Tennis fans are in for a treat this month. For the first time in three decades, the iconic Khalifa Tennis and Squash Complex will stage the Qatar TotalEnergies Open and Qatar ExxonMobil Open across back-to-back weeks starting next Monday.The two tournaments will be immediately followed by the Ooredoo Qatar Major Premier Padel event at the end of this month (February 26-March 5).According to Tareq Zainal, Secretary-General of Qatar Tennis Federation (QTF), Khalifa Complex will be at the centre of attention starting Saturday when the qualifiers for the $800,000 Qatar TotalEnergies Open kick off.“We are hosting two back-to-back weeks of non-stop tennis. This will be the first time that Qatar TotalEnergies Open (Feb 13 to 18) and Qatar ExxonMobil Open (February 20 to 26) will be held in quick succession,” Zainal told local media yesterday at a press conference.Before the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted world’s sports calendar in 2020, the two Doha events were usually staged in January reserved for the ATP Tour tournament followed by the women’s event in February.“We are looking forward to hosting the world’s best players on the WTA Tour and the ATP Tour over these two weeks. It is not too difficult to host events like this as we have been staging top tier tennis tournaments since 1993,” he added.“I can’t say whether this would be a permanent fixture as the tennis calendars for the coming season would be decided later,” Zainal said.Tournament Director of Qatar TotalEnergies Open Saad al-Mohannadi said yesterday: “It will be a big challenge but we are ready as players have started arriving for the Qatar TotalEnergies Open. The first two days of action is reserved for the qualifiers followed by the main draw action from Monday.”He added: “We have a 32-player field in the singles and 16-player draw in the doubles. The Qatar TotalEnergies Open is a 500 event.”Officials confirmed World No 3 Ons Jabuer of Tunisia pulled out of the events in Doha and Dubai to undergo ‘a minor surgery’.Jabeur, 28, was runner up at last year’s Wimbledon and US Open. “To take care of my health situation, my medical team have decided that I need to get a minor surgery in order to be able to be back on the courts and perform well,” Jabeur said on social media.“I will have to retire from Doha and Dubai and this is breaking my heart. I would like to say sorry to all the fans out there in the Middle East that waited for this reunion. I promise I will come back to you stronger and healthy,” she added.Defending champion and World No 1 Iga Swiatek, winner of two Grand Slam titles last season, tops the lineup in Doha. World No 3 Jessica Pegula, No 4 Caroline Garcia and No 5 Aryna Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion and winner in Doha in 2020, make up the star cast.Coco Gauff, Daria Kasatkina, Veronika Kudermetova and Belinda Bencic round out the top 10 entrants. Jelena Ostapenko and two-time Doha champion Petra Kvitova are other Grand Slam champions entered into the main-draw field.Zainal said the two hugely popular tennis tournaments will be followed by the first stop over of the Premier Padel series that kicks off with the Ooredoo Qatar Major Premier Padel at Khalifa Complex from February 26-March 5.“We tasted grand success last year when staged the Padel tournament. We expect another blockbuster as the world’s best players will be here in Doha. We have extended wildcards to four Qatar players to form two teams,” Zainal said.Karim Alami, the Tournament Director for Qatar ExxonMobil Open, said a top line-up for the February 20 to 26 tournament has been assured. “We will have the guaranteed presence of Grand Slam winner Daniil Medvedev, former champion in Doha Andrey Rublev and Alexander Zverev. They will be joined former champion Andy Murray and Doha-based Fernando Verdasco on wildcards,” Alami said on Wednesday.
The Cabinet Wednesday approved in principle a draft law on nationalising jobs in the private sector and endorsed a draft Cabinet decision regarding the incentives, facilities and privileges granted under nationalisation of jobs in the private sector law.HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani chaired the Cabinet's regular meeting at its seat at the Amiri Diwan.Following the meeting, HE Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs said in a statement that according to the provisions of the draft, a Cabinet decision, based on a proposal by the Minister of Labour, determines the nationalised jobs in each of the work sectors, in light of the nationalisation plans and nationalisation rates in each of them.Also, a Cabinet decision, based on the Minister's proposal, determines, the incentives that may be granted to the entities subject to the provisions of this law, the facilities and privileges that may be granted to the entities that are committed to nationalisation rates, and the financial incentives that may be granted to Qatari workers in those entities.At the outset of the meeting, the Cabinet expressed the solidarity of Qatar and its sincere condolences to the government and people of the Republic of Turkiye and the Syrian people for the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit several Turkish and Syrian regions, wishing a speedy recovery for the injured.The Cabinet also reviewed the following issues and took the appropriate decisions in their regard:1- A draft agreement between the government of Qatar and the United Nations, regarding the arrangements for the 11th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption.2- Results of the 35th session of Arab Ministers of Transport.3- The results of the visit of HE the Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to the Republic of Turkiye and the United Kingdom.4- Outcomes of the 17th Regional Meeting for Asia, the Pacific and the Arab States on defining work priorities and promoting employment growth.Besides, the Cabinet listened to the presentation made by HE the Minister of Municipality on the Ministry's preparations to host the Horticultural Expo 2023 Doha from 10/2/2023 to 3/28/2024, and took the appropriate decision in this regard.
Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) announced the death of four personnel from its representation mission in Turkiye, who were operating in Syria, as a result of the devastating earthquakes that struck both countries on Monday.The deceased are Nisreen al-Hussein (psychosocial support professional at Salqin Clinic in Syria), Doaa Yasser Ramadan (health system support pharmacist in Syria), Mustafa al-Daghim (mobile clinic field officer at Al-Andalus Camp), and Mohannad Youssef al-Aali (driver in Azmarin town).Other personnel of the mission lost family members in Turkiye and Syria because of the earthquake-caused destruction of residential buildings in the affected areas, a QRCS statement explained.QRCS secretary-general Ali bin Hassan al-Hammadi expressed his deep sorrow for the devastation caused by the earthquake, and the thousands of casualties, including four employees of QRCS’ representation mission in Turkiye. He extended his condolences to the families of the deceased, the two sister National Societies, and the Turkish and Syrian nations in this painful affliction.Al-Hammadi said: “The tragedy affected some QRCS’ personnel working in Syria, as well as their families. To all of us, the agony is double, with the loss of dear colleagues who spared no effort to deliver humanitarian aid to the unfortunate people of Syria. Amid such an appalling tragedy, let’s pray for the deceased, the injured, the grieved nations, and all humanity”.According to him, QRCS would keep supporting the victims both in Syria and Turkiye, to relieve and help them overcome the ordeal.QRCS has already activated its emergency operations room and launched a $10mn fundraising campaign to provide more humanitarian aid. QRCS’ field personnel in northern Syria are currently distributing the first batch of emergency relief aid, consisting of 4,800 food parcels, for the benefit of the displaced Syrian families most affected by the quake.Pursuant to the directives of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, ordering an airlift from Qatar to Turkiye, QRCS prepared its contingency stock of relief materials in Doha to be deployed to the affected areas, in co-operation with Qatar Amiri Air Force and Qatar Fund for Development.The emergency relief shipment contains 35 tonnes of aid items, including 2,250 heavy blankets, 2,750 light blankets, 1,000 jerrycans, 3,000 mosquito nets, 2,000 tarpaulins, 500 shelter maintenance kits, and 1,360 family hygiene kits.
A meeting between the delegations of Qatar and Bahrain was held at the headquarters of the Secretariat General of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Tuesday.Qatar's delegation at the meeting was chaired by HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, whereas the Kingdom of Bahrain's delegation was headed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani.The meeting dealt with developing the necessary mechanisms and procedures to set the course for talks at the level of bilateral committees, in accordance with the Al Ula statement issued after the Al Ula Summit in Saudi Arabia on January 5, 2021, in order to end the pending special files between them.The two sides also stressed the importance of working together and cooperating between the two sisterly countries in a way that enhances their fraternal relations, achieves the aspirations of their peoples for security, stability and development, and supports GCC joint action.
Algerian first responders use dogs as they take part in the search and rescue operations in Syria's northern city of Aleppo, along with Syrian and Russian soldiers. Emergency units from the Spanish military too use trained dog to search for survivors buried under the rubble in Islahiye, a town in southern Turkey.
Newborn Syrian, who was found alive still tied by her umbilical cord to her dead mother, lies in the incubator at Afrin hospital. The infant is the sole survivor of her immediate family, the rest of whom were all killed when the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck Syria and neighbouring Turkey flattened the family home in the rebel-held town of Jandairis. AFP
Rescuers in the Turkish city of Adiyaman clear the rubble of a collapsed building as the search for survivors of Monday's deadly earthquake continue, moving into their second night. Workers use contruction tubing to move debris from the top of the mound as the daylight fades. The death toll of the 7.8-magnitude quake sits at 5,000 across Turkey and neighbouring Syria. AFP
QSL announces proceeds from semifinals ticket sales to support those affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria
The Qatar Stars League (QSL) announced an initiative to allocate the proceeds from ticket sales of Qatar Cup 2023 semifinals, to be held at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium of Al Sadd club on Thursday, February 9, to support those affected by the effects of the earthquakes that occurred in Turkey and Syria recently.The initiative comes from QSL's keenness to play its role in line with its Corporate Social Responsibility and to contribute towards providing a helping hand to the victims and the affected. Therefore, QSL invites all fans to participate in it by purchasing tickets and attending matches to support the initiative.QSL would like to express its sincere condolences to families of the victims over the great loss and wish all injured people a fast recovery.