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Under-retailed Qatar plays catch-up UAE’s Mubadala investing hugely in Serbia October 2013

How High Is Up?

COMPLIMENTARY COPY A Gulf Star Publication | English/Arabic

Will construction costs for mega projects underway trigger inflation?

bq |


CONTENTS October 2013

Cover story


How High Is Up? Is higher inflation going to be the fallout of the massive spending on the mega projects underway, or are these fears largely misplaced?






The Slime Solution

A Mighty Wind

The Slump Harvest

Getting More Personal

Capital Import

B2B Platform

The future of biofuels is all about algae. Now you can power your car by flushing your toilet

Renewable power is multimegawatts stronger than ever before. And it’s about to go online, floating offshore in the North Sea

The collapse of the rupee may have ushered in a windfall for Indians in the Gulf but its consequences reach far beyond remittance

There is a rise in consumer loans despite banks having burnt their fingers in the pre-crisis days

Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala is one of a number of UAE companies expected to make big investments in Serbia

The latest tenders, products, news, services and events – follows each lead section

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CONTENTS October 2013

It’s A Mall World




There are plans for 14 new malls in the country by 2015. Under-retailed Qatar plays catch-up

Published by Gulf Star Group PO Box 19177, Doha Qatar T: +974 44913761 F: +974 44913778

Tapping Infrastructure


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Smart & Smarter



The Smart Government initiative is the UAE’s way of responding to innovation

Publisher: Gulf Star Group Chairman: Mohammed Mansour Rashid Al Khater Managing Director: P.K. Abdulla Business Director: Naveed Abdulla

Stretch in Style


A round-up of the best limousine services the Gulf has to offer

Editor-in-Chief: Priya D’Souza Online Editor: Jure Snoj Editorial Assistant: Shereen D’Souza Correspondents: Rohan Soman (Qatar); Rabin Gupta (Qatar/India); Tina Isanti (Europe); Abhiraj Ghosh (Arts) Contributors: Rajeev Acharya; E. Shahid Photography: Bosco Menezes Cover Story Illustration: Nikhil Pai


Business Rewired



Intelligent infrastructure management is a must for reliable enterprise network performance




Culturally invested

Paradise Found

Qatar emerges as a major player on the arts scene helping set taste and stocking museums with the art of the era

A top 10 list of some incomparable getaways that will offer you all the privacy and exclusivity that you crave



This Restaurant Sizzles

GCC Illustrated

Majlis, popular for its sheesha and exquisite Arabian cuisine creations, is ideal for a business luncheon

bq presents the first in a series of maps and infographics detailing the GCC. Volume 1: Part 1

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Slime Solution The future of biofuels is all about algae. Now you can power your car by flushing your toilet By Tina Isanti, Ljubljana

Courtesy Aqualia: Another ten years of research is needed



The opportunity is such, that 60 million people - roughly the size of the UK’s population – would be able to power one million vehicles from just flushing their toilet


ne man’s trash, another man’s treasure. This certainly applies to technology that turns wastewater into fuel. And not just any old kind of fuel too. Clean, sustainable and green biofuel. The EU-backed All-gas project is aimed at just that - producing biofuel in a more sustainable way by cultivating fast-growing micro-algae. The main company behind the scheme, Spanish FCC Aqualia, has already produced its first crop of algae that will be processed to get methane, thus creating an alternative approach to the increasingly controversial crop-based transport fuels. The All-gas biofuel demonstration project will cultivate fast-growing micro-algae by using the nutrients in wastewater and then by further processes, generate biomethane which can be captured and used in transport fuel. Another motivation behind the scheme is to ease the pressure that land-intensive biofuel crops, such as palm oil, put on output and prices of food crops.

The process The technology bears much similarity to conventional wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), where pollutants are extracted from wastewater and converted into biomass. The difference with the new technology is that energy for the algae growth will come from sunlight and the algae will be harvested for transformation into biofuels. After anaerobic pre-treatment to maximize biogas production and gain CO2, the wastewater is then further purified by the growing algae. Harvested algae will be processed for the extraction of oils and other valuable by-products, while the remaining algal biomass is transformed into biomethane, CO2 and minerals, together with other residual biomass from wastewater or agriculture. The project will be implemented in two stages at the Cadiz wastewater treatment plant in Spain. First a prototype facility will be put up to gather the main design parameters for the full-scale plant. Once the viability and sustainability of the concept has been verified in fullscale ponds, 10 hectares will be developed and operated during the following three years.

The project The All-Gas project is led by a consortium of seven European partners, with Aqualia, the third-largest private water company in the world, co-ordinating the whole scheme. The other partners are SMEs, The Feyecon Group, MTD and Hygear, engineering company BDI – BioEnergy International, and research organisations, The Fraunhofer Umsicht Institute and The University of Southampton. All-gas (algas means algae in Spanish) will demonstrate the full value process chain in cultivating fast-growing micro-algae with simultaneous wastewater nutrient removal, harvesting and processing biomass for oil and other chemical extractions. Included, at the 10-hectare commercial scale, is the downstream algal biofuel production and use for transportation in up to 400 fleet vehicles. Some €7.1 million of the project’s initial €12-million development funding came from the European Commission’s 7th Framework Program for energy-related projects, geared at Europe’s target that 20% of energy should be produced from renewable sources by 2020. As project officer, Dr. Kyriakis Maniatis highlights, “to help meet the EU’s ambitious renewable energy targets, we are supporting innovative approaches, and algae biofuels are one of the most exciting prospects – the All-Gas project was selected among 20 proposals we received for that topic.” And it surely is exciting. If the target productivity of 3,000 kg of dry algae is reached, enough biodiesel to run about 200 cars could be generated. The bio-methane production from the anaerobic digestion of raw wastewater and biomass residues should yield an equivalent amount of bio-methane for another 200 cars. Or, as project leader, Aqualia’s Frank Rogalla, colourfully put it, “We are turning an expensive environmental problem into a sustainable bioenergy source. The opportunity is such, that 60 million people - roughly the size of the UK’s population – would be able to power 1 million vehicles from just flushing their toilet!.” Sounds good, but there is more. Aqualia lists a number of other benefits of the All-gas project: the removal of pollutants nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater; recycling

There are already a few stations selling (partly) algae fuel in the US. The fuel is a mix of diesel and algae oil. Soladiesel, the company which makes it, states it gives a 20 percent reduction in emissions compared to pure fossil-fuel diesel.



resources that cuts the need for polluting petrochemical based fertilizers; the energy harvested from wastewater and its residues which avoids the need for electrical energy necessary for the standard wastewater treatment process and reducing the related carbon emissions. Algae also have many advantages over biofuel crops such as oil palm, sugar cane and canola as they allow higher yields, faster growth, plus additional by-products such as fertilizer, colourants, proteins, enzymes and feedstocks can be obtained from the process. Sounds too good to be true. And, for now, it seems to be too.



H 2O


Cultivation and harvesting algae

Alcohol Extraction

PUFA ((Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids))

CO 2

Nutrients: N, P and H 2O

Oil Extraction and Transesterification


Algae Residue

Not just there yet In its August announcement, FCC Aqualia has already ruled out some of its earlier ideas as unsustainable. Algae biofuel is not a new idea and others have been trying for some time now. In 2009, Exxon Mobil Corp. said it would invest $600 million to develop algae-based biofuels within a decade. It has already invested more than $100 million but after four years economically viable results are still nowhere in sight. French genome engineering company Cellectis as well has problems proving the effectiveness of its technology to produce biofuel from algae to its partner Total. In June they announced they have six more months to do so. The theoretical potential of algae-based biofuel is undoubtedly huge and believed by many to be an industry game changer. It could greatly reduce the greenhouse emissions and according to estimates by the US Department of Energy (DOE) it grows and can be harvested so quickly that it can produce some 30 times the amount of fuel per acre as any land crop; can be grown anywhere – on mountains, in deserts etc. - so no farming land needs to be used for its cultivation and since the growing algae remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and the fuel produces a lower level of emissions than fossil fuels, algae fuel is theoretically very close to carbon-neutral. So DOE recently commissioned a study from the National Research Council on the


Power generation plant




biogas plant


6 5

Treatment of biogas, separation, purification and distribution


Agricultural and Domestic Effluents

economic and environmental viability of algae fuel in its current state. The findings say we’re not just there yet. There are hurdles to overcome: the growing process needs to be made more economically viable and environmentally sustainable, NRC says. As Joel Cuello, a member of the NRC committee which conducted the recent study, says, these are largely related issues. “In my opinion, you can’t divorce the two. As a matter of fact, most efforts aiming at lowering the production costs is to make the process more sustainable in terms of energy, water, and nutrient use.” One way is to find or engineer a sort of algae which excretes the oil, thus eliminating the need for harvesting. Another is to find an efficient way to use wastewater including municipal sewage. And this is exactly what the All-gas project is all about. So assuming everything goes as planned, construction of a 10-hectare plant in Spanish Chiclana, should be completed by 2016.

The All-gas biofuel demonstration project will cultivate fast-growing micro-algae by using the nutrients in wastewater and then by further processes, generate biomethane which can be captured and used in transport fuel

Aqualia, FCC’s water management subsidiary, is also present in the Gulf and was awarded the MENA Market Leadership Award, granted by Frost & Sullivan consulting firm, in Dubai, last year. Frost & Sullivan highlighted aqualia as a pioneer, since it is the first foreign company to obtain a sewage and water treatment contract in Abu Dhabi. Will the wastewater treatment plant in Chiclana become the first algae biofuel producing facility?

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The next wave of renewable power is bigger, cheaper, and multi-megawatts stronger than ever before. And it's about to go online, floating offshore in the North Sea By Tina Isanti, Ljubljana

The fast developing sector of offshore floating wind turbines and wind farms may significantly contribute to solving the energy crisis in Europe. According to the latest report from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA), floating wind turbines placed in the deep waters of the North Sea could power the European Union four times over.

Decreased costs – primary goal of new technology Current commercial substructures are economically limited to maximum water depths of 40m to 50m, while ‘deep offshore’ environment starts at water depths greater than 50m. The study reveals that the cost of this new technology development is still high but the floating platforms are considered to be cost competitive as compared to conventional turbines, since construction in depths of over 50 meters does not require significant amount of steel for its foundations. Experts believe floating turbine foundations have represented the greatest portion of the construction costs of the current wind farms and with introduction of a new floating technology and knowledge from the oil and gas industry, the costs can be significantly decreased. However, floating wind turbines are still a new technology and developers are often unwilling to reveal the technological secrets and information regarding their new innovations. Floating wind turbines are fastened to the bottom of the sea through the use of mooring systems that hold the turbine in place. This allows the turbine to move within a specified limited range set by the length of the mooring system. The floating structure allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where bottom-mounted towers are not feasible.

Great potential of wind energy Currently, Europe’s offshore wind sector employs 58,000 people and has an installed capacity of just 5GW, of which 3.3 GW is located in UK waters. Only two full-scale offshore wind turbines on floating substructures are operating – one in the North Sea and one in the Atlantic. However, the EWEA believes European capacity could reach 150 GW by 2030, meeting 14% of the EU’s total consumption. In order to allow this sector to fulfil its potential and to attract investors into the field, governments need to provide a stable regulatory framework and the EU should set a binding renewable target for 2030. Britain is considered one of the world’s best sites for offshore turbines and recently opened the planet’s biggest offshore wind farm in the Thames estuary. But not all British politicians are in favour of this renewable energy strategy approach. London mayor Boris Johnson recently questioned the value delivered by wind farms and claimed shale gas represented a better option for Britain. Offshore wind in Europe could also provide renewable electricity for about 145 mn households while employing 318,000 people by 2030 and providing energy security, technology exports, and no greenhouse gases, according the EWEA report. It is believed that if the requirements are met, the first full-scale deep offshore wind farms could be producing power by 2017. Floating turbines are already being tested in Norway and USA, while France and Portugal are currently developing test projects. According to Alla Weinstein, CEO of Principal Power, who along with WindPlus manufactures wind turbines in Portugal, “The (initial) turbine is capable of producing 2MW (megawatts) instantaneously at any one time, given enough wind

The EWEA believes European capacity could reach 150 GW by 2030, meeting 14% of the EU’s total consumption and costs EUR 20 mn (USD 24.9 mn) to build and install.” This is the major advantage of floating wind turbine technology in comparison with existing offshore wind farms.



NPCC wins USD 1.69 bn contract National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC), in consortium with Technip France Abu Dhabi, has been awarded by Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO), the contract for the EPC work of Umm Lulu Full Field Development Project - Package 2 (process facilities). The contract was awarded with an approximate value of USD 1.69 bn (AED 6.2 bn). The contract’s scope of work consists of the detailed engineering, procurement, fabrication, offshore installation, commissioning and start-up of a large offshore super complex located in the Umm Lulu Field. The complex will comprise six bridge linked platforms including gathering, separation, gas treatment and water disposal facilities, utilities and accommodation modules. These platforms totalling over 66,000 metric tonne, will be fabricated at NPCC’s yard in Abu Dhabi.

Qatar condensate production increases Increased extraction of gas in Qatar has led to a more than seven-fold jump in condensate production in the country since the turn of the last decade. A record of sorts, condensate production reached 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2012, more than crude oil production, which was estimated at 740,000 bpd. Condensates, very light crude oil, are a key byproduct extracted from a non-associated

gas field, of which Qatar has the highest reserves in the world. They include cooking gas, known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), which is a mixture of hydrocarbon gases like propane and butane; naphtha, which is used as a key industrial feedstock; jet fuel used to power aircraft; and sulphur used to produce sulphuric acid, an important industrial chimical. QNB report titled Qatar Economic Insight

2013 states the country’s proven crude oil reserves were estimated by Qatar Petroleum (QP), the state energy arm, at 2.3 billion barrels in 2011. Condensate reserves, on the other hand, were estimated at a massive 22.3 billion barrels. Condensate production in the country in 2000 was barely 120,000 bpd.

China to be largest oil importer China will surpass the US as the biggest crude oil importer in the world by 2017 as its economy continues to grow and as Chinese drivers push demand up for fuel, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie. The global energy consultancy said China would spend USD 500 bn annually on crude imports by 2020. “The price China pays will far outstrip the peak cost ever incurred by the US of USD 335 bn annually with US

import spending falling to only USD 160 bn annually by 2020,” the report said. From 2005 to 2020, China’s oil imports would rise from 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) to 9.2 million bpd. US imports, on the other hand, would fall from a peak of 10.1 to 6.8 million bpd within the same period. That roughly represents a 360 percent increase in China’s crude oil imports and a 32 percent decline for the US during that

period. “The US is becoming more North America-centric for its supply needs and China more dependent on Middle East and OPEC crude. We will therefore see OPEC suppliers, who traditionally focussed on the US for crude sales, compelled to shift their focus toward China,” said Wood Mackenzie’s Beijing-based president of global markets William Durbin.

DEWA to set up clean coal power plant

Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, MD & CEO DEWA

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) is planning to set up a USD 1.3 bn 1,200 MW clean coal power plant, the first of its kind in the GCC region. DEWA is seeking bidders for the construction of the plant and to this end, tenders have been floated. The plant will be built in two phases of 600 MW each and are scheduled to be completed in 2020 and 2021 respectively. When fully operational, the plant will

contribute 12 percent of output under Dubai’s 2030 Integrated Energy Strategy, a company statement said. The plant can be seen as a diversification move on the part of the utility. Most power units in the GCC are fuelled by oil and gas. Setting up a clean coal unit would mean more oil and gas available for export.



Oman Oil acquires Chile regasification plant Terminal de Valparaíso, a joint venture between Oman Oil Company (OOC) and Spanish natural gas operator Enagas has completed the acquisition of BG Group’s 40 percent stake in GNL Quintero regasification plant in Chile. Located in the Quintero Bay in Chile, the regasification plant commenced operations in 2009 with a total storage capacity of approximately 330,000 cubic metres (M3), a total regasification capacity of approximately 10 million M3 a day and a delivery capacity of 1,250 M3 of LNG to the truck loading station. In addition, work is currently underway to increase the regasification capacity to 15 million M3 a day and the tank truck loading station capacity to 2,500 M3 of LNG. GNL Quintero’s shareholders are ENAP (20 percent), ENDESA Chile (20 percent), Metrogas (20 percent) and Terminal de Valparaíso (Enagas and Oman Oil Company40 percent). Spanish natural gas system operator Enagas owns four plants in Spain and is the leading shareholder of a fifth. In addition, the company has three strategic natural gas facilities and over 10,000 km of high-pressure gas pipelines. Enagás is also present in Mexico, with a 40 percent stake in the Altamira regasification plant and a role in developing gas pipelines and compression stations.

Oman’s oil reserves 50 bn barrels

Oman’s oil reserves are estimated at 50 billion barrels, of which five billion barrels are ready for production, according to Ministry of Oil and Gas undersecretary Nasser bin Khamis Al Jashmi. He said exploration programmes are proceeding according to plan and new technologies are being developed to exploit the country’s oil reserves. Al Jashmi said the Duqm refinery is at the study and design stage and its 230,000 barrels per day capacity would cater to the local market. There are plans to set up petrochemicals plants to operate alongside the refinery to maximise revenue and support the national economy. The refinery has also been designed to receive oil from overseas and is expected to start operations in 2017.

RasGas completes offshore drilling Qatar’s RasGas Company has “safely and successfully” completed offshore drilling for 30 development wells for the USD 10.3 bn Barzan gas project. This paves the way for subsequent phases of the project to proceed, like connecting the wells to subsea pipelines that would take gas to shore. The 30 development wells, spread over three offshore wellhead platforms, have a total length of approximately 138 km and reach more than 3,000 metres below the sea surface. The complex Barzan offshore drilling operations required three jackup drilling rigs working for a combined total of 4,740 days and involving more than 300 employees at any given time working in challenging offshore conditions. RasGas was appointed by shareholders, Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil to execute the Barzan gas project and operate the facilities, one of the largest and technologically advanced gas processing plants in the region. When the two trains are in operation, RasGas’ facilities (LNG and pipeline sales gas) will have a total production capacity of around 11 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day (the equivalent of almost two million barrels of oil per day) making RasGas one of the world’s largest single gas processor.

GCC Petrochem firms’ earnings up Earnings of GCC petrochemical companies in Q2 2013 earnings went up by 4 percent year-on-year to USD 2.64 bn compared to the USD 2.54 bn in the same period last year. However, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, earnings declined by 8.9 percent mainly because of lower income reported by Saudi Basic Industries Corporation

(SABIC), Industries Qatar (IQ) and Saudi Arabian Fertilizer Company (SAFCO). SABIC’s profit declined by 7.9 percent quarter-on-quarter (contributing 60.9 percent in Q2 2013 compared to 60.3 percent in Q1 2013 and 55.6 percent in Q2 2012), a GIH (Kuwait-based Gulf Investment House) report pointed out.

Kuwait’s crude exports rise Kuwait’s crude oil exports to Japan jumped 34.4 percent in recent months from a year earlier to 6.94 million barrels, or 224,000 barrels per day (bpd), for the second consecutive monthly expansion, recent government data showed. As Japan’s fourth-biggest oil provider, Kuwait supplied 6.4 percent of the Asian nation’s total crude imports, compared with 4.9 percent in the same month of last year, the Japanese Natural Resources and Energy Agency said in a preliminary report. Japan’s overall imports of crude oil in July

grew 1.8 percent year-on-year to 108.03 million barrels (3.48 million bpd) for the second straight monthly gain. Shipments from the Middle East accounted for 86.2 percent of the total, up 2.9 percentage points from a year before. Saudi Arabia remained Japan’s leading oil supplier, although imports from the Kingdom shrank 8.1 percent from a year earlier to 1.04 million bpd, followed by the UAE with 870,000 bpd, up 6.7 percent. Qatar ranked third with 564,000 bpd and Iran fifth, with 172,000 bpd, respectively.

GIH said Q2 performances of various petrochemical companies were ‘meagre’ compared to the previous quarter. “Prices of various petrochemical products tumbled and production of companies declined as some of them underwent shutdowns for maintenance,” said GIH.

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Slump Harvest The collapse of the rupee may have ushered in a windfall for Indians in the Gulf but its consequences reach far beyond remittance By E. Shahid, Dubai

“What is the benefit of a dirham fetching Rs16 when that money cannot buy anything back home?” A rather stern-looking Abu Dhabi-based Indian barber, whose family lives in New Delhi, nonchalantly queried between exuberance and pessimism over the rupee posting its biggest percentage fall in 18 years and losing 17 percent against the dollar so far this year. By doing so, he joined a handful of sane voices expressing concern over the turn of events. He could see through the rather myopic euphoria engulfing his compatriots in the Gulf, which has led to long queues at exchange houses in recent weeks. For most Indians – and other South Asians working in the region – the overwhelming mantra in recent weeks has been the following: when the currency is in decline, remit home. If the change is of this scale, it only gets more frantic. Beneath the façade though, there are major ramifications, primarily because Gulf expatriates are far more integrated to their economies and the backlash hits them sooner than expected. They travel back home more frequently than any diaspora around the world, especially those in the West. They continue to run their families and foresee a future for themselves career-wise, should things go awry in their countries of work.

Debt Gallows For an average expatriate worker in the Gulf, the primary motivation is earning, saving and investing for their families’ future. Sometimes this leads to excessive borrowing, even at unsustainable levels. The lower one goes down the strata, the more acute it gets. Ironically this has continued to be the case despite the ripple effects of the global financial crisis and its footprint around the world. The phenomenon of excessive borrowing has manifested itself in various dimensions, albeit with similar consequences. In the UAE alone, where Indians work in their thousands, consumer debts are reaching extreme levels. It is $95,000 per household, according to one estimate. “Periods of high growth in consumer lending, as we are seeing now, will almost always lead to temporary expansions (or inflation) but, as with any other demand shock, this is typically not sustainable,” says Francisco Gomes, professor of finance at London Business School. According to Gomes, if the expansion in household borrowing is driven by a combination of poor financial literacy and lack of regulation, then the new level of spending is not sustainable and households will find themselves needing to scale back their debt and/or default on loans. “This not only causes a loss in private welfare for those households, but it also will lead to a reduction in aggregate demand and therefore in overall GDP growth. If the government then has to intervene and bail out troubled households, banks or businesses, this will have its own additional cost on the economy,” says Gomes.

Photography: Bosco Menezes



Key sectors such as information technology, pharmaceutical and textiles will benefit from a higher dollar value as bulk of their revenues come from overseas markets

Heavy Exchange For K.V. Shamsudheen, director at Barjeel Geojit Securities, even though the rupee decline may have aggravated it, this is not an entirely new development. Shamsudheen – who regularly mentors blue collar workers on judicious saving under the platform of Pravasi Bandhu Trust – says Indian expatriates all over the world consider the declining value of Indian Rupee as a great opportunity. Shamsudheen says India’s total global remittances stood at $70 billion in 2012 and the country received 70 percent of that amount during the first six months of the current fiscal alone, thanks to the depreciating rupee. An estimated 25 million people of Indian origin live overseas, making India the largest remittance recipient country. In 2011 alone, Indians in the Gulf remitted $29 billion. However, the diaspora’s foreign exchange contribution may be a source of relief for the FX-starved country but has a rider attached to it. According to Shamsudheen, a major portion of this remittance is from the Gulf region and almost 60 percent of the remittance is from blue collar workers, whose ticket size is a maximum of Rs20,000. So the Indian low and middle income segment working outside India have been contributing a major portion of the remittance. The problem though is that a large number of workers take loans to remit. “In some countries loans are easy to get from multiple institutions and illegal individual lenders. I know many people who have taken loans on credit cards at an interest rate of 36 percent and from individual lenders at the interest rate of as much as 120 percent,” says Shamsudheen. Such borrowers are already in deep trouble, many are not in a position to pay back and most have invested money in land and housing, areas that are not liquid. Over the years, Shamsudheen has warned against taking loans for short-term benefits. In a survey conducted by his organization among Indian expatriates in Gulf countries to understand their saving habits, he found rampant examples of living beyond one’s

means, which is leaving a majority of low and middle-income expatriates in deep debt or with a financially uncertain future. According to the survey, around 95 percent of these workers face an uncertain future because they have not invested in productive purposes at all, despite having worked in the Gulf for at least 10 years or more. This is especially startling considering the fact that most of them come here with loans back home [after paying recruitment agents].

Summer Windfall These circumstances do not bother all and sundry. Despite the devastating impact of the rupee hitting a life-time low, some people are laughing their way to the bank. Economy in the South Indian state of Kerala, for instance, is expecting remittances to touch $12.5 billion this financial year. According to one estimate, this could be an all-time high of nearly 35 percent of its net state domestic product. Kerala has always been propelled by remittances from about two million of its men and women abroad. Remittances account for 1.6 times the revenue receipt of the state government, 6.2 times of what it gets from the federal government as revenue transfer, and are more than twice its annual expenditure. In other words, remittances can meet 60 percent of the state’s public debt. There are also some less obvious benefits of the falling rupee. International travelers looking to benefit from a cheaper rupee could boost India’s tourism sector, which in turn would mean profits for ancillary sectors such as hotel and hospitality. The falling rupee has also attracted a large number of NRIs to India’s realty market. According to the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) estimates, based on a random survey of nearly 1,250 real estate developers across the country, realtors are expecting a 35 percent increase in business enquiries from expatriates this year. It is also believed that key sectors such as information technology, pharmaceutical and textiles will benefit from a higher dollar value as bulk of their revenues come from

overseas markets. Sugar exports are also expected to benefit from the rupee plunge.

Host of Issues Apart from anxiety over the state of the rupee on individuals and businesses, there are also concerns over what this means for the Gulf countries which host a large number of expatriate workers from the subcontinent. According to one estimate, published in an Arab News report, the volume of annual remittances by expatriates in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is at $120 billion, with $48.3 billion leaving Saudi Arabia alone in 2012. This is expected to increase by 20 percent in 2013. The newspaper claimed some economists as saying that excessive remittances are slowly causing damage to Saudi Arabia’s economy. Even from Qatar, a whopping QR33 billion was transferred to destinations abroad through various exchange houses during the first half of this year. Qatar’s forex market too has registered annual growth rates of 15-20 percent, one of the highest in the world. Remittance may be the natural thing to do for those earning in the region and funding families back home, but it is the idea of taking loans to reap immediate harvest that is beset with dangers. Financial advisors say the consequences of taking such a decision could be understood just by doing plain arithmetic. “Even if the rupee was around Rs50 to the dollar last year and someone took a loan to put as fixed deposit in India, he may have earned 10 percent interest. But now at Rs68 per dollar the currency is devalued by 26 percent,” says an exchange manager based in the UAE. This means a loss of 16 percent plus whatever loan interest being paid in the Gulf. “More importantly, if you lose your job here, you will not be allowed to travel unless you pay back the whole sum,” he said. Clearly, risks far outweigh the rewards.



More Personal Getting

There is a rise in consumer loans despite banks having burnt their fingers in the pre-crisis days due to being 'dangerously liberal' with lending By Rohan Soman, Doha

An Asian expatriate, in need of QR35,000 to buy a used car in August 2013, decided to shift his account from an Islamic bank where his salary was transferred, to a bank that would give him a loan. Islamic banks don’t give away loans in cash since interest-based credit is forbidden by the religion. But when the gentleman told the bank why he was moving his account, he was pleasantly surprised to learn the bank was willing to process his loan request. True to its word, the bank granted him the loan within a few days, and even insisted he take a bigger amount. The expatriate, a long-time customer of the bank, politely declined the offer. With little understanding of the intricacies of how the banking industry here operates, the young man had no idea that the bank might have given away the QR35,000 loan, perhaps, after showing some transactions on paper in his name - either as a purchase or sale of stocks or gold. In the days preceding the onset of the world financial crisis in 2008, it is quite well known how liberally banks in Qatar were with loans. Personal loans being a highly lucrative segment of their business, banks competed with one another fiercely to woo potential borrowers. The Shariah-compliant banks felt left out as they couldn’t openly dispense credit on interest. It was easier for them to grant a car loan or a loan for jewellery, for instance, as they would simply buy a car or jewellery and hand it to the customer for an uptake that would be their margin. But at least one Islamic bank, in those days as well, gave away ‘personal loans’ in cash in its own roundabout way. A customer of the bank who borrowed about QR100,000 in those days told bq all the bank did was that it bought stocks in his name and sold them the same instant and credited into this account the cash. “I made a loan request and within days got an SMS that the money was in my bank account,” he said.

Going Islamic Banking industry sources argue whether or not an Islamic bank should lend at all – irrespective of the interest issue - as borrowing from them is easier and cheaper. “Conventional banks literally pick your pocket. They charge very high interest rates,” said a banking industry source. Shariah-compliant banks, on the contrary, have marginal uptakes and are quite customer friendly, he claimed.




Rightly so. As an example, the expatriate who borrowed QR35,000 from an Islamic bank swore he has to simply pay some QR2,000 extra over two years, which is the tenure of the loan. That works out to less than three percent interest a year. Another expatriate who took a loan of QR50,000 from a conventional bank in August 2010, for instance, said he was paying it off in equated monthly instalments of QR1,813 over a three-year tenure. “This means that in the 36 months until July 2013, I would have paid off a total of QR 65, 268.” That is QR 15,268 over the actual sum borrowed. In other words, the borrower would be paying as interest nearly a third of the amount he took as loan - more than 10 percent annual interest. A banking industry source, though, disputed the borrower’s claim and said no bank can now charge more than six percent annual interest on personal loans. The rule was brought into force by banking regulator, the Qatar Central Bank (QCB), in early 2011. “I am sure if the borrower’s EMI (equated monthly instalment) was not reduced by the bank, the loan tenure must have been, to adjust the higher interest amount that might have been reduced following the QCB’s 2011 directives,” said the source. But the borrower insisted he had so far heard nothing from his bank regarding interest reduction or loan tenure adjustment. As is known, banks worldwide came under tremendous pressure following the global economic meltdown in 2008. And although banks in Qatar remained the least affected by the crisis, the government nonetheless propped them up with bail-outs totalling over 15 billion dollars.

By June this year, loans given away to the private sector totalled a whopping QR263 billion, or 72.22 billion dollars. Of this, exposure to real estate and individuals alone amounted to QR171.3 billion

Photography: Bosco Menezes

The risky lending activities of the industry came to a standstill, and that hit the consumer loans segment hard. Lending to individuals nosedived in 2009 as a result. That was also the year when banks were asked by the QCB to make increasing provisions for bad and doubtful debts. The industry’s profitability suffered. Banks suffered recovery-related woes and many expatriate borrowers defaulted on loans and fled the country. Car loans remained outstanding and unpaid in a large number of cases. Lending though, improved over the



following years, caution remained the operative word in the banking industry. Banks turned highly selective and placed conditions for lending a large number of customers found hard to meet. Following Qatar’s win in late 2010 in the coveted bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the industry shifted its focus on lending to other sectors and activities. Key among them were the real estate market that was in the dumps in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, and project financing. “This was essential to do since mega development projects were to be launched for the FIFA event,” said a banking industry insider. And as the GDP showed signs of a slowdown by 2012-end due to energy projects achieving their peak production capacities, the QCB, as a matter of policy, encouraged the banking sector to back up the non-hydrocarbons sector to offset the slackening economic growth.

Change of season Surprisingly, though, QCB data released recently for June 2013 showed there was a sudden spurt in consumer loan volumes, while lending to the real estate sector fell. So prized was consumer lending for banks until 2008 that it remained the industry’s darling for several years. Real estate pushed the segment behind in the years after the world financial turbulence. In June 2013, however, personal loans dispensed by banks showed a jump of QR5.6 billion (USD1.53 billion). Total lending to this segment stood at an impressive QR74.3 billion (20.4 billion dollars). Still, the segment lagged behind the real estate sector whose total debts were a massive QR97 billion, or 26.63 billion dollars by June. An interesting highlight, however, was that in that month (June 2013) lending dispensed to the real estate sector fell marginally - by about QR200 million. “As there are indications that banks have resumed focusing on personal loans, the day shouldn’t be far when this segment emerges as their top lending activity again,” said the industry insider. Or, it may in the least run parallel to the property market in terms of the most preferred lending segment, the insider insisted. A rise in consumer loans despite banks having burnt their fingers in the pre-crisis days due to being ‘dangerously liberal’ in lending, is attributed by industry insiders to a number of factors. “People’s income levels are going up, and the population is increasing.” More professionals and technocrats are coming in from overseas needing urgent cash. The first thing they do is rent homes and buy cars, said another insider. Banks are seizing the opportunity. “It’s a give and take. Giving away a loan to a borrower in need is a service to society, but, yes, admittedly it’s a profitable service for banks.”

By June this year, loans given away to the private sector totalled a whopping QR263 billion, or 72.22 billion dollars. Of this, exposure to real estate and individuals alone amounted to QR171.3 billion. In other words, these two segments together had a share of more than 65 percent. Other key sectors, among them, manufacturing (industry), which is crucial to Qatar’s economic diversification effort, and financial services - a fast growing industry - suffered as lending to them was poorer. In the third spot after real estate and personal loans was the service sector, which received total loans worth QR42.3 billion (11.8 billion dollars) with an increase in lending in June by QR4.3 billion (1.18 billion dollars). Trading ended at a poor fourth with a total exposure of QR33.5 billion, or 9.19 billion dollars. Lending to this segment fell in June by QR1.1 billion (302 million dollars) apparently due to this being a peak summer month when business is lean.

''Conventional banks literally pick your pocket. They charge very high interest rates. Shariahcompliant banks, on the contrary, have marginal uptakes and are quite customer friendly"

Photography: Bosco Menezes




Capital Import Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala is one of a number of UAE companies expected to make big investments in Serbia with one project alone – a semiconductor fabrication plant – estimated at $3 billion By Tina Isanti, Ljubljana

Bilateral trade last year reached €23.3 million, a small figure compared to agreements signed this year

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Serbia

exceeded EUR 500 million in the first half of the year, National Bank of Serbia reports and according to the director of the Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA) Božidar Laganin, it is realistic to expect foreign direct investments (FDI) will exceed a billion euros this year. “We are not satisfied either with the results to date in attracting FDI, or the expected inflow for all of 2013, and everything tells us that a lot of work is needed to achieve an FDI inflow which would fully satisfy Serbia’s needs at this level of development,” Laganin said in an interview with Tanjug. The SIEPA director is of the opinion that a satisfactory level



of FDI would be around EUR 2 billion a year, or approximately five percent of the GDP. A goal that could be reached already next year. Among the most lucrative projects scheduled for the near future, Laganin highlights several large investments already agreed upon with investors from United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Mubadala to help boost Serbian economy Among the biggest investors from the Gulf, Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala could easily be the most important. Business talks that started only in January are already bearing serious fruit. Vice president Aleksandar Vucic announced that Mubadala may invest “about USD 4 billion” into various projects in Serbia in the coming years. The last visit from the UAE delegation in August has brought the finalization of the agreement on the company’s first investment in Serbia, a few hundred million dollars in the IT field. The final amount invested would reach up to 4 billion in the coming years. Bilateral trade last year reached €23.3 million, a small figure compared to agreements signed this year. “We’ve grown our level of commercial exchange between the UAE and Serbia five times, but I’m absolutely sure it will increase 50 times,” said Vucic. Mubadala is reportedly interested in the fields of renewables, gas power plants, property, aerospace and telecommunications as well. Blic newspaper reported Mubadala’s interest in building the telecommunication infrastructure, e.g. network of base stations, which they would later rent to operators. They were also interested in the government’s intention to announce the tender for 4G mobile telephony licence by the end of the year.

government to start preparing the necessary programs and we are already working on Serbian diaspora, former students and other Serbian nationals that could be of help should we need them.” Although Mubadala spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the latest trip to Belgrade and said the “visit is part of ongoing discussions across a range of sectors”, Serbian officials are more than optimistic. “Mubadala is bringing unprecedented investment and high technologies to Serbia. This is going to make fast and targeted IT development possible and will open a few thousand jobs for our IT experts. Serbia could become one of the technology’s leaders,” said Mladjan Dinki, minister of finance. He also stressed the government’s preparedness to accept all conditions and remove all administrative obstacles to facilitate UAE’s investment in the country. Another sign of strengthening relations between the two countries is the decision to set up embassies in both capitals.

Mubadala is reportedly interested in the fields of renewables, gas power plants, property, aerospace and telecommunications as well

Two new factories for a start Since February the Mubadala teams have made multiple visits to Serbia, to assess the EU candidate country’s capability in the IT sector, since the first two investments planned are a high technology research center and a semiconductor fabrication plant (computer chip factory). In August Mubadala Development chief operating officer Waleed Al Mokarrab Al Muhairi himself has made sure Serbia was the right choice for a chip factory worth four billion dollars, before making the decision final. The main concern has been the lack of qualified staff and experts. Serbia does have IT experts but not in sufficient number as somewhere between a thousand and two thousand shall be needed. Professor Branko Kovacevic, faculty of Electronics, is convinced that the three years time, in which the factory is to start operating, should suffice to educate the lacking personnel. “We are waiting for the green light from the

Mladjan Dinki, Serbian minister of finance

Serbian vice president Aleksandar Vucic



GCC inflation accelerates Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation in the GCC has accelerated since mid-2012, although, at 2.9% in May 2013, it remains well below the double-digit levels reached in 2008. According to QNB Group, GCC inflation is likely to stabilize at a moderate level around the 3% mark in the near term as higher increases in housing costs are offset by lower food price rises. This compares with global inflation average 3.8% and MENA inflation of 9.3% in 2013-14. Historically, GCC inflation has been low until rising oil prices and an economic boom pushed inflation higher in the 2000s. Strengthening non-oil growth and expanding population will give prices, particularly rents, some upward impetus. However, this is likely to be counterbalanced by falling global food prices, which will make food imports cheaper and hold back inflation. Additionally, oil prices are expected to be slightly lower in 2014, easing inflationary pressures in the GCC.

Arcapita Bank sells 3PD Bahrain-based Arcapita Bank has announced the sale of 3PD Holding Inc. (3PD), a logistics company in the US and Canada, for USD 365 mn. 3PD was acquired by XPO Logistics Inc., a transportation logistics company serving North America.

Arcapita acquired a majority stake in 3PD in 2006 as a growth asset that offered significant opportunity due to the fragmented and growing demand for last-mile services in North America. Following the acquisition, Arcapita provided

investment capital to 3PD and its portfolio managers worked closely with the founders and management to develop and deliver a strategy that propelled the business to a market leadership position despite a weak economy.



ME retail bank of the year

Al Hilal Bank was named the ‘Middle East Retail Bank of the Year’ at the recently concluded 2013 Retail Banker International Awards, besting a highly competitive field and emerging triumphant under the prestigious international award organized

by market intelligence firm Timetric. The annual Retail Banker International Awards honours retail banking excellence under the North American, European, African, Middle Eastern, Latin American, Asian and Global categories. Al Hilal Bank was chosen as the

best retail banking institution in its region due to its high level of sustainable profitable growth, exceptional professionalism, and excellent representation of industry in the eyes of the public and regulators.

Alpari redefines online trading education In response to the increasing demand of Middle East investors looking to broaden their understanding of trading opportunities, Alpari UK, a global online currency and commodity broker, has introduced its concept of Alpari Academy to the region, seeking to equip aspiring as well as professional stock traders with the expertise required for managing online trading portfolios profitably.

Alpari Academy’s four-level training course is available in Arabic and English in the MENA region. Level one offers an introduction to the basic fundamentals of forex and commodity trading. Level two focuses on technical analysis, while level three tackles the microeconomic aspects of the market and their impact on trading. The conclusive (fourth) stage deals with portfolio risk management. Participants

StanChart partners with IILM Standard Chartered Bank recently helped close a landmark inaugural sukuk bond issuance from the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM), the world’s newest supranational. The bank is a primary dealer for the USD 490 million short term sukuk and is the only global bank in IILM’s primary dealer network. Standard Chartered was nominated by the

Central Bank of Nigeria, which is one of IILM’s Governing Board members. The landmark issuance carries an A-1 rating by Standard & Poor’s and is backed by Shariah compliant sovereign assets. It is the first tranche of an approved USD 2 billion programme by the IILM to create US dollar cross border liquidity instruments for use by Islamic financial institutions globally.

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above the age of 18 years are offered the option to enrol for the course in the conventional classroom format or through a webinar. Each level consists of approximately seven hours of coaching spread across five consecutive working days. The format allows participants to complete the entire course in the span of one month.



GCC bond outlook healthy in H1, 2013 The stock of GCC bonds, both conventional and sukuk, increased healthily during the first six months of the year, according to a report released by the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK). Private sector issuance maintained a strong pace, dominating the GCC’s fixed income activity, driven by the non-financial sector, which also experienced its best six months yet. The stock of outstanding GCC fixed income instruments rose to USD 239.8 bn at the end of H1 2013.

The balance of outstanding bonds was up USD 19.2 billion and 15.3 percent against a year ago. The leading debtors are the Qatari public sector (23 percent), the UAE financial sector (16 percent) and the UAE public sector (15 percent). Among nonfinancial private issuers, Saudi Arabia sector is the most active with 10 percent of all outstanding GCC debt, followed closely by the UAE

Domestic medical plan for workers Employers of the UAE’s privately sponsored 400,000 domestic workers can now insure their drivers, cooks, cleaners, maids, or gardeners against illness, accidents, or loss of life, with the launch of the Domestic Aid Medical Plan (DAMP) by Noor Takaful, the Islamic insurance arm of Noor Investment Group (Noor). The DAMP bundles two offerings, within one easy to obtain package, that provides domestic workers with up to AED50,000 medical insurance

coverage, plus an additional capital sum of AED50,000 in the event of loss of life. The DAMP is the first product to be launched under Noor’s Noor Popular umbrella, an innovative, Shari’a compliant, banking service specifically tailored for blue collar workers. Initially, the DAMP will be available in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. Noor Takaful plans to roll out the plan in Abu Dhabi later this year.

NBAD safest bank in ME International finance magazine, Global Finance, ranked NBAD for the fifth consecutive year in its World’s 50 Safest Banks. NBAD remains the highest ranked Middle East bank in the list. Global Finance’s annual ranking of World’s 50 Safest Banks is a recognised and trusted standard of creditworthiness for the entire financial world. “The continuous inclusion of NBAD among the World’s 50 Safest Banks reflects our disciplined strategy and on-going focus on long term, sustainable growth,” says Alex Thursby, group CEO of NBAD. “NBAD’s continued strong credit ratings complemented by its ranking among the World’s 50 Safest Banks are an invaluable asset that will serve our ambitious growth plans, including our strategy to be a leading player in the West-East Corridor.”

DQG renews collaboration with NBC Dubai Quality Group (DQG), a non-profit organisation that advances learning and promotes quality improvement and business excellence practices, has recently renewed its collaboration with investor partner National Bonds Corporation PJSC (NBC), a unique UAE leader in offering sharia compliant and rewarding savings and investment schemes. The move follows the successful two-year partnership that saw National Bonds Corporation effectively support the initiatives of DQG to facilitate Dubai’s drive for quality. The discussions looked into specific

programs and initiatives offered by DQG that contribute to sustaining the quality of NBC’s performance. On its part, National Bonds Corporation offered recommendations on DQG’s services in accordance with its expanded scope of work as part of a strategic aim to enhance its offerings to stakeholders. National Bonds provides UAE nationals, UAE residents and non-residents with a credible and safe savings opportunity. Minors can also own National Bonds.

FDIs in GCC increase According to data published by UNCTAD in their annual ‘World Investment Report 2013’, this brings to an end a period of three consecutive years of declining FDI flows to the region since the pre-financial crisis peak of USD 61.7 bn in 2008. “The GCC’s positive performance is further accentuated when placed in the context of developing economy and world FDI flows, both of which declined in 2012, by 4.4 and 18.2 percent, respectively. The GCC increased its share of developing economy FDI to 3.8 from 3.6 percent,” said the report.

Within the GCC, in 2012, FDI flows to all the countries with the notable exception of Saudi Arabia increased over the previous year. However, Saudi Arabia despite witnessing a 25 percent decline in FDI, remains the most attractive destination for foreign investment in the Arab world. NBK said: “In the UAE and Kuwait, FDI inflows increased in 2012 to USD 9.6 bn and USD 1.9 bn, respectively. In Kuwait, the doubling of FDI was primarily the result of Qatar Telecom’s acquisition of additional shares in mobile operator Wataniya.”

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It’s A Mall World After All There are plans for 14 new malls in the country by 2015 to add to the existing 14. A report exploring Qatar’s retail scenario By Rajeev Acharya and Shereen D’Souza, Doha


When work on Qatar’s first mall - rightly called The Mall - began in early 1996, the concept was new to the region, and had just begun being exported out of the US into Asia and the Middle East after nearly four decades of having revolutionised consumerism in the world’s largest economy. Qatar’s population at the time was less than 700,000, the economy was just 8 billion dollars in size and per capita income, though still high at about 16,000 dollars, was nearly a seventh of what it today is. In the past 17 years, Qatar has undergone a near-total facelift, with a population that has trebled, and an economy that has swelled the most - an unbelievable 25 times. The traditional marketplaces, some of which were the souqs, while others, busy retail streets patronised chiefly by low and middle-income expatriates, are mostly history now. They have given way to what some prefer to describe as the modern temples of consumerism - the mushrooming malls and hyper-markets. The skyline of the capital city of Doha has changed in this past decade or so, dotted with Manhattan-like skyscrapers. And so has undergone a sea change the income profile of the people here - more so of the locals whose earnings have soared as though through magical financial windfalls, thanks to the immense gas-fuelled wealth of their state and its largesse. What has probably not changed in all these years is that low and limited-income foreign workers continue to outnumber all others in the country’s demographic mix.


After the 14 new malls come up and kick-start their business by 2015, they will be adding 1,158,000 sqm of additional GLA, taking the GLA per capita (per person) to 0.86 sqm



Qatar’s first mall, when it opened, attracted a number of celebrated high-end international brands, among them, jewellers, boutiques, and other retail outlets. It instantly turned out to be a favourite destination, more so of upper-middle income and rich Qataris. And while anchor stores in other malls today complain of dwindling sales, outlets in The Mall swear they largely remain unscathed by an increasingly Darwinian retail environment in Doha due to what they call “loyal customers”. The City Centre was the second mall to open some three years later, in late 1999, and it became quite popular with people in middle and upper-middle income categories, both nationals and expatriates. That was also the time when income levels of citizens had just begun to rise, although it was not until a few years into the next decade, that also heralded the dawn of a new century, that Qatari society actually began turning prosperous. The City Centre, too, attracted various famous global brands of different product lines, but Carrefour setting up its operations here made the place a household name. Anchor stores here are known equally for attracting people with middle-income profile who throng the place looking largely for promotions, as well as high-spending individuals and families. The City Centre, being a vast property, was the first to introduce amusement/indoor play areas as an added attraction for families and children.

Call of the malls According to a retail marketing expert*, the concept of malls became a hit in Qatar primarily for two reasons: weather conditions and a severe lack of public entertainment facilities in the country. “People began visiting malls to shop and to spend time in a large, safe and enclosed air-conditioned environment. There would be crowds during the weekends. They were especially favoured during the hot and humid summer months,” said the expert. It is no wonder, then, that despite Qatar’s population being small and more than half of it comprising low-income workers, there are 14 malls in the country presently, according to Tamween, a development management consultancy and subsidiary of state-backed real estate giant Barwa. And another 14 malls are in the pipeline and likely to throw open their doors for business by 2015, Tamween said in a real estate report on Qatar released in mid-2013. Since most of the existing malls are located in Doha and its immediate surroundings, the developers of the new malls have made it a point to scatter them in areas witnessing massive population growth a little outside of the capital city. Two very busy malls, Landmark and Ezdan, for instance, are located in Al Gharraffa, a far-flung Doha suburb where the Qatari population has

Donald Weir, general manager of the Mall of Qatar, one of the most ambitious mall projects underway in the country, gives bq updates on the development

bq: What is the retail leasable space available? DW: Mall of Qatar is one of the most significant developments under construction in the GCC with over 2 million square feet of retail leasable area on three levels in addition to a planned 250 room premium brand hotel. This unique shopping and entertainment complex is scheduled to open in the 3rd quarter of 2015.  It will have an exciting mix of over 400 shops, restaurants and cafes from around the world, a cinema and other entertainment venues that are currently under development.  We will be making some major announcements very shortly.  We are confident Mall of Qatar will appeal to all of Doha and surrounding areas.  As our name suggests – as the “nation’s mall”, we intend to build the brand as an international attraction and will direct much of our marketing efforts to present Qatar to the world.



One of the most ambitious mall projects underway in the country is Mall of Qatar. Once ready for business by the third quarter of 2015, it will add over 2 million square feet of retail leasable space on three levels

Photography: Bosco Menezes

bq: With so many malls coming up in Qatar, what is the competition going to look like? DW: That is something that any developer has to be aware of, but currently statistics show that the Qatar market is vastly under-retailed. This is the reason why such an ambitious project as the Mall of Qatar was planned. Qatar had the highest population growth in the world in 2012 and has ranked in the top 20% consistently over the previous five years.  The last regional shopping centre was completed in Qatar in 2006.  The rapid population growth, along with increased tourism, has given a tremendous opportunity for developments like the Mall of Qatar to succeed. In addition to this expanding market and the tremendous products we are putting together, our adjacency to a future World Cup Stadium in Al Rayyan and a dedicated station on Doha’s new Metro Line, just minutes away from Education City and downtown, will help give our project a competitive edge.   bq: When are all the shops expected to be occupied and what kind of business can be expected? DW: Although we announced the project at Cityscape Qatar, only a few months ago, we have had an overwhelming response from the retail community to date.  Mall of Qatar has a highly skilled team of international and local professionals putting together the merchandise, food and entertainment mix and we are projecting to be substantially leased on opening.  We are projecting over 20 million customers annually and sales in excess of QR 4 billion in our first year. This will partly come from new consumer demand and partly from the attraction of the new shopping and entertainment experiences we will be bringing to Qatar.   bq: Many existing malls appear to have unleased shops. Do you foresee this as a problem for Mall of Qatar? DW: We believe retailers strategically position themselves.  Just because you build a shopping centre, doesn’t mean you’ll fill it.  Mall of Qatar is being put together by a talented group of world-class professionals. … and that goes far beyond just the bricks and mortar. That special experience for the customer will start as soon as they drive into the parking lot.  Unlike many other shopping centres in the GCC, it will be lushly landscaped and a mall that is externalized and turned inside out.  The inside is anchored by a triple height promenade of shops down the centre spine opening out into a colossal domed area with restaurants and entertainment venues overlooking it on all three levels. This area will be highly programmed. Size does matter, and with its over 400 shops in all, from luxury to the world’s leading powerhouse brands and an exciting array of food and beverage, we are confident it will make Mall of Qatar the premier destination in the nation.

recently been spreading out. It is interesting to note that of the 14 existing malls, two - Villaggio and City Centre account for over 42 percent of retail space supply in the organised retail sector (in terms of space they offer to retailer-tenants). Organised retail space (that malls offer) presently extends to about 650,000 square meter of gross leasable area. The demand for retail space in the malls is high and far exceeds supply. Tamween said that after the 14 new malls come up and kick-start their business by 2015, they will be adding 1,158,000 square meters of additional gross leasable area (GLA), taking the GLA per capita (per person) to 0.86 square meter, that is, slightly less than one square meter. This will still be lower than regional benchmarks such as those in neighbouring Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The GLA per capita of shopping malls in the aforementioned two cities are 1.4 and 1 square meter, respectively, said Tamween. These cities are literally peppered with malls. One of the most ambitious mall projects underway in the country is Mall of Qatar. Its general manager, Donald Weir, says once ready for business by the third quarter of 2015, it will add over 2 million square feet of retail leasable space on three levels. “Ours is one of the most significant developments under construction in the GCC,” Weir told bq in a brief interview. Weir said their plan was to make Mall of Qatar an international attraction.

Low brand penetration According to Tamween, occupancy in the existing malls is dominated by local or regional franchisees of some of the most reputable international brands. This is because local rules require that a foreign retailer must enter Qatar’s market via a joint venture with a local or GCC partner. “Nevertheless, the Qatari malls presently have a limited number of global brands,” said Tamween in its report. These brands tend to have multiple outlets and cater to the mid to high-end income segments. “Brand penetration in Doha is not as high










Total leasable area (sqm) in malls

Available retail constructed space 7%



personnel of these outlets agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity insisting they were not authorised to talk to media, and said their outlets’ names must also not appear in print as that could harm their business.*) The interviews revealed the problem is so severe in some malls that sales staff employed by some outlets fear low business could even cost them their jobs. But such cases were indeed rare and exceptional. A salesman at a store selling high-end white gold, sapphire and other precious stones and jewellery in an equally famous mall said business was “okay”. He added, “Our customers are mostly Qataris and we do good business with them because our products are high-priced”. He, however, added their store in another mall did “better business because of its location”. In the same mall, a sales employee of a branded store for bags and cosmetics said that people came to them mostly during promotions. “Otherwise, it is only Qataris who come to us, and on weekends some expatriates like Indians and Filipinos stray into our shop.” Asked about new malls coming up, the salesman said he didn’t know if they could survive. “But we are sure to be affected. Right now, we are more worried about our jobs.” A sales girl of a famous anchor store of a global brand of organic products said, “We


as regional benchmarks, and this is because the market still has not reached maturity, particularly on the supply side,” added the report. According to observers of the local retail business, although Qatar is the world’s richest country with a per capita income that exceeds 100,000 US dollars, a major reason for low brand penetration could be that most people here tend to do most of their shopping overseas. While the wealthier among the Qataris like to shop in the west, including London, Paris, Geneva and Milan, among others, middle-income Qatari families rush to destinations like Thailand and Malaysia on holiday/ shopping expeditions. Beirut, once a popular destination, has gotten less so with the recent tension in the region. Many among the Arab expatriates in upper and middle-income brackets are highly brand conscious, but according to community sources, most of them prefer to shop online. Asians, on the other hand, even if they are brand-conscious and have high disposable income, mostly look for promotions to shop locally, or do it while on vacation in their home countries. “Expensive brands here suffer as a result,” the retail trade observer said. True. Interviews bq conducted with sales outlets in various malls confirmed their business was not so brisk or exciting. (Sales


Photography: Geraldine Menezes

The Mall

Hyatt Plaza

Land mark

City Centre



Leasable retail area in malls

Unorganised retail outlets




Mall infographics (data source: AREDC Research)



New malls at a glance

have highs and lows. We have a weekly sales target of QR130,000 that is impossible to meet most times. The good thing, though, is that those who come to us are regulars and our loyal customers.” The locals travel overseas for shopping a lot, she said. “But they can’t travel round the year, so they come here.” A sales girl at a boutique in another mall said theirs was an exclusive brand so they wouldn’t suffer if the new malls came up. “But surely, apparel brands could be in for trouble.” An employee of a branded bags and shoes store in yet another mall said they were doing “good” business when, due to a fire incident a famous mall was closed down temporarily. The manager of a store selling watches, jewellery and cuff-links, among other such items, in a mall said they mostly relied on household shoppers from nearby areas, including the working class suburb of Al Aziziya. “We wouldn’t be affected by the new malls because of our loyal clientele,” said the store’s manager in a confident tone. Market sources say the demand for retail space in the malls is high, and that explains why monthly rent prices in the upcoming malls carry a premium of up to 30 to 40 percent. The asking rates are in the range of QR200 to QR250 per square meter currently, it is learnt. Most mall developers say despite the premium, response from the retail community is quite encouraging. A severe shortage of strip retail space (independent shops or shops in smaller commercial places) and removal of some main commercial streets from Doha due to a string of development projects, has also led to an increase in their rent prices. In newly-built commercial premises supplying strip retail space, therefore, the rates are almost the same - up to QR220 per square meter a month. And, interestingly, the expected growth in the population suggests there will be more people here with low to medium disposable income profiles, so the demand for strip retail could jump considerably. However, the fact remains that the higher-income and affluent people in any society are always in a minority, and so are they in Qatar, but being high spenders they can, no doubt, actively support and patronise the high-end malls. So, observers say it should be quite interesting to watch how the retail scene in Qatar unfolds in the years to come. That would also be the time of the excited run-up to the much-anticipated FIFA 2022 event, during which tens of billions of dollars are to be spent on infrastructure development that would heat up the economy and see a heavier influx of foreign workers.

Name of Mall

Cost of Project Total area (sqm.)

Doha Festival City Mall of Qatar North Gate Mall Tawar Mall Marina Mall Lusail Al Markhiya Project Barwa Commercial Avenue Barwa Al Doha Msheireb Downtown Doha Al Mirqab Mall Qanat Quartier Doha Mall Gulf Mall Ezdan Mall

QR 6 bn QR 3 bn USD 290 Mn QR 1.8 bn QR 1 bn QR 7 bn QR 2.4 bn QR 20 bn

QR 600 mn

Leasable retail Car parking Likely completion/ space (sqm.) Launch date

433,000 388,000 375,000 106,000 180,000 55,000 910,000 324,000 310,000 220,000 400,000

Over 260,000 Over 185,800 Over 145,000 82,500 105,000 36,000 56,600* 90,000* 42,000*

8,500 7,000 4,000 2,800 2,200 1,400 12,000 2,800 11,700

138,810 160,000

79,900 Over 40,000

2,900 1,500 1,800

Q4 2014 Q3 2015 2014 Q4 2014 2015 Q3 2013 Q4 2013 2015 Q4 2015

40% open * indicates mall area

Distribution of retail spaces in malls Al Sadd Mall







2% 2%












The Ce


Cen Th





Dar Al




Royal P











rk Landma

Slots for car parking in malls







ll Ma


data source: AREDC Research

The Mall, 600

Hyatt Plaza, 1080

Villaggio Mall, 3000 Landmark, 1309 City Centre, 1600






Construction material costs have been steady the past few years under the cautious eye of the Ministry of Business and Economy. But as more projects are awarded next year in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup, will the events of 2006-08 be revisited? By Rohan Soman, Doha

Between 2013 and 2017, the demand for cement is estimated at 57 million tons; that for washed sand, 101 million tons; 364 million tons of aggregates; 514 million tons of limestone; 10 million tons of bitumen; 36 million tons of ready-mix concrete; 166 million tons of soil removal and disposal, 46 million tons of asphalt and 9.2 million tons of pre-cast concrete

Qatar witnessed hectic construction activity in the years preceding 2006, and public memory of how prices began shooting up undeterred as the Asian Games approached that year and even later, is still fresh. Many still blame rising prices of basic raw materials used in the building industry as a major factor that contributed to soaring house rents that led to record inflation, particularly after the 2006 Games. But it is true only in part that basic raw materials becoming expensive due to unprecedented shortages pushed up construction costs, and prompted developers and property owners to hike rentals. Much of the blame for the escalating cost of living that was caused by spiralling rents, should actually go to the large-scale demolitions in Doha that were carried out to make way for development projects that triggered massive housing shortages. “It was just a coincidence that the demolitions, whereby thousands of people were out looking for alternative rented accommodation, preceded the 2006 Asian Games,” said a construction industry insider. He insisted, it is, therefore, not right to fear that inflation might peak again in a nightmarish reminder, especially of 2008 when the price rise was a back-breaking 15 percent. “There are no demolitions this time, at least not at the earlier scale, and housing supplies are comfortable,” the insider remarked. But fears are nonetheless being raised by real estate market operators and experts that if building materials prices are not kept under check, peaking demand in the run-up to the 2022 World Soccer event Qatar is hosting, could lead to a repeat of 2008. Those in trade and industry, and the public in general, are looking up to the state to keep the prices of construction materials under control.



Once bitten, twice shy “One way to keep inflation at bay is for the government to build cheaper houses and provide land to companies free of cost so they can develop housing stocks to accommodate labourers,” real estate market and financial wizard, Ahmed Al Oruqi, told the local media recently. As hundreds of thousands of foreign workers, a vast majority of them being semi-skilled and in lower income categories, descend here to engage in mega development projects for the 2022 event, there could be problems housing them, he cautioned. The tens of billions of dollars worth of mega infrastructure projects the government is launching might well mount inflationary pressures, he warned. Al Oruqi added, “This is what happened in 2006,” in an implicit reference to the crazy price escalation of 2006-08. Spiralling rents did play havoc in 200608, agreed celebrated real estate market expert and investor, Khalifa Al Muslemani. He said in remarks to a local Arabic daily late in August that real estate prices were currently soaring like nobody’s business. “There have been massive land transactions in different parts of the country in recent months.” That is a clear indication of a booming market. “The trend will continue,” Al Muslemani insisted. Entertainment City, Energy City and parts of Doha have witnessed most of these deals. The buyers are individuals and businesses, and while some might be speculators looking for quick profits over the short-term, a majority seem to be actual users - those either looking for stable rental income or to set up their own businesses in builtup premises.

Taking stock Much to the glee of the building industry, the Ministry of Business and Economy released figures for April 2013 that suggested the prices of raw materials were under control. The rates of aggregates, bitumen, washed as well as fine sand, limestone, steel bars used in cement concrete, and high quality stones, among other things, were stable. The Ministry had earlier set up a committee to closely monitor the prices and supply and demand of the primary, or basic, raw materials used in construction, including road development and repair. According to the Ministry’s price list, a truck load of washed sand cost QR 890, aggregates QR 77 a ton on average, and a truck load of fine sand, QR 500, to cite a few examples. The prices of cement, steel bars and bitumen were also stable, the Ministry said. Construction industry insiders say that having learnt bitter lessons during the pre-2006 construction boom when sudden spurts in the demand for raw materials led to occasional shortages and price hikes, the

authorities have turned cautious. They are making sure the hectic construction activity that will precede the 2022 event does not create such situations. According to insiders, the costs of many development projects were raised, some considerably, in those days of construction boom due to flash rate hikes fuelled by occasional shortages. The Ministry of Business and Economy, formerly the Ministry of Business and Trade, thus, set up a committee to actively track raw material prices, as well as the situation with regard to their supply and demand. It releases monthly reports listing the prices of the various basic raw materials. The government’s role, according to industry insiders, is not restricted to tracking prices alone but also making sure that supplies are stable over the long-term. A company has been formed that procures raw materials such as aggregates, washed sand and bitumen, among others, in abundant quantities to ensure supply security. As for steel and cement, the companies producing them in massive quantities locally are controlled by the state itself. Aggregates which find widespread use in road construction are mostly imported from the neighbouring UAE, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah mainly while Saudi Arabia is a major supplier of bitumen, which is widely used in road construction and water-proofing of a building’s foundation and roofing.

The situation today is such that the country (Saudi Arabia) that occasionally also exported cement and steel to neighbouring countries in the recent past, is now importing large quantities of cement to meet (its) galloping demand Boom time all around Saudi Arabia is also witnessing a construction boom, driven mainly by the government’s plans to build mass housing for weaker sections of its population. Basic raw materials are needed in large quantities locally. The situation today is such that the country that occasionally also exported cement and steel to neighbouring countries in the recent past, is now importing large quantities of cement to meet galloping demand. There was a problem recently when cement producers in the UAE raised their prices and led the kingdom to look for imports elsewhere.

Contribution of construction sector to Real GDP 2013-2014 (in percentage) 6.90 6.80 6.70 6.60 6.50 6.40 6.30



As for bitumen, industry insiders say so far there are no problems accessing different grades of the material from the kingdom except that the government there has imposed a surcharge of 20 to 25 percent on its export. “That has raised bitumen prices, but overall the pricing of this and other raw materials remains stable and under control,” another insider told bq. When reminded that the entire GCC region was witnessing a construction boom so raw materials were bound to be in increasing demand regionally and that could impact their pricing and supplies, the insider said barring Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the UAE to a certain extent, other GCC states were not seeing so much building activity. “Construction activity is picking up pace in Dubai, but we can’t describe it as a boom yet,” maintained the insider.

Inflationary pressures mounting? Back home, in Qatar, several mega development projects such as tunnelling of the multi-billion dollar metro rail project, for instance, have been awarded but execution is yet to begin. “I think it should take about six months for these big projects to begin to be executed,” said yet another industry insider. There are others in the building industry who say they expect more projects to be awarded in preparation for the FIFA 2022 event in 2014. It is then (2014) that inflationary pressures should begin mounting. Additionally, work on the projects that have been awarded in 2013 would likely start by early next year. Major projects are likely to be awarded to major foreign companies but much of the sub-contracting work will come to local companies and that will bring over more foreign workers. “This will build pressure on resources, including housing, pushing inflation up,” said yet another industry source. Demolitions or no demolitions, rents of affordable housing would go up due to massive shortages, he argued. And since rents are a contributory factor, inflation would go up, he said.



Photography: Bosco Menezes

According to construction industry insiders, right now the situation is that the supply of raw materials exceeds demand. “The situation hasn’t arrived so far where the demand has begun creeping up,” said a senior official from a large construction company. He said the same applied to the demand for “finishing” materials, as opposed to basic raw materials. “The demand is static for timber, aluminium, plumbing materials as well as electrical fittings and paints.” Building projects are also being launched in succession, complementing the mega development projects. They are primarily to take care of the housing needs as the country’s population soars with fresh and large batches of foreign workers arriving to engage in these projects. Exact estimates are hard to

Last year some 10,000 new housing units came on the market, a large chunk of which consisted of higher and upper-middle income properties, as opposed to some 18,000 the previous year

have but last year some 10,000 new housing units came on the market, a large chunk of which consisted of higher and upper-middle income properties, as opposed to some 18,000 the previous year. Real estate market sources say they expect more housing stocks to be added this year and the next since the population has been going up faster than expected, pushing up demand. Then, there are buildings and complexes that will provide increasing commercial space as businesses grow due to the fast-expanding economy and the population. Among the major commercial projects that are already underway is ‘Furjan’, that would see a number of large community commercial centres coming up in interior parts of

Raw Material prices 2011-2013 3500



Rate in QR





0 BITUMEN 60/70

Cement (OPC Bulk)C ement (SRC Bulk)

Gabbro (Aver.)

Reinforcement steel (8mm)

Reinforcement steel (40 mm)

Washed Sand

2011 (sept)








2012 (July)

2545 2363

250 250

270 270

75 78

3190 2990

3040 2840

22 22

2013 (July) Source: July 2013 on



Construction Sector Contribution to Real GDP 2006-2011 (in percentage) 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 2006





2011 Cartoon: Nikhil Pai

the country. The idea is to check the influx of people living outside of Doha into the capital city and provide them their basic daily needs at their doorstep. Meanwhile, surveys conducted by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics and the Ministry of Business and Economy have suggested the demand for primary raw materials may surge considerably as major projects are executed over the next 5 years or so. These studies assess yearly rise in the demand for the materials until 2017-18 and even beyond. For instance, between 2013 and 2017, the demand for cement is estimated at 57 million tons; that for washed sand, 101 million tons; 364 million tons of aggregates; 514 million tons of limestone; 10 million tons of bitumen; 36 million tons of ready-mix concrete; 166 million tons of soil removal and disposal, 46 million tons of asphalt and 9.2 million tons of pre-cast concrete. Industry insiders say that due to the

government’s control over the supplies of these materials and pricing they are confident that there won’t be sudden shortages that will trigger price increases. “Therefore, fears in some circles that raw material prices could go haywire as mega projects are executed seem to be largely misplaced,” said another industry insider. But there are others who argue that the actual demand for raw materials would likely begin soaring from next year when work on projects actually starts. Supplies could then go haywire as the demand would be massive over the coming years. That could lead to shortages and increase in raw material prices. “This could have a chain effect and mount inflationary pressure,” said one of the insiders who insisted he saw higher inflation as an imperative fallout of such massive spending on mega projects over a period of six to seven years.

There are others who argue the actual demand for raw materials would likely begin soaring from next year when work on projects actually starts. Supplies could then go haywire as the demand would be massive over the coming years *With inputs from Shereen D’Souza

Photography: Bosco Menezes






Drake and Scull Int.- Heart of Dohaland

Construction is a lumpy industry, but Drake & Scull Qatar is looking at several flush years of business By Rabin Gupta, Doha

Karem Akawi, area general manager Drake & Scull Qatar

With so many infrastructure projects underway in Qatar and more to follow suit in the buildup to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the country has become a happy hunting ground for several international companies seeking a piece of the pie. One of them, Drake & Scull International (DSI), is involved in the integrated design, engineering and construction disciplines of general contracting, mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP), water and power, rail and oil and gas. Drake & Scull Qatar (DSQ) area general manager Karem Akawi says, “DSQ has been responsible for numerous high-profile MEP, construction and engineering projects in Qatar, where we have been optimally leveraging our expertise and ability to adapt to the complexities and dynamics of the Qatar market.” DSQ has been making inroads into an essentially competitive market. With hundreds of millions of dollars involved in almost any single project, it is little wonder that all roads lead to Qatar. New projects are being announced on practically a daily basis and the 2022 FIFA World Cup has given the already thriving infrastructure sector that extra fillip. Looking forward to the second half of the present financial year, Akawi says, “Doha in particular will continue to see major infrastructure and rail projects emerge this year and we are well equipped to compete in major tenders, particularly in the MEP, rail and utilities sectors.” DSQ was earlier this year, awarded a QR 304 mn contract for the design, supply, installation and commissioning of all MEP works of a mixed-use real estate development project and a QR 180 mn MEP contract for a residential project. “These major project wins have definitely

DSI’s Q2 2013 revenues nearly doubled surging to AED 1.34 bn compared to AED 717.3 mn achieved in Q2 2012

bq | Infrastructure l DRAKE & SCULL


Drake and Scull site

created the momentum for the second half of the year and beyond as we benefit from market drivers such as the upcoming World Cup and aggressive national development initiatives,” he said.

Infrastructure hotbed Acknowledging that Qatar is where it is all happening in the region, Akawi states, “Qatar is currently a regional hotbed for construction and related services as it prepares to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022 and strengthen its infrastructure to meet the goals of its National Vision 2030 development plan.” Drake & Scull sees the involvement of the Qatari government in projects as an advantage. “The Qatari government is keen on partnering with contractors who have solid experience and expertise. Qatar has virtually emerged as one of the most lucrative markets for specialist firms worldwide and this level of attention has given the government greater leverage to choose the most competent and qualified candidates for the numerous infrastructure projects that have been announced.” DSQ has recently been awarded several high-profile projects in Qatar and mobilisation on-site for most of the projects has already commenced. “This means that we currently have approximately 1,800 workers on the ground, from our different departments, given the diverse nature of projects we are working on.” The company hopes now to land several more projects in its kitty in what is an extremely competitive

The company undertakes projects solely and also considers strategic joint ventures with international partners that could add competitiveness to the services required by the client environment.

GCC presence DSI has a long-standing presence in the region, having set up its first office in Abu Dhabi in 1966. It also has operations in Dubai, Oman and Saudi Arabia. In H1 2013, DSI registered a net profit of AED 114.9 mn and revenues of AED 2.567 bn. The figures represent increases of 53.9 percent and 71.8 percent, respectively. Q2 2013 net profit increased by 63.2 percent, at AED 52.2 mn compared to AED 32 mn recorded in Q2 2012. Q2 2013 revenues nearly doubled surging to AED 1.34 bn compared to AED 717.3 mn achieved in Q2 2012. On announcing results, DSI CEO Khaldoun Tabari said, “We are well on track in achieving our growth objectives for the year. Saudi Arabia and the UAE continue to be the key drivers to our top line growth. Our operational cash flow has substantially improved compared to H1 2012 as we remain focused

and determined on improving collections and enhancing our cash conversion cycle to improve our working capital and deliver on our backlog.”

Major Qatar spending Akawi says, “Qatar’s budget could top QR 210 bn this year to support infrastructural expansions. In July of this year alone, real estate transactions more than tripled to QR 5.5 bn over the same month last year. Just recently, 30 development wells were declared ready for the QR 37.5 bn Barzan Gas Project. These are indicative of how phenomenal construction market opportunities are sprouting, courtesy of multiple sectors.” Existing and potential customers are drawn to DSI Qatar’s financial security he affirms. “As they say, the numbers say it all. We also have the advantage of having extensive exposure and experience to the local markets as well as a well-structured organisation. These are especially appealing points for the Qatari government, which continues to come to us for a number of its major development projects.” DSQ doesn’t always fly solo. The company undertakes projects solely and also considers strategic joint ventures with international partners that could add competitiveness to the services required by the client.



Dammam hosts construction machinery show

Dammam, the industrial hub of KSA, will host the 2014 edition of the largest heavy equipment exhibition across the GCC region

when the Construction Machinery Show opens its doors to traders and the public from 16 to 20 February, 2014. The show will

be dedicated to the construction machinery sector and will provide an invaluable platform for customers in the region bringing together manufacturers, distributors and buyers. The show will run in conjunction with Buildex, the 16th Saudi International Building & Construction Exhibition. Both events will attract worldwide industry experts, investors and buyers to the largest trade show in the Eastern Province. The total value of on-going projects in the GCC region currently stands at $2,620 billion, with Saudi Arabia accounting for $875 billion. The Kingdom’s strong construction market is being driven by government spending and high oil prices, according to a recent Global Investment House report. For 2013, the Kingdom budgeted $219 billion for spending, up by 18.8%, year-on-year, from 2012. Out of this, almost $76 billion has been set aside for capital expenditure on investment projects, the report added.

Orion acquires prime property Orion Holdings, a private-owned residential and commercial property group based in Dubai, announced the acquisition of property worth AED57.7 million in the Axis Residences community at Dubai Silicon Oasis, from Gulf General Investment Company (GGICO), a public joint-stock company listed with the Dubai Financial Market. Through the acquisition, Orion will own a total of 102 units in Axis Residence 6, which constitutes almost the entire built-up area of the building. Located in the heart of the increasingly

popular mixed-use community, Dubai Silicon Oasis, the Axis Residences offers stylish one-bedroom apartments and a secure living environment to residents. Axis Residences features abundant leisure and lifestyle facilities including large open-tosky swimming pools, state-of-the-art fitness centres, and an expansive landscaped podium, among others. Located within Dubai Silicon Oasis, Axis Residences affords easy access to Emirates Road and Al Khail Road.

Sun control from recycled bottles Hunter Douglas, a global leader in the construction materials business, will soon introduce in the Middle East region a new in the field of light and energy control – GreenScreen, the first sun control system made from recycled bottles. Part of the new collection’s appeal lies in the exceptionally

sustainable materials used for its development. For instance, GreenScreen® Eco consists of 100 percent recyclable polyester fibres (the fabric can be melted down without the need for waste separation and used as raw material for other products) while the GreenScreen®

Revive™ materials was produced from recycled plastic bottles. Hunter Douglas is the only manufacturer in the field using these sustainable materials for projectbased light and energy control.

AED 17mn investment in Marfa Port Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC) has announced an AED 17 mn investment for Marfa Port’s first-phase development of infrastructure and maritime leisure facilities for the local community. The port is at the north end of Marfa city with direct

water access to the Gulf, in the Al Gharbia region, 125 km west of Abu Dhabi. The port has been operational for many years, but with little proper infrastructure to speak of. The investment is the first Public Realm project, funded by the department of

transport, to be implemented as part of the Al Gharbia master plan. An agreement was signed for the development work between Majestic Marine Engineering managing director Marios Economides and ADPC acting CEO Mohamed Al Shamisi.



48-storey residential tower in Dubai Arady Developments LLC, a joint venture between Deyaar Development PJSC (Deyaar) and Dubai Properties Group, recently announced the launch of its 48-storey residential tower, a part of the prestigious Central Park project at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Located in a prime residential area in close proximity to Dubai Mall, Emirates Towers, Burj Khalifa and the Financial Centre metro station, the Central Park residences are insightfully conceptualised to reflect the upscale lifestyle and enterprising spirit of its residents. Spread across nearly 575,000 square feet, the tower comprises 426 apartments including plush studios, one and two bedroom apartments, as well as two and three bedroom duplex and triplex penthouses. Nearly 80 percent complete, the tower features the finest in nextgeneration, premium high-rise living, including ultra-modern facilities such as a podium-level landscaped courtyard, swimming pools, as well as exclusive shopping and dining outlets.

Cheaper office space need of the hour in Doha

Saudi Build 2013

A likely upsurge in small and medium-sized businesses might push up the demand for cheaper office space in Doha, market researches and operators have suggested. Office rents have been stable in the prime central business district (CBD) of West Bay until June 2013, averaging QR 230 per sqm a month. But, more than half of the total space under occupancy here is with government-related entities. The demand is higher for medium and low-end office space whose rents usually range up to QR 145 per sqm on average. Rents of affordable office space have also been stable except that they showed a slight five percent increase in the first three months of 2013 over the same period the year before. Rents were stable in the second quarter (April to June), and might now show a slight upswing due to rising occupancy levels. This is particularly true of office space on the busy C and D ring roads, where occupancy rates have lately shown an increase. Departing from the earlier practice, owners of properties in these areas are now offering smaller units to prospective office tenants to cater to rising demand. It is now possible to rent even 50 to 100 sqm of office space in the above properties. According to Tamween, a development management consultancy and subsidiary of

Saudi Build 2013, the 25th International Construction Technology and Building Materials Exhibition will kick-off on 4 November, 2013 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center. Now on its 25th year, Saudi Build will reflect how, with around SAR 375 billion worth of projects in the pipeline, KSA continues to be a driving force for construction in the MENA region. It will offer trade visitors exciting displays of the latest and topnotch building materials and equipment, architectural finishing products, stone, marble and granite products, construction tools and technology, engineering services, infrastructure materials, and security and safety systems, among others. The show will serve as the main platform for building new business opportunities in Saudi Arabia’s construction sector through displays and presentations of the latest in technology, machinery and equipment. Last year’s edition welcomed 812 exhibitors from 34 countries and 22,649 visitors covering an exhibiting space of sqm 26,000; with exhibitor confirmations already in full swing, the 2013 edition is on track to achieve record figures. For more information visit

Barwa, the real estate giant, an increasing focus on SMEs by the state and greater involvement by the private sector in its key economic diversification drive might further push up demand for affordable office space. As for the posh CBD area, which remains dominated by governmentrelated tenants, more supply is expected to come on the market. The demand, though, might not match higher supply, so occupancy might take time. And this could hammer the rentals a bit lower Tamween said in a recent report. What might further accelerate the demand for medium and lower-end office space is an expected government directive early next year asking certain categories of commercial users of residential villas to vacate. The users include, in the main, engineering, audit and legal consultancies as well as offices of small-time advertising and printing firms. Their deadline to vacate villa premises is being renewed annually for the past few years, so 2014 might eventually see them eased out and hunting for cheaper alternatives in commercial areas of the city. Most of these users have made it clear they would not be able to afford plush and expensive rented offices in the towers of the CBD, if forced out of residential villas.



Cityscape Global 2013

The renewed investor confidence in Dubai’s real estate market is reflected in the emirate’s largest property showcase, Cityscape Global, as the three-day event prepares to host more than 200 exhibitors in 2013 for the first time in four years. Cityscape Global, the Middle East’s largest and most influential international real estate event, is expected to grow by 50 per cent for the second year running. According to the Dubai Land Department, more than AED50 billion was invested into Dubai real estate in 2012. Several Dubai-based developers will be exhibiting for the first time at Cityscape Global, further

DSI bags MEP deal for Louvre

Drake & Scull International PJSC (DSI) has recently signed an AED 415 million contract to execute the complete MEP works for the iconic Louvre Museum project in Abu Dhabi. The contract was awarded by Asolouvrejv, the Arabtec Construction LLC (Arabtec)-led joint venture with Constructora San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi LLC that has been appointed by master developer Abu Dhabi Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) to be the main contractor of the project. The scope of work for this contract will be executed in coordination with Habtoor Leighton Specon and includes all incidentals MEP Works on the project scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015. Louvre Abu Dhabi is located in the Saadiyat Cultural District and is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2015. With a built up area of 64,000 square metres, Louvre Abu Dhabi evokes the image of a city floating on the sea.

underlining the emirate’s property market revival, and many more major developers will be returning to the show after a hiatus following the global recession in 2008. MAG Group, Omniyat, Tanmiyat, Jumeirah Golf Estates and Union Properties return for the first time in several years with new developments and project updates, while Diamond Developers, SKAI, and Sobha Group take their place among a group of newcomers to the showpiece event, which takes place from 8-10 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The event’s organisers, Informa Exhibitions, also expect several exciting new project launches from local powerhouses including Emaar, Nakheel, Dubai Properties Group, Meraas, Dubai World Central, and Meydan, as the key developers look to drum up demand from investors at their largest show stands yet. A large representation from Qatar will be also take part as the thriving Gulf state continues on its ambitious development plan as the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup

– Msheireb Properties, Mall of Qatar, Barwa and United Development Company (UDC), the company behind the Pearl Qatar, are among the headline developers on show. Supported by the Dubai Land Department, Cityscape Global is the annual meeting point for key real estate investors, developers, investment promotion authorities, architects, designers and other real estate professionals to drive growth in real estate investment and development across emerging markets globally. The property event is co-located with three dedicated conference programmes – the Global Real Estate Summit, Future Cities, and the MENA Mortgage and Affordable Housing Congress, bringing together a combined 750 senior real estate professionals who will explore opportunities and find solutions to key challenges affecting the industry today. For more information visit

45% rise in Oman real estate transactions There were 120,081 real estate transactions valued at RO 1.716 mn in Oman in 2012, a 45 percent rise over the preceding year, according to the Ministry of Housing’s 2012 statistics yearbook. There were 100,198 land plots registered for the first time during the year. The number of deeds issued was 207,204 in various governorates of Oman whereas there were 3,376 deeds for GCC nationals. The data released by the ministry showed that the total number of various planned land uses in 2012 stood at 58,609 land plots in all governorates and distributed plots stood at 38,768, according to the indicators released by the sectors of urban planning, land distribution, real estate register and social housing. In the area of social housing programme

serving families living on social security or low incomes, 340 housing units were approved in Oman. The number of Omani families that benefited from housing assistance stood at 4,812 at a total cost of RO 105 mn. In the field of housing loans, 1,388 families benefited from the programme, with a total value of RO 26.8 mn, a 363 percent rise in comparison to 2011.

Upsurge expected in Kuwait realty Real estate brokers in Kuwait expect resurgent market conditions following the current summer slump in sales, caused not by vacationing investors but by prohibitive prices of properties which could rise even further. Real estate agent Ayoub Al Taher said that by the end of September, sales of property would have picked up but prices would remain high as long as demand outstrips supply. He pointed out that numerous home seekers have given up lately on home purchases as the price per sq. metre close to the heart of Kuwait City spiked to over KD 1,000, a sum out of reach

for most people. However, the picture has been a little brighter for investment properties such as apartment buildings which saw brisk business this summer due to big demand, especially in the suburbs of Abu Hulaifa and Mahbola, where many buildings have sprung up ready to be sold to investors. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in crowded areas like Salmiya and Hawalli where many expats live is about KD 300, said real estate agent Ali Dashti.




The Smart Government initiative is the UAE’s way of responding to innovation and not just creating it By E. Shahid, Dubai

Three major tracks are guiding this initiative – activating all e-Services via smart phone applications; creating new m-Government services; and inviting government entities to devise unified mobile strategies for transformation into Smart Government

From customs department to hospitals, electricity and water authority to courts and civil defence, there has been one flavour of the season for the UAE’s public entities – Smart Government. The announcement to launch an ambitious and integrated m-Government (mobile government) service promises to propel it to a league of select nations that offer government services through mobile devices, anywhere and round-the-clock. Dubbed to be the Middle East’s first such service, the initiative intends to leverage the high mobile penetration in the country – estimated at almost 14 million amounting to just below two devices per individual. The new service is set to be fully accessible across all government departments in the country within two years. Like everything else in Dubai, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, chose to put his weight behind the project. He called the initiative a transformation from e-Government to m-Government, which will serve as a model for countries across the Middle East, particularly the GCC. The Middle East has nearly 1 billion mobile phone subscribers according to recent estimates with the UAE leading in mobile penetration with rates exceeding 230 percent. On average, the GCC has a mobile phone penetration rate of 180 percent, higher than that of Russia (160 percent), US (108 percent) and China (78 percent). For Sheikh Mohammed the transformation has relevance for the region. “The launch of this initiative is not simply an achievement of the UAE, rather an open invitation to strengthen cooperation among all countries in the GCC and the region to draw on the strong mobile connectivity to provide efficient government services to the people,” he said. There was


also a clear-cut direction given for the initiative. “The objective now must be to relocate customer service centers into every customer device, enabling them to obtain their desired services through their mobile devices, anywhere and at any time. A successful government reaches out to the people rather than wait for them to come to it,” he said. Three major tracks are guiding this initiative – activating all e-Services via smart phone applications; creating new m-Government services; and inviting government entities to devise unified mobile strategies for transformation into Smart Government. This is set to move the already tech-savvy Dubai e-Government (DeG) a notch higher. DeG currently has a package of smart phone apps and mobile services including m-Pay for mobile payment of government services and fees; m-Dubai for most used government services, e-Complain tracking, government news and information; and SMS Dubai for SMS based services between customers and the Dubai government.

Response to stimulus Most interestingly, the initiative is not based on the archetypal Dubai model of “build and they will come”. In fact it is the other way around – an acknowledgment that technology has arrived, can be used to good effect and governments must take the lead in benefiting from it. It is also based on facts on the ground. A recent Google study said that mobile usage has significantly increased in popularity throughout the Middle East, with the UAE posting the highest penetration in the region at 74 percent. The study showed that consumers are becoming increasingly reliant upon their mobile devices, with 56 percent of those surveyed stating that they never leave home without their device and access the Internet with the device every day. A certain level of backward integration has also gone into the decision. To begin with, the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), in coordination with the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, increased its efforts to ensure a safe and secure transition towards the implementation of m-Government services for all UAE government entities by establishing the Trusted Security Manager (TSM) framework. The new framework is meant to engage all parties involved in the process – both government and private sector – and ensure that all activity is in line with online safety procedures. The key stakeholders considered when drafting the TSM framework include the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, the TRA, the Identity Authority, the UAE Central Bank and telecom services providers Etisalat and Du and several banks and private sector companies.


Opportunities created by technology have given a compelling reason for authorities to move in this direction. Even in the e-commerce domain, for example, it is learnt that an average of 60 percent mobile users in the UAE search for products and services daily. Mobile app usage is now ubiquitous, with 23 apps downloaded on average per month per user. In Saudi Arabia, smart phone penetration is only slightly lower but consumers there seem to have a stronger appetite for travel with 52 percent searching for related content. The potential unleashed by smart phone phenomenon has been immense and they go beyond government department to services sector. According to Amer Al Halabi, regional manager of MENA for HotelsCombined, mobile devices are an essential medium to engage customers on the move. They have created a new business opportunity in hotel booking and it’s an ideal channel through which to sell rooms that otherwise would remain unoccupied. The company has made smart phone and tablet apps available to MENA consumers providing hotel price comparison with an Arabic user interface. It is obvious that technology has manifested itself rapidly in various sectors and Smart Government appears to be byproduct of this transformation. Interestingly, each government department has approached it differently, bringing in its unique input in the process. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), for instance, said it plans to convert 26 electronic services to smart services via mobile phones during the next academic year. KHDA customer service director Abdul Rahman Nasser said that 17 services would be converted to smart services and the Authority had identified nine smart services for workers in the field of education at Dubai’s private schools.

Catching up For its entire novelty factor, it would be wrong to assume that the Smart Government drive is running ahead of its schedule. On the contrary, it appears to be a delayed start. “By 2010, the Middle East can expect e-Government services going mobile and providing citizens of the region with immediate access to a range of services such as trade and industrial support, national healthcare, visa and immigration applications and local government community support,” Osama Ghoul, managing partner of Devoteam Middle East, said in a statement way back in March 2008. “It’s quite likely that citizens could use their mobile phones to pay for traffic and parking charges without the need for a computer, saving time and effort for communities and businesses at large. As e-Government is improving services for citizens, businesses and even other government departments,

it’s important to look at how these services can and already are evolving towards mobile use as mobile phone penetration vastly outstrips computer penetration in the Middle East. It’s rare to see someone without a mobile phone but less common to see someone carrying a laptop,” Ghoul predicted about a phenomenon which is only now beginning to unfold. Now that Smart Government is beginning to develop, it appears that the ground is being quickly prepared. Soon after H.H. Sheikh Mohammed’s announcement, the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) said its roadmap for migrating from e-Government to m-Government is set to gather pace to further broaden the service outreach in the first half of 2015. For RTA, this meant beefing up the number of services offered via smart phones as well as other handheld gadgets (iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows 8) from the existing 17 services to 72 services by 2014. The RTA currently provides 17 services compatible with the most common mobile operating systems. Services provided by the RTA through smart phones are set to pick up substantially in the near future with as many as 55 services in the making; including nine services this year and 46 services as early as next year, to bring the total number of mobile services to 72. According to the RTA, it will undertake a study of all its services – 156 of its 208 services are currently available online – to explore the possibility of providing them via mobile phones. “It will also review the best global practices in order to develop creative services that can be offered via smart phones,” H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, chairman of the board and executive director of the RTA said. It is obvious that the UAE in general and Dubai in particular is determined not to be left behind in this race to make the best possible use of technology. Once achieved, this will truly transform into a Smart Government.

The RTA will undertake a study of all its services – 156 of its 208 services are currently available online – to explore the possibility of providing them via mobile phones




Stretch in Style Ride in style and deliberate on day-to-day business matters while engaging in the luxury of your very own chauffeur-driven premium vehicle, stretched or otherwise. A round-up of the best limousine services the Gulf has to offer By Shereen D’Souza, Doha

Fox Limousine, Qatar One of Qatar’s more popular limo services, Fox Limousine has been around for over a decade and is one of the leading names in luxury transportation in Qatar. With over 200 cars in their fleet, a dedicated operations team is always available to organise integrated transportation solutions for clientele with a reservation centre that’s open 24/7. The limo service features all the latest premium vehicles in their fleet, equipped with all luxury features. They have stretch limos, buses, 4WDs and the option of online payments. Rentals: There are different categories of cars for rentals. Luxury vehicles like A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S Class will cost QR 1750 per day with a chauffeur. Leasing: Cars are available on lease for a term as requested by the company. Rates are subject to requirements. Corporate specials: Depending on the service requests and the volume of limousine rentals, they can offer special corporate rates and limousine services that suit specific company requirements. Credit facility is available. Fox Transport offers a Voucher service, wherein the company can make bulk payments and obtain vouchers which they can pass on to their guests or passengers, without any financial hassle. The guest can use these vouchers for services from the company. Fox also has operator assisted conference calls. The operators have chaired calls for presidential candidates, sporting events and federal judges. Location: Fox transport is at four locations in Doha with a presence in Villaggio mall and the Doha International Airport. For more information call +974 4462 2777 or visit



Photography: Bosco Menezes

Star Limo, Qatar Fairly new in the limo business, Star Limo does not lack the flair for supreme service. With over 100 vehicles in their fleet (and still counting), they provide all possible luxury chauffeur driven vehicles from BMWs to Range Rovers. They’ve been around for over two years and are one of Doha’s better known limousine service. Star Limo has recently concluded the  United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP18, providing more than 450 luxury limousine cars with chauffeurs  for all, including heads of state. With the increase in demand for celebrity transport due to events, movies,

concerts and launches, they have also been awarded ‘Celebrity Transport’ at the Pearl Awards 2013 held last month and the IMAQ Awards 2013 this year. Rentals: A chauffeured Mercedes E Class can cost around QR 1300 for a 16-hour day, while a BMW 7 Series can cost QR 2600 for the same period. Car rentals vary depending on the type. Leasing: All vehicles can be leased for a minimum period of 18 months. Corporate specials: If you’re an executive on the travel, Star Limo has just the service for you with their Business Charter. This

Bahrain Limousine

Prestige Cars, Qatar Founded in 1997 as a subsidy of Alfardan Automobiles, Prestige has grown to be a popular and trusted brand in Qatar. With a huge fleet size, and a history of supplying as many as 250 luxury cars, they provide various services including luxury vehicle rentals, limousine services, leasing and the VIP luxury bus. Their 24-hour limo services feature premium vehicles like Rolls-Royce Phantom, BMW 5 and 7 Series, Range Rover and Jaguar XF/XJ. All vehicles are equipped with newspapers, refreshments, a music menu and of course well-trained multi-lingual chauffeurs. Mobile services are available on request. Rentals: A BMW 5 and 7 Series ranges from QR 1400-2000 per day. Rolls-Royce Ghost 2013 can cost around QR 5000 per day. Rates may differ according to company, choice of vehicle, fleet requirements and several other factors. Leasing: Small and large fleets of premium cars are available for up to three years of leasing. While a Jaguar XF/XJ can cost you approximately QR 9000 per month on

office-on-the-run concept transforms their custom-made fleet of Mercedes S500 cars into fully functional offices with wifi, GPS, bluetooth, video conferencing, desktop, TV/ DVD and printer/scanner/fax/copier. This convenient setting makes business while travelling a pleasure. Location: Star Limo is located on the D-Ring road, a U-turn from the airport traffic lights. For more information call +974 4491 3760 or visit

a lease contract of three years, a BMW 3 Series will cost QR 4500. Corporate specials: Corporate accounts are a possibility with Prestige. Opening such an account entitles an organisation to fixed predefined prices for all types of transfers, great savings with discounted prices, month-end billing and online booking options. Prestige offers a VIP Coach Service, a 22-seater luxury bus with lounges, restrooms, a kitchen, LCD displays and hostess service offering wide variety of snacks and refreshments - ideal for hosting clients, receiving delegates and VIP sight-seeing tours. Location: Prestige Cars is located at the Doha International Airport, the Alfardan Automobiles Service Centre (Industrial Area) and most of the five star hotels across Doha (Four Seasons, Intercontinental, Sheraton, W Hotel, La Cigale, among others). For more information call +974 5547 4242 or visit

Bahrain Limousine caters to corporates and leisure travellers in Bahrain with their chauffeured limo service from the airport to your hotel or residence. All vehicles in their fleet are non-smoking and equipped with the latest magazines, mineral water and feedback forms. They also organise sight-seeing trips in Bahrain. Their fleet includes Mercedes S Class, BMW 7 Series, Lexus and GMC Suburban. Rentals: City transfer rates for special corporate chauffeured limousines from Bahrain Airport cost QR 220 within a radius of 15 Kms, QR 260 within 20 Kms, QR 330 within 30 Kms and QR 400 for areas like BIC, Hamad Town and Zallaq (35 Kms radius). Leasing: They don’t lease cars. Corporate specials: They don’t have any special packages for corporates. Location: Their offices are located at Bahrain Airport, Al-Khobar and Saudi Arabia as well. For more information call +973 1724 3412 or visit



Connection Chauffeur, Exotic Limo, Dubai Saudi VIP Limo UAE Dubai Exotic Limo started around ten years Relax and let Riyadh-based Saudi VIP Limos’ Connection Chauffeur was established in 2009 and with a fleet of VIP stretch limos and luxury cars, their services suit all your requirements. Besides the Hummer and Ford Excursion stretch limos, they offer a wide range of luxury cars like Bentley, Rolls Royce, BMW 7 Series, Range Rover and sports cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini. They specialise in airport transfers and cover all UAE airports besides offering services for all kinds of events. Also, if you’re looking to charter a luxury yacht or even a helicopter, Connection Chauffeur is just a phone call away. Rentals: Their stretch limousine rentals range from QR 2000 – QR 4000 for a full 10-hour day. With trained chauffeurs, their Elite Luxury Limos like Rolls Royce and Maybach can be hired for as little as QR 750 per hour. A BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S Class can cost approximately QR 1500 per day (10 hours) and QR 750 for 3 hours. Leasing: They don’t lease cars. Corporate specials: They offer a 10% discount on published rates for corporates. Location: Connection Chauffeur is located on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai. For more information call +9714 346 98 93 or visit

ago and is one of Dubai’s more renowned limo services. Their fleet is expansive and the number of cars can be arranged according to your requirements. Exotic Limo makes possible a selection from a wide variety of premium vehicles such as Hummer, Lincoln, Cadillac, Dodge, Mercedes, Porsche Cayenne and BMW 7 Series. The vehicles are equipped with surround sound, colour TVs, ice pockets, fully stocked refreshment bar and the like. They also specialise in the manufacturing of stretch limos. Given a customer’s request, they can stretch just about anything. Rentals: Their rentals vary from QR 2000 – QR 5000 depending on the type of vehicle. The rates are calculated on a daily basis for 10 hours. Leasing: They don’t lease vehicles. Corporate specials: A BMW 7 Series can be negotiated for QR 1500 per day. Depending on the requirement, the service charges (administration fees and gratuity) of 30 percent can be waived off for corporates. Location: Dubai Exotic Limo is located at Al Garhoud (next to Chili’s). For more information call +9715 695 7160 / 800 5466 or visit

professional chauffeurs drive you around. With 30 years of experience and services available to central, western and eastern provinces, you can count on them for worldclass service. Saudi VIP Limos feature cars like Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, Lexus and others in their luxury fleet. With family cars, buses and coaches, luggage vans and more, they are well equipped for customised requests as well. Rentals: The Mercedes E Class will cost you QR 1050, QR 1325 for BMW 5 Series and QR 2880 for Mercedes S Class and BMW 7 Series. All rates are per day for 8 continuous hours including fuel within city limits. 100 Kms are free per day. Leasing: They don’t lease cars. Corporate specials: The BMW 7 Series can cost approximately QR 2400 for corporates, and further reduced depending on the number of days the vehicle is rented for. The Lexus ES350 can be obtained for QR 1350. Rates are calculated per day. Location: Saudi VIP Limo head office is located at Malaz, Riyadh with a branch in Jeddah as well. For more information call +966 1 291 5305 or visit



Aspire4Sport attracts top businesses

The Aspire4Sport Congress and Exhibition, which will take place from 16 to 19 November at Aspire Dome, has confirmed that a vast range of local and international businesses are participating. A diverse set of companies and organizations spanning geographies and sectors have set their sights on the event to tap into expanding

sports business sectors including construction, sports medicine and sports technology. Among those companies committed, Grimshaw Architects plan to exhibit in the exhibition’s construction segment, Aspire Build, while others such as Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) plan to take part in Aspire Med, its sports medicine

Solar Qatar Summit 2013

Solar Qatar Summit 2013 takes place in Doha, Qatar on 18 and 19 November 2013, under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari, president of Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation ‘Kahramaa” and with support from H.E. Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Khalifa Al Thani, minister of Municipality and Urban Planning, State of Qatar. Over 200 solar industry stakeholders dedicated to ensuring Qatar’s sustainable future will meet to discuss the deployment of solar energy in the region and see presentations and case studies from both regional and international thought-leaders. From policy-making, strategic planning,

segment. To facilitate tailored B2B exchanges and ensure exhibitors engage with the right business leads, this year’s Aspire4Sport Exhibition will be broken down into five key sports industry areas: Aspire Tech, Aspire Build, Aspire Logistics, Aspire Org and Aspire Med. For more information visit

Doha hotels register rise in July

research and development to the showcasing of major solar energy projects and innovative technologies Solar Qatar Summit 2013 will cover the most up-to-date information within this developing market. Solar Qatar Summit 2013 is a must-attend for anyone seeking an exclusive insight into the solar energy industry in Qatar, and the challenges and opportunities in achieving the region’s ambitious goals. The summit takes place at the Grand Hyatt Doha on 18 and 19 November. For more information visit

Doha Hotels bucked the trend in the Middle East by posting a 9.5 percent occupancy rate rise in July, according to new data provided by STR Global. Doha was the only city in the Middle East to post positive occupancy figures as the region saw rates slump by 13.5 percent. In Doha, occupancy rates at hotels rose to 48.2 percent, STR Global said, adding that the only other city registering growth in the Middle East and Africa was Nairobi in Kenya. Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) had released figures showing that hotel occupancy rates rose from an average of 58 percent to 67 percent, despite there being a 4.5 percent increase in the number of rooms available. Total revenue in four and five-star hotels increased by QR 155.9 mn, with a 20 percent increase in revenue at five-star hotels alone. The total number of hotels under construction increased to 121 properties in the second quarter of 2013 from 110 at the end of 2012; with a total 20,955 rooms expected to be delivered.



Aircraft movements rise in Dubai The Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA) has projected 375,000 aircraft movements for Dubai International Airport (DIA) and Dubai World Central (DWC) in 2013, rising to 665,000 in 2020. In 2010, aircraft movement stood at 307,283, 325,000 in 2011 and 344,656 in 2012. Passenger operations at DWC, Dubai’s second international airport, are due to commence on October 27 this year. DCAA directorgeneral Mohammed Ahli said a growth rate of 8.6 percent in aircraft movements clearly suggests that DIA and DWC are on a curve of exponential growth that would see a massive surge in aircraft movements. In the first half of 2013, aircraft movements increased by 7.4 percent compared to the corresponding period last year. DIA is projected to handle 65 million passengers this year. The DCAA aims to see passenger aircraft movements reaching 355,000 this year and 385,000 and 416,650, respectively in 2014 and 2015.

Qatari Fashion comes to London

OSN acquires Pehla

Fashion Exchange forms part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture which celebrates the long-standing relationship between the two countries and aims to forge new and support existing partnerships in the arts, education, sport and science, while promoting an awareness and appreciation of each country’s culture, achievements and heritage. The Year of Culture is a programme of cultural exchanges and events in Qatar and the UK coordinated by the British Council and Qatar Museums Authority with the support of their respective Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs and a number of leading British and Qatari cultural and educational organisations. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, are Patrons of Qatar UK 2013. In September, a fashion show featured work by internationally renowned UK designer Philip Treacy and emerging female entrepreneurs from Qatar’s Roudha Centre, Elham Al Ansari, Fathiya Al Jaber and Hessa Al Mannai. The show paired abayas and jalabiyas by the Qatari designers with headdresses by Treacy with the aim of challenging perceptions of the abaya and the role of women in Gulf societies. In December, Fashion Exchange continues with six upcoming British designers selected by British Fashion Council, travelling to Qatar for a series of shows in Doha’s elegant Salam Gate Mall. Fashion Exchange will culminate in a private show with established designers like Alice

OSN, a leading pay-TV network in the Middle East and North Africa, has significantly expanded its entertainment bouquet with the strategic acquisition of Pehla Media & Entertainment, the region’s largest provider of South Asian pay television content. The acquisition brings nearly 40 popular South Asian channels in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil and Malayalam languages to OSN’s existing comprehensive portfolio of channels. Bringing the best in Bollywood and premium cricket, with exclusive telecast rights of the ICC Cricket World Cup, OSN Pehla will underscore the network’s position as the ultimate destination for premium content. Showcasing nearly 140 TV channels with the widest spectrum of Arabic, Western, South Asian and Filipino television entertainment, OSN now has something for everyone. Pehla will now be known as OSN Pehla, functioning as an integral unit of OSN dedicated to South Asian content delivery.

Temperley and Treacy at IM Pei’s spectacular Museum of Islamic Art, featuring Temperley’s iconic gowns and Spring Summer 2014 collection, and handbags and hats by Treacy.



UAE arms makers enter into merger Tawazun Holding, the UAE-based strategic investment company focused on specialised manufacturing and industry, has announced the merger of Caracal International and Tawazun Advanced Defense Systems (TADS). The merger sees the consolidation of the UAE’s two leading military and sporting weapons manufacturers with the new company operating under the name of Caracal International. Caracal is the region’s leading manufacturer of pistols and rifles for the civilian, military, law enforcement and sporting markets, while TADS was the Tawazun group’s manufacturer of advanced defence systems catering to military, law enforcement and sporting customers.

The new Caracal International will now design, develop, manufacture and sell firearms, sniper rifles and other light weapons under the established Caracal brand name at its manufacturing base in Abu Dhabi. Caracal International, which is based at the Tawazun Industrial Park in Abu Dhabi, has established itself as a wellregarded brand in its sector globally and is able to cater to the diverse needs and requirements of its growing international roster of clients. Former TADS general manager Sultan Aouda has been appointed as CEO of the newly merged operation.

Qatar leads in healthcare spending Healthcare expenditure in Qatar represents 1.9 percent of the GDP and the country currently has the highest per capita healthcare expenditure in the GCC at USD 1,715. Qatar’s public healthcare budget witnessed a rapid increase during 2012. The approved budget for financial year 2012-2013 was 47 percent higher than that of the previous year. Average healthcare spending in the GCC is three percent of the GDP per annum. Qatar’s population has more than doubled

in the past decade, from approximately 700,000 in 2004 to almost 1.84 million in 2012. The rapid increase in the population over the last few years is attributed to the strong performance of the economy, which has resulted in a large number of projects coming online, thereby leading to the influx of professionals, service workers and contracting sector staff, said a report by Kuwait-based Islamic bank Kuwait Finance House.

Depa acquires Loher Raumexklusiv

Diamond consumption surges

A surge in rough diamond consumption by the growing middle classes in China and India will push global consumption to USD 26.1 billion in value, from its 2011 level of USD 15.6 billion - reflecting an annual compound growth rate of approximately six percent per year according to the 2012 Global Diamond Industry Report released by Bain & Company. The annual bellwether diamond industry report, conducted in collaboration with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) finds that global demand will outpace supply, signalling solid pricing prospects and a strong positive outlook for the industry overall. The report includes a far-reaching survey of more than 5,000 consumers in eight countries, and a detailed examination and findings from three core diamond markets, the United States, China and India. In addition to providing deep dives of the markets in the U.S., China and India, the report also includes a contrast in behaviours and attitudes between the more than 5,000 consumers surveyed by Bain across eight countries. For more information visit:

Sabre strengthens presence in KSA

Dubai-based interiors contracting firm Depa has acquired the assets of German company Loher Raumexklusiv’s luxury interiors business through its wholly-owned German subsidiary, Vedder, for an undisclosed sum. Depa CEO Mohannad Sweid said, “This acquisition is a highly complementary fit with Vedder and combining both facilities will make us one of the largest yacht interior fit-out specialists in the world. Depa’s yachts

business has been a strong and consistent revenue generator, highlighted by the strong order book and recent contract wins totalling AED 235 mn. The yacht building market continues to perform well and this acquisition will increase our already strong market share and allow us to derive significant business efficiencies as we incorporate the assets under Vedder’s brand.”

Bahrain-headquartered travel technology company Sabre Travel Network Middle East (Sabre), has renewed its long term agreement with Mosaid Travel and Tourism, one of the fastest growing travel agencies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region. The exclusive agreement will enable Mosaid Travel and Tourism to continue using Sabre’s wide ranging Sabre Red portfolio, which provides agents with the latest technology capabilities to shop, book and manage travel. KSA is a key market for Sabre, and the company has made significant investments to grow its presence in this region. Sabre has 23 offices in 13 countries in the Middle East and the Levant – in addition to 15 training centers across the region.




Business Rewired Intelligent infrastructure management is a must for reliable enterprise network performance

Structured cabling has long been the often overlooked, though critically important, component of modern IT networks. Key to high-performance, reliable and innovation-enabling connectivity, networks have growing increasingly complex in scale, speed, technology and utilization and yet they remain a regular point of failure. The passive infrastructure, or structured cabling, invariably accounts for up to 50% of network issues. And while most problems can be easily remedied, years of adhering to archaic management and administration processes has exponentially increased the difficulty of doing so. In many installations, inventory and management of physical infrastructure is done with on-board tools such as Excel spreadsheets and Visio graphics. Sometimes, even paper, pencil and post-it notes are used. Network administrators quickly reach the limits of their capabilities if they try to apply these methods to large data centres or complex building cabling systems. Incorrect, out-of-date and unreliable documentation are to the infrastructure what walking a tightrope without a safety net would be. Sensible expansion plans and risk analysis are simply impossible. Added to this are the legal and compliance requirements concerning data security, commercial practice and availability. There is no doubt that a modern approach to cable management is now more important than ever.

During incident management, AIM solutions can reduce the resolution time, thereby providing the potential for significant savings in terms of both IT resources and lost business output



Shibu Vahid is head of technical operations at R&M Middle East, Turkey & Africa.

Ready, AIM, fire The purpose of an automated infrastructure management (AIM) solution, sometimes referred to as an intelligent infrastructure management (IIM) solution, is to facilitate the management of the passive infrastructure in the future. In an AIM system, the entire infrastructure is represented in a consistent database, a single “source of truth�. This database provides precise and real time information on the current state and future requirements of the data center. AIM is intended to optimize the business

potential for significant savings in terms of both IT resources and lost business output.

AIM for innovation The data from the system could also be used to create useful reports for financial budgeting and inventory of IT infrastructure. Strategic IT expansion forecast questions could be easily predicted based on the reliable statistics and reports generated out of the system. The system could also aid IT managers as a planning tool to simulate the future expansion of network, thus allowing

infrastructure management system. With AIM, the choice of technology and system is very important as it could either raise limitations or could facilitate options for expansion. The system configurations need to be done wisely with the help of template-based modeling with an intuitive user interface. Open architecture systems are recommended for easy integration with third party systems. Contactless data acquisition with no influence on data transmission is a preferable solution, as it does not violate well established cabling standards for connecting hardware and therefore presents a neutral and viable solution for any future transmission upgrade requirements.

AIM eliminates stranded capacity, facilitates endto-end analysis and agile infrastructure management and aids predictive analysis and dynamic infrastructure Addressing cost concerns

process of an organization from an IT infrastructure perspective. It eliminates stranded capacity, facilitates end-to-end analysis and agile infrastructure management and aids predictive analysis and dynamic infrastructure. Since in an AIM system the entire infrastructure is represented in a consistent database, inquiries into resources such as server ports, space in cabinets as well as energy requirements and cooling capacity are quick and easy to answer precisely with this database. Improved capacity utilization of the existing infrastructure as well as the simple and exact planning of changes and expansions are immediate advantages of AIM systems. Not only this, these solutions vastly improve the efficiency of operation and administration and can result in reduction of downtime by 30 to 50 percent. During incident management, AIM solutions can reduce the resolution time, thereby providing the

them to better estimate the bill for materials required for implementing the project. Once the project is realized as per the planned layout, it could then be monitored and administered. The system software can seamlessly integrate and synchronize with other customer-owned automated building/facility infrastructure management or data center environment monitoring as well as security management systems. Everything could then be monitored and administered from a common dashboard.

Implementing AIM As a general piece of advice, a company should understand the business requirements it hopes to meet though the implementation of such a system. These include infrastructure and environment related considerations, future growth plans and the expectations from having such an

Cost and complexity of implementing AIM over an existing infrastructure may post a challenge to many organizations since this entails revamping designs, replacing the investments on cabling solutions, down time issues and business continuity. Companies should therefore look for solutions which take this into account at the time of design. Some leading vendors have ensured that their solutions are retrofittable on existing non-intelligent networks with minimal effort. This allows compatibility with standard installed cabling products with no requirement of replacements with special panels or cords, and even without disconnecting active users. Automated infrastructure management is no doubt set to be the much needed revolution for the cabling industry. Realizing the benefits and investing in the right solutions will ensure not only the future readiness of the network but will also help organizations maximize their current cabling investments.



Digital notebook updated

Bamboo Paper has been updated for the iPad® in a major redesign which works intuitively with the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. Already a successful app in its first version, receiving more than five million downloads, Bamboo Paper 2.0 has evolved significantly. Originally an app focused on note taking, it now offers a broad range of writing and drawing tools, such as a watercolour brush and pencil, that enable users to create particularly individual digital notebooks. Bamboo Paper 2.0 still remains in its unrivalled, uncluttered, clean design but offers much more versatility through three additional new notebook styles that differ in paper types and covers. This way,

Cyber security assessment service

different demands and use cases find their specific expressions. A Writer notebook, for instance, may be used for note-taking or creative writing, whereas an Artist notebook could be used for more elaborate sketching and drawing. The app now features an improved, near perfect palm-rejection, eliminating almost all accidental marks while sketching or drawing. Combined with the Intuos Creative Stylus, the new digital stylus from Wacom, Bamboo Paper 2.0 provides an even more natural and intuitive drawing experience. The Creative Stylus offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and comes close to a natural pen-on-paper feeling.

Invensys has a new cyber security assessment service to help its customers understand the risks that might impact the safety and reliability of their operations. The assessment is a key part of any security best practice program, helping to ensure critical infrastructure protection and compliance with corporate, industry and/or government mandates. Performed on-site, the control system assessment provides a baseline of the user’s current security position, and it can be used as the starting point to develop a strategy to meet the challenges of reducing and managing security risks. The assessment, which includes the following service elements, allows Invensys to develop a unique and customized approach to addressing security issues site and system assessment: a site review and system-specific vulnerabilities; compliance assessment: Invensys addresses compliance status by reviewing operations and processes against required corporate compliance standards; establish security baseline: a security baseline allows customers to gauge progress against current status and operating models for security.

The new KitKat Google has ended months of online speculation about the name of the latest version of its Android mobile operating

system by revealing it will be called Android KitKat, after Nestlé’s popular chocolate and wafer confectionery. The creators of the

world’s most popular mobile platform have teamed up with the world’s biggest food and beverage company to name the next release of the platform. Android has been developed by the company’s engineers under sweet-themed names ever since the release of Android Cupcake in 2009 and continuing in alphabetical order until the most recent version, Android Jelly Bean. The news that the letter K will be dedicated to Nestlé’s KitKat will surprise most technology commentators, who had widely thought the latest version would be Android Key Lime Pie. “We couldn’t imagine a better name for our Android K release than the tasty chocolate that’s been a favorite among the team since the early days of Android,” said Marc Vanlerberghe, director of Android Marketing.



ERP crucial for customer experience

Next big IT trend SDN

Epicor Software Corporation says a new IDC Manufacturing Insights report has uncovered how important a customeroriented strategy is for successful manufacturers. The report also discovered just how crucial enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions are in helping all manufacturers improve their customer experience, from those that are only just starting out to those that already have a deep customer-oriented culture in place. In the brand new white paper for manufacturers, entitled “Get customers inspired: How modern ERP can support greater customer experience,” IDC

Software-defined networking (SDN) is the current “next big thing” being put through the hype-mill by the analyst community and vendors alike. Early adopters of SDN in Qatar are currently investigating a wide range of applications and use cases. These include network virtualisation, large-scale data centre infrastructure management, traffic engineering, and WAN flow management. IDC reports that globally SDN currently accounts for around $360 million in annual business in a $30 billion networking industry. This is expected to grow significantly in future. Software-defined networking takes virtualization to the next level. By separating the control plane (the part that holds the instruction manual) and the data plane (where the data sits) within a device, SDN enables the control element to move with a virtual device around the network. This means that a virtual device automatically knows how to deal with an application or service request regardless of where it is within the infrastructure.

manufacturing insights surveyed over 460 enterprises across multiple sectors including industrial machinery and equipment, high-tech and metal fabrication, covering 13 countries worldwide. The research also uncovered that manufacturers can improve the customer experience by investing in a modern, fully integrated, flexible and easy to use ERP system that streamlines operational processes and connects back office with front office by offering integrated CRM, warranty and aftermarket functionality.

Sony’s new portable wireless server

First smartphone Umrah app

Sony launched the new Portable Wireless Server (PWS) that provides consumers convenient options to view, share, and store content on the move or at home from their smartphones. The versatile device serves as a battery charger and card reader/writer offering users added control when managing multimedia data such as photos, videos, music files, and office documents. With a wireless connection, users can transfer content utilizing PWS as a convenient option for smartphones especially for devices that do not have a

memory card slot. The PWS can also connect several devices via Wi-Fi at one time, allowing up to eight users to simultaneously share and playback same or different content. The PWS also functions as a back-up power source for smartphones or digital cameras. Consumers can use the PWS for up to 10 hours of continuous MP3 playback. All controls are managed by the smartphone or tablet through the PWS Manager App (available at Google Play or App Store).

Web version of debt collection Latitude Software has released Liquid Latitude™, a Web-based version of its debt collection software. Featuring a Web-based collector desktop, Liquid Latitude™ is designed to reduce costs, optimize agent resources, and improve business continuity. Liquid Latitude™ helps clients reduce costs by minimizing IT installation efforts and requirements. As a Web-based desktop application, it also enables clients to make

use of remote and work-at-home agents to optimize staffing efficiencies and assure uninterrupted service in the event of a disaster or outage. Liquid Latitude™, which is ideal for first-party creditors with distributed offices, is offered as a Webbased option to Latitude Software’s thick-client collector desktop application. Support for third-party agencies will follow in subsequent releases of Liquid Latitude™.

Hajjnet, a Dubai based startup has just released a smart phone Umrah guide that will support millions of pilgrims in every step of their pilgrimage and with full social media integration. UmrahSalam is a mobile app that offers today’s pilgrim the real-time, location and process based support they need to focus on the spiritual aspects of fulfilling their religious obligations. Features include prompting pilgrims to read or hear the appropriate Duas or prayers at the right time and place; counting the number of Tawaf as they are being performed and full camera, map and social media integration. For users of the app, the Umrah pilgrimage is now a far more informed experience right down to what to do and when by actual visualisation of the process and key routes so travellers know where they are heading. Throughout Umrah, pilgrims are prompted with the key Duas and supplications that they can listen to as well as read in Arabic, English or English transliteration. The app also allows them to compose their own personal Duas and have them accessible at any time on the toolbar. UmrahSalam enables travellers to find their hotel from a comprehensive and frequently updated database, and pin it to a map so they can locate their hotel or any other landmark to avoid getting lost.





Invested Every age of wealth has its mega-collectors who help set taste and stock museums with the art of the era. In this era, Qatar is emerging as a major global player By Tina Isanti, Ljubljana and Abhiraj Ghosh, Doha




atar’s conquest of the art market hasn’t gone unnoticed with media worldwide reporting about the country’s newest art acquisitions and the astronomic prices they have been prepared to pay for the pieces. This became evident even before the acquisition of Paul Cézanne’s Card Players for USD $250 million, the highest price ever paid for a work of art. The painting is one of five in a series of post-impressionist works. This was just one of many in the series of purchases over the last few years that includes some of the best works by Mark Rothko – White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose 1950), bought in 2007 for USD 72.8 mn, Damien Hirst’s Lullaby Spring, 2002, for GBP 9.2 mn (USD 14.5 mn) bought at an auction in London in 2007, as well as pieces of Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and others. This effort to create a first-class contemporary art collection, from scratch, hasn’t just sustained the international art market, experts say, but contributed to some of the escalation in prices. Until Qatar’s 2007 purchase, the most expensive Rothko ever sold at auction (Homage to Matisse) had drawn USD22 mn in 2005, less than a third of the price Qatar paid. In 2011 the USD 250 mn spent for Card Players was four times the highest public price ever paid for a work by Cézanne. While Abu Dhabi and Dubai are also keen to be recognized as cultural capitals and have partnered with existing institutions - namely the Louvre and the Guggenheim - to establish themselves, Qatar is going it solo. This is worth mentioning because of the confidentiality agreements in place. Dealers and auctioneers are not prepared to go on record about deals Qatar has made. Qatar is also believed to be the anonymous buyer of 11 Rothko paintings, that were once in the Park Avenue apartment of financier J. Ezra Merkin, for USD 310 mn in 2009. The purchasing is directed through intermediaries by one of the most influential woman in the Arab world – H. E. Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, chairperson of the Qatar Museums Authority. She is determined to make Qatar a cultural center of the world and is willing to spend about USD 1 billion a year to make that happen. The Economist recently pronounced her “the art world’s most powerful woman” despite her very noticeable absence at art galleries and auction houses. Auction houses and galleries will often wine and dine collectors before a big sale. Significant works will be flown to their homes as well. Qatar, however, doesn’t participate in any of this. Their experienced art advisers do it for them - previously the dealers Philippe Ségalot and Franck Giraud, and now Guy Bennett. Bennett, a former co-head of Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Art department worldwide, is a known master dealmaker. He is just one of a number of Christie’s operatives who have taken on roles with Qatar. In June 2011 Edward Dolman, the auction house’s former chairman, was named executive director of the QMA and Jean-Paul Engelen, the director of public art for the authority, is also a Christie’s veteran. The Qatar team typically buys from dealers, though some of its most major purchases have been at auction. Experts said that another intermediary may act on Bennett’s behalf so sales cannot be traced to Qatar, who want to keep their buying private to prevent driving up the market and fueling speculation about their plans. Some experts like former Sotheby’s top executive, David Nash, suggest Qatar will leave a big hole if they decide to withdraw from

Mark Rothko, White Center (Yellow, Pink and Laven­der on Rose), 1950

Qatar is also believed to be the anonymous buyer of 11 Rothko paintings, that were once in the Park Avenue apartment of financier J. Ezra Merkin, for USD 310 mn in 2009 the art market, which he doesn’t see anyone else ready to fill at their level. Some others share the opinion that Qatar will remain on the art or at least museum market for a while, due to its ambitious plans of opening nearly 20 different museums. Where the western art will eventually end up remains a mystery, although, there are already three museums in Doha: The National Museum of Qatar – under construction; the Museum of Islamic Art; and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art – focused on regional art. Experts presume the newly gained western collection will possibly become part of some new contemporary art institution in the country. For Qatar, buying art is part of its strategy to launch itself onto the world’s cultural stage before it hosts the 2022 World Cup, as well as to become a desirable destination for tourists from all over the world and one of the art leaders in the region. So, if Rothko and de Kooning and Kline, among others, end up in Qatar, that’s quite marvelous indeed.

Damien Hirst Lullaby Spring



These colourful and engaging portraits combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography and pop art, as well as the studio photography of African artist Malick Sidibe and other North African inspirations

Setting the Contemporary Scene In

October this year, Damien Hirst’s largest ever exhibition will go on display in Qatar. Spanning over 25 years of Hirst’s iconic career, Relics is the artist’s first solo show in the Middle East and will be on display until January 2014 at AlRiwaq Doha exhibition space. Curated by the internationally renowned writer, critic and curator, Francesco Bonami, Relics is part of a series of cultural initiatives organised by Qatar Museums Authority in order to foster discussions and cultural exchange between the UK and Qatar. It forms part of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture which celebrates and showcases the deep-rooted bilateral relations between Qatar and the UK. This event comes on the heels of several smaller, albeit equally compelling contemporary shows currently running in town. One such exhibition, My Rock Stars: Volume 1 by London-based Moroccan artist/designer/photographer Hassan Hajjaj, is presently showing at The Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. Research for My Rockstars started in Marrakech, where Hajjaj lives for part of each year, capturing shots of the people he met: musicians, the snake charmer, henna girl, bad boy, male belly dancer. “I wanted to give them a backdrop and started from there,” says the artist. His sitters have more than a backdrop though: they often wear clothes he has designed, standing in spaces completely covered by patterns he has chosen, with the photographs eventually set in frames he has constructed. Hajjaj’s first memories of photography are from his childhood in Morocco. His mother would occasionally dress him in clothes sent by his father in England, dunk him in perfume and take the

whole family to the local photography studio for a family portrait to send to his father. Then there were the street photographers in Larache, where he lived until the age of fourteen, who would take pictures of children on a plastic horse, wearing cowboy hats and so on. A kindred spontaneity can be seen in My Rockstars: Volume 1, a series of studio portraits Hajjaj has been working on since 1998. These colourful and engaging portraits combine the visual vocabulary of contemporary fashion photography and pop art, as well as the studio photography of African artist Malick Sidibe and other North African inspirations, in an intelligent commentary on the influences of tradition in the interpretations of high and low branding and the effects of global capitalism. This is only the latest in what has been a busy few years for Hajjaj, exhibiting his work in Europe, Africa and the Middle East: in 2009 his photographs were featured in the Bamako Rencontres Biennale; in 2012 he exhibited work in Riad Yima, a house he designed himself, featured in the Marrakech Biennale. Hajjaj is currently working on some solo projects, one to be displayed in early January 2014, in Gusford Gallery; and another exhibition with Taymour Grahne in New York City in mid-January 2014. “For an artist whose work fetches an average of USD20,000 on a regular basis, Hassan is a very humble person,” says Caitlin Doherty, exhibition and speaker curator at VCUQatar. “The exhibition held at The Gallery is an excellent opportunity for the rising fine arts and contemporary arts enthusiasts in the GCC to witness his one-of-a-kind work, especially for those who missed it

last year during The Third Line exhibition in Dubai.” The art scene within Qatar has clearly been blooming too. Apart from the high profile purchases of modern and contemporary art, there has been a rise in young artists in and around the area. “Qatar is an exciting place to work right now; you very much get the sense that you are involved in something dynamic and developing. Working at VCUQatar helps since many of our students will be Qatar’s artists and designers of the future. We also work collaboratively with so many other artists, designers and arts and cultural organizations in Qatar and beyond that new opportunities, perspectives and challenges are constantly presenting themselves,” says Doherty. In collaboration with QMA, VCUQatar will also present Francesco Bonami in conversation with Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi. The conversation, part of VCUQatar’s Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series, will be led by well-known Arab affairs commentator Al Qassemi and focus on issues relating to contemporary art and the region, specifically relevant to Hirst’s Relics exhibition. My Rock Stars: Volume 1 is currently running at The Gallery at VCUQatar until 24 October, 2013. Hajjaj will also conduct a workshop with the students just before the closing, on 23 October from 4:00pm to 6:00pm, an event which is also open to the public. VCUQatar presents Francesco Bonami in conversation with Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi on 30 October at 6:00pm, at the atrium at VCUQatar. The event is open to the public.



La Traviata at ROHM For 160 years, Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata has moved audiences with its classic tale of self-sacrifice and redemptive love. The immensely popular opera is a staple of the standard operatic repertoire and is one of the most-performed operas worldwide. Italy’s Macerata Opera Festival, which takes place every summer in the beautiful surroundings of Arena Sferisterio, brings to Muscat the legendary “Traviata of the Mirrors,” designed for Sferisterio in 1992 by Josef Svoboda; a beautiful and visually striking production. A cast of exceptional singers will make the operatic evening even more memorable. When & where: 22 and 26 October, 7:00pm, Royal Opera House Muscat. Tickets priced between OMR 10 and OMR 78.

DFI partners with SFF

Doha Film Institute (DFI) recently announced its new strategic alliance with the Sarajevo Film Festival (SFF) and will partner on a number of new initiatives at

A night under the stars their respective festivals to increase and strengthen connections between Arab and European cinema. This year, DFI curated a selection of films from the Arab world which were shown at SFF including Mahdi Fleifel’s A World Not Ours (UK/Lebanon/ Denmark; 2012) and Ahd’s Sanctity (Saudi Arabia; 2012). Further extending the partnership, SFF will promote Southeast European filmmaking with a presentation of three films from its official 2013 programme at the Qumra Film Festival, Doha in March, 2014. Finally, DFI will curate three recent works by Arab filmmakers at next year’s SFFl and again invite recipients of DFI grants to participate in the CineLink Co-Production Market.

Nadia Ayari at The Third Line

The Third Line introduces New York based artist Nadia Ayari, with her exhibition The Fountain and The Fig opening in the Project Space. For this project, Ayari’s predominant aesthetic concerns remain with rendering conceptual narratives, whereby the act of

painting becomes an important tool in the dialogue. By using heavily conventionalized symbols such as the fig and the tree, she influences the imagery to acquire an element of myth-like storytelling. The exhibit includes five abstracted flora-themed paintings that follow a singular strain. The visuals are dreamlike and surreal blood red rain covers deep purple figs that spout out leafy tongues from their burning red crevices. As is suggestive in their titles Tongue, Splitting, Pouring, Spit and Fountain there is a violence and raw carnality that intermingle to create a macabre vision. Also part of the show are ink on paper drawings. When & where: 18 September to 30 October, 10am to 7pm, The Third Line Gallery, Dubai. Admission is free.

For only the second time in history, two of the world’s most famous classical soloists José Carreras and Katherine Jenkins are set to perform alongside each other at the du Arena, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Backed by a full orchestra conducted by David Gimenez, José Carreras and Katherine Jenkins will come together to lead an all-seated crowd of thousands on an unforgettable journey through some of the most highly regarded classical music ever written. The event is expected to up open up a new chapter in Abu Dhabi’s already prestigious legacy of hosting classical music performances; exposing a new generation of UAE music fans to some of the finest voices the world has ever heard. When & where: 25 October, du Arena (all-seated) Abu Dhabi. Ticket prices start from AED 395 for A Reserve, AED 695 for Gold, AED 895 for Platinum and AED 1,295 for Diamond categories.




Paradise Found A top 10 list of some incomparable, anonymous retreats and getaways that will offer you all the privacy and exclusivity that you crave By Shereen D’Souza, Doha

Amanpulo, The Philippines Named after the Sanskrit word for peace, aman, and the Tagalog word for island, Amanpulo is a serene retreat offering the pure white sands, turquoise seas and endless blue skies for which the Philippine archipelago is famed. The entire island of Pamalican is dedicated to Amanpulo, fringed by seven square kilometres of pristine coral reef and lapped by the tranquil Sulu Sea. Amanpulo’s facilities enjoy a spacious layout complementing their natural surroundings. The resort’s casitas are situated on the beach, amongst the treetops or on the hillside overlooking the Sulu Sea. Each has its own private buggy allowing independent travel on the island. The island is packed with activities and luxurious amenities, including a spa. Rates: Start from QR3,200. Reservations: +63 2 976 5200

Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos is among the Caribbean’s pre-eminent islands. The Turks and Caicos are located in the northern Caribbean, an archipelago of eight principal islands and more than 40 smaller cays, of which Parrot Cay is one. The islands are positioned some 925km south east of Miami, which is a 70-minute flight away. It’s wrapped in sweeps of sands and peaceful seas featuring a spa and exceptional cuisine. There are over 100 acres of unspoilt wetlands and a powdered beach. Accommodation in white wash with chic teak finishing includes beachside villas, some with private pools. The aesthetic is pared down and sleek, four-posters wrapped in soft cottons that billow with the breeze. Activities include complimentary yoga and pilates classes, non-motorised sports, catamaran sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boards, floodlit tennis courts and water skiing. Rates: Start from QR1,700. Reservations: +1866 388 0036 (toll free)



Hayman Islands, Great Barrier Reef Hayman, Australia’s most awarded private island, presents astonishing natural beauty, restorative peace, action-packed activity and indulgent culinary experiences. Hayman offers a front-row seat to the Great Barrier Reef and a world of leisure and adventure. Hayman is also opening up opportunities for people to own a special piece of the island. Designed by Kerry Hill, Hayman Private Residences and Hayman Marina Residences offer a modern contemporary setting positioned to take full advantage of the incredible views, vistas and natural beauty of this island. Rates: Start from QR1,700. Reservations: +1800 122 339

Perivolas, Santorini A distinctive and unique boutique hotel, overlooking Santorini’s famous Caldera, Perivolas provides simple luxury for discerning guests looking for total relaxation in beautiful surroundings. Complete with a swimming pool, spa, gourmet restaurant and outstanding sea views from every accommodation, the hotel has earned its 30-year reputation for excellent service and guest satisfaction. Rates: Start from QR2,000. Reservations: +30 22860 71308

Cayo Espanto, Belize Cayo Espanto is not your average run of the mill private island but a spectacular visualisation of how paradise and luxury come together as one. This five-star resort is created for the discriminating few who are looking for an ideal private island resort getaway overlooking the Caribbean. Located three miles from San Pedro in the calm waters of the Western Caribbean, off the coast of Belize, Cayo Espanto is a spectacular and private retreat. Although Belize is less than two hours from Miami, Houston and Charlotte, it remains virtually undiscovered. With only seven villas and a staff to guest ratio of two to one, you will always feel as if you have the entire island to yourself. A private, sea front, freshwater pool in every villa, romantic dining on your personal verandah or private dock and breath-taking alfresco showers are just a few of the exciting things to look forward to. Rates: Start from QR5,200. Reservations: +1888 666 4282 (toll free)



Laucala Island, Fiji Laucala Island is set amid coconut plantations, sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons, rich green mountains and breath-taking natural beauty, often drawing comparisons as a veritable Garden of Eden. Set upon 3,500 exclusive acres on its own island in the archipelago of Fiji, Laucala Island dazzles in the beautiful blue surrounding waters. The resort prides itself on an integral philosophy, incorporating elements of the entire island into each guest’s experience, and offering products and ingredients raised and grown on the island. True luxury is appreciated in the privacy of the resort’s 25 villas with the freedom to experience a variety of activities, ranging from golf and water sports to beach-side horseback riding and more. The 25 villas are comprised of one, two and three-bedroom configurations, and each features its own pool, lush tropical garden and spacious indoor and outdoor areas. Each villa comes with all food and beverage services included, chauffeur, nanny, housekeeping, Tao service, laundry and dry cleaning and both welcome and farewell gifts. Guests are also offered sports and activities, golf, tennis, horseback riding, land and water packages and diving as part of their stay. Rates: Start from QR15,250. Reservations: +679 888 0077

Necker Island, British Virgin Islands Necker, Sir Richard Branson’s private island paradise, is situated in the British Virgin Islands, a stunning and unspoilt area of the Caribbean. At 74 acres, Necker sits in turquoise waters surrounded by coral reefs and fringed with beautiful white sandy beaches. Necker can become your own private hideaway - the island can be hired exclusively for groups of up to 30 people, or if you’re not looking to hire it exclusively, you can still enjoy the Necker experience during Celebration Weeks when individual rooms can be booked by singles or couples. Activities include kite-surfing, sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, kayaking, power-boating, and plenty more. They have two tennis courts and a tennis professional happy to give you a few pointers. Alternatively, you could spend the whole day lazing in a hammock! The beach pool pavilion is a hub of activity during the day, with an infinity pool and swim-up bar. The chef prepares their famous sushi boat for an unforgettable lunch. Rates: Start from QR7,200. Reservations: +44 (0)208 600 0430



Cocoa Island, Maldives Cocoa Island by Como is a private island in the Maldives in the relatively undisturbed South Male Atoll. White sandy beaches and turquoise waters are paired with the resort’s simplistic elegance and understated luxury. Rooms resemble local dhoni fishing boats and have direct lagoon access. The Ufaa restaurant serves fresh local produce and seafood cooked in the Keralan style, while the Faru bar overlooks the pristine infinity-edge pool. Cocoa Island’s spa, Como Shambhala Retreat, offers rebalancing treatments, including Ayurveda. Rates: Start from QR2,700. Reservations: +960 6641818

The House in the Sea, Cornwall If you fancy a taste of the high life, then this unique private island is just the ticket. With its far-reaching coastal views and suspension footbridge approach, The House In The Sea at Newquay, Cornwall is a truly magical home stay. With quirky interiors fusing a cool New York vibe with coastal luxury, the footbridge access to your iconic island retreat is nothing short of breathtaking. The home stay features a luxury four-poster master bedroom suite which occupies the first floor, and has access via a private staircase.  There’s a BBQ area with a Mediterranean feel besides a sunny garden room. The sitting room has the best view, complete with a 40″ TV, billiards table and a bar area with a fully stocked bar. The unique extras provided include fresh picnics, afternoon teas, seasonal wine selections and beautiful fresh flowers. Rates: Start from QR22,000 (7 night stay for up to 6 guests). Reservations: +44 (0) 1637 881183 (Images: ©

Fregate Island, Seychelles With seven magnificent beaches, irresistible tropical waters teeming with kaleidoscopic marine life and a profusion of rare and exotic flora and fauna, Fregate Island in the Seychelles makes for a perfect private island getaway. Beautifully crafted and nestled nicely into the coastal line, its 16 residences - ranging from 400 to 700 sqm are naturally secluded, each with their own luxurious terrace, large private infinity pool and Jacuzzi. The island boasts a plethora of unique activities and the private inland harbour is the first port of call for all sea adventures and the wealth of marine wildlife. Thanks to the great care taken to nurture the natural habitat, organic vegetables and fruits are grown on the island’s plantation for hotel guests to ensure the highest quality and freshness of food. Rates: Start from QR6,700. Reservations: +49 6151 734 75 144


bq | R&R l REVIEW


This Majlis Sizzles For this review, bq visited Majlis at the Grand Hyatt, located minutes from the business areas of Doha and the new district of West Bay Lagoon, popular for its sheesha and traditional, but exquisite, Arabian cuisine creations By Shereen D’Souza, Doha

The Majlis exudes a warm environment complete with Arabian hospitality, making it an ideal setting for private business luncheons. Whether you want to host your clients or impress your boss, the outdoor seating by the pool is beautiful and makes a pleasant quiet afternoon meal, albeit not the best idea for summers. The interiors are contemporary yet arabesque and the cosy seating area with striking couches does full justice to its name. Coming to the food, we were reasonably impressed. The food was delicious although very plainly presented. We started off with varieties from the Cold Mezza, all priced under QR 25. Our favourites from the selection are Babaganoush and the Hummus Beiruty. The Hot Mezza is quite exciting; we particularly liked the chicken wings, Cheese Sambouse, Toshka, the prawns and the Lamb Makanek – Lebanese sausages sautéed and served with lemon juice, onion, green capsicum and tomato paste. After appetizers, we moved on to the main course. Their lamb kofta is simply brilliant and the mixed grill is almost as good. The mixed grill consists of chicken (which was supreme), beef and lamb chops - we were hoping for juicier chops, but they were tasty nevertheless. The strawberry cheesecake and the bitter chocolate yoghurt mousse followed for dessert. We savoured the cheesecake first, and it was so delectable, the mousse just could not keep up. bq recommends the following dishes at Majlis: • Lamb koftas – really juicy, succulent and topped with a delectable chilli paste. Just perfect. • Their signature shawarma – the portion is enormous, and the taste even better. • Jawaneh (deep fried chicken wings with a lemon garlic, parsley and butter dip) – this one is literally finger-licking delicious. • Kredes (sautéed prawns, lemon, coriander, garlic and rocca) • Strawberry cheesecake – will exceed your expectations, a must try! The service was good. The waiter knew what he was talking about and very politelyexplained the intricacies of several dishes. At night, the Majlis buzzes with traditional sheesha lovers and is a great place for a lively night out, but if you’re looking at a discreet destination for an afternoon meal while discussing a deal, we definitely recommend this place.

Cuisine: Arabian Recommended for: Business lunch, night out with friends Timings: Sat - Wed 12:00pm to 12:00am Thurs - Fri 12:00pm to 2:00am Location: Grand Hyatt Doha Meal for two: QR 250 - 500 Alcohol served: Yes Reservations: +974 44481234

If time is an issue but food is a necessity, take the weight off your feet, drop into an oversized chair and munch on a fresh chicken shawarma with salad and coffee at Majlis for QR 66.



Jazzy blues & panoramic views The new season of brunch is back at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi as it welcomes the upcoming cooler months. Introducing The Jazz Brunch, the refreshed Friday brunch concept at Oléa, the Mediterranean influenced restaurant promises a personalized and entertaining experience. The St. Regis association with jazz dates back to 1930’s Jazz Age when The St. Regis New York was host to jazz legends such as Count Basie and Buddy Rich. The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort continues that jazz heritage with The Jazz Brunch as it introduces the Blue Light Collective featuring female vocalist and saxophonist – Jooles. Accompanied by a pianist, the dynamic duo will serenade with soul, old blues and jazz classics. The jazz band will complement the restaurant’s culinary delights that include the choicest selection of Mediterranean fare ranging from fresh seafood and grilled delicacies to decadent desserts along with live cooking stations both indoor and on the restaurant’s large outdoor terrace, further adding to the truly bespoke experience. For reservations, call +971 2 498 8008.

Ajmal launches limited edition collection

Eternal by Ajmal recently launched its new Limited Edition collection. Encompassing refined elegance and sophistication, this unisex eau de parfum satisfies the proclivity of exquisite connoisseurs. Enthusiasts love the luxurious fusion of old-world Arab charm and modern chic, while this same vision is translated in Eternal by Ajmal’s fragrances; a collection of true classics that are desired by aficionados. The Limited Edition collection includes five new compositions based on Vetiver, Amber, Oudh, Musk and Patchouli. Available in Eternal by Ajmal stores as a 50 ml each, the Limited Edition collection is priced at AED 500 for each fragrance.

Mouawad introduces Grand Ellipse accessories The Mouawad grande ellipse accessories collection recently hit Mouawad boutiques in the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Known for protecting against negativity and carried by soldiers in the past to guard against injury, black onyx is the dominant gemstone in the new Mouawad men’s collection. The grande ellipse rings and cufflinks are presented in two different designs, each one available in both 18K white and rose gold with black onyx or mother-of-pearl - giving a black or white option. The grande ellipse misbahas - available in both white and rose gold - feature traditional thirty three black onyx prayer beads complemented by white diamonds. Handcrafted in carbon fibre, palladium, rose gold and lacquer finishes, the grande ellipse rollerball pens round out the collection offering the perfect accompaniment to the grande ellipse timepieces.

Hayman Islands to be relaunched

Mulpha Australia has entered into an agreement with Kerzner International Holdings Limited, a leading international developer and operator of destination resorts, casinos and luxury resorts, to assume management of the highly acclaimed luxury island resort Hayman, Great Barrier Reef. Hayman will undergo a multi-million dollar renovation and be re-launched as One&Only Hayman Island in April 2014 – One&Only’s first resort in Australia. Mulpha continues to maintain full

ownership of the island and the resort. The Pool Wing will be redeveloped and feature new all-suite living spaces offering either one or two bedrooms. New Hayman rooms and Hayman suites, featuring ocean and lagoon views, will be introduced with reimagined interiors and amenities. The iconic pool will offer a renewed life and energy, complete with cabanas and day beds. Some suites will provide direct access to the pool, allowing guests to enjoy the water straight from their private terrace.




GCC Illustrated The first in a series of maps and infographics detailing the GCC. Volume 1: Part 1 By Jure Snoj, Doha

Foreign direct investments made by Gulf countries in the last five years

Billion USD Kuwait

44.97 UAE

37.82 Qatar

21.67 Saudi Arabia



4.74 3.64


Source: UNCTAD

The Gulf countries are known for investing abroad, making famous purchases, such as Qatar’s Shard in London and UAE’s acquisition of the football club Manchester City. Not all of them are investing huge amounts though, with Bahrain and Oman investing a modest USD 3.64 billion and USD 4.74 billion respectively. To put it into perspective, UK, as one of the biggest investors, has made USD 438 billion of investments in the last five years. Considering its size, Kuwait is a big investor, surpassing countries such as Brazil. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia as a bigger economy is dwarfed in comparison to Australia, a developed economy with similar population size, which has invested USD 107 billion abroad in the last five years. Although GCC countries do invest abroad, they are not the big world players, as one might think.



Largest sovereign wealth funds

7. Russia 189bn USD

3. Norway 737bn USD

9. USA 114bn USD

5. Singapore 421bn USD

1. China 1,635bn USD

4. Saudi Arabia 681bn USD 6. Kuwait 386bn USD

8. Qatar 115bn USD

2. UAE 817bn USD 10. Australia 89bn USD

A sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is a fund owned by a state, composed of financial assets such as stocks, bonds, property or other financial instruments. Sovereign wealth funds are entities that manage the national savings for the purposes of investment. The GCC’s sovereign wealth funds are some of the largest in the world, with UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar ranking in the Top 10. Bahrain and Oman are a bit less imposing with their funds worth USD 7 billion and USD 8 billion respectively. The origin of GCC’s funds lies in, as you might have guessed, natural resources like oil and gas. The region’s combined worth of these funds stands at USD 2 trillion, unmatched by any political or economic union in the world.



What can get you executed in the Gulf

Saudi Arabia

Kuwait Executions: 5 in 2013





Apostasy Gay and lesbian sexual relations Rape Murder Espionage Drug trafficking Terrorism Treason Sorcery Adultery Armed Robbery Consumption of intoxicants

Terrorism Treason Drug trafficking Kidnapping Espionage Rape Murder

Murder Terrorism Espionage Drug trafficking Child rape Treason

Murder Terrorism Drug trafficking Economic crimes Treason Espionage Rape

Murder Rape Treason Adultery Terrorism Espionage Drug trafficking

Espionage Terrorism Piracy Drug trafficking Aggravated murder Treason

Executions: 359 in last 5 years

Executions: reported last in 2010

Executions: reported last in 2000

Executions: 3 in last 5 years

Executions: 3 in 2001

Source: Amensty International

All the GCC countries have provisions for the death penalty as an option of punishment in their legal systems. However, it varies from country to country how frequently it is carried out. For instance Qatar and Oman resort to hanging or death by firing squad as methods of execution, the latter being more prevalent. However, the last reported execution in both countries took place over 10 years ago. Bahrain’s last known execution took place in 2010 and death by firing squad is stipulated by the country’s penal code. The UAE has carried out three executions in the last five years. Execution by firing squad is the preferred method, and though stoning is a religiously stipulated punishment for offenses such as adultery under Shari’a law, there have been no reports of any recent execution by stoning in any of the Emirates. Kuwait, on the other hand has witnessed five executions in 2013 alone, and we still have a few months to go. Their preferred method of execution is by

firing squad. Saudi Arabia tops them all with a whopping 359 executions taking place in the last five years. The country’s legal system reserves the right to execute perpetrators on the following grounds, which might seem rather exotic to a foreigner and which cannot be found in the other gulf countries: sorcery, apostasy, gay sexual relationships and consumption of intoxicants among others. Sources indicate that public beheading is probably the common method of execution in Saudi Arabia though public stoning can be used to execute individuals who have been convicted of acts such as adultery. In both instances, the condemned are sedated prior to execution. There are reports that Saudis have exposed the body (with head sewn back on) of the condemned to public indignity, including crucifixion, after execution for the crime of highway robbery resulting in death.

‫‪bq | IN CONTEXT‬‬


‫الدمام تستضيف معرض للمعدات في عام ‪2014‬‬

‫"أوريون القابضة" تستحوذ‬ ‫على عقار‬ ‫أعلنت «أوريون القابضة» في ‪ 18‬أغسطس استحواذها‬ ‫على عقار متميز بقيمة ‪ 57.7‬مليون درهم في مجمع‬ ‫«أكسيس ريزيدنسيس» بواحة دبي للسيليكون من‬ ‫«الشركة الخليجية لالستثمارات العامة‪.‬‬ ‫وكان الطرفان قد وقعا مذكرة تفاهم في ‪ 1‬أغسطس‬ ‫‪ 2013‬في إطار هذه الصفقة‪ ،‬بحيث تمتلك «أوريون‬ ‫القابضة» ‪ 102‬وحدة عقارية في مجمع «أكسيس‬ ‫ريزيدنس ‪ ،»6‬والتي تضم كامل المساحة المبنية‬ ‫ً‬ ‫تقريبا‪.‬‬ ‫ضمن المجمع‬ ‫وستوفر «سيلفر هايتس»‪ ،‬ذراع المبيعات التابعة‬ ‫لشركة «أوريون القابضة»‪ ،‬خطط سداد فريدة‬ ‫ومشجعة للمستثمرين المتوسطي الحجم‪ ،‬للوحدات‬ ‫الواقعة تحت تصرفها بما يتيح للمستثمرين تملك‬ ‫وحداتهم مقابل دفعة مقدمة تغطي ‪ %35‬من قيمة‬ ‫العقار‪ .‬وبعد ذلك يتم توزيع األقساط المتبقية على‬ ‫ثالث سنوات‪ ،‬دون احتساب أي فوائد أو رسوم‬ ‫إضافية‪.‬‬ ‫ويقع المجمع المتعدد االستخدامات في قلب «واحة‬ ‫دبي للسيليكون»‪ ،‬ويحظى بشعبية متنامية في‬ ‫ً‬ ‫شققا أنيقة ومجموعة واسعة من‬ ‫دبي‪ ،‬حيث يوفر‬ ‫مرافق الترفيه والحياة العصرية ضمن بيئة عيش آمنة‬ ‫ومريحة للسكان‪.‬‬

‫تستضيف مدينة الدمام السعودية خالل الفترة من‬ ‫‪ 16‬الى ‪ 20‬فبراير ‪ 2014‬أكبر معرض مخصص لمعدات‬ ‫اإلنشاء واآلالت الثقيلة في منطقة الخليج العربي‪.‬‬ ‫وسيشارك في المعرض عدد كبير من الشركات‬ ‫التى تقدم مختلف أنواع الخدمات والحلول المتعلقة‬ ‫بمعدات اإلنشاء واألالت والنقليات المختلفة ونظم‬ ‫االتصاالت والمالحة‪.‬‬ ‫وسيشكل المعرض فرصة لجذب خبراء عالميين فى‬ ‫مجال اإلنشاء‪ ،‬باإلضافة إلى المستثمرين والعمالء‬ ‫والمصنعين والموزعين في المنطقة‪ ،‬خاصة وان‬ ‫المعرض ينظم بالتزامن مع النسخة السادسة عشر‬ ‫لمعرض البناء والتصميم السعودي‪.‬‬ ‫وسيخصص المعرض منطقة على مساحة ‪10.000‬‬ ‫متر مربع لتقديم عروض حية لمعدات اإلنشاء‬ ‫واألالت المعروضة الطالع العمالء والوكالء والزوار‬

‫على القدرات التشغيلية لمختلف المعدات‪ ،‬وطرائق‬ ‫عملها حسب ما صرح به راز إسالم مدير النشر‬ ‫بالشركة الدولية للنشر‪ CPI ،‬وهي الشركة المنظمة‬ ‫للمعرض‪.‬‬ ‫وسيعتمد نجاح المؤتمر على النمو المتواصل لسوق‬ ‫االنشاءات السعودي الضخم الذي شهد نموا بنسبة‬ ‫‪ %18.8‬خالل عام ‪ 2013‬على المصرفات التي بلغت‬ ‫‪ 219‬مليار دوالر‪ ،‬وما يقارب من ‪ 76‬مليار دوالر نفقات‬ ‫رأسمالية لمشاريع إستثمارية‪.‬‬ ‫ويأتي إختيار الدمام كمقر جديد إلستضافة معرض‬ ‫معدات اإلنشاء واألالت في فبراير ‪ 2014‬لدورها‬ ‫الحيوي في هذا القطاع ولقربها من أكبر حقل للنفط‬ ‫في الغوين‪.‬‬

‫مجموعة ‪ QNB:‬هنالك حاجة لهيئة تنظيمية أوروبية موحدة‬ ‫أشارت تحليالت مجموعة ‪ QNB‬التي نشرت في‬ ‫اغسطس الماضي بأن هنالك حاجة إلنشاء هيئة‬ ‫تنظيمية أوروبية موحدة تعمل على تقليص مخاطر‬ ‫حدوث أزمات في النظام المصرفي وتتولى توفير‬ ‫األموال لعمليات إنقاذ البنوك في حالة حدوث أزمات‬ ‫دون التأثير على الديون السيادية للدول األعضاء‪.‬‬ ‫حيث اعتبرت المجموعة وجود اتحاد مصرفي في‬ ‫ً‬ ‫منطقة تتعامل بعملة واحدة ً‬ ‫مهما لسببين‬ ‫أمرا‬ ‫رئيسيين‪.‬‬ ‫أوال‪ ،‬يدعم متانة النظام المصرفي من خالل إيجاد‬ ‫ً‬ ‫هيئة تنظيمية مركزية للمنطقة ال تخضع للضغوط‬ ‫ً‬ ‫وثانيا‪ ،‬يعمل على‬ ‫السياسية من الدول األعضاء‪.‬‬ ‫تقليص االرتباط بين البنوك المتعثرة وديون‬ ‫الحكومات‪ ،‬وبالتالي ال تؤدي األزمات المالية إلى‬ ‫أزمات في الديون السيادية‪.‬‬ ‫ويحقق إنشاء اتحاد مصرفي أوروبي ثالثة أهداف‬ ‫‪‬‬

‫أوال‪ ،‬إنشاء هيئة تنظيمية واحدة تتولى‬ ‫رئيسية وهي ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫وثانيا‪ ،‬أن تمتلك هذه‬ ‫وضع وتطبيق قواعد موحدة‪.‬‬ ‫الهيئة الموارد المالية التي تمكنها من التدخل لدعم‬ ‫البنوك التي تواجه مشاكل في السيولة‪ ،‬وتمكنها‬ ‫ً‬ ‫وأخيرا‪ ،‬ال بد من‬ ‫من تصفية البنوك الخاسرة‪.‬‬ ‫وجود برنامج يغطي أوروبا بأسرها لضمان الودائع‬ ‫المصرفية ولطمأنة المودعين بأن ودائعهم في بنك‬ ‫أمن‪.‬‬ ‫ويذكر بان الحكومات االروبية قد إلتزمت في ديسمبر‬ ‫‪ 2012‬على إنشاء اتحاد مصرفي يتولى توحيد عملية‬ ‫التشريع واإلشراف المصرفي وضمان الودائع‬ ‫والتعامل مع البنوك المتعثرة ‪ .‬ومنحت البنك‬ ‫المركزي األوروبي السلطة لوضع تشريعات مباشرة‬ ‫تحكم عمل ‪ 150‬من أكبر البنوك في منطقة اليورو‪.‬‬

‫بنك أبوظبي الوطني األكثر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫أمانا في الشرق األوسط‬

‫ُصنف بنك أبوظبي الوطني ضمن البنوك الـــ‪50‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫أمانا في العالم للسنة الخامسة على التوالي‪.‬‬ ‫األكثر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫أمانا‬ ‫وحافظ بذلك على موقعه بوصفه البنك األكثر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫وفقا لقائمة مجلة‬ ‫في منطقة الشرق األوسط‬ ‫«جلوبال فاينانس» لعام ‪.2013‬‬ ‫وبهذه المناسبة قال أليكس ثيرسبي‪ ،‬الرئيس‬ ‫التنفيذي لمجموعة بنك أبوظبي الوطني‪« :‬يعكس‬ ‫هذا التصنيف استراتيجية البنك وتركيزه المستمر‬ ‫على خطط طويلة المدى لتحقيق نمو مستدام‪،‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مهما من شأنه أن يسهم في‬ ‫رصيدا‬ ‫ويعد هذا‬ ‫تحقيق خططنا الطموحة للنمو لنصبح المؤسسة‬ ‫المصرفية الرائدة في المنطقة‪».‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫أمانا‬ ‫وتعتبر قائمة «جلوبال فاينانس» للبنوك األكثر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫معتمدا لقوة الوضع االئتماني في األوساط‬ ‫معيارا‬ ‫المصرفية والمالية‪ ،‬حيث يتم اختيار أفضل ‪50‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫عالميا بعد مقارنة التصنيفات االئتمانية‬ ‫مصرفا‬ ‫وإجمالي أصول أكبر ‪ 500‬بنك في العالم‪.‬‬ ‫وبنك أبوظبي الوطني حاصل على التصنيف‬ ‫االئتماني ‪ +A‬من ستاندرد آند بورز‪ ،‬و ‪ Aa3‬من‬ ‫موديز و ‪-AA‬من فيتش و ‪ +A‬من وكالة التصنيف‬ ‫واالستثمار المعلوماتي اليابانية «آر آند بي» ‪ ،‬و‬ ‫‪ AAA‬من وكالة «رام» الماليزية‪ ،‬ويعد هذا من أفضل‬ ‫التصنيفات االئتمانية ضمن المؤسسات المالية في‬ ‫منطقة الشرق األوسط‪.‬‬


‫مثــل كل شــيء آخــر فــي دبــي‪ ،‬فــان ســمو الشــيخ‬ ‫محمــد بــن راشــد ألمكتــوم‪ ،‬نائــب رئيــس الدولــة‪،‬‬ ‫رئيــس مجلــس وزراء دولــة اإلمــارات العربيــة المتحــدة‬ ‫وحاكــم دبــي‪ ،‬اختــار أن يضــع ثقلــه وراء هــذا المشــروع‬ ‫بدعوتــه إلــى مبــادرة للتحــول مــن الحكومــة اإللكترونيــة‬ ‫إلــى الحكومــة الذكيــة‪ .‬وســوف تكــون هــذه المبــادرة‬ ‫بمثابــة نمــوذج لبلــدان منطقــة الشــرق األوســط‪،‬‬ ‫وخاصــة دول مجلــس التعــاون الخليجــي‪ .‬ووفقــا‬ ‫للتقديــرات األخيــرة لدولــة اإلمــارات الرائــدة فــي انتشــار‬ ‫الهواتــف المحمولــة بنســبة تتجــاوز‪ ، % 230‬يوجــد فــي‬ ‫دول الشــرق األوســط مــا يقــرب مــن مليــار مشــترك‬ ‫فــي خدمــة الهواتــف النقالــة‪ .‬وفــي المتوســط‪ ،‬فــإن‬ ‫دول مجلــس التعــاون الخليجــي لديهــا معــدل انتشــار‬ ‫للهاتــف المحمــول بمــا يعــادل ‪ ، % 180‬وهــي نســبة‬ ‫أعلــى مــن تلــك التــي فــي روســيا (‪ ،)%160‬والواليــات‬ ‫المتحــدة األمريكيــة (‪ )٪108‬والصيــن (‪.)% 78‬‬ ‫وعــن ذلــك وضــح الشــيخ محمــد أهميــة هــذا التحــول‬ ‫بالنســبة للمنطقــة‪“ .‬إن إطــاق هــذه المبــادرة ليــس‬ ‫مجــرد إنجــاز لدولــة اإلمــارات العربيــة المتحــدة‪ ،‬بــل‬ ‫هــو دعــوة مفتوحــة لتعزيــز التعــاون بيــن كافــة دول‬ ‫مجلــس التعــاون الخليجــي والمنطقــة لالســتفادة مــن‬ ‫االتصــاالت القويــة عبــر الجــوال لتقديــم الخدمــات‬ ‫الحكوميــة بكفــاءة للشــعب”‪ .‬وهنالــك توجــه واضــح‬ ‫لهــذه المبــادرة‪ .‬حيــث أضــاف‪ “ :‬يجــب أن يكــون الهــدف‬ ‫اآلن وضــع كل مراكــز خدمــة العمــاء فــي األجهــزة‪،‬‬ ‫وتمكيــن العمــاء مــن الحصــول علــى الخدمــات‬ ‫المرجــوة منهــا عبــر أجهزتهــم النقالــة فــي أي مــكان وأي‬ ‫وقــت‪ .‬حكومــة ناجحــة تمــد يدهــا إلــى الشــعب بــدال‬ ‫مــن أن تنتظــر منهــم أن يحضــروا إليهــا”‪.‬‬ ‫وهنالــك ثالثــة مســارات رئيســية تحكــم هــذه المبــادرة‪-‬‬ ‫تفعيــل جميــع الخدمــات اإللكترونيــة عبــر تطبيقــات‬ ‫الهواتــف الذكيــة‪ ،‬وإنشــاء خدمــات حكوميــة متنقلــة‬ ‫جديــدة ودعــوة الجهــات الحكوميــة لوضــع اســتراتيجيات‬ ‫موحــدة للهواتــف النقالــة للتحــول إلى الحكومــة الذكية‪.‬‬ ‫وقــد تــم إنشــاء ذلــك بالفعــل لتحريــك المبدعيــن فــي‬ ‫أمــور التكنولوجيــا فــي حكومــة دبــي اإللكترونيــة الــى‬ ‫مســتويات أعلــى‪ .‬ولــدي حكومــة دبــي اإللكترونيــة‬ ‫حاليــا حزمــة مــن تطبيقــات الهواتــف الذكيــة والخدمــات‬ ‫المتنقلــة بمــا فــي ذلــك خدمــة الدفــع عبــر الهواتــف‬ ‫النقالــة للرســوم مقابــل الخدمــات الحكوميــة‪ .‬وتعــد‬ ‫خدمــات دبــي الحكوميــة المتنقلــة األكثــر اســتخداما‪،‬‬ ‫إلــى جانــب متابعــة الشــكاوي االلكترونيــة‪ ،‬واألخبــار‬ ‫والمعلومــات الحكوميــة‪ ،‬ونظــام الرســائل القصيــرة‬ ‫بيــن العمــاء وحكومــة دبــي‪.‬‬

‫الرد على الحوافز والتنبيهات‬

‫أكثــر مــا يثيــر االهتمــام‪ ،‬هــو ان المبــادرة ال تســتند‬ ‫علــى نمــوذج دبــي التوراتيــة القائمــة علــى أســاس”ابنوا‬ ‫وســوف يأتــون”‪ .‬وفــي الواقــع فــان األمــر مختلــف‬ ‫عــن ذلــك –أوال اإلقــرار بــأن التكنولوجيــا بيــن أيدينــا‪،‬‬ ‫ويمكــن اســتخدامها بفعاليــة أكبــر وعلــى الحكومــات‬ ‫أن تأخــذ زمــام المبــادرة فــي االســتفادة منهــا واســتنادا‬ ‫إلــى الوقائــع‪.‬‬ ‫وأوضحــت دراســة جوجــل األخيــرة بــأن اســتخدام الهاتف‬ ‫المحمــول قــد ازداد بشــكل ملحــوظ فــي جميــع أنحــاء‬ ‫الشــرق األوســط‪ ،‬حيث يشــكل أعلى نســبة انتشــار في‬ ‫المنطقــة بنســبة ‪ %74‬فــي دولــة اإلمــارات‪ .‬وأظهــرت‬ ‫الدراســة بــأن المســتهلكين أصبحــوا يعتمــدون بشــكل‬ ‫متزايــد علــى األجهــزة المحمولــة الخاصــة بهــم‪ ،‬وقــد‬ ‫ذكــر أن ‪ %56‬مــن الذيــن شــملهم االســتطالع بأنهــم ال‬ ‫يغــادرون المنــزل ابــدا دون أجهزتهــم ويوصلــون الجهــاز‬ ‫باإلنترنــت كل يــوم‪.‬‬ ‫وقــد أخــذ بمســتوى معيــن مــن التكامل العكســي للبدء‬ ‫لتنفيــذ هــذا القــرار‪ .‬ليبــدأ بهيئــة تنظيــم االتصــاالت‬ ‫فــي البــاد بالتنســيق مــع مكتــب رئيــس الــوزراء فــي‬ ‫وزارة شــؤون مجلــس الــوزراء‪ ،‬بحيــث تكريــس الجهــود‬ ‫لضمــان انتقــال آمــن نحــو تنفيــذ خدمــات الحكومــة‬

‫‪64‬‬ ‫المتنقلــة لجميــع الجهــات الحكومية في دول اإلمارات‪،‬‬ ‫بإنشــاء إطــار جديــد يتمثــل فــي إدارة أمنيــة موثــوق بهــا‪.‬‬ ‫والمقصــود باإلطــار الجديــد إشــراك جميــع األطــراف‬ ‫المعنيــة بهــذه العمليــة – فــي القطاعيــن الحكومــي‬ ‫والخــاص‪ -‬وضمــان أن جميــع األنشــطة تتماشــى مــع‬ ‫إجــراءات الســامة علــى اإلنترنــت‪ .‬وقــد تــم إشــراك‬ ‫جميــع أصحــاب المصالــح الرئيســية عنــد صياغــة هــذا‬ ‫اإلطــار بمــا فــي ذلــك مكتــب رئيــس الــوزراء‪ ،‬ووزارة‬ ‫الماليــة‪ ،‬ووزارة الداخليــة‪ ،‬وهيئــة تنظيــم االتصــاالت‪،‬‬ ‫وهيئــة الهويــة‪ ،‬ومصــرف اإلمــارات العربيــة المتحــدة‬ ‫المركــزي ومقدمــي خدمــات االتصــاالت “اتصــاالت‬ ‫“ والعديــد مــن البنــوك وشــركات القطــاع الخــاص‪.‬‬ ‫وشــكلت الفــرص التــي أوجدتهــا التكنولوجيــا ســببا‬ ‫مقنعــا للســلطات للتحــرك فــي هــذا االتجــاه‪ .‬ففــي‬ ‫مجــال التجــارة اإللكترونيــة‪ ،‬علــى ســبيل المثــال‪ ،‬فــان‬ ‫‪ %60‬مــن مســتخدمي الهواتــف النقالــة فــي اإلمــارات‬ ‫يبحثــون عــن المنتجــات والخدمــات بشــكل يومــي عبــر‬ ‫هواتفهــم‪ .‬وأصبــح اســتخدام التطبيــق المحمــول‬ ‫اآلن فــي كل مــكان‪ ،‬مــع ‪ 23‬تطبيقــا يتــم تنزيلهــا فــي‬ ‫المتوســط​​شــهريا لــكل مســتخدم‪ .‬أمــا فــي المملكــة‬ ‫العربيــة الس ـ ـ ع ودية‪ ،‬فتغلغــل الهاتــف الذكــي أقــل‬ ‫قليــا ولكــن يبــدو بــأن للمســتهلكين هنــاك شــهية‬ ‫أقــوى للســفر مــع بحــث حوالــي ‪ %52‬مــن المســتخدمين‬ ‫لمحتوىــات ذات صلــة بالمــادة‪.‬‬ ‫كانــت االحتمــاالت التــي أطلقتهــا ظاهــرة الهواتــف‬ ‫الذكيــة هائلــة وتجــاوزت الدوائــر الحكوميــة إلــى قطــاع‬

‫ستقوم هيئة الطرق‬ ‫والمواصالت‪ ،‬بإجراء دراسة‬ ‫لجميع خدماتها حيث تقدم‬ ‫حاليا ‪ 156‬خدمة على شبكة‬ ‫اإلنترنت من بين ال‪208‬‬ ‫خدمة – الستكشاف إمكانية‬ ‫توفيرها لهم عبر الهواتف‬ ‫المحمولة‪.‬‬ ‫الخدمــات‪ .‬ووفقــا لعامــر الحلبــي‪ ،‬المديــر اإلقليمــي‬ ‫لمنطقــة الشــرق األوســط وشــمال أفريقيــا لمجموعــة‬ ‫مــن الفنــادق‪ ،‬فــان األجهــزة المحمولــة هــي وســيلة‬ ‫أساســية إلشــراك العمــاء فــي هــذه الخطــوة‪ .‬لقــد‬ ‫خلقــوا فــرص عمــل جديــدة فــي حجــوزات الفنــادق‬ ‫وهــي قنــاة مثاليــة يمكــن مــن خاللهــا بيــع الغــرف‬ ‫والتــي لــوال هــذه التطبيقــات مــا زالــت خاويــة‪ .‬وقــد‬ ‫قامــت الشــركة بتوفيــر الهواتــف الذكيــة والتطبيقــات‬ ‫اللوحيــة للمســتهلكين فــي الشــرق األوســط وشــمال‬ ‫أفريقيــا بأســعار فندقيــة تنافســية مــع واجهــة عربيــة‬ ‫للمســتخدمين‪.‬‬ ‫ومــن الواضــح فــان التكنولوجيــا قــد فرضــت نفســها‬ ‫بســرعة فــي مختلــف القطاعــات ويبــدو أن الحكومــة‬ ‫الذكيــة ســتكون منتجــا ثانويــا مــن هــذا التحــول‪ .‬مــن‬ ‫المثيــر لالهتمــام‪ ،‬فــأن كل دائــرة حكوميــة قامــت‬ ‫باســتخدامها بشــكل مختلــف‪ ،‬ليتوصلــوا فــي هــذه‬ ‫العمليــة لمدخــات فريــدة مــن نوعهــا‪ .‬علــى ســبيل‬ ‫المثــال ‪ ،‬قالــت الهيئــة العامــة للتنميــة البشــرية‬ ‫والمعرفــة إنهــا تخطــط لتحويــل ‪ 26‬خدمــة إلكترونيــة‬ ‫إلــى خدمــات ذكيــة عبــر الهواتــف النقالــة خــال العــام‬ ‫الدراســي القــادم‪ .‬وقــال مديــر الهيئــة العامــة للتنميــة‬ ‫البشــرية والمعرفــة عبــد الرحمــن الناصــر أن ‪17‬خدمــة‬ ‫ســيتم تحويلهــا إلــى خدمــات ذكيــة وأن الســلطة حــددت‬

‫تســعة خدمــات ذكيــة للعامليــن فــي مجــال التعليــم‬ ‫فــي المــدارس الخاصــة فــي دبــي‪.‬‬

‫اللحاق بالركب‪:‬‬

‫ســيكون مــن الخطــأ االعتقــاد بــأن محــرك أقــراص‬ ‫الحكومــة الذكيــة ســيعمل قبــل الموعــد المحــدد‬ ‫لــه‪ .‬علــى العكــس مــن ذلــك‪ ،‬فيبــدو بــأن البدايــة‬ ‫كانــت متأخــرة‪ .‬ومنــذ عــام ‪ ،2010‬كان يمكــن للشــرق‬ ‫األوســط أن يتوقــع خدمــات حكومــة إلكترونيــة متنقلــة‬ ‫باســتمرار وإمكانيــة تقديــم خدمــات الوصــول الفــوري‬ ‫إلــى مجموعــة مــن الخدمــات لمواطنــي المنطقــة‪،‬‬ ‫مثــل خدمــات األنشــطة التجاريــة والصناعيــة‪ ،‬والرعايــة‬ ‫الصحيــة والتأشــيرات وطلبــات الهجــرة ودعــم الحكومــة‬ ‫المحليــة والمجتمــع المحلــي” وفقــا ألســامة الغــول‪،‬‬ ‫مديــر مشــارك فــي ديفوتيــم الشــرق األوســط فــي‬ ‫تصريــح يعــود الــى مــارس ‪.2008‬‬ ‫مــن المرجــح جــدا أن يتمكــن المواطنــون مــن اســتخدام‬ ‫هواتفهــم النقالــة لدفــع رســوم المــرور ومواقــف‬ ‫الســيارات دون الحاجــة لجهــاز كمبيوتــر‪ ،‬ممــا يوفــر‬ ‫الوقــت والجهــد علــى المجتمعــات والشــركات بشــكل‬ ‫عــام‪ .‬كمــا ســتعمل الحكومــة اإللكترونيــة علــى تحســين‬ ‫الخدمــات المقدمــة للمواطنيــن والشــركات والدوائــر‬ ‫الحكوميــة األخــرى‪ .‬ومــن األهميــة بمــكان التفكيــر‬ ‫فــي الكيفيــة التــي يمكــن بهــا تطويــر هــذه الخدمــات‬ ‫فعليــا لكــون اســتخدام الهواتــف المحمولــة وتعــدد‬ ‫اســتخداماتها يفــوق إلــى حــد كبيــر تغلغــل الكمبيوتــر‬ ‫فــي الشــرق األوســط‪ .‬حيــث مــن النــادر رؤيــة شــخص‬ ‫مــن دون الهاتــف المحمــول ولكــن األقــل شــيوعا هــو‬ ‫رؤيــة شــخص يحمــل جهــاز كمبيوتــر محمــول”‪ ،‬وهــي‬ ‫ظاهــرة تنبــأ بهــا الغــول‪ ،‬وأخــذت تتكشــف اآلن فقــط‪.‬‬ ‫بــدأت الحكومــة الذكيــة اآلن فــي التطــور‪ ،‬يبــدو أنــه‬ ‫يجــري إعدادهــا بســرعة‪ .‬وبعــد فتــرة وجيــزة مــن إعــان‬ ‫صاحــب الســمو الشــيخ محمــد بــن راشــد‪ ،‬قالــت هيئــة‬ ‫المواصــات والطــرق بأنــه تــم إعــداد خارطــة الطريــق‬ ‫لالنتقــال مــن الحكومــة اإللكترونيــة إلــى الحكومــة‬ ‫الذكيــة المتنقلــة ووضعــت جيــزا لزيــادة ســعة انتشــار‬ ‫الخدمــة فــي النصــف األول مــن عــام ‪ .2015‬ويعنــي‬ ‫هــذا بالنســبة لهيئــة الطــرق والمواصــات زيــادة عــدد‬ ‫الخدمــات المقدمــة عبــر الهواتــف الذكيــة‪ ،‬واألنــواع‬ ‫المحمولــة األخــرى (آي فــون‪ ،‬أندرويــد‪ ،‬بــاك بيــري‪،‬‬ ‫وينــدوز ‪ )8‬من‪17‬خدمــة تقدمهــا حاليــا إلــى ‪ 72‬خدمــة‬ ‫بحلــول عــام ‪ .2014‬توفــر الهيئــة حاليــا ‪17‬خدمــة متوافقــة‬ ‫مــع أنظمــة تشــغيل الهواتــف المحمولــة األكثر شــيوعا‪.‬‬ ‫يتــم إعــداد الخدمــات التــي تقدمهــا هيئــة الطــرق‬ ‫والمواصــات مــن خــال الهواتــف الذكيــة اللتقاطهــا‬ ‫بشــكل كبيــر فــي المســتقبل القريــب مــع مــا يصــل‬ ‫الــى‪ 55‬خدمــة‪ ،‬مــن بينهــا تســعة خدمــات لهــذا العــام‬ ‫و ‪ 46‬خدمــة فــي وقــت مبكــر مــن العــام المقبــل‪،‬‬ ‫ليصبــح العــدد اإلجمالــي لخدمــات الهاتــف النقالــة‬ ‫‪ 72‬خدمــة‪ .‬ووفقــا لهيئــة الطــرق والمواصــات‪،‬‬ ‫فإنــه ســيتم إجــراء دراســة عــن جميــع خدماتهــا حيــث‬ ‫تتوفــر أالن عبــر االنترنــت ‪ 156‬خدمــة مــن بيــن ال ‪208‬‬ ‫خدمــة‪ -‬الستكشــاف إمكانيــة توفيرهــا عبــر الهواتــف‬ ‫المحمولــة‪ .‬وعــن ذلــك تحــدث ســعادة الســيد مطــر‬ ‫الطايــر‪ ،‬رئيــس مجلــس اإلدارة والمديــر التنفيــذي لهيئــة‬ ‫الطــرق والمواصــات بأنــه “ســيتم أيضــا اســتعراض‬ ‫أفضــل الممارســات العالميــة مــن أجــل تطويــر‬ ‫الخدمــات اإلبداعيــة التــي يمكــن تقديمهــا عبــر الهواتــف‬ ‫الذكيــة‪ . ”،‬ومــن الواضــح أن دولــة اإلمــارات بشــكل‬ ‫عــام ودبــي بشــكل خــاص مصــرة علــى أن ال تتــرك أي‬ ‫فرصــة تمكنهــا مــن الفــوز فــي هــذا الســباق لتحقيــق‬ ‫أقصــى اســتفادة ممكنــة مــن التكنولوجيــا‪ .‬وبمجــرد‬ ‫تحقيــق ذلــك‪ ،‬ســتتغير فعليــا إلــى الحكومــة الذكيــة‪.‬‬




‫دولة اإلمارات العربية المتحدة‬

‫مبادرة الحكومة الذكية هي طريقة دولة اإلمارات في االستجابة‬ ‫لالبتكارات وليس مجرد إيجادها‪.‬‬ ‫بقلم ‪ :‬شهيد‪ ،‬دبي‬

‫ابتــداء مــن مصلحــة الجمــارك إلــى المستشــفيات‪ ،‬وهيئــة الكهربــاء والمــاء إلــى المحاكــم والدفــاع المدنــي‪ ،‬وكان‬ ‫لهــذا الموســم نكهــة واحــدة لهــذه الجهــات العامــة فــي اإلمــارات العربيــة المتحــدة‪ -‬وهــي الحكومــة الذكيــة‪ .‬إن‬ ‫اإلعــان عــن إطــاق خدمــة طموحــة ومتكاملــة‪ -‬تتمثــل فــي (الخدمــات المتنقلــة) التــي مــن شــأنها ان تجعــل الدولــة‬ ‫مــن بيــن أفضــل الــدول التــي تقــدم الخدمــات الحكوميــة علــى مــدار الســاعة وفــي أي مــكان عبــر الهواتــف واألجهــزة‬ ‫اإللكترونيــة المحمولــة‪ .‬ســتكون هــذه الخدمــة هــي األولــى مــن نوعهــا فــي منطقــة الشــرق األوســط‪ ،‬وتعتــزم‬ ‫المبــادرة إلــى االســتفادة مــن انتشــار الهواتــف الذكيــة النقالــة الواســعة االنتشــار فــي البــاد– والتــي تقــدر بحوالــي‬ ‫‪ 14‬مليــون جهــاز نقــال بمــا يعــادل تقريبــا أقــل بقليــل مــن جهازيــن لــكل فــرد‪ .‬ســيتم تنفيــذ هــذه الخدمــة الجديــدة‬ ‫بحيــث تكــون متاحــة بالكامــل خــال عاميــن عبــر جميــع الدوائــر الحكوميــة فــي البــاد‪.‬‬


‫ثالثة مسارات رئيسية‬ ‫توجه هذه المبادرة‪ -‬تفعيل‬ ‫جميع الخدمات اإللكترونية‬ ‫عبر تطبيقات الهواتف‬ ‫الذكية‪ ،‬وإنشاء خدمات‬ ‫الحكومة المتنقلة الجديدة‬ ‫ودعوة الجهات الحكومية‬ ‫لوضع استراتيجيات موحدة‬ ‫للهواتف النقالة للتحول إلى‬ ‫الحكومة الذكية‪.‬‬


‫ال تــزال وإلــى حــد كبيــر ســالمة مــن انخفــاض المبيعــات‬ ‫مــن خــال بيئــة التجزئــة و بســبب مــا يســمونه «والء‬ ‫العمــاء»‪.‬‬ ‫كان «الســيتي ســنتر» هــو مركــز التســوق الثانــي الــذي‬ ‫افتتــح فــي وقــت الحــق أي بعــد ثــاث ســنوات‪ ،‬فــي‬ ‫أواخــر عــام ‪ ،1999‬وأصبــح مركــزا يتمتــع بشــعبية كبيــرة‬ ‫جــدا لــذوي الفئــات ذات الدخــول المتوســطة والعليــا‬ ‫مــن المواطنيــن والمقيميــن‪ .‬وخاصــة وان ذلــك تواكب‬ ‫مــع ارتفــاع مســتويات الدخــل للمواطنيــن ‪ ،‬وبدايــة فجــر‬ ‫قــرن جديــد‪ .‬حيــث بــدأ المجتمــع القطــري واقعيــا فــي‬ ‫التحــول إلــى مجتمــع مزدهــر‪.‬‬ ‫فقــد تمكــن «الســيتي ســنتر» مــن اجتــذاب مختلــف‬ ‫المــاركات العالميــة الشــهيرة مــن خطــوط اإلنتــاج‬ ‫المختلفــة‪ ،‬ولكــن افتتــاح فــرع «كارفــور» فيــه ســاعد‬ ‫علــى جعــل المــكان اســما مألوفــا‪ .‬ومــن المعــروف‬ ‫بــأن المحــات تعــرف بمــدى جاذبيتهــا للنــاس مــن‬ ‫ذوي الدخــل المتوســط الذيــن يبحثــون عــن العــروض‬ ‫‪ ،‬فضــا عــن األفــراد واألســر ذات اإلنفــاق العالــي إلــى‬ ‫حــد كبيــر‪ .‬ويعتبــر «الســيتي ســنتر» عقــارا ضخمــا وكان‬ ‫أول مــن أدخــل مناطــق للتســلية األلعــاب فــي أماكــن‬ ‫مغلقــة ممــا شــكل عامــل جــذب للعائــات واألطفــال‪.‬‬ ‫وفقــا لخبيــر فــي أســواق التجزئــة *‪ ،‬فقــد حقــق مفهــوم‬ ‫مراكــز التســوق نجاحــا فــي قطــر لســببين‪ :‬الظــروف‬ ‫المناخيــة والنقــص الحــاد فــي مرافــق الترفيــه العامــة‬ ‫فــي البــاد‪ .‬حيــث «بــدأ النــاس فــي زيــارة مراكــز التســوق‬ ‫وقضــاء بعــض الوقــت فــي بيئــة كبيــرة مكيفــة آمنــة‬ ‫ومغلقــة‪ .‬وأصبحــت هــذه المراكــز مكانهــم المفضــل‬ ‫فــي العطــل األســبوعية وخصوصــا خــال أشــهر‬ ‫الصيــف الحــارة والرطبــة»‪. .‬‬ ‫وبالتالــي ليــس مــن المســتغرب أن يوجــد حاليــا فــي‬ ‫البــاد ‪ 14‬مركــزا للتســوق‪ ،‬علــى الرغــم مــن العــدد‬ ‫القليــل لســكان قطــر وصغــر حجمهــا ويتألــف أكثــر مــن‬ ‫نصــف ســكانها مــن العمــال ذوي الدخــل المنخفــض‪.‬‬ ‫ووفقــا لتمويــن‪ ،‬وهــي شــركة استشــارات للتنميــة‬ ‫العقاريــة‪ ،‬فقــد كشــفت فــي تقريــر للعقــارات فــي قطــر‬ ‫صــدر فــي منتصــف عــام ‪ 2013‬بــإن هنــاك ‪ 14‬مركــزا‬ ‫إضافيــا تحــت االنشــاء والتجهيــز‪ ،‬ومــن المرجــح أن‬ ‫تفتتــح للعمــل بحلــول عــام ‪.2015‬‬ ‫وبمــا أن معظــم مراكــز التســوق الموجــودة حاليــا‬ ‫توجــد فــي الدوحــة والمناطــق المحيطــة بهــا ‪ ،‬قــام‬ ‫المطــورون بنشــر مراكــز التســوق الجديــدة فــي‬ ‫المناطــق التــي تشــهد نمــوا ســكانيا خــارج العاصمــة‪.‬‬ ‫علــى ســبيل المثــال ‪ ،‬يقــع اثنــان مــن أكبــر المراكــز‬ ‫المزدحمــة مثــل الالندمــارك وإزدان‪ ، ،‬فــي مدينــة‬ ‫الغرافــة‪ ،‬إحــدى ضواحــي مدينــة الدوحــة حيــث ازداد‬ ‫مؤخــرا عــدد الســكان القطرييــن ‪.‬‬ ‫ومــن المثيــر لالهتمــام انــه و مــن بيــن ‪ 14‬مركــزا تعمــل‬ ‫حاليــا فــي البــاد‪ ،‬فــإن مركــزي فيالجيــو وســيتي ســنتر‬ ‫يســتأثران بنســبة ‪ % 42‬مــن مســاحات التجزئــة فــي‬ ‫قطــاع تجــارة التجزئــة المنظمــة (مــن حيــث المســاحة‬ ‫التــي تقدمهــا متاجــر التجزئــة للمســتأجرين)‪ .‬حيــث‬ ‫تمتــد مســاحات التجزئــة المنظمــة إلــى حوالــي ‪650,000‬‬ ‫متــر مربــع مــن المســاحة اإلجماليــة القابلــة للتأجيــر‪.‬‬ ‫والطلــب علــى مســاحات التجزئــة فــي مراكــز التســوق‬ ‫مرتفــع ويفــوق العــرض بكثيــر‪.‬‬ ‫وأكــدت تمويــن بأنــه ســيتم افتتــاح اربعــة عشــر مركــزا‬ ‫جديــدا للتســوق والتــي ســتبدأ أعمالهــا بحلــول عــام‬ ‫‪ ،2015‬وســيضيف ذلــك ‪ 1158000‬متــر مربعــا مــن‬ ‫المســاحات اإلجماليــة المتاحــة للتأجيــر (‪ ،)GLA‬ليصبــح‬ ‫نصيــب الفــرد الواحــد ‪ 0.86‬متــر مربــع‪ ،‬أي أقــل قليــا‬ ‫مــن متــر مربــع واحــد‪ .‬هــذا ســوف يكــون أقــل مــن‬ ‫المعاييــر اإلقليميــة الموجــودة فــي دبــي وأبــو ظبــي‬ ‫المجاورتيــن‪ .‬أمــا نصيــب الفــرد مــن مراكــز التســوق‬ ‫فــي المــدن المذكــورة فيبلــغ ‪ 1.4‬و ‪ 1‬متــر مربــع‪ ،‬علــى‬ ‫التوالــي‪ .‬ممــا يجعــل هــذه المــدن مكتظــة بمراكــز‬ ‫التســوق‪.‬‬ ‫أحــد المشــاريع األكثــر طموحــا فــي البــاد «مــول قطــر»‪.‬‬

‫‪66‬‬ ‫وعــن ذلــك تحــدث مديرهــا العــام‪ ،‬دونالــد ويــر فــي‬ ‫مقابلــة قصيــرة مــع ‪ ، bq‬قائــا˝ ســيكون هــذا المــول‬ ‫جاهــز للعمــل بحلــول الربــع الثالــث مــن عــام ‪،2015‬‬ ‫حيــث ســيتم إضافــة أكثــر مــن ‪ 2‬مليــون قــدم مربــع‬ ‫مــن المســاحات القابلــة للتأجيــر علــى ثالثــة مســتويات‪.‬‬ ‫«فندقنــا هــو واحــد مــن أهــم التطــورات قيــد اإلنشــاء‬ ‫فــي دول مجلــس التعــاون الخليجــي» وأضــاف "‬ ‫وتتلخــص خطتنــا فــي جعــل مــول قطــر عامــل جــذب‬ ‫دولــي"‪.‬‬ ‫وفقــا لشــركة تمويــن‪ ،‬تهيمــن على اإلشــغال فــي مراكز‬ ‫التســوق الموجــودة حاليــا عــن طريــق االمتيــاز المحلــي‬ ‫أو اإلقليمــي بعــض العالمــات التجاريــة الدوليــة‬ ‫المرموقــة‪ .‬وذلــك ألن القواعــد المحليــة تتطلــب أن‬ ‫تدخــل متاجــر التجزئــة األجنبيــة إلــى الســوق القطــري‬ ‫عبــر مشــروع مشــترك مــع شــريك محلــي أو شــريك‬ ‫مــن مجلــس التعــاون الخليجــي‪ ،« .‬ومــع ذلــك‪ ،‬فــإن‬ ‫مراكــز التســوق القطريــة فــي الوقــت الحاضــر تحتــوي‬ ‫علــى عــدد محــدود مــن العالمــات التجاريــة العالميــة»‪.‬‬ ‫وتميــل هــذه العالمــات التجاريــة إلــى أن تكــون وســائل‬ ‫متعــددة تلبــي احتياجــات الفئــات التــي تعتبــر ذات دخــل‬ ‫مرتفــع‪.‬‬ ‫ال يعتبــر تغلغــل العالمــات التجاريــة فــي الدوحــة عاليــا‬ ‫حســب المعاييــر اإلقليميــة‪ ،‬وذلــك ألن الســوق ال‬

‫أحد المشاريع األكثر طموحا‬ ‫في البالد "مول قطر"‪.‬‬ ‫وعن ذلبك تحدث مديره‬ ‫العام‪ ،‬دونالد وير‪ ،‬بأن هذا‬ ‫المول سيكون جاهزا للعمل‬ ‫بحلول الربع الثالث من عام‬ ‫‪ ،2015‬وسيضيف أكثر من‬ ‫‪ 2‬مليون قدم مربع من‬ ‫المساحات القابلة للتأجير‬ ‫على ثالثة مستويات‪.‬‬ ‫يــزال لــم يبلــغ مرحلــة النضــج‪ ،‬وال ســيما فــي جانــب‬ ‫العــرض»‬ ‫ووفقــا لمراقبــي تجــارة التجزئــة المحليــة‪ ،‬فعلــى الرغــم‬ ‫مــن أن قطــر هــي أغنــى دولــة فــي العالــم حيــث يتجــاوز‬ ‫نصيــب الفــرد مــن الدخــل ‪ 100,000‬دوالر أمريكــي‪ ،‬وربما‬ ‫يجعــل هــذا معظــم النــاس هنــا اكثــر ميــا للتســوق فــي‬ ‫الخــارج وبالتالــي ســببا رئيســيا لقلــة العالمــات التجاريــة‬ ‫العالميــة بكثافــة‪.‬‬ ‫حيــث يفضــل القطريــون األثريــاء التســوق فــي متاجــر‬ ‫الغــرب الفخمــة‪ ،‬فــي لنــدن وباريــس وجنيــف وميالنــو‪،‬‬ ‫وتتوجــه األســر القطريــة متوســطة الدخــل لــكل مــن‬ ‫تايلنــد وماليزيــا‪ .‬وقــد أصبحــت بيــروت أقــل حظــا‬ ‫بســبب التوتــر فــي المنطقــة‪.‬‬ ‫هنالــك وعــي كبيــر بالعالمــات التجاريــة لــدى المغتربيــن‬ ‫العــرب مــن ذوي الدخــول المتوســطة والعاليــة‪،‬‬ ‫ولكــن يفضــل معظمهــم التســوق عبــر اإلنترنــت‪ .‬أمــا‬ ‫اآلســيويون‪ ،‬فيميلــون للتســوق محليــا‪ ،‬أو يتســوقون‬ ‫خــال وجودهــم فــي بلدانهــم األصليــة‪.‬‬ ‫وفــي مقابــات أجرتهــا ‪ bq‬مــع منافــذ البيــع فــي‬ ‫مختلــف مراكــز التســوق اتفــق موظفــي المبيعــات‬ ‫علــى عــدم انتعــاش أعمالهــم‪ .‬وقــد كشــفت المقابــات‬ ‫أن بعــض موظفــي المبيعــات العامليــن يخشــون أن‬

‫تكلفهــم األعمــال المنخفضــة وظائفهــم‪ .‬ولكــن مثــل‬ ‫هــذه الحــاالت كانــت نــادرة واســتثنائية حقــا‪.‬‬ ‫فقــد صــرح بائــع فــي متجــر لبيــع المجوهــرات الراقيــة‬ ‫فــي مــول شــهير بقولــه «كانــت األعمــال جيــدة» «زبائننــا‬ ‫هــم فــي الغالــب مــن القطرييــن ونحــن نقــوم بأعمــال‬ ‫تجاريــة جيــدة ألن منتجاتنــا عاليــة الثمــن»‪ .‬وقــال انــه‬ ‫ومــع ذلــك‪ ،‬فــإن متجرهــم فــي مــول آخــر لــم يكــن‬ ‫أفضــل نظــرا لموقعــه‪.‬‬ ‫قــال موظــف مبيعــات آخــر فــي نفــس المــول مــن‬ ‫متجــر لبيــع الحقائــب ومســتحضرات التجميــل أن‬ ‫معظــم النــاس يأتــون خــال العــروض والتنزيــات‪« .‬‬ ‫القطريــون هــم الذيــن يأتــون إلينــا‪ ،‬فــي عطــات نهايــة‬ ‫األســبوع وبعــض المغتربيــن مــن الهنــود والفلبينييــن‬ ‫قــد يتوقفــون فــي محلنــا‪ ».‬وردا علــى ســؤال حــول‬ ‫مراكــز التســوق الجديــدة القادمــة‪ ،‬قــال انــه يخشــى أن‬ ‫ال تتمكــن هــذه المحــات مــن االســتمرار طويــا‪« .‬لكــن‬ ‫نحــن علــى يقيــن مــن أنهــا ســتتأثر‪ ، .‬ونحــن أكثــر قلقــا‬ ‫بشــأن وظائفنــا‪».‬‬ ‫قالــت موظفــة المبيعــات فــي متجــر لعالمــة تجاريــة‬ ‫عالميــة «لدينــا ارتفاعــات وانخفاضــات‪ .‬لدينــا أهــداف‬ ‫مبيعــات أســبوعية تبلــغ ‪ 130,000‬ر‪.‬ق وهــذا مســتحيل‬ ‫تحقيقــه معظــم االحيــان «‪ .‬واضافــت يميــل الســكان‬ ‫المحليــون للســفر للخــارج للتســوق‪« .‬لكنهــم ال‬ ‫يســتطيعون الســفر علــى مــدار العــام‪ ،‬لذلــك يأتــون‬ ‫الــى هنــا‪".‬‬ ‫وقالــت موظفــة فــي مركــز آخــر «كان لنــا عالمــة تجاريــة‬ ‫حصريــة حتــى ال نعانــي مــن مراكــز التســوق الجديــدة‪.‬‬ ‫واضافــت‪ .‬وقــال مديــر أحــد المتاجــر بثقــة «كنــا نبلــي‬ ‫بــاء حســنا بعــد تعــرض أحــد المراكــز الشــهيرة للنيــران"‪.‬‬ ‫يقــول أحــد المصــادر فــي الســوق إن الطلــب علــى‬ ‫مســاحات التجزئــة فــي المراكــز عاليــة‪ ،‬وهــذا يفســر‬ ‫ارتفــاع أســعار اإليجــارات الشــهرية فــي مراكــز التســوق‬ ‫المقبلــة حيــث يصــل مــن ‪ 30‬الــى ‪ .% 40‬المعــدل‬ ‫‪ QR250 - QR200‬لــكل متــر مربــع حاليــا‪ .‬ويقــول معظــم‬ ‫مطــوري مراكــز التســوق علــى الرغــم مــن ارتفــاع األجــور‬ ‫إال أن اســتجابة مجتمــع التجزئــة أمــر مشــجع للغايــة‪.‬‬ ‫وقــد أدى النقــص الحــاد فــي مســاحات التجزئــة‬ ‫المســتقلة وإزالــة بعــض الشــوارع التجاريــة الرئيســية‬ ‫مــن الدوحــة بســبب سلســلة مــن مشــاريع التنميــة‪،‬‬ ‫إلــى زيــادة فــي أســعار اإليجــارات ‪ .‬ففــي المبانــي‬ ‫التجاريــة الحديثــة ســيتم توريــد مســاحة قطــاع التجزئــة‪،‬‬ ‫وبالتالــي فــإن األســعار هــي نفســها تقريبــا – حيــث‬ ‫تصــل إلــى ‪ QR220‬للمتــر المربــع الواحــد فــي الشــهر‪.‬‬ ‫ومــن المثيــر لالهتمــام‪ ،‬فــان النمــو المتوقــع فــي عــدد‬ ‫الســكان يوحــي الــى اســتقدام المزيــد العمــال ذوي‬ ‫الدخــول المنخفضــة إلــى المتوســطة ‪ ،‬وبالتالــي فــإن‬ ‫الطلــب علــى قطــاع التجزئــة يمكــن أن يقفــز إلــى حــد‬ ‫كبيــر‪.‬‬ ‫ومــع ذلــك‪ ،‬تبقــى حقيقــة أن النــاس األثريــاء فــي أي‬ ‫مجتمــع هــم دائمــا أقليــة‪ ،‬وهكــذا هــم فــي قطــر‪ .‬ولكــن‬ ‫هــذه الفئــة القليلــة تعتبــر عاليــة اإلنفــاق‪ ،‬وهــو مــا‬ ‫يدعــم نشــاط مراكــز التســوق الراقيــة‪ .‬يقــول المراقبــون‬ ‫ســيكون مثيــرا لالهتمــام مشــاهدة مــا ستكشــف عنــه‬ ‫تجــارة التجزئــة فــي قطــر خــال الســنوات القادمــة‪.‬‬ ‫قــد يأتــي ذلــك فــي الوقــت المنتظــر أيضــا لكــرة القــدم‬ ‫‪ 2022‬والتــي ســيتم خاللهــا إنفــاق عشــرات المليــارات‬ ‫مــن الــدوالرات علــى تطويــر البنيــة التحتيــة التــي مــن‬ ‫شــأنها أن تزيــد مــن اندفــاع االقتصــاد و تدفقــا أكبــر‬ ‫للعمــال األجانــب‪.‬‬





‫عالم التسوق في قطر‬

‫الت�صوير الفوتغرايف‪ :‬بو�سكو مينيزي�س‬

‫هنالك خطة إلنشاء ‪ 14‬مركزا للتسوق باإلضافة إلى ‪ 14‬مركزا أخر قائمة االن‪ .‬فهل ستحقق كل هذه‬ ‫المجمعات التجارية والموالت الهدف المرجو وهو تحقيق األرباح؟‬ ‫بقلم ‪ :‬راجيف أشاريا وشيرين ديسوزا‪ ،‬الدوحة‬

‫عنــد افتتــاح أول مركــز للتســوق‪ -‬مــول فــي قطــر فــي أوائــل عــام ‪ ،1996‬بــدت الفكــرة وكأنهــا مفهــوم جديــد لألعمــال‬ ‫االســتثمارية فــي المنطقــة‪ .‬وكانــت عندهــا قــد بــدأت فكــرة المــوالت تصــدر إلــى كل مــن آســيا والشــرق األوســط‬ ‫مــن الواليــات المتحــدة‪.‬‬ ‫كان عــدد ســكان قطــر حينهــا أقــل مــن ‪ 700,000‬نســمة‪ .‬وكان حجــم االقتصــاد ال يتعــدى ‪ 8‬بليــون دوالر‪ ،‬ونصيــب‬ ‫الفــرد مــن الدخــل القومــي‪ ،‬وإن كان ال يــزال مرتفعــا حيــث بلــغ حوالــي ‪ 16,000‬دوالر‪ ،‬وكان مــا يقــرب ســبع مــا‬ ‫هــو عليــه اليــوم‪.‬‬ ‫فــي الســنوات ال ‪ 17‬الماضيــة‪ ،‬شــهدت قطــر عمليــات ترميــم شــبه كاملــة‪ ،‬حيــث تصاعــد عــدد ســكانها ثالثــة‬ ‫أضعــاف ‪ ،‬وشــهد االقتصــاد نمــو مذهــا وبطريقــة ال تصــدق‪ ،‬حيــث تضاعــف النمــو لببلــغ أكثــر مــن ‪ 25‬مــرة‪.‬‬ ‫كانــت األســواق التقليديــة ‪ ،‬مــا يطلــق عليــه الســوق وقــد ازيــل بعضهــا ‪ ،‬فــي حيــن الجــزء اآلخــر منهــا فــي شــوارع‬ ‫مزدحمــة يهيمــن عليهــا بصــورة رئيســية المغتربيــن االجانــب مــن ذوى الدخــول المنخفضــة والمتوســطة وأصبــح‬ ‫ذلــك اليــوم شــيئا مــن الماضــي‪.‬‬ ‫تغيــر أفــق العاصمــة الدوحــة خــال العقــد الماضــي وامتــأت المدينــة باألبــراج وناطحــات الســحاب‪ .‬وقــد شــهد‬ ‫مســتوى دخــل االفــراد تغيــرا وخاصــة مــن الســكان المحلييــن الذيــن ارتفعــت دخولهــم بشــكل ملحــوظ بفضــل‬ ‫ثــروة الغــاز والوقــود التــي تتمتــع بهــا البــاد ومــا تحققــه مــن عائــدات أربــاح هائلــة‪ .‬أمــا مــا لــم يتغيــر خــال هــذه‬ ‫الســنوات فهــو حــال العمــال األجانــب مــن ذوي الدخــل المحــدود والمنخفــض‪ ،‬إذ ال يــزال يفــوق عددهــم جميــع‬ ‫الســكان اآلخريــن ضمــن خليــط ديموغرافــي يشــكل ســكان البــاد‪.‬‬ ‫عندمــا افتتــح أول مركــز تجــاري فــي قطــر (المــول)‪ ، ،‬اجتــذب عــددا مــن العالمــات التجاريــة الدوليــة الراقيــة‪ ،‬مــن‬ ‫بينهــا‪ ،‬المجوهــرات‪ ،‬والمحــات‪ ،‬ومتاجــر التجزئــة األخــرى‪ .‬وقــد تحــول علــى الفــور ليشــكل الوجهــة المفضلــة‬ ‫للنــاس وخاصــة لــدى أصحــاب الدخــل فــوق المتوســط واألغنيــاء مــن القطرييــن‪ .‬وعلــى الرغــم مــن أصحــاب‬ ‫المحــات فــي مراكــز التســوق األخــرى يشــكون اليــوم مــن انخفــاض المبيعــات‪ ،‬إال أن منافــذ البيــع فــي «المــول»‬ ‫‪‬‬

‫صرحت تموين بأنه سيتم‬ ‫افتتاح اربعة عشر مركزا‬ ‫جديدا للتسوق وبدء‬ ‫أعمالهم بحلول عام ‪،2015‬‬ ‫وسيضيف ذلك ‪1158000‬‬ ‫متر مربع من المساحة‬ ‫اإلجمالية المتاحة للتأجير‬ ‫ليصبح نصيب الفرد الواحد‬ ‫‪ 0.86‬متر مربع‪.‬‬

‫‪bq | IN CONTEXT‬‬

‫ً‬ ‫سفيرا‬ ‫بيب غوارديوال‬ ‫ألديداس‬

‫ً‬ ‫رسميا في ‪ 18‬من أغسطس الماضي في‬ ‫أعلن‬ ‫الدوحة اختيار بيب جوارديوال‪ ،‬المدير الفني لنادي‬ ‫ً‬ ‫سفيرا ألديداس‪ ،‬وسيكون بذلك الوجه‬ ‫بايرن ميونيخ‬ ‫االعالمي لحملة أديداس هذا الموسم لدوري أبطال‬ ‫أوروبا‪.‬‬ ‫وكان جوارديوال العب خط الوسط الدفاعي لنادي‬ ‫برشلونة والمنتخب اإلسباني‪ ،‬قد فاز في بطولة‬ ‫دوري أبطال أوروبا مرة واحدة كالعب ومرتين‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مؤخرا عن انضمامه لنادي بايرن‬ ‫كمدرب‪ ،‬وأعلن‬ ‫ميونيخ حامل لقب دوري أبطال أوروبا‪.‬‬ ‫وقال بيب جوارديوال‪ ،‬عند التوقيع على شراكته مع‬ ‫ً‬ ‫اتفاقا مع شركة‬ ‫كبير أن أوقع‬ ‫لفخر‬ ‫أديداس‪« :‬إنه‬ ‫ٌ‬ ‫ٌ‬ ‫ً‬ ‫واحدا من سفرائها‪ ،‬وأتطلع‬ ‫مثل أديداس‪ ،‬وأن أكون‬ ‫بشغف إلى تقدم حملة دوري أبطال أوروبا المقبلة»‪.‬‬


‫فورسيزونز تطلق على موقع «بنترست» خدمة ‪Pin.Pack.Go‬‬ ‫لتخطيط الرحالت‬ ‫أطلقت فورسيزونز خدمة «شارك‪ .‬احزم حقائبك‪.‬‬ ‫انطلق» ‪Pin.Pack.Go‬المخصصة لمساعدة‬ ‫المسافرين على التخطيط لرحالتهم عبر موقع‬ ‫«بنترست»‪ .‬وتتيح الخدمة للمسافرين تلقي النصائح‬ ‫والتوصيات المتعلقة برحالتهم المقبلة عبر الموقع‬ ‫إقباال ‪.‬‬ ‫الذي يشهد‬ ‫ً‬ ‫وتسعى فورسيزونز من خالل خدمة ‪Pin.Pack.Go‬‬ ‫إلى تخفيف العناء على المسافرين وتعريفهم على‬ ‫سير رحلتهم قبل بدئها واإللمام بكل ما يرغبون‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مسبقاوالحد من الخوف والقلق الذي‬ ‫معرفته‬ ‫ينتابهم قبل انطالقهم في مغامراتهم الفريدة‪.‬‬ ‫ولتلقي نصائح وتوصيات شخصية من خبراء‬

‫فورسيزونز المحليين الملمين بأجمل األماكن في‬ ‫مناطقهم‪ ،‬نصحت فورسيزونز ضيوفها بالقيام‬ ‫بالتالي‪:‬‬ ‫إنشاء لوح ‪Pin.Pack.Go‬على موقع بنترست‬ ‫ترك تعليق على موقع ‪Pin.Pack.Go: http://‬‬ ‫‪ ،/‬مع‬ ‫ذكر فنادق فورسيزونز التي ترغب بزيارتها‪.‬‬ ‫سيتولى الفندق الذي اخترته إرشادك عبر موقع‬ ‫«بنترست»‪ ،‬عليك بالمقابل االستجابة بإرسال دعوة‬ ‫إلى الفندق ليقوم بدوره بنشر الصور على لوحك‬ ‫وتقديم ما يلزم من معلومات‪ ،‬مختارة‪.‬‬ ‫حجز اإلقامة واالنطالق في الرحلة!‬

‫بنك «نور» يزود فروعه بأجهزة‬ ‫آيباد‬ ‫قام بنك نور اإلسالمي (نور) بتجهيز ‪ 6‬من فروعه‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫حديثا من آبل‬ ‫جهازا‬ ‫في دبي والشارقة وأبوظبي بـ ‪15‬‬ ‫آيباد بهدف تشجيع العمالء على إجراء معامالتهم‬ ‫المصرفية عبر اإلنترنت‪.‬‬ ‫وتم تركيب األجهزة في فروع البنك الواقعة في‬ ‫شارع الشيخ زايد‪ ،‬دبي مارينا‪ ،‬دبي مول‪ ،‬وقرية رواد‬ ‫األعمال بالقرب من برج الساعة‪ ،‬وكذلك فرع الرولة‬ ‫بالشارقة وفرع خليفة في أبوظبي‪.‬‬ ‫وخصص البنك فريق من الموظفين المدربين‬ ‫ليعرفوا العمالء على خدمات نور المصرفية عبر‬ ‫اإلنترنت والهاتف النقال التي يمكن اجراؤها في أي‬ ‫وقت ومن أي مكان يفضله العميل دون الحاجة‬ ‫ً‬ ‫شخصيا‪ .‬وقد وأطلق البنك اثنين‬ ‫لزيارة فرع البنك‬ ‫من العروض الترويجية الخاصة –التي تمكن العميل‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مجانا دون اشتراط وجود‬ ‫من فتح حساب مصرفي‬ ‫ً‬ ‫نقدا مع بطاقات االئتمان‬ ‫رصيد‪ ،‬وميزة استرداد ‪%5‬‬ ‫التي يتم تقديم طلب الحصول عليها عبر اإلنترنت‪.‬‬ ‫تستغرق الموافقة على طلب فتح أي نوع من‬ ‫الحساب عادة ‪ 48‬ساعة‪.‬‬

‫الرقمنة على قمة أولويات مجلس سامينا‬ ‫شهد المؤتمر اإلقليمي األول لإلتصاالت الذي عقد‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مؤخرا في مدينة بنما بروز مجلس سامينا‪ ،‬تحالف‬ ‫شركات االتصاالت الرائد الذي يغطي ثالث مناطق‬ ‫من العالم (جنوب آسيا والشرق األوسط وشمال‬ ‫أفريقيا)‪ ،‬كأحد الدعاة لضمان استدامة اإلنترنت ودفع‬ ‫عجلة الرقمنة باعتبارها أفضل وسيلة لضمان تحقيق‬ ‫النمو المستدام في االقتصادات الرقمية الناشئة‪.‬‬ ‫وقد ضم المؤتمر اإلقليمي األول لالتصاالت كل‬ ‫من ‪ AHCIET‬و‪ ASETA‬ورابطة الكاريبي لمنظمات‬ ‫االتصاالت «‪ ،»CANTO‬وجمعية مشغلي األقمار‬ ‫الصناعية األوروبيين «‪ ،»ESOA‬وجمعية مشغلي‬ ‫شبكات االتصاالت األوروبية «‪ ،»ETNO‬وجمعية‬ ‫‪ GSM‬ومجلس سامينا ومجلس االتصاالت‬ ‫الباسيفيكية «‪.»PTC‬‬ ‫وشارك في المؤتمر حوالي ‪ 2000‬من ممثلي بلدان‬ ‫الشرق األوسط وآسيا والمحيط الهادئ وأمريكا‬ ‫الالتينية ومنطقة البحر الكاريبي والواليات المتحدة‬ ‫وأوروبا‪ .‬وقد تمحورت المشاركات حول الحاجة إلى‬ ‫تبادل األفكار وتطوير مجتمع المعلوماتية‪ ،‬واالبقاء‬ ‫على التواصل بين الجمعيات واالتحادات الصناعية‬ ‫في هذا القطاع بإنشاء منصة مشتركة للتداول فيما‬ ‫بشكل منتظم‪.‬‬ ‫بينهم‬ ‫ٍ‬ ‫وكان مجلس سامينا قد أوصى بوضع أجندة مسبقة‬

‫النعقاد المؤتمر الذي دعى فيه الى المزيد من‬ ‫التعاون بين مشغلي االتصاالت اإلقليمية لضمان‬ ‫نمو واستدامة اإلنترنت وتسريع اعتماد الرقمنة‪.‬‬ ‫ودعا المجلس باإلرتقاء بأهداف أجندته الخاصة‬ ‫بمنطقة جنوب آسيا والشرق األوسط وشمال أفريقيا‬ ‫إلى آفاق جديدة في السوق العالمية التي تواجهها‬ ‫مشكالت انتشار تقنية النطاق العريض وتوزيع‬ ‫الطيف والتجانس واالستثمارات واألنظمة والضرائب‬ ‫والتجوال وغيرها‪.‬‬

‫من منبر األعمال الى االعمال‬ ‫تدعو مجلة ‪ bq‬قطاع األعمال‪،‬‬ ‫لالعالن عن مناقصات هم‪،‬‬ ‫ومنتجاتهم وخدماتهم ‪،‬‬ ‫وفعالياتهم وأخبارهم عبر‬ ‫قسمها العامل في هذا السياق‪ .‬ويمكن ارسال‬ ‫المعلومات مرفقة بصورة عالية الدقة على‬ ‫العنوان‪ :‬‬



‫‪69‬‬ ‫الحصــول علــى الكميــات المطلوبــة مــن هــذه المــواد‬ ‫مــن المملكــة إال أن الحكومــة قــد فرضــت ضريبــة‬ ‫إضافيــة تتــراوح بيــن ‪ %25 - 20‬علــى صادراتهــا‪ .‬واضــاف‬ ‫« قــد يرفــع هــذا االجــراء أســعار القــار‪ ،‬ولكــن عمومــا‬ ‫فــان اســعار القــار وغيــره مــن المــواد ال تــزال مســتقرة‬ ‫او تحــت الســيطرة»‪.‬‬ ‫والجديــر بالذكــر هــو أن دول مجلــس التعــاون الخليجــي‬ ‫بأكملهــا تشــهد طفــرة عمرانيــة ممــا يزيــد مــن الطلــب‬ ‫علــى مــواد البنــاء إقليميــا‪ ،‬وبالتالــي يؤثــر علــى أســعارها‬ ‫وتوريدهــا‪ .‬وقــال مصــدر مطلــع باســتثناء قطــر‬ ‫والمملكــة الســعودية‪ ،‬ودولــة اإلمــارات إلــى حــد مــا‪،‬‬ ‫فــإن باقــي دول مجلــس التعــاون الخليجــي لــم تشــهد‬ ‫طفــرات كثيــرة فــي النشــاطات العمرانيــة‪ « .‬فنشــاط‬ ‫البنــاء فــي دبــي مثــا مســتمر علــى نفــس الوتيــرة‪،‬‬ ‫ولهــذا ال يمكننــا وصفــه بأنــه طفــرة»‪.‬‬ ‫أمــا فــي قطــر‪ ،‬فــإن العديــد مــن المشــاريع التنمويــة‬ ‫الضخمــة مثــل مشــروع نفــق الســكك الحديديــة»‬ ‫المتــرو» الــذي يكلــف مليــارات الــدوالرات‪ ،‬قــد منحــت‬ ‫عطاءاتــه ولكــن لــم يبــدأ التنفيــذ فيــه بعــد‪ ،‬وقــد‬ ‫يســتغرق البــدء فــي تنفيــذ مثــل هــذه المشــاريع‬ ‫الكبيــرة ســتة أشــهر ‪.‬‬ ‫وهنــاك آخــرون فــي صناعــة البنــاء يقولــون بانهــم‬ ‫يتوقعــون المزيــد مــن المشــاريع التــي ســتمنح فــي‬ ‫إطــار التحضيــر لفعاليــات ‪ FIFA 2022‬فــي عــام ‪.2014‬‬ ‫وهــذا يعنــي ان تبــدأ الضغــوط التضخميــة فــي تصاعــد‬ ‫مســتمر‪ .‬إضافــة إلــى ذلــك‪ ،‬مــن المرجــح أن يبــدأ‬ ‫العمــل فــي المشــاريع التــي تــم منحهــا فــي ‪ 2013‬فــي‬ ‫أوائــل عــام ‪.2014‬‬ ‫ســيتم منــح عقــود المشــاريع الكببيــرة لشــركات أجنبيــة‬ ‫عمالقــة‪ ،‬الــى جانــب عقــود لشــركات محليــة لتنفيــذ‬ ‫الكثيــر مــن األعمــال وهــذا مــن شــأنه أن يتطلــب جلــب‬ ‫المزيــد مــن العمــال األجانــب‪« .‬وهــذا معنــاه زيــادة‬ ‫الضغــط علــى المــوارد‪ ،‬بمــا فــي ذلــك الســكن‪ ،‬وزيــادة‬ ‫فــي حــدة التضخــم»‪.‬‬ ‫وقــال مســؤول بــارز فــي أحــد شــركات البنــاء الكبــرى «‬ ‫ســترتفع إيجــارات المســاكن بأســعار معقولــة بســبب‬ ‫عمليــات الهــدم أو غيرهــا بســبب النقــص الهائــل‪.‬‬ ‫وســتكون هــذه اإليجــارات عامــا مســاهما فــي ارتفــاع‬ ‫التضخــم‪ .‬وبحســب المطلعيــن فــإن المعــروض اآلن‬ ‫مــن المــواد االوليــة يفــوق الطلــب‪ .‬وأضــاف ‪« :‬نفــس‬

‫الشــيء يطبــق علــى الطلــب علــى « مــواد التشــطيب»‪.‬‬ ‫فبــدال مــن المــواد الخــام األساســية‪ ،‬فــان الطلــب‬ ‫علــى األخشــاب واأللمنيــوم ومــواد الســباكة وكذلــك‬ ‫التركيبــات الكهربائيــة والدهانــات ال يــزال ثابتــا‪».‬‬ ‫كمــا تتــم عمليــات إطــاق مشــاريع بنــاء‪ ،‬واســتكمال‬ ‫مشــاريع تنمويــة ضخمــة‪ ،‬وهــي فــي المقــام األول‬

‫فالمملكة العربية السعودية‬ ‫التي كانت تصدر في‬ ‫بعض األحيان أيضا مواد‬ ‫كاالسمنت والصلب إلى‬ ‫البلدان المجاورة حتى‬ ‫الماضي القريب‪ ،‬أصبحت‬ ‫اليوم تستورد كميات كبيرة‬ ‫من األسمنت لتلبية الطلب‬ ‫المتسارع وسد الفجوة‬ ‫القائمة في السوق‪.‬‬ ‫لرعايــة احتياجــات اإلســكان مــع ارتفــاع عــدد الســكان‬ ‫فــي البــاد مــع الدفعــات الجديــدة والكبيــرة مــن العمــال‬ ‫األجانــب القادميــن للعمــل فــي هــذه المشــاريع‪ .‬ومــن‬ ‫الصعــب ايجــاد تقديــرات دقيقــة ولكــن فــي العــام‬ ‫الماضــي تــم بنــاء حوالــي ‪10,000‬وحــدة ســكنية فــي‬ ‫مقابل‪18,000‬فــي الســنة التــي ســبقتها‪.‬‬ ‫وتقــول مصــادر فــي الســوق العقــاري أنهــم يتوقعــون‬ ‫المزيــد مــن المســاكن التــي يمكــن ان تضــاف هــذا‬ ‫العــام والعــام القــادم وال يــزال معــدل ازديــاد عــدد‬ ‫الســكان مســتمرا بشــكل أســرع ممــا كان متوقعــا‪،‬‬ ‫وهــو مــا أدى إلــى ارتفــاع الطلــب علــى المســاكن‪.‬‬ ‫وهنــاك أيضــا البنايــات والمجمعــات التــي مــن شــأنها‬ ‫أن توفــر زيــادة فــي المســاحات التجاريــة اســتجابة للنمو‬

‫االقتصــادي والســكاني الســريع‪ .‬ومــن بيــن المشــاريع‬ ‫التجاريــة الكبــرى التــي يتــم تنفيذهــا االن هــي مشــاريع‬ ‫مجمعــات ‹الفرجــان›‪ ،‬التــي مــن شــأنها أن تضيــف عــددا‬ ‫مــن المراكــز التجاريــة فــي األجــزاء الداخليــة مــن البــاد‪.‬‬ ‫والغــرض مــن هــذه المشــاريع هــو التقليــل مــن تدفــق‬ ‫النــاس الذيــن يعيشــون خــارج العاصمــة الدوحــة الــى‬ ‫العاصمــة بتوفيــر احتياجاتهــم اليوميــة األساســية فــي‬ ‫هــذه المجمعــات‪.‬‬ ‫كمــا اقترحــت الدراســات االســتقصائية التــي أجرتهــا‬ ‫وزارة التخطيــط واإلحصــاء ووزارة األعمــال واالقتصــاد‬ ‫بــأن الطلــب علــى المــواد األوليــة قــد يرتفــع بشــكل‬ ‫كبيــر عندمــا يتــم تنفيــذ المشــاريع الكبيــرة علــى مــدى‬ ‫الســنوات ال ‪ 5‬المقبلــة أو نحــو ذلــك‪ .‬وقــد قــدرت هــذه‬ ‫الدراســات حجــم االرتفــاع الســنوي فــي الطلــب علــى‬ ‫مــواد البنــاء حتــى عــام ‪ 2018 /2017‬ومــا بعدهــا‪.‬‬ ‫فعلــى ســبيل المثــال‪ ،‬تشــير التقديــرات إلــى أن الطلــب‬ ‫علــى األســمنت بيــن عامــي ‪ 2013‬و ‪ ،2017‬ســيبلغ ‪57‬‬ ‫مليــون طــن‪ ،‬وعلــى الرمــل المغســول‪ 101‬مليــون طــن‪،‬‬ ‫و‪ 364‬مليــون طــن مــن الــركام؛ و ‪ 514‬مليــون طــن‬ ‫مــن الحجــر الجيــري‪ ،‬و ‪ 10‬مليــون طــن مــن القــار و ‪36‬‬ ‫مليــون طــن مــن الخرســانة الجاهــزة؛ و ‪ 166‬مليــون طــن‬ ‫إزالــة للتربــة والتخلــص منهــا‪ ،‬و‪ 46‬مليــون طــن مــن‬ ‫االســفلت و‪ 9.2‬مليــون طــن مــن الخرســانة المســبقة‬ ‫الصــب‪.‬‬ ‫يقــول العاملــون فــي هــذه الصناعــة‪ ،‬نظــرا لســيطرة‬ ‫الحكومــة علــى إمــدادات هــذه المــواد واســعارها فهــم‬ ‫واثقــون مــن أنــه ســوف لــن يحــدث نقــص مفاجــئ‬ ‫يمكــن أن يــؤدي إلــى الزيــادة فــي األســعار‪.‬‬ ‫و هنــاك أخــرون غيرهــم يــرون بــأن الطلــب الفعلــي علــى‬ ‫المــواد االوليــة للبنــاء مــن المرجــح أن يبــدأ فــي االرتفــاع‬ ‫فــي العــام القــادم عندمــا يبــدأ العمــل الفعلــي فــي‬ ‫تنفيــذ المشــاريع‪ .‬ويمكــن أن ترتفــع أســعار اإلمــدادات‪،‬‬ ‫بســبب الزيــادة الهائلــة علــى الطلــب خــال الســنوات‬ ‫القادمــة‪ .‬ويمكــن أن يــؤدي إلــى نقــص فــي المــواد‬ ‫وزيــادة فــي أســعارها‪« .‬كمــا يمكــن أن يكــون لهــذا تأثيــر‬ ‫كبيــر يزيــد مــن الضغــوط التضخميــة نتيجــة لإلنفــاق‬ ‫الهائــل خــال الســنوات الســت أو الســبع القادمــة‪.‬‬ ‫مداخالت بقلم شيرين ديسوزا‬

‫الت�صوير الفوتغرايف‪ :‬بو�سكو مينيزي�س‬



‫شــهدت قطــر نشــاطا محمومــا ألعمــال البنــاء فــي الســنوات الســابقة لعــام ‪ ،2006‬وال يــزال النــاس يتذكــرون كيــف‬ ‫ارتفعــت األســعار دون رادع مــع اقتــراب دورة األلعــاب اآلســيوية فــي ذلــك العــام وبقيــت الــى مــا بعدهــا‪.‬‬ ‫وال يــزال كثيــر منــا يلقــي اللــوم علــى ارتفــاع أســعار مــواد البنــاء المســتخدمة فــي اإلنشــاءات‪ ،‬باعتبارهــا أحــدى‬ ‫العوامــل الرئيســية التــي أســهمت فــي ارتفــاع إيجــارات المنــازل الــذي تســبب فــي تســجيل معــدالت تضخــم عاليــة‬ ‫فــي البــاد‪ ،‬خاصــة بعــد األلعــاب األســيوية لعــام ‪ .2006‬وقــد يصــح ذلــك جزئيــا‪ ،‬ولكــن مــا ينبغــي إدراكــه هــو أن‬ ‫النقــص غيــر المســبوق فــي مــواد البنــاء األساســية جعــل اســعارها مكلفــة‪ ،‬وهــو مــا أدى إلــى ارتفــاع تكاليــف‬ ‫البنــاء‪ ،‬ودفــع المطوريــن وأصحــاب العقــارات إلــى رفــع اإليجــارات‪.‬‬ ‫إن الكثيــر مــن اللــوم الــذي نلقــي بــه علــى ارتفــاع اإليجــارات الــذي أســفر عــن ارتفــاع تكاليــف المعيشــة‪ ،‬فــي الواقــع‬ ‫لــم يكــن ناجمــا بشــكل كلــي عــن ارتفــاع أســعار مــواد البنــاء بقــدر مــا تتحمــل جــزء منــه أعمــال الهــدم الواســعة‬ ‫النطــاق التــي شــهدته الدوحــة لتنفيــذ المشــاريع التنمويــة‪ ،‬وبالتالــي نتــج عنــه نقــص حــاد فــي اإلســكان‪« .‬لقــد‬ ‫كانــت مجــرد مصادفــة أن ســبقت عمليــات الهــدم دورة األلعــاب األســيوية لعــام ‪ ،2006‬حيــث كان آالف مــن‬ ‫النــاس يبحثــون عــن مســاكن بديلــة بســبب أعمــال الهــدم»‪ ،‬حســب مــا صــرح بــه مصــدر مطلــع فــي صناعــة البنــاء‬ ‫والتشــييد‪ .‬وأصــر بأنــه ال داعــي للخــوف مــن كابــوس التضخــم أن يصــل مــرة أخــرى إلــى المســتويات التــي بلغهــا‬ ‫عــام ‪ ، 2008‬حيــث بلــغ ارتفــاع األســعار ‪.%15‬‬ ‫ومــع ذلــك تثــار بعــض المخــاوف مــن قبــل المعنييــت بســوق العقــارات والخبــراء مــن ارتفــاع اســعار مــواد البنــاء‬ ‫إذا لــم يتــم مراقبــة أســعارها‪ .‬فقــد يبلــغ الطلــب عليهــا ذروتــه فــي الفتــرة التــي تســبق كأس العالــم ‪ – 2022‬وهــو‬ ‫الحــدث الــذي ستســتضيفه قطــر‪ -‬ممــا يمكــن أن يــؤدي إلــى تكــرار مــا حــدث عــام ‪ .2008‬ويتطلــع العاملــون فــي‬ ‫التجــارة والصناعــة‪ ،‬والجمهــور بشــكل عــام إلــى الدولــة لتتدخــل لإلبقــاء علــى أســعار مــواد البنــاء تحــت الســيطرة‪.‬‬ ‫وفــي تصريــح للصحافــة المحليــة مؤخــرا أكــد الخبيــر العقــاري أحمــد العروقــي بــأن «إحــدى طــرق االبتعــاد عــن شــبح‬ ‫التضخــم هــو أن تقــوم الحكومــة ببنــاء مســاكن أرخــص وتوفيــر األراضــي للشــركات واالفــراد مجانــا حتــى يتمكنــوا‬ ‫مــن تطويــر وحــدات ســكنية تســتوعب العمالــة الوافــدة»‪ .‬وأضــاف المصدر»هنــاك مئــات اآلالف مــن العمــال‬ ‫األجانــب‪ ،‬والغالبيــة العظمــى منهــم غيــر مهــرة أو شــبه مهــرة وفئــات ذات دخــل منخفــض‪ ،‬ســيتم اســتقطابهم‬ ‫للعمــل فــي المشــاريع التنمويــة الضخمــة اســتعدادا لفعاليــات عــام ‪ ،2022‬ويمكــن أن ينتــج عــن ذلــك مشــاكل‬ ‫تتعلــق بإســكانهم «‪ .‬وحــذر مــن أن عشــرات المليــارات مــن الــدوالرات مــن مشــاريع البنيــة التحتيــة الضخمــة‬ ‫التــي تطلقهــا الحكومــة قــد تــؤدي الــى ضغــوط تضخميــة‪ .‬وأضــاف» وهــذا مــا حــدث فــي عــام ‪ »،2006‬فــي إشــارة‬ ‫ضمنيــة إلــى تصاعــد األســعار بصــورة جنونيــة خــال األعــوام ‪.2008-2006‬‬ ‫لــم يكــن تصاعــد اإليجــارات فــي‪ ،08-2006‬ناجــم عــن فــراغ‪ .‬حيــث اكــد الخبيــر المعــروف والمســتثمر فــي ســوق‬ ‫العقــارات‪ ،‬خليفــة آلمســلماني‪ .‬فــي تصريحــات لجريــدة يوميــة محليــة فــي أغســطس الماضــي ان أســعار العقــارات‬ ‫فــي ارتفــاع يفــوق حاليــا أي مــن األعمــال األخرى‪».‬حيــث شــهدت األشــهر األخيــرة تعامــات ضخمــة فــي األراضــي‬ ‫فــي أجــزاء مختلفــة مــن البــاد» ويعــد هــذا مؤشــرا واضحــا الزدهــار الســوق العقــاري‪ .‬وأكــد آلمســلماني بــأن « هــذا‬ ‫االتجــاه سيســتمر»‪.‬‬ ‫وقــد تمــت معظــم الصفقــات الكبيــرة فــي المدينــة الترفيهيــة ومدينــة الطاقــة وأجــزاء مــن الدوحــة‪ ،‬وكان‬ ‫المشــترون مــن األفــراد والشــركات‪ .‬وقــد يبحــث بعــض المضاربيــن عــن الربــح الســريع علــى المــدى القصيــر‪،‬‬ ‫خاصــة وإن الغالبيــة مــن المســتخدمين الفعلييــن‪ -‬إمــا يبحثــون عــن إيــرادات مســتقرة مــن خــال اإليجــار أو بإنشــاء‬ ‫أعمــال خاصــة بهــم فــي مبانــي قائمــة‪.‬‬ ‫أمــا فــي صناعــة البنــاء‪ ،‬فقــد أصــدرت وزارة األعمــال واالقتصــاد فــي أبريــل ‪ 2013‬ارقامــا تقتــرح إبقــاء أســعار‬ ‫المــواد األوليــة للبنــاء تحــت الســيطرة‪ .‬وكان معــدل أســعار القــار والرمــل المغســول والرمــال الناعمــة‪ ،‬والحجــر‬ ‫الجيــري‪ ،‬وقضبــان الصلــب المســتخدمة فــي الخرســانة المســلحة‪ ،‬واألحجــار ذات الجــودة العاليــة‪ ،‬مــن بيــن أمــور‬ ‫أخــرى‪ ،‬مســتقرة‪ .‬وعينــت الــوزارة فــي وقــت ســابق لجنــة لمراقبــة األســعار والعــرض والطلــب علــى المــواد األوليــة‬ ‫لإلنشــاءات‪ ،‬أو المــواد األساســية المســتخدمة فــي البنــاء عــن كثــب‪ ،‬بمــا فــي ذلــك تطويــر الطــرق وإصالحهــا‪.‬‬ ‫وعلــى ســبيل المثــال ووفقــا لقائمــة أســعار الــوزارة‪ ،‬فــإن تكلفــة حمولــة شــاحنة مــن الرمــل المغســول تبلــغ ‪890‬‬ ‫ر‪.‬ق​‪ ،‬وحمولــة شــاحنة مــن الرمــال الناعــم ‪500‬ر‪.‬ق ‪ .‬بينمــا ظلــت أســعار قضبــان الصلــب والقــار واألســمنت‬ ‫مســتقرة‪.‬‬ ‫ويقــول عاملــون فــي صناعــة البنــاء أنهــم تعلمــوا دروس قاســية مــن تجربــة عــام ‪ 2006‬أي مــا قبــل الطفــرة‬ ‫العمرانيــة‪ .‬حيــث حدثــت طفــرات مفاجئــة فــي الطلــب علــى المــواد األوليــة للبنــاء ونتــج عــن ذلــك نقــص حــاد فــي‬ ‫بعــض األحيــان وارتفــاع فــي األســعار‪ ،‬ممــا جعــل الســلطات حــذرة بهــذا الصــدد‪ .‬فهــم يحاولــون التأكــد مــن أن‬ ‫أنشــطة البنــاء المحمومــة التــي ســوف تســبق ‪ 2022‬لــن تتســبب فــي تكــرار مثــل هــذه الحــاالت‪.‬‬ ‫وبحســب العامليــن فــي هــذا القطــاع‪ ،‬فــان تكاليــف العديــد مــن المشــاريع التنمويــة قــد ارتفعــت‪ ،‬وبعضهــا إلــى‬ ‫حــد كبيــر‪ .‬ممــا حــدا بــوزارة األعمــال واالقتصــاد‪ ،‬ســابقا وزارة األعمــال والتجــارة‪ ،‬الــى تشــكيل لجنــة لمراقبــة أســعار‬ ‫المــواد األوليــة بنشــاط وفعاليــة‪ ،‬فضــا عــن مــا يتعلــق بالعــرض والطلــب‪ .‬وتصــدر هــذه اللجنــة تقاريــر شــهرية عــن‬ ‫مختلــف أســعار المــواد األساســية للبنــاء‪.‬‬ ‫ووفقــا للعامليــن فــي تجــارة مــواد البنــاء ‪ ،‬فــان دور الحكومــة ال يقتصــر علــى مراقبــة األســعار وحدهــا‪ ،‬بــل يتعــدى‬ ‫التأكــد مــن أن العــرض مســتقر علــى المــدى الطويــل‪ .‬وقــد تــم تشــكيل الشــركة التــي تشــتري المــواد الخــام مثــل‬ ‫الــركام والرمــل المغســول والقــار‪ ،‬مــن بيــن أمــور أخــرى‪ ،‬بكميــات وفيــرة لتأميــن مخــزون كافــي مــن اإلمــدادات‪.‬‬ ‫أمــا بالنســبة للصلــب واألســمنت‪ ،‬فتقــوم الشــركات بإنتاجهــا محليــا وبكميــات ضخمــة ويتــم الســيطرة عليهــا‬ ‫مــن قبــل الدولــة‪.‬‬ ‫كمــا يتــم اســتيراد معظــم مــواد البنــاء االكثــر إســتخداما فــي بنــاء الطــرق مــن البلــدان المجــاورة‪ ،‬كالفجيــرة ورأس‬ ‫الخيمــة فــي دولــة اإلمــارات والســعودية المــورد الرئيســي للقــار‪ ،‬الــذي يســتخدم علــى نطــاق واســع فــي بنــاء‬ ‫الطــرق والمبانــي لضمــان عــدم تســرب الميــاه مــن األســاس واألســقف‪.‬‬ ‫وتشــهد الســعودية أيضــا طفــرة فــي االنشــاءات‪ ،‬بعــد تبنــي الحكومــة لخطــط بنــاء مســاكن جماعيــة للشــرائح‬ ‫الضعيفــة مــن ســكانها‪ .‬وبالتالــي أصبحــت هنــاك حاجــة محليــة وبكميــات كبيــرة لمــواد البنــاء األساســية‪ .‬ونتيجــة‬ ‫لتنامــي الطلــب علــى مــواد البنــاء فــان الســعودية التــي كانــت تصــدر بعــض هــذه المــواد كاالســمنت والصلــب‬ ‫الــى دول الجــوار أصبحــت تســتورد اآلن كميــات كبيــرة مــن األســمنت لتلبيــة الطلــب المتســارع‪ .‬وقــد ظهــرت‬ ‫مؤخــرا مشــكلة عندمــا قــام منتجــو االســمنت فــي دولــة اإلمــارات برفــع أســعار االســمنت تحــت ضغــط الطلبــات‬ ‫الســعودية ممــا جعــل المملكــة تبحــث عــن مصــادر بديلــة مــن أماكــن أخــرى‪.‬‬ ‫أمــا بالنســبة للقــار‪ ،‬فقــد أخبــر العاملــون فــي هــذه الصناعــة مجلــة ‪ bq‬بأنــه ال توجــد حتــى اآلن مشــاكل فــي‬


‫تشير التقديرات إلى أن‬ ‫الطلب على األسمنت‬ ‫بين عامي ‪ 2013‬و ‪،2017‬‬ ‫سيبلغ ‪ 57‬مليون طن‪،‬‬ ‫وعلى الرمل المغسول‪101‬‬ ‫مليون طن‪ ،‬و ‪ 364‬مليون‬ ‫طن من الركام؛ و ‪514‬‬ ‫مليون طن من الحجر‬ ‫الجيري‪ ،‬و ‪ 10‬مليون طن‬ ‫من القار‪ ،‬و ‪ 36‬مليون طن‬ ‫من الخرسانة الجاهزة؛ و‬ ‫‪ 166‬مليون طن إزالة للتربة‬ ‫والتخلص منها‪ ،‬و‪ 46‬مليون‬ ‫طن من االسفلت و ‪9.2‬‬ ‫مليون طن من الخرسانة‬ ‫المسبقة الصب‪.‬‬





‫كم سيبلغ‬ ‫ارتفاع المباني؟‬

‫الت�صوير الفوتغرايف‪ :‬بو�سكو مينيزي�س‬

‫كانت الزيادات في تكاليف مواد البناء خالل السنوات القليلة الماضية ثابتة وتحت مراقبة وزارة‬ ‫االقتصاد واألعمال‪ .‬ولكن بما ان الكثير من عطاءات المشاريع العمالقة ستمنح العام القادم استعدادا‬ ‫لكأس العالم ‪ ،2022‬فهل ستتكرر تجربة عام ‪2008-2006‬؟‬ ‫بقلم ‪ :‬روهانسومان‪ ،‬الدوحة‬


‫‪bq | IN CONTEXT‬‬


‫جهاز «الخادم الالسلكي المتنقل» (‪ )PWS‬من سوني‬ ‫أطلقت «سوني»‪ ،‬جهاز «الخادم الالسلكي المتنقل»‬ ‫(‪ )PWS‬الجديد الذي يوفر للمستخدم خيارات مريحة‬ ‫لعرض المحتوى والمشاركة والتخزين من خالل‬ ‫الهواتف الذكية أثناء التنقل أو في المنازل‪.‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫متاحا في اإلمارات أغسطس‬ ‫وقد اصبح الجهاز منذ‬ ‫ً‬ ‫درهما‪.‬‬ ‫الماضي بسعر تجزئة مقترح يبلغ ‪389‬‬ ‫يمكن الجهاز من التحكم في إدارة بيانات الوسائط‬ ‫المتعددة ونقل المحتوى بسهولة‪ ،‬ما يوفر خيارات‬ ‫مالئمة للهواتف الذكية‪ .‬حيث يمكن توصيله بالعديد‬ ‫من األجهزة في آن واحد من خالل خاصية ‪،Wi-Fi‬‬ ‫ويسمح لثمانية مستخدم المشاركة في نفس‬ ‫المحتوى أو غيره وإعادة تشغيله‪ .‬كما يعد مصدر‬ ‫للطاقة االحتياطية للهواتف الذكية أو الكاميرات‬ ‫الرقمية بالعمل ل ‪ 10‬ساعات متواصلة من االستماع‬ ‫المتواصل لملفات ‪.MP3‬‬

‫بيبي جينز لندن مجموعة‬ ‫خريف وشتاء ‪2013‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫عاما على تأسيسها‪،‬‬ ‫إحتفلت بيبي جينز لندن بمرور ‪40‬‬ ‫وكشفت النقاب عن إحدى أكثر مجموعاتها اتجاهية‪.‬‬ ‫حيث اشتملت على مالبس رجالية ونسائية بإطالالت‬ ‫الهبستر العصرية‪ ،‬والموضة الشعبية التي تعكس‬ ‫جمال موضة الروك الكالسيكية‪.‬‬ ‫تأتي مجموعة «كول بوهو ‪ COOL BOHO‬النسائية‬ ‫بقصات مريحة ونحيفة مصممة لتضفي اطالالت‬ ‫راقية على سراويل الجينز‪ ،‬والكنزات المقلمة‬ ‫والفساتين والتنانير الطويلة والسترات التي يتخللها‬ ‫فرو صناعي‪.‬‬ ‫وتبرز مجموعة بورتوبيلو‪ PORTOBELLO‬قمصان‬ ‫شبابية تحتوي على رسوم غرافيكية كبيرة وشعارات‬ ‫وخطوط مربعة تتسق مع سراويل الجينز‪ .‬وتعد‬ ‫مجموعة أندي وارهول ‪ WARHOL‬واحدة من أكثر‬ ‫المجموعات اثارة وحيوية الى اليوم‪ .‬بينما تغوص‬ ‫مجموعة ‪ 73‬بالموضة الحداثية التي تحاكي شخصية‬ ‫الروك الكالسيكية‪.‬‬ ‫كما كشفت بيبي جينز عن مجموعة مرموقة‬ ‫خاصة بالرجال ضمت مجموعة ايفي ليغ ‪IVY‬‬ ‫‪ LEAGUE‬المستوحاة من عالم الرياضة‪ ،‬ومجموعة‬ ‫‪ PORTOBELLO‬لفئة الشباب النحيف التي ضمت‬ ‫قمصان حمر أو زرق او خضر مزينة بصور مطبوعة‪،‬‬ ‫الى جانب تشكيلة من سراويل «الكارغو» الضيقة‪،‬‬ ‫وسترات الباركا القصيرة والكنزات الصوفية‪.‬‬ ‫وقدمت مجموعة مودرن كالسيك ‪MODERN‬‬ ‫‪ CLASSIC‬خزانة معاصرة من المالبس العملية‬ ‫عبر بعض الرموز العسكرية والسراويل القطنية‬ ‫والقمصان ذات االلوان المعتقة وسترات الباليزر‬ ‫الصوفية الضيقة وسترات باركا المصنوعة من‬ ‫النيلون وسترات عسكرية‪.‬‬ ‫بينما كشفت مجموعة إيسانشيل ‪ESSENTIALS‬‬ ‫عن تصاميم هيمنت عليها القمصان المقلمة باالزرق‬ ‫فتقدمت ‪ 10‬خيارات في تشكيلة هذا الموسم من‬ ‫السراويل القصيرة والطويلة‪.‬‬ ‫وقدمت مجموعة اندي وارهول ‪ WARHOL‬التي‬ ‫استحضرت رسوم وارهول االيقونية‪ ،‬في تشكيلة‬ ‫سراويل الجينز‪ .‬أما مجموعة ‪ 73‬فكشفت عن سراويل‬ ‫دنيم جديدة مطلية ولماعة ومغسولة بدقة‪..‬‬

‫تعاون ناجح بين فيرتو وفيراري إلنتاج هاتف‬ ‫أعلنت فير توعن طرح هاتف ‪،VERTU Ti Ferrari‬‬ ‫الذي يجمع بين التصميم الرائد‪ ،‬والتكنولوجيا‬ ‫الحديثة‪ ،‬والخدمات الفاخرة‪ .‬ووفقا للشركة فانها‬ ‫ً‬ ‫هاتفا من‬ ‫لن تطرح سوى كمية محدودة أي ‪2013‬‬ ‫هواتف ‪ VERTU Ti Ferrari‬الفاخرة والمصنوعة باليد‬ ‫حصري ًا في أكثر من ‪ 66‬بلد‬ ‫في إنكلترا‪ ،‬والتي تتوافر‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫وفي ‪ 500‬متجر بما في ذلك المحالت الخاصة بعالمة‬ ‫محال‪،.‬‬ ‫فيرتو ‪ Vertu‬حول العالم وعددها أكثر من ‪70‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫أما السعر فحسب الطلب‪.‬‬

‫ّ‬ ‫المتحركة من ثالث‬ ‫وتتألف هواتف فيرتو ‪Vertu‬‬ ‫ّ‬ ‫مجموعات وهي ‪ Vertu Ti‬و ‪Vertu Signature‬و‬ ‫‪ .Vertu Constellation‬ويتوافر تطبيق ‪VERTU Ti‬‬ ‫‪ Ferrari‬بثالث لغات هي اإلنكليزية‪ ،‬واإليطالية‪،‬‬ ‫والصينية‪ ،‬ويضم ساعة على الشاشة الرئيسية‬ ‫وثماني خلفيات للشاشة مستوحاة من فيراري‪ ،‬وأربع‬ ‫ً‬ ‫خصيصا للهاتف‪ ،‬الى جانب خدمتي‬ ‫نغمات ُص ّممت‬ ‫‪ Vertu CONCIERGE‬و‪ Vertu LIFE‬اللتان تحميان‬ ‫ممتلكات العميل‪..‬‬


bq magazine - October 2013  
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