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inside this issue MAY 2014 / VOL. 40/ ISSUE 5

COVER STORY

40 ON THE FRONTLINE, ONLINE

Qatar is no stranger to cyber threats. Over the last few years almost every sector in the country has been come under varying degrees of attack. How can we protect ourselves? How is ictQATAR working on defending and equipping individuals and corporations? What is the future of these attacks now that more of our critical infrastructure is coming online? We find out in this in-depth report.

36 “SHALE GAS WILL REDUCE THE GEOPOLITICAL POWER OF THE MIDDLE EAST”

In this candid and enlightening chat, one of the winners of the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Energy Awards Dr Adnan Shihab-Eldin talks about the future of OPEC, the changing dynamics of hydrocarbon-led geopolitics, the region’s tryst with nuclear energy and the concerns about shale.

18 WILL QATAR BE THE NEXT INVESTORS' PARADISE?

Ever since the Morgan Stanley Capital Index (MSCI) announced a year ago that Qatar will be included in the emerging markets index in from June 2014, a flurry of activity has been witnessed in the market, which is all set to become a regional investment hub.

30 THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND THE BUDGET

In a country known for its outstanding economic and financial statistics–enough natural gas reserves to last for 160 years; the world’s highest per capita income; 12% population expansion in 2012-2013, to name a few–creating a budget that manages to give more outstanding numbers still is no mean feat.

50 WORK ON THE FLY

Qatar Today talks to some of the big players in the enterprise mobility industry who tell us about the explosive-adaptation of this concept and how it is changing the face of operations at companies of every size and in every sector.


inside this issue MAY 2014 / VOL. 40/ ISSUE 5

48 HAVE A PRODUCTIVE DAY, EVERY DAY

Here are ten tips from the career experts at Bayt.com to help you to make the most of your time at work.

54 NANO IS THE WAY TO BE

Northwestern University Professor and member of the U.S President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Dr. Chad Mirkin is interested in making things smaller to find solutions to regional problems like water purity and desalination.

COUNTRY FOCUS

62 ENERGY, TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION AND HUMAN INTERACTION

These are just some of the areas of co-oporation in the Qatar-Dutch relations though the most valuable of all these according to Her Excellency Yvette - van Eechoud, The Netherlands’ Ambassador to Qatar, is the youth interaction. Qatar Today chats with the Ambassador as part of our Dutch country report.

SPOTLIGHT

76 READY FOR A CONNECTED FUTURE

Powered by vision, Qatar’s forward-thinking ICT strategy is propelling the country into the hyper-connected digital era, creating a solid foundation upon which to build a knowledge-based economy. We throw light on this dynamic sector in our ICT Spotlight.

32 CONSCRIPTION LAW IN QATAR

On March 11, 2014, Qatar’s National Service Law was issued, coming into force with immediate effect. A brief period of national service is now compulsory for all male Qatari nationals between the ages of 18 and 35, subject to exceptions set out in the Law. We rope in a legal expert to tell us what this means exactly and how will it be implemented?

84 DEMYSTIFYING THE MINI

It is the “New Original. So familiar, yet so incredibly different.” Smooth lines for a classic car but what is it that makes the new Mini Cooper tick?

91 QT TAKE

In our new culture section, we review the award-winning novel Throwing Sparks by Saudi author Abdo Khal.

and regulars 12

NEWS BITES

16

BANK NOTES

24

O&G OVERVIEW

26

REALTY CHECK

74

TECH TALK

88

AUTO NEWS

82

MARKET WATCH

92

DOHA DIARY


from the desk It is a sad reality that even in this era of advanced technological innovation two misfortunes in a month and a half have put the focus on the limits of human skills, stressing the unpredictability of machines at crucial moments while reinforcing the irrevocability of an unseen force. How else could one explain the still missing tons of steel and valuable lives of the 239 passengers of Flight MH370? What reasoning do the authorities share with grieving parents of the school children aboard the doomed cruiser in South Korea? That the wisdom of deciding to rely on the machine (which is supposed to be the safest place until the moment when it completely sinks) was but a human error, since evacuation was next to impossible on the stormy night? There might be various versions of the truth and even more heart-wrenching accounts of young children calling helplines before sinking to their deaths, but there is really only one truth, that of a tragedy which took the lives of the next generation. The plight of the families still waiting for news of their loved ones aboard MH370 is no less tragic, maybe more so due to the absence of bodies . We will all pray a moment longer whenever we put ourselves at the mercy of machines maneouvered by experts in the aviation sector.

AFP PHOTO / JUNG YEON-JE

It is a different kind of vulnerability we expose ourselves to as we make our online presence detailed and easy to decipher. As we pose for photographs with family and then post it on social media, somewhere in another part of the world, relentless attacks on our personal computers and private information continue. It’s on this issue, of the most sophisticated and advanced computer viruses in human history, all of which has happened here in the Middle East within the last few years, that Qatar Today has focused. While it is encouraging to know that the Supreme Council of Information and Technology (ictQATAR) is taking steps to prevent such attacks, it is always paramount to have our personal code of safety and to keep information and our children safe from online predators. Another important technological onslaught that Qatar Today has focused on is that of mobile enterprise, which is more a business solution than a tech solution. Qatar Today puts the focus on the Netherlands in its country report, a country that has multitude of collaborations from construction and architectural expertise sharing with Qatar. Most interesting of all is a fun fact that the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Qatar, HE Yvette van Eechoud, has a twitter account, which she uses extensively to connect with people. Is it an irony that as we devise methods to protect and isolate information, the need to connect for positive collaborations becomes even more apparent?

SINDHU NAIR


PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF YOUSUF JASSEM AL DARWISH CHIEF EXECUTIVE SANDEEP SEHGAL EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT ALPANA ROY VICE PRESIDENT RAVI RAMAN EDITORIAL EDITOR SINDHU NAIR DEPUTY EDITOR V L SRINIVASAN SENIOR CORRESPONDENTS EZDIHAR IBRAHIM ABIGAIL MATHIAS AYSWARYA MURTHY ART SENIOR ART DIRECTOR VENKAT REDDY DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR HANAN ABU SAIAM ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR AYUSH INDRAJITH SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER MAHESHWAR REDDY PHOTOGRAPHER ROBERT F ALTIMIRANO MARKETING AND SALES SENIOR MANAGER – MARKETING FREDRICK ALPHONSO ASSISTANT MANAGER – MARKETING THOMAS JOSE SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANTS HASSAN REKKAB LYDIA YOUSSEF MARKETING RESEARCH AND SUPPORT EXECUTIVE KANWAL BALUCH SENIOR ACCOUNTANT PRATAP CHANDRAN DISTRIBUTION SR. DISTRIBUTION EXECUTIVE BIKRAM SHRESTHA DISTRIBUTION SUPPORT ARJUN TIMILSINA BHIMAL RAI BASANTA POKHREL

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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affairs > local

RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shake hands prior to their meeting at the latter’s official residence in Tokyo on April 21. HH Sheikha Moza, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation, was on a six-day visit to Japan. AFP PHOTO / FRANCK ROBICHON / POOL

H

H Sheikha Moza also held a meeting with the Mayor of Kobe Kizo Hisamoto at Kobe Biomedical Innovation Cluster on biomedical innovation, and visited the Japanese Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, RIKEN, Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution. The meeting concluded with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between QF and RIKEN, aimed at promoting further collaboration and exchanges of students and researchers.

INDIAN EMBASSY RELEASES IMPORTANT STATS The Embassy of India in Qatar received 3,558 complaints from Indian nationals in 2013 compared to 3,385 complaints in 2012. The Labour and Community Welfare Section of the Embassy received 1,176 complaints from January to 24 April 2014, said the Indian Embassy in a release. The Embassy registered 241 deaths in 2013 compared to 237 in 2012, while the total number of deaths registered so far this year is 89. The Embassy organised its monthly open house in which Ambassador Sanjiv Arora and other officials met all the complainants, discussed their problems and assured them that the Embassy would actively follow up their cases with the authorities concerned in the government of Qatar. 14 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

HOST VENUES TO BE REVISED

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy said that the process of selecting the final proposed lineup of host venues for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was going on in consultation with FIFA. The committee was responding to recent news reports that Qatar has reduced the number of proposed host venues for the World Cup because of cost concerns and delays.

“G

iven the size of our country, FIFA and the Supreme Committee for Legacy and Delivery decided to look into reducing the originally proposed 12 venues to fit the country’s specifications while ensuring best playing conditions for all 64 matches. Generally FIFA requests a minimum of eight stadia for hosting the FIFA World Cup,” said the committee in a statement. By December this year, the Supreme Committee for Legacy and Delivery will submit a proposal for an appropriate number of host venues, “while ensuring a suitable legacy for the country and the national league after the tournament,” it added.


FINALLY, HIA OPENS

The soft launch of the Hamad International Airport (HIA) on April 30 saw the first commerical aircraft land at the new facility. Currently open to 10 budget airlines, HIA is expected to become fully operational from May 27. with all airlines, including Qatar Airways, flying out from there. Several dignitaries, including the Minister for Transport HE Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti , Chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority and the New Doha International Airport Project Steering Committee, HE Abdulaziz Mohammed Al Noaimi and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, arrived as the first passengers on the flight that landed at HIA, just minutes before a Fly Dubai flight touched the tarmac, flying in the first commercial passengers to the airport. HE Al Naomi called this a landmark moment for Qatar and said that the HIA was the “pride of Qataris and also the future generations to come.” Built at an estimated cost of $15 billion, HIA will initially have the capacity to handle 30 million passengers a year. Al Baker, brushing aside a question about the delays, said that “it is time to forget the past. The delay had slightly disturbed several of the new destinations we had planned for Qatar Airways but now that the airport is fully functional, we expect to expand even more rapidly.” The new airport includes a 300,000 sq. ft. retail gallery, a 23,000 sq. ft. mosque, two 100-room, five-star transfer hotels, a health spa, a 3,431-car park garage and a 742,000 sq. ft. flight catering facility. Phase 1 and 2 concourses include 41 contact gates and 20 remotestand gates. The Opening of HIA is also good news for Qatar Airways as its first three A380s, which are due to arrive in June, will be able to operate out of an airport with facilities designed to accommodate the double-decker aircraft.

“WE HAVE SOLVED OUR DIFFERENCES”

The Foreign Minister HE Dr Khaled bin Mohamed Al Attiyah said on April 23 that the “Gulf differences” had come to an end and it was now up to the countries that had recalled their ambassadors from Doha to send them back.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Sabah and his Qatari counterpart Dr Khaled bin Mohamed Al Attiyah pose for a photograph after signing agreements between their countries on April 23 at the foreign ministry in Kuwait City.

S

peaking at a joint news conference with Kuwaiti First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamd Al Sabah, Al Attiyah said that the GCC deal was struck without the parties making any concessions. “The brothers in the GCC countries have reached deals; this does not mean that concessions were made by any party,” Qatar News Agency quoted the Foreign Minister

as saying. He said that the difference of opinion between Qatar and three GCC countries – Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain – was over and the mechanism of the inter-Gulf agreement hammered out in Riyadh on April 17 was “clear cut”. Al Attiyah commended the Emir of Kuwait HH Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah for sponsoring the Riyadh agreement.

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 15


affairs > local

Amnesty International, the UK-based human-rights group, has accused Qatar of failing to protect migrant domestic workers, saying they are exposed to a greater amount of abuse than construction workers and are trapped by employers.

ANOTHER BLACK MARK FOR QATAR

A

report published last month called My Sleep is My Break: Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers in the Gulf Arab State features instances of physical and sexual assault. It said some of the women interviewed reported being “slapped, pulled by the hair, poked in the eyes, and kicked down the stairs by their employers” and that three said they were raped. A separate report focusing on domestic workers in the 2022 World Cup host country was published to ensure they were

not a “footnote to the issues construction workers face”, Amnesty researcher James Lynch said, according to the news agency Associated Press. About 84,000 female domestic workers are employed in Qatar, most of them from South and Southeast Asia, Amnesty said. Some told the campaign group’s researchers they worked “up to 100 hours a week with no day off”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar responded to the report, saying a draft law concerning domestic workers’ rights is currently being studied.

NATIONAL INSURANCE SCHEME’S NEW IDENTITY IN FIGURES

Dr Faleh Mohamed Hussain Ali, acting CEO of the National Health Insurance Company, unveiled the new name and logo for the National Health Insurance Scheme, Phase 2 of which began on April 30.

REAL GDP GROWTH PROJECTED TO ACCELERATE FROM

6.8% 7.8%

IN 2014 TO

IN 2016.

THE SHARE OF THE NONHYDROCARBON SECTOR IN GDP IS PROJECTED TO GROW FROM

49.9% 57.2%

IN 2014 TO

IN 2016.

(QATAR ECONOMIC INSIGHT APRIL 2014: QNB)

16 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

T

he National Health Insurance Scheme will operate under the name Seha, which means 'health' in Arabic, said Dr Ali, unveiling the new name and logo at a press conference last month. Phase 1 of the scheme, in which all Qatari women over the age of 12 were covered, has been met with “satisfaction and acceptance” and Phase 2 will further help the company catch minor glitches and understand the system better, in preparation

for the larger rollout in the coming years that will cover all residents. Phase 2 will see more insurance providers joining the network, he added. He also said the tariffs will be reviewed annually to adjust for the cost of new technology, rising cost of living, inflation, etc. He declined to reveal how much premium the government is paying for nationals, saying it was still under study and the final figure can only be confidently revealed at the end of Phase 2.


A PROMISE OF EDUCATION

When Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser announced the Education Above All initiative, no one would have ever imagined the dynamics of the commitment or the huge number of children worldwide missing out on their fundamental right to education.

E

ducation for All, a global programme of Education Above All, is working to address the issues that keep at least 57 million children worldwide from their right to a quality primary education. The programme supports successful initiatives on the ground, providing resources and support efforts around the globe that provide quality primary education. EAC also works with governments and third parties in countries to prioritise the importance of addressing the out-of-school children issue. According to Education Above All CEO Marcio Barbosa, since HH Sheikha Moza took on this initiative less than six months ago, a lot has been done. EAC was already supporting primary education for 500,000 pupils through 25 co-funded projects in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America. EAC’s target of supporting 2 million out-of-school children to enrol in quality education programmes this academic year is on track, with the goal of reaching 10 million by the end of the 2015-2016

school year. Barbosa said: “A key part of EAC’s mandate is to advocate for prioritising enrolment and retention in primary education for marginalised children in regions suffering from conditions such as poverty, conflict, discrimination or natural disaster. By getting governmental support and endorsement for our projects we are creating the conditions for a long-term cooperation and a sustainable operation.” As a part of this goal, education ministers and high-ranking delegations from 15 EAC priority countries including Algeria, Angola, Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, Tanzania, Yemen and Zanzibar will be in Doha to discuss ways of collaboration. The high-level ministerial meeting will see attendance from countries that are presently not working with EAC but need to address prevailing challenges to bring children into the primary education system.

THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE

The Arab Future Cities Summit 2014 brought together several global and regional experts with views on what Arab cities should look like in the future and the plans that need to be put in place to realise this vision.

D

elivering the welcome address, General Manager of Cisco Mohammed Hammoudi and VP of Solution Sales & Marketing for Huawei, Pan En spoke respectively about the Internet of Everything, which will be the beginning and end of smart city solutions, and how telecom operators and ICT solution providers will play a vital role bringing the smart city to life. Held under the auspices of HE Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Minister for Municipality and Urban Planning, the summit hosted a range of illustrious speakers from across the spectrum who gave unique insights into what goes into planning and building a smart city. In an interesting talk, Dr Hossam Samir

Ibrahim, Urban and Environment Planning Expert and Deputy Team Leader of the Qatar National Master Plan Specialists and Experts Group at the Ministry of Municipality and Planning, spoke about the Municipality Spatial Development Plans and how far along they were. The plans have been drafted for five municipalities except Al Khor and Wakrah which have their own plans, he said. “The plans have passed the initial acceptance from the ministry and internal consultation. The Minister has also been briefed on the same. After the external stakeholder and strategic environmental assessments, we are looking to obtain the final approvals and publish the plans in May this year,” he said. QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 17


business > bank notes AHLI BANK QATAR GROWS IN Q1 Net operating income grew by 16% to

QR227.8

million compared with Q1 2013

Net profit

QRI50.8 million

Total assets grew 23% to

Deposits increased by 25% to

million

million

QR27.97

QRI9.66

Loans and advances

QR19.22 million

DOHA BANK’S PLANS FOR INDIA Doha Bank has announced plans to invest QR91million ($25 million) in the initial stage of its India operations and says it is open to growth in the country. The lender has received the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s assent to commence operation in the country.

T

he first branch of the bank, for which a licence has been granted, is expected to be opened in Mumbai. The bank will then expand in South India, probably in Kerala initially, where most of the expatriates from the Gulf are stationed. The lender would like to have a presence in cities with trade links with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and where there is growth potential, such as in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and other states. Doha Bank has an exposure of around QR3.64 billion ($1 billion) in India and expects to increase that to around QR18.2 billion ($5 billion) in the next two to three years.

AWARD FOR CBQ

Commercial Bank’s Al Waseela Fund has won the prestigious ‘Qatar Equity Fund of the Year’ award at the annual MENA Fund Manager Awards held in Dubai recently. The Al Waseela Fund (F-Class) is managed by EFG-Hermes and provides returns on a diversified portfolio of equities listed on the Qatar Exchange and GCC stock markets. Since its inception in April 2007, the Fund has gained 104.14%, achieving an impressive 30.8% gain in 2013 and a further 9.49% gain in the year up to March 16. 18 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

GCC NATIONS EXPRESS CONCERN OVER DISRUPTIVE CAPITAL FLOWS

Qatar, together with its 13-member Group countries which includes four GCC nations, has expressed serious concerns at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting over the potential for disruptive capital flows and exchange rate volatility in Emerging Market Economies (EMEs).

T

hey urged the Fund to continue its analysis on the implications of the normalising of monetary policies in the Advanced Economies (AEs). The country and the group members were looking forward to the low-income countries’ planned work on financial sectors surveillance, the review of debt limits and their financial deepening efforts. Addressing the 29th meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) in Washington on behalf of 13 countries,

including Qatar, UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait, the UAE Minister of State for Financial Affairs, Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, urged the IMF to maintain caution before any premature withdrawal of accommodative monetary policies. “It is encouraging that consolidations in the AEs have helped support long-term growth. But further consolidation efforts in Europe will need to support long-term growth,” he said. He also stressed the need for structural reforms in the labour, product and financial markets.


development > bank notes

WILL QATAR BE THE NEXT

INVESTORS' PARADISE? BY V L SRINIVASAN

20 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014


The confidence of investors was clearly evident when Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company, a unit of state-owned Qatar Petroleum, conducted a QR3.3 billion ($880 million) Initial Public Offer (IPO) of its shares in the local market on December 31, which was said to be oversubscribed by five times! The IPO was open only to Qatari nationals and the company could have fetched more had they been offered to those from other countries.

E

ver since the Morgan Stanley Capital Index (MSCI) announced a year ago that Qatar would be included in the emerging markets (EM) index from June 2014, a flurry of activity has been witnessed in the market, which is set to become a regional investment hub. The upgrade will earn Qatar Exchange (QE) a place on the global investment radar with a huge funds inflow as a result of joining the higher tier. An upgrade will not only ensure increased visibility of existing listed companies before foreign financial powerhouses, but would also entice other entities, including family-owned companies, to go public. With stiff competition from the neighbouring GCC countries, especially the UAE, which is to be accorded the EM status along with Qatar, in attracting the investors, the government has already initiated several steps such as modifying certain rules and starting to work with companies to raise the foreign ownership limits (FOLs) to 25% to create an investor-supportive

environment. In addition, the Qatar Central Bank (QCB), QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) jointly launched a “strategic plan” in December last year for the future of financial sector regulation and more such policies to lure investors, both local and foreign, are expected later this year. The “strategic plan” contains six mutually reinforcing goals, through which the regulatory authorities aim to strengthen the financial sector, contribute to job creation and encourage investment in a diversified and competitive economy, leaving future generations less vulnerable to the boom and bust of energy price cycles. All these measures helped the QSE rally by more than 8% in the second half of 2013. According to the data from QE, the Index maintained the tempo in 2013, except in September, to finish the year up 24% at 10,380. With its consistent performance, Qatar was ahead of Bahrain (17%) and Oman (19%), but behind Kuwait (27%), Saudi Arabia (26%), Abu Dhabi (63%) and QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 21


development > bank notes

“Not all foreign investors are waiting for the upgrade to EM status. Many have already been investing in Qatar in recent months, some for the last few years. However the change in status will allow Qatar to share the global stage with more mainstream emerging market investment destinations such as the big-four BRIC countries.” AKBER KHAN Director of Asset Management Al Rayan Investment

“We have already seen an increase in account opening with the exchange by foreign institutions and gradually these will increase their investments in the market, especially the stocks that will be included in the MSCI EM index.” RASHID BIN ALI AL MANSOORI CEO, Qatar Stock Exchange

22 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

Dubai (108%) in the GCC stock markets. The market capitalisation grew nearly 21% to reach QR555 billion ($152 billion) by December 31. “We have already seen an increase in account opening with the exchange by foreign institutions and gradually these will increase their investments in the market, especially the stocks that will be included in the MSCI EM index,” said Rashid bin Ali Al Mansoori, Chief Executive Officer of QE, in an earlier interview with Qatar Today. Citing MSCI and research data, Al Mansoori says Qatar will have around 0.45% weight in the index and could attract QR1.82 billion to QR3.64 billion ($500 million to $1 billion) additional capital to the market though “there are even higher estimates floating around.” Addressing the World Exchange Congress, which was held in Doha more than month ago, he said: “We have continued our quest to provide the best practices for attracting foreign investments to the domestic market and worked on issues like improving liquidity and expanding the membership base and custodians, facilitating listing procedures and developing investment products and also improving disclosure and transparency applications.” Furthermore, the Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) are likely to make their debut any day on the QE as the bourse is all set to join the emerging market (EM) index in June this year. The foreign debt-based and general index-based ETFs are expected to be launched initially, and they will be followed by Islamic-index based ETFs in the next couple of months. This move is expected to improve the liquidity in the market. Al Rayan Investment's Director of Asset

Management, Akber Khan, says the capital market in Qatar is “still developing” and a number of new products are likely to be introduced in the coming years. “ETFs are a QR7.28 trillion ($2 trillion) market globally and are continuing to gain in popularity from both individual and institutional investors. Al Rayan Investment has assisted in putting the ETF infrastructure in place in Qatar and development work is continuing. If a fund manager was to launch a well-thought-out ETF with a relevant underlying index or security, there is every reason for it to be a success in Qatar,” Khan says. Such efforts have started paying off as the QE Index reached 12,519.54 on April 17 and is shortly expected to cross the pre-financial crisis high of 12,627 of June of 2008. The index includes 43 companies, some of them the largest and most liquid stocks traded on the exchange, such as Qatar National Bank, Industries Qatar and Ooredoo. Several others, including Qatar First Bank, are waiting in the wings to be listed on the exchange. Doha Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman, who also addressed the World Exchange Congress, feels that Qatari companies should take advantage of this development. “There should be extensive efforts to provide an investment environment that is more attractive for foreign investors to direct their investments towards the Qatari market by encouraging several listed companies to increase the maximum ownership percentage allocated for non-Qataris. MSCI upgrade is also an opportunity for companies to give more emphasis to corporate Governance and thereby encourage foreign ownership. This will enable them to improve their market capitalisation.”


Even before Qatar could be grouped along with EM economies, which are tracked by investors with an asset base of around QR22 trillion ($6 trillion), global corporate houses started exploring the options to invest their money in Qatar, as the government announced several infrastructure projects in the run-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as well as to meet the goals set by the Qatar National Vision 2030. “Not all foreign investors are waiting for the upgrade to EM status. Many have already been investing in Qatar in recent months, some for the last few years. However the change in status will allow Qatar to share the global stage with more mainstream emerging market investment destinations such as the big-four BRIC countries. This will mean global attention will not only be on Qatar’s investments globally, but on opportunities to invest inside Qatar,” Khan says. According to him, a great deal of work has been done by regulators, QE and the government to enable Qatar to be eligible for the upgrade and they should be proud. Apart from working with companies to raise foreign ownership limits, QSE has made advances in many areas such as trade settlement, having appropriate systems in place and being connected to various global settlement exchanges, Akber Khan says. Research by the Dubai office of Deutsche Bank showed that liquidity in MENA markets was on an upward trend with 2014 Year-To-Date average daily trading volume for Qatar at QR673.4 million ($185 million) nearing the pre-economic crisis levels in 2008. Companies have also begun to look favourably at FOLs and some have increased them. Deutsche Bank analyst Aleksander Stojanovski says: “We expect the inclusion of more stocks to also drive a higher weighting of around 1.3% versus 0.95% previously, which in turn should also push more liquidity into the two markets when Qatar and UAE are officially inducted from June 2, 2014. Market conditions are turning favourable for foreign investors.” “Since June 2013, Qatar has outperformed the MSCI EM index by 17% and the UAE by 57%. With the increased market focus that comes with EM status, Qatar and UAE led the region in fund inflows last year, bringing in a total of QR6.55 billion ($1.8 billion), of which Qatar received QR3.086 billion ($848 million) while the UAE had QR3.47 billion ($954 million) of inflows,” Stojanovski adds. Qatar will benefit from up to three

THE IPO ADVANTAGE

AS MANY AS

27

COMPANIES IN QATAR ARE EXPECTED TO GO PUBLIC IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS. WHILE BARWA BANK HAS PLANS TO RAISE

QR2.05

BILLION THROUGH TWO SHARE SALES, ONE RIGHTS ISSUE AND THE OTHER AN IPO, QATAR PETROLEUM PLANS TO LIST THREE MORE COMPANIES IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS WORTH AS MUCH AS

QR50

BILLION.

DOHA INSURANCE COMPANY TOO CAME OUT WITH A RIGHTS ISSUE

QR4.367

MILLION

LAST MONTH.

reclassifications from frontier to emerging market status in 2014 – one each from MSCI in June, S&P Dow Jones in September and FTSE is also possible later this year. “Accounting for both passive and active managers, there is likely to be in excess of QR18.2 billion ($5 billion) of capital flowing in to the market this year. There will, however, be some outflows too,” Khan adds. The QE also teamed up with state-owned Enterprise Qatar, which supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in February this year to develop a subsidy programme that will pay for a percentage of listing costs for smaller businesses. Both the entities will help the SMEs already approved for the programme to go public in the near future

“MSCI upgrade is also an opportunity for companies to give more emphasis on corporate governance and thereby encourage foreign ownership. This will enable them to improve their market capitalisation.” DR R SEETHARAMAN CEO, Doha Bank

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 23


business > oil&gas “By 2040, the world’s population will rise by more than 25%, reaching almost 9 billion. During this time, oil, gas and coal will continue to make up the bulk of the energy supply, with natural gas pegged as the fastest growing source.” BART CAHIR President and General Manager ExxonMobil Qatar

LAFFAN REFINERY 2 PROJECT IS LAUNCHED ENERGY FORUM DISCUSSES GEOPOLITICS AND ITS IMPACT Qatar’s natural gas production exceeded 7 trillion cubic feet in 2013. The Emir, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, laid the foundation for Laffan Refinery 2 (LR2) at a ceremony held at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

T

he QR5.5 billion LR2 project will double the condensate refining capacity of the existing LR1 to 300,000 barrels per day, reinforcing the country’s unique position as the largest condensate producer with the largest condensate refining capacity in the world. In his keynote address, the Minister of Energy and Industry HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al Sada said that the new refinery represented another step on the path to achieving the Qatar National Vision conceived by the Emir. “This refinery is part of an integrated development programme being implemented by all active parties in the energy and industry sector in Qatar to enhance our capability to fulfill diverse energy needs.” HE Dr Al Sada said that the new refinery will create added value and new economic opportunities by enhancing our export capacity and fulfilling the long-term needs of international markets.

26 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

LR2 is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum, Total, Idemitsu, Cosmo, Marubeni and Mitsui. LR2, like LR1, will be operated by Qatargas Operating Company Limited (Qatargas) and the construction works are scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2016. The refinery processes condensate, an associated product to natural gas production that is refined into a number of high-quality products, which can be used as lower emission fuels and feedstock for petrochemical production. All products will be hydro-treated to reduce the sulphur content, meeting the most stringent quality standards. It will process 146,000 barrels per stream day (BPSD) of condensate feedstock. The refined products will include 71,000 BPSD of naphtha, 60,800 BPSD of kerosene, 27,000 BPSD gasoil and 850 tonnes of LPG a day (butane and propane).

This number includes 77 million tonnes of LNG exported to more than 25 countries, pipeline gas exports to the UAE and Oman, and domestic consumption, HE Dr Al Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry said, while giving the keynote address at the two-day Brookings Doha Energy Forum 2014. HE Dr Al Sada said Qatar’s prominent position in the global energy market is set to remain for years to come. “The State of Qatar is well placed to meet the increasing demand for gas. We are also committed to continue meeting our obligations as a reliable energy producer, as a partner in development, and as an active player in ensuring market stability,” he said.


AL ATTIYAH AWARDS RECOGNISE CONTRIBUTIONS IN THE FIELD OF ENERGY The stalwarts of the oil industry met at the Museum of Islamic Art Building in Doha last month to celebrate the works of people within the industry.

ANDY BROWN, Director of the Upstream International business, Shell (earlier Qatar Shell MD) thanks HE Al Attiyah for his contribution to the industry

NOBUO TANAKA is honoured for his role in facilitating producer-consumer dialogue

THE ABDULLAH BIN HAMAD AL ATTIYAH INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AWARDS THE 2014 WINNERS:

HE ABDULLAH BIN HAMAD AL ATTIYAH with the 2014 winners.

T

he Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Energy Awards, established last year to celebrate the legacy of Qatar’s former Minister of Energy, honoured six individuals including HE Dr Ibrahim Ibrahim, Economic Advisor to HH the Emir of Qatar, for their lifetime achievements in the advancement of the global energy industry. OPEC Secretary-General, HE Abdalla S El Badri, gave a keynote speech and spoke thus of the Awards, “Al Attiyah has played a prominent role in helping the Organisation through some difficult times. He has been able to use his charm and humour to bring people together. And he has been able to broker solutions, when there has been discord,” he said. “It is appropriate then, that the Awards given tonight recognise the hard work of other people associated with the industry.” Speaking on the global energy future, El Badri said that it is clear that world energy demand is set to grow. In OPEC’s 2013 World Oil Outlook, world energy demand rises by 52% over the period between

DR IBRAHIM IBRAHIM receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Advancement of the Qatar Energy Industry

2010 and 2035. “Renewables, from wind, solar, small hydro and geothermal, are expected to grow at over 7% per year, often as a result of government support and incentives. They certainly hold promise, but globally their share of the energy mix will still be less than 3% by 2035, given their low initial base,” he said. According to El Badri, fossil fuels will continue to play the dominant role in meeting demand, although their overall share will fall from 82% to 80%. Throughout most of this period, oil will remain the energy source with the largest share, although its overall share declines from 33% to 27%. Coal’s share remains relatively stable at around 27%. The share of natural gas, however, is expected to rise from 22% to 26%. The Al-Attiyah Energy Awards, now in their second year and supported by Qatar Shell as Gold Partner and Qatar Petroleum as Silver Partner, were established to celebrate the legacy of Qatar’s former Minister of Energy and recognise distinguished individuals for their achievements over their full career cycle in the global energy industry.

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE QATAR ENERGY INDUSTRY: HE DR IBRAHIM IBRAHIM, ECONOMIC ADVISOR TO HH THE EMIR OF QATAR LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF THE ORGANISATION OF PETROLEUM EXPORTING COUNTRIES: DR ADNAN SHIHAB-ELDIN, DIRECTOR GENERAL OF KUWAIT FOUNDATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCES; ADVISOR TO AND MEMBER OF KUWAIT NATIONAL NUCLEAR ENERGY COMMITTEE (KNNEC); AND FORMER ACTING SECRETARY-GENERAL AND DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH OF OPEC LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF PRODUCER-CONSUMER DIALOGUE: NOBUO TANAKA, GLOBAL ASSOCIATE FOR ENERGY SECURITY AND SUSTAINABILITY AT THE INSTITUTE OF ENERGY ECONOMICS, PROFESSOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO, JAPAN AND FORMER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY (IEA) LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF EDUCATION FOR FUTURE ENERGY LEADERS: PROFESSOR TAN CHORH CHUAN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL ENERGY JOURNALISM: WALID KHADDURI, FORMER EDITOR IN CHIEF, MIDDLE EAST ECONOMIC SURVEY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT HONOURARY AWARD FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL ENERGY POLICY: DR RILWANU LUKMAN, HONOURARY ADVISOR ON ENERGY AND STRATEGIC MATTERS TO THE PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA, FORMER OPEC SECRETARY-GENERAL AND NIGERIAN MINISTER OF PETROLEUM QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 27


business > realty check

VALUE OF TRANSACTION BY PROPERTY TYPE BUILDING

199,400,000

OTHER

95,548,976

VACANT PLOT

2,838,085.055

VILLA

1,064,089,783

GRAND TOTAL

4,197,123,814

QATAR’S REAL ESTATE DEALS CROSS QR4.19 BILLION

Q

atar real estate transactions in March 2014 witnessed deals reaching QR4.197 billion against 867 transactions at an approximate QR4.8 million average value per single transaction, according a report from Century 21 Qatar, one of the biggest real estate firms in Qatar. While Doha municipality registered the highest transaction value by recording QR1.5 billion, covering an approximate 37% out of overall deals, it was followed by Al Rayyan (QR1.3 billion), Al Wakra (QR410 million), Umm Salal (QR381 million), Al Da’ayem (QR347 million), Al Khor (QR137 million) and Al Shamal municipality (QR22 million), the report adds.

QR4.8

VALUE OF TRANSACTION 1,800,000,000 1,600,000,000 1,400,000,000 1,200,000,000 1,000,000,000 800,000,000 600,000,000 400,000,000 200,000,000 -

million average value per single transaction

AL

KH

L A N N AL HA LA YE KR YA AM WA 'A DO SA RA A H D S M AL AL AL UM

O

R

BARWA PLANS MORE PROJECTS

Barwa Real Estate group has announced Fox Hills North project in Lusail City, which will have 3,000 units and whose work will start later this year. The company also plans to launch Barwa Al Doha, which will be developed as a strip retail, catering to local merchant traders. 28 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

A

ccording to company chairman Salah bin Ghanim Al Ali, work on the second phase of Barwa Al Barah was progressing smoothly and along with its first phase, it will accommodate 53,000 workers. Barwa had acquired the strip of land on the eastern boundary of Barwa Village in December 2012, which has good road frontage with high passing traffic and it controls the arrival experience into Barwa Village making the land attractive to retail tenants. Ghanim Al Ali said that Barwa Al Sadd

Hotel Tower, which was sold to Katara Hospitality, is almost complete and will start operations in the second quarter of 2014. Barwa Al Khor residential project consisting of 300 residential apartments and 50 villas for Qatar Shell staff is progressing well and is on target to achieve the contractual completion date of fourth quarter of 2014. Barwa Real Estate’s net profit for 2013 has risen by 27.3% to QR1.4 billion compared with QR1.1 billion in the prior year.


news bites > regional

30 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014


COOLING OFF An athlete has her horse cooled with water during the Dubai Desert Triathlon on April 19 in the United Arab Emirate of Dubai. The event, a world first, brought together the heritage Emirati sport of endurance horse racing with the triathlon disciplines of running and cycling. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 31


business > viewpoint

THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND

THE BUDGET

In a country known for its outstanding economic and financial statistics – enough natural gas reserves to last for 160 years; the world’s highest per capita income; 12% population expansion in 2012-2013, to name a few – creating a budget that manages to give even more impressive figures is no mean feat.

32 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014


BY OLIVER CORNOCK The author is the Regional Editor of Oxford Business Group.

A

mongst the headline grabbing figures was a solid commitment to encourage local businesses – and thus the local private sector – to benefit from the state’s largesse. This ticks some important boxes, not only for entrepreneurs, but for many analysts, businesses and international organisations too. Whilst the state will continue to be a significant driver of growth, creating an environment where entrepreneurship can grow is critical to long-term sustainable development, with the non-oil and gas sector continuing its upward expansion in terms of share of GDP. Yet while the intention has been widely applauded, there is still some debate over the scale of the challenges the local private sector faces in taking up the offer now being made. Tackling issues such as capacity is, however, also part of the government’s overall plan, with much in the budget to address these fundamental issues. Adding up the numbers The 2014-2015 budget estimates that some QR664 billion in projects will be implemented over the next five years, with QR87.5 billion to spend on development alone this financial year. This includes work across the economy, including infrastructure, transport, education and health, but excludes oil and gas projects. Thus the budget represents, first and foremost, a major boost for the non-hydrocarbon sector. Add to this the fact that the budget also stipulates that at least 30% of the QR87.5 billion for FY14-15 should go to local companies, and clearly, the opportunities for the Qatari private sector are enormous. The government has made it compulsory too for international corporations – whose expertise, access to financing and economies of scale tend to make them clear favourites for the major project work – to give at least

30% of their contracted business to locals. The budget reserves space for local private sector businesses by declaring that it will work to prevent local entrepreneurs having to compete with local state outfits, while also saying that ministries and other state bodies will be instructed to favour private sector companies in setting contracts. This was naturally welcomed by local businesses – indeed, the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Sheikh Hamad bin Ahmed Al Thani declared to Al Arab that “the private sector share in the new budget is huge.” The question then is, how well equipped are Qatar’s local private sector businesses to take their share of this huge level of investment? Preparing the ground Most expect that the next few years will see economic growth driven by the implementation of major infrastructure projects such as the Doha metro, the expressway network modernisation and a range of other road projects, World Cup stadia, and the continuing work on Lusail. In all these, large international companies already have a major presence. Making sure that locals get their share is thus central if government aims – and spending targets – are to be fulfilled. Qatar’s authorities have long been aware of the challenges local businesses face in competing for contracts with established internationals in such projects. Successive budgets have thus targeted social infrastructure as well as physical infrastructure. The 2014-2015 budget boosts spending on education, health and other programmes that aim to emphasise Qatar as a desirable place to live. At the same time, the Qatar Development Bank (QDB) has taken an important lead in helping local SMEs, with programmes to develop training and ease access to finance,

one of the largest obstacles to private sector involvement on large projects. For many local businesses though, the most lucrative line of involvement in relation to the major infrastructure projects underway or in the pipeline is likely to be in the associated industries, rather than in the main event. For example, the massive investment in stadiums for the 2022 World Cup also creates the need for investment in hotels, transport companies, tour companies, souvenir and merchandise companies, restaurants and entertainment facilities. All of these are likely to be areas in which local private sector companies will have a major impact. These service-oriented businesses are also likely to benefit from the sizeable population growth that is being fuelled largely by the infrastructure projects and their need for labour. According to the latest Qatar National Bank (QNB) report, 2014 will see the number of residents rise 10.4%, dipping to average 7.8% over the succeeding two years. This creates strong continued demand for real estate, retail, entertainment and restaurant facilities, as well as other services. Again, the local private sector stands well placed to benefit from all these developments. “Whilst the government has a key role to play in infrastructure development,” the QNB’s April report states, “other sectors are mostly going to benefit from private sector investments.” In the longer term too, local businesses are also likely to take a bigger share of the large infrastructure projects, as their expertise develops – often out of the close collaboration they already have with international companies operating both at home and overseas. The budget helps develop the ground for this, with many, both inside and outside Qatar, keen to see how local enterprises will take advantage of the busy future now being laid out before them QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 33


development > viewpoint

CONSCRIPTION LAW

INTRODUCED IN QATAR BY RUKHSANA KHAN

On March 11 Qatar’s National Service Law was issued which came into force with immediate effect.

34 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

A

brief period of national service is now compulsory for all male Qatari nationals between the ages of 18 and 35, subject to exceptions set out in the Law. The Law provides for two types of service, active service and reserve service. Active service will include a period of military training and a period of service in one of the units of the armed forces. In general, male graduates with college or university degrees have to serve three months, while non-graduates and high school dropouts have to serve four months. For those currently in college or university, active service can be delayed until their graduation or until they reach 33, whichever is earlier. Reserve service follows for the next 10 years, or until the age of 40, whichever is earlier. A reserve can be recalled for a training period of up to 15 days and he can otherwise be drafted if a general mobilisation order is issued by the Commander General of the Armed Forces (the Commander General), or if war or martial law is declared by Emiri Order. The Law provides for a number of exemptions, waivers and a one-year deferment of active service in certain circumstances, based on the public interest or national security considerations. For example, only sons, sole breadwinners, and those certified medically unfit for service are among those exempted. The Law also exempts government staff and employees of non-governmental organizations subject

to a request from the concerned minister or head of the organisation (as the case may be), and subject to the approval of the Commander General. Conscripts can be allowed to continue working in their job during their period of service if it is required in the public interest, subject to a decision of the Commander General. Breaking the Law or abetting a violation will subject the offender to penalties. These include extended national service up to two months, one month's imprisonment and/or a heavy fine. The National Service Law will impact employers across Qatar in several key ways: Male nationals can no longer be recruited (whether in the public or private sector) unless they have completed (or been duly exempted from) the prescribed national service.

Male nationals are not allowed to continue working once they have received an order for national service and they cannot return to work until they submit an official letter confirming completion of national service.

Employers must report any national who objects to being registered. Conscripts will be entitled to keep their job while serving, without losing the increments and promotions to which they are otherwise entitled.


"A young man who does not have what it takes to perform military service is not likely to have what it takes to make a living." JOHN F KENNEDY

Although the Law contemplates that conscripts will receive remuneration while in active service, until official regulations are issued the amounts and other details are not known. For the time being, employers are expected to continue paying their Qatari male employees as normal while they are away serving. For nationals employed in the private sector, the Ministry of Defence will be responsible for paying the difference, if any, between remuneration for national service and their regular salary. In the case of those employed in the public sector, their respective employers will be responsible for paying any such difference. It is not clear whether this means that employers will eventually be relieved of salary obligations for periods of national service. The position should become clear once the regulations are issued.

Probation periods will not be extended by periods of national service. This is significant considering that the maximum probation period allowed by law is six months. Employers may now have to consider revising their probation policy if the probation period is

less than six months.

National service will not break or interrupt employment service for any purpose including pension and gratuity calculation. National service during wartime may be treated as double service for retirement benefit purposes.

Any injury incurred while serving will be treated as an occupational injury subject to the laws thereon, and compensation for injury or death (whether during active duty or reserve phase) will be subject to the Military Service Law No. 31 of 2006 as amended.

The Ministry of Defence will form a body called the National Service Authority to administer the Law and the Commander General will issue the orders, rules and decisions necessary to implement the Law. The training session for the first batch of conscripts, namely university graduates, will be held from 1 April to 1 July 2014. According to military officials the response so far has been very positive. It seems a large number of young Qatari men are already keen to serve their country

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rukhsana Khan is a legal consultant at the law offices of Gebran Majdalany, a leading Qatari firm specialising in corporate and commercial law. A Cambridge law graduate with an LL.M in international law from Cornell Law School, Khan is a dual qualified lawyer (New York attorney and English solicitor). She has been advising on Qatari corporate and commercial law since 2004, and can be contacted at eld@gebranmajdalany.com. QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 35


news bites > world view

36 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014


A N AT I O N O F OV E R 800 M I L L I O N VOT E RS D EC I D E S Indian voters arrive at a polling station in Shirgaon village, Pune district, some 130 kms south-east of Mumbai on April 17. India hosted its biggest day of voting in its marathon election, with the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty battling to save the ruling National Congress Party from defeat by opposition Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi. Voters lined up at 7:00 a.m. (0130 GMT) in 121 constituencies across a dozen states where more than 195 million people are eligible to cast their votes in the largest single day of polling in the five-week election, which ends May 12. AFP PHOTO/INDRANIL MUKHERJEE QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 37


affairs > local > listening post development

“SHALE GAS WILL REDUCE GEOPOLITICAL POWER OF THE MIDDLE EAST” BY SINDHU NAIR

Nader Sultan, Senior Partner of Fawzi and Nader Consultancy, was given the responsibility of introducing the winner of the Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Energy Awards for the advancement of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, Dr Adnan Shihab-Eldin. With Shihab-Eldin’s credentials, the job at hand proved to be much more difficult than Sultan had anticipated. 38 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014


HE ABDULLAH BIN HAMAD AL ATTIYAH handing over the Lifetime Achievement Award for Advancement of OPEC to DR ADNAN SHIHAB-ELDIN

S

ultan deliberated on the delicate matter of introducing someone who has been in the energy development field for over five decades, with pages of credentials penned on just his roles in various fields and finally went with his instincts and skipped through the prolific career within the time allocated. A very difficult proposition when you go through the breadth of work Shihab-Eldin has been involved in; from being the acting head of OPEC to being director of the Division for Africa, East Asia and the Pacific at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to being the director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Science and Technology and currently in the role of Director General of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science. In a life steeped in sciences, it is something of an anomaly that Shihan-Eldin was given an award for the advancement of OPEC, when he is both an expert in nuclear energy and a prolific supporter of the renewables. But this further underlines his expertise in the energy economics of the region. In an exclusive interview with Qatar Today, Shihab-Eldin says that he continues work on pertinent energy issues with the hope that his work will contribute toward a sustainable energy future for the region. He says, “Personally I felt very good because this is not simply any award, but

from a foundation named after HE Al Attiyah whom I have known for a long time. He is a veteran in the international energy business which makes this award even more valuable. When you receive a lifetime achievement award, all the people who have contributed to your achievements throughout your lifetime run through your mind. So whenever an award like this is given, it honours not just the people who receive it but everyone who touched them. I want to thank them; a good number of them are from OPEC, and also my home country, Kuwait, and Gulf countries." How serious should the GCC countries be about renewables? How plausible is it that the governments will consider subsidies to encourage this sector when oil and gas is so easily available? Solar radiation in GCC necessitates the cooling of buildings, which is the largest component of domestic energy consumption. Building efficiency is the primary mitigation. But solar resource is also strong and corresponds seasonally and daily with load. It will inevitably play an increasing role in meeting the mitigated demand. New low-rise buildings can be low energy intensive with more than 20% of the energy use generated by integral solar systems. About 20% of total utility generation can be from solar farms. The GCC has been very slow to grasp this opportunity, primarily because

Both the share of biomass and nuclear remain at steady levels throughout the period 2010-2035, at around

9% 6%

and respectively. (WEO)

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 39


development > listening post “Shale oil and gas should reduce market volatility while maintaining prices close to current levels on account of the expected high marginal cost of shale oil and gas.” DR ADNAN SHIHAB-ELDIN Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah International Energy Award winner

of perceptions of hydrocarbon abundance, but now there is general consensus on being very serious about solar energy. In Kuwait we had an early start at Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR) in the 1980s; but the nascent programme was abandoned due to the 1990 war and there were false perceptions that solar energy threatens the oil and gas resource value. It is essential that governments encourage and promote the development of this sector. Subsidies are certainly necessary for pilot plants to confirm the data necessary to determine the extent of deployment and to form the contractual basis for the first commercial distributions. However, the criterion for the extent of deployment of any mix of technologies should be minimum total cost of generation, which in turn should lead to minimising overall subsidies in the long term. This must include alternative values of available fuels and in the case of renewables, costs of storage and back up necessary to counter intermittency and daily resource or load mismatch. Thus an optimised deployment will not increase subsidies. The caveat will be the value government places on emission reductions, employment opportunities and industrial diversification resulting from renewables. In fact solar may reduce total energy subsidies by shifting current waste-generating subsidies to smarter ones that encourage saving and redirect them to more productive and green economic activities. It is incorrect that oil and gas are easily available. For most states, oil, and for Qatar, gas, provide a high proportion of government revenues. Diversion from export must be minimised. For most states, gas availability is limited, primarily because 40 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

domestic low pricing policies have inhibited non associated resource development. How important is US shale gas to the geopolitical scene of the Gulf or the Middle East region? Will the price of oil reduce with more supply from the US? Broadly, shale oil and gas are potentially transformative, in the sense that they diversify and loosen the world energy market. Production is now concentrated in the US because of specific characteristics and the capability of the national industry, but worldwide resources are huge and other countries will also be capable of producing them as and when economics dictate. China is already progressing in this direction. The significance is a reduction of geopolitical power of the Middle East. Shale oil increases supply, opposing uncertain demand growth but is contingent on high production costs. It will thus support high marginal costs of additional oil supply. In the medium term, downward pressure on price will be small but significant on quotas. The long term is dependent on the diffusion of shale production technology beyond the US. Some experts have said that the US shale gas will not affect the region’s oil and gas sector as now the world will be divided into two segments; one area that will be fed by the US and the other Asian region which will need Middle East oil to meet its demand. What do you feel about this? There are interactions between the uses of oil and gas for energy and petrochemicals; therefore US shale gas will no doubt have some effect on the region’s oil and gas sector. Because of logistics and infrastructure

issues, the demarcations in pricing and flows of gas to consumers for secondary energy production between US, European and Asian markets will erode, but only slowly. Effects on relative petrochemical product competitiveness will be more immediate and severe. The oil market is more integrated and although flows will be in sectors as suggested, the effect on the regional oil industry and on revenues will be as mentioned before. In summary, shale oil and gas should reduce market volatility while maintaining prices close to current levels on account of the expected high marginal cost of shale oil and gas. Touching upon the most current issue of the Saudi and the UAE stance on Qatar, do you see this escalating to a bigger issue, and if there is Saudi closure of land borders with Qatar, what will the implications be? How will it affect OPEC? (The issue was resolved before Qatar Today went to press) I do not wish to comment on intra-regional politics but wish to express regret that this might threaten the great potential of the GCC for synergism in science, technology, and economics between its members and for their collective world status. The current dispute I am confident will not escalate and most likely will be resolved soon. What is common between GCC countries is far greater than their difference in views on current local and regional geopolitics. Nonetheless, OPEC throughout its long history has managed to go about its business of looking after the interest of its members and, in general, all producers as well as consumers, not affected by disputes amongst its members, not even by wars between some of its member countries (eg the Iran-Iraq war, the Iraq invasion of Kuwait).


I therefore expect OPEC will continue to be successful in realising its core business, safeguarding the interest of its members and maintaining the stability of the oil market. What are the options for nuclear power in the Middle East? Why should the oil-exporting countries look at nuclear power? In principle, if optimally located, regional nuclear power and waste repositories could be the best but the history of the pace of regional cooperation renders them long-term at best. Individual countries must therefore proceed on the basis of their individual economic cases and consensus. Options for the implementation of world class infrastructure are limited to those adopted by the UAE, outsourcing of sufficient expertise to establish world entities and organisations, with parallel citizen human resource development to assume national responsibility as fast as possible. Financing options for the GCC countries are B.O.T with low financing costs ensured by strong financial positions. For less wealthy countries B.O.O options have been offered. The rationale for the exporters is clear. As I discussed in the context of renewables, an optimum technology mix minimises overall generating cost to the nation. Unless sufficient domestic gas at netbacks of less than $10/Mbtu are available, under the financing possible for the GCC, nuclear is unquestionably the lowest cost base load generation available. Further benefits are energy security and minimum environmental impact. However nuclear has stringent institutional and legal requirements and poses serious and demanding challenges related to establishing and maintaining high safety in operation, and adequate waste treatment and management. It requires, therefore, long term national commitment and enduring public acceptance. Which countries in the Middle East are actively pursuing the addition of nuclear energy to their portfolio? How safe is it, considering the accident in Japan? The UAE will definitely achieve its nuclear goals and, although not yet confirmed, I believe that aversion to escalating domestic energy consumption will ensure that Saudi Arabia also does the same. Beyond the GCC, I believe that Turkey and Egypt, motivated by energy security, will also succeed. Jordon, with similar but stronger motivations, has difficulties of opposition in the legislature and public dissent while it is uncertain

HE ABDALLA S EL BADRI with DR SHIHAB-ELDIN and HE DR IBRAHIM IBRAHIM at the ceremony

if Iran will slowly expand. Kuwait and Bahrain cancelled their nuclear plans due to limitation of sites, lack of national consensus and public acceptance. They may be part of bilateral arrangements with the UAE and KSA as a first step towards a regional nuclear programme. Jordan should also consider a bilateral approach with KSA. The economic case for the exporters and energy security case for others is strong. The history of world nuclear power demonstrates its inherent safety. The Three Mile Island accident demonstrated the effectiveness of containment and the lack of public harm in a near-worst event for early reactor technology. Safety culture has now been greatly improved and Chernobyl and Fukushima were the result of willful disregard of this culture. Yet human health consequences were very limited and almost not measurable. Thus the arguments for nuclear is clear. However its history, even in first world, continues to be determined by entrenched extremism unrelated to logic. It should, and is, being pursued in countries where the government has the confidence to confront such extremism and create consensus for it. Looking at Qatar, and the GTL initiative taken by the country, what do you have to say about the methods it has taken to make the most of its abundant gas reserves? The GTL initiative extends ubiquity of application, and together with the prioritising of serving LNG over piped gas markets, Qatar has demonstrated prudence in maximising national revenue from resources.

Hopefully, in a better climate of cooperation and mutual assistance, a regional gas grid could be served at prices which are mutually beneficial, taking into consideration overall generating cost and costs of alternative energy supply. What will be the future of OPEC? What do you predict for these countries? Any major change due to the move to renewables? As oil supply diversifies and the producers’ population, national development and citizen expectations increase, the role of OPEC in maintaining price as near member fiscal prices as possible becomes increasingly challenging and vital. We have been fortunate over the past 10 years to see fiscal prices stay close to the marginal cost incurred in the move to exploit more difficult and complex resources (deep, off-shore and, now, shale). But in the longer term, under increasing consumer-efficiency, action to mitigate climate change and local pollution, well-chosen collective policies will become necessary to maximise oil income during the trajectory of reduced hydrocarbon dependence. These are probably best designed by OPEC mentored collaboration. For renewables to meet the targeted 20%+ of national energy demand will be very expensive; thus I feel that we will see a coexistence between fossil and renewables for the remainder of this century; most likely around 20-30% generated from renewable sources, alongside some nuclear, until more technological breakthroughs make the marginal cost of new renewables well below that of the marginal cost of oil and gas QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 41


COVERSTORY > IN THE FRONTLINE, ONLINE

IN THE FRONTLINE, ONLINE

42 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014


THE MOST SOPHISTICATED AND ADVANCED COMPUTER VIRUSES IN HUMAN HISTORY HAVE ONE THING IN COMMON – THEY ALL HAPPENED HERE IN THE MIDDLE EAST WITHIN THE LAST FEW YEARS, ACCORDING TO OMAR SHERIN, ICTQATAR, CYBER SECURITY DIVISION. BY AYSWARYA MURTHY

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 43


COVERSTORY > IN THE FRONTLINE, ONLINE

N "WE WERE THE FIRST CERT FROM THE REGION TO BE RECOGNISED INTERNATIONALLY AND JOIN THE 'FORUM OF INCIDENT RESPONSE AND SECURITY TEAMS'. "

HAMID SADIQ Q-CERT Department Manager, ictQATAR

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ot long after the first computers were connected to form a network, the first network propagating worm was discovered. Now malicious code could travel to your machine from anywhere in the world. Since then, the relentless attacks on our personal computers and private information have not only been unabated, the criminals and hackers of the world are devising new ways to get to what they want, helped enormously by the fact that our online presence now is pervasive, detailed and in full view. “Everything is critical information. We are living in a culture of sharing so any and all information we put out there can be collected and analysed to create socially engineered bugs that are specifically targeted at you,” says Husamettin Baskaya, Regional Director at mobile security company Websense. But more unsettling than someone trying to trick you into revealing your password or account number is when they decide to cut out the middle man and directly target the institutions that are dealing with your money. McAfee Strategic Security Foundstone Services, Director of Incident Response and Forensics for EMEA, Christiaan Beek said the Cyber Defense Centre that he is a part of in Dubai is currently working on a rather tough case, one that’s taking a lot of the Centre’s time and best resources to resolve. “This financial company was recently targeted by a very sophisticated, custom piece of malware, fine-tuned for the company. Looking at how it works and the way it spreads, it’s obvious that the group behind it has done their homework and invested a lot of time and money in hopes of remaining undetected and continuing with their crimes,” he says. These occurrences are becoming increasingly commonplace and there is as much chance of eradicating cyber crime as there is of completing doing away with crime on the streets. It’s inevitable, whether you are an individual, a company or even a government, that there will be an attempt to circumvent your defences and damage or steal your data. What matters is that your firewalls hold up to these attacks and, even if they succumb, that the data leak is detected and plugged quickly with seamless recovery. These traits will become more important as more of our critical infrastructure starts to go online, as it unquestionably will. With the buzz around Smart Cities, everything from our electricity meters and traffic signals to burglar alarms and refrigerators can be controlled wirelessly through the

internet. Even if all the doors are locked, a malicious presence could enter your home digitally, through thin air. These are the kind of threats we are increasingly going to have to guard against. Protecting the homefront Qatar is no stranger to cyber threats. With the country accounting for a quarter of global gas exports, any disruption of the LNG industry can have massive regional and global implications. The Shamoon virus, which infected over 30,000 computers in Saudi Aramco in neighbouring KSA, managed to cross in Qatar nine days later and breach the systems at RasGas as well. No damage was done and production was not affected, mainly thanks to good practices within the company which ensured that the corporate and plant networks were separated, according to Omar Sherin, Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Manager at ictQatar’s cyber security division. Moreover, with the political unrest in the region and the increasingly large role Qatar is playing in Middle Eastern and global geopolitics, the country has come under the radar of groups like the Syrian Electronic Army who last year managed to disable several government websites. In light of the Global Financial Index survey, which placed Doha among the top 30 financial centres in the world (and No 1 in the region), it’s not surprising that a lot of eyes are on the vast amounts of money making its way into and out of Doha. Also after the bad press the country has been receiving in the global media due to its labour rights violations, it wasn’t too long before Qatari interests were targeted by “hacktivists”, like the ones who temporarily took over FC Barcelona’s (being sponsored by Qatar Airways) Twitter account earlier this year and broadcast a torrent of rants and accusations against Qatar to millions of followers. But Qatar’s forward-thinking ICT strategy has helped it get ahead of the game. The Qatar Cyber Emergency Response Team (Q-CERT) was formed in 2006 and was the first of its kind in the region. “We were the first CERT from the region to be recognised internationally and join the FIRST (Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams; “a sort of UN for national and qualified private CERTs”). Now, of course, other GCC countries, like the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, KSA and Oman, have their own national CERTs and we’d like to think that Q-CERT was a main driver towards this. In fact, when we started talking about safeguarding our critical infrastructure back in 2007,


it was still a new concept, even in some of the western countries,” says Hamid Sadiq, Department Manager at Q-CERT. The cyber security division of ictQATAR has departments that deal with various aspects of online security such as incident response, forensics, threat intelligence, national standards and polices, public infrastructure and training and awareness. Q-CERT’s Incident Handling and Digital Forensics Manager, Mounir Kamal, states that during the last five years there were major incidents targeting important sectors in Qatar, aimed at stealing confidential information to be announced as data leakage or used illegally. These have mainly been possible because of: Detective issues: Targeted attacks that use advanced methodology to bypass security controls like antivirus, firewalls, intrusion detection and other technology solutions which therefore they can’t be detected sometimes. Reactive issues: And more commonly in the country, targeted attacks that may go through a long and slow process, taking a little step each time, that can’t be detected and are easy to get neglected or misinterpreted. This is why organisations report incidents when they are well in their final phases when the impact of incident becomes very clear and, often, public. Q-CERT’s methodology is focused on the 5Ws - What, When, Who, Where and Why. “These 5Ws will give us a clear picture of how an attacker managed to compromise the said personal account, critical infrastructure or even governmental data, and understand vulnerabilities,” Kamal says. Through training and education, the centre also emphasises on “creating a culture of security in the society”. “Advanced attacks or hidden enemies are tricky to detect and sometimes unavoidable due to the advanced methodology they use, targeting all categories like developers, system administrator, security administrator and even regular users, Therefore it is highly pivotal to raise security sense among people and enable them to detect any strange behaviour no matter how small it is.” We were particularly interested to talk to Sherin to gain an insight into the seriousness of the threat to our critical infrastructure and to find out what the government is doing to keep it safe. “Any sector that contributes directly to how life is conducted in the country is considered critical,” explains Sherin. “In Qatar these have been identified as energy,

finance, telecom, government and healthcare. The second tier includes food, water, media, education, etc. This, of course, varies from country to country. The US, for example, has 18 critical sectors like nuclear, railways and postal services.” Next comes formulating a list of the big players who drive that particular sector. “They are not necessarily just the famous names but could be a small company that has a direct impact on the economy. So once the company has been deemed critical, their assets become critical.” The new Critical Information and Infrastructure Protection (CIIP) law will now make it mandatory for these companies to conform to certain standards issued by ictQATAR, which had not previously been the case. “Working with the Q-CERT will no longer be optional and in addition to that, you’ll have to fulfill certain criteria like having someone from your management be responsible for security, have a strategy in place for business continuity and recovery (which has to be periodically audited and tested), have basic incident handling capability and follow a standards like the ISO 27001 or Qatar’s own cyber security standards NIAP 2.0 or industry specific standards like the National Industrial Control Systems Security Standards.” Q-CERT offers a whole package of initiatives that a company can benefit from during different periods in its lifecycle; before, during and after an attack, Sadiq says. When a Qatari company is looking for a trusted partner to respond with a team on the ground, give expert advice and work with the company’s own cyber security team to repel the attack, Q-CERT is a natural choice. “Over the years we have built a great level of trust with the organisations here and they are more willing to share their sensitive information with us, than a third party outside the country. Besides we are based locally and therefore the first to respond and are a free government service.” Furthermore, over the years more than 100 ICS engineers have been trained by Q-CERT, the course entirely subsidised by the government, in protecting industrial plants. “Another way we stay ahead is by coordination and team effort with other CERTs,” Sadiq says, “By nature, CERTs are designed to share and are meant to be hubs of collecting and disseminating knowledge. The GCC CERT in the region meets regularly, as does the Islamic CERT (OIC-CERT). There is even an initiative to establish an Arab CERT.” RSA Regional Director, Turkey, Emerging Africa & Middle East, Ahmed Abdella

"THE ABILITY TO REALLY ZOOM IN ON A COUNTRY AND HAVE A BIRD’S EYE VIEW OF THE COMMOTION ON THE GROUND HAS HELPED THE MCAFEE CYBER DEFENSE CENTRE WARN ITS CLIENTS OF IMPENDING ATTACKS AND FACILITATE FASTER RECOVERY." CHRISTIAN BEEK idirector of Incident Response and Forensics for EMEA at McAfee Strategic Security Foundstone Services

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 45


COVERSTORY > IN THE FRONTLINE, ONLINE

JOINING HANDS ACROSS BORDERS

NOBORU NAKATANI, THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE INTERPOL GLOBAL COMPLEX FOR INNOVATION, WAS IN DOHA RECENTLY AND WE CAUGHT UP WITH HIM FOR A QUICK CHAT.

"IN QATAR, CRITICAL SECTORS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS ENERGY, FINANCE, TELECOM, GOVERNMENT AND HEALTHCARE." OMAR SHERIN Head of Critical Infrastructure Protection at ictQatar's cyber security division

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Do you feel the critical infrastructure in this region is more under threat than the rest of the world? When it comes to critical infrastructure, different regions across the world are targets of different types of attack. In recent years the rate of targeted attacks has increased and criminals are strategically choosing their targets based on different key interests. Quantifying the effect of targeted attacks is still very challenging, so it is difficult to make comparisons or judge whether one region’s experience is worse than another’s. Is there a consolidated effort by the international community to come forward to protect assets in the Middle East, which if compromised can have global consequences? The Interpol Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) is looking to build a network of multi-stakeholder partnerships to the benefit of all regions, including the Middle

says that Q-CERT has been doing a fantastic job because they continually strive to match global standards and best practices by cooperating with and talking to other CERTs and organisations like the ISO in coming up with proprietary standards. “There are similar initiatives in other countries in the GCC but the Qatari government is very much at the forefront when it comes to developing national standards,” he says. A framework for security As part of ictQATAR’s National Information Assurance framework, a National ICS standard has been released; a first in the region, that Sherin explains, is one of their outstanding projects. The National ICS Standards, four years in the making, are reviewed and updated annually, as opposed to other standards which go through the process only once every five years. They are often written in association with the relevant companies and incorporate global best practices and lessons learnt from incidents inside Qatar. The National SCADA standard is now in its third edition. Ashraf Ali Ismael, as the National Information Assurance Manager and Samir

East. The IGCI strives to empower all countries, whether developing or developed, to expand and reinforce their capacity in dealing with cyber-attacks. We, at Interpol, have long understood the value of engaging in a permanent dialogue with our member countries through a vast range of initiatives, such as working groups and capacity building programmes. The IGCI’s objective is to continue along the same lines and to equip all regions of the world, including the Middle East, with the skills and knowledge to conduct digital crime investigations and digital forensic examinations. In May 2013, we organised the 1st Interpol Digital Crime Training Workshop for Middle East and North Africa in Dubai, UAE, which brought together representatives from seven countries to improve their skills in cybercrime investigation. What kinds of cybercrimes will the Global Innovation Complex be especially focusing on?

Pawaskar as the Policy & Strategy Manager, are at the forefront of drafting and publishing these standards. “NIA looks at information security as a structure based on three main pillars - people, processes and technology. We strive to raise maturity levels from the bottom-up when it comes to cyber security - how data is recognised and handled across various levels. A lot of security breaches come from poor processes in handling data in its different states - in process, in transit or stored. So we wanted to build a framework to secure the country without obstructing the flow of information which is the driving force for innovation and creativity. And we not only bring out these regulations, but also provide a training path to help companies implement them and create a list of tools that’ll help make the move, often with the help of private vendors,” he says. Over the years, the NIAF has proposed, drafted and developed several laws, standards and polices which are currently at different stages - some have already been enacted while some are in draft mode. “Among the laws, currently only the E-commerce Law has been published and enacted.


Cyber issues are very complex, covering a broad range of topics and challenges. When discussing cyber issues, one can be talking about issues of national security; espionage; of cybercrime, the list goes on. Interpol’s main efforts in this area will focus on criminal justice rather than national security. The IGCI will implement a threepronged strategy to actively assist national law enforcement in deterring cyber criminals, by harmonising cooperation efforts, developing regional and international capacity, and providing operational support on cybercrime. With prosecutions and arrests so low in cybercrime, what can act as a deterrent? When trying to combat cybercrime, there are three key challenges for law enforcement when trying to arrest and prosecute a suspect: whether countries have sufficient technical capacity to investigate a cybercrime; whether they can access or compile sufficient actionable intelligence to initiate an investigation, information that is often in the hands of the private sector; and whether national legislative frameworks will allow them to share or receive information from other jurisdictions to ultimately

The Cybercrime Law, a MOI Project, is in the approval stages. As you probably know, this is a very sensitive law; and rest assured we want to make the internet safe without making people afraid to use such tools as an enabler to creative thoughts and knowledge acquisition. The other laws waiting to be ratified are the Data Privacy Protection Law and the CIIP law.” The Qatar National Information Assurance Policy is “a comprehensive manual that covers technical and process-related aspects of information security. This is based on ISO standards but localised taking into consideration the country’s uniqueness - culture, sources of national income, industries,” Ismael says. “Right now it is mandatory but not enforced because we are working to build maturity around the importance of compliance. But this will form the cornerstone of every organisation’s ISMS (information security management system) which is what we are all working for.” The truth of the matter is that resistance is natural, especially in business which tend to only look at returns on investment, Ismael says. “ROI is not obvious when it comes to information security and

bring a case against the identified suspect. While it is therefore not a surprise that prosecutions and arrests may be low in cybercrime, it does not mean that rule of law cannot act as a deterrent. Rather it means that these challenges must be addressed to provide a harmonised response to this threat. From our perspective, the solution to this is clear: we need a global alliance, bringing together all concerned stakeholders from the private and public sectors, to tackle this new paradigm shift and place the necessary information and technology into the hands of police. Interpol seeks to implement a Global Alliance against Cybercrime that will focus on three key spheres of action – legislative harmonisation, capacity building, and operational support. We will encourage member countries to develop legislative frameworks that empower police to investigate cybercrime with a view to prosecution. We will work with member countries to ensure that they have the required dedicated resources and expertise to investigate cybercrime. And finally, we will support our member countries during their investigations, sourcing and consolidating intelligence so that they can take action.

it is hard to put a monetary value on security incidents and push for something based on probabilities and what-if scenarios.” This is why it is more effective to educate companies and individuals, rather than enforce compliance, so that they recognise the need for these guidelines and adopt them willingly. The development of each of these standards, based on extensive study, research and forward-thinking that keeps in mind the new threats created by adoption of new technology, is a structured process, Ismael says. “Once the first draft has been drawn up, it is submitted for internal review. Then we invite stakeholders from the industry to review it and collect feedback.” The cycle is repeated until a practical version of the regulations has been arrived at, approved and published. But the work doesn’t end there. “All of the standards are revised every year; sometimes even more than once, especially when emergency updates are needed.” As more and bigger infrastructure start coming online, the need of these industry-specific standards will keep growing. “Many of the mega projects by themselves will constitute a sector, each needing its

"THE QATARI GOVERNMENT IS VERY MUCH AT THE FOREFRONT WHEN IT COMES TO DEVELOPING NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR CYBER SECURITY." AHMED ABDELLA RSA Regional Director, Turkey, Emerging Africa & Middle East

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 47


COVERSTORY > IN THE FRONTLINE, ONLINE SECTOR-SPECIFIC STANDARDS ictQATAR has worked with several national entities to craft standards specific to various industries. The Banking Supervision Rules developed with Qatar Central Bank Cloud Computing Security mainly targeting government data (Ismael says, "This is still in the draft stages and tries to address issues like what kind of government data can be hosted on the cloud, subject to legal instruments in the hosting country.”) Small Data Centre security guidelines (an alternative to restrictions on cloud hosting) BlackBerry Security Policy for government agencies that use BlackBerry devices e-Health guidelines (which is in the initial stages of draft) NICS standards for SCADA systems Information security for schools and universities which are often a hot-bed of spam Public Wifi Access security guidelines

THE QATAR NATIONAL INFORMATION ASSURANCE POLICY WILL FORM THE CORNERSTONE OF EVERY ORGANISATION’S ISMS (INFORMATION SECURITY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM), WHICH IS WHAT WE ARE ALL WORKING FOR.

ASHRAF ALI ISMAEL National Information Assurance Manager ictQatar

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own standards and policies,” Ismael points out. “Qatar Rail is one such huge project that will require specific attention from us to ensure secure operation of the trains which will all be smart, driverless and guided by computer systems. Regulations would also have to be put into place to govern the safe use of high-speed internet for passengers, the ability to book tickets online, etc.” Additionally, the World Cup 2022 projects would need IT regulations, as would the smart grids and smart meters that Kahramaa is very keen to adopt. “This will lead to efficient use of energy but will also introduce unthinkable new threats to privacy and national energy resources. We have to recognise these and put in place preventive measures to guard against them,” he says. A region under attack “The Middle East has seen the worst viruses in history over the past three-four years. No other region has gone through what we went through,” says Sherin solemnly. “Bugs like Flame, Duku, Shamoon, these are nothing like the viruses that you see at home. They are called APTs (advanced persistent threats), like Stuxnet, the malware that hit the Iranian nuclear facility. It was a targeted attack, designed to work only on the facility’s network. And though many of these originated here in the region, they eventually spread to infect more than 120 countries worldwide, moving through USBs and some are even available for download online.” Beek also says that the McAfee Cyber Defense Centre, which “monitors threats in the region and proactively helps protect customers”, has been busy of late. The ability to really zoom in on a country and have a bird’s eye view of the commotion on the

ground, be it malware threats or botnet attacks or even trading of stolen information like credit card data, has helped the centre warn its clients of impending attacks and facilitate faster recovery, he says. Depending on the size of the company and the scale of the attack, it might take up to seven days to get an infected system back to normal, according to Beek. When it comes to the GCC at least, we carry the sense of security we feel in the physical world to our online world, which has been our undoing, Abdella says. “The reason we tend to lag behind in this region, in terms of cyber security, when compared with other more developed countries in the US and Western Europe, is partly because of this fake sense of security. We leave our cars running on the streets and come back to find it exactly as it was, but this is not how it works online,” he says. And worryingly, the skills and resources required to mount attacks on individuals and companies are becoming increasingly common. “We see more and more tools being published online, more knowledge being shared. Even five years ago, attacking, say a plant, would have been very resource intensive. You’d need a team with different skill sets, coming together to analyse, plan and execute the attack over a long time, using a lot of different kinds of tools and requiring a lot of funding. But this is not the case anymore, which is bad for us, the good guys,” says Sherin. “Some websites will, for a fee, custom-build malware to attack certain software. They even have after sales and customer service support with money-back guarantees,” he says wryly, “Real top of the line service.” In the case of personal attacks, you don’t even have to be smart anymore, it’s


just a matter of collecting information until enough is known about you to create a targeted attack, Baskaya says. And most traditional anti-viruses, be they on PC or mobile, are helpless against this kind of socially-engineered, non-signature based malware. These are often surprisingly easy to create too, because of all the information out there; the region as a whole loves technology, they understand it, it’s culturally important to them and they love to share. It is, of course, possible to stay relatively safe once you establish a code of conduct for yourself when you are online. Companies need to do the same, by implementing best practices and following a recognised set of standards. The ABC of data security EMC Corporation’s RSA provides security solutions to a number of financial, telecom, government and oil and gas companies in Qatar. At an all-day cyber security event hosted by the company in Doha recently, Abdella pointed out some of the ‘pillars’ that each company must put in place to protect its data. “Primarily, it’s most important to have a visibility layer that allows them to see what is happening across their networks and infrastructure, alerting them to anomalies which often happen during an attack,” he says. “Every company can be expected to be attacked one way or the other,” Sadiq echoes, “The internet, by default, is not a secure place and there is no 100% security. A company has good cyber security if it can detect an attack early and recover quickly with minimum damage.” “Secondly,” Abdella continues, “the company needs to have identity management and governance, ensuring that the right people have access to the right information and are authorised to do certain things. Third, there needs to be a governance risk and compliance which has policies in place to track violations and prevent them from happening, thus protecting the company’s

infrastructure, employee and customer information.” The problem lies in the fact that big, old companies have a lot of legacy; they have been running for decades and digital architecture has been continually added on top of these systems, resulting in a delicate balance. There is no doubt, change is beneficial. What was once isolated and proprietary is now integrated. Processes can be monitored, controlled and operated remotely; troubleshooting can be done from thousands of miles away and hand held devices can mimic the plant’s human-machine interfaces. But protecting this architecture becomes increasingly difficult and important due to all the new access points. Mobility is only compounding this problem. And the questions surrounding cyber security in the era of Smart Cities are resonating around the world, with concerns about privacy violations and unauthorised access to devices connected to the network. The attacks so far in Qatar have been very complex and this isn’t likely to change. In recent cases, the perpetrators knew what they were doing and targeted the information they were after with clinical precision. But, worryingly, most of the companies that have applied for Q-CERT’s help in the past “did not have the right protective measures in place”, according to Kamal. “This is normal,” he shrugs, “because it’s still new and not everyone is ready. But, predictably, once they have been hit once, they immediately start to apply information security systems by the book, employing professional teams and processes. And once there is a major incident in the sector, other companies in the industry, wary of being the next, approach us with queries. This has happened in media, government and energy sectors in Qatar in the past,” he says. For many of them, this was long overdue. For those who underestimate the risks, lessons will have to be learned the hard way

MOST OF THE COMPANIES THAT HAVE APPLIED FOR Q-CERT’S HELP IN THE PAST DID NOT HAVE THE RIGHT PROTECTIVE MEASURES IN PLACE.

MOUNIR KAMAL Incidents Handling and Digital Forensics Manager at Q-CERT, ictQATAR

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 49


business > bottom line

HAVE A

PRODUCTIVE DAY,

EVERY DAY

Here are ten tips from the career experts at Bayt.com to help you to make the most of your time at work. BETWEEN CONSTANT MEETINGS, PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS, STAYING PRODUCTIVE AT WORK CAN BE A CHALLENGE. HOWEVER, THE ODDS OF BEING PRODUCTIVE CAN BE GREATLY IMPROVED BY TAKING SOME SIMPLE STEPS IN ORDER TO STAY EFFICIENT.

1. Don’t let e-mails take over your day These seemingly tiny activities, such as checking and replying to your e-mails, can, over the course of a day, add up to large amounts of time that not only cause your day to slip away, but also distract you from completing your tasks. If replying to or disposing of an e-mail takes less than two minutes, do it right away. Otherwise, keep it for later. Also, send less to receive less: keep your e-mails short, and write fewer of them. 2. Eliminate unnecessary meetings Face-to-face communication is essential (e-mail is fraught with misinterpretation), but be ruthless about protecting your time. Avoid any meeting that isn’t truly necessary. 3. Learn how to say ‘no’ While everyone wants to be a good team play-

50 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

er, saying ‘no’ is sometimes the right thing to do. If you are not the best person for a task or if you have other pending deadlines, it is OK to turn down a work request. 4. Make lists Creating to-do lists is perhaps the single most important productivity booster. Keep multiple lists: the short-term ‘must-dos’ and the longer-term items. Also, clearly define the tasks that can be delegated, and then actually delegate them. Divide your to-do list into three different sections: (1) What you have to do now. (2) What you have to do in the next few days. (3) What can wait until later. That way, you always know what’s coming next, and you don’t have to worry about forgetting something.


5. Finish the tasks you dread most first Procrastination settles in during a regular day at work for several reasons. One common problem is the requirement to complete least-favourite tasks. The best way to put an end to procrastination before it even comes into the picture is to finish the tasks that we dislike. As soon as those are done, the rest of the day becomes less challenging or more exciting, with greater productivity!

ing meetings and potentially reduces the need to travel. Also, work with your IT team to see if they have any suggestions for which new technologies can be used to save time.

6. Swear off social media If you don’t need it for work, save Facebook for home and turn off Twitter during the work day. Social media was mentioned as the top source of distraction at work by 25% of MENA professionals in the Bayt. com ‘Distractions at Work in the MENA’ poll, December 2013.

9. Take frequent breaks People underestimate the importance of taking a break during the working day. While it’s important to be dedicated to your job, sitting and staring at a computer screen for hours at a time can actually be counterproductive. So get up, walk around the office and take a few minutes for a ‘mental break’. A short, five-minute walk will not only clear your head, but will also help get the blood flowing. According to the Bayt.com ‘Distractions at Work in the MENA’ poll, only 19% of professionals in the MENA take the recommended break-time every 2-3 hours.

7. Clear your desk Spend the last 15 minutes of each work day cleaning your desk. Trash what you don’t need and file things once a day. If your desk is messy, you’ll almost certainly struggle to stay productive. Get magazine files, drawers and helpful storage solutions to keep your desk in order. De-clutter and get organised and you’ll start each day with a clean slate!

10. Limit multitasking Sounds unreasonable for today’s professional, right? The truth is we’d all be much more productive if we stopped multitasking. In fact, career experts agree that the brain serves you better if you only focus on one thing at a time. So block out time to do specific tasks, and don’t switch from one activity to another at any given time.

8. Make use of technology There are amazing tools that you can use in the office to save time and ultimately make you more productive during the working day. Use GoogleDocs to collaborate with colleagues on documents. Use calendar planning tools to sync your schedules with your team. Using Skype for video conferencing is a much more efficient way of hold-

Being productive at work requires focus and energy. And if you think you could be more productive at the office on any given work day, you probably could. Try implementing these tips into your work routine and you will not only see greater productivity, but also increase efficiency, and achieve better performance results

BAYT.COM Bayt.com is the #1 job site in the Middle East, with more than 40,000 employers and over 15,100,000 registered job seekers from across the Middle East, North Africa and the globe, representing all industries, nationalities and career levels. QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 51


development > tag this

WORK ON THE FLY

Qatar Today talks to some of the big players in the enterprise mobility industry who tell us about the explosive adaptation of this concept and how it is changing the face of operations for companies of every size and in every sector. BY AYSWARYA MURTHY

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T

he handheld device has become the centre of our world. We expect it to be our window on everything outside of ourselves: our family, friends, community, and the world at large. Work, which had largely been restricted to our desk, is also now starting to be streamlined through the palm of our hands. Though it might seem like you’ll never again be able to leave your work behind, it’s actually empowering companies and employees in many different ways. The younger generation joining the workforce are ‘digital natives’ who have quite literally grown up with these devices and it’s a natural part of every aspect of their lives, including work. The Bring Your Own Devices concept is exploding and it’s in a company’s own interest to not only adapt to this new work culture, but to enable it so that it can be done effectively and securely. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), 36% of the organisations in Qatar have already adopted a company-wide mobility strategy and 22% are planning to do so in the next year. As the country has one of the highest smartphone penetrations in the world, not to mention exceptional connectivity, this is just the beginning of the story. As IDC's Programme Director for Telecoms and Networking in MENA, Paul Black, put it, for a company’s chief information officer, mobility is the next technology frontier. “It’s no longer a technology solution, it’s a business solution.” The mobile-first mentality There are three key challenges to mobility – existing, legacy-based systems, budget and vulnerability. Nader Henien, Regional Director for Product at BlackBerry, one of the best known Mobile Device Management (MDM) vendors in the world, says that when he looks at his list of customers in the region, there isn’t a single industry that hasn’t embraced enterprise mobility in one way or an other. And the more pervasive it is, the more valuable it becomes. "When network cards were first introduced, they cost about $2,000 (QR7,280). And everyone was worried about how they were going to sell those. But they began to realise that the more connected a computer is, the more value it has, as does the network. So

instead of having 20 smartphones that are not talking to each other, it’s much better for the company to connect these devices, allowing them to get more value out of their existing investment,” he says. Citrix’s Allan Kristensen says the need is being felt “across multiple industries”. He says, “Financial industries, public sector, law enforcement, school systems, defence, retail – there are opportunities everywhere to deploy and secure these apps. Every segment has a need for it.” As recently as last year, a lot of companies were still thinking about how to manage mobility, he says. “Now many of them have already figured it out.” And it’s putting these policies in place which typically takes the most amount of time and effort. “Corporations sometimes have to shift their mindset and a lot of different people from IT, security, HR and compliance need to come together to define policy and strategy. But once these are defined, it’s just a matter of rolling it out,” Kristensen points out. Qatar Airway’s Chief Information Officer, A T Srinivasan concurs, “Mobility has been a game changer which has helped us solve problems we haven’t been able to so far. It has helped us push real time information to our employees, many of whom are always on the move: dispatchers, ground staff who handle baggage, food and fuel, crew, engineers, mechanics. But first of all, to get to this point, a change of mindset was required as we learned to deal with digital natives. We needed to develop new skills as well. It was not an easy journey; the device strategy took three and a half years to put in place.” He adds that competitive reasons were piling on the pressure to seriously consider mobility solutions. While security is, and should remain, a constant concern, it is not as big a roadblock today as it was a couple of years ago, thanks to robust security solutions that are continuing to emerge. “There are multiple models in mobility that deliver different levels of security depending on the corporation’s need,” says Henien. "The highest degree of security can be ensured with corporate-provided devices which are secured by the company and distributed to employees. Then comes the COPE model; Corporate Owned and Personally Enabled which, in addition to giving you access to your

"Mobility has been a game changer which has helped us solve problems we haven’t been able to so far." A T SRINIVASAN Chief Information Officer Qatar Airways

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 53


development > tag this GROWING MOBILE WORKFORCE: PUTTING MOBILITY INTO A BROADER PERSPECTIVE MOBILE WORKFORCE IN QATAR**: 2013-2014

MOBILE ADVANTAGES IN QATAR

Business continuity

Increase of more than 10%

Productivity improvement

Increase of less than 10%

Supporting new ways of working

Stay the same

Improved customer service Decrease of less than 10% Foster greater work-life balance

Decrease of more than 10%

Lower costs Don't know Faster decision making

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

** Workers who spend 20% or more of their work time away from their primary workplace or desk Source: IDC Enterprise Mobility Survey 2012

"It’s important to keep corporations and individuals updated about privacy, data regulation and the latest threats so that even if someone manages to attack you, they’d get only the least amount of information or cause minimum damage." NADER HENIEN Regional Director for Product, BlackBerry

work, also allows you to check your personal e-mail and social network. The idea is to make this device your primary one.” Finally, the most popular BYOD model. “This is when I bring my device and my company enables it for enterprise. "Sometimes several of these models can be used in tandem for different functionalities. For example, some of the more sensitive information can be accessed by designated apps and devices only, to ease the process of managing the device and wiping out information in case of loss or theft, while other less critical functions can be done from the employee’s own device. Whichever model a corporation might prefer, containment is the key, according to Kristensen. “A big part of any MDM vendor’s work is to provide a secure communication channel which protects data at rest and transit,” he says. But at the end of the day, the right education is what will keep your data safe, irrespective of where it sits. “The devil is in the details,” Henien says, “No one walks into the front door anymore. It’s the back door or little cracks that are left open. It’s important to keep corporations and individuals updated about privacy, data regulation and the latest threats so that even if someone manages to attack you, they’d get only the least amount of information or cause minimum damage. The recovery must be fast and you should be able to get back to fighting stance as soon as possible.” Information and speed What drives mobility foremost is the ability to get the right information to the person

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concerned with minimum time and hassle. Srinivasan explains how this philosophy is changing the face of some key operations at Qatar Airways. “Though we are still in the early stages of implementing mobility solutions, we have already rolled out about 1516 apps – both proprietary and third party. Some of these have transformed operations which were for the last 30-40 years done solely on paper.” For example, through a native app now available on devices provided to the flight crew, “information about frequent fliers, passengers with special needs, commercially important passengers, etc is automatically downloaded onto the device when the flight doors shut”. When there is an inflight entertainment system or seat malfunction, the crew can just take a picture and report the problem right there. “These are all opportunities from a pure customer service platform”, he says. Recently the airline announced the rollout of QLOUD, an app that provides real time and decision-relevant information to the pilots. “Over 500 pilots have already embraced the new technology with 500 more set to begin using QLOUD over the next few weeks. All 2,500 Qatar Airways pilots are expected to be using the QLOUD system by September this year,” a statement released by the company said. The app equips the pilots, anytime and anywhere, with information regarding their schedules, flight plans, maps, weather information, details of the crew they are flying with, dispatch briefs, operational documentation like flight manuals that often easily run into thousands of pages. “Any weight that we can take off


the plane would be beneficial,” Srinivasan reminds us. Devices and related apps are also now extensively used by maintenance engineers to replace their paper manuals and to requisition parts. “Initially we had a problem with the devices being used by the ground staff. Once the battery temperature reached 6065 deg C, which happened a lot, the devices would stop working. We had to work with the manufacturer and vendors for almost two years to sort out the problem and ensure reliability,” he recollects. "You can’t replace paper in critical services until you are entirely sure of their replacement's reliability.” In addition to apps for passengers to help them with their tickets, frequent flyer programmes and duty free shopping, many non-essential apps have been voluntarily created by developers and employees after office hours, he says. An example of this is souQ, available on the QA enterprise app store that informs employees about the various discounts they can receive at establishments across the city. Yet another critical sector that is embracing mobility is oil and gas. “They are obviously very security conscious and we work on multiple levels with them to provide the highest levels of security and control,” Henein says. But it’s all worth it, he explains, citing a case study. “Imagine an oil rig in the middle of the desert where a drill bit has been damaged. You can’t go to the hardware store and buy it. They cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and weigh a tonne; they have to be requisitioned. The engineer on the field picks up his device and records a request which goes securely through the system. After the necessary authorisations have been obtained, it goes directly to the warehouse, which packs it onto the back of a truck and sends it along.” This is a perfect example of mobility that connects people, information and process in addition to keeping it secure. “We don’t want any of this to become public,” Henein reminds us. “You don’t want it to be known that your rig isn’t working, or even where your rig is located and what you are drilling for.” Going mobile in MENA “Compared to Western Europe, North America and some parts of Asia, which are more than 50% strong in enterprise mobility, the Middle east market varies from 30-50%,” says Sherif Hamoudah, Head of Telecom for SAP MENA. “This is partly because productivity gains haven’t been realised and many companies are hesi-

Market intelligence firm Kable forecast in a February report that the Global Enterprise Mobility Management Market would grow at a CAGR of 22.4% from 2014 to 2018. The retail Industry is expected to witness the fastest growth in enterprise mobility management spending, with this market growing at a CAGR of 28.7% from 2014 to 2018. Mobile application platform management, which currently constitutes the largest proportion (59%) of the overall enterprise mobility management market is forecast to reach $9 billion by 2018. Large institutions’ spend on enterprise mobility management is forecast to reach $9 billion by 2018.

tant to modernise some of their customs.” But he is optimistic, and is particularly excited about the prospect of its use in the healthcare industry. The push from the technology sector in addition to the need to stay ahead of competitors will fuel this trend. Recently, Etisalat in the UAE partnered with SAP to deliver a range of enterprise mobility services and solutions to businesses of all sizes in the country. The telecom company will build and offer cloud-based and on-premises mobility management solutions (usage of mobile applications, control of mobile devices, security and compliance requirements, as well as the management of the overall enterprise mobility strategy), based on SAP’s platform offering companies “a lower entry cost for enterprise-grade mobility management with faster time to market”. Initiatives like this will bring mobility within the reach of small- and medium-sized enterprises; it has hitherto has been the dominion of large corporations. Other factors that will enable this practice in the region are high smartphone penetration, a growing tablet market and government support. But meanwhile the next generation mobility solutions are already here. BYOx (Bring Your Own Everything) takes BYOD one step further, to enable employees to use their own apps, tools, cloud and services. “Enterprise Mobility Management service is just one component of what’s really needed in an enterprise. Building the mobile stack is one ingredient,” Hamoudah says. "From services and gadgets to applications and licences, it will increasingly be about not just the device or the end point.”

"Corporations sometimes have to shift their mindset and a lot of different people from IT, security, HR and compliance need to come together to define their mobility policy and strategy." ALLAN KRISTENSEN Citrix

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 55


development > tag this

NANO IS THE WAY TO BE

Northwestern University professor and member of the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), Dr Chad Mirkin is interested in making things smaller to find solutions to regional problems like water purity and desalination. BY CONNOR SEARS

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I

n this day and age, much scientific and technological advancement involves making things smaller. Computer engineers work to create smaller processors that allow laptops, tablets and mobile phones to shrink down without sacrificing processing power. Smaller memory storage systems mean that we can now carry more data around in our pocket than researchers 20 years ago could have stored on a stack of 50 CD-ROMs. In medicine, smaller tools are constantly being developed to provide patients with safer and less invasive surgery options. Northwestern University professor Dr Chad Mirkin is also interested in making things smaller, but his research takes the practice to a whole new level. It doesn’t get much smaller than creating structures one molecule high. Dr Mirkin is an engineering professor and the director of the International Institute for Nanotechnology (IIN) at Northwestern University’s main campus in Evanston, Illinois. The institute contains $600 million worth of research and educational infrastructure, all focusing on nanoscience, the practise of working with materials billionths of a metre in size. “One of the tenets of nanotechnology is that everything when miniaturised is new,” Mirkin says. “It has new properties. When you take gold and you shrink it down to the 13 nanometre scale, it’s no longer gold in colour. It’s red in colour. The way it interacts with light is completely different. Its chemistry is completely different.” Nanotechnology has practical applications in many different fields. Everything from optics to energy can be affected by these minuscule structures. Even regional problems, like the issue of water purity and desalinisation in Qatar, can be tackled more efficiently through nanoscience. Another important field for nanoscientists is medicine. The most important development to come out of the IIN, Mirkin says, is what are called spherical nucleic acids, tiny balls of DNA that can interact with cells in ways totally unique from regular, linear strands of DNA. These spherical nucleic acids can selectively bind to certain types of cells and, as he puts it, “flip genetic switches”. This technology can be used to target and attack diseases like, in his example, brain cancer. Using this process, the IIN saw tumour reduction and

"This region is poised to have the first nanomedicine and nanotechnology center of its kind, and we’re exploring whether that’s a possibility and whether Qatar is the best place to establish it."

increased survival in animals with the disease, a promising first step towards new cancer treatments that Mirkin presented to the second Middle East Conference on Biomedical Engineering held in Doha. “So this is a very powerful form of what’s called gene regulation technology,” Mirkin says. “That can be used, in principle, to begin to treat some of the world’s most debilitating diseases.” Another advancement that has come out of the IIN is a process called Dip Pen Nanolithography, which allows tiny structures one molecule high to be drawn on a surface. In line with many other impressive scientific discoveries, this invention happened completely by accident. A student had left the tip of an atomic force microscope (AFM) – a tool that allows researchers to measure surfaces down to the atomic scale – in contact with a surface while he went outside to smoke a pipe. When he returned, he found that a tiny amount of water had condensed from the air and had been deposited on the surface by the tip of the microscope. He then found that he could create patterns by moving the tip of the microscope, patterns that could be only a few molecules high. Because these patterns were made of water, though, they would soon disappear. “I said, look, the world’s only going to care so much about making what we called metastable patterns of water,” Mirkin says. “A chemist really wants to build things, so let’s put molecules on there that will chemically react with the surface and form a layer that stays there forever.” Mirkin’s team then designed chemicals

that would react with a gold surface. Then, by utilizing not one but millions of AFM tips, they were able to create larger patterns with a molecular level of resolution. The IIN acts as a centre of international cooperation in pursuit of advancing nanotechnology. As the largest institute of its kind in the world, it attracts great scientific minds from across the globe. Mirkin’s team alone includes researchers from 13 different countries, and there is much more room for international collaboration outside of the United States. The institute has set up sister centres in several international locations like China and Singapore that not only help to develop human talent in the field but also increase the potential for collaboration on projects that can affect populations all over the world. Whether the gulf region, or even Doha in particular, could be able to join in this global partnership is still up for discussion. “This region is poised to have the first nanomedicine and nanotechnology centre of its kind, and we’re exploring whether that’s a possibility and whether Qatar is the best place to establish it,” Mirkin says. “That’s going to be a dialogue that takes place over the next few months. We will either see a synergy or not and move forward or not.” In addition to advancing the field of nanotechnology, Mirkin has also been involved with making policy recommendations to the American government as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) since 2009. PCAST is a group of the best and brightest minds from scientific and technological fields in the United States who meet to recommend policy to President Barack Obama. “It’s intellectual gymnastics,” Mirkin says. “These are meetings where you’ve got, when I started, three Nobel Prize winners on the committee. There are several of the most accomplished university presidents. There are guys who revolutionised Wall Street, guys like D E Shaw. There are people who had built unbelievable businesses, Eric Schmidt of Google and Craig Mundie, one of the smartest guys out of Microsoft. They are giants in their field. They’re people that have an unbelievable set of credentials and accomplishments yet a desire to give back through their service to government.” QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 57


development > tag this

FAMILY IS THE CRUX At a recently held conference on empowering families in an ever-changing globalised world that has caused disruption in value systems, the consensus was that agencies, both government and private, should keep the family at the centre of all policies. BY ANEY MATHEW

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“H

umanity at the moment greatly needs comprehensive global, national policies and programmes that are geared towards family issues, as an integrated social system without fragmenting solutions. We behold the issues of men, women, youth and the child as a single issue: which is the issue of family with its own array of challenges and problems,” declared HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development as she gave the opening address at the Doha International Family Institute’s International conference “Empowering families: A Pathway to Development”. HH Sheikha Moza called on the world to do more for family empowerment. Stating that the family is the nucleus and unit of society and also the educational womb of generations, she pointed out that if the family is good, society will be righteous, and if it is disintegrated, society will be incoherent. HH Sheikha Moza also referred to the issues faced by the Arab family in an era when their identity, culture and future are threatened.

“The cultural invasion that has swept the world through the flood of globalisation in the last two decades has actually shaken the Arab man, created a disruption in the system of values, diminished the identity and cultural characteristics, leading to the decline of values which led to slowness in terms of anticipating and addressing challenges. Cultural invasion has targeted the core of the identity of the Arab family: its culture, language and religion. The media and entertainment culture has played the most influential role in carrying the terms and consequences of this invasion, which has affected many of the Arab youth.” The Doha International Family Institute (DIFI), a member of Qatar Foundation, organised a conference last month. The event was conducted as part of the commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family (IYF). Held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, this was DIFI’s largest ever conference focusing on the family. “The main objective of this conference is to focus on the mounting evidence that links empowering families and the achievement of developmental goals. The conference will explore how families can be strengthened and supported to fulfil


"The conference will explore how families can be strengthened and supported to fulfil their numerous functions and will call on governments to take action at the national level to improve welfare of families and integrate a family policy into national policy making." NOOR AL MALKI AL JEHANI Executive Director, Doha International Family Institute

their numerous functions and will call on governments to take action at the national level to improve welfare of families and integrate a family policy into national policy making”, said Noor Al Malki Al Jehani, Executive Director, DIFI, outlining the aim of the conference. The event was framed around the basic concept that the family is the ‘fundamental unit of society’ and hence needs to be protected and nurtured. The focus was on issues confronting family poverty, promoting full employment, family-work balance and advancing social integration through the lens of a family perspective. Over the last 50 years, women’s participation in paid employment outside the home has been increasing consistently and significantly in almost all countries. More and more today, we see both parents employed outside the home. The number of single-parent, female-headed households is also growing. The fact remains that, despite women’s increased participation in the labour market, their share of family responsibilities, has not diminished. Neither social policies and services to support family responsibilities nor workplace policies to support work-family balance, have kept pace with the changes in labour markets or families. In the absence of adequate policies, the current trends lead to considerable conflicts and stress for employees and their families. People respond to this stress with ‘individual coping strategies’, which often come at a high cost. Most countries have implemented some policies aimed at supporting reconciliation of work and family life, but their type, coverage and effectiveness vary. The session on ‘Full Employment: Ensuring Work -Family Balance’ discussed how to design effective policies and some good practices needed to ensure a good family-work balance.

What’s with the balance? Discussing the million dollar work-family balance issue, Ministry for Community Development, Social Affairs & Sports, Seychelles, HE Vincent Meriton, says, “Once you emancipate the girl, it’s just not for the sake of emancipation; there has to be logical conclusion. She needs to go into professional development and work. Then she will aspire to a higher position and if the husband is also working there will be a void in the family. Since we live at a time when extended families are decreasing, the void remains. This is where the community comes in – to provide good quality childcare services that complement the family.” He also notes that the national development approach must be such that the family is the centre of all policies – educational, environment, social etc: “It is important that all agencies – governments, private firms and NGOs work in tandem to achieve this goal. Without this, we will all be doing our own small thing, in our own departments, our own kingdoms and our own empires,” he says. Anne Claire, President, Make Mothers

"Once you emancipate the girl, it’s just not for the sake of emancipation; there has to be logical conclusion. She needs to go into professional development and work. Then she will aspire to a higher position." VINCENT MERITON Ministry for Community Development, Social Affairs & Sports, Seychelles, QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 59


development > tag this

ANNE CLAIRE President, Make Mothers Matter International, UN General Consultative Status

"We often hear of CSR, but within that is the Corporate Family Responsibility, which is the commitment of companies to promote, among others, conciliation policies to integrate the work, family and the personal lives of their employees." NURIA CHINCHILLA Founder & President, International Centre on Work & Family, IESE, University of Navarra

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Matter International, UN General Consultative Status was of the opinion that families can achieve a family-work balance, keeping in mind the choices available and the fact that the time available to raise their children is not that long, compared to the time put into a professional life. Her solution was for a “discontinuous professional life – getting out of the labour market to assume family responsibilities and re-entering it later, when children are more independent”. But this will require a strong conviction that family work is real work and a real contribution to society, she stresses. Claire also stresses healthy options, “good quality day care, which makes sure that children do not suffer because of their parents’ choice or their necessity to work”. The ideal situation would be when companies invest in daycare, attracting young talents who want a better family-work balance. Quality part-time jobs, that are not considered professional dead ends, are also good options for parents who want to retain a professional life whilst having time for the children. “Flexibility in the workplace is also a big help for mothers and fathers,” she says. She adds, “It is important for governments not to impose their agendas on families but rather provide them with a diversity of measures to make good choices, as in the case of maternity and paternity leave, tax deductions for families, quality day-care centres, pensions-care credits for those taking career breaks for family reasons, and making companies accountable for respecting employment legislation.”

Another revolutionary but entirely logical input was given by Professor Margaret O’Brien, Director, Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education, University Of London. She says that decision and policy makers must be encouraged to fit fathers into work-family policies. “Fathers have not been central to work-family deliberations. Fathers' and men’s roles in families have been rising on the world stage. There’s now a global advocacy to support men as care-givers in families,” she says. While maternal leave is in place, there is no international mandate for paternity leave. However, some countries take this approach seriously: they offer more leave to the family if the father takes leave. Others have non-transferable ‘daddy leave’ that cannot be taken by the mother. These measures encourage fathers to take time off, or to work reduced hours to take care of their family. According to Professor Nuria Chinchilla, Founder & President, International Centre on Work & Family, IESE, University of Navarra, Spain, the three Fs for a sustainable future are: family, femininity and flexibility. “As we know, family is vital – no man is an island. We are all members of a family. As for femininity, for too long we have looked with one eye open – the lens of masculinity. This meant only half of reality was evident. Since men and women are complementary, we need to look with both lenses for clear vision,” she says. Chinchilla says that companies need to be flexible and family-responsible. “We often hear of CSR, but within that is the Corporate Family Responsibility, which is the commitment of companies to promote, among others, conciliation policies to integrate the work, family and the personal lives of their employees. Work and family are both realities where we develop ourselves. So we need to integrate both in one line of life,” says Chinchilla. Families can themselves try to achieve a better work-family balance, but it is more effective when they are supported by the government and employers, according to Professor Anne H Gauthier, Senior Researcher, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute. “At home, the aim is to gain greater equality in men and women’s sharing of housework and child-caring tasks. This can be done through education and instilling new norms and values in favour of greater gender equality. Governments and employers can also help by introducing family-friendly policies.”


TH CO E N UNT ET RY HE RE RL POR AN T DS

FORGING BONDS THAT ENDURE HOME TO THE LARGEST INVESTOR IN QATAR, THE NETHERLANDS HAS A DEEP AND LASTING CONNECTION WITH THE COUNTRY. WE TALK TO THE PEOPLE AND BUSINESSES THAT SHAPE THIS RELATIONSHIP.

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TH CO E N UNT ET RY HE RE RL POR AN T DS

ENERGY, TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION AND HUMAN INTERACTION BY V L SRINIVASAN

THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE AREAS OF COOPORATION IN QATAR-DUTCH RELATIONS THOUGH THE MOST VALUABLE OF ALL THESE, ACCORDING TO HER EXCELLENCY YVETTE VAN EECHOUD, THE NETHERLANDS’ AMBASSADOR TO QATAR, IS THE YOUTH INTERACTION.

T

he ties between Qatar and the Netherlands originate from the energy sector, but they have come to encompass the social, economic and cultural spheres of both nations. There are around 1,400 Dutch nationals in Qatar at present and their numbers are growing with each passing year, as more and more Dutch companies begin to take an active part in the country’s economic growth. The bilateral investments are built around more than a dozen companies and more firms are expected to launch their operations parallel to Qatar’s ambitious programmes that are being implemented as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030 as well as the World Cup 2022. “The history of relations between the two countries is quite significant. Its momentous period began when Royal Dutch Shell starting its operations in Qatar following the discovery of oil and gas,” says Her Excellency Yvette van Eechoud, The Netherlands’ Ambassador to Qatar. The Royal families of both countries are close and their ties were cemented further after the 2011 state visit of the then Queen Beatrix (now referred to as Princess Beatrix), who handed the title of Monarch to her son Prince Willem-Alexander last year. Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Al Missned confirmed the friendly bonds by visiting the Netherlands in 2012, and for the investiture of King Willem-Alexander in April 2013. “An interesting coincidence is that The Emir, HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Prince Willem-Alexander, both members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), took over the reign of their respective countries the same year,” she says, adding that The Emir and King Willem-Alexander have been meeting regularly and share a passion for sports. Trade ties The discovery of oil and gas had strengthened the relations between the countries and with an investment

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of QR76.44 billion ($21 billion) by Shell, the Netherlands became the biggest investor in Qatar after the United States in terms of trade, and is ranked fifth among the European Union nations. “Though Qatar imports most of its products from Asia, we are strong in very heavy and sophisticated machinery and equipment and of course, agricultural produce,” the Dutch Ambassador says. Maritime development One of the major Dutch companies that is playing an active role in Qatar’s maritime development is Damen Shipyards Group, who have established a joint venture with Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) and is now Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar (NDSQ) in the Port of Las Raffan in 2010. While Damen Shipyards holds 30% of the shares, the remaining 70% is held by Nakilat. “Damen is known for its reputation as being the biggest yacht builders in the world and NDSQ has supplied patrol vessels and tug boats which guide the big ships to the port. It has recently entered into an agreement with Qatar’s armed forces to supply seven patrol boats and diving support vessels to the value of around QR3.1 billion,” she says. Qatar, whose New Port Project is expected to be completed by 2017, is looking at the best practices adopted by Dutch logistical and port management companies at the Port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands. “In addition, one of the Dutch dredging companies has been appointed to do the work for the Economic Zone 3, which is coming up in the New Port Project’s vicinity,” she says. Urban design In another area of infrastructure, urban designers and architects from the Netherlands have been involved in several projects that are being implemented in the country. “The rapid expansion of the urban areas in Doha needs careful planning and synchronisation in order to make the city future-proof.” She adds: “Some of the best urban designers and architects of the Netherlands are designing as many as 30 metro stations for

the Qatar Rail Metro, a big challenge considering the time constraints and construction complexities.” Dutch engineers are also working on one of the most ambitious project in Qatar – The Sharq Crossing. Two major companies – Royal Haskoning DHV and Arcadis/EC Harris – are involved in the Sharq Crossing Project. “It is a very complicated and complex structure and if it is not done properly, will pose high risks. We have to engage the finest engineering and construction experts to carefully examine the design with a lot of attention to safety and security. Dutch engineers are used to working with water structures and are particularly well placed to do just that,” she says. One of the most successful Dutch architects –Rem Koolhaas – has been commissioned to design the headquarters of Qatar Foundation, the new National Library – and the new airport city close to the Hamad

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 65


TH CO E N UNT ET RY HE RE RL POR AN T DS

A DIPLOMAT CONNECTING PEOPLE AND DOTS

T

he Netherlands Ambassador to Qatar, Her Excellency Yvette van Eechoud, can be aptly called a “twiplomat” with a very active social media presence, using this tool to educate and inform everyone about the activities of the Netherlands Embassy in Qatar. Her more than 3,000 followers are mostly from Egypt, where she worked in the Netherlands embassy for four years, Qatar and her native country. And the numbers are growing because she never misses an opportunity to interact with them on the issues concerning them. “For me, Twitter is a way to gauge what is happening and to understand society. I can reach out and interact with different groups I usually don’t meet as a diplomat or as an ambassador; I can reach out and interact with them to know what is keeping people busy, their likes and dislikes. But of course, the Twitter community is not necessarily representing all the Qatari residents,” she says. Yvette Van Eechoud first started using Twitter when she attended the inauguration day of President Barack Obama in Washington on January 20, 2009. “His election campaign as the US President was the first one that extensively using Twitter as a campaign tool,” she says. After becoming a member of the Twitter community, she started communicating with people in Egypt during and after the revolution. “My followers are responsive. I tweet primarily for a Qatari audience and I get a very good response from them. Even if my followers don’t respond positively, at least I can personally react to them in 140 characters about my stance,” she points out. To connect to the Ambassador follow @yvettevEechoud

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International Airport. “There is lot of interest on both sides to work together on urban designing and architecture,” she says. Philips, one of major innovative companies in The Netherlands, which is, apart from consumer goods, known for lighting design and state-of-art medical equipment, is setting up office in Qatar. The company is already active and has its representatives working in the country. “Philips is very much focused on the consumer experience. They innovate not only technologically, but also find innovative ways to assure the best client experience. Especially in the sterile environments of hospitals and clinics, it is important that clients can feel at ease. A case in point in the way Philips has designed the Dutch breast cancer screening programme. It is definitely a best practice for Europe,” Yvette van Eechoud says. Sports As far as sport is concerned, the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee has appointed Amsterdam ArenA as Operations Consultants for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, to be held in Qatar. Amsterdam ArenA is one of the few stadiums in the world that have defined a legacy concept and are profitable as a multi-purpose venue. Some 80 Dutch companies in design, construction,


public safety and security and event management have grouped themselves together and are visiting Qatar on a regular basis, selecting a specific theme for each mission. They are keen to showcase their best practices and high quality products. “The same Dutch companies are currently involved in the Russia and Brazil World Cup events and will be able to offer the latest insights into organising such mega events as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar,” the Ambassador says. Education Education is another important area where cooperation is high on the agenda of both countries. Stenden University, which has set up its campus in Qatar, has been focusing on the hospitality, business and tourism sectors. Students from Qatar stay in The Netherlands for half a year to study the various bachelors’ courses offered by the Stenden University, while the Dutch students come to Qatar to do their internships. The University of Groningen has just signed a MoU with Qatar University and many more Dutch universities are visiting Qatar on a regular basis. She says that the Leiden University in the Netherlands has been working on a unique project to commemorate 400 years of Islamic Studies. “Those working on the project have made very high quality reproductions of 40 Islamic manuscripts, which are not only

beautiful but also educational in nature. Qatar University will be exhibiting this extraordinary collection for a month later this year,” she says. Citing an example of how the students have benefited by cooperation between both countries, Yvette van Eechoud recalled her meeting with a group of Qatar University students who went to study journalism and mass media in Utrecht. “They made a video on what they experienced in the Netherlands and I was very much pleased to see they had learned so much and had a lot of fun too,” she says. “One of my main missions is to facilitate communication between the younger generations of both countries. Be it for economic, touristic or educational purposes, it is human interaction that makes us realise we have much more in common than we think, regardless of our culture or religion,” she adds

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 67


TH CO E N UNT ET RY HE RE RL POR AN T DS

QATAR SHELL:

EIGHT YEARS AND GOING STRONG

THE NETHERLANDS-BASED ENERGY MAJOR, QATAR SHELL, THE LARGEST INVESTOR IN QATAR, HAS INVESTED ALMOST QR76.44 BILLION ($21 BILLION) IN THE LAST EIGHT YEARS WHICH INCLUDES A HUGE GTL FACILITY THAT WILL BE DELIVERING VALUE TO QATAR AND SHELL’S SHAREHOLDERS FOR DECADES TO COME.

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he two projects (The Pearl GTL and Qatargas-4 started up in early 2011 will generate QR14.56 billion ($4 billion) revenues per annum for Shell at QR254.5 per barrel. Qatar Shell looks forward to more growth opportunities in the future as Qatar’s energy output will rise just like it has over the last few years when hydrocarbon production went from approximately 2 million boe (barrel of oil) per day in 2006 to 5 million boe per day by 2012. In 2011, Pearl GTL and Qatargas 4 went on stream and these projects represent over 10% of Qatar Shell, in terms of production, capital employed and cash flow. Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) The Pearl GTL is the largest integrated Gas to Liquids (GTL) project in the world and the largest energy project ever launched within the borders of Qatar. It is also the largest single construction site in the oil and gas business in the world. With an investment of QR65-69 billion ($18-$19 billion), Pearl GTL is Qatar Shell’s biggest single investment, and also the largest single FTSE 100 project investment in the world. The integrated project produces 1.6 billion cubic feet of wellhead gas per day from the North Field which is converted onshore into 140kb per day of GTL products that comprise principally – GTL Gasoil (clear, odourless and low emission


TH CO E N UNT ET RY HE RE RL POR AN T DS

– used in modern diesel engines), naphtha, kerosene (for aviation), normal paraffins and high quality base oils for lubricants. In addition, Pearl GTL will produce 120kboe/d of upstream products (ethane, sulphur, LPG and condensates). The onshore portion of the project is arguably the most complex project under construction in the energy business today. At peak, over 52,000 people were working on the construction site. Qatar Shell placed specific focus on worker welfare and safety. The Pearl Village was designed to accommodate the workforce and set a new benchmark in the Middle East for the standards of recreation, communication, training facilities and health support. Qatargas 4 (QG-4) The Qatargas 4 project is an integrated LNG project comprises upstream gas production facilities to produce approximately 1.4 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, processed into 7.8 million tonnes per year LNG and an average of approximately 24,000 bbl per day LPG and 46,000 bbl per day of condensate from Qatar’s North Field over the 25-year life of the project. Shell is a 30% shareholder, whilst Qatar Petroleum (QP) holds 70%. The LNG is destined for markets in the US, Dubai and China. The financing for the project was handled in London by arrangers and advisors including the UK banks. The gas wells offshore will be opened soon. Al Karaana In December 2010, Shell reached agreement with QP to jointly develop a world class petrochemical plant in Qatar. Al Karaana Project will feature the largest Mono Ethylene Glycol plant ever built. The integrated lump sum FEED contract was awarded to Fluor, being the lowest compliant bidder. The signing event which took place on February 28, 2013 was witnessed by H E Dr Al Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry. During the same event, the logo of the project was also unveiled. For Shell, the significance of the FEED award is that it is a single lump sum for a FEED of such size and complexity. Stasco / Nakilat In late 2006, Qatargas Transport Company Ltd (Nakilat) appointed Shell as the shipping and maritime services provider for Nakilat’s fleet of some 25 newbuild liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers, including those delivering LNG to the UK. These ships are the largest LNG carriers ever built, equivalent in size to the large US aircraft carriers. Shell is providing a full range of shipping services for Nakilat, including staff recruitment, training and operational management

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of the vessels. Shell Shipping’s global headquarters is based in London and a large part of the recruitment, training and development of 1200 officers and crew took place in the UK. Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre Shell is an anchor tenant of Qatar Foundation’s Science and Technology Park, located within Education City, having signed an agreement in 2005. Shell’s state of the art research and technology centre was opened in 2008, making Shell the first tenant to move into the permanent Qatar Science and Technology Park building. Shell plans substantial expenditure of up to QR364 million ($100 million) over a 10-year period on a technology programme, initially focusing on upstream and GTL technologies, by-product management (sulphur, water and CO2), and a related training centre. In June 2008 QP, the Qatar Science and Technology Park and Shell signed an agreement to jointly fund a QR254.8 million ($70 million) programme to study CO2 storage in subsurface carbonate reservoirs with Imperial College London, one of the largest such research grants ever placed. The aim will be to utilise the results of this research work in an actual Carbon Capture and Storage project in Qatar. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Qatarisation Qatar Shell has been wholly committed to supporting HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s Qatar National Vision 2030. In addition to its significant contribution to the Vision’s Economic Pillar, it has a broad CSR programme contributing to the Social and Human Pillars. The four focus themes are: Technical capability development (including university outreach and TAFAWOQ, a Project Management centre of excellence in partnership with QP and Qatar Foundation’s Hamad bin Khalifa University); Enterprise development support (ranging from encouraging entrepreneurship among school and university students, through to awarding Pearl GTL supply contracts to local companies); Road safety (including curriculum and teacher support for classroom programmes with the Supreme Education Council); and Healthy lifestyles through football (addressing obesity through a programme with the Qatar Football Association). However Qatar Shell’s greatest contribution to the social and human agenda of the QNV 2030 is employment of Qataris, ensuring that they are fully supported with the development they need to reach their full potential, at all levels of the organisation and across all functions


GROWTH MARKET:

WHAT IS THE SOLUTION IN THE RACE FOR BUSINESS SPACE?

WITH THE GLOBAL ECONOMY SHOWING ENCOURAGING SIGNS OF RECOVERY, THE MIDDLE EAST REGION IN PARTICULAR IS LOOKING AHEAD TO A BRIGHT NEW ERA OF GROWTH AND EXPANSION.

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iven the continued promise of investment for the major infrastructure upgrades required for the World Cup 2022 and World Expo 2020, business leaders are constantly looking at opportunities to expand and build their role. It’s an exciting prospect but it also throws up huge challenges for governments and businesses alike in providing or sourcing the necessary infrastructure to keep pace with increasing demand. However, through innovative developments in building technology, rapidly deployable semi-permanent construction is now presenting itself as an ideal solution, allowing an immediate fix where new facilities are needed for anywhere from one to 20 years. “The population of Qatar has seen tremendous growth in recent years, which has meant a need for more and more student places within local educational facilities.” explains Luke Godley, Business Manager at Doha College. Having chosen to work with market leader De Boer, the college chose a double-storey

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 71


TH CO E N UNT ET RY HE RE RL POR AN T DS structure which now provides an additional 4,500 square metres of space and is used by over 400 students each day as a multi-purpose facility. “Our criterion was a high-quality facility, which could be erected in as short a time as possible and with minimum disruption to the school. De Boer achieved all of this and more. The speed with which the structure was built and fully functioning was incredible. The space incorporates 20 classrooms, a number of offices for the staff, IT facilities, bathrooms and even an auditorium with stage. All of this was delivered in just 12 weeks.” Edward Gallagher, Business Development Director at De Boer, agrees that speed is the key to success. “It’s an exciting time economically in the Middle East currently, as De Boer comes up to its 10th year based in the region. Semi-permanent solutions are ideal for any business which needs a new facility or more space in order to seize the opportunities that

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economic growth is presenting to them and for governments looking to service this period of expansion quickly enough and in a cost-effective, sustainable way. Our solutions are much faster to design and build than traditional permanent buildings but are equal in quality and can last a lifetime. After you’ve finished in one location, they can be dismantled, moved and re-built on other sites (or sold) and are suitable for virtually any application, from warehouses to a fully functioning sports centre.” One such sports centre is a 2,000 square metre ice rink recently built by De Boer in London. The rink’s head coach Diane Towler-Green – four-times British, European and World Ice Dance Champion – says: “You can’t fault it. In fact it is one of the best rinks we have been to and this is even more amazing when you consider how quickly it was built. It’s an unbelievable achievement.” With the technology clearly now available to deliver high quality, fully-functioning facilities of any kind in a fraction of the time of a traditional build, the semi-permanent structure looks like it’s here to stay. Progressive businesses and governments throughout the region will no doubt be considering how they can use such solutions in their strategy for making the most of the positive prevailing economic winds in the region. Established 90 years ago in Europe, De Boer Structures has built a global reputation for providing highend accommodation for hospitality and sporting events, but increasingly it has adapted that technology to successfully design and build semi-permanent facilities serving diverse business sectors with projects including property sales centres, airport facilties, warehousing and storage, sports centres, supermarkets, offices, schools, factories and even hotels. Companies choosing a De Boer solution benefit from short approval process, structures that can be built in weeks not months, fully demountable and re-locatable, materials which last up to 25 years and no manufacture time with solutions available off the shelf De Boer can be contacted on +974 4413 0631 (Qatar), +971 2 406 9407 (Abu Dhabi) or +31 72 5400 444 (Netherlands HQ). Visit www.deboer.com for examples of rapidly deployed business space.


development > tech talk

AN EMERGING BREED OF MOBILE WORKER

Technology is changing the outlook and expectations of many young workers, and employers need to be aware of these shifting boundaries. By Damian Radcliffe

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ecent research by Aruba Networks has identified a new breed of global employee the #GenMobile. This group comprises individuals who are often, but not always in the early stages of their careers. They have a strong preference not just for mobile devices, but also for mobility in their working habits. The findings of this research reinforce the conclusions found in a number of recent regional surveys by Bayt, Ooredoo and the consultancy Booz & Co, as well as global studies conducted by companies like Cisco. For companies, these repeated results highlight some of the challenges businesses face in terms of IT security, as well as personnel attraction and retention. Given their

WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING TECHNOLOGY DEVICES HAVE YOU BROUGHT OR BEEN GIVEN IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS?

recurrence, they are trends which few organisations can choose to ignore. #GenMobile is super-connected Nearly two-thirds of this group in Aruba’s study own connected mobile devices, with 9% saying they have more than seven such devices, and 39% owning more than four. As a result, a third of this group spend over a third of their time on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Given this proliferation it’s no wonder that many of these tech owners feel bereft without their devices. A 2011 study by the University of Maryland, which asked more than 1,000 students from 10 countries around the world to go media free for 24 hours, found that many participants reported a physiological

16% 18%

38%

10 Inches

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7 Inches


HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT SPOTTING #GENMOBILE?

Prefer Wi-Fi Prefer late evenings Dislike early mornings

Spend more time mobile More likely to own tablets, computers, and smartphones More likely to buy large tablets, wearable devices and consoles

reaction during this period; akin to the “phantom limb” syndrome experienced by some amputees. And when asked to choose between giving up coffee or their mobile, the #GenMobile employees indicated that they were 15 times more likely to give up their morning latte. Other surveys have consistently found that young people are least likely to want to give up their phone and their Internet connection, when compared to other media platforms. High tech proliferation in the Middle East Perhaps not surprisingly, of the countries surveyed by Aruba, ownership of mobile products in generally highest in the Middle East, with MENA members of #GenMobile being amongst the most hyper-connected technology users anywhere in the world. As we reported last month, UAE enjoys the highest level of smartphone penetration in the world, ahead of more traditionally hightech nations like Japan, Singapore or South Korea. Ooredoo’s recent report into digital attitudes and aspirations across the region “New Horizons” dug deeper into this phenomenon and found that 70% of youth in GCC own a smartphone, compared with 47% in Levant and 42% in North Africa. In Qatar this figure was slightly higher than the GCC average, with 72% of youth in Qatar using a smartphone, and 22% a tablet. In line with this, in terms of multiple devices, 85% of UAE participants in the #GenMobile survey claimed that they owned three or more connected devices, including a 42% ownership of tablets. Saudi Arabia, at 82%, had similar levels of mobile ownership, with 31% having a tablet device as part of their mobile mix.

24/7 connectivity is changing attitudes to the workplace As eMarketer recently noted when compared to the average consumer “tablet owners over index in tech device usage.” A 2013 survey of American users found that “it’s common for tablet users to consume media across four screens in a given month.” Consequently, “given their penchant for web-enabled devices, this cohort is rarely ‘off the grid." The impact of this is that #GenMobile is increasingly able to work from anywhere. By being able to stay connected on the move, as well as at home or in the office, it is perhaps not surprising that this is an employment group which has a very different attitude towards the traditional physical workplace. One of the first substantive hints of this could be seen in 2011, when Cisco’s “Connected World Technology Report” found that young people were already factoring in considerations such as social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility when deciding where to work. For a third of the people surveyed (across 14 different countries) these factors were prioritised over the size of their paycheck. And as mobile becomes more prevalent both in terms of reach, proliferation of devices and costs connection it’s no surprise that this trend is continuing. Aruba’s 2014 study, for example, found that over half of the 5,000+ respondents surveyed worldwide indicated that they would rather have the opportunity to work from home or remotely two to three days a week, in lieu of receiving a 10% higher salary. Similarly, in the Middle East, Bayt’s “Millennials in the Mena Survey” found that not only did 76% of respondents believe that technology makes them more efficient

at work, but also that people value career growth and learning opportunities in a job more than they value “attractive salaries.” What this may mean for employers Given the high levels of personal technology many employees now have, the impact of this on employee attitudes to their physical workspace and the technology they want to use to do their job would seem inevitable. “BYOD [Bring Your Own Device] is already well established in businesses and still on the rise,” Charles McLellan, Reviews Editor at ZDNet UK, has argued, adding that the “consumerisation of IT is not going away.” In fact, the prevalence of this development is such that “enterprise IT managers cannot simply bury their heads in the sand,” says McLellan. As Cisco found back in 2011, 81% of college students at that time wanted the flexibility to choose their own device for their job, either by being give a budget from an employer to buy their own device, or by using their own technology alongside company-issued devices. Aruba’s study found that the importance employees attached to being able to access familiar and high quality technology at work was such that 38% of respondents stated they would rather be able to bring their own device to work than have an office with a window. Clearly there is a challenge for employers in balancing these employee expectations with issues of security and compliance, but as Ammar Enaya, regional director at Aruba Networks Middle East & Turkey suggests, this duality has “now become a way of life for those in the modern workforce.” Seeing how these dynamics evolve and manifest themselves in the coming years is going to be fascinating to watch QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 75


development > tech talk

SCAN YOURSELF A TOP UP Ooredoo introduced a new QR Scanner feature on the Ooredoo Mobile App that will allow Hala customers to top up quickly by scanning the QR code that will be made available in the revamped Hala top up cards.

PICK UP A SAMSUNG GALAXY S5 BEFORE YOU FLY OUT Samsung’s new flagship product is now available at Qatar Duty Free for passengers travelling out of Doha International Airport and also on board flights. The phone is now on sale in over 125 countries worldwide and was made available through duty free on the same day as the regional launch.

A SECURITY CRISIS TWO YEARS IN THE MAKING

The Heartbleed bug, which was made public in early April, has alerted internet users to the possibility that their secure transactions might not have been that secure after all.

WILL AMAZON SURPRISE THE MARKET WITH A 3D SMARTPHONE? Leaked images of Amazon’s first smartphone have spurred rumours about its 3D capabilities, potentially giving it an edge in the burgeoning smartphone market.

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iscovered by a programmer at Google, this bug has apparently been present in the OpenSSL protocol for about two years now. Lucas Zaichkowsky, Enterprise Defense Architect at AccessData, said, “Essentially the SSL encryption makes network and internet traffic unreadable to anyone who intercepts it, thereby protecting the sensitive data and personal information being transmitted. The gist of the vulnerability is that attackers who exploit it are able to steal the encryption keys from internet servers and desktop software using OpenSSL and use those keys to decrypt the data. Even if the software is patched, previously captured encrypted

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A communications can be still decrypted using the compromised keys.” It could potentially allow hackers to steal passwords, credit card data or even Social Security numbers from two-thirds of websites that use this kind of encryption. Governments and several companies like Google and Facebook advised users immediately to change their passwords; however the first of the cybercrimes related to Heartbleed are starting to come through with the Canada Revenue Agency reporting the theft of Social Insurance Numbers belonging to 900 taxpayers. The man who hacked into the site over a six-hour period was promptly arrested.

leaked reveal of the yet unnamed device from Amazon came with a surprise observation. The phone, with a 4.7 inch display and 720p HD resolution, supposedly has six cameras – one in the rear and five in the front. Apart from the regular functions of one front-facing camera, the other four, along with embedded sensors, will allegedly be used to create 3D viewing experience for users by tracking eye movements. It was reported that the company may use the 3D technology to showcase its own products, allowing users to explore three-dimensional product images. Amazon is reportedly working with app developers to find more innovative uses of this technology, for example, maps applications that will change the view of various objects on the screen with the movement of the phone. The Wall Street Journal has that Amazon will announce the device by June, with plans to ship it to customers by September.


GOOGLE GLASS GOES ON SALE FOR A DAY

MICROSOFT PULLS THE PLUG ON WINDOWS XP The software giant announced that after 12 years, it is ending support for Windows XP meaning that there will be no more security updates or technical support for the operating system. It recommended that customers and partners migrate to a modern operating system such as Windows 8.1.

Limited pieces of Google’s longawaited, muchhyped pet project Google Glass went on sale for one day only in the United States.

IPHONE 6: THE BUZZ BEGINS

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nyone over 18 years of age could purchase Glass on April 15 by booking the limited number of pieces that were put up for sale. The device, which is not in stores yet and has only been made available by invitation to Google Glass Explorers through a limited beta-testing programme, was completely sold out in a day. The company declined to comment exactly how many were sold, but by the next morning all the white “Cotton” version of Glass, priced at $1500 (plus taxes) were gone. There are contentious debates on whether it is worth buying the device now as the number of apps developed is still quite small, many establishments have rules against wearing the device on their premises and traffic laws governing the use of Glass are not yet clear.

It’s early still in 2014 and the first murmurs of Apple’s new flagship phone are starting to trickle in.

Though Apple remains charateristically silent about the new phone, Reuters has translated a Commercial Times report saying that one of the company’s manufacturing partners in China, Pegatron, is opening up new factory space and recruiting workers to start on the new phone, meaning the production could potentially begin in the next few weeks. No sources have been named and Apple has refused to comment on this; so rumours are flying thick and fast, which is exactly the way Apple likes it. There is speculation that the device, expected to be head and shoulders above the iPhone 5S, might go into production in the second quarter of the year and be launched in September 2014. Appleinsider also recently reported that Apple has been granted a patent for a wireless iPhone camera remote control, which has a built-in display. With this device you can preview and review photos, click pictures, record videos, play back and switch camera modes, through a Bluetooth or Wi-fi connection. Gadget gurus are still debating on when (if at all) we will see this new feature.

MOI SERVICES NOW ON YOUR SMARTPHONE

A range of Ministry of Interior services can be accessed through your smartphone with the Metrash2 app.

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odafone and the Ministry of Interior announced that Vodafone customers can now access Metrash2 on their smartphones to use over 60 different services including renewal/replacement of driving licences, transfer of vehicle ownership, applications for visit visas, issuance of exit permits, renewal of residency permits, etc. Metrash2 users can look for the Ministry of Interior service centres from their smartphone and communicate with the ministry; they will get instant notifications through SMS on their registered mobile number to let them know the status of their application. To activate Metrash2, Vodafone customers need to send an SMS (from a mobile registered in their name) to 92992 with their Qatari ID number and expiry date. QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 77


SPOTLIGHT INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

READY FOR A CONNECTED FUTURE

POWERED BY VISION, QATAR’S FORWARDTHINKING ICT STRATEGY IS PROPELLING THE COUNTRY INTO THE HYPER-CONNECTED DIGITAL ERA, CREATING A SOLID FOUNDATION UPON WHICH TO BUILD A KNOWLEDGE-BASED ECONOMY.

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here couldn’t have been a better time this year to cast a spotlight on the country’s burgeoning ICT sector. As Doha gears up for QITCOM 2014, which is back after a hiatus, heartening news reaches our shores. World Economic Forum’s Global Information and Technology Report 2014 was published recently and Qatar’s commitment to bringing the power of information and connectivity to each and every individual and organisation within its borders has been validated in its pages. The most striking of the evaluations presented in the report are those that highlight the government’s push to help permeate good and cutting-edge ICT practices across various sectors, both vertically and horizontally. Thanks to the ceaseless efforts of ictQATAR and HE Sheikha Dr Hessa Al Jaber, Qatar ranks first among the Arab states and 23rd globally (out of 144 countries) in the Networked Readiness Index. This index examines how prepared countries are to fully exploit the opportunities offered by the digital age in three areas: general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; readiness of government, individuals, and businesses to use and benefit from ICT; and the actual societal, environmental and economic impact of ICTs. Qatar scored very highly on several factors like the government procurement of advanced technology (and how these decisions foster innovation) in which it ranks first globally, the effectiveness of law-making bodies (in which it ranks third after Singapore and Finland), mobile network coverage (Rank 1) and the laws relating to ICT relating to e-commerce, digital signatures, consumer protection, etc. in which it ranks 6. According to the report, “Qatar remains stable at 23rd place and leads the rankings in the Arab world. In the past year, the country has continued to improve and upgrade its ICT infrastructure and uptake, thanks to a decisive effort led by the government’s strong vision that has identified ICT as one of the key industries that will diversify the local economy and boost the productivity of all sectors. Qatar

is among the top 10 in the world in terms of Internet users and households having access to a computer and Internet connection, which has become almost universal and has helped to achieve very high social impacts. Economic impacts, while improving, could be higher. Technological innovation remains modest, and just a quarter of its population is employed in knowledge-intensive jobs. Continuing to address some of the weaknesses in its innovation system, which is quickly evolving and strengthening, would result in a higher technological potential.” Recognising this, HE Dr Al Jaber said in a statement that “as we shift to a knowledge-based economy, much work remains to be done, including implementing the National Broadband Plan, accelerating our e-government efforts, supporting an open and competitive ICT sector, enhancing our cyber security and safety, and empowering our people with the ICT skills to thrive in the digital world.” Nevertheless, the report serves as a great preamble to kick start the third edition of QITCOM, which will run between May 26 and 28 at the Qatar National Convention Center. The first event since the new Ministry of Information and Communication was established, QITCOM 2014, hosted under the theme ‘Innovating Today for the Future of Qatar’, will feature keynote speeches, talks and panels from global thought-leaders, scholars, businessmen and academics, in addition to exhibitors introducing the attendees to the next generation era of ICT-led innovation. Several signature events like the Innovation Theatre, Appathon, B2B Matchmaking, Tech Zone and more are in the offing, but more details on speakers and panelists have yet to be revealed as

Notable Achievements

Global Rank

Room for Improvement

Global Rank

ICT as enabler of access to services

1

Software piracy

38

Intellectual property protection

4

Internet bandwidth

50

Government’s vision for ICT

2

Secure internet severs

44

Government promotion of use of ICT

3

Mobile subscriptions

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SPOTLIGHT INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

we go to print. But Rinal Chaaban, Manager of QITCOM did announce to the press recently that “more than 80% of the space dedicated to the exhibition has been booked. “We anticipated from the very beginning that QITCOM 2014 would achieve exponential growth and we feel even more optimistic now that the exhibition space is more than 80% booked,” she said. The hope is that efforts like these will trickle down to the bottom to drive more investment from the private sector into tech ventures. Given the country’s excellent ICT credentials and infrastructure, the concentration of world-class institutions and the natural drive of its citizens towards creating a business from scratch, the country ought be a fertile breeding group for technology companies. There is a concentrated effort by entrepreneur groups and incubation centres to change the traditional mindset around investments in the country and open people’s eyes to the risks and rewards of putting 80 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

your money on an idea. Investment arms of many banks and venture capital firms are thinking about or have already started to allot funds specifically for ICT-related business ideas, though at the moment their major gripe is about lack of entrepreneurial experience in the country. As the first generation of tech entrepreneurs start and sell successful ventures, they will be able to act as mentors to the next cohort, aiding them with their unique perspective on creating a thriving tech business in the Middle East. In our educational institutions the accent on entrepreneurship is obvious. Business plan competitions, career fairs, startup weeks – these kinds of events are beginning to see more participation and enthusiasm from youngsters brimming with ideas and know-how. In the meantime, the government and private players must continue to nurture this talent while encouraging and supporting the first crop of entrepreneurs, for they are the springboard to the tech revolution


SPOTLIGHT INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY

INNOVATION AT CARNEGIE MELLON

AS A GLOBAL LEADER IN EDUCATION, CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY IS KNOWN FOR ITS CREATIVITY, COLLABORATION ACROSS DISCIPLINES, AND TOP PROGRAMMES IN BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY AND THE ARTS. IT HAS BEEN HOME TO SOME OF THE WORLD’S MOST IMPORTANT THINKERS, AMONG THEM 19 NOBEL LAUREATES AND 11 TURING AWARD WINNERS. 82 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

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n 2004, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development invited Carnegie Mellon to join Education City, a groundbreaking centre for scholarship and research that is the ideal complement to the university’s mission and vision. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, like all Carnegie Mellon campuses globally, is founded on the firm belief that through the encouragement of scientific inquiry and the promotion of practical preparedness, the university can provide a generation of thinkers, business leaders, researchers and scientists who will change the world. Core values of innovation, creativity, collaboration and prob-

lem solving provide the foundation for everything the university does. Aligned with the Qatar Foundation’s mission to develop the country’s youth to become leaders and innovators, Carnegie Mellon implements its curriculum by maintaining the academic standards, values and principles of the home campus in Pittsburgh, USA, whilst delivering metacurricular programmes that suitably reflect the ethos of Education City. Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s enrolment continues to grow each year. There are 400 full-time students enrolled at the university’s campus in Education City; 32 in biological sciences, 187 in business administration; 84 in computer science; and 97 in information systems.


In addition to its core focus, the university is dedicated to enhancing the undergraduate educational experience so that students can explore other disciplines. Students can take classes in a wide range of other areas, such as architecture, philosophy and English literature. Despite the increasing enrolment numbers, students still enjoy a low faculty-to-student ratio of 1:7. Eighty-one students graduated from our top-ranked programmes in May 2013, bringing the total number of alumni to approximately 300. The university’s graduates are highly sought by regional and international organisations. More than 90% of Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s alumni are either in graduate programmes or employed in top organisations like Google, Microsoft, Qatar Petroleum, Shell and Commercial Bank, to name a few. Carnegie Mellon is proud to be a part of such a significant movement to transform the nation into a leading knowledge-based economy, and to be a part of the Qatar Foundation’s drive to equip the country’s population with the skills to get there. The programmes that the University offers at its Education City campus frame our commitment to the Qatar National Vision 2030, and are aligned with the country’s fundamental pillars of developing people, society, the economy and the environment. Much of our research work embodies the principles of the national vision. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon Qatar are actively engaged in developing cutting-edge technology. The university has been awarded 34 National Priorities Research Programme (NPRP) grants from the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), five Young Scientist Research Experience Programme (YSREP) grants and 19 Undergraduate Research Experience Programme (UREP) grants. The total funding from QNRF is more than

QR109.2 million ($30 million). Some of the research projects include Qri8 lab, in collaboration with the National Robotics Engineering Centre, which explores the use of robotics technology to improve safety and production in the oil and gas industry. Another significant research project is Human Language Technologies research on natural language processing, including using statistical machine translation to expand Arabic language content available on the Internet. The Automated Measurement of Galaxy Morphology project aims to develop software that can measure the physical properties of galaxies, which helps us to understand how these structures evolve over time. Another area of research, investigating the properties of pathogenic

fungi in Qatar’s hospitals, will add to the current understanding of how these fungi are able to infect patients and aid in the development of new treatments. Carnegie Mellon is also working hard on research relating to cloud computing, education, robotics, business process design and engineering, innovation-driven entrepreneurship, next-generation wireless networks, information security, and air quality. Consistently top ranked, Carnegie Mellon has more than 12,000 students, 95,000 alumni and 5,000 faculty and staff globally. In Qatar, students from more than 40 different countries enrol at its world-class facilities in Education City, affording them a truly unique and multi-cultural experience QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 83


business > market watch KEMPINSKI ANNOUNCES NEW DESTINATIONS FOR LUXURY TRAVELLERS

Kempinski Hotels executives with guests

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ravellers from the region have long loved Kempinski’s iconic hotels in top destinations such as Germany, Switzerland, Spain, and the UAE. From the newly-opened Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi and Olare Mara Kempinski in the Masai Mara, Kenya to the Hôtel des Mille Collines by Kempinski in Kigali, Rwanda, Kempinski now offers the same luxury loyal guests are used to in Europe, in destinations in Africa. The African market is not only an important outbound travel destination for Kempinski; the hotels in the region bring in more than 1/3 of the company’s total reve-

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY LAUNCHED IN QATAR Visitors to the Sephora store in Villagio Mall were eager to try out a brand new cosmetics line, Marc Jacbos Beauty. With over 120 products on display the brand has clearly set the bench mark quite high. The brand is an assortment of 16 innovative complexion and colour cosmetics and four luxurious make up brushes. 84 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

nues. The announcement was made during the Doha leg of Kempinski’s annual Road Show. Eighteen international properties, including those enjoying high visitor traffic from Qatari guests, such as the Hotel Vier Jaherszeiten Kempinski Munich, Kempinski Hotel Bahia in Marbella, Palais Hansen Kempinski in Vienna, and the Ciragan Palace Kempinski in Istanbul, presented special packages for the upcoming summer travel season. These included packages and services tailored to the needs of the guests, such as large family-friendly room configurations, complimentary Kids Club activities, spa packages and special halal menus.

In its eighth road show Kempinski announced the worldwide expansion of its portfolio of luxury hotels, bringing exciting new destinations to Middle East travellers. The annual road show started in Jeddah and went to Riyadh, Al Khobar and Bahrain before coming to Doha and concluding in Kuwait.


HERMÈS UNVEILS UNIQUE WATCH EXHIBITION La Montre Hermès hosted ‘Of Mastery and Time’, a special horological exhibition at the Dubai Mall from April 17 to 22.

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he exhibition displayed some of the Maison’s exceptional timepieces within a unique setting that plays with time and offers visitors a captivating insight into Hermès’ savoir faire in haute horlogerie. “It is a pleasure to be in Dubai and to present our latest exceptional pieces, which underline our commitment to constantly surprising our customers and showcasing our levels of craftsmanship and very special techniques. ‘Of Mastery and Time’ illustrates the binary rhythm of day and night with two distinct spaces. With the ‘day’ exhibition area, bright and welcoming, and the profound blue of the ‘night’ lounge, we invite visitors to dream and witness our

creativity,” said Luc Perramond, CEO of La Montre Hermès. On display is the Arceau Lift, the first Hermès flying tourbillon watch, inspired by the historical premises of Hermès at 24, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris. The double H topping the tourbillon carriage and the barrel bridge of the Arceau Lift reproduces one of the emblematic motifs featured in the interior design of the boutique, above the door of the Lift after which it is named. This is an exclusive edition and is limited to just 176 pieces. The watch is driven by Calibre H1923 visible from the dial side and is also revealed through an opening carved out in the back of the gold case. QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 85


business > braking news

DEMYSTIFYING THE MINI It is the “New Original. So familiar, yet so incredibly different.” Smooth lines for a classic car, but what is it that makes the new Mini Cooper tick? BY DEBRINA ALIYAH

86 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014


MINI COOPER S 4-CYLINDER PETROL ENGINE WITH MINI TWINPOWER TURBO TECHNOLOGY (TURBO CHARGING, DIRECT INJECTION, FULLY VARIABLE VALVE CONTROL, VARIABLE CAMSHAFT CONTROL) CAPACITY: 1 998 CC, OUTPUT: 141 KW/192 BHP AT 4 700 – 6 000 RPM, MAX. TORQUE: 280 NM AT 1 250 – 4 750 RPM (300 NM WITH OVERBOOST) ACCELERATION (0–100 KM/H): 6.8 SECONDS (AUTOMATIC: 6.7 SECONDS) TOP SPEED: 235 KM/H (233 KM/H) AVERAGE FUEL CONSUMPTION*: 5.7 – 5.8 LITRES (5.2 – 5.4 LITRES)/100 KILOMETRES, CO2 EMISSIONS*: 133 – 136 G/KM (122 – 125 G/KM) EXHAUST EMISSION STANDARD: EU6.

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ou know the smile you see on a child’s face when they receive a brand new toy to play with? It was that kind of child like euphoria I felt when I saw the round disco-light display panel on the new Mini HATCH. A rainbow of colours flickering while you fiddle with the buttons; it felt like I was playing a fun arcade game and that drove the message home. It is all about fun, the Mini team says, an all-new configuration, inside and out, that makes the whole experience of driving a Mini fun. The fun continues, of course, with unique features targeted at technology-savvy drivers, bringing the world of social media into the space of the car. This has got to be a first in the car industry: having the automated voice read out your tweets and friends’ Facebook updates, and even sending out a

few updates yourself. If you ever get lost, there’s the trusty navigation system that can send out a FourSquare update to your friends pinpointing your exact location, although I am a little fearful of the potential stalker possibilities of this. But one undisputedly useful feature from this technology update is having the car read out your daily RSS feeds while you are driving. With the Mini Connected app that connects your phone to your car, it is now able to access RSS feeds you have saved, hence acting as personal assistant to give you live audio updates on your news of choice. It seems only fitting that a car which has historically been associated with all these high-tech features. Noteworthy advancements like head up display, parking assistance, rear view camera, collision and pedestrian warning and high beam assist are all part of the package, but the foray into QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 87


business > braking news

MINI COOPER 3-CYLINDER PETROL ENGINE WITH MINI TWINPOWER TURBO TECHNOLOGY (TURBO CHARGING, DIRECT INJECTION, FULLY VARIABLE VALVE CONTROL, VARIABLE CAMSHAFT CONTROL) CAPACITY: 1 499 CC, OUTPUT: 100 KW/136 BHP AT 4 500 – 6 000 RPM, MAX. TORQUE: 220 NM AT 1 250 – 4 000 RPM (230 NM WITH OVERBOOST) ACCELERATION (0–100 KM/H): 7.9 SECONDS (AUTOMATIC: 7.8 SECONDS) TOP SPEED: 210 KM/H (210 KM/H) AVERAGE FUEL CONSUMPTION*: 4.5 – 4.6 LITRES (4.7 – 4.8 LITRES)/100 KILOMETRES CO2 EMISSIONS*: 105 – 107 G/KM (109 – 112 G/KM). 88 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

the world of social media pushes the novelty factor up a notch. The Mini has always been a badge for the understated ‘in-theknow’ crowd, and capitalising on the ‘eco movement’, the car now comes with three driving options, Sport, Mid and Green, which balance fuel efficiency with driving performance. And coming back to the disco lights, expect shades of green all over your display when you are in Green mode. Die hard Mini fans will be delighted to see that the exterior of the car has been refined to include round LED headlights, hexagonal front grille and upright rear lights with wide chrome surround. There are five basic colours to choose from, and options to have your roof and exterior mirror caps finished in white or black, or even a reflecting mirror! (I spotted a few Mini fans taking ‘selfies’ on it). Inside, seat materials are customisable, and there’s room for coffee tumblers, but like many two-door cars in the market, the back seats are really just for shopping bags rather than passengers. Of course, the engines are improved and the unmistakable ‘go-kart’ driving feel has been heightened. There’s a zippy new Dynamic Damper Control option that actually lets the driver control the stiffness of the suspension, which I suspect will be wildly well-received when the car goes into the desert. More conservative drivers will be happy with the cushions as the new Mini Hatch is now available in Qatar from Alfardan Automobiles


business > auto news ROLLS-ROYCE WRAITH ATTACK

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Doha, the sole dealer of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars in Qatar, unleashed the power, style and drama of the new Rolls-Royce Wraith at the Losail International Circuit. It was the first time that a Rolls-Royce vehicle had been track tested in Qatar, and it was organised to showcase the Wraith’s effortless highspeed performance and agility.

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xperiencing the full power of the Wraith’s enormous 624 bhp engine, the group enjoyed exhilarating laps on the Losail International Circuit in Qatar while also enjoying the serene space and striking, contemporary design of the vehicle’s interior. Commenting on the event, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Doha General Manager Mohamed Kandeel said: “This event is a special

milestone for us as we were keen to showcase the Wraith’s exceptional speed, power and agility to our exclusive clients and prospective clients and so far the feedback has been excellent. While our Ghost and Phantom families are very popular as chauffeurdriven vehicles, the Wraith is meant to be driven and enjoyed by its owner and we are happy that we managed to showcase its exceptional capabilities.”

ROLLS-ROYCE BESPOKE ON DISPLAY

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olls-Royce Motor Cars Doha is currently highlighting the ultra-luxury car maker’s Bespoke Programme through showcasing three special edition Ghost vehicles – “1001 Nights,” “Alpine Trial Centenary,” and “Black & White” models – at its state-of-the-art showroom at The Pearl Qatar. In his comments, Mohamed Kandeel said: “The three models showcase not only the finesse of the Rolls-Royce Bespoke Programme, but also the unparalleled elegance and creativity available to local buyers. As illustrated by these three exceptional, special-edition vehicles, our clients are able to take inspiration from their personal and professional lives to create a vehicle that truly befits their sophistication.”

90 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014


NISSAN PATROL WINS ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE

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issan Patrol has once again proved to be the hero of all terrains by powering top competitors to success in the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge powered by Nissan 2014. Making a debut in the demanding desert rally, the latest generation Nissan Patrol won its class at its first outing with Emil Kneisser, sponsored by Nissan, behind the wheel and claiming victory in the ‘T2’ category. Yahya Bel Helei, also sponsored by Nissan and competing in the ‘T1’ category was the highest finisher of any GCC competitor , in fourth place overall. Nissan Middle East Managing Director Samir Cherfan said: “The Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge powered by Nissan is an internationally-recognised event attracting the best desert rally competitors from around the world. Against this toughest of competition, the latest generation Nissan Patrol was able to claim a class win on its first outing – a spectacular achievement.”

PORSCHE CENTRE DOHA UNVEILS ALL NEW MACAN The world’s first sports car in the compact SUV segment, the Macan, has been revealed by Porsche Centre Doha, Al Boraq Automobiles Co, to an excited audience.

BASIC RETAIL PRICES OF THE NEW MACAN IN QATAR: MACAN S

QR25I,900 MACAN S DIESEL

QR247,800 MACAN TURBO

QR347,300

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he introduction marks Porsche’s pioneering move into a new segment, following in the footsteps of the brand’s most successful model in the luxury SUV range, the Cayenne. Christer Ekberg, Managing Director of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, said: “With first deliveries of the all-new Macan, Porsche has launched a world first and enter a new segment. I have no doubt that this car will be another success for Porsche, with the long-term commitment and intensive efforts of our local Porsche Centre here in Qatar.” Porsche Centre Doha Chairman and CEO Salman Jassem Al Darwish said: “As you would expect, we have had a great deal of interest in the new model. Last year the Cayenne, our luxury SUV, proved our most popular model range and we are excited to expand our SUV offering, reaching a new group of customers. The sporty dynamics of the Macan inject an added dose of fun which is set to redefine the SUV market.” QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 91


business > auto news

NISSAN TIIDA TAKES PART IN COMIC CON 2014

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issan Tiida joined comic book super heroes at the Middle East Film & Comic Convention 2014, the region’s leading event for comics, manga, animation, collectibles and pop art. Displayed in “Nissan Manga Town,” Nissan Tiida’s bodywork was transformed with Anime (a Japanese-derived cartoon style) characters being drawn on the vehicle by an artist creating another special Tiida Moment. Nissan Middle East Managing Director Samir Cherfan said: “The all-new Nissan Tiida is shaped to reflect the lifestyle of its young-at-heart owners, creating memorable Tiida Moments every time they take the wheel. Its funky image allows us to explore new, fresh and fun activities which will excite our target audience, which was reflected in its display at Comic Con 2014.”

ALFARDAN PREMIER MOTORS SUPPORTS RED BULL KTM Alfardan Premier Motors has announced its support of the Red Bull KTM Factory Rally team at the second round of the FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship at the Sealine Cross-Country Rally which was held at Losail Circuit in Qatar.

INFINITI Q50 LAUNCHED IN MIDDLE EAST

Encapsulating Infiniti’s vision of future premium sport sedans, Infiniti Q50 was launched across the Middle East, marking a new era for its model range. 92 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

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lready having claimed accolades around the world, including the Middle East, Infiniti Q50 brings distinctive design, world’s first technologies, engaging performance and a new standard of in-car connectivity. Infiniti in the Middle East General

Manager Juergen Schmitz said: “Infiniti Q50’s muscular, athletic appearance brings a blend of dynamic exterior styling and Infiniti’s signature ‘double wave’ interior to create design which advances an emotional engagement. Infiniti Q50’s looks alone make it stand-out in its class.”


culture > QT Take A 350-PAGE TRIP TO HELL

Abdo Khal’s Throwing Sparks doesn’t wait to ease you gently into the dark and perverse journey you are about to undertake; instead it plunges without warning into a black hole, dragging you down with it, and soon, much like the protagonist, you too are falling and falling and falling.

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he hero is introduced in the first few lines as a greying and jaded shadow of a man. You can smell his defeat, the stench of his existence wafting up as you turn the pages. And he doesn’t deny it. In fact, at every possible opportunity Tariq reminds you of his perversion and his utter loss of hope of ever being able to “come back”. The story begins at the bottom and you are left with a mix of dread and intrigue at the thought of following his tale, going into the sordid details of his journey to depravity and being forced to relate to him. From the shores of a boisterous Saudi fishing village to the glittering cage that is the Master’s Palace, Tariq’s story is about base instincts spiraling out of control, and the futility of trying to escape the past. Khal sows seeds of unease as he talks about the purity of young love and the perversions of lust in the same breath. Father, aunt, brother, friend, sweetheart – Tariq loses some, finds others, each time losing a little part of himself. You want to reach into the pages, snap him out of his decline and alert him to his impending fate. Shrouded in secrecy, the Palace and its mysterious Master cast a constant shadow, both literally and figuratively, over Tariq’s

life. Immeasurable power and wealth have distorted the Master’s psyche and in his quest for new exciting thrills, he uncaringly tramples on the lives of the people in his way. Tariq, in his haste to run away, willingly becomes one of his victims. The Master is rarely seen and barely heard from; his sinister commands inferred from a gesture, a look, a whisper. He ceases to be a character and becomes a malignant force of nature, like a firestorm – deadly and unpredictable. Khal populates the book with rich metaphors; sometimes they fly thick and fast, one after the other, exhausting the reader. Facts and incidents are often repeated, without any real sense of why. But the poetry of his language cannot be denied. For instance, Tariq, talking about his pain and the struggle to reclaim at least some measure of humanity lost in his service of the Master, says, “There was no safe harbour for our wayward souls. Our wounded spirits carried on with their outpouring of pent-up grief until all our days and nights in Jeddah seemed like a journey through a vale of tears.” This kind of powerful imagery, found abundantly throughout the book, together with the sheer wretchedness of the story and the lack of redemption for any of

“A CHANGE IN THE LITERARY ATMOSPHERE FERMENTED DURING THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, OPENING SAUDI WRITING TO THE PROCESS OF EXPERIMENTATION AND MODERNIZATION OF LITERARY FORMS, WHICH IS BECOMING VISIBLE ON THE ARAB LITERARY SCENE DURING THE LAST FEW YEARS. ABDO KHAL, THE WINNER OF THE INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR ARABIC FICTION IN 2010, IS ONE OF THESE WELL-KNOWN VOICES. HE WROTE FEW NOVELS THAT DEAL WITH CENSORED, PROHIBITED SUBJECTS IN SAUDI SOCIETY. IN HIS NOVEL THROWING SPARKS, KHAL PORTRAYS THE ATROCITIES PERPETRATED ON THE LIVES OF THE UNDERPRIVILEGED PEOPLE, THE SHEER VIOLENCE EXERCISED BY THE POWERFUL ON THE WEAK.” FAKHRI SALEH NAWAHDA,

Head of Arabic Publishing, BQFP:

the characters, stays with you long after you have shut the book. Translated and published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing, the “controversial and hard-hitting” paperback novel must be a treat to read in Arabic, and translators Maia Tabet and Michael K Scott must be commended on keeping the essence and beauty of the original lines intact. The book has so far been banned in three Arab countries: Jordan, Kuwait and Khal’s home Saudi Arabia, where this former preacher and political science graduate continues to live and work.

QATAR BREAKS WORLD RECORD FOR LARGEST READING LESSON More than 1,350 students gathered to set a new Guinness World Record title for the ‘Largest Reading Lesson’, in Arabic at the Qatar National Convention Centre. The event was attended by His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Abdul Wahid Al-Hammadi, the Minister of Education and Higher Education and Secretary General of the Supreme Education Council and Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), RasGas Company Limited (RasGas). Children aged between five and ten years, and their teachers, from independent local schools across Qatar, came together to break the Guinness World Record, previously held by the USA with 451 children participating in one reading lesson. QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 93


affairs > doha diary

TECTONIC MOVEMENTS Following an art movement fired by the Qatar Museums Authority with international names like Damien Hirst presenting his range of work for the first time to an Arab audience, QMA has taken the next step of presenting American sculptor Richard Serra, one of the most significant artists of his generation.

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MA invited Serra to exhibit in two cultural spaces in Doha, at the Al Riwaq Doha Exhibition Space, where visitors will be able to experience ‘Passage of Time’ conceived specifically for the space, and at the QMA Gallery in Katara Cultural Village, where a selection of seven sculptures and four large drawings reflect the main stages in the development of Serra’s work. The exhibitions are curated by Alfred Pacquement, honorary director, National Museum of Modern Art, Pompidou Centre, Paris and run from

10 April to 6 July. More ground-breaking than these two presentations was the landscape installation that was commissioned by QMA and Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani at the Brouq Natural Reserve near Zekreet. Entitled East-West/West-East, the installation spans over a kilometer in length and crosses the peninsula connecting the waters of the Gulf. It consists of four steel plates measured by their relation to the topography. Speaking about this new addition to the

VCU-Q and HBKU Student Center Art Gallery present Gaseous Abstraction, an exhibition by Artists in Residence Kelley Lowe and Christine Wang which runs till May 9.

The QFC Authority recently kicked off its first 5-a-side football tournament in which more than 270 players in 20 teams from QFC-licensed firms and QFC entities will be participating. 94 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

vast desert, Serra says, “The installation gives the land a demarcation. The land would be indistinguishable otherwise.” Answering sceptics on the justification of having “steel plates” on a vast piece of desert, its reportedly exhorbitant cost and whether this could be considered art, he says, “It is prejudice or bias that you do not want to understand this. Your understanding depends on where you are, your relation to sculpture and the work of art. This is a different experience and it is my cultural contribution to the country.”


DUTCH DESIGNS FOR DOHA

Chief Design Officer at Philips Lighting, ROGIER VAN DER HEIDE, talks about his inspirations

The Netherlands Embassy organised a thought leadership session on Urban Design and Architecture at the Msheireb Enrichment Centre, which was followed by a viewing party for TEDxBinnenhof, one of 40 around the world.

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pening the first session, Dutch Ambassador HE Yvette van Eechoud said that there were some global challenges that the two countries might tackle together, smart living being one of them. “How do we live in a hyper-connected world, how do we create inspiring design and architecture…these are questions worth discussing.” The two countries had much to share in this field, as the Netherlands is also a densely populated country with limited land and a lot of ambition, she said. Co-founder of UN studio architects, Caroline Bos was the first to give a short presentation on what new-age Dutch architects can offer a growing city like Doha, which is seeking to be a beacon of urban design and architecture. Among the things she mentioned were the Dutch habit of combining experience and experimentation, their international orientation, their penchant for creating public spaces that were socially sustainable and responsible urbanisation. Following her, Philips Lighting’s Chief Design Officer Rogier van der Heide spoke about ‘digital fabrication’ and how technology has empowered us to bring our ideas to life. “If you have an idea, you can create the solution yourself without a shop floor. Freedom of thinking is freedom of making,” he said. He also gave examples of how architecture and design can lead to innovation like reinvigorating an entire area of the city or controlling light levels on the street. This was followed by a panel discussion with the two speakers and Qatari architects Nasser Al Amadi of QMA and Ameena Ahmadi of Qatar Foundation. The event was attended by representatives from QMA, Ashghal, QRail, Msheireb Properties and a group of select Dutch architects.

UPCOMING

EVENTS

QITCOM 2014 May 26-28 Qatar National Convention Centre QITCOM 2014 will feature conferences, exhibitions, awards and signature offerings aimed at mirroring the aspirations and potential of Qatar’s ICT sector.

as the go-to expert in their industry and create a personal brand-driven marketing message that gets their target audience to resonate with them so their marketing is more effective and they fill their business, programmes, courses and workshops faster.

THE SERVICE LEADERSHIP SEMINAR May 13, 9 a.m. La Cigale Hotel The seminar will be a great opportunity for professionals in HR, sales and customer service, training experts, academics and senior management staff to learn from Ron Kaufman, legendary educator and motivator in the field of customer service and rated one of the world’s “Top 25 Who’s Hot” speakers by Speaker Magazine. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Uplifting Service and 14 other books on service, business and inspiration.

BFA AND MFA EXHIBITION May 4 - June 4 VCUQatar At this exhibition by graduating students from all BFA and MFA degree programmes at VCUQatar, visitors will have the opportunity to view emerging talent in the fields of Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Painting and Print Making, and Design Studies.

THE FOOTBALL FIVE’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP May 2, 9 a.m. Qatar Football Association QALCO, supported by Qatar Football Association, is organising a tournament F5WC for amateur football enthusiasts above the age of 16. Local qualifying rounds in Qatar will be held on Fridays and Saturdays in April and May 2014. Various group rounds will be held, in which winning teams will proceed from the pre-qualifying stage to the Qatar Finals. PROJECT QATAR May 12-15 Qatar National Convention Centre Project Qatar is now established as Qatar’s most important exhibition for highlighting the latest products and services needed for Qatar’s fast growing construction sector and has become a destination of choice for regional and international industry professionals. HWW WORKSHOP: WHEN IT COMES TO MARKETING, WHAT YOU SAY MATTERS May 14, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Grand Hyatt Doha Conducted by with Francis Van Wyk, this workshop will provide entrepreneurs with insights on how to authentically position themselves

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE May 2, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Museum of Islamic Arts Park The Museum of Islamic Art presents a new musical series in partnership with local international schools, who will be bringing their music students to showcase their talents to the public at the MIA Park. The first of this series will feature students from Doha College in their first performance outside their school walls. CARMINA BURANA AND THE PLANETS May 11, 7:30 p.m. Qatar National Convention Centre Soprano Anya Matanovic, tenor Marcus Shelton and baritone Jochen Kupfer, conducted Alastair Willis will deliver a heavenly performance, of Gustav Holst’s The Planets and Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana along with the Qatar Philharmonic Children’s Choir and MDR Radio Choir of Leipzig. A film made by Duncan Copp will also be screened; The Planets is a High Definition odyssey that uses the latest footage from NASA.

FOR MORE INFORMATION LOG ONTO WWW.EVENTLY.QA OR FOLLOW @EVENTLYQATAR

PRESENTED BY

QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 95


affairs > doha diary

BRITISH PARAORCHESTRA AND QATAR PHILHARMONIC PERFORM AT KATARA BY ABIGAIL MATHIAS

It was a special concert in more ways than one. The artists came together from different corners of the globe, for one night only, and their very diversity proved to bring them strength.

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he British Paraorchestra were performing with the Qatar Philharmonic for the very first time at Katara’s Opera House. The former are the world’s first professional ensemble of differently abled musicians. Two years ago, their award-winning conductor Charles Hazlewood found himself dealing with a personal challenge. His youngest daughter, Emily, was diagnosed with celebral palsy. “She was the person who started to unlock my mind over the issue of how limited the opportunities were for people with disabilities,” he explains. Over the course of the past few years Hazlewood has devoted his musical talent to putting together a unique orchestra, which he hopes will slowly change the way we perceive the differently-abled. After just two years the Paraorchestra performed with internationally acclaimed band Coldplay at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic Games in London. For the event in Qatar, a special piece of high baroque, entitled The Madness by Arcangelo Corelli, was juxtaposed with newer sounds. It offered a range of musical elements from a tabla to the mouth organ.

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ANTI-HEROES CAN BE COOL

The venue for the band, performing its debut concert in Qatar, could not have been more appropriate. It was the circular auditorium of the Al Rayyan Theatre. The band, Circle of Sound, was bringing its unique sound to Doha. When asked to describe their music, members of the band called it "ethnic space age". Of course it is much more than that.

BY ABIGAIL MATHIAS

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he band consists of a 19-stringed sarod player, a drummer, a violinist, a pianist and a cello player. Hailed as being at the ‘vanguard of British Asian music’ (BBC), their sound resonates with deep Indian ragas, urban beats and a spirited rock attitude. Soumik Datta, a young sarod player who has been recognised for his sheer talent, makes the classical Indian instrument seem like an electric guitar. The band visited Qatar to launch their second album, Anti Hero, as the first stop on an international tour. If no one had heard of them before, their first performance saw a lot of new fans rushing to buy their album after the show. “There’s a whole world where everyone is fighting for that top spot. We wanted to show that it’s alright to be the

anti-hero,” says drummer Bernhard Schimpelsberger, who surprised the audience by singing Indian ragas. As for Datta, he has collaborated with Beyoncé Knowles, Talvin Singh, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, and composer Javed Akhtar, among others. He is also is a resident artist for the London-based Alchemy Festival and the Rich Mix Cultural Foundation. His fellow musician, singer-songwriter Fiona Bevan, explains that they met in English Literature class and cannot believe that their music has brought them halfway across the world. Bevan has written music for leading artists like One Direction and has just released her own solo album. Other members of the band include Laura Stanford, Rosabella Gregory and Danial Keane. QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014 > 97


Qatar Today looks at two expatriates from everyday life, one who has lived here for a significant amount of time and another who has just made Doha her home, for their take on life in this city. be e to u lik ur ld yo o wou ured in n? fe at o" colum r w u T o y e "Tak e tweet s Ple a s to il a t de o d ay tarT @Qa

A NEW LIFE AWAITS GORDANA POPOVIC

Sales Project Manager, MSK Building Materials Been in Doha since: March 2014 (two months) MISSING HOME I am of Croatian and Italian origin and have lived most of my life in Zagreb and Milan. I miss the beauty of the ancient city of Zagreb (some of it dates back to the 7th century), the many islands of Croatia, the Adriatic Sea and, of course, my family and friends. Milan is the epicentre of food and fashion and that’s what I miss most: shopping, happy hours in restaurants after work, glimpses of famous models walking down the streets and fashionably-dressed people eagerly thronging to see new collections by designers.

WE CALL IT HOME

GOLF MADE MY DECISION EASIER I play golf a lot and I admit I felt in love with Doha Golf Club the instant I saw it. In fact, the splendid golf course was one of the reasons I accepted a job offer here in Qatar. I wish there were more wellorganised golf clubs like this back home.

ELISABETE REIS

Founder and Image Consultant, Glam Your Image Been in Doha since: 2006 (eight years) HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS The Asian Games in 2006 brought us to Doha. We loved the experience, decided to stay and make this our home. I had lived in China for about 12 years before I came to Doha so it really was a peaceful and easy move. Qatar is really wonderful for families, especially, like in our case, with small children. It was an adventure moving to the Middle East. We feel at home and when we travel we love to come back home to Qatar. The children are well adapted and love their school and their routines. CHANGE IS GOOD So much has changed since we first moved here. I believe change is always positive, Qatar has proved to the world that it isn’t just a rich country but one with vision. Major achievements have happened since 2006: a new Emir, the transition was something really extraordinary to watch; winning the bid for World Cup 2022, which I think was well deserved and I have no doubts Qatar will deliver a great show; the opening of Katara, a fantastic family place with great art shows and performances; and the completion of the amazing Museum of Islamic Art and so on. It’s an exciting time in Qatar and I love what this country is growing into. I don’t find myself missing too much of the old Doha; I love having more places to visit, with better options and variety. There are some great shows, exhibitions, more shopping malls with international brands and great hotels. 98 > QATAR TODAY > MAY 2014

BEING A PART OF PROGRESS I am truly impressed with many of the projects, big and small, that have been going on in Doha: Education City, sports complexes, Qatar National Convention Centre, museums and so on. In the course of my job I get to visit many building sites and it is truly amazing to witness the size and capacity of these projects. I admire the new technologies and materials that are being used in order to build an environment-friendly and sustainable city. My company was among the first to move into the Barwa Commercial Avenue and it makes me proud to be a small part of these historical moments for Doha. My aspiration is to stay here as long as these interesting projects are taking place, participate in all this progress that Qatar is making and of course, I am looking forward to attending many of the major events that are scheduled to happen here.


05 qt may '14  
05 qt may '14  
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