Two giant pandas, gifted by China, are set to land in Doha in October to start a new life in Qatar.
"I am very happy to announce that two Chinese giant pandas will arrive in Doha in October. This is a gift presented by the 1.4bn Chinese people for the Qatar World Cup, and will surely become a new symbol of China-Qatar friendship," said Chinese ambassador to Qatar Zhou Jian, while speaking at the celebrations to mark the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China Monday.
The two pandas have been given Arabic names, 'Suhail' and 'Thuraya'. Suhail is the name of one of the brightest stars visible in the Gulf region, while Thuraya is the Arabic name for the Pleiades star cluster.
He said that "a new era breeds new hopes and calls for new achievements. I firmly believe that China and Qatar will continue to adhere to the ideal of development and rejuvenation, and maintain their friendship from generation to generation like the lovely giant pandas - 'ErDou' and 'SiHai' - unite and thrive in the journey of realising the Chinese dream - the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation - and Qatar's dream - Qatar National Vision 2030 . We will march side by side and stride towards a new era of China-Qatar community with a shared future."
According to earlier reports, a 'Panda Park' is being constructed at Al Khor Park and it is scheduled to be opened this year. The 'Panda Park' has been described as a one-of-a-kind project in the region.
The panda, with its distinctive black and white coat, is adored by the world and considered a national treasure in China.
Pandas live mainly in temperate forests high in the mountains of southwest China, where they subsist almost entirely on bamboo.
Females can grow up to about 200 pounds, while males can grow up to about 300 pounds as adults. These bears are excellent tree climbers.
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