He pointed out that all sides on the Corniche Road have been provided with alternative entrances and exits. He said that those who are affected by the closure and diversion can submit a request for permits through the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) website.