Page 1

COMPLIMENTARY COPY A Gulf Star Publication | English/Arabic

September 2013


bq | Contents

CONTENTS September 2013

COVER STORY ALL THAT GLITTERS 20 The precious yellow metal continues to draw interest from investors spooked by stocks and geopolitical uncertainty despite the recent drop in rates. Should you jump in and snap up some bullion?

SERVICES DUBAI TAKES OFF! 2 A new civil aviation strategy is set to take Dubai’s already ambitious industry vision to greater heights. LABOUR PAINS 4 For governments in the Gulf, regularizing labour means finding a balance between the growing need for skilled workers and employment for locals.

INFRASTRUCTURE DOHA: STILL EXPLODING 10 Qatar’s population continues to grow amid pressure on public services, infrastructure and housing.

FINANCE GAINING MOMENTUM 16 Islamic microfinance may not be required in the GCC, but with over 300 institutions serving 1.6 million clients globally, its market size is estimated at USD 1 billion. THE UPSIDE OF DOWNTURN 18 This year migrant workers in the GCC will send some $50 billion to their families back home, with Qatar possibly ranking second after Saudi Arabia.

ENERGY DRILLING DEEPER 26 With the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s estimate of total undiscovered resources 410 million scm oe higher, oil optimism is returning to Norway.

TECH THE COMING REVOLUTION 30 Art, clothing, furniture, architectural models, spacecraft tools, even guns and bones. All these and much more can be 3D printed. And with key patents expiring in 2014, a new industrial revolution might very well be underway.

CULTURE A NIGHT AT THE CIRQUE 38 Over three decades, Cirque du Soleil has grown from a funky band of street performers into a billion dollar global company. bq catches up with them before their show Dralion comes to town.



Relax, rejuvenate and unwind with bq’s picks for the perfect indulgences after a long hard day at work. These therapies designed for business people and jetlagged travellers promise to drive your stress away and revitalise you.

IN CONTEXT The latest products, news, services and events – follows each lead section.

QATAR AND BEYOND Published by Gulf Star Publishing PO Box 19177 Doha, State of Qatar T: +974 44913761 F: +974 44913778 Publisher: Gulf Star Group Chairman: Mohammed Mansour Rashid Al Khater Managing Director: P.K. Abdulla Business Director: Naveed Abdulla Editor-in-Chief: Priya D’Souza Online Editor: Jure Snoj Editorial Assistant: Shereen D’Souza Correspondents: Rohan Soman (Qatar); Rabin Gupta (India); Tina Isanti (Europe); Abhiraj Ghosh (Culture) Contributors: Rajeev Acharya; E. Shahid Photography: Bosco Menezes Editorial queries: Magazine: Online: Press releases:; Advertising & Marketing Manager: Bosco Menezes Administrative Assistant: Barbara Mogro Advertising queries: E: M: +974 5534 0297 Subscriptions and general queries: E: T: +974 4491 3761 F: +974 4491 3778 Printers: Aspire Printing Press, Qatar Distribution: Star Hospitality Design Consultant: Premier Teknomedia

Follow us on Twitter: @bqdoha Facebook: QATAR AND BEYOND Published monthly, bq is a business-to-business publication that delivers a critical difference to business partnerships. From domestic policies to international investments, from business information services to industry trends, from research and technology to sports and culture, each edition gives business leaders unparalleled access to local and global issues influencing Qatar’s business landscape. We are committed to empowering our readers with in-depth analysis of the region’s most pertinent business issues while assuring meaningful ROI to our advertising partners. is the leading online source for timely perspectives of the region’s business affairs. With overviews of the industry and insight on energy, finance, services and arts & technology, the daily edition explores the important issues of today. Copyright © 2013 bq. bq magazine is owned and published by Gulf Star Publishing, a division of the Gulf Star Group. No part of this publication may be produced or copied without the written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved, use of trademark is strictly prohibited. Gulf Star Publishing takes no responsibility for unintentional errors or unsolicited material.


bq | Services | Dubai Aviation


Dubai Takes Off! A new civil aviation strategy is set to take Dubai's already ambitious industry vision to greater heights By E. Shahid, Dubai The aviation industry has played a critical role in putting Dubai on the world map. Burgeoning airline and cargo networks have made the city a major tourism and business hub and a favoured transit point for global air transport. Round-the-clock connectivity has boosted a range of ancillary industries that have fueled large-scale business activities, benefiting local economy in the process. With the unveiling of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority’s (DCAA) Strategy Plan 2013-15, this vital cog of the city’s growth is now set to achieve greater altitudes. This is the third such plan put together by DCAA.

Under the theme ‘Shaping Tomorrow’s Aviation’, this is an ambitious roadmap that will drive and support the growth of the industry in Dubai aligned with the government’s strategy and other key stakeholders and players. Prepared under the directives of the Dubai Executive Council and approved by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of DCAA and chairman of Dubai Airports, the full-cycle strategic plan covers five main pillars that influence the outcome of the aviation sector – growth, capacity, sustainability, customer and capability. This is in line with the overall Dubai Government’s Strategy Plan and

aligned with the Dubai Aviation Sector Strategy Plan. In the words of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed, the aim is to orient the path of the aviation sector and to strengthen the role of Dubai, making it the most active aviation hub in the world. “The strategy is based on five pillars that reflect our ambition of building a sustainable future for this vital sector, which is projected to make up more than 30 percent of Dubai’s GDP in the coming years. The success achieved by Dubai International Airport since the beginning of the current year, its double-digit growth rate and its passenger

bq | Services | Dubai Aviation

traffic of 21.9 million in the first four months of 2013, proves our point and confirms the necessity of such a strategy,” Sheikh Ahmed said. The strategy seems to have taken into consideration International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) estimates that $100 spent on air transport produce benefits worth $325 for the economy and 100 additional jobs in air transport result in 610 new economy-wide jobs.

Aviation’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP is expected to reach AED165 billion, which is equivalent to 32 percent, up from 28 percent recorded in 2011 Magical numbers There is a history to Dubai’s optimism as far as these projections are concerned. The passenger traffic through Dubai International Airport is estimated to go up to 75 million by 2015, propelling it to the top of the list of busiest and biggest airports in the world in terms of international passenger capacity, overtaking London Heathrow. Like in any other part of the world, aviation makes important contributions to the local economy, accounting for 20 percent of Dubai’s GDP, which is set to increase to 30 percent by 2020. The sector employs 120,000 people while Emirates Airline alone has 6,800 employees. The strategy is built on the premise that the aviation sector supported 259,000 jobs and helped generate over $11.7 billion in 2011, both directly and indirectly, through support for

the tourism and other industries. According to another estimate, aviation’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP is expected to reach AED165 billion, which is equivalent to 32 percent, up from 28 percent recorded in 2011. The sector employs more than five percent of the city’s ‘waged workforce’. A stakeholders’ conference will be held in October this year to debate the plan and to get feedback, which will then be reviewed for inclusion as the plan implementation progresses. A handbook on


the plan will soon be published to create awareness among industry professionals. In light of these vital statistics, director general of General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Saif Al-Suwaidi, indulges in his own number crunching to put things in perspective. In the July edition of Via Dubai, the monthly bilingual newsletter issued by the DCAA, Al-Suwaidi shares projections of aircraft movements in the UAE until the year 2030. According to him, the UAE Flight Information Region (FIR) recorded a total of 741,450 aircraft movements in 2012. The UAE FIR will have 895,468 flight movements in 2015, over 1.13 million flight movements by 2020 and 1.63 million flight movements by 2030. The GCAA is working with Airbus Prosky on an Airspace Enhancement Program to restructure UAE airspace while the draft UAE Air Traffic Management (ATM) Strategic Plan-2030 has been launched for industry consultation. According to Al-Suwaidi, the DCAA strategy will be sowing the seeds of success further for the aviation industry and will enhance the quality of government service excellence provided to businesses and consumers, while deploying the highest standards of regulations and policies related to the aviation activities. Al-Suwaidi says the game-changing multi-billion dollar expansion of airports in the UAE, mostly led by Dubai and Abu Dhabi, has thrown up challenges for the civil aviation authorities. The aircraft movements in the UAE witnessed a 6.7 percent growth in 2012. Flying together Head honchos at the DCAA appear to have put their heads together to formulate a fool-proof plan in place. The authority’s director general Mohammed Ahli emphasizes that a vital element of Dubai’s

success story has been its ability to think and plan ahead of times for the future challenges. “For Dubai, the past decade has been a period of intense change during which Dubai International climbed up in global rankings at an amazing pace, resting for the present at the slot of world’s second busiest international airport. It is due to overtake the top position by 2015. There are plans to double Dubai’s passenger handling capacity to 200 million passengers a year by

2045,” he says. This is not a flash in the pan by any means and is the result of rigorous scenario building in the boardrooms. The Strategy Development Methodology, for instance, included a series of sessions with all the departments to determine the corporate strategic goals, objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs). There was also a strategy execution methodology, which included a reward system named Fursaan Al Ada’aa (Performance Champions). The system was geared up to encourage DCAA departments to work as one team to achieve high performance and ensure alignment of strategy, thus successfully achieving the corporate level goals and objectives.

The strategy seems to have taken into consideration International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) estimates that $100 spent on air transport produce benefits worth $325 for the economy and 100 additional jobs in air transport result in 610 new economy-wide jobs As part of this process, the DCAA board of directors approved and assigned KPI targets. The corporate planning team then developed departmental objectives cascading each department contribution to the corporate objectives, and the necessary business plans for the next three years. The first series of sessions were conducted to determine the required budget for 2013 while the second series, post budget approval from the Department of Finance, helped prioritize manpower, projects and training according to the approved budget. Even though the DCAA Strategy Plan 2013-15 promises obvious benefits to Dubai and the UAE in general, this is by no means an isolated exercise. The federal body, GCAA, says it is working in very close coordination with all the stakeholders internally and externally through the National Airspace Advisory Committee, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), IATA and ICAO to improve ATM safety and efficiency in the region. It is obvious that in the event of this strategy becoming successful, its spillover effect will carry benefits far and beyond the country and the region.


bq | Services | Regularising Labour


Labour Pains

For governments in the Gulf, regularising labour means finding a balance between the growing need for skilled workers and employment for locals By E. Shahid, Dubai Samad Ahmad is an archetypal South Asian who sought a stint in the Gulf’s greener pastures to improve the condition of his family. Unfortunately, things did not go the way he expected. The 30-something trained driver was first duped by his agent in India and bundled off to fill the vacancy of an agriculture worker in Saudi Arabia. Before he could even realize the quagmire he had gotten himself in, he was in his unforeseen workplace, 70 kilometers from Riyadh, without his passport and iqama, perpetually ill in hostile working conditions and with intermittent wages to remit home. In the midst of trying to wriggle out of his misery, Ahmad was pleased to hear about an amnesty related to Saudi Arabia’s Nitaqat program – launched by the country on 3 April to regularize illegal workers. After some persuasion from well wishers, he ran away from his sponsor hoping to utilize the opportunity to head back home. To his chagrin, he discovered the amnesty wasn’t exactly meant for cases like his. Maybe he

wasn’t in the priority list of such a program. Now in Riyadh, unable to go back, and being advised to take his sponsor to court, Ahmad is still running from pillar to post, pitted against a system that is extremely busy trying to purge itself of larger issues. Apart from the big ticket labour regularization plans launched by countries such as Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait, individual miseries of people like Ahmad have become the real test case for the region’s objective to find the right balance between demand for foreign labour, generating employment for nationals and a general and equitable employer-employee relations. The good news is that almost all the countries in the region are committed to increasing transparency and improving worker conditions even as they focus on creating more employment options for their nationals. The struggle to find the right balance is most evident in Saudi Arabia, which is by far the largest economy in the region and has a considerable proportion of foreign workers.

The country’s most recent amnesty program is a desperate, to a large extent successful, attempt to achieve this objective. As many as 1.5 million people have reportedly come forward to regularize their status during the first two months of amnesty alone. The rush to get documents legalized was such that, heeding to appeals for more time, the country’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz extended the amnesty period until 3 November, from the earlier deadline of 3 July. The basic idea behind Nitaqat is to reduce the unemployment rate among Saudi citizens. It is basically a new system for the naturalization of jobs and replaces the system applied since 1994 under the name ‘Saudization’. Nitaqat divides the labour market into 41 activities and each activity into five sizes, which makes for 205 activities in total. It works in an intricate manner in which performance of the establishment (or organization) in the localization of jobs is to be evaluated in comparison with similar organizations’ activities and size in order to


Photography: Bosco Menezes

bq | Services | Regularising Labour

arrive at a fair assessment and standard for evaluation.

There have been reports that 36 percent construction projects in Saudi Arabia have been hit by the turmoil over regularization of illegal workers Following this process of evaluation, Nitaqat classifies these establishments into ranges (coding them as excellent, green, yellow and red) based on ratios of employment being made available to locals. According to this method, the excellent and green range represents highest localization ratios, making these companies eligible for rewards. The system gives time to the yellow range companies to fall in line while the red range firms are firmly dealt with. This arrangement has not only created job opportunities for the locals, it has also cleared a large amount of clutter in the labour market. While the scheme promises long-term benefits for both the employee and the employer, there are challenges in the short term to contend with. There have been reports, for instance, that 36 percent construction projects in Saudi Arabia have been hit by the turmoil over regularization of illegal workers. A large number of contracts belonging to small contracting firms, over reliant on ‘free labour’, have been cancelled. Horses for courses In neighbouring Oman, it has been a similar story of correcting the balance albeit on a different scale. With authorities cracking down on illegal workers – mostly holders of free visas – the local labour markets have witnessed significant turmoil. This is not the country’s first tryst with such a situation. In January 2010, an amnesty program in Oman saw hundreds of thousands either regularizing their documents

or leaving the country. As things stand, a large number of undocumented expatriate workers in the Sultanate are reportedly stranded due to a number of reasons even as authorities try to implement deportation procedures. Other countries in the region have also gone through similar crests and troughs with varying success. In December last year, the UAE announced a two-month amnesty to weed out violators of immigration and residency laws. It applied to those who had overstayed their visit or resident visas in the country and not infiltrators. Illegal foreigners who were under arrest in the country were also allowed to leave as long as they did not have any pending cases. In a similar amnesty in 2007, as many as 342,000 illegal immigrants either legalized their stay or left the UAE. Around 300,000 illegal immigrants left the country under another amnesty, which ran between January and April, 2002. In 1996, about 200,000 illegal residents left the country under a six-month long amnesty. Perhaps the most tumultuous labour regularization experience in recent years has been that of Kuwait, which has for long been looking to exercise greater control and even intends to scrap the sponsorship system. Recent report suggest that the country’s Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MSAL) is expected to establish the Public Authority for Labour Affairs as the first step towards canceling the sponsorship system for private sector labour force. The country’s parliament passed a bill recently to set up the authority, two years after the enforcement of the private sector’s labour law in 2010. Bahrain is said to be mulling a similar move to create a more level-playing field and a more open labour market. Public vs private Kuwait’s search for a solution in this domain is symptomatic of a larger issue facing the region. At one level, this entire struggle is mainly about getting the private sector to employ locals because there appears to be a major imbalance at this end. Nationals generally dominate the government and public sectors across the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries while, according to

one estimate, expatriate workers occupy over 80 percent of jobs in the private sector. While every effort is now being made to create new jobs in government, the main challenge is to lure nationals into taking up jobs in the private sector.

Notwithstanding the public-private debate, governments appear to be preoccupied with solving the unemployment problem, which has reached around 20 percent among the youth in the region These efforts have, however, had limited success. Observers consider this a daunting task simply because private sector firms prefer relatively cheap foreign workers. This has worried the authorities not only because such a situation upsets the labour markets but also because it creates a demographic imbalance in the region. In the wake of these circumstances, the private sector needs to adopt a more long-term approach instead of opting for quick fix solutions. Notwithstanding the public-private debate, governments appear to be preoccupied with solving the unemployment problem, which has reached around 20 percent among the youth in the region. For them, allowing a flooding of foreigners into the private sector is ceasing to be an option, when local unemployment levels are rising. However, perfect balance in the region will be arrived at only if someone like Samad Ahmad understands what the labour regularization fuss is all about if people like him cannot even get to go back to their families. Lead image photography: Bosco Menezes


bq | Services | In Context

Worldwide luxury goods continues double-digit annual growth Worldwide luxury goods market revenues will grow as much as 50 percent faster than global GDP, with an expectation of 4 to 5 percent growth in 2013 and 5 to 6 percent annual average through 2015, on track to break the $250 billion sales threshold by mid-decade; this according to Bain & Company, advisor to the global luxury goods industry, in the spring 2013 update to its industry bellwether “Luxury Goods Worldwide Market Study”, unveiled recently at a conference hosted by Fondazione Altagamma (the Italian luxury goods industry trade association). Bain confirmed that luxury revenues grew by 10 percent in 2012 (at current exchange rates), given the strong growth tailwinds present in the first half of

last year. All growth estimates for 2013 and beyond are at constant exchange rates.  Bain’s spring update sees the key drivers of the luxury goods market as: tourists who are changing their consumption habits, seeking out new destinations (e.g., Dubai, South East Asia, Australia) and showing more savvy in the items they purchase; HENRYs (high earnings, not rich yet) becoming potential customers, with ten times as many HENRYs as ultra-affluent individuals; rising middle class in emerging countries polarizing the competitive arena, becoming a ‘new baby-boom sized generation’ for luxury brands to target. The Middle East is growing at a steady pace, with Dubai continuing as the center of gravity and the only city attracting foreign luxury

consumers (e.g. Russians, Indians, Africans). Cyrille Fabre, Bain & Company partner who leads the Retail & Consumer Products practice for the Middle East said, “The Middle East is now the tenth largest luxury goods market with sales exceeding $6 bn. Local consumption, intra-region tourism and the strong historic relevance of hard luxury and perfumes/cosmetics are key market drivers. Dubai is the heart of the regional market as the city alone commands around 30 percent of the luxury market of the region.” Over the long term, Bain estimates that the global luxury goods market in 2025 will likely be more than five times larger than it stood in 1995.

RSA Logistics facility to be operational in March 2014 Dubai World Central (DWC), the world’s first purpose-built aerotropolis, has revealed that RSA Logistics has commenced construction of a 9,500-sqm temperature-controlled facility adjacent to the company’s headquarters in DWC’s Logistics District. The upcoming facility, which will be operational by

March 2014, targets the automotive and hi-tech industries. RSA Logistics also inaugurated a new open yard facility extending from the new premises, which is fully operational. DWC pointed out that RSA Logistics is one of several companies taking advantage of DWC’s

Working towards a sustainable future On 27 June, Georgetown University Qatar participated in World Facilities Management Day, an annual event which occurs on a global scale. Initiated by the Global Facility Management Association (Global FM), a worldwide federation of organizations committed to providing leadership in the facility management profession, World FM Day is quickly becoming an important occasion to shed light on the importance of community education and activism to help shape a sustainable built environment. For 15 students of a summer course titled Ethics: Environmental Politics, it was also an opportunity to hear from a facility management industry leader, and to connect what they’ve learned in the classroom with what’s happening on the ground. “One of the things we talk about in class is how global politics and policy influences not just countries, but cities and institutions. Buildings are one of the greatest consumers

of energy, so facilities management teams within institutions play a critical role, and one that is often overlooked,” said GU-Q research fellow and course instructor James Olsen. “And once you’ve broken it down to the country and institutional level, that’s where industry voices, such as Imdaad and MEFMA come in.” The Middle East Facility Management Association (MEFMA), an NGO dedicated to education, legislative governance and face-to-face networking events to promote FM issues throughout the GCC, organized the event that brought Imdaad, the event sponsor, to Georgetown. Keith Birch, country manager of Imdaad Qatar, a provider of integrated facilities management solutions based in the UAE, gave a presentation to the Environmental Politics class, focusing on the various sustainability challenges, successes, and future outlook for ongoing projects.

integrated infrastructure to strategically expand their core offerings to local and regional businesses in the MENA region. DWC offers an array of benefits to logistics businesses with its integrated operation model, high level of security and safety, enhanced connectivity and competitive pricing. Its modern facilities and state-of-theart infrastructure have enabled businesses to expand regionally and globally from Dubai. Dubai World Central consists of eight fully integrated districts, helping drive business in different industries, including aviation, logistics, commercial, real estate and exhibitions.

The Lady Design ‘Elegance’ Collection shines with vintage Arabic opulence Jotun’s innovative Lady Design brand was launched this year and offers six exciting new collections that empower their consumers to show off their distinct personalities on the walls of their home. Based on the latest market needs and trends, the collections were created in collaboration with renowned celebrity interior designer Mona Hussein. The Lady Design Collections offer six distinctive worlds of style, colour, texture and inspiration – ensuring a look for every personality. There’s the rustic, nature-inspired look of the Natural Collection; the calming, seaside-inspired look of the Oceanic Collection; the cutting-edge, bold appeal of the Modern Collection; the urban, art-inspired look of the Galleria Collection; the timeless, ancient stone-inspired look of the Historic Collection; and of course the opulent, Arabic vintage inspired look of the Elegance Collection.

bq | Services | In Context


Barloworld’s cool storage warehouse to accommodate over 7,000 pallets

Barloworld Logistics recently inaugurated a new cold storage warehouse inside the Jebel Ali Free Zone in response to the UAE’s growing logistics requirements. Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza,

chairman of Barloworld Limited led the inauguration of the warehouse. With the industrial sector now contributing 19 percent of the national GDP, increasing focus is being directed towards support services and facilities for industrial activities. In Dubai, the region’s recognized transport and logistics hub, there has been a sharp rise in demand for specialized facilities to store sensitive products such as food and medicine. Barloworld’s 22,000 sqft cold storage warehouse can maintain temperatures of between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius to carry a host of temperature and humidity-sensitive products such as food and pharmaceuticals. The facility can accommodate more than 7,000 pallet positions and features multiple loading bays for efficiently loading and unloading goods. The high standard of housekeeping employed for the facility surpasses all food safety requirements as well. Like all Barloworld Logistics warehouses, the new facility has 24-hour CCTV monitoring and onsite security to ensure that goods are safe, don’t incur shrinkage, and are not

compromised in any manner. The combination of the Infor10 Warehouse Mobility software and Barloworld’s own web portal enables customers to track their products in real-time and receive customized reports. Moreover, the warehouse is regarded as the most environmentally-friendly in Barloworld Logistics’ Middle East operations. It incorporates skylights that make use of sunlight without affecting temperature and induction lighting which consumes only 20 per cent of the electricity used by normal lighting at night. The warehouse forklifts operate on bio diesel and come with chargers that use 22 per cent less electricity than regular models. Finally, a water harvesting system captures all the water from the dehumidifier for future use in toilets and gardens. The company’s Middle East offices are equipped with clearance license, customs accreditation and ISO 9001 accreditation. There are four warehouses having a total capacity of over 23,000 pallet positions that can store dry cargo as well as temperature sensitive cargo from 18C to 40C.

Fashion collections inspired by 50 years of heritage McLaren, the iconic British sports car brand, has introduced three retro-styled fashion collections inspired by cars, drivers and the most exhilarating moments from its 50 years of race-winning history. McLaren 50 by Hunziker and James Hunt Racing Collection comprise a range of clothing and accessories celebrating the best of this remarkable

journey. Available for a limited time only, all items can be purchased directly from the McLaren Store – The McLaren 50 collection includes a commemorative range of classically styled clothing and collectables available for men and women. The renowned automotive artist, Nicolas Hunziker, designed the McLaren 50 by

Hunziker line comprising five retro-styled t-shirts and inspired by the most accomplished McLaren cars in Formula 1™ history. Concluding this vintage offering is the collection designed by James Hunt Racing in collaboration with the Hunt family and Hunziker to celebrate the achievements and style of this British racing legend.


bq | Services | In Context

UAE’s auto-parts industry set for strong economic ties with South Korea South Korea’s booming trade relationship with the UAE is providing lucrative opportunities for the country’s automotive industry, according to the managing director of a leading UAE-based automotive aftermarket distributor. The UAE is South Korea’s largest export market in the Middle East, and currently the second largest Middle Eastern market for South Korean investments. The volume of mutual investments between the two countries was estimated to reach US$ 3.24 billion last year. Asad Badami, managing director of A-map, the region’s distributors of vehicle spare parts, says that companies like his stand to significantly benefit from such robust trade links. The East Asian country’s huge

automotive industry is the fifth-largest in the world by automobile production and the sixth-largest by export volume – statistics that Badami says reveal a fertile market for organisations supplying aftermarket vehicle components. A-map is already the exclusive distributor of the superior, Korean-made Solite batteries to more than 40 countries across the Middle East, North and South Africa, GCC and CIS countries. Solite is the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) for automotive batteries in both Hyundai and Kia vehicles. “The strong and improving industry ties that the UAE has forged, and continues to forge, will bolster our capabilities to supply South Korean car components such as Solite batteries to the

Qatar Rail awarded ISO 27001 certification

UAE, particularly as more companies look to tie up regionally. The bilateral ties will also increase the likelihood of exporting more vehicles to the UAE, which also affords us a wealth of opportunities,” he added. There are currently approximately 300 Korean companies registered in the UAE and over 12,000 Korean residents in the country. Traveller figures have been growing too, with the number of annual visitors between the UAE and South Korea jumping from 70,000 in 2010 to 100,000 in 2011. Such increases are indicative of South Korean firms and investors’ growing enthusiasm for the UAE, and Dubai in particular, a reginal business hub.

New stone-wool factory in Saudi Arabia Saudi International Insulation Manufacturing Company (SIIMCO), a joint venture equally owned by Alghanim Industries and SaintGobain, has signed an agreement with the Yanbu Royal Commission to lease a 65,000sqm site at Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The lease is for a period of 30 years and will allow the development of a new plant utilising SaintGobain’s proprietary technology to produce stone wool, which is widely used as insulation in many parts of the construction industry. The agreement follows a comprehensive review of the environmental impact and approval for plant layouts, building structure and utilities from the Yanbu local authorities. Construction of the state-of-the-art plant began in August 2013 and it is planned to be operational by early 2014. The plant represents an investment by SIIMCO of about $45 million. When completed it will employ around 200 people and have the annual capacity to produce 60,000MT of stone-wool, thermal and acoustical insulation materials in the form of slabs, rolls, stitched mats, and preformed pipe insulation annually. It will serve the technical and building insulation market segments in Saudi Arabia and other regional markets in the GCC, Egypt, Iraq and Levant.

Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), the company overseeing the construction of the much-anticipated integrated railway network, has successfully attained the International Organization for Standardization Certification (ISO 27001), earning the prestigious accreditation after external assessments. The ISO/IEC 27001:2005 is the most rigorous global security standard for information security management systems. To achieve this certification, a company must show a continuous, structured commitment towards

managing sensitive company and customer information. The certification demonstrates that the security of Qatar Rail project is in line with world-class standards and meets the needs of the Company’s customers. The ISO certification is a testament to Qatar Rail’s focus in adopting and implementing global standards and best practices to ensure effectiveness, efficiency, confidentiality and integrity in its day to day operations. It is one of the many certifications that the company plans to acquire in the days to come.

A B2B platform bq invites all businesses, through its In Context section, to announce their latest tenders, products, services, events and news. Please email the information, with an accompanying high-res image, to

bq |

Save The Date Contact: IFP Qatar Joe Atallah

Project Manager Ibn Seena Street, Al Muntazah Area, P.O. Box: 22376, Doha, Qatar Tel: +974 4 432 9900 Mob: +974 3 307 0033 Fax: +974 4 443 2891 Email:

28-30 January 2014

Doha Exhibition Centre Green Building Expo 2014 features the following events:

A. B. C. D.

International Sustainable Built Environment Conference Sustainable Practices Forum Green Building Exhibition Sustainability Awards Ceremony

In collaboration with:


bq | Infrastructure | Qatar Population


Doha: Still Exploding Qatar's population continues to grow amid pressure on public services, infrastructure and housing By Rajeev Acharya, Doha A South Asian professional employed in the private sector for a year, with a monthly pay package of well-over QR10,000 (the minimum requirement set by the authorities for a foreign worker to sponsor his family), claims he has not been able to bring his family due to visa-related woes. He is not the only one struggling to get his wife and children to join him in Qatar on residency visas, if expatriate community sources are to be believed. There are many such cases and the number has been increasing, the sources claim. Then, there are people who have been complaining that house rents are on the rise, albeit marginally. “When I approached the owner of my apartment to renew my tenancy contract he increased the rent by a marginal percentage,” a tenant said. “That was a token increase, the owner told me, as though showing his kindness since I was an old tenant.” As Qatar’s population continues to explode, experts warn of mounting pressure on public services, infrastructure and housing. And that might be prompting the authorities to reluctantly consider family visa requests from expatriates eligible to bring their families. That apart, signs of house rents rising from late last year, after having plummeted for nearly four years following the nightmarish

peaks of 2006-08, are bothering limitedincome expatriates in particular. Figures released by the national statistics office show that the country’s population rose by 130,000 between January and May this year - a high growth considering the population was 1.83 million by 2012-end. In 2012 itself the population grew 7.5 percent, according to the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA), which is now part of a newly-created ministry (The Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics). Experts believe, based on a growth that seems to be topping the yearly targets, the population might well cross the two-million mark by 2013-end. A prominent real estate expert, Khalifa Al Muslemani, speaking to a local Arabic daily early in January this year gave some estimates for 2013. “A slew of development projects being launched in preparation for the 2022 World Cup soccer may see another 600,000 new recruits this year,” Al Muslemani said. Real estate sector sources say they expect a number of new projects to be announced in this half of the current year, which will require additional workforce. They however concur that Al Muslemani’s guesstimate is exaggerated and add they hope the newly-

hired workers in 2013 might at the most total 300,000 or slightly more. “If 130,000 workers came in, in the first five months of the year, it is logical to expect the number to go up to 300,000 and a little beyond in the entire year,” a property market source said. This, because more development projects are likely to be announced in the latter half of the year than they were in the first, he added.

Figures released by the national statistics office show that the country’s population rose by 130,000 between January and May this year - a high growth considering the population was 1.83 million by 2012-end In any case, the population is set to cross the

bq | Infrastructure | Qatar Population


in urban centres,” London-based Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) said in a report on Qatar released early in January this year. Housing supplies presently match the demand and rather exceed them, according to real estate market sources. High population growth doesn’t seem to be impacting the housing demand much at least for the present because most of the freshly-arriving workers are unskilled and semi-skilled construction hands. But the small percentage of professionals and skilled workers that is adding up to the population might soon begin making an impact on housing. “I think by year-end the demand for housing should begin showing,” a property market source said. The GSDP has, though, allayed fears of a nightmarish price

in the year 2000, climbing up to 970,000 five years later, by 2005. In the eight years since then, that is, by the end of 2013, the number of people in the country who would be jostling to share the resources that are multiplying only gradually, would have more than doubled. “Rapid population growth will remain concentrated in cities. This will put pressure on public services, infrastructure and housing

rise on account of house rents going up. Rising population has, on the other hand, led to other problems as well, noteworthy among them being increasing congestion and chaos, especially on Doha roads. As a result of this the number of traffic accidents is increasing and so are the death toll and accidentrelated injuries. Latest media reports suggest that the

Photography: Bosco Menezes

two million-mark by 2013-end, he said. “We have no doubt about that.” Interestingly, the planned estimate of the population for 2013 under the Qatar National Development Strategy (2011-16) was 1.78 million. But the population actually soared to 1.96 million in just five months of the year (January to May), topping the targeted figure by a huge margin. Likewise, the target for 2012 was 1.76 million but the actual population at the end of the year was 1.83 million. In the second half of 2012 alone some 130,000 newly-hired workers arrived in the country, the planning agency, General Secretariat for Development Planning (GSDP), said. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Qatar’s population was merely 640,000

government has asked driving schools not to register for classes certain categories of foreign workers as they are being barred from being issued driving licences. The ban, traffic authorities say, will be lifted once the mega development projects are completed - in other words, after the population has come down. The silver lining, however, is that the increasing expatriate population will continue to contribute to the economic growth of the country.

The government has asked driving schools not to register for classes certain categories of foreign workers as they are being barred from being issued driving licences. The ban, traffic authorities say, will be lifted once the mega development projects are completed An expanding pool of skilled professionals from overseas will provide a diverse talent pool, which will help stimulate further economic diversification, which is more relevant in the case of Qatar,” the EIU report said. It, though, warned that the treatment of foreign workers will become an increasingly important aspect of foreign relations with source countries. Lead image photography: Bosco Menezes


bq | Infrastructure | In Context

Doha residential transactions at three-year high

Residential sales transactions in Q2 2013 reached a three-year high according to the latest Asteco Qatar report, led by increased freehold purchase demand in prime areas such as Pearl-Qatar and boosted by developer participation at May’s Cityscape Qatar real estate investment and development showcase. While the number of transactions increased, price points held fast at Q1 2013 levels. Prime market developments including Viva Bahriya-Pearl and Porto Arabia-Pearl registered per square metre direct sales prices of up to QR 16,000 and QR 15,000 respectively on average, with average resale values per sqm topping out at QR 15,000 and QR 12,000 respectively.

Qatar plans to spend US$140 billion on infrastructure development in the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup and according to a recent report released by Qatar National Bank Group, the country’s real GDP is expected to grow by 6.5% this year, buoyed by substantial infrastructure investment and construction sector growth of 11.7%. Population growth also reached 11.3% in the 12 months to June 2013. Asteco reported full occupancy across its residential leasing portfolio for Q2 2013; and with little new stock completed or handed over during the second quarter of the year, undersupply in a number of residential sub-sectors prompted increased rental levels

for new lettings with pre-booking numbers also up. One and two-bedroom units located in prime areas such as Pearl-Qatar and West Bay were in short supply, however the report noted that it is anticipated that rental growth may slow later in the year as additional apartment blocks are released. Apartment rental rates for units on the Pearl-Qatar rose by 7% year-on-year, with in-demand one and two-bedroom units renting at QR 9,000 to QR 16,000 per month, and three-bedroom apartments commanding monthly rates of up to QR 19,000. Serviced apartments also continued to perform well, benefiting from the pressure for residential product and diminished availability, and a surge in demand due to the number of conferences and exhibitions being held in Doha during Q2 2013. The office market saw rental levels remain virtually unchanged from Q1 2013 with marginal increases registered in the first half of the year as tenants continue to benefit from oversupply with sustained demand for part-floor leasing options with separate utilities, services, and ample provision for parking spaces. Demand from small businesses for fitted office suites of 500 sqm or less remains strong, continuing the trend seen in Q1 2013, but Asteco also reports a number of concluded lettings for part-fitted offices in prime towers from tenants looking for HQ-style office space.

Local logistics coordination for infrastructure projects

Engineer Ali Bin Abdulatif Al Misnad, CEO of ABG, with experts at the seminar

Al Baida Group (ABG) recently held a seminar on Local Logistics Support and Interfaces Resolution in Infrastructure Projects in Qatar, which was attended by group of official government establishments (Q-Rail, Ashgal, Traffic Departments, Ministry of Trade and Commerce) as well as experts and representatives of local and international companies operating in Qatar. The

participants in the seminar discussed a number of issues related to the close interdependence between transport and logistics on the one hand, and the infrastructure sector on the other, presenting proposals and solutions to help streamline related projects in the State of Qatar. Engineer Ali Bin Abdulatif Al Misnad, CEO of ABG, emphasized the need to prepare well for

the coming period, with up to 32 major projects having been launched in Qatar, including building hundreds of kilometers of roads, which will be expanded to include five lanes, at a cost of $4.4 billion. In 2012 alone, ABG’s CEO went on to say, $4.2 billion worth of contracts were awarded, in addition to $11 billion contracts currently in the tender phase. In addition, preliminary works have begun on the railway project, with the project costs standing at approx. $35 billion. The wastewater project also covers more than 30 Kms of main wastewater pipes, and more than 70 Kms of tunnels and shafts. The value of this project’s tenders is in excess of $75 billion, and will be completed over eight years. Current forecasts indicate that the logistics sector will see strong growth, thanks to the state’s strategic location and the development of its infrastructure, as well as the growing industrial sector and the efficiency of airports, sea ports and materials handling and shipping stations in the country, which saw comprehensive restructuring in last few years, as well as high quality support networks for land transport.

bq | Infrastructure | In Context


Qatari investors eye Palm Jumeirah residences

Dubai-based developer Seven Tides is receiving increasing interest from Qatari investors for the phase one release of its exclusive Anantara Residences Dubai, situated on Palm Jumeirah, as the emirate welcomes an influx of summer visitors from the Gulf state. Marketed exclusively by Better Homes, the collection of 442 luxury apartments and 14 penthouses are fronted by a private stretch of white sand beach with all residences enjoying spectacular panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf, Atlantis hotel, Burj Al Arab and the Dubai Marina skyline. “We are not surprised by the level of interest shown by Qatari investors. The Dubai real

estate market is buoyant, apartment sales prices have grown by 27% year to date and by 12% in the first quarter of this year alone. Also it’s not only a convenient location for a second home, it can be bought-to-let or simply leased when vacant to earn rental income,” said Abdulla Bin Sulayem, CEO, Seven Tides. “Dubai is a popular destination for Qatari visitors. Airline schedules are good allowing easy accessibility, making Dubai a great ‘family and friends’ location.” A Dubai Chamber study, supported by statistics published by Business Monitor International, puts UAE tourism sector growth at 6.5% per annum between 2011-2021, with

visitors from the Gulf state and the Middle East region, a primary and source market. The significant growth of Qatari visitors is further supported by the results of a recent MasterCard survey, which reported that while Dubai is currently the seventh most popular tourist destination in the world, it is expected to beat New York or Paris in popularity by 2017 Better Homes also provides on-site support for prospective investors with a dedicated Arabic-speaking sales team on hand to conduct show-rounds and answer specific enquiries from Qatari investors keen to buy into a luxury Dubai lifestyle.

Red Sea Housing commences SAR 60 million labour camp Red Sea Housing Services Company, a provider of high-profile modular housing solutions, will begin construction of the first phase of a SAR 60 million industrial labour camp in Jazan Economic City (JEC) by Q1 2014 following the receipt of approval from the Economic Cities Authority (ECA). The construction of the 188,999 sqm labour camp is in line with Red Sea Housing’s 2020 growth strategy which includes strategically expanding the company’s business. The labour camp, which will be constructed in different phases to serve the various companies operating within JEC, is expected to have a maximum capacity of 10,000 residents and will be operational by the

second quarter of next year. Red Sea Housing also revealed that in addition to providing high quality housing units for senior staff, junior staff, and workers; occupants of the labour camp can enjoy a continuous supply of electricity and fresh water and an array of entertainment amenities, recreational facilities including swimming pools and play courts, laundry and catering services. “The new labour camp at JEC will be financed through Red Sea Housing’s internal cash flow, in addition to credit facility lines and bank loans that will be arranged locally,” said Mohammed Othman Mallawi, investor relations manager, Red Sea Housing Services Company.

The Jazan Economic City is ideally placed at the mouth of the Red Sea to service markets in Europe, Asia and East Africa as well as to receive raw materials from the surrounding countries that are currently not well served with processing and manufacturing facilities. JEC focuses on four areas: heavy industries, secondary industries, human capital and lifestyle. The city will provide an environment for key industries, technology exchanges, commerce and trade, employment opportunities, education and training, housing and a broad spectrum of socio-economic activities for a projected population of 300,000 people.

Arabtec Construction awards DSI AED 233 million MEP contract Drake & Scull International PJSC (DSI) was awarded by Arabtec Construction LLC an AED 233 million contract to execute the complete MEP works for the Fairmont Abu Dhabi Hotel and Serviced Apartments. DSI will mobilize on site immediately and is scheduled to complete all MEP works on the project by June 2015. The Fairmont Abu Dhabi Hotel and Apartments Towers are owned by the

National Investment Corporation (NIC), who awarded Arabtec a contract to carry out the main construction of the project in February 2013. This iconic development, located near Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, occupies an overall area of 155,000 square metres. The project will have an extensive water frontage and will be an integrated development of 5-star hotels and serviced apartments.


bq | Infrastructure | In Context

UAE property markets continue uphill rally through H1 2013

Masood Al Awar, CEO of Tasweek

The UAE’s real estate landscape – particularly those of Abu Dhabi and Dubai – continues to live up to the positive expectations expressed by industry players and observers at the start of the year. The latest detailed market intelligence report issued by Tasweek Real Estate Development and Marketing painted a bright property picture for both emirates marked by rising property sales, steady supply, and growing investor confidence. Abu Dhabi is expected to enter a coming decade of steady real estate growth and development. Focus is currently on Abu Dhabi Island projects such as Reem Island, Al Raha Beach, Saadiyat Island and Yas Island which are attracting significant investor interest. Recent turnovers such as the second batch of luxury Eastern Mangroves apartments indicate end-to-end market expansion.

Over the past six months of price fluctuations, prime properties within Al Raha Beach, Saadiyat Island and the Corniche area have witnessed rental growth of between 2 and 8 per cent for new leases. There has been a marked shift among residents towards more modern developments, contributing to lower rents in older areas by 5 per cent. This trend has been encouraging people commuting to Abu Dhabi from Dubai for work to relocate. Overall, lease rates across the capital are expected to steadily increase from the second half of the year to further energize the local markets. There are other factors that are expected to further drive local market growth: the allocation of AED 330 billion by the Abu Dhabi Government for various projects across multiple sectors, which has placed the emirate among the top investment destinations in the world; and the announcement that staff of companies owned by the Abu Dhabi Government have to relocate to the capital before September to retain their housing allowance. After being declared by Forbes as the second hottest property market in the world in 2012, Dubai once again proved its rebounding appeal among global real estate investors by posting its 16th consecutive monthly increase in property prices and rents in 2013. This indicates the local property market’s steady and sustained recovery. The value of property sales in Dubai rose 63

per cent for 2013, with an average of 32 transactions completed every hour. Demand grew from end to end, with luxury properties in even the most exclusive parts of the emirate posting strong sales. Dubai’s buyers and sellers engaged in a total of 14,260 transactions for the first half, collectively valued at AED 44 billion. Dubai is currently a profitable market due to its higher population growth rate and stronger investor pull. March 2013 property prices in the emirate climbed 18.3 per cent over the previous year, with Dubai ranking among the top five best performing real estate markets in the world. The Dubai Government has expressed full support in increasing global confidence for the local property market. Tasweek CEO Masood Al Awar notes the recent review of best experiences and international practices related to real estate mortgage loan regulations conducted by the Regulatory Development Unit of the UAE Central Bank as a critical market factor. He explains that proposed real estate financing ratios will impact the balance of supply and demand. He adds that enhanced services and job creation programs will help sustain the currently positive industry trends for the coming years and that this year remains on track to become a tipping point for an industry that has been displaying solid recovery since late 2012.

GCC glass industry set for unprecedented growth

The GCC glass industry is witnessing a period of unprecedented growth driven by a significant acceleration in new construction and infrastructure projects announced by regional governments. According to the UK-based Bowmedia Group’s market intelligence report on the global glass industry trends released recently, the construction of new high-rise buildings will continue to fuel the main demand for flat glass products from the GCC, while across the globe, glass demand has been chiefly led by manufacturing, automotive & transportation, and packaging industries. International demand for flat glass is forecast

to rise 7.1% per year through 2016 to reach 9.2 billion square metres, in a continuation of the trend seen over the past two decades. The global market value of fabricated flat glass is forecast to reach $90 billion in 2016, benefiting from the rapid growth of energyefficient products such as solar control panels, insulation and low-E glass. In the UAE, more than 1,300 construction projects valued approximately US$418 billion are currently under way, while Qatar has seen an exponential rise in infrastructure and construction projects in preparation for FIFA 2022. Across the GCC, another 300 projects worth US$143 billion are in the design,

planning or bidding states, according to Glass & Glazing Federation MENA. The MENA region is expected to spend approximately US$4.3 trillion on construction in the next 10 years, with Saudi Arabia allocating $750 billion towards infrastructure, transport, social reform and mass housing, as well as a further $500 billion in energy, logistics and education. The Middle East container glass sector has three major consuming markets: the beverage sector, which accounts for around 56% of total tonnage of glass packaging containers; the food sector, which makes up around 29%; and the perfumery, pharmaceuticals and technical product containers (flacconage) sector, which accounts for approximately 15% of total tonnage. In September 2013, some of the top leaders from the world glass industry along with GCC government officials will descend on Dubai to review the challenges facing the industry worldwide. The highprofile summit, called the 5th Gulf Glass 2013, will be make its debut at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre from 3 to 5 September and will feature the most recent advancements in glass equipment, machinery, technology and material.

bq |


bq | Finance | Islamic Microfinanc


Gaining Momentum Islamic microfinance may not be in demand in the GCC, but with over 300 institutions serving 1.6 million clients globally, its market size is estimated at $ 1 billion By Shereen D’Souza, Doha

Microfinance is possibly one of the most powerful tools for poverty eradication in the present day. It provides financial assistance to the poor and low-income segments of the society, thereby ensuring that a good majority of any society can be considered bankable. Sharia compliant finance has taken over the banking sector by storm, especially in the Middle East, and broadened the scope for investment by Muslims multi-fold. The global Islamic finance industry is sized over USD 1.35 trillion with a steep rise in the number of Islamic financial institutions, according to The Banker. Islamic microfinance seeks to bridge the gaps between the principles of Islamic banking and microfinance. This emerging market niche was in its infancy several years ago, but although it has picked up worldwide, giving financial investment and protection opportunities to the less fortunate members of the Muslim society, this region still suffers from a lack of patronage. Several institutions do support microfinance in general, but analysts argue that there are several obstacles to the growth of this industry. Islamic microfinance and conventional microfinance Islamic microfinance differs from conventional microfinance in certain ways, while sharing its principal economic and social aims. Islamic banking as a system of financial management is rooted in the sharia: Islamic canon law derived from the Quran: the Hadith (the collected pronouncements of the

Prophet Mohammed PBUH); and the Sunna (the Prophet Mohammed’s practices), as well as different schools of jurisprudence. The Islamic finance system is largely based on the principles of ‘adl’ (social justice) and ‘ihsan’ (benevolence) and microfinance acts as a catalyst to these.

Given that Silatech has a seed capital of USD 100 mn (provided by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir of Qatar), it is likely it will potentially fund Islamic microfinance initiatives In Islamic banking, interest (riba) is expressly proscribed. Other core proscriptions are gharar (deception or ignorance in transactions through nondisclosure); maisir (gambling and certain types of speculation); and investment in a range of banned activities or products. Islamic microfinance complies with these ethical provisions and cannot finance activities such as pig farms, microbreweries or bars. The unique features include qard-ul-hasan (an interest free

benevolent loan to the poor); zakat, the compulsory annual contribution to the poor; sadaqah (charitable donations); waqf (religious endowments); and al-rahnu (Islamic pawn broking). Islamic finance principles forbid conventional forms of interest, which are predetermined, and which the working partner (or the borrower) is liable to pay, regardless of the performance of the enterprise. The sharia requires that the lender does not get interest but shares in the risks and rewards of a venture. Riba was expressly proscribed to promote social cohesion and to curb the exploitation of the poor by money lenders. “Islamic financing modes circumvent this type of exploitation as the products used do not involve bank interest, although there are mark-ups charged on murabaha (cost-plus sale with deferred re-payment) or profit shared in mudaraba and musharaka (joint venture),” says Mohammed Kroessin, global microfinance advisor for Islamic Relief UK. In conventional microfinance products and services, interest can easily be avoided by creating microfinance hybrids distributed on the basis of the Islamic contracts of mudaraba (profit sharing), musharaka, and murabaha. In comparison to regular Islamic finance products, Islamic microfinance providers are relatively low. Around 1.28 million people world over use Islamic microfinance services, a four-fold increase since 2006, a CGAP report reveals. An estimated 72 providers in

bq | Finance | Islamic Microfinanc

the MENA region represent a mere 28 percent of the total number of providers, said the report. A majority of clients using Islamic microfinance services reside in Bangladesh, Sudan, Malaysia and Indonesia. Other countries with the highest number of active clients include Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, in that order. Most related surveys mention only the UAE, due to the recent Islamic microfinance forums and conferences held there, and Saudi Arabia in passing. The Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD), the poverty alleviation arm of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group in Saudi Arabia has set up a fund for this purpose with a principal target capital of USD 10 billion. They also recently committed USD 500 million to microfinance development through its Microfinance Support Program (MSP). It is also interesting to note that an IFC-commissioned market study revealed that in Yemen, around 40 percent of the poor demand Islamic microfinance, irrespective of the prices.

An estimated 72 providers in the MENA region represent a mere 28 percent of the total number of providers

Hindrances to growth With an estimated 650 million Muslims surviving on less than USD 2 per day (Obaidullah and Tariqullay 2008), there is an enormous scope for a major expansion of the Islamic microfinance industry. Finding suitable Islamic business models could be the key to providing financial access to these millions. However, there are various challenges this industry faces. Islamic banking has failed to tap the potential of Islamic microfinance. What is lacking is a


deeper base of market research and sustainable business models. Islamic institutions need to come up with unconventional ways to reduce costs and pull in customers with attractive pricing strategies. Although there may be large numbers in the un-bankable segment, they may however question the Islamic authenticity of the products being offered. According to the CGAP report, Islamic finance sometimes suffers from the perception that it is simply a “rebranding” of conventional finance and doesn’t truly reflect the principles of Islam. Greater efforts need to be made to increase collaboration between financial experts and sharia experts on product authenticity. There is also a lack of awareness among the low-income groups. Efforts should be made to educate them on the existence of these products and their compliance with the sharia laws. According to Dr Saleh Malaikah, CEO of Salamah Takaful of the UAE, a major problem is that Muslim countries “lack the regulations and legislative frameworks that emanate from our own requirements.” Islamic microfinance remains underdeveloped as a distinct asset class. One of the main concerns is that many initiatives are dependent on aid, raising questions about their sustainability in the long term. To address this, Islamic microfinance institutions in general need to diversify their portfolio of products, including savings, money transfer and insurance. Some Islamic microfinance models already encourage savings, starting at USD 5 per month, reveals a report from the Economist Intelligence Unit. “Islamic microfinance is rapidly gaining acceptance in Muslim and non-Muslim countries due to its remarkable performance in poverty eradication; because of which, this industry is making quick progress. According to our careful estimate Islamic microfinance market’s worth has reached USD 1 billion,” explained Muhammad Zubair Mughal, CEO of AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics (CIBE), while addressing the International Islamic Finance conference organized in Abu Dhabi, UAE in April this year. He added that currently more than 300 Islamic microfinance institutions are offering their services to 1.6 million clients in almost 32 countries. “Due to Islamic microfinance’s significant role in reducing poverty, international donor institutions and multilateral organizations have clearly explained their policies in different countries to further strengthen Islamic microfinance, which will ensure the quick advancement of Islamic microfinance in near future. If we look at the last 10 years of this industry, it can be observed that with the passage of time Islamic banking, sukuk, takaful and Islamic fund have progressed quickly. In the next three years Islamic microfinance will progress more quickly as compared to other Islamic financial products.” Qatar at a glance A majority of Qatar’s population includes low and middle-income

migrant workers. There is no domestic market for Islamic microfinance yet. Qataris have access to local conventional financing and Muslim workers from the low-income segment are tied to their employers and hence would not be able to start their own businesses. The report from the Economist Intelligence Unit discloses that the Qatari government provides substantial grants to show solidarity and support its mediation initiatives in countries like Yemen, Sudan and some Palestinian territories. The report also mentioned that although Qatar provides a substantial amount of relief and development aid, both on a government basis and through a network of quasi-state and independent charities, there is little evidence of giving specifically to microfinance charities. Silatech, a non-profit social enterprise, focused on supporting job creation for young Arabs in one of its first ventures in June 2009. It partnered with the Al-Amal Microfinance Bank in Yemen to develop a micro-credit fund for young entrepreneurs aged between 18-30 years. Silatech also partnered with the Syrian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to create a fund for young Syrian budding entrepreneurs. Given that Silatech has a seed capital of USD 100 mn (provided by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir of Qatar), it is likely it will potentially fund Islamic microfinance initiatives. The Qatar Authority for Charitable Activities regulates and co-ordinates the activities of charities and a number of its members have international mandates which suit Islamic microfinance. The Islamic Daawa Organisation’s focus includes economic development, as do two endowments - the Jassim Bin Jabr Organisation and the Eid Charity. The two Islamic banks in Qatar, Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank, both have extensive international operations in countries where Islamic microfinance products already exist or might be developed.

Islamic finance sometimes suffers from the perception that it is simply a “rebranding” of conventional finance and doesn’t truly reflect the principles of Islam The EIU report reveals that several banks in Qatar have international networks developed to provide financial services for expatriate workers from countries such as India, Pakistan, Indonesia and the Philippines, which may attract them to Islamic microfinance in these countries either though the corporate zakat fund or on a commercial basis. Lead image photography: Bosco Menezes


bq | Finance | Remittances


The Upside of Downturn This year migrant workers in the GCC will send some $50 billion to their families back home, with Qatar possibly ranking second after Saudi Arabia By Rohan Soman, Doha Foreign exchange operators in Qatar believe that remittances by expatriates overseas might have crossed a staggering QR50 billion (13.73 billion dollars) in 2012. The projection, sources argue, is based on three factors: the rising population of foreign workers in the country who are coming in, in large numbers to mainly fill up jobs in the booming construction sector; the slide of the Indian rupee in recent weeks; and increasing salaries amidst Qatar’s fast-multiplying wealth. Qatar Central Bank, the banking regulator that, obviously, also oversees foreign exchange companies, has yet to release remittance figures for 2012. But money transfer figures for the previous year (2011) show remittance volumes grew by an enormous 27 percent over 2010 totalling a massive QR47.5 billion (13 billion dollars). India was the destination that attracted the largest chunk of the 2011 remittances, followed by the Philippines whose economy is largely dependent on money transfers by its nationals based abroad. The US ranked third,

and although its citizens are much less in number as compared to Indians or Filipinos, their average repatriable income is much higher. Egypt also has a large number of its citizens based here and it ranked fourth in terms of attracting expatriate remittances from Qatar. According to those familiar with the remittance business, transfer volumes to Egypt might have dropped in 2012 since the parallel (black) remittance market has been quite active due to the falling value of the Egyptian pound versus the US dollar on account of the country’s worsening economic difficulties post-2011 revolution and yawning current account deficit. Sources say that low-income workers from some Arab countries such as Egypt and Sudan (whose currency has also taken a beating after the South’s cessation) have always depended on foreign exchange black marketers here since their income is low and the black marketers offer attractive rates. But, of late, expatriates in middle and

upper-income levels have also begun relying on these shady exchange operators due to the higher rates they offer in their local currencies for the dollar. Sources say runaway workers and those with invalid residency papers, even from countries like India, have long been depending on unofficial remittance channels for the simple reason that one needs the Qatar identity card to transfer money overseas officially. Juma Al Madadi, a Qatari, from Al Dar Exchange, told a local daily early this year (2013) that he had been hearing “more of such shady operations” recently. “Such money transfers have a disastrous impact on our national economy because the money isn’t accounted for in the gross domestic product (GDP),” Al Madadi said. True. The parallel remittance market is a disastrous route, and what’s most alarming about it are the growing doubts that the volumes of money transferred this way might be increasing mainly because a rising number of Arab expatriates preferring the shady

bq | Finance | Remittances

Sources in the remittance industry believe that with Qatar having breached the crucial 10 billion dollar-mark in terms of remittance outflows in 2011, it should now be ranking second after Saudi Arabia, the country with the largest population and economy in the region Sources say that for the GCC countries as a whole, money transfers by Asian and Arab expatriates using unofficial channels is nothing new. Asian expatriates, in particular, who dominate the regional foreign workforce by dint of their sheer numbers, made the system popular decades ago. The Indian rupee was Qatar’s official currency until about 50 years ago. And even after the rupee ceased to be in circulation, most Indians in Qatar and other GCC states kept sending money home through unofficial channels. “I would say that the trend continued until 15 to 17 years ago,” said a source familiar with the money transfer business. Called ‘hawala’ (loosely meaning transfer in Hindi-Urdu) the system was used all over the Gulf by Indian expatriates until the early 1990s. The system thrived because ‘hawala’ operators would offer at least 15 to 20 percent more in parallel exchange rate for the Indian rupee and the money was to be hand-delivered or remitted home. India, after extensive reforms, made the rupee partially convertible and took other steps to curb the black market of the dollar home, making ‘hawala’ redundant and of little benefit. According to a recent media report, from the GCC states that have large expatriate populations, some 50 billion dollars are remitted by expatriate workers overseas every year. That makes the region the second largest in the world after the US from where the outflow is more. The UAE has been ranking second after Saudi Arabia from where

more than 25 billion dollars are remitted every single year in recent times. Latest figures are not available but sources in the remittance industry believe that with Qatar having breached the crucial 10 billion dollar-mark in terms of remittance outflows in 2011, it should now be ranking second after Saudi Arabia, the country with the largest population and economy in the region. In Qatar at least, the recent slide in the value of the Indian rupee literally led to a money transfer spree, foreign exchange operators said. “Indians have been sending large sums home,” announced an exchange company in a press statement issued recently. The rupee plummeted to record lows to the Qatari riyal recently, touching an all-time low of 16.55, down eight percent this year. In the last 12 to 13 years the rupee has weakened almost 35 to 40 against the dollar to which the Qatari riyal is pegged. The slide, according to Indian bankers in Doha, is mainly caused by India’s worsening current account deficit. The deficit has been yawning due to India’s heavy oil and gold import bills. New Delhi has, therefore, recently imposed restrictions on gold import. Oil imports, on the other hand, continue to rise as it is needed to maintain the pace of economic growth. Gold, according to an Indian banker here, is of little value in economic terms but so crazy Indians are about the yellow metal and its jewellery that they are the largest country in the world in terms of its import and use. Another reason that led to the weakening of the rupee was large-scale withdrawal of the dollar funds shark foreign investors had parked in India as its “emerging” economy promised higher returns amidst economic difficulties in Europe and the US. The investors, buoyed by the economic recovery in the US, are now taking their cash back literally in sacks. “With the dollar flowing out so fast, pressure is, naturally, building on the rupee,” an Indian banker said. While a falling rupee is good news for many Indians in Qatar and the region as a whole, as elsewhere in the world except their home country, critics in the community say there is

need for alarm as it doesn’t bode well for the Indian economy. “Inflation is bound to go up (in India) so you must keep sending more and more for family expenses as well as for investment, to offset that,” said the banker. India is the largest recipient of remittances sent by its nationals based overseas, so bankers say considering their large presence in Qatar, it is not surprising that they top the list of expatriates transferring money home. “But Indians are also quite investment-savvy, so if you offer them good saving avenues locally, they will retain some of their surplus income here,” said the banker. This, according to Qatar’s banking industry, applies to all expatriate communities. “We need attractive investment avenues in Qatar and the other GCC states to contain overseas remittances over the long-term,” said another source from the banking industry.

Stock trading is partly open to foreigners but then, most expatriates shun investment in shares due to the risks involved Stock trading is partly open to foreigners but then, most expatriates shun investment in shares due to the risks involved. Bank rates are low and incomparable to those in Asian nations that send large numbers of workers here, argues the source. But there are others who say that since a vast majority of expatriates in Qatar and the rest of the region are low and middle-income workers, opening investment avenues for them is pointless. The GCC economies can handle high remittance outflows as many of them have large surpluses that they invest long-term through their sovereign wealth funds. “So they don’t need to worry about the remittance outflows,” said a banking sector source.

Photography: Bosco Menezes

mode due to the currency advantage and runaway workers from all over relying on it. Sources, however, add that although the shady transfers may be growing they shouldn’t in any case account for more than a percent of the overall remittance volumes annually. “Of course, even a penny sent abroad through an unofficial channel is unwanted, but the small volumes shouldn’t be alarming,” a source told bq.


Expatriates queuing outside a foreign exchange company in Doha to remit money home


bq | Cover Story | Gold


All That Glitters

The precious yellow metal continues to draw interest from investors spooked by stocks and geopolitical uncertainty despite the recent drop in rates. Should you jump in and snap up some bullion? By Rohan Soman, Doha On a recent Friday evening at Qatar’s crowded old gold souq, behind the bus terminal in Doha’s Old Ghanem locality, groups of low-income South Asian workers looked curiously into the jewellery shops, hesitating before stepping in. Some of them carried newly-bought luggage carriers - briefcases and bags - a sign they would soon be home-bound on a long summer vacation.

In a jewellery shop on the main road in the souq, a few Asians were busy looking at gold ornaments, rings and chains in awe as they glinted in a rare patch of light that beat down from a chandelier that hung from the ceiling. “Low-income South Asian workers are our largest customers and they come to us round-the-year. They are our all-weather patrons,” confided its owner, also a South Asian who seemed to be in a hurry to end the

conversation and get back to work. “This is peak hour and you have come at the wrong time,” he added slightly irritated. Low-income South Asians are indeed the largest buyers of plain 22-carat gold chains that are mostly made in Doha, and of light Indian jewellery that carries relatively modest ‘making’ charges than other ornaments. Qataris and Arabs prefer the heavier, traditional jewellery that is expensive due to

bq | Cover Story l Gold

its sheer weight. South Asians, according to market sources, are also the largest buyers of pure (24-carat) and 22-carat gold bars and coins. Nepalese workers, whose numbers have recently been going down here, are large buyers of 22-carat gold coins of smaller denominations - five, 10, 20 and 31.1 grams (an ounce) while Indians and Pakistanis prefer pure gold bars that also come in smaller denominations. While the standard 24-carat gold bar of 116.64 grams, currently priced at roughly QR17,500 (4,805 US dollars), is a hot favourite with Indians and Pakistanis, Filipinos largely prefer 18-carat chains and sleek jewellery. Ahmed, an Arab jewellery store salesman, said his regular interaction with customers suggested that Indians and Pakistanis mostly carried gold bars home to make jewellery for marriages in their families. “I think very few of them may be keeping those bars as a long-term investment,” he said. On the other hand, Nepalese and Filipino expatriates, according to him, largely tend to sell or pawn the gold and jewellery when they are home on vacation.


Bullion traders, agreeing with the suggestion, said South Asian expatriates in upper-middle income brackets do buy 116.64 gram bars for investment. “When gold prices surged to record highs in 2011 a lot of people who had bought the bars at lower prices earlier offloaded them and made huge profits,” said a bullion operator.

Gold, though it has no value except that it finds use in jewellery, is traditionally treated as a hedge against inflation According to research by bq, gold prices peaked globally at an all-time high of $1,895 (QR6,900) per ounce on September 6, 2011. “Obviously, we got a lot of sellers then. People who had bought gold at cheaper rates literally made a killing,” said a bullion trader. Jewellers confirmed there indeed was a rise in the number of people who came by to sell

ornaments. “But that was a negligible rise because not many people like to part with gold jewellery irrespective of gold price fluctuations,” said Sampat, an Indian jewellery store salesman. Gold prices tumbled around the turn of the last decade so much so that a gram of pure gold was available in the local market for QR33 - nearly five times less than its current rate of QR150 (as on July 12, 2013). “There was a surge in gold sales then,” said the bullion trader. He also added that a unique thing about the Doha market was that the demand for gold and jewellery went up even when the rates were high. “Demand soars when prices are suddenly down, but people do buy even when prices suddenly surge to record highs.” Citing an example, he said the demand for the 116.64-gram gold bar, that mostly come from Switzerland, was so feverish after its rate fell to around QR17,000 during June-end and beginning of July 2013 that the hundreds of bars a shop would procure in a day would literally vanish in an hour. An official from an exchange house that also deals in bullion said


Photography: Bosco Menezes

they had been buying the bars almost daily. Asked why they didn’t procure huge stocks in one go, he quipped, “You must set aside millions of dollars for that.” Margins on the bars, he said, were low, something like a 100 riyals per piece. “There are no making charges levied on the standard 116.64-gram bars while the bars of smaller weight do carry a small premium.”

bq | Cover Story | Gold

relatively new entrant into the market. Bullion traders say exact figures of gold sales by individuals can only be provided by the Capital Police as they have a section that gives people formal permission for sale. Gold bars, coins and jewellery cannot be sold by individuals or families back to the shops unless written permission from the police is sought. “That makes the market for both,

jewellery. “That’s the reason we are not selling. The little margins that we were getting on account of making charges have gone due to the customs duty,” claimed the source. A five percent customs levy was applied to all jewellery that was imported but the 22-carat coins used to be spared. “Not anymore.” Gold bars of 24-carat, or pure gold, are also exempt from customs duty, and so are locally

ornaments and gold, here less active but then it also controls crime as there hardly are any instances of stolen gold or jewellery being sold,” said a bullion salesman.

produced chains and jewellery. And while the demand for chains is very high due to them being a hot favourite of low-income Asian workers, locally-made jewellery is also catching up in demand, say market sources. According to jewellers, due to Qatar’s exploding population and rising income of people, jewellery stores here have multiplied almost 10-fold. “I came here in 1980 when there were some 10 jewellery shops all over Doha. Now there may be more than a hundred. There is fierce competition,” said a jeweller. Bullion traders complain that while they quote the exact rate of pure gold based on its global prices on a given day, some jewellery stores here quote higher rates, no less than 5 to 8 riyals per gram. According to Nisar Aslam, a prominent Pakistani jeweller in the souq, one easy way to calculate the rates of 22, 21 and 18-carat gold is to divide the price of 24-carat gold in dollars per gram by 0.920, 0.880 and 0.750, respectively. If the gold rate is 1,236 dollars per ounce (31.1 grams), for instance, a gram will cost QR144.73. So based on the above calculation, 22-carat gold per gram should cost QR133.15; 21 carat, QR127.36 while 18-carat gold should be sold for QR108.55 a gram. “Calculate the rates this way and tell the jeweller you know the rules of the game well,” said the jeweller.

Storefront of a jewellery store at the Gold Souq in Doha

bq research shows gold has been one of the strongest performing investments this decade (over the last 10 years until the start of 2013). Gold prices have risen almost five times since 2000, promising a return of 14 percent annually over the past decade. Contrast this to a two percent return on S and P 500 stocks in the period, and seven percent on the 10-year US Treasury Bonds. Shark global investors, including the cash-rich hedge and pension funds, were attracted to the yellow metal in a big way in the period as that was considered a safe haven amidst the tumbling value of paper assets in the wake of the dual sovereign crises in the US and Europe. It is interesting to note that investors didn’t pay much attention to the precious metal even after the world financial crisis raised its head in 2008 fuelled by banking irregularities in the west. The impact on gold was felt two years later, in 2010, when the crisis worsened, and there was suddenly a 28 percent spurt in its rates. “Always remember that gold, though it has no value except that it finds use in jewellery, is traditionally treated as a hedge against inflation,” said a *banker. In Qatar, the spiralling gold prices in 2011 didn’t bother the buyers of both the precious metal and its jewellery. “There was rather a buying spree,” said a *Pakistani jeweller. The psychology of gold and jewellery buyers here is that they, naturally, buy when the prices go down. And, they buy even when the rates are steep in expectation of the prices rising, he added. As for bullion trade, there are three main operators in Doha - Al Fardan Exchange, Gulf Exchange and Doha Bank - the latter being a

Bullion traders complain that while they quote the exact rate of pure gold based on its global prices on a given day, some jewellery stores here quote higher rates, no less than 5 to 8 riyals per gram More recently, buyers have been complaining that 22-carat gold coins have disappeared from the market in Doha. “I think because gold rates are so low the shops don’t want to sell the coins; they have hidden them,” contended an expatriate who said he had been to some outlets, including some jewellery stores but in vain. Sounds plausible as the outlets might have bought stocks when gold prices were high, so they wouldn’t sell and suffer losses. They would rather wait for the prices to rebound. But, according to a reliable market source, such misgivings among buyers are without a basis. He said the government here has recently begun levying a five percent customs duty on 22-carat coins as is the case with all imported

*Names have been changed or not mentioned to protect the identity of the people. Lead image photography: Bosco Menezes

bq | Finance l In Context


Tapering of quantitative easing may hurt global growth A tapering of Quantitative Easing (QE) by the US Federal Reserve (the Fed) may hurt global growth, according to QNB Group. While the evidence is mixed on how much support QE provides to the US economy, the Fed’s announcement on 19 June of its intention to start tapering QE later this year has produced a strong negative reaction in global financial markets with 10-yrs US bond yields jumping 40 bps following the announcement. On June 26, US real GDP growth for the first quarter of 2013 was revised down from 2.4% to 1.8%. QNB Group forecasts the remainder of 2013 to be even weaker, with overall US real GDP growth to be in the range of 1%-1.5%. Under these conditions, QE tapering would inevitably result in an additional drag on economic growth through higher interest rates and lower investment. This may hurt global growth prospects as long-term interest rates rise globally over the coming months to adjust to this new post-QE world. The Fed’s purchase of long-term assets started soon after the onset of the great recession brought about by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008. The goal of this unconventional monetary policy has been to reduce long-term interest rates in order to stimulate economic growth. More recently, the Fed has become even more specific in its QE by purchasing each month US$45 billion of long-term US government bonds and US$40 billion of mortgagedbacked securities. According to Fed statements, this policy will continue until unemployment falls below 6.5% and provided inflation remains below the Fed target rate of 2%. It was therefore surprising that the Fed hinted at a tapering of the purchase of long-term securities later this year, based on its own rather optimistic projections for the US economy. The evidence on the QE impact on the US economy is mixed. While QE has undoubtedly contributed to the US recovery and a reduction of the unemployment rate from its peak of 10% in October 2009, it has also resulted in a rapid surge in share prices that many commentators believe are not justified by underlying fundamentals (see figure). Part

of the problem with QE is that it injects liquidity indiscriminately into financial markets. Whether that liquidity is then used to finance higher economic activity or purchase financial assets crucially depends

Fed officials rushed in recent days to backtrack on the Fed’s announcement on 19 June and to reassure markets that QE tapering would only start once there is additional evidence of a strong recovery. The

on financial intermediaries, including commercial banks. So far, it seems financial intermediaries have favoured financial assets (divorcing them from their fundamentals) at the expense of increased lending to the private sector. QE tapering could bring this behavior to an abrupt end. There is, however, a more worrisome aspect of QE tapering that could negatively impact US economic growth going forward. The exceptionally-low interest rate environment brought about by QE has unleashed a recovery in the economy mainly driven by the wealth effect of higher asset prices (both shares and home prices). If QE tapering results in a significant rise in long-term interest rates as it has been the case in the last few weeks, this wealth effect could be reversed, leading to lower consumer confidence and a reversal of the US recovery seen so far. This may explain why a number of

downward revision in the first quarter real GDP growth reduced expectations of a strong US recovery and thus partly calmed market fears about QE tapering. What happens in the US has, of course, immediate spillover effects on the rest of the global economy. Not surprisingly, the jump in US long-term interest rates was mirrored throughout global bond markets. As a result, concerns about the negative impact of higher interest rates on global economic growth also led to further capital flight from emerging markets, an appreciation of the US dollar, and lower commodity prices. What was surprising was the fact that worse-than-expected news on the US real GDP growth ended up calming financial markets as it implied a delay in the Fed’s QE tapering. According to QNB Group, these developments may hurt global growth going forward and bring about additional volatility in global financial markets.

DGCX H1 volumes up 101% year-on-year Trading volumes on the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange (DGCX) in the first half of 2013 registered a substantial year-onyear growth of 101%, reaching 7,716,340 contracts valued at US$ 268.85 billion. The significant increase was led by currency volumes, which were up 112% from H1 2012. First half currency volumes were driven mainly by the consistent growth of Indian Rupee futures. The contract registered a strong performance, jumping 95% from the same period last year to aggregate a value of

US$ 242.5 billion. Euro futures also saw considerable growth of 280%. Meanwhile, June monthly volumes on the Exchange registered a year-on-year growth of 79% to reach a record-breaking 1,593,150 contracts. Volumes represented a value of USD 43.77 billion. One of the key highlights of the month was the exceptional growth momentum shown by the recently launched mini-Indian Rupee futures contract, which saw a 140% increase from May, with 369,725 contracts traded. The regular Indian Rupee

futures contract maintained its strong performance with 1,172,476 contracts in June, up 47% year-on-year. The contract recorded its highest ever daily volume of 101,408 contracts on 20 June. “In the first half, DGCX also introduced new asset classes in its product line-up with exciting contracts like Copper futures and SENSEX futures. All these initiatives are central to our efforts to support our members in optimizing their trading strategies and maximising profits,” said Gary Anderson, CEO of DGCX.


bq | Finance l In Context

Qatar strengthens bid to become Gulf region’s finance hub

Qatar is bidding to become the Gulf region’s financial hub, introducing a new regulatory framework for financial institutions and other initiatives to facilitate growth in the banking sector. The MEED Qatar Banking Summit 2013, backed by Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Financial Market Authority and Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority, will gather over 100 senior decision-makers from leading domestic and international lenders, insurance and financial institutions to discuss the roadmap for achieving its goal of becoming a financial powerhouse in the region. More importantly, those attending the summit will for the first time be able to discuss the ramifications of new rules introduced by the Central Bank recently, aimed at regulating the anticipated borrowing spree required to fund Qatar’s massive infrastructure spending requirements. By putting a cap on banks

security portfolios to 25% of their capital and reserves, the Central Bank hopes to avoid the mistakes of the global financial crisis which was largely precipitated by the massive debt exposure of banks. HE Abdulla Bin Saoud Al-Thani, governor, QCB will deliver the keynote address at the Summit in which he will discuss the new regulatory framework for local banks as well as international banks looking to set up offices in Qatar. This will then be supported by presentations from the QFMA and the QFCRA to deliver a comprehensive overview of the latest changes and initiatives in key areas of Qatar’s banking, finance and insurance sectors. “Among these include the development of Qatar’s capital and equity markets to attract global and regional fund managers and investors. The Middle East has long been considered mostly as a source of funds, with

some of the world’s biggest sovereign wealth funds; however, the region has recently emerged as a source of deals, and this is where Qatar hopes to create a powerful presence,” said Edmund O’ Sullivan, chairman, MEED Events, organisers of the summit which will take place 9-11 September, 2013 at the Renaissance Doha City Centre Hotel. Qatar has also announced plans to invest in listed securities in emerging markets through Aventicum Capital Management, a joint venture it established last year with Credit Suisse, once its licence is obtained. This is in addition to the $250 million partnership Qatar signed with Barclays Natural Resource Investments, which will look after opportunities related to private equity investments in the natural resources sector. Experts also foresee Qatar developing infrastructure funds and bonds which could be listed and traded in support of the country’s massive projects outlay as it enters the next phase of its preparations for the FIFA 2022 World Cup. The MEED Qatar Banking Summit’s comprehensive agenda will also help delegates understand the implications of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) sanctions as well as anti-money laundering best practices to ensure full compliance to global and regional regulatory frameworks of the banking and finance industry. For more information on how to be a part of the Qatar Banking Summit, visit www.

Sibos 2013 in Dubai announced More than 7,000 decision-makers and topic experts from the industry’s leading financial institutions, market infrastructures, regulatory authorities, multinational corporations and technology partners will come together in Dubai from 16-19 September to take part in SWIFT’s annual event, Sibos, the world’s largest financial conference and exhibition. Sibos is credited for being the place where the future of the financial industry is collaboratively and collectively shaped. For four days, the industry’s leading executives

and technology providers from all over the globe will converge on the city to debate and discuss key industry topics as well as network with peers. The conference programme is focused on three main themes throughout the four-day event that will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Regulation: challenges of implementation and identifying new opportunities; operational excellence: improving efficiency through innovation and collaboration; and worldwide shifts: changing global dynamics and regional trends.

With sessions looking across these themes, the four-day conference will host plenaries and big issue debates, have five forums – Corporate, Standards, Compliance, Technology and Market Infrastructures – as well as a dedicated Middle East & Africa day. Sessions featuring Middle East speakers and themes include panel discussions on Islamic Finance, the role of financial centres in the Middle East, financial inclusion, regulations, trade corridors and the trends in Middle East transaction banking. For more information, visit

Al Khaliji launches business account debit card Al Khaliji Commercial Bank (al khaliji) QSC announced the launch of its Business Account Debit Card for businesses of all sizes which provides the ability to withdraw cash, deposit cash and cheques 24/7 at Al Khaliji ATMs, and make purchases online or at a POS quickly and securely on behalf of the company. Al Khaliji’s Business Account Debit card can be used by businesses of any size from sole traders to multinationals, and with multiple

cards available for each account, employees can make purchases without the need for expense claims, and are no longer restricted by branch opening hours. For more information on the Business Account Debit Card call +974 4494 0000 or visit

bq | Finance l In Context


Iraq’s banking sector to maintain positive growth trajectory The Iraqi banking sector is set for significant earnings and asset growth over the next decade driven by a strong macro environment, increasing credit penetration and the improving security situation in the country, according to a new report on Iraq’s banking sector released by Sansar Capital Management LLC. With the International Monetary Fund forecasting Iraq’s GDP to grow at a rate of 9 percent in 2013, the banking sector in particular is expected to maintain steady growth over the next few years. The Sansar Capital report points out that penetration, these five banks saw their some banks approaching 60% rising credit penetration is also expected to aggregate net income grow by 207 percent underlying ROEs. further fuel banking sector growth. The between 2010 and 2012. Dilution driven by The Iraqi Middle East Investment Bank, the report cites a World Bank study which shows increases in equity capital resulted in third largest publicly traded bank in terms of that Iraqi domestic credit to GDP stood at a earnings-per-share growth to be lower but deposits, in particular performed well in the mere 9 percent of GDP at the end of 2011 as still impressive with aggregate EPS growth of past few years, having been able to attract compared to a 55 percent of GDP average for 111 percent from 2010 to 2012. large sums of quality deposits at very low the Middle East and North Africa region. The report explores an odd idiosyncrasy in interest rates. In 2012, Iraqi Middle East Domestic credit to GDP grew at a clip of 89 the Iraqi markets where banks with highest Investment Bank had the highest return-onpercent CAGR between 2009 and 2011. return-on-equity (ROE) and growth profiles equity and the highest operating profits Moreover, according to Central Bank of Iraq trade at the lowest valuation multiples. growth among the large Iraqi banks. Since data, cash credit, such as loans and overdraft Sansar believes this is an example of market 2009, the bank has grown profit before taxes facilities, have grown at an impressive CAGR inefficiency which provides opportunity for by 330 percent, a CAGR of 63 percent. The of 50 percent from 2006 to 2011. those paying attention. The report also report adds the growth in Iraq’s banking The detailed report analyses the Iraqi private closely examines the reported financial sector earnings and GDP – which IEA banking sector through the perspective of statements of the Iraqi banks and forecasts will grow 151 per cent between 2011 five of the country’s largest private banks by demonstrates that adjusted underlying and 2020 driven by the country’s increasing deposit. The report reveals that buoyed by profitability and ROE for the banks oil revenues, go hand-in-hand with the strong economic growth and rising credit significantly exceeds reported numbers with improving security situation in the country.

Photography: Bosco Menezes

QIB H1profit reached QR 630 million

Qatar Islamic Bank’s total assets now stand at QR 74 billion having increased by 17.2% compared to second quarter 2012. Financing activities have strongly rebounded in the second quarter to reach QR 41.4 billion having grown 9% compared to March 2013 and 15.6% growth compared to June 2012. Customer deposits of the bank have moved up to QR 46.3 billion registering a strong growth of 14.1% compared to March 2013 and 38.3% compared to June 2012 allowing the bank to effectively fund its asset growth. Net profit attributable to the shareholders of the

bank was QR 339 million for the second quarter of 2013 representing a growth of 16.4% over the first quarter of 2013 but 2.9% below second quarter 2012. Total income for the first half has reached QR 1.49 billion derived by strong growth in investment income which was offset by lower financing income and fees due to margin compression. Strong cost control established across the bank has ensured only 1% increase in the first half operating costs comprising of staff costs, deprecation and other expenses. Total shareholders’ equity of the bank reached QR

11.2 billion by the end of the second quarter 2013, helping it to maintain its healthy capital adequacy ratios. During the second quarter of 2013 Fitch has affirmed the bank’s long term issuer default rating (IDR) of ‘A’ with a stable outlook. Similarly Standard & Poor’s rating services have also maintained QIB’s counterparty credit rating at ‘A-’ with a stable outlook which reflects the strong position in Qatar’s rapidly expanding Islamic banking market, favourable operating environment and strong capitalization.


bq | Energy l Norwegian Shelf


Drilling Deeper With the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate's estimate of total undiscovered resources 410 million scm oe higher, oil optimism is returning to Norway By Tina Isanti, Ljubljana

The past six months have been busy for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). There has been high exploration activity and many new discoveries on the Norwegian Shelf. The most promising wells were drilled in the Johan Sverdrup field where the new rig tendered by Statoil is raising temperatures among the biggest rig-players. The NPD’s estimate of total undiscovered resources is 410 million scm oe (standard cubic metre oil equivalents) higher than two years ago. Optimism is back on the Norwegian shelf. By the end of June, 28 exploration wells would have been spudded on the Norwegian shelf. Of these, 19 were wildcat wells and nine

were appraisal wells. Exploration activity has been greatest in the North Sea, where six new discoveries have been made and additional two in the Norwegian Sea. So far no new discoveries have been made in the Barents Sea this year. Apart from a few exceptions, all were minor discoveries. “So far this year, the discovery rate has been somewhat below average, but a number of interesting wells remain”, director general Bente Nyland told Upstream the end of June. The NPD’s prognosis for 2013 is about 50 spudded exploration wells. Oil production during the first five months of the year, i.e. from 1 January to 31 May, totalled 35.4 million

Sm3. This corresponds to an average daily production of 1,474,000 bbls, 1.2 percent below the NPD’s forecast for this period. In the same period, a total of 46.8 billion Sm3 of gas and 9 million Sm3 of NGL (natural gas liquids) and condensate was produced. The first six months of the year have seen technical difficulties on multiple fields. Production on the Snøhvit field in the Barents Sea was shut down for three months due to repairs, while the Valhall field in the North Sea has required a six-month shutdown. Johan Sverdrup field most promising Mid-July this year, Lundin Norway AS completed drilling of appraisal well at the

bq | Energy l Norwegian Shelf

eastern flank of the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea, finding a 37.5-foot oil column. The reservoir sequence is entirely of late Jurassic age and consists of reservoir sandstone of excellent quality with a high net to gross ratio, and is resting directly on granitic basement, Lundin reports. “We are very pleased with the latest Johan Sverdrup appraisal well which encountered a good quality reservoir section above and below the Oil Water Contact. The lower OWC encountered and the thicker Draupne sandstone reservoir are both positive results,” Lundin CEO Ashley Heppenstall commented in a company statement. Lundin Norway is the operator of production license 501, where the Johan Sverdrup discovery is located, with a


Norway - Acergy Piper legger Langeled ved Sleipner Ă˜st-feltet- Photo Kim Laland - Statoil

Johan Sverdrup field. This is important input for the further planning of the field development,” said Øivind Reinertsen, senior vice president for Johan Sverdrup field development.

The contract – estimated to be awarded for two to eight years is expected in November. The Johan Sverdrup jack-up is estimated to cost about $650 million and is likely to take about 36 months to construct

40 percent interest. Statoil holds 40 percent and Maersk Oil Norway 20 percent. In June, Statoil drilled an important appraisal well in the western part of the Johan Sverdrup field. The well drilled by the Ocean Vanguard rig consisted of a main wellbore and a sidetrack. The main wellbore found a gross 82m oil column in Jurassic sandstones and demonstrated test production of almost 6,000 barrels per day and exceptional flow properties in the upper part of the reservoir, Statoil reports. “Well results confirm the extent of the reservoir along the western margin of the field and excellent reservoir characteristics we have seen elsewhere in the

Three contenders for Johan Sverdrup rig job A long-term development drilling contract for Statoil’s Johan Sverdrup field is valued at up to $1.2 billion and multiple rig players are competing for a charter deal on a newbuild giant jack-up, tendered by Statoil. The heat seems to be centred on three drilling contractors - Maersk Drilling, Seadrill and Transocean. The three of them are pitching the new GustoMSC CJ70 drilling units against the Category J design units already contracted from Noble Drilling and KCA Deutag. Maersk has picked South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering for the construction of two further XL Enhanced (XL) newbuilds, while Seadrill is said to cooperate with Singapore-based Jurong Shipyard for the Johan Sverdrup job, a continuation of the two companies’ CJ70 programme. Transocean turned to South Korea Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries, as well as Singapore-based Keppel Fels for a CJ70 unit, expected to be built to similar leg designs as Statoil’s Cat J units, Upstream reports. Bids for the Johan Sverdrup drilling contracts are due in late July, with the contract – estimated to be awarded for two to eight years - expected in November. The Johan Sverdrup jack-up is estimated to cost about $650 million and is likely to take about 36

months to construct. Production start-up is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2018, with the estimated field life projected to last through 2050. Optimism returning to Norwegian shelf The 2013 resource report by NPD estimates that 935 to 5,420 million scm oe remain to be discovered on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), with an expected value of 2,980 million scm oe. This estimate embraces the whole NCS with the exception of the new area in Barents Sea North-East acquired under the maritime delimitation treaty between Norway and Russia. The NPD’s estimate of total undiscovered resources on the NCS has increased since the previous resource report was published in 2011, when the expected resource estimate was 2,570 million scm oe. It is now 410 million scm oe higher. The main reason for this rise is that undiscovered petroleum resources in Barents Sea South- East and around Jan Mayen, recently mapped by the NPD, have been included in the resource estimate. The liquid potential is expected to be greatest in the North Sea, while the gas potential is highest in the Barents Sea. Incorporating resource estimates for the recently mapped areas raises the proportion of undiscovered resources from 19 to 21 per cent of total recoverable resources compared with the estimate of December 2012. “The North Sea has perhaps provided the biggest surprises in recent years, with substantial discoveries in areas originally awarded as far back as the first licensing round in 1965. In the Barents Sea, new discoveries have contributed to increased understanding of its geology, while exploration activity in the frontier areas of the Norwegian Sea has not lived up to the NPD’s expectations – yet,” Sissel H Eriksen, exploration director of Norwegian Petroleum Directorate writes in the latest Directorate’s report. “Two years have passed since the NPD last issued a resource report. The biggest change in the petroleum industry since then is that optimism on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) is greater than it has been for a long time, “ Eriksen concludes. *Lead image: Norway - The Aker Barents drilling rig in Barents Sea - Photo Harald Pettersen - Statoil


bq | Energy l In Context

Energy City Qatar settles loan early Energy City Qatar (ECQ) recently made an early settlement of a US$185 million loan, ending the last outstanding payment, during the first six months of 2013. ECQ’s move took place despite an earlier recommendation and approval of the group of banks managing the loans to extend the settlement period for another three years. ECQ’s management had decided to pay all outstanding loans and was able to do so as a result of the overall increasing revenues from the expansion in land and real estate sales, and enhanced

activity in this sector. A growing number of developers and land owners have started development works in their real estate projects at Energy City. ECQ CEO Engineer Hesham pointed out that this move was a step in the right direction, as it lays the groundwork for a strong start for the company in the coming period, adding the company would no doubt benefit from the possibilities and opportunities offered by the Qatari economy in various fields, especially in the real estate sector, which has started to

overcome the effects of the crisis seen in the sector in the previous period. The CEO remarked that the dream of Energy City that everyone has envisaged for some time has begun to materialize on the ground, bringing real added value to the Qatari economy by establishing a world-class sustainable city that implements the highest international environmental standards in place, while deploying cutting edge technology for the first time in the region.

Role of industry in driving sustainable action

The role of the energy sector in supporting a sustainable environmental agenda in the Gulf region will be a major focus at the upcoming 9th Annual HSE Forum in Energy, which takes

place at the Doha Grand Hyatt in Qatar from 30 September to 2 October 2013. Day two of the three-day event will feature a dedicated Responsible Social & Environmental Performance stream with a series of four presentations covering a gamut of topics including industry environmental collaboration, managing climate change and effective hazardous waste management. Kaushik Deb, head of environment for RasGas, will present a case study on the company’s coral relocation programme for its high profile Barzan Gas Project, which, when its first train is launched in 2014 will be one of the largest integrated gas processing plants in the world. As part of efforts to preserve the marine life in its project waters, RasGas relocated around 1,600 corals living along the proposed pipeline route prior to construction, working in consultation with Qatar’s Ministry of Environment, the body responsible for overseeing the protection of marine heritage

and biodiversity. Other day speakers include Brian Sullivan, IPIECA’s executive director, who will discuss enabling improvement in social and environmental performance in the oil and gas industry; the UNEP’s regional climate change coordinator, Abdul-Majeid Haddad, on managing climate change risks and opportunities; and Dr Mohammad Aref, Weatherford QHSE manager UAE, speaking about effective hazardous waste management. Held under the patronage of HE Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry and chairman & managing director of Qatar Petroleum, the two-day conference and exhibition, which culminates with a series of workshops on day three, is designed to help support initiatives to reduce workplace fatalities and maintain employee wellbeing in the region’s energy sector. For more information about the 9th Annual HSE Forum in Energy visit

Researchers at Masdar develop polymer-based organic solar cells

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, president, Masdar Institute

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, announced its researchers have fabricated the very first bulk-hetero-junction solar cell in the UAE, marking another technological breakthrough for the country in clean energy. Mejd Alsari, a UAE national student, and Dr. Samuele Lilliu, a post-doctoral fellow working at the Nano-Optics and Optoelectronics Research (NOOR) Laboratory under Dr. Marcus Dahlem, assistant professor, Microsystems Engineering, have fabricated the first polymer-based organic photovoltaic solar cell (OPV), which can also be conveniently printed on flexible substrates. This has been achieved using Masdar Institute’s cleanroom facilities internally without any assistance from external fabrication facilities or expertise. The OPVs with advanced aesthetic characteristics such as colours and design will be developed with inkjet-printing deposition techniques. These prototypes could be highly

interesting for Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) applications and designers globally and in the region. Further to the OPVs research, large area organic photo-detectors based on the same technology, with potential applications in the medical, security and entertainment industry could also be prepared. A start-up venture based in Masdar City to transfer prototypes into final products may also be set up at a later stage. The novel research project focuses on improving the performance of organic/hybrid bulk hetero-junction (BHJ) photo-detectors such as OPVs and organic photodiodes (OPDs). It equally aims to stress on the efficiency enhancement, lifetime lengthening, and fabrication cost reduction of OPV/OPD devices. Combining these three aspects are the focus of Alsari’s master research work. The project will keep a balance between academic research and the development of OPVs/OPDs based product prototypes that could target markets in the GCC and developing countries.

bq | Energy l In Context


Qatargas sells country’s first-ever LNG cargo to Malaysia Qatargas Operating Company Limited has sold the country’s first-ever cargo of LNG to Petronas LNG Ltd, Malaysia. The cargo was loaded on 21 July on the Seri Begawan vessel at Ras Laffan Port and will be delivered to Malaysia’s first LNG receiving terminal located in Melaka. The conventional-sized cargo contains approximately 3.1 trillion Btu of LNG. Minister of Energy and Industry and Qatargas chairman HE Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada welcomed the cargo sale as “another milestone in Qatar’s standing as a reliable

international energy supplier”. He said, “We are pleased with this development as it marks Qatargas’ entry into a new and promising LNG market, helping meet the growing demand for energy in Malaysia and building a stronger relationship with Petronas.” The cargo was supplied by Qatargas 2, a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil and Total. Qatargas and Petronas recently concluded a master sales and purchase agreement (MSPA) to facilitate the sale of this spot cargo and future volumes.

Qatargas sees the Southeast Asian LNG market as an increasingly important growing regional market where it intends to strengthen its business activities. Till date, Qatargas has commissioned LNG terminals in Thailand and Singapore through delivering the first LNG cargoes to these markets. Furthermore, Qatargas has delivered several LNG cargoes to PTT of Thailand and looks forward to the commencement of long-term supplies to that country in 2015.

GE technology helps launch Lebanon’s new clean energy project

GE Jenbacher gas engines HQ

In an ambitious renewable energy initiative that can potentially help address the growing demand for electricity in Lebanon, the country is rolling out the first of its kind landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project in Naameh, near Beirut, using GE’s ecomagination qualified Jenbacher gas engine technology. The on-site power project will be powered by one of GE’s Jenbacher J312 landfill gas engines and potentially generate 637 kilowatts of renewable

electricity. This project also will eliminate the equivalent of about 12,400 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2)—the amount of emissions produced by about 6,100 cars per year. Operated by Averda International, the project is considered to be a pilot project and could be expanded to utilize the Naameh facility’s full capacity. Naameh is the biggest sanitary controlled landfill in Lebanon, serving the Greater Beirut and Mount Lebanon area since it was established in 1997. The new LFGTE

project is a significant initiative in which the waste is converted to useful energy, highlighting a new long-term energy development model that potentially can be emulated in other parts of the country. Landfill gas typically comprises approximately 55 percent methane and 45 percent CO2— greenhouse gases that contribute to environmental degradation. GE’s Jenbacher gas engines utilize captured methane gas as a fuel to produce electricity and have widespread applications in the Middle East. The collaboration of GE and Averda in the landmark Naameh project underlines the two companies’ commitment to the country through greener energy initiatives that support Lebanon’s long-term growth. The LFGTE project is set to begin operating during the last quarter of 2013. By using the landfill gas in the Jenbacher gas engine to produce electricity instead of flaring the gas into the atmosphere, the project will reduce the landfill’s emissions and contribute to the country’s environmental sustainability.

Investments worth $145.7 bn required for power generation

Strong economic and demographic growth associated with rapid urbanisation has led to an increase in energy demand to meet rising electricity and desalinated water needs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to a recent report titled, MENA Renewables Report, published in June 2013

by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21). The report estimates that investments worth US$145.7 billion will be needed for power generation from 2013 to 2017 in the MENA region of which, investments worth US$63.1 billion will be in the GCC, US$21.4 billion in Iran and approximately US$53 billion in the combined other countries of the region. With the regional renewable energy sector also continuing to accelerate, governments and experts will gather to debate industry developments, strategy and innovation at the second edition of the Power + Water Leaders Forum in Abu Dhabi, taking place on 23 September at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). The dedicated conference runs alongside the Power + Water Middle East exhibition, which takes place from 23-25 September, and will provide an ideal platform

for experts to discuss sustainable best practices and innovative solutions across two of the region’s bourgeoning sectors. Held in strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA), Power + Water Middle East brings together developers, manufacturers, buyers and service providers from a range of sectors in power and water to meet, discuss and invest in the current products and technologies in the related industries. The exhibition has so far attracted more than 100 exhibitors from 25 countries wishing to network and offer solutions to regional power generation, water and nuclear energy industries. For more information about Power + Water Middle East, or to be involved as an exhibitor visitors, or sponsor, visit or call  +971 4 407 2404.


bq | Tech l 3D Printing


The Coming Revolution

Art, clothing, furniture, architectural models, spacecraft tools, even guns and bones. All these and much more can be 3D printed. And with key patents expiring in 2014, a new industrial revolution might very well be underway By Tina Isanti, Ljubljana

bq | Tech l 3D Printing

Patents have been the thing that held back the potentially revolutionary 3D printing technology for years. In February 2014 the most important ones – covering the lowestcost technology known as “laser sintering,” – will expire. The price, now at tens of thousands of dollars an item, is expected to take a huge plunge. As Duann Scott, design evangelist at 3D printing company Shapeways tells Christoper Mims of Quartz, when the key patents expired on a more primitive form of 3D printing, known as fused deposition modeling, the result was an explosion of open-source FDM printers. Within just a few years, the price of the cheapest FDM printers fell from many thousands of dollars to as little as USD 300. A similar sequence involving the lifting of intellectual property barriers, a rise in competition, and a huge drop in price is likely to play out again in laser deposition 3D printers, says Scott. With a bonus. Until now, the more primitive desktop 3D printers haven’t been able to create prototypes that can be directly translated into molds for mass production, and were not usable for creating finished goods. But all that is about to change. Cheap laser-sintering 3D printers can manufacture (plastic) parts of the same quality as those mass-produced through traditional means, such as injection molding, meaning you could 3D print industrial quality items at home.


First 3D printer in space

From Disney to NASA We can all imagine what that could mean for an architect, furniture designer, innovator, artist etc. We could all join the big ones, which have been experimenting with 3D printing for years and have come up with astonishing products, such as those used in medicine and space exploration. In 2010, work began on applications of 3D printing in zero or low gravity environments. The aim was to be able to produce basic items such as hand tools “on demand” instead of using valuable fuel and cargo space to carry the items into space. Tests were also done to assess the potential of 3D printing to make space exploration cheaper and more efficient. Just recently (24 July), key rocket parts built

using 3D-printing technology have passed another round of NASA firing tests. Two rocket engine injectors made with a 3D printer performed as well as traditionally constructed parts during hot-fire tests, which exposed them to temperatures approaching 3,316 degrees Celsius and extreme pressures. Meanwhile, in a totally different field, Disney Research has developed a new “uniquely expressive, robust and adaptable” 3D printing technology for creating the eyes of interactive action figures. Using 3D printing, the research team created customized optical elements, which enabled video projection in even small characters, at a fraction of the cost of bundled fiber optics.

Scientists at Cornell University, led by Dr. Lawrence J. Bonasser, are pioneering a spinal surgery utilizing 3D printing techniques

Printed bones… 3D printing could also be the next big thing in medicine, a field where the technology has a 10 year history of being put to good use. According to Phil Reeves, author of a report on the 3D printing industry, there are already more than 10,000,000 3D printed hearing aids in circulation worldwide. Even more – a majority of hearing aids in the world are supposedly manufactured using 3D printers. And that’s just a start. Organovo, a San Diego-based startup specializing in the development of 3D-printed biological materials, prints functioning human liver tissue, and the company believes that it

will one day be able to use this tissue to create an entire working organ. Damaged bones could be fixed with a new technique that involves 3D printing a tissue using living stem cells as well. To create the bone replacement, the 3D bioprinter creates a scaffold in the shape of the bone, and coats it with adult human stem cells, which are capable of developing into many different tissue types. The printed product can then be implanted in the body, where the scaffold will degrade and be replaced by new bone within about three months.


and food..... Modern Meadow, a startup based in Columbia, Mo., is perfecting its methods for 3D printing edible meat products, Marko Manriquez, a New York University graduate student recently developed a 3D printer, named the Burritobot, that assembles made-to-order burritos via an iPhone app and for a broader menu – researchers at NASA are working on a way to 3D print a veritable feast. Sea scallops, cookies and banana-flavored gelatin are among the foods that have already been successfully printed.


3D printers can cause strokes But don’t get too carried away! Commercially available 3D printers could cause strokes due to the toxic particles they emit into the air, researchers have warned. A study by researchers at the Illinois Institute of Technology shows these particles, which would be removed by a ventilation system when produced in an industrial environment, come without any exhaust ventilation or filtration accessories

bq | Tech l 3d Printing

when sold as standalone devices for the home. “Primary gas-phase products of ABS thermal decomposition at very high temperatures have been shown to include carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, as well as a variety of volatile organics. Exposure to thermal decomposition products from ABS has also been shown to have toxic effects in both rats and mice,” lead author Brent Stephens of the institute said in the

report. If these particles are inhaled, they can build up in the lungs or be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, potentially resulting in adverse health effects including death by cardio-respiratory failure, hospital admissions for stroke, and asthma symptoms. So what now – don’t do it at home? Not without a very good ventilation system anyway.

Above: Commercial products, from guns to furniture and shoes, made by 3D printers Left: High precision 3D printing for mix and match products

The first on the shelves in less than a month

The Velleman K8200 will allow customers to print anything they want, provided it is below 20 cubic cm

“In 1 month, Maplin Electronics are bringing 3D printers to the UK high street. At GBP 699.99, the printer is affordable for the average consumer and doesn’t take up much more space than an inkjet printer,” reads the ad on the high street retailer’s web page. The Velleman K8200 will allow customers to print anything they want, provided it is below 20 cubic cm. Oliver Meakin, Maplin’s commerical director, said he anticipated families who were interested in technology buying the device, as well as some schools. “I hope some children will be using this rather than playing video games,” he said.

bq | Tech l In Context


Vodafone’s Al Safwa Centre to focus on all business activities

Vodafone marked the start of the next chapter as a provider of services to businesses in Qatar with the opening of its Al Safwa Centre. Located in Alfardan Tower, in the prestigious West Bay area, there are many dimensions to the Al Safwa experience, with the latest technologies and products showcased, all of which are available to businesses in Qatar. Visitors to Al Safwa will especially be struck by the network map on display, showing the massive reach that Vodafone, the world’s leading telecom company, has around the world. With a presence in 80 countries, connected by over 1 million kilometers of fibre optic cable, Vodafone’s global network serves over 400 million customers around the world, who together talk for over 28 billion minutes each year. Another stand out feature at Al Safwa is the Machine to Machine (M2M) demonstration. Vodafone business services director Niraj

Singh, detailing the benefits of this technology, said “Forecasts predict that by the time of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022, there will be over 20 billion machines connected to the internet around the world. These might be small things like domestic gas meters or big things like cars and freight containers. By connecting these machines, businesses can track their assets better, deliver innovative services, and even provide healthcare services in a fundamentally different, more direct way.” Also on show is the Customer Premises Equipment that Vodafone installs for its enterprise customers, which enables all the products in the Vodafone portfolio, from internet access to VPN and leased lines. Through Vodafone’s technology and Qatar national broadband network’s fibre connectivity, Vodafone can deliver incredible

Bang & Olufsen launches the new array of surround sound

Bang & Olufsen revealed the BeoLab 14 sound system that combines compact aesthetics and outstanding acoustic innovation to deliver the thrill of high-end surround performance without filling up the home with boxy black speakers. The new system can be used with all TV brands, not just Bang & Olufsen TV’s. The satellite speakers are diminutive circles of anodized aluminum with exchangeable fabric covers in a selection of colors, and integrate easily into even the most stringent interior design schemes. The sculptural subwoofer contains separate amplifiers for all speakers in the system, and delivers bone-bouncing

bass from a beguilingly slender footprint. And with a full array of placement options that includes wall and ceiling mounts as well as floor and shelf stands, BeoLab 14 is ready to fit in visually as it stands out acoustically. BeoLab 14 connects seamlessly to all Bang & Olufsen televisions, but is also just one plug away from lifting any other TV or AV receiver into a new level of sound performance. The compact new speakers have been put through the same demanding development process as all other Bang & Olufsen products. “BeoLab 14 is the result of a lot of work with our Listening Panel,” says Jens Rahbek, senior sound engineer in the R&D department. “Even with the very best components, sound is a subjective experience. We tune our speakers in a process that includes hours of listening – by different people, in different room environments, at different stages of development – in order to achieve sound that is as close as possible to what the original artist intended.”

speeds of up to 1Gbps. Qnbn’s mission is to connect that 95% of homes in Qatar, and 100% of businesses, by fibre over the coming few years. At Al Safwa’s Innovation Room, Vodafone holds innovation workshops with senior executives from a single company at a time to understand the direction of their business, explore how new technologies might help them to get ahead of the game and then plan out a roadmap for how Vodafone and the customer, working together, can create the very best solutions that will deliver a productivity or capability leap forward for these companies. Al Safwa Centre is open Saturday to Thursday between 8am and 6pm. For more information visit www.

G banding for all future LG’s premium phones The next flagship device from LG Electronics (LG) will be officially known as G2 and will be the first smartphone from LG to be launched as part of the company’s new “G” premium brand. Future smartphones in the same series will carry only the G name while the branding of mobile devices that have already been introduced will continue unchanged. “Our vision is to make LG’s newest G devices synonymous with excellence, raising the bar even further for the ultimate in user experience,” said Dr. Jong-seok Park, president and CEO of the LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. “The new G2 will build upon the excellent reputation established by previous G Series products.” LG’s premium 4:3 display smartphones will be rebranded as simply “Vu:” going forward. All of LG’s smartphones feature next generation core technologies and familiar UX with each series highlighting a different facet of the company’s product expertise.


bq | Tech l In Context

Qatari enterprises risk failure if infrastructure not upgraded Brocade announced the results of its global survey of 1,750 IT decision makers which evaluated the current state of their data center environments. An overwhelmingly large number of respondents (91%) have revealed that they do not believe that their current IT infrastructures are equipped to meet the demands of cloud computing and virtualization. This global trend is especially worrying for businesses in Qatar wherein cloud related IT investments are expected to expand in the next five years. According to a report on ‘Qatar’s ICT Landscape 2013’ published by ictQATAR, 34 percent of establishments that are aware of cloud computing say that they intend to adopt it. Nimer Ghazal, country manager, Qatar at Brocade Communications said, “Qatari businesses are known to be early adopters of technology and are highly likely to be among the leaders in the region to welcome cloud computing. The rapid uptake of virtualization is proof of this. However, many of these organizations risk long term failure as only small fractions of their IT budgets are spent on network infrastructure and this too is limited to merely scaling up legacy networks.” He continued, “Unless there is a change in mindset and willingness to consider the long term implications, businesses are likely to see long term complications.” Ghazal’s concerns are confirmed by the report which states that a third of businesses experience multiple network failures each week, with as high as 16% complaining of daily network outages. These are caused largely due to database applications (41 percent), communication tools (30 percent) and Microsoft Office programs (25 percent) as new services such as video conferencing and application delivery to remote devices add to the strain on already unfit networks. Tied in to the concerns of loss of productivity due to downtime, over half of the survey’s respondents reported that network failure has either directly or indirectly resulted in financial impact. Ghazal believes that Qatari enterprises need to invest in purpose-built data centers that offer high flexibility to meet with varying pressures. “In slow periods such as in the summer months, business in Qatar slows down and the amount of data being handled by the network decreases. Correspondingly, in peak times, traffic volumes can peak and cause networks to fail. Brocade understands this elasticity which is why we are promoting our On-Demand Data Center strategy. This helps combine the best of physical and virtual networking elements to create a data center environment that helps organization rapidly react to market changes and deploy new services and applications in the most efficient manner

JBL Charge delivers crisp, loud sound

possible. We have based our technologies on open standards, thus paving the way for incorporation of new technologies such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) into these networks.”

JBL Charge, a new loud and powerful ‘go-anywhere’ wireless speaker that can easily fit into any backpack, beach bag or briefcase is now available at all ‘harman house’ stores in the UAE at AED 699. The new Bluetooth-powered portable speaker packs a mean double punch as its two drivers and built-in bass port brings big performance while its 12-hour battery can charge smartphones and tablets while on the go. Its long-lasting playback and charging abilities make the JBL Charge ideal for beach parties, family camping trips, neighbourhood picnics and everyday use around the house. This model is also available at all harman house stores and other premium retail stores across the Middle East. The JBL Charge wirelessly streams audio from any Bluetooth-equipped smartphone or tablet - allowing users to enjoy unsurpassed portable audio performance at its best. The cylindrical-designed speaker can be placed horizontally or vertically and features a built-in bass port and digital sound processing to create room-filling lows combined with accentuated highs. Also featured are two 1-5/8-inch (40-millimeter) full-range drivers and a 2 x 5-watt amplifier. The wireless speaker, which measures at two inches (50 millimetres) wide by six inches (150 millimetres) long, provides 12 hours of playback from a single charge thanks to a built-in 6000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery. A built-in USB port has been included to charge any portable mobile device. JBL’s latest Bluetooth-powered unit has been built for durability and active lifestyles, as it features a rugged exterior and grille plus rubber end-rings and a rubber cap for the USB port. A visible LED light informs users when the battery needs to be recharged and also indicates when the speaker is in Bluetooth listening or pairing mode. Available in black, blue and green, the Charge also includes a standard 1/8-inch (3.5-millimeter) stereo mini jack to use with older devices not equipped with Bluetooth technology and is shipped with a neoprene carrying pouch.

bq |


20th Anniversary

LINK AGM Dubai 2013 Angola




Czech Republic








China (LAF)

China (NAF)



























Saudi Arabia




South Africa


Sri lanka










The World’s Largest Exclusive Freight Agents Network covering 230 destinations celebrating 20 years of excellence in Dubai with the host TIME WORLD FREIGHT-UAE at JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Dubai from 6th to 10th October 2013


bq | Sports l Brazil FIFA


Field of Dreams Brazil faces serious issues with hosting the FIFA 2014 World Cup, including trying to justify its spending to an angry populace By Tina Isanti For several months now, FIFA has expressed its concerns with Brazil’s preparation for the 2014 World Cup. Brazil is struggling with serious problems, desperately trying to meet FIFA criteria concerning stadium deadlines for the World Cup. Thousands of Brazilians have gone to the streets expressing their anger both with the government, as well as with the world governing body FIFA. They believe taxpayer money is being spent only on stadiums instead of investing it into education, public health and public transportation. FIFA made it clear that it will not tolerate any delays regarding the stadium construction. Building delays and cost overruns have seriously threatened the current Confederations Cup, which is considered as a warm-up for the major event taking place June 2014. At some point, there were even rumours about a search for another host for the greatest sporting event on the planet. But according to Brazilian officials everything will be fine and there is no reason for greater

concern. After the break-up of violent protests against high costs connected to the Football World Cup, even FIFA adopted a more cautious approach with the host nation, indicating that Brazil will certainly host the World Cup and that there is no plan B. FIFA president Sepp Blater added that all the stadiums will be ready for the big competition including the famous Maracana in Rio. The hosts may also face additional logistical obstacles with upgrading airports and urban transportation. Three million football fans are expected to watch matches at 12 stadiums across the country and these stadiums will not be ready in time, according to the government agency that audits public spending improvements of bus lanes, trams and monorails in Brasilia, Fortaleza, Manaus, Salvador and Sao Paulo. Compared to the previous World Cup in South Africa, the budget for the stadiums is three times higher. So far, Brazil has invested USD 3.3 bn into these 12 stadiums. What will happen after the World Cup? Can

the sky high costs be justified? Most of the stadiums in Brazil are rarely sold out. This is especially true for some of the costly new venues which will hardly see any use after the event. Brasilia’s Mane Garrincha National Stadium (72,000 seats) cost over USD 600 mn to build, but the city clubs play only in Brazilian fourth division with a few spectators per game. A similar situation is unfolding in Manaus, the city in the heart of the Amazon jungle. The local football club National which is supposed to play at the new stadium with a capacity of 4800, also plays in Brazilian D-fourth league and the big question is whether this colossal stadium will attract enough crowds to justify its cost. Matches in the Amazonas league attract an average crowd of 588 supporters. Uncertain destiny also awaits the 47,000-capacity Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba and the 45,000- capacity Dunas Arena in Natal. This potentially wasted investment, may only deepen the crisis. The country struggled with economic problems in the recent past due to

bq | Sports l Brazil In Context FIFA

civil unrest that reached its peak (with violent protests) during the Confederations Cup. This happened after the Brazilian government decided to raise taxes in order to fund the two major football finals, as well as the Olympics in 2016. The demonstrators were against FIFA, saying that the football’s governing body doesn’t have the right to make demands from the Brazilian government. “FIFA, go away,” they chanted. Former Brazilian football star Romario has also slammed FIFA for announcing an expected profit of EUR 1.67 bn from the 2014 World Cup without plans to re-invest in the country’s infrastructure. “FIFA comes to our country and imposes a state within a state. It’s not going to pay taxes, it’s going to come, install a circus without paying anything and take everything with it”, he angrily stated in a YouTube video. Qatar had announced even before winning the 2022 FIFA bid in December 2010 that whether it wins the bid or not, it will press ahead with its ambitious infrastructure development plans and spend tens of billions of dollars on expanding road, port and airport networks, aside from building a vast rail network, including the metro system in Greater Doha. These development projects are part of Qatar’s preparations for the coveted 2022 event. And as for sports-related infrastructure, the country already is adequately equipped, after successfully hosting the 2006 Asian Games.

Three million football fans are expected to watch matches at 12 stadiums across the country and these stadiums will not be ready in time, according to the government agency that audits public spending improvements Qatar, the richest country in the world with a per capita income of more than USD 100,000, is the world’s largest LNG exporter with production peaking at an incredible 77 mn tons a year. Qatar, with a GDP of about USD 200 bn, has been witnessing budgetary surpluses for several years now and has been putting aside a sizeable chunk of those surpluses for prudent investment. So hosting the 2022 FIFA event, rather than taking a toll on the economy or investments into social fields such as education and healthcare, will give Qatar more mileage as it prepares to change course and reduce its dependence on oil and gas, while having a knowledge-based economy, in the near future.

bq | Sports l In Context


Barça and Panasonic sign three year deal, renew deal with Neymar Jr. Closing a three year deal with the La Liga champions, Japanese multinational Panasonic will become a global partner of the Spanish club FC Barcelona. The company also announced the renewal of its global advertising contract with Brazilian national soccer team and new FC Barcelona player, Neymar da Silva Santos Junior. FC Barcelona and Panasonic Corporation have signed a global collaboration agreement by which the Japanese company will become an official partner of the Club and will obtain a series of rights, including brand association and the use of the Barça image, thus benefiting from marketing and visibility rights. Worldwide commercial activities related with the promotion of VIERA as the “Official FC Barcelona Television Device” will include 3D display of matches in stores and shop windows, product campaigns and the use of the Barça image and brand on Panasonic’s website and Facebook profile. Panasonic has been carrying out promotional activities in the global promotion of VIERA as the “FC Barcelona Official TV” since April. “The agreement with FC Barcelona came about through the matching of the image of FC Barcelona as one of the strongest and most popular teams in football, and VIERA, which is aiming to become the number one television brand,” the company explained in a statement. The VIERA deal is not the only one tying Japanese tech major to the Spanish star club. Just a couple of days after the VIERA agreement became official,

Panasonic announced the renewal of its global advertising contract with Brazilian national soccer team and freshly a FC Barcelona player, Neymar da Silva Santos Junior. The new contract will last for four years, until 2017. By sponsoring Neymar Jr., who is popular all over the world, Panasonic is aiming to “develop a youthful, dynamic and swift global brand image for the company”. Panasonic became the first Japanese company to sign an advertising contract with Neymar Jr. in 2010. In 2011 the two signed a two-year global contract and Neymar Jr. became the global publicity character for the company, including its work with the London 2012 Olympic Games. With 2016 Olympic Games taking place in Rio, the young Brazilian star was an obvious choice to act as the global ambassador for the company and this time a four-year contract has been signed. In addition to advertising and salespromotion campaigns for B2C businesses focused on audio-visual equipment, Panasonic will also launch global advertising with Neymar Jr. for its B2B solutions businesses, including its residential energy creation-storage linked systems and mobility related solutions. “It’s a great honor to have the contract renewed. Panasonic was one of the first companies to trust in my abilities. Theirs is a company that I love and I was using Panasonic equipment at home already before the sponsorship. The chemistry between us worked and we managed to close the contact,” said the star.


bq | Culture l Cirque du Soleil


A Night At The Cirque Over three decades, Cirque du Soleil has grown from a funky band of street performers into a billion dollar global company. bq catches up with them before their show Dralion comes to town. By Abhiraj Ghosh and Priya D’Souza, Doha

bq | Culture l Cirque du Soleil

When Cirque du Soleil first set up in Moscow’s Kremlin theatre in 2011, Russian circuses were nervous about losing their audiences. In the two year run to this partnership, Cirque du Soleil Rus had invested over US$42 million in the Russian economy and a further US$12 million with its sponsors and partners. They employed up to 800 people throughout the tours and worked with 320 local suppliers. And while Russian circuses didn’t lose their audiences, they did lose their performers - the rivalry today is about who has the most promising artists. Quite remarkable indeed for a theatrical troupe, a band of street performers really, who started in the early 1980s specializing in circus arts: juggling, acrobatics, stiltwalking and music. In 1982, the troupe organized a street performers’ festival, which was so successful it encouraged member Guy Laliberte - a fire breather and accordion player - to approach the city of Quebec with a pitch for a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) to help celebrate Canada’s 450th anniversary. And the rest is history. Not your typical circus, the show featured brazen costumes, original music scores, and skillful performers - but no animals. Cirque


didn’t just get rid of the costliest and most controversial factor of a circus, but by combining the best of circus and theater, targeted a more sophisticated adult audience. In 1987, Cirque premiered at the Los Angeles Arts Festival, their first trip south of the border, which was a huge success. Expanding rapidly through the 1990s and 2000s, going from one show to 19 shows in over 271 cities on every continent except Antarctica Cirque’s multiple permanent Las Vegas shows alone play to more than 9,000 people a night, 5% of the city’s visitors, adding to the 100 million people who have experienced Cirque du Soleil’s renditions worldwide.  It’s the willingness to take creative risk that is Cirque’s original genius and the key to its competitive success, says Renee Mauborgne, coauthor of Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant (Harvard Business School Press, 2005) and professor of strategy and management at INSEAD. Laliberte is known for asking his people to stretch beyond the great to the jaw-dropping. Cirque scouts routinely ask candidates to do something unexpected at their audition: Climb a rope, then sing a song when you get to the top

(“Happy Birthday” is not allowed). It’s a good way to find talent that’s multidimensional and comfortable improvising, not to mention a great character test. If the candidate freaks at the challenge, he’s generally out the door. Over the years Cirque has created an entertainment empire with a flourishing record label, a retail operation (women’s clothing line and the possible venture into other mediums such as spas, restaurants and nightclubs), and a deal with Carnival Cruise Lines. In 2008, Laliberté split 20% of his share equally between two investment groups Istithmar World and Nakheel of Dubai, in order to further finance the company’s goals. The company’s Las Vegas shows regularly play to sold-out audiences who are willing to shell out as much as $150 per ticket - for a daily gross of a cool million. The company’s 30 plus shows including resident shows - in Las Vegas: Criss Angel Believe, KÀ, The Beatles Love, Mystère, “O”, Zarkana and Zumanity and in Orlando: La Nouba – translate into ticket sales of 15 million a year or annual revenues estimated at over US$ 2 billion. Cirque du Soleil also produces a small number of private and corporate events each year (past clients have included the royal family of

Chantal Côté, corporate PR manager says, “Cirque du Soleil are working on a new production currently titled Cirque 2014, in creative development right now to be unveiled in Montreal in April next year In Interbrand’s 2004 poll of brands with the most global impact, Cirque ranked No. 22 - ahead of the likes of McDonald’s, Microsoft, Volkswagen and Disney Cirque has won several awards including the Bambi Award (1997); Rose d’Or (1989); three Drama Desk Awards; three Gemini Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards Cirque du Soleil also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame


bq | Culture l Cirque du Soleil

On 4 July, Jaidah Automotive hosted a VIP event with excerpts from Dralion by Cirque du Soleil with performances by Vladir (juggler) and Oceane, the Goddess of Water, at their Khalifa showroom. The show was aimed at showcasing what to expect from the group as they take the stage in Doha from 19 to 21 September. “The creators of Dralion (Guy Laliberté, founder and artistic guide of Cirque du Soleil and Guy Caron, director of Dralion) wanted for a long time to bring together the incredible level of acrobatic skills of China with Cirque du Soleil’s Artistic approach of

represented by a different colour: air is blue, water is green, fire is red and earth is ochre. In this whole new world created by the performers, cultures blend, man and nature are one and balance is achieved. The stage is a metallic set piece 60 feet wide and 26 feet high creates a backdrop of a futuristic Chinese temple. The most imposing feature of the setup is the metallic wall spanning the full length of the stage. The structure has six giant claws attached which allow the artists to climb and suspend themselves from the wall. The stage isn’t the only thing of mammoth

costumes are continuously made. Dralion has close to 1500 costume pieces including shoes, hats and accessories. The fabrics come from different parts of the globe, including China, the United States, Italy, France, England and Quebec and primary sources of inspirations for the costumes come from China, India and Africa, with a palette of vibrant solid colours and shapes guided by the artists’ movements and choreography. Company manager for Dralion, Michael Veilleux, whose job also involves tackling the logistics says, “Each city/country

doing circus,” says Dralion publicist Julie Desmarais. “This idea generated the concept of Dralion in which we pay tribute to the 3000 year-old Chinese acrobatic arts tradition, fusing this Chinese art form with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil. Dralion draws its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its never-ending quest for harmony between humans and nature. The show’s name is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West.” In Dralion, the four elements that govern the natural order take on a human form. Each element is

proportions. The costumes involved for the performance are just as humungous. Over 5,000 meters of fabric were used to create the costumes and accessories; material used to create them include horse hair, raffia, metal, window screen, emu feathers, crystals, Styrofoam, plastic, bubble wrap, fun fur, springs and an array of hardware items. To create the texture on the chest plate of the singer’s costume, bugs were glued on and then moulded into different shapes. Artisans worked for over three months fabricating the original costumes, hats, wigs and footwear for Dralion; most of them custom made for each artist. New

transfer has its rewards and challenges. Sometimes we get to meet new cultures such as we did in Dubai and at other times, we return to meet old friends. We have had to deal with storms, ash clouds, airline or airport strikes, planes breaking down - you name it! But at the end of the day the show must go on and it does.  The rewards always outweigh the challenges and both make us appreciate our jobs a little more.”

Tickets for the Dralion show in Doha from 19 to 21 September are priced between QR250 and QR2000 and can be purchased at Cirque du Soleil’s official website

bq | Culture l Cirque du Soleil


Dubai and the 2007 Super Bowl). While each Cirque du Soleil performance is one of a kind, even a traveling show, which doesn’t require the enormous capital investment of a permanent theater, can cost upward of $25 million to mount and require three years to conceive, cast, design, train, and produce. The cost for production of Cirque’s 2011 only resident show in Los Angeles, Iris, was nearly US$100 million which included the cost of renovating the Dolby Theatre in which the show was housed. And a fat wallet doesn’t protect producers from the occasional flop. Until 1999, Cirque shows had a relatively consistent look, since many were the vision of creator Franco Dragone (who left to form his own company). Dragone’s departure forced Cirque to open its doors to other creators, which they probably counted as their biggest risks initially, for sure. The results however, have ensued in genius collaborations with the likes of Criss Angel, and brilliant productions as diverse as the spirited Zumanity, the classic Ka and the musical Beatles and Michael Jackson shows - Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour (launched in 2011) and Michael Jackson One (resident show at Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, launched on June 30, 2013). The creators drafted by Cirque officials are a mix of nationalities and viewpoints who, rumour has it, are locked in a room with the instructions to not come out till they have something great. “Easy consensus”, believes Daniel Lamarre, Cirque’s president, “is the enemy of ground breaking ideas”. The task of finding a constant supply of versatile performers falls to Cirque’s casting team who show up at the Olympics and world championships to sign athletes. Others canvas the globe looking for fire jugglers, pole climbers, martial artists, bungee jumpers, creative midgets and Wheel of Death spinners. Dralion (the show coming to town soon) publicist Julie Desmarais says of their choreographers, “Every choreographer works differently and at Cirque du Soleil we have the opportunity to work with several choreographers for our 19 current productions. Some will find inspiration through the performers who are, for the most part, acrobats and not dancers. The movement of an acrobat can influence a choreographer as well as pose a challenge. Some other choreographers might start with the music that will accompany the act and work from there. It varies a lot from one another but the common element is to convey the director’s vision.” Currently, the company has around 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from close to 50 different countries that cover 25 languages. With a presence spanning three decades and currently over 30 shows world-wide, the commitment to taking on creative challenges and constantly reinventing themselves is what makes Cirque du Soleil one of the greatest shows on earth today.


bq | R&R l Spa Treatments


License to Chill

Relax, rejuvenate and unwind with bq’s picks for the perfect indulgences after a long, hard day at work. These therapies designed for business people and jetlagged travellers promise to drive your stress away and revitalise you. By Shereen D’Souza, Doha

Jetlag Massage Anantara Spa, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi Experience a treatment that provides immediate relief for travellers after long flights or multiple transits. Kneading strokes focus on the legs, lower back, neck, shoulders and around the eyes, allowing you enjoy the start to your weekend or holiday. Treatment duration: 90 minutes Price: QR 700

Business Package Jaula Spa, Grand Hyatt Doha Qatar Reward yourself with a retreat for your mind and body after your long business day with Jaula Spa’s exclusive business package. The package features three treatments: Anne Semonin customized facial (60 minutes), Hot Stone massage (60 minutes) and the Scalp massage (15 minutes). Treatment duration: 135 minutes Price: QR 850

Rescue Release Chi, Shangri-La Oman The Rescue Release treatment at ShangriLa’s Chi Spa is a focused massage that gives you a customised choice of a back massage, head-neck-shoulder massage or foot massage for your treatment to quickly relieve muscle tension in the targeted areas. This treatment is recommended for those who work long hours in front of a computer, or those who have been travelling for several hours. Treatment duration: 45 minutes Price: QR 450

bq | R&R l Spa Treatments


Chakra Balancing Treatment One & Only Private Spa, The Palm Dubai The Chakra balancing treatment warms the muscles, soothes the body and comforts the skin. The treatment begins with body brushing and exfoliation to soften the skin; an indulgent massage follows using nourishing essential oils and warmed volcanic stones to penetrate tired, aching muscles. A comforting head, neck and shoulder massage allows you to relax and unwind before gentle stretching helps bring your body and mind back into harmonious balance. Perfect to drive all that stress away! Treatment duration: 120 minutes Price: QR 850

Jetlag Revival Spa, The Ritz Carlton, Doha Qatar The Jetlag Revival is a one hour treatment that promises to eradicate all your stress and rejuvenate you from even your worst jetlag. This signature massage is enlivening, designed to help travellers recovering from fatigue. It is packed with body boosting and restorative essential oils which are gently applied on various parts of the body and then massaged. The therapy uses specialized techniques to encourage circulation, relieve tension and energize the mind and body. While you relax amid soothing music and scents of the exotic oils from South Africa, the treatment will uplift and ease digestion, and eliminate toxins. The environment is soothing and after the massage you can head on over to the Roman bath, the steam room or the sauna. This massage will leave you balanced, focused and most of all, revived. Treatment duration: 60 minutes Price: QR 480

Energiser Six Senses Spa, Hotel Missoni Kuwait Six Senses Spa Kuwait offers some of the best treatments suitable for businessmen and women; and travellers alike. The energising upper body massage relieves muscle tension and stiffness, a deeply relaxing foot and leg treatment - Ayurveda Aromatherapy Padabhyang, or their Indian Head Massage which nourishes the scalp and induces a deep sense of calm are recommended. The spa will ensure that your time there is memorable. Treatment duration: 50 minutes/80 minutes Price: QR 385/QR 515


bq | R&R l In Context

Cruise through summer with Maui Jim aviators Metal aviator sunglasses are this summer’s best fashion statement. And Maui Jim has significantly improved the performance of this classic frame through the use of a proprietary memory metal – MauiFlex™ – that bends and twists, and remembers its original shape longer than traditional metal frames. Helping you cruise through the season in style, two new MauiFlex sun-glasses are making their debut in stores – Maliko Gulch and Kahului Harbor. Part of the MauiFlex Collection, the Maliko Gulch aviator with rubber temples comes in gunmetal with neutral grey lenses for bright sunny days or metallic gloss copper with HCL®

bronze lenses to improve vision in variable light conditions. This style with a modified rectangular frame has an adjustable rubber nose bridge and anti-corrosive traditional hinges. Slightly larger than Maliko Gulch, Kahului Harbor has a soft rectangular lens and an eye size of 68 mm, bridge size of 18 mm, temple length of 120 mm, and an 8-base curvature. Maui Jim is the only company that uses three rare earth elements to significantly boost color, enhance depth perception and definition. On both styles, the lenses have waterproof and oleophobic coatings to shed water and repel smudges.

Summer escapes at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Find respite from the heat this summer at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche with their exclusive summer rates, boasting a variety of different packages to suite all tastes. Located in the heart of the Corniche, guests are invited to immerse themselves in the local excitement of nearby attractions whilst retaining a sense of luxury and relaxation. Test your sense of excitement and get your endorphins at an all time high when you stay in a Superior Room at Sofitel Abu Dhabi Corniche during the summer months. Along with staying in the height of luxury in an exquisitely appointed room, you receive two tickets to enjoy world-class family entertainment at either Yas Waterworld or Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. Rates for a Superior Room start at AED 825 and include breakfast.

Stay for one night in a superior room with breakfast and receive a AED 500 gift card to spend in Marina Mall plus a shopping booklet featuring offers and discounts from more than 20 shopping outlets. Conclude your shopping escapade with a complimentary relaxing foot reflexology massage at So Spa. Enjoy this shopping getaway from AED 1,050. Create your own spa dining experience from the a la carte menu, featuring specially priced ‘starters’, ‘mains’ and ‘desserts’. This offer is available from 3pm to 10pm daily and is applicable for a two treatment menu (guests can choose from one of the 45 minute ‘starters or ‘desserts’ and one 60 minute ‘main dish’). For more information or to make a reservation, please call +9714 (0)2 813 7777.

Yas Island/Saadiyat one step closer Taking you from Saadiyat to Yas Island’s attractions, the new yas express Saadiyat route shuttle service is a transport expansion initiative which offers St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi guests an opportunity to explore the UAE’s prime leisure and entertainment destination, Yas Island. The new route connects with the current yas express loop, which currently includes stops at Yas Waterworld, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Plaza Hotels, Yas Viceroy Hotel and Yas Central, enabling visitors to enjoy each and every aspect of the Island hassle free. The shuttle service provides three morning

pickups (10:00am, 11:30am, 1:00pm) from St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi, dropping guests to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld. The afternoon service (3:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:00pm) offers three pickups from Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and Yas Waterworld, dropping visitors back to each of the respective resorts on Saadiyat. Yas Island is strategically positioned 45 minutes from the commercial hub of Dubai and less than 30 minutes from Saadiyat. For more information on timetables and drop offs/pickups locations call +971 2 496 8110 or visit maps & info at

Sofitel celebrates harvest with French Wine Week As part of its international wine programme that was launched earlier this year, Sofitel will be organising the Sofitel French Wine Week in all of its 120 hotels worldwide. From 23 to 30 September 2013, the week will be dedicated to French wines in order to celebrate the harvest that traditionally takes place in the northern hemisphere in September. Sofitel is

offering a wide range of French wines à la carte, including: Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Languedoc, Loire, Rhône and more. Wines by the glass, events, tastings, happy hours… many special moments in the hotels’ bars and restaurants can be celebrated with an introduction to wine, discovering the producers or even tasting some top wines.

From New York to Mumbai, from Rio to London, from Shanghai to Paris, from Vienna to Los Angeles... The French Wine Week offers a unique opportunity for Sofitel’s customers to discover the famous French Art de Vivre that Sofitel has made itself the most ardent ambassador of.

‫‪bq | Arabic | In Context‬‬


‫ترانسغارد تفوز بعقود تنظيف الواجهات الخارجية ألعلى أبراج دبي‬

‫فــازت مجموعــة ترانســغارد بعقــود تنظيف الواجهات‬ ‫الخارجيــة لمجموعــة مــن األبراج الشــاهقة في دبي‪.‬‬ ‫وتتعــاون ترانســغارد وميغارمــي في عــدد من العقود‬ ‫التــي وقعــت مؤخـ َ‬ ‫ـرا في تنظيــف وصيانة الواجهات‬ ‫الخارجيــة لبعــض أطــول المباني وأكبر مراكز التســوق‬ ‫فــي دولة االمارات العربيــة المتحدة‪.‬‬ ‫وتوفــر ميغارمــي خدماتهــا لصيانة وتنظيــف المباني‬ ‫الشــاهقة في جميع أنحاء الشــرق االوســط باســتخدام‬ ‫نظــام مبتكــر يعتمــد علــى تقنيات تســلق الجبال‬

‫المالءمــة للوصــول الــى المواقــع المرتفعة التي ال‬ ‫يمكــن الوصــول اليهــا عبر الطــرق التقليدية‪ .‬وتقدم‬ ‫ـاال من حيث التكلفة و ســامة‬ ‫ـا فعـ َ‬ ‫وســائل ميغارمــي حـ َ‬ ‫اليــد العاملــة عبــر مشــاريع التفتيــش والتطبيق وصيانة‬ ‫أنــواع مــن الهيــاكل العمالقة بما فــي ذلك منصات‬ ‫النفــط والهوائيــات العاليــة والمباني الشــاهقة‪.‬‬ ‫مجموعــة ترانســغارد وهــي احدى الشــركات التابعة‬ ‫لمجموعــة االمــارات ومقرهــا دبي توفر خدماتهــا لقائمة‬ ‫َ‬ ‫تزامنا مع توســيع‬ ‫متناميــة مــن العمــاء فــي االمارات‬

‫شــراكتها مــع شــركة ميغارمــي المتخصصة في ادارة‬ ‫المباني‪.‬‬ ‫وأشــار بيلــي هاركيــن ‪،‬العضــو المنتدب لشــركة ميغارمي‬ ‫َ‬ ‫مثاليا‬ ‫ـا‬ ‫‪ »:‬أن الشــراكة بيننــا وبيــن ترانســغارد هو حـ َ‬ ‫لتقديــم خدمــة متكاملــة للعمــاء تمتاز بالسالســة نتيجة‬ ‫للمزيــج الفريــد بيــن خبرات ومؤهالت الشــركتين والذي‬ ‫ينتــج انضبــاط متخصص»‪.‬‬

‫“بنك نور” يزود فروعه بآيباد لتشجيع المعامالت‬ ‫المصرفية عبر اإلنترنت‬ ‫قام بنك نور اإلسالمي (نور) بتجهيز ‪ 6‬من فروعه في‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫حديثا من آبل آيباد‬ ‫جهازا‬ ‫دبي والشارقة وأبوظبي بـ ‪15‬‬ ‫لتشجيع العمالء على إجراء العمليات المصرفية على‬ ‫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.‬‬ ‫ويقوم فريق من الموظفين المختصين بشرح خدمات‬ ‫نور المصرفية عبر اإلنترنت والهاتف النقال لعمالء البنك‬ ‫باللغتين العربية واالنجليزية‪ .‬وأطلق بنك «نور» اثنين من‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مجانا‬ ‫العروض الترويجية وهي – فتح حساب مصرفي‬

‫ً‬ ‫نقدا مع‬ ‫دون اشتراط وجود رصيد‪ ،‬وميزة استرداد ‪%5‬‬ ‫بطاقات االئتمان المقدم لها عبر اإلنترنت‪.‬‬ ‫وقال جون تشانغ‪ ،‬رئيس الخدمات المصرفية لألفراد‬ ‫في «نور»‪« :‬توفر شبكة اإلنترنت والهاتف المحمول‬ ‫للعمالء خيارات سهلة وآمنة ومريحة إلجراء العمليات‬ ‫المصرفية في أي وقت ومن أي مكان يفضلونه‪.‬‬ ‫وكان «نور» أول بنك إسالمي يقدم خدمة فتح حساب‬ ‫بنكي عبر اإلنترنت‪ .‬وتتيح هذه الخدمة للعمالء في دولة‬ ‫اإلمارات أو المقيميين خارجها إمكانية تقديم طلب فتح‬ ‫جار وتوفير من أي مكان‬ ‫جار أو توفير‪ ،‬أو‬ ‫ٍ‬ ‫ٍ‬ ‫حساب ٍ‬ ‫حساب ٍ‬ ‫وتستغرق الموافقة على الطلب عادة ‪ 48‬ساعة‪.‬‬

‫بنك بروة يفوز بأربعة جوائز‬ ‫فازت مجموعة بنك بروة بأربع جوائز مالية مرموقة من‬ ‫مجلة التمويل العالمي (‪ )IFM‬لدولة قطر ‪ .2013‬وتشمل‬ ‫الجوائز فوز بنك بروة بجائزة «أفضل بنك إسالمي»‪،‬‬ ‫ً‬ ‫نموا»‪ ،‬و «أفضل منظم صكوك» و‬ ‫و «أسرع البنوك‬ ‫«أفضل تصميم موقع إلكتروني لمؤسسة مصرفية»‪.‬‬ ‫وقد علق السيد ستيف تروب على هذا الحدث بقوله‪:‬‬ ‫«نتشرف بهذه الجوائز من مجلة (‪ )IFM‬وهو ما يعكس‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ورائدا‬ ‫مدفوعا بعمالئه المميزين‬ ‫إلتزامنا لبناء بنك مبتكر‬ ‫في تقديم الخدمات المصرفية المتوافقة مع الشريعة‬ ‫اإلسالمية‪.‬‬ ‫وقد استطاع البنك إثبات وجوده بشكل قوي في‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫قويا في أسواق رأس المال‬ ‫العبا‬ ‫السوق واصبح‬ ‫اإلسالمية ويقدم خدمات مالية مرنة وسريعة‬ ‫‪‬‬

‫ً‬ ‫خصيصا لتناسب عمالئها عبر فروعه وموقعه‬ ‫ومصممة‬ ‫االلكتروني‪.‬‬ ‫أضاف‪ »:‬تبرهن هذه الجوائز أن العمل الجاد والطموح‬ ‫ً‬ ‫رائدا في فترة‬ ‫والخدمة المتميزة يمكن تجعل أي بنك‬ ‫قصيرة من الوقت»‪.‬‬ ‫تكرم جوائز ‪ IFM‬األفراد والمنظمات في صناعة التمويل‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫فروقا كبيرة في الصناعة أو‬ ‫عالميا والذين يحدثون‬ ‫يوفرون أعلى المعايير من اإلبتكار واألداء‪ .‬ويعد الفوز‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫عظيما لبنك بروة‬ ‫إنجازا‬ ‫بهذه الجوائز المرموقة األربعة‬ ‫والذي نما بشكل ملحوظ في حجمه ومكانته منذ‬ ‫تأسيسه في عام ‪.2008‬‬


‫‪bq | Arabic | In Context‬‬

‫مشروع نخلة جميرا السكني يجذب المستثمر القطري‬ ‫أعلنت شركة التطوير العقاري سفن تايدز ومقرها دبي‬ ‫الواقع « أنانتارا ريسيدنس دبي « بأن مشروعها السكني‬ ‫َ‬ ‫رواجا لدى المستثمرين من قطر‬ ‫في نخلة جميرا يلقى‬ ‫بسبب ما توفره دبي من بيئة استثمارية خصبة واعتبارها‬ ‫وجهة معتمدة للمصطافين من قطر‪ .‬ويتكون مشروع‬ ‫إلدارة » بتر هومز « أنانتارا ريسيدنس‪ ،‬الذي تتولى شركة‬ ‫العقارات تسويقه حصريا‪ 442 ،‬شقة سكنية و ‪ 14‬وحدة‬ ‫إضافية ‪ ،‬تتميز باطالالتها الشاطئية والبانورامية الخالبة‬ ‫على الخليج العربي‪ ،‬وفندق أتالنتس وبرج العرب ومارينا‬ ‫أفق دبي‪.‬‬ ‫وقال عبدالله بن سليم ‪ ،‬الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة‬ ‫سفن لم نتفاجئ بمستوى االهتمام الذي أبداه »‪ :‬تايدز‬ ‫المستثمرون القطريون في المشروع ‪ ،‬فقد عاد سوق‬ ‫مجددا‪ ،‬حيث نمت أسعار مبيعات‬ ‫دبي العقاري لالزدهار‬ ‫َ‬ ‫الشقق بنسبة ‪ % 27‬منذ بداية العام الحالي الى يومنا‬ ‫نموا‬ ‫هذا‪ .‬وأظهرت التقارير للربع األول من العام الحالي َ‬

‫اقبال ليس‬ ‫لالسعار بنسبة ‪ .% 12‬وتلقى العقارات‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫أيضا لالستثمار‬ ‫مكانا للسكن فقط وانما‬ ‫لجعلها‬ ‫واالستفادة تعتبر دبي »‪ :‬وأضاف ‪ ».‬من عوائد االيجار‬ ‫السنوية مقصدا للزوار من القطريين‪ .‬تسمح جداول‬ ‫شركات الطيران بسهولة الحضور إليها مما يجعل دبي‬ ‫موقعا عظيما اللتقاء العائلة واألصدقاء وفي دراسة‬ ‫قامت بها غرفة تجارة دبي مدعومة باحصاءات من قبل‬ ‫بيزنس مونيتور الدولية ‪،‬تظهر زيادة سنوية للسياحة‬ ‫الخليجية ودول الشرق األوسط بنسبة ‪ % 6,5‬بين‬ ‫العام ‪ . 2012-2011‬وأظهرت نتائج االستطالع االخيرة‬ ‫من ماستركارد ‪ ،‬بأن دبي تحتل المرتبة السابعة في‬ ‫اقبال ‪ .‬ومن المتوقع‬ ‫العالم ألكثر الوجهات السياحية‬ ‫َ‬ ‫ان تتفوق على نيويورك أو باريس بحلول عام ‪2017‬‬ ‫َ‬ ‫َ‬ ‫خاصا للمبيعات في موقع‬ ‫مكتبا‬ ‫وبدورها توفر بتر هومز‬ ‫المشروع لتقديم خدمات البيع بشكل كامل وتقديم‬ ‫المشورة الفنية للمشترين المحتملين والراغبين‬

‫من خالل مجموعة من الموظفين من ذوي الخبرة‬ ‫والذين يتحدثون اللغة العربية للقيام بالجوالت واإلجابة‬ ‫على استفسارات المستثمرين الكويتيين الذين يحرصون‬ ‫على الشراء في نمط الحياة الفاخرة في دبي‪.‬‬

‫الريل القطرية تمنح شهادة‬ ‫االيزو ‪ 27001‬في أمن‬ ‫المعلومات‬ ‫أعلنت شركة سكك الحديد القطرية (الريل)‪ ،‬الشركة‬ ‫المسؤولة عن بناء شبكة سكك الحديد القطرية‬ ‫المتكاملة‪ ،‬اليوم عن حصولها على شهادة المؤسسة‬ ‫الدولية للمعايير ‪ 2001 ISO‬وذلك نظير التقييم‬ ‫‪ 2005 ISO/IEC:27001‬معيار األمن الخارجي‪ .‬تعتبر شهادة‬ ‫العالمي ألنظمة إدارة أمن المعلومات‪ .‬ولتحقيق هذه‬ ‫ً‬ ‫متواصل‬ ‫التزاما‬ ‫الشهادة‪ ،‬يجب على الشركة أن تظهر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫ً‬ ‫وهيكليا في إدارة المعلومات الحساسة للشركة والعمالء‪.‬‬ ‫وتؤكد هذه الشهادة تماشي أمن مشاريع الريل مع‬ ‫المعايير العالمية وتلبيتها لحاجات عمالء الشركة‪ .‬شهادة‬ ‫دليل واضحا على تركيز شركة سكك الحديد‬ ‫االيزو يعتبر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫القطرية (الريل) على تبني وتطبيق المعايير العالمية‬ ‫وأفضل الممارسات لضمان الفعالية والكفاءة والثقة‬ ‫والنزاهة في عملياتها اليومية‪ .‬وتعتبر هذه الشهادة‬ ‫واحدة من الشهادات العديدة التي تخطط الشركة‬ ‫للحصول عليها في الفتره المقبلة‪.‬‬

‫الخليجي يطلق بطاقة‬ ‫السحب اإللكترونية الخاصة‬ ‫بالشركات‬ ‫أعلن بنك الخليج التجاري (الخليجي) ش‪.‬م‪.‬ق‪ .‬عن إطالقه‬ ‫لبطاقة السحب اإللكترونية الخاصة بالشركات التجارية‬ ‫بكافة أحجامها لتمكينها من إتمام عمليات السحب‬ ‫واإليداع على مدار الساعة ومن جميع أجهزة الصراف‬ ‫اآللي الخاصة بالخليجي في قطر‪ .‬وبإمكان الشركات‬ ‫االستفادة من هذه الخطوة إلجراء عمليات الشراء عبر‬ ‫اإلنترنت أو من خالل نقاط البيع بسرعة وأمان‪.‬‬ ‫يوفر الخليجي للشركات الدولية أكثر من بطاقة سحب‬ ‫إلكترونية لكل حساب‪ ،‬بحيث يستطيع أكثر من موظف‬ ‫إتمام تعامالت الشركة من سحب أو إيداع أو القيام‬ ‫بالمشتريات من دون الحاجة إلى مطالبات على‬ ‫النفقات ومن دون التقيد بساعات العمل في فروع‬ ‫البنك‪ .‬لمزيد من المعلومات حول البطاقة السحب‬ ‫اإللكترونية للشركات وكيفية الحصول على مساعدة‬ ‫الخليجي لشركتكم يرجى االتصال على الرقم ‪44940000‬‬ ‫أو زيارة ‪‬‬ ‫‪‬‬

‫‪bq | Arabic | In Context‬‬


‫مدينة الطاقة قطر تقوم بسداد مبكر للقروض‬ ‫مؤخرا بإجراء سداد‬ ‫قامت شركة مدينة الطاقة قطر‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مبكر للقروض المترتبة بذمتها والبالغة قيمتها األولية‬ ‫ٍ‬ ‫‪ %185‬دوالر (مائة وخمسة وثمانون مليون دوالر) ‪ ،‬إذ‬ ‫سددت الشركة قيمة الدفعة األخيرة التي بلغت‪%185‬‬ ‫دوالر (ماية وخمسة وثمانون مليون دوالر) خالل الستة‬ ‫أشهر األولى من هذا العام ‪ ، 2013‬وذلك على الرغم من‬ ‫موافقة مجموعة المصارف التي كانت تدير القروض‬ ‫على تمديد المدة إلى ثالث سنوات أخرى ‪ .‬غير أن إدارة‬ ‫شركة مدينة الطاقة قطر قد قررت المضي في سداد‬ ‫كافة هذه القروض المستحقة‪ ،‬وجاءت هذه الخطوة‬

‫بسبب تحسن وضع‬ ‫السوق العقاري ونموه وزيادة نسبة المبيعات‪ .‬بسبب‬ ‫التدفقات النقدية الناجمة عن توسع حركة بيع األراضي‬ ‫عددا‬ ‫والعقارات والنشاط المتزايد لهذا القطاع ‪ .‬كما أن ً‬ ‫متزايدا من المطورين وأصحاب األراضي قد بدؤوا في‬ ‫ً‬ ‫مرحلة التطوير العقاري لمشاريعهم في مدينة الطاقة ‪.‬‬ ‫ولفت المهندس هشام الرئيس التنفيذي للشركة‬ ‫إلى أن هذه الخطوة تعد في االتجاه الصحيح و تمهد‬ ‫إلى انطالقة قوية للشركة في الفترة القادمة‪ ،‬والتي‬ ‫ستستفيد فيها دون شك من االمكانيات و الفرص التي‬

‫يتيحها االقتصاد القطري في مختلف المجاالت و خاصة‬ ‫في القطاع العقاري الذي بدأ يتخلص من تبعات أزمة‬ ‫القطاع التي شهدها في الفترة الماضية‪ .‬وأوضح‬ ‫الرئيس التنفيذي أن حلم مدينة الطاقة الذي راود الجميع‬ ‫منذ فترة‪ ،‬بدأت مالمحه في التشكل على أرض الواقع‪،‬‬ ‫موفرا لالقتصاد القطري قيمة حقيقية مضافة ‪ ،‬تتجلى‬ ‫أبرز مالمحها في إنشاء مدينة مستدامة تسجيب ألرقى‬ ‫المواصفات العالمية في مجال البيئة والتكنولوجيات‬ ‫الحديثة التي تستعمل ألول مرة في المنطقة‪.‬‬

‫دور قطاع الطاقة في تعزيز البيئة المستدامة‬ ‫يناقش الملتقى السنوي التاسع للصحة والسالمة‬ ‫والبيئة في قطاع الطاقة‪ ،‬الذي تستضيفه العاصمة‬ ‫القطرية الدوحة في الفترة بين ‪ 30‬سبتمبر و ‪ 2‬اكتوبر‬ ‫‪ ،2013‬أهمية دور قطاع الطاقة في دعم برامج وتوجهات‬ ‫دول المنطقة لتعزيز الحفاظ على بيئة مستدامة خالل‬ ‫السنوات المقبلة‪ .‬ويشهد اليوم الثاني للملتقى الذي‬ ‫سيستمر لمدة ثالثة أيام انعقاد سلسلة من الجلسات‬ ‫حول الدور االجتماعي والبيئي لقطاع الطاقة في تعزيز‬ ‫االهتمام بالبيئة المستدامة من خالل أربع محاضرات‬ ‫تغطي مجموعة من المواضيع ذات الصلة بما في ذلك‬ ‫االرتباط بين البيئة والصناعة وادارة التغير المناخي وادارة‬ ‫النفايات الخطرة‪.‬‬ ‫سيقدم كوشيك ديب‪ ،‬رئيس دائرة البيئة في راس غاز‪،‬‬ ‫نتائج دراسة بحثية حول برنامج شركته في الحفاظ‬ ‫على البيئة والمكونات البحرية في المنطقة المحيطة‬

‫الذي يعد أحد أكبر المشاريع » غاز بازان « بمشروع‬ ‫المتكاملة في صناعة الغاز في العالم‪ .‬في سياق‬ ‫الحفاظ على البيئة البحرية‪ ،‬ستقوم راس غاز بنقل‬ ‫نحو ‪1,600‬قطعة مرجانية من منطقة األنابيب الخاصة‬ ‫بالمشروع قبل البدء بأعمال التشييد الخاصة به‬ ‫وذلك بالتنسيق مع وزاة البيئة القطرية وهى الجهة‬ ‫المسؤولة عن اإلشراف على حماية التراث البحري‬ ‫والتنوع البيولوجي‪ .‬وفي نفس السياق يقدم بريان‬ ‫سوليفان‪ ،‬المدير التنفيذي للجمعية االدولية للقضايا‬ ‫البيئية واالجتماعية الخاصة بصناعة النفط والغاز‪ ،‬ورقة‬ ‫عمل يناقش من خاللها كيفية تحسين األداء االجتماعي‬ ‫والبيئي في قطاع النفط والغاز‪ .‬ويقدم عبد المجيد‬ ‫الحداد‪ ،‬منسق األمم المتحدة للتغير البيئي في المنطقة‬ ‫عرض توضيحي‬ ‫الدارة مخاطر التغير المناخي وادارة النفايات الخطرة‪.‬‬

‫كما سيتحدث الدكتور محمد عارف‪ ،‬مدير‬ ‫‪ Weatherford‬بدولة اإلمارات العربية المتحدة‪ ،‬عن‬ ‫اإلدارة ‪ QHSE ،‬الفعالة للنفايات الخطرة‪ .‬سينعقد‬ ‫الملتقى تحت رعاية معالي الدكتور محمد بن صالح‬ ‫السادة‪ ،‬وزير الطاقة والصناعة القطري رئيس مجلس‬ ‫إدارة شركة قطر للبترول‪ .‬وسيصاحب المؤتمر الذي‬ ‫سيستمر لمدة ثالثة أيام سلسلة من ورش العمل في‬ ‫اليوم الثالث‪ ،‬للمساعدة في دعم المبادرات التي تحد‬ ‫من الوفيات في أماكن العمل والحفاظ على رفاهية‬ ‫الموظف في قطاع الطاقة في المنطقة‪ .‬وللمزيد‬ ‫من المعلومات عن الملتقى السنوي التاسع للصحة‬ ‫والسالمة والبيئة في قطاع الطاقة‪ ،‬يرجى زيارة الموقع‬ ‫اإللكتروني ‪‬تسجيب ألرقى ‪.‬‬ ‫المواصفات العالمية في مجال البيئة و التكنولوجيات‬ ‫الحديثة التي تستعمل ألول مرة في المنطقة‪.‬‬

‫تحسن أداء العقارات السكنية في قطر قياسا بالسنوات الثالثة الماضية‬ ‫شهدت تعامالت البيع في قطاع العقارات السكنية‬ ‫في قطر تقدما الفتا من حيث العدد في الربع الثاني‬ ‫من العام الجاري ووصلت إلى مستويات مرتفعة قياسا‬ ‫بالسنوات الثالث الماضية‪ .‬وفقا لتقرير أستيكو الفصلي‬ ‫حول أداء القطاع العقاري في قطر‪ .‬وأرجع التقرير هذا‬ ‫التقدم إلى ارتفاع الطلب على شراء العقارات ذات‬ ‫التملك الحر في المناطق الرئيسية مثل مشروع لؤلؤة‬ ‫قطر إلى جانب المشاركة القوية من قبل المطورين‬ ‫العقاريين والجهات الحكومية في معرض سيتي سكيب‬ ‫قطر لالستثمار والتطوير العقاري ‪ .‬وأوضح التقرير أن‬ ‫أسعار بيع العقارات في الربع الثاني تراوحت عند معدالت‬ ‫الربع األول من العام الحالي على الرغم من ارتفاع أعداد‬ ‫التعامالت‪ .‬وبلغ متوسط سعر المتر المربع فيفا بحرية‪-‬‬ ‫« في مشاريع رئيسية بما فيها مشروعى ‪ 16‬ألف و‬ ‫‪ 15‬ألف ريال قطري » بورتو أرابيا‪-‬بيرل » و » بيرل على‬ ‫التوالي‪ ،‬مع متوسط قيم إعادة البيع للمتر المربع ب ‪15‬‬ ‫ألف و ‪ 12‬ألف ريال قطري على التوالي‪.‬‬ ‫وتخطط قطر إلنفاق ‪ 140‬مليار دوالر أمريكي على‬ ‫تطويرالبنية التحتية خالل السنوات المقبلة حتى عام‬ ‫‪ 2022‬الذي ستنظم خالله بطولة كأس العالم لكرة‬

‫القدم‪ .‬وبحسب أحدث تقريرلمجموعة بنك قطر الوطني‪،‬‬ ‫يتوقع أن ينمو الناتج المحلي اإلجمالي الحقيقي لقطر‬ ‫بنسبة ‪ %6.5‬هذا العام مدعوما بنمو استثمارات البنية‬ ‫التحتية وقطاع البناء والتشييد بنسبة ‪ .% 11.7‬كما بلغ‬ ‫معدل النمو السكاني أيضا ‪ ٪ 11.3‬خالل ‪ 12‬شهرا حتى‬ ‫يونيو ‪ . 2013‬وقالت أستيكو إن المباني العقارية التي‬ ‫تديرها في قطر سجلت معدالت اشغال مرتفعة بنسبة‬ ‫‪ % 100‬خالل الربع الثاني من العام الحالي‪ .‬مشيرة إلى أن‬ ‫قلة المعروض من الوحدات العقارية المكتملة في الربع‬ ‫الثاني أدى إلى ارتفاع معدالت اإليجار للمستأجرين الجدد‪.‬‬ ‫وأشار التقرير إلى أن مشاريع عقارية رئيسية مثل لؤلؤة‬ ‫شهدت نقصا في المعروض من » وست بي » قطر‬ ‫والشقق المكونة من غرفة وغرفتين مع توقعات بنمو‬ ‫أسعار اإليجارات في وقت الحق من العام نتيجة دخول‬ ‫المزيد من الوحدات في السوق‪ .‬وارتفعت أسعار ايجارات‬ ‫الشقق في مشروع لؤلؤة قطر بنسبة ‪ % 7‬في الربع‬ ‫الثاني مقارنة بالفترة ذاتها من العام الماضي‪ .‬وبلغ سعر‬ ‫اإليجار الشهري للشقق المكونة من غرفة وغرفتين ‪9‬‬ ‫آالف و ‪ 16‬ألف ريال قطري على التوالي في حين وصل‬ ‫إلى ‪ 19‬ألف ريال شهريا للشقق المكونة من ثالث غرف‪.‬‬

‫كما واصلت الشقق الفندقية أدائها الجيد خالل الربع‬ ‫الثاني مستفيدة من النقص في فئات الوحدات السكنية‬ ‫المعروضة وكذلك من ارتفاع الطلب نتيجة العدد الكبير‬ ‫من المعارض والمؤتمرات التي شهدتها الدوحة في‬ ‫الربع الثاني من هذا العام‪ .‬وأظهر التقرير أن أسعار‬ ‫ايجارات المكاتب واصلت استقرارها في الربع الثاني من‬ ‫‪2013‬عند معدالت الربع األول مع ارتفاع في الطلبعلى‬ ‫المكاتب المجهزة من قبل الشركات الصغيرة‪.‬‬ ‫وشهدت األسعار ارتفاعا طفيفا خالل النصف األول من‬ ‫العام وسط وفرة المعروض من المساحات المكتبية‬ ‫واالمتيازات األخرى للمستأجرين بما فيها خيارات‬ ‫استئجار مساحات بمرافق وخدمات منفصلة ومواقف‬ ‫خاصة للسيارات‪.‬‬ ‫وال يزال الطلب قويا من قبل الشركات الصغيرة على‬ ‫أجنحة المكاتب المجهزة مساحة ‪ 500‬متر مربع أو أقل ‪،‬‬ ‫ويظهر استمرار هذا االتجاه في الربع األول من عام ‪2013‬‬ ‫‪ ،‬ولكن أقرت تقارير أستيكو أن عدد من المستأجرين‬ ‫يبحثون عن المساحات المكتبية المجهزة في األبراج‬ ‫الرئيسية على غرار‪HQ .‬‬

‫‪Photography: Bosco Menezes‬‬



‫‪bq | Infrastructure | Qatar Population‬‬

‫عين أحد المهنين اآلسيويين في القطاع الخاص لمدة‬ ‫سنة‪ ،‬وبراتب شهريقدره ‪ 10,000‬ر‪.‬ق (الحد األدنى الذي‬ ‫حددته السلطات للعامل االجنبي ليتمكن من رعاية‬ ‫أسرته)‪ ،‬انه لم يكن يستطع إحضار أسرته‬ ‫بسبب مشاكل متعلقة بالفيزا‪ .‬وحسب المصدر ‪،‬‬ ‫فإنه ليس الوحيد الذي يكافح من أجل الحصول على‬ ‫تأشيرات اإلقامة إلحضار زوجته وأوالده لالنضمام إليه‬ ‫في قطر‪ ،‬حيث أن هناك العديد ممن هم في مثل‬ ‫حالته‪ ،‬واألعداد في تزايد‪ .‬إلى جانب ذلك اشتكى بعض‬ ‫األشخاص من االرتفاع المستمر في إجارات المنازل ‪.‬‬ ‫وقال أحد المستأجرين عندما ذهبت إلى صاحب المنزل‬ ‫لتجديد عقد اإليجار‪ ،‬قام المالك بزيادة اإليجار بنسبة‬ ‫هامشية وأخبرني بأن هذه الزيادة رمزية‪ ،‬مبينا مراعاته لي‬ ‫كمستأجر قديم‪.‬‬

‫من هذا العام وفي بعض الصحف المحلية اليومية‬ ‫بتقديم بعض التقديرات لعام ‪ 2013‬قائال نظرا للعدد‬ ‫الكبير لمشاريع التنمية التي يجري إطالقها تحضير‬ ‫لكأس ‪ ،‬العالم ‪ 2022‬لكرة القدم فسيتم تعيين ما يقرب‬ ‫من‪ 600,000‬موظفا جديدا هذا العام‪ .‬وتقول مصادر‬ ‫القطاع العقاري انهم يتوقعون عددا من المشاريع‬ ‫الجديدة التي سيتم اإلعالن عنها في هذا النصف من‬ ‫العام الحالي‪ ،‬والتي سوف تتطلب قوة عاملة إضافية‪.‬‬ ‫إال أنهم يتفقون على ان التقديرات المقترحة من قبل‬ ‫المسلماني مبالغ فيها و يأملون بأن يبلغ عدد العمال‬ ‫المعينين حديثا هذا العام ‪ 2013‬حوالي‪ 300,000‬أو أكثر‬ ‫قليال‪.‬‬

‫ال يزال عدد سكان قطر في ازدياد ‪ ،‬يحذر الخبراء من تزايد‬ ‫الضغط على الخدمات العامة والبنية التحتية واإلسكان‪.‬‬ ‫مما دفع السلطات للنظر في طلبات التأشيرات العائلية‬ ‫المقدمة من المغتربين لجلب أسرهم‪.‬‬ ‫و بصرف النظر عن ارتفاع أسعار االيجارات ابتداءا من‬ ‫أواخر العام الماضي‪ ،‬بعدأن شهدت تراجعا منذ ما يقرب‬ ‫من اربع سنوات بعد ‪,.2008-2006‬فان هذه الزيادة تزعج‬ ‫المغتربين من ذوي الدخل المحدود على وجه الخصوص‪.‬‬ ‫وتظهر األرقام الصادرة عن مكتب االحصائيات الوطني‬ ‫أن عدد سكان البالد ارتفع بنسبة ‪ 130,000‬بين شهري‬ ‫يناير ومايو من هذا العام‪ .‬ويعد هذا نموا مرتفعا إذا ما‬ ‫أخذنا باالعتبار بان عدد السكان كان ‪ 1,830,000‬بنهاية عام‬ ‫‪ .2012‬ووفقا لجهاز ففي عام ‪ 2012‬زاد عدد السكان )‬ ‫‪ ) QSA‬اإلحصاء القطري بنسبة ‪7.5 %.‬‬ ‫يعتقد الخبراء‪ ،‬استنادا إلى النمو الظاهر ومقارنة‬ ‫باألهداف السنوية‪ ،‬فمن المتوقع أن يزيد عدد السكان‬ ‫عن اثنين مليون بنهاية عام ‪ . 2013‬قام الخبير العقاري‬ ‫البارز‪ ،‬خليفة المسلماني‪ ،‬بشهر يناير‬

‫وقال مصدر في سوق العقارات ‪ :‬إذا جاء في األشهر‬ ‫الخمسة األولى من السنة ‪ 130,000‬عامل ‪ ،‬فمن‬ ‫المنطقي أن نتوقع ارتفاع العدد إلى ‪ 300,000‬أو أكثر‬ ‫قليال في السنة بأكملها‪ .‬وأضاف‪ :‬وهذا ألنه من‬ ‫المرجح أن يتم اإلعالن عن العديد من المشاريع التنموية‬ ‫في النصف الثاني من العام الحالي والتي لم يتم‬ ‫اإلعالن عنها في النصف األول من العام‪ .‬وقال انه على‬ ‫أي حال‪ ،‬فمن المتوقع ان يصل عدد السكان لحوالي‬ ‫المليونين بحلول نهاية عام ‪ .2013‬وليس لدينا شك في‬ ‫ذلك‪.‬‬ ‫ومن المثير لالهتمام‪ ،‬بأن التقدير المخطط للسكان‬ ‫لعام ‪ 2013‬في إطار استراتيجية قطر الوطنية للتنمية‬ ‫‪ 2016 -2011‬كان ‪ 1,78‬مليون ‪ .‬وفي الواقع فقد ارتفع‬ ‫عدد السكان إلى ‪ 1,960,000‬في خمسة أشهر فقط‬ ‫من السنة من شهر يناير حتي مايو‪ ،‬ليتجاوز الرقم‬ ‫المستهدف بفارق كبير‪.‬‬ ‫وبالمثل‪ ،‬كان الهدفا لعام ‪ 2012‬نحو ‪ 1,76‬مليون ولكن‬ ‫عدد السكان الفعلي في نهاية العام كان ‪. 1,830,000‬‬

‫التقدير المخطط للسكان لعام‬ ‫تظهر األرقام الصادرة عن‬ ‫‪ 2013‬في إطار استراتيجية‬ ‫مكتب االحصائيات الوطني أن قطر الوطنية للتنمية ‪-2011‬‬ ‫عدد سكان البالد ارتفع بنسبة‬ ‫‪ 2016‬كان ‪ 1,78‬مليون‪ .‬وفي‬ ‫‪ 130,000‬بين شهري يناير‬ ‫الواقع فقد ارتفع عدد السكان‬ ‫ومايو من هذا العام‪ .‬كان نموا إلى‪ 1,960,000‬في خمسة‬ ‫مرتفعا إذا ما أخذنا باالعتبار عدد أشهر فقط من السنة )من شهر‬ ‫السكان ‪ 1,830,000‬بنهاية‬ ‫يناير حتي مايو(‪ ،‬ليتجاوز الرقم‬ ‫عام‪2012‬‬ ‫المستهدف بفارق كبير ‪2012‬‬

‫حيث بلغ عدد العمال الذين تم تعيينهم حديثا ووصلوا‬ ‫إلى البالد في النصف الثاني من عام ‪ 2012‬نحو ‪130,000‬‬ ‫‪ .‬وذلك وفقا لوكالة التخطيط واألمانة العامة للتخطيط‬ ‫التنموي ‪GSDP .‬‬ ‫وفقا لصندوق النقد الدولي ‪ IMF‬بلغ عدد سكان دولة‬ ‫قطر في عام‪2000‬‬ ‫‪ . 640,000‬وارتفع إلى ‪ 970,000‬خالل الخمس سنوات‬ ‫الالحقة‪ ،‬حتى ‪ 2005‬ومنذ ذلك الحين وخالل ثماني‬ ‫سنوات وحتى نهاية عام ‪ ، 2013‬فقد ارتفع عدد السكان‬ ‫في البالد والذين سوف يتقاسمون الموارد المتاحة‬ ‫تدريجيا ألكثر من الضعف‪.‬‬ ‫وعن تقرير صدر عن قطر من وحدة االستخبارات ‪EIU‬‬ ‫ومقرها لندن ‪ ،‬في يناير من هذا العام االقتصادية‬ ‫سيستمر تركز النمو السكاني السريع في المدن‪ .‬مما‬ ‫سيزسد الضغط على الخدمات العامة والبنية التحتية‬ ‫واإلسكان في المراكز الحضرية‪ .‬وفقا لمصادر في‬ ‫السوق العقاري ‪ ،‬تتطابق لوازم السكن حاليا مع الطلب‬ ‫بدال من تجاوزها‪ .‬وال يبدو بأن النمو السكاني المرتفع‬ ‫يؤثر على الطلب على المساكن بكثير على األقل في‬ ‫الوقت الراهن ألن معظم عمال‬ ‫البناء القادمين حديثا هم غير مهرة وشبه ماهرة ‪ .‬ولكن‬ ‫قد تبدأ هذه النسبة القليلة من المهنيين والعمال‬ ‫المهرة والتي ستضاف إلى عدد السكان بالتأثير قريبا‬ ‫على اإلسكان‪ :‬أعتقد أنه بحلول نهاية العام سيبدأ الطلب‬ ‫على المساكن بالظهور نقال عن مصدر في سوق‬ ‫العقارات‪ .‬وعلى الرغم من ذلك‪ ،‬بدأت األمانة العامة‬ ‫للتخطيط التنموي ‪ GSDP‬بتهدئة المخاوف من ارتفاع‬ ‫األسعار الجنوني نظرا الرتفاع اإليجارات ‪.‬‬ ‫و من ناحية أخرى‪ ،‬أدى ارتفاع عدد السكان إلى مشاكل‬ ‫أخرى ‪ ،‬منها زيادة االزدحام والفوضى‪ ،‬خصوصا على‬ ‫الطرق في الدوحة‪ .‬ونتيجة لهذا تزايد عدد الحوادث‬ ‫المرورية وبالتالي عدد الموتى والمصابين ‪.‬‬

‫‪Photography: Bosco Menezes‬‬

‫طلبت الحكومة من مدارس‬ ‫تعليم القيادة عدم تسجيل‬ ‫فئات معينة من العمال األجانب‬ ‫حتى يتم منعهم من الحصول‬ ‫على رخص القيادة‪ .‬وتصرح‬ ‫إدارة المرور بأنه سيتم رفع‬ ‫الحظر مرة واحدة بعد االنتهاء من‬ ‫المشروعات التنموية العمالقة‪.‬‬ ‫وبعبزيادة السكانية‪ .‬الح‬

‫تشير احدث التقاريراالعالمية‪ ،‬بأن الحكومة طلبت من‬ ‫مدارس تعليم القيادة عدم تسجيل فئات معينة من‬ ‫العمال األجانب حتى يتم منعهم من الحصول على‬ ‫رخص القيادة‪ .‬وتصرح إدارة المرور بأنه سيتم رفع‬ ‫الحظر مرة واحدة بعد االنتهاء من المشروعات التنموية‬ ‫العمالقة ‪ -‬وبعبارة أخرى‪ ،‬بعد أن تخف حدة الزيادة‬ ‫السكانية‪ .‬ولكن زيادة عدد السكان المغتربين سوف‬ ‫تستمر في المساهمة في النمو االقتصادي للبلد‪.‬‬ ‫وفي تقرير عن لوحدة االستخبارات االقتصادية ‪EIU‬‬ ‫فان التوسع في عدد المهنيين العمال المهرة القادمين‬ ‫من الخارج سيوفر المواهب المتنوعة التي سوف تساعد‬ ‫على تحفيز المزيد من التنويع االقتصادي‪ ،‬والذي يعتبر‬ ‫أكثر أهمية في حالة قطر‪.‬‬ ‫ورغم ذلك‪ ،‬فال بد من إدراك أهمية معاملة العمال‬ ‫األجانب كمظهر لتقوية العالقات الخارجية مع دول‬ ‫المنبع‪ .‬‬



‫‪bq | Infrastructure | Qatar Population‬‬

‫يستمر االنفجار السكاني‬ ‫ال يزال عدد السكان في قطر ينمو وسط ضغوط على الخدمات‬ ‫العامة والبنية التحتية والسكن‬ ‫بقلم راجيف أشاريا ‪ ،‬الدوحة‬


‫‪Photography: Bosco Menezes‬‬



‫‪bq | Cover Story | Gold‬‬

‫اختفاء العمالت الذهبية عيار ‪ 22‬قيراطا من السوق في‬ ‫الدوحة‪.‬‬ ‫حيث علق أحد المغتربين بأنه حاول السؤال عن هذه‬ ‫العمالت حتى في بعض محالت المجوهرات ولكن‬ ‫عبثا لم يجد‪« .‬بت أعتقد بأنه النخفاض أسعار الذهب‬ ‫فإن اصحاب المحالت التجارية لم يرغبوا في بيع القطع‬ ‫النقدية‪ ،‬ولكنهم في الواقع أخفوها"‪.‬‬

‫يشكو التجار من أنهم بينما‬ ‫يقومون بضبط معدل أسعار‬ ‫الذهب الخالص على أساس‬ ‫األسعار العالمية يوم‪ ،‬إال أن‬ ‫بعض محالت المجوهرات هنا‬ ‫تبيع بمعدالت أعلى‪ ،‬بما ال يقل‬ ‫عن ‪ 5‬إلى ‪8‬ريال للغرام الواحد‪.‬‬

‫‪Photography: Bosco Menezes‬‬

‫ويبدأون في البيع حتى عندما تبدأ التوقعات في‬ ‫االرتفاع‪.‬‬ ‫أما بالنسبة لتجارة السبائك‪ ،‬هناك ثالث شركات رئيسية‬ ‫في الدوحة ‪ -‬الفردان للصرافة‪ ،‬الخليج للصرافة وبنك‬ ‫الدوحة ‪ -‬وهذا األخير هو الوافد الجديد نسبيا في‬ ‫السوق‪ .‬يقول تجار السبائك ‪ ،‬لتوفير أرقام دقيقة عن‬ ‫مبيعات‬ ‫الذهب من قبل األفراد ال بد من سؤال شرطة العاصمة‬

‫ألنها الجهة التي تمنح الناس إذن رسمي للبيع‪ .‬ال يمكن‬ ‫أن تباع سبائك الذهب‪ ،‬والنقود المعدنية والمجوهرات‬ ‫من قبل األفراد أو األسر إلى المحالت التجارية إال إذا‬ ‫حصلوا على إذن كتابي من الشرطة‪ .‬وقال أحد التجار هذا‬ ‫يجعل سوق الحلي والذهب أقل نشاطا ولكن يسيطر‬ ‫أيضا على معدل الجريمة حيث بالكاد يكون هناك أي‬ ‫حاالت من الذهب المسروق أو المجوهرات التي‬ ‫تباع‪ .‬وفي اآلونة األخيرة‪ ،‬بدأ المشترون يشكون من‬

‫من المعقول ان المنافذ قامت بشراء األسهم عندما‬ ‫كانت أسعار الذهب مرتفعة‪ ،‬لذلك فإنهم ال يريدون‬ ‫بيعها حتى ال يعانون من الخسائر‪ .‬فهم يفضلون‬ ‫انتظار ارتفاع االسعار ‪ .‬ولكن‪ ،‬وفقا لمصدر موثوق به‬ ‫في السوق ‪ ،‬فإن مثل هذه الشكوك بين المشترين‬ ‫ال أساس لها‪ .‬وقال ان الحكومة بدأت مؤخرا بتحصيل‬ ‫الرسوم الجمركية بنسبة ‪ %5‬على العمالت عيار ‪22‬‬ ‫قيراطا ‪ .‬كما هو الحال مع جميع المجوهرات المستوردة‪.‬‬ ‫ولهذا فنحن ال نبيع‪ .‬الهوامش الصغيرة التي كنا نضعها‬ ‫في الحسبان عند وضع الرسوم‪ .‬حيث ذهبت بسبب‬ ‫الرسوم الجمركية‪ .‬كما ادعى المصدر بأنه تم تطبيق‬ ‫نسبة ‪ 5%‬جمارك عل جميع المجوهرات التي تم‬ ‫استيرادها‪ .‬ولكن كنا قد اعتدنا على استثناء العمالت‬ ‫النقدية من عيار ‪ 22‬قيراطا ‪ ،‬ولكن هذا االستثناء لم يعد‬ ‫موجودا اآلن‪.‬‬ ‫تعفى سبائك الذهب عيار ‪ 24‬قيراطا‪ ،‬أو الذهب‬ ‫الخالص‪ ،‬من الرسوم الجمركية‪ ،‬بما في ذلك السالسل‬ ‫والمجوهرات التي يتم إنتاجها محليا‪ .‬وبينما يعد الطلب‬ ‫على السالسل مرتفع جدا نظرا لكونها المرشح األوفر‬ ‫حظا عند العمال اآلسيويين ذوي الدخل المحدود‪ .‬فإن‬ ‫الطلب على المجوهرات المصنوعة محليا يزداد أيضا‪،‬‬ ‫حسب مصدر من السوق‪.‬‬ ‫ووفقا لتجار المجوهرات‪ ،‬فقد تضاعف عدد محالت‬ ‫المجوهرات ‪ 10‬أضعاف تقريبا في اآلونة األخيرة بسبب‬ ‫االنفجار السكاني لدولة قطر وارتفاع الدخل ‪ ،‬وقال‬ ‫أحدهما جئت إلى هنا في عام ‪ 1980‬عندما كان هناك نحو‬ ‫‪ 10‬محالت للمجوهرات في جميع أنحاء الدوحة ‪ ،‬ويوجد‬ ‫اآلن أكثر من مائة محل‪ .‬وهناك منافسة شرسة‪.‬‬ ‫ويشكو التجار من أنهم بينما يقومون بضبط معدل‬ ‫أسعار الذهب الخالص على أساس األسعار العالمية يوم‬ ‫‪ ،‬إال أن بعض محالت المجوهرات هنا تبيع بمعدالت‬ ‫أعلى‪ ،‬بما ال يقل عن ‪ 5‬إلى ‪ 8‬ريال للغرام الواحد‪.‬‬ ‫ووفقا لصائغ باكستاني بارز في السوق‪ ،‬فإنه يوجد‬ ‫طريقة واحدة وسهلة لحساب معدالت أسعار الذهب‬ ‫من عيار ‪ 22‬و ‪ 21‬و ‪ 18‬قيراط ويحسب بتقسيم سعر‬ ‫الذهب عيار ‪ 24‬قيراطا في دوالر للغرام الواحد على ‪0.750‬‬ ‫و‪ 0.880‬و ‪ ،0.920‬على التوالي‪ .‬فعلى سبيل المثال ‪ ،‬إذا‬ ‫كان معدل الذهب هو ‪ 1.236‬دوالر لألونصة ‪31.1‬غراما‪، ،‬‬ ‫فإن غرام الذهب يكلف ‪ 144.73‬ريال قطري‪.‬‬ ‫استنادا على العملية الحسابية أعاله‪ ،‬يجب أن يكلف‬ ‫الغرام الواحد من الذهب عيار ‪ 22‬قيراط ‪ 133.15‬ريال‬ ‫قطري ‪ ،‬والغرام الواحد عيار ‪ 21‬قيراط ‪ 127.36‬ريال في‬ ‫حين ينبغي أن يباع الذهب عيار ‪ 18‬قيراط ب ‪ 108.55‬ريال‬ ‫قطري للغرام الواحد‪ .‬وأوضح أحد الصاغة قائال‪ :‬قم‬ ‫بحساب المعدل بهذه الطريقة وأخبر الصائغ بأنك تعرف‬ ‫قواعد اللعبة جيدا‪.‬‬


‫‪bq | Cover Story | Gold‬‬


‫والتي غالبا ما تكون مصنوعة في الدوحة‪ ،‬والمجوهرات‬ ‫الهندية الخفيفة التي تحمل رسوما متواضعة نسبيا‬ ‫مقارنة بغيرها من الحلي ‪ .‬أما القطريون والعرب‬ ‫فيفضلون الحلى الذهبية األثقل‪ ،‬والمجوهرات التقليدية‬ ‫التي هي مكلفة نظرا لوزنها الكبير‪.‬‬

‫عالميا إلى أعلى مستوياته على االطالق من‪ 1,895‬دوالر‬ ‫أمريكي ‪ 6.900‬ر‪.‬ق لألونصة في ‪ 6‬سبتمبر‪ . 2011‬وعن‬ ‫ذلك تحدث أحد التجار قائال لقد حصلنا على الكثير‬ ‫من الباعة في ذلك الحين‪ .‬استغل الناس الذين اشتروا‬ ‫الذهب بأسعار أقل ذلك‪.‬‬ ‫أكد الصاغة بأن ذلك في الواقع يرجع إلى حدوث ارتفاع‬ ‫في عدد الناس الذين جاءوا من قبل لبيع الحلي‬ ‫لكن ذلك كان ارتفاعا ضئيال ألن الكثير من الناس ال‬ ‫يرغبون في بيع مجوهراتهم الذهبية بغض النظر عن‬ ‫تقلبات أسعار الذهب‪ ،‬علق أحد باعة المجوهرات من‬ ‫الهند‪.‬‬ ‫في مطلع العقد الماضي هوت أسعار الذهب في جميع‬ ‫أنحاء العالم لدرجة أن غرام الذهب الخالص توفر في‬ ‫السوق المحلية ب ‪ 33‬ريال قطري ‪ ،‬أقل ما يقرب من‬ ‫خمس مرات عن معدله الحالي‪ 150‬ر ق‪ .‬كما هو الحال‬ ‫في ‪ 12‬يوليو ‪ .2013‬وقال أحد التجار كان هناك ارتفاع حاد‬ ‫في مبيعات الذهب‪.‬‬ ‫وأضاف بأن الشيء الفريد في أسواق الدوحة هو‬ ‫ارتفاع الطلب على الذهب والمجوهرات حتى مع ارتفاع‬ ‫األسعار‪ .‬حيث يرتفع الطلب عندما تنخفض األسعار‬ ‫فجأة‪ ،‬ولكن الناس يشترون حتى عندما تتصاعد األسعار‬ ‫فجأة الى مستويات قياسية وقال مستشهدا بمثال‪،‬‬

‫األسعاربنسبة ‪ %2‬اس وبي ‪ S‬و ‪ P‬و ‪ 500‬سهم في هذه‬ ‫الفترة و ‪ %7‬عن سندات الخزانة االمريكية لعشرة أعوام‪.‬‬ ‫وقد جذب هذا المعدن األصفر المستثمرين العالميين‪،‬‬ ‫بما في ذلك األغنياء وصناديق المعاشات التقاعدية‪،‬‬ ‫بطريقة كبيرة‪ .‬حيث كان يعتبر مالذا آمنا في ظل تراجع‬ ‫قيمة األصول الورقية في أعقاب األزمات المزدوجة في‬ ‫الواليات المتحدة وأوروبا‪.‬‬ ‫ومن المثير لالهتمام أن نالحظ بأن المستثمرين لم‬ ‫يعيروا اهتماما كبيرا لهذا المعدن الثمين حتى بعد‬ ‫وقوع األزمة المالية العالمية رأسا على عقب عام ‪.2008‬‬ ‫وظهر أثر الذهب بعد ذلك بعامين‪ ،‬في عام ‪2010‬عندما‬ ‫تفاقمت األزمة‪ ،‬حيث حدثت طفرة مفجأة زيادت‬ ‫‪ %28‬في معدالته‪ .‬ويعلق أحد المصرفيينعلى ذلك قائال‬ ‫فلنتذكر دائما أن الذهب‪ ،‬على الرغم من أن ال قيمة له‬ ‫إال الستخدامه في المجوهرات‪ ،‬إال أنه يتم التعامل به‬ ‫تقليديا كوسيلة للتحوط ضد التضخم‪.‬‬ ‫فإن تصاعد أسعار الذهب في عام ‪ 2011‬في قطر‪ ،‬لم‬ ‫يزعج المشترين للمعادن الثمينة والمجوهرات‪ :‬بل على‬ ‫العكس كانت هناك فورة شراء‪ .‬وعلق أحد أصحاب‬ ‫محالت المجوهرات الباكستانيين قائال‪.‬وفي علم النفس‬ ‫فإن مشتريي الذهب والمجوهرات يميلون وبطبيعة‬ ‫الحال‪،‬إلى الشراء عند هبوط االسعار‪،‬‬

‫‪Photography: Bosco Menezes‬‬

‫مساء يوم الجمعة السابق وفي سوق الذهب القديم‬ ‫والمزدحم في قطر‪ ،‬خلف محطة الحافالت في منطقة‬ ‫غانم القديمة في الدوحة‪ ،‬بدأت مجموعات من العمال‬ ‫األسيويين من ذوي الدخل المنخفض بالنظر إلى‬ ‫محالت المجوهرات‪ ،‬مترددين في اتخاذ قرار الدخول‬ ‫‪ .‬بعضا منهم يحمل حقائب سفر وأمتعة جديدة ‪-‬‬ ‫استعداد للذهاب لوطنهم في عطلة صيفية طويلة‪.‬‬ ‫في إحدى محالت المجوهرات في الشارع الرئيسي من‬ ‫السوق‪ ،‬انشغل قليل من اآلسيويين بالنظر إلى الحلى‬ ‫والمصوغات الذهبية‪ ،‬من خواتم وقالئد وسالسل في‬ ‫رهبة من تأللؤها ‪.‬‬ ‫عن ذلك توجه إلينا مالك المحل وهو من األسيويين‬ ‫أيضا واثقا وعلى عجلة النهاء الحديث والعودة إلى عمله‬ ‫العمال األسيويون من ذوي الدخل المنخفض قائال‪:‬‬ ‫العمال االسيويون هم من أكبر عمالئنا والذين يأتون‬ ‫إلينا على مدار العام‪ .‬فهم عمالؤنا مهما اختلفت‬ ‫األحوال‪.‬‬ ‫األسيويون من ذوي الدخل المنخفض هم في الواقع‬ ‫من أكبر المشترين للسالسل الذهبية من عيار ‪ 22‬قيراطا‬

‫حالي حوالي ‪ 17.500‬ريال قطري‪ 4805‬دوالر أمريكي‪،‬‬ ‫فهي النوع المفضل لدى الهنود والباكستانيين ‪ ،‬أما‬ ‫الفلبينيون فيفضلون وإلى حد كبيرالسالسل عيار ‪18‬‬ ‫قيراطا والمجوهرات األنيقة ‪..‬‬ ‫وقال أحمد‪ ،‬بائع مجوهرات عربي الجنسية‪ ،‬ومن‬ ‫خبرته مع العمالء‪ ،‬أن معظم الهنود والباكستانيين‬ ‫يفضلون شراء سبائك الذهب وأخذها لبالدهم لصناعة‬ ‫المصوغات والمجوهرات للزواج في أسرهم‪ .‬وأضاف‬ ‫اعتقد قليال منهم يحتفظون بهذه السبائك كنوع من‬ ‫االستثمار‪ .‬من ناحية أخرى‪ ،‬يميل المغتربون النيبال‬ ‫والفلبينيون ‪ ،‬وفقا له‪ ،‬وإلى حد كبير إلى بيع أو رهن‬ ‫الذهب والمجوهرات عندما يكونون في إجازة‪.‬‬ ‫وعن تجار السبائك‪ ،‬فإن المغتربين من جنوب آسيا‬ ‫ومن ذوي الدخل المتوسط والمرتفع يقومون بشراء‬ ‫سبائك‪ 116.64‬غرام لالستثمار‪ .‬وقال أحد العاملين في‬ ‫السبائك عندما ارتفعت أسعار الذهب الى مستويات‬ ‫قياسية في عام ‪ 2011‬قام الكثير من الناس الذين اشتروا‬ ‫الذهب سابقا بأسعار أقل ببيعها وتحقيق أرباح ضخمة‪.‬‬ ‫ووفقا لدراسات قامت بها ‪ bq‬فقد بلغت أسعار الذهب‬

‫زاد الطلب على سبائك الذهب‪ 116.64‬غرام‪ ،‬التي تأتي‬ ‫في معظمها من سويسرا‪ ،‬وذلك بعد تراجع سعره إلى‬ ‫حوالي ( ‪ 17,000‬ر‪.‬ق) في نهاية يونيو وبداية يوليو ‪2013‬‬ ‫بحيث كانت مئات السبائك تتالشى كليا من المتجر في‬ ‫يوم واحد وفي ساعة واحدة‪.‬‬ ‫وقال مسؤول في أسعار الصرف ممن يتعاملون أيضا‬ ‫في السبائك أنهم كانوا يقومون بشراء السبائك بصورة‬ ‫شبه يومية‪ .‬وردا على سؤال لماذا لم يقوموا بشراء‬ ‫مخزون ضخم دفعة واحدة‪ ،‬رد مازحا يجب ان تضع جانبا‬ ‫ماليين من الدوالرات لذلك‪.‬‬ ‫وقال ‪ ،‬لقد كان االحتياطي على السبائك منخفضا ‪ ،‬في‬ ‫حدود ‪ 100‬ريال للقطعة الواحدة مثال ‪ .‬ال توجد رسوم‬ ‫مفروضة على السبائك عيار ‪ 116.64‬غرام بينما السبائك‬ ‫ذات الوزن األقل تحمل قيمة صغيرة‪ .‬تظهر ابحاث ‪bq‬‬ ‫بأن االذهب كان واحدا من أقوى االستثمارات لهذا العقد‬ ‫على مدى السنوات ال ‪ 10‬الماضية حتى بداية عام ‪2013‬‬ ‫‪ .‬حيث ارتفعت أسعار الذهب ما يقرب من خمس مرات‬ ‫منذ عام ‪ 2000‬واعدا بالعودة بنسبة ‪ %14‬سنويا على‬ ‫مدى العقد الماضي‪ .‬وعلى النقيض من هذا تراجعت‬

‫فالذهب‪ ،‬على الرغم من أنه ال‬ ‫قيمة له إال الستخدامه في‬ ‫المجوهرات‪ ،‬إال أنه يتم التعامل‬ ‫به تقليديا كوسيلة للتحوط ضد‬

‫ووفقا لمصادر في السوق‪ ،‬فاآلسيويين هم أيضا أكثر‬ ‫المشترين للذهب الخالص )عيار ‪ 24‬قيراطا( وسبائك‬ ‫الذهب ‪ 22‬قيراطا والعمالت الذهبية‪ .‬كما أن العمال‬ ‫النيباليين‪ ،‬والذين انخفضت أعدادهم مؤخرا ‪ ،‬يعدون‬ ‫من كبار المشترين للعمالت الذهبية عيار ‪ 22‬قيراطا من‬ ‫الوحدات الصغير ‪ 5‬و ‪ 10‬و ‪ 20‬غرام )األونصة( في حين‬ ‫يفضل الهنود والباكستانيون سبائك الذهب الخالص‬ ‫والتي تأتي أيضا في أحجام صغيرة ‪ .‬وعلى الرغم من أن‬ ‫سبيكة الذهب عيار ‪ 24‬قيراطا وبوزن‪ 116.64‬غراما‪ ،‬وبسعر‬ ‫‪‬‬


‫‪bq | Cover Story | Gold‬‬


‫كل ما يلمع‬

‫على الرغم من االنخفاض األخير في األسعار‪ ،‬ال يزال المعدن‬ ‫األصفر الثمين يرسم االهتمام من المستثمرين ويثير قلقهم‬ ‫باألسهم وعدم اليقين‪ .‬هل يجب أن نقفز ونقتنص الفرصة‬ ‫القتناء بعض السبائك؟‪.‬‬ ‫بقلم روهان سومان‪.‬‬

‫ارتفعت أسعار الذهب ما يقرب‬ ‫من خمس مرات منذ عام ‪2000‬‬ ‫واعدا بالعودة بنسبة ‪ 14‬في‬ ‫المئة سنويا على مدى العقد‬ ‫الماضي‪ .‬على النقيض من‬ ‫هذا ‪ ،‬كان هناك تراجع ‪ %2‬في‬ ‫‪ S‬و ‪ P‬و ‪ 500‬سهم في نفس‬ ‫الفترة و‪ %7‬عن سندات الخزانة‬ ‫االمريكية لعشرة أعوام‪.‬‬ ‫‪‬‬

bq | Cover Story | Gold

KATARA HOSPITALITY, SHAPING AN ICONIC LEGACY There is much more to being a world-class hospitality organisation than just owning, managing or developing hotels. At Katara Hospitality, our appreciation for the past powers our aspirations for the future. Decades of experience,

an innovative mindset and meticulous attention to detail enable us to craft unique masterpieces that set new standards for others to follow. With us, it is all about our boundless passion for creating legendary hospitality, building on our heritage.

Katara Hospitality Building, PO Box 2977 Doha, State of Qatar T +974 4423 7777 F +974 4427 0707

bq magazine - September 2013