In an effort to boost tourism in the Gulf nation of Qatar, the nations Tourism Council has partnered with Qatar Airways to make it increasingly easier to visit Qatar.
Qatar Airways is offering a 25% discount on flights to those who expect to visit Qatar through Hamad International Airport, until mid-August. The partnership is also offering a 25% discount for those interested in “meet & greet” services.
However, passengers are still able to take advantage of multiple deals if they happen to have a layover in Qatar. Qatar has greatly simplified passengers’ abilities to see what the country has to offer.
As an effort to boost tourism, a transit visa has been instituted that allows passengers that have a layover longer than 5 hours, to receive a 96 hour transit visa. Qatar Airways has taken advantage of this development and instituted a stopover package that would provide discounted hotel rates.
Qatar continues to become a cultural hub of the Middle East and actively supports the creation of institutions and public artworks, with most recently unveiling the iconic Qatar National Museum. The nation also offers a host of other museums and cultural attractions for those interested in experiencing a Middle East Gulf nation that has struck a balance between modernity and tradition.
On May 20th, 2019, Fatma Al Nuaimi, the Communications Director for Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), held an interview with Goal about the pioneering features of the upcoming 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
To clarify, the SC is an institutional entity mandated to oversee, monitor and deliver all the projects for and relevant to the mega-event. In-tandem, this body actualizes various legacy programs: it uses the mega-event as a catalyst for social and economic development, thus complimenting the objectives enumerated in Qatar National Vision 2030.
Fatma Al Nuaimi asserted that the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will be an innovative one: there will be tangible and intangible benefits.
Firstly, Fatma Al Nuaimi detailed a concrete tangible benefit or advancement with the new cooling technology that was installed in Al Wakrah stadium. In fact, the SC representative stated the following:
“We have been successful in making innovations in two fields. Firstly, the cooling technology – as one will witness when the weather is hot outside. But inside the stadium, during the match, the atmosphere and experience will be very pleasant.
Furthermore, the representative mentioned the long-term benefits of this technology by stating the following:
“The cooling technology and the cooling helmets for the workers are innovations that the state of Qatar has invested in. These are something which can be a legacy for countries who have the same atmosphere and climate for mega-events, sporting or otherwise they want to host even beyond the 2022 World Cup. This could be a transfer of knowledge that we could give out”
This example of technological innovation clearly illustrates Qatar’s capacity to employ sophisticated technologies and demonstrates the country’s commitment to sustainable development via technological transfers to external entities or countries. For the intangible benefits, thus, legacy programs, the SC launched Challenge 22 and Generation Amazing. In essence, these initiatives serve the purpose to attract and engage regional/local entrepreneurs and talents in order to integrate them in the preparations for the World Cup.
The SC representative detailed the following on Challenge 22 initiative:
“In Challenge 22, people submitted their ideas and the winning idea got a grant of USD 100,000. From that, they would be working towards commercialization and as a commitment, we would be contracting them as our suppliers. That would help improve the profile of the companies and they could be set up and continue beyond the World Cup.”
Lastly, the SC representative shed light on the Josoor Institute, which was established in December of 2013. The institute aims to provide short courses and diplomas pertinent to delivering mega-events. Most importantly, the institute is linked with internationally acclaimed institutions, such as Georgetown University and the University of Liverpool. Most recently, Bocconi School of Management, which offers FIFA Masters programs, affiliated itself with Josoor.
On May 17th, 2019, the Confederation of North and Centra American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) announced that one of the 16 referees for this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup will be a Qatari national.
CONCACAF stated that such decision was part of an agreement in which CONCACAF officials were able to work at this year’s Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Mexican referee, Cesar Ramos, was the only CONCACAF referee that officiated four matches at the Asian Cup, including Qatar’s striking 4-0 victory over the UAE in the semifinals.
The Qatari referee for the Gold Cup will be Abdulrahman Al Jassim, who has previously officiated 4 Asian Cup matches, including Iran’s 3-0 victory over China.
In addition, three American referees will be at the Gold Cup: Ismael Elfath, Jair Marrufo and Armando Villareal. The Gold Cup starts on June 15h and terminates on July 7th. Most of the matches will be held in the United States, with games also in Jamaica and Costa Rica.
Al Wakrah Stadium, the newly built venue for the 2022 World Cup, will host the Amir Cup final 2019 on May 16th. The Amir Cup final will be between Al Sadd and Al-Duhail. Furthermore, the match takes on added significance as it will be the final match for the legendary midfielder and SC Ambassador- Xavi Hernández. The match will be attended by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad al-Thani. Gates and fan zones will open at 7:30 p.m. Cultural activities will precede the match, which will commence at 10:30 p.m.
Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) are responsible for the organization and preparation of the Amir Cup final. Henceforth, to make it a world class experience, QFA and SC will be offering free WiFi access in cooperation with Ooredoo. In addition, 52 cameras will be employed to cover the event for those viewing the game from home.
Around 90% of the tickets have been sold, with the remaining tickets available until May 15ht. For more relevant information about the Amir Cup final and access to the stadium, inquirers should download Amir Cup App available on App Store and Google Play.
For additional information about Qatar or visiting Qatar, please reference our webpage.
(Image Source: Supreme Committee)
On Sunday, May 12, Qatar Museums revealed that it had 22 art objects from its collection in loan at NYC’s the Met Museum. The objects were showcased at its recently-concluded exhibition ”Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey.” The exhibition told the three-year photographic excursion of French artist, architectural historian, archaeologist, and photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey throughout the Middle East and East Mediterranean. Among the images he created are the earliest surviving photographs of Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Jerusalem and among the first daguerreotypes depicting Italy.
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#Repost @almayassabnthamad ・・・ نظم متحف الميتروبوليتان في نيويورك معرضًا رائعًا بعنوان "رحلة ضخمة: داغوريات لـ جيرولت دي برانجي . في عام 1842 ، بدأ الفنان والمؤرخ المعماري وعالم الآثار والمصور الرائد جوزيف فيليبيرت جيرولت دي برانجي (1804-1892) في رحلة تصوير فوتوغرافية مدتها ثلاث سنوات في جميع أنحاء شرق البحر الأبيض المتوسط ، وعاد إلى فرنسا بأكثر من ألف من النماذج الداغورية – إنجاز لا مثيل له في تاريخ التصوير الفوتوغرافي. ومن بين هذه الصور التي ابتكرها نجد مجموعة من أوائل الصور التي تم التقاطها بالكاميرا الداغورية ومازالت باقية حتى يومنا هذا لكل من لليونان ومصر وتركيا ولبنان وسوريا والقدس، بالإضافة إلى أوائل الصور الداغورية التي تصور إيطاليا. كان من دواعي سرورنا إعارة 22 قطعة من مجموعة متاحف قطر إلى هذا المعرض. _ The @METmuseum has organized a wonderful exhibition titled ”Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey”. Where in 1842, artist, architectural historian, archaeologist, and pioneer photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey (1804–1892) embarked on a three-year photographic excursion throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, and he returned to France with more than one thousand daguerreotypes—an unparalleled feat in the history of photography. Among the images he created are the earliest surviving photographs of Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Jerusalem and among the first daguerreotypes depicting Italy. We are pleased to loan 22 objects from @Qatar_Museums collection to the exhibition. #MonumentalJourney #MET #QatarMuseums
This is not the first time a Qatari organization collaborates with an American museum. Last year, Qatari fashion designs had an exquisite presence at the DeYoung’s Contemporary Muslim Fashions Exhibition in San Fransisco, CA.
(Image Source: 4Columns)
AirHelp ranked Hamad International Airport in Doha number one in its latest annual rankings of 133 airports around the world, based on timeliness, service quality, and food and shop availability. AirHelp has also ranked Qatar Airways – Qatar’s flag carrier – as the best airline in the world. AirHelp is a startup dedicated to helping air passengers secure compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights. AirHelp’s superior rankings of Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways are a testament to the dedication of the airport and airline to excellent service, reliability, and Qatari hospitality. As the 2022 World Cup nears, soccer fans around the world can look forward to being in the best hands possible during their transit.
Hamad International Airport is a young airport, having only begun construction in 2006 to replace the former Doha International Airport. The project was highly ambitious, with 60% of the site on land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf. The first two phases of its construction were opened in 2014; its final phase is underway now, which will grow its capacity from 30 million passengers per year to 50 million per year.
The scope of the mission is as staggering as it is necessary, as the number of travelers passing through Qatar has ballooned from 5 million per year ten years ago to 25 million per year today. This will even further boost Qatar’s status as a major gateway between Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and beyond.
The 2022 World Cup is a major driver of Hamad International Airport (HIA)’s current development and expansion, as Qatar anticipates receiving 1.5 million visitors during the four-week tournament. The recently-opened Red Line metro in Qatar will connect to HIA, giving visitors easy access to the tournaments, as well as the heart of Doha and beyond.
HIA was constructed to maximally facilitate the seamless flow of travelers – and the airport design reflects an aquatic theme with waving roofs and a water droplet-shaped dome topping the minaret of the airport’s mosque.
In keeping with Qatar National Vision 2030, environmental consciousness is also at the heart of the airport’s design: the surrounding landscaping features desert-adapted plants irrigated with recycled wastewater, sunlight-reflecting material coats the passenger terminals to reduce cooling needs, and carbon dioxide sensors regulate air circulation based on the number of travelers inside at any given time.
You can read more about the airport’s and Qatar Airways’ environmental policy.
HIA works with Qatar Museums to curate a variety of local and international exhibitions for artistically curious travelers. The most visible is the colossal Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer – a 23-foot-tall teddy bear built out of bronze that weighs about 18-20 tons.
Other remarkable sculpture exhibitions include the Mesopotamia- and Abu Firnas-inspired Flying Man by Iraqi Dia Al Azzawi, Qatari Ali Hassan‘s Arabic calligraphy-inspired Desert Horse, and the intricately stunning gold Cosmos by Jean Michel Othoniel.
The airport is home to a diversity of shops from Qatar and around the world, from the Qatari Almotahajiba‘s vogue, traditional women’s wear to globally recognized luxury brands like Gucci, Rolex, and Swarovski. It hosts a variety of lounges for passengers of all travel classes and ages, which varyingly include dining, high-speed wifi, smoking rooms, showers, play areas for children, and much more. Travelers can enjoy local food and drink from Qataf Café, South Asian and Arab fusion food at AZKA, or, of course, familiar options like Burger King, Argo Tea, Illy, Starbucks, and Red Mango.
Learn more about visiting Qatar.
Public Art at Hamad International Airport
On April 30th, 2019, the Qatar-America Institute hosted young professionals from a range of American industries and those involved in either Qatar-based or Qatar-related programs at New York City’s Norwood Club. The club was founded in 2007 by Alan Linn with the mission being to create a space where “filmmakers, artists, musicians, writers, designers, actors, and their contemporaries could come together in a comfortable environment.
The event was also open to members of the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy’s New York branch. The event featured two special guests, Mr. Talal Al-Hajri and Ms. Christine Wallace. The former, Mr. Talal Al-Hajri, is a representative of the Qatari government serving as the Second Secretary at the Consulate General of the State of Qatar for NY. The latter, Ms. Christine Wallace, is an entrepreneur, author and cohost of the podcast “The Limit Does Not Exist.”
Ms. Wallace also serves as the Vice President for Growth at Bionic, Wallace previously founded BridgeUp: STEM, a computer science education startup at the American Museum of Natural History; was the founding director of Startup Institute New York; and was the cofounder and CEO of Quincy Apparel. She holds undergraduate degrees from Emory University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
The networking event’s theme centered around the topic of Qatar’s commitment in transitioning from a resource based economy into a knowledge economy. Building on Qatar’s vision for a knowledge economy, Christine Wallace previewed her brand new book, “New To Big.”
In 2018 alone, Qatar’s commitment to its knowledge economy put over $1.68 billion of public investment to work growing locally owned small and medium private sector companies. With billions more at work creating an ecosystem for lifelong learning and innovation, and $45 billion in Qatari investment across the U.S., it’s no wonder American companies, universities and public institutions continue to expand partnerships with Qatar, a vital ally. This month’s Liqa event takes a look at what it takes to deliver great ideas and disruptive innovations.
On Friday April 26th, 2019, the Qatar-America Institute (QAI) welcomed over 250 high school students and teachers from around the country as the host of the World Affairs Councils of America’s (WACA) Academic WorldQuest National Competition Reception.
These talented students were finalists in WACA’s Academic WorldQuest National Competition, billed as “the World Affairs Councils of America’s flagship youth education program is a fun, fast-paced team competition for high school students. Academic WorldQuest tests players’ knowledge of current international politics, geography, global economics, history, and world cultures.”
Students at the event won essay contests on current events through the WorldQuest competition and were in Washington, D.C. to compete for a national victory. QAI hosted the group at our D.C. office space overlooking the U.S. Capitol. Students were treated to food, beverages, a scavenger hunt-style trivia game, a henna artist, educational expos on Qatar and other regional topics, and raffle prizes that included a model Qatar Airways plane and memorabilia.
Students also took home complementary books on Qatar, Qatari culture, and factsheet on the U.S.-Qatar relationship produced by QAI. Many noted how ‘cool’ they thought it was that Qatar is hosting the first World Cup in the Middle East region. Others practiced their Arabic with QAI staff and asked about future internships with QAI, which we were happy to discuss.
QAI thanks the dedicated students of the Academic WorldQuest National Competition for their great company and interest in learning about the U.S.-Qatar relationship during the reception. We would also like to especially thank WACA’s President & CEO Bill Clifford and COO Liz Brailsford for their outstanding contributions to this event and gracious support of QAI.
On April 28th, 2019, Qatar Football Association (QFA) and the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) announced that Al Wakrah Stadium, one of the stadiums that will host FIFA World Cup 2022 games, will be inaugurated on May 16th, 2019.
Al Wakrah Stadium was designed by Zaha Hadid and AECOM Architects. The newly constructed arena holds a capacity of 40,000 seats, it boasts a fully retractable roof and features innovative internal cooling technology for the benefit of supporters and athletes. This sophisticated technology will allow Qataris to enjoy the stadium all year round.
Al Wakrah stadium is the second Qatar 2022 venue to be delivered by the SC following the successful completion of Khalifa International Stadium in 2017.
Thani Khalifa Al Zarraa, Al Wakrah’s Project Manager, described the upcoming inauguration as a major accomplishment as Qatar prepares itself for upcoming FIFA World Cup in 2022. “Its innovative and futuristic design means it is set to be one of the iconic venues during the first FIFA World Cup in the Arab world. We hope thousands of football fans across the country will join us for this landmark occasion as we celebrate the progress we have made to-date and look forward to 2022 with renewed excitement”, acclaimed Al Zarraa.
Once FIFA World Cup 2022 terminates, Al Wakrah Stadium will become Al Wakrah Sport Club’s home, however, the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 20,000 seats. The other 20,000 seats will be donated to overseas football development projects to demonstrate Qatar’s commitment to sustainable development projects.
Lastly, Al Wakrah’s stadium complex will feature new green spaces of around 90,000 m2 equipped with running tracks, cycle lanes and horseback riding areas.
Construction Time Lapse of Al Wakrah Stadium
(Image Source: Supreme Committee For Delivery & Legacy )
On March 26th, Qatar-America Institute hosted a representative of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), a Qatari entity mandated to deliver the infrastructure and legacy programs for the upcoming FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar, who shared relevant information about the mega-event set to take place in November 2022.
The SC is tasked with delivering proposed tournament venues and projects for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ – the first to be held in the Arab world – while ensuring that its preparations align with Qatar National Vision 2030.
For the FIFA World Cup™ in 2022, there will be a total of eight stadiums that are being built within a 55km radius, making it the first compact FIFA World Cup™ in the modern era. Each stadium will fulfill multiple purposes, not just sporting: community-based workshops were instituted to address and express the needs of local constituencies in the stadiums’ surrounding areas. The aim was to maximize the benefits from these projects by integrating and satisfying local demands as these structures are being completed to ensure they are used long after the last ball has been kicked in 2022.
This strategy will foster local development, promote and increase social cohesion, avoid bureaucratic mismanagement of resources duplication, and decrease the likelihood of disenchantment or skepticism from the local population towards the perceived benefits of hosting a sporting mega-event such as the FIFA World Cup™.
A concrete example of this strategy can be seen with the construction of the new state-of-the-art Doha metro system that will serve a dual purpose: firstly, it will offer sustainable transport to tournament venues and Qatari attractions for the 1.5 million fans Qatar expects in 2022, and secondly it will enhance accessibility and inter-connectivity amongst the eight municipalities that constitute Qatar. Therefore, the mega-event will be an opportunity for Qatar to promote its role as a main international destination for sports and to modernize the country’s infrastructure for its population.
Another noteworthy characteristic of the eight stadiums for the FIFA World Cup™ is that they are being built according to a criterion that incorporates sustainability and efficiency. For instance, the under construction Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be a clear example of such commitment and, furthermore, demonstrate the country’s degree of technological sophistication. Like a Lego set, the stadium will be fully demountable, being built via the assembly of repurposed shipping containers that were used to transport materials to Qatar. Thus, once the tournament ends on 18 December 2022, state-of-the-art software will be employed to assist the disassembly of the structure. The various parts and components will be re-allocated to create both sporting and non-sporting facilities in Qatar. Ras Abu Aboud Stadium will be the first fully demountable tournament venue in FIFA World Cup™ history.
During the briefing, the SC’s representative noted Qatar’s recently implemented reforms for workers’ rights, which reflect their commitment to respect the standards of hosting the tournament and to improve the welfare of the country’s expatriate labor force. This was witnessed with the following policy decisions: Qatar’s unilateral decision to sign a three-year technical cooperation agreement with the United Nations’ International Labour Organization to promote labour laws in the country and build government officials’ capacity to implement them and ensure that recruitment practices are in line with best international practices. Additionally, the Amiri’s promulgation of Law No. 13 of 2017, which established a judge-led Labor Dispute Resolution Committee, and Law No. 15 of 2017, which limited working hours and secured paid leave, and with the creation of a Workers’ Support and Insurance Fund to ensure workers are paid overdue wages are just a few of the other significant reforms made.
Most notably, the SC pledged to allocate between $40-50 million to write off the debts that supply-chain migrant workers may have incurred as a consequence of unscrupulous non-affiliated recruiters in key labor markets. Unfortunately, the recruitment and placement industry, which is a global phenomenon, is a $464.3 billion industry that affects more than 150 million migrant workers. The SC’s pledge will transform the lives of those affected by these illegal practices.
The SC representative also discussed safety and security preparations for the 2022 World Cup and INTERPOL’s Project Stadia, which was established by INTERPOL in 2012 and funded by Qatar. The aim of Project Stadia is to create a Centre of Excellence to help INTERPOL member countries in the planning and executing policing and security preparations for major sporting events. The 10-year project will contribute to policing and security arrangements for the 2022 FIFA World Cup™ in Qatar and will leave a lasting legacy for the world’s law enforcement community.
Lastly, the representative emphasized the existing degree of U.S.-Qatar economic ties in relation to the mega-event. Qatar has worked with over 30 U.S. organisations across a range of industries to date, all of which have been involved in some of the country’s most important tournament projects. Turner International, CH2M and Jacobs and AECOM have been integral to a number of construction projects. CISCO, Oracle and Amazon have been working with Qatar on everything from IT to networking to cybersecurity solutions, all to ensure 2022 will be the most connected tournament ever, for fans and businesses. And Leading U.S. universities including Georgetown and Northwestern and tech giant Facebook have been helping support Qatar’s innovation legacy programs. Overall, $10 billion will be invested in American services and expertise for the upcoming tournament in 2022.
(Image Source: Archinet.com)