Page 1


contents

june 2012

c ove r story

37 Qatar Inc. aims high Qatar Today Top Ten

Qatar Today once again looks at the top-performing companies on the Qatar Exchange in 2011 and tries to find out from the respective CEOs what keeps these companies on top, and if they wew to stumble, what game plans would they adopt?

34 Riding high with Sharia investments

Qatar Today caught up with the Director of Islamic Market Indexes for Dow Jones, Tariq AlRifai, and gathered his thoughts on a range of issues regarding Sharia-compliant investments and how productive the DJIM World Index is against more ‘unrestricted indexes’.

30 Seven Value-Creation Imperatives from Private Equity

24

34

Companies strive to create value for their stakeholders, a pursuit that occupies countless hours in boardrooms and executive suites around the world. Only a select number of companies, however, get it right.

24 The power of quality

Dr Hassan Al Fadala, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director at Qatar Project Management, quotes William A. Foster: “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution”as he explains the role of QPM in construction projects.

published by oryx advertising co wll, All rights reserved. qatar today is published monthly by oac, po box no. 3272, doha, qatar. subscription rate qr 180 per year. address all subscription correspondence to qatar today, oryx advertising co wll, po box 3272, al hilal area, doha, state of qatar. for single copies call us on + 974 44672139 or mail to qtoday@omsqatar.com. material in this publication must not be stored or reproduced in any form without permission. request for permission should be directed to qtoday@omsqatar.com. reprint requests should be directed to the info@msqatar.com. qatar today is a registered trademark of oryx advertising co wll

june 2012 volume 38 issue 6 www.omsqatar.com


contents

june 2012

75 CSR TODAY OUR SOCIETY MATTERS

The goal of CSR is to take responsibility for the impact of our activities on society as a whole. Qatar Today analyses the importance of this responsibility in Qatar.

32 Construction sector propels Qatari economy

The better-than-expected performance of the Qatari economy points to the growing strength of the non-hydrocarbons sector, chiefly driven by a rapidly expanding construction industry, which is showing itself to be a valuable contributor to economic growth, says Oliver Cornock of OBG.

70 The stories as they are

It is time for the Arab world to tell its own stories, says Ahmed Mahfouz, Managing Director of AJ Documentary Channel on the sidelines of the Eighth Al Jazeera International Documentary Film Festival.

68 Art for the masses

Jean-Paul Engelen recently celebrated his first anniversary at the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), where he has been Director of Public Art Programmes since March 2011.

64 Qatar’s high potential women, please stand up

Efforts at accelerating women’s empowerment are still largely small-scale, disjointed efforts that concentrate on entrepreneurship or women working from home. Tataowar explores what can be done to maximise their potential.

regulars News Bites.................................................12 O & G O v e r v i e w. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6 Bank Notes................................................18 realty check.............................................22 W o r l d V i e w. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 8 br a k i n g N e w s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2 Market Watch...........................................102 D o h a D i a r y. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 6


V o lu m e 3 8

issue 6

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Chief Executive Executive Vice President Vice President

june 2012

Yousuf Jassem Al Darwish Sandeep Sehgal Alpana Roy Ravi Raman

Editor Sindhu Nair Editorial Coordinator cassey oliveira CORRESPONDENTS RORY COEN EZDHAR IBRAHIM FASHION &LIFESTYLE CORRESPONDENT ORNA Ballout Art Director Venkat Reddy Assistant Art Director Hanan Abu Saiam Senior Graphic Designer Ayush Indrajith Graphic Designer maheshwar reddy Photographer R obert F Altamirano Manager –Marketing Zulfikar Jiffry ASSISTANT MANAGERS-MARKETING Chaturka Karandana THOMAS JOSE Media Consultant HASSAN REKKAB MARKETING RESEARCH AND SUPPORT EXECUTIVE EMILY LANDRY Accountant Pratap Chandran Sr. Distribution Executive Bikram Shrestha Distribution Support Arjun Timilsina Bhimal Rai

Published by Oryx Advertising Co WLL, P.O. Box 3272; Doha-Qatar Tel: (+974) 44672139, 44550983, 44671173, 44667584 Fax: (+974) 44550982 Email: qtoday@omsqatar.com website: www.omsqatar.com Printed at: Gulf Publishing and Printing Co WLL Copyright © 2012 Oryx Advertising Co WLL

Qatar Today invites readers’ feedback Share your views on the magazine or any issue connected to Qatar. One lucky reader will win an exquisite Mont Blanc writing instrument.

published by oryx advertising co wll, All rights reserved. qatar today is published monthly by oac, po box no. 3272, doha, qatar. subscription rate for qr. 180 per year. address for all subscription correspondence to qatar today, oryx advertising co wll, po box 3272, al hilal area, doha, state of qatar. for single copies call us on + 974 44672139 or mail to qtoday@omsqatar.com. material in this publication must not be stored or reproduced in any form without permission. request for permission should be directed to qtoday@omsqatar.com. reprint requests should be directed to the info@Omsqatar.com. qatar today is registered trademark of oryx advertising co wll reprint requests should be directed to the info@Omsqatar.com. qatar today is registered trademark of oryx advertising co wll reprint requests should be directed to the info@Omsqatar.com.

Write to: The Editor, Qatar Today, PO Box 3272, Doha. Fax: (+974) 44550982, email: qtoday@omsqatar.com Qatar Today reserves the right to edit and publish the correspondence. Views and opinions expressed in the published letters may not necessarily be the publication’s views and opinions.


june 2012

from the desk

It

seems a paradox that while we felt far removed from the happenings in Houla, Syria as the whole world reacted strongly to the brutal massacre that killed 39 children, another seemingly harmless fire in a shopping Mall in Doha wreAked havoc on our safe and cocooned life. May 28, 2012 will go down in Doha’s history in black, bold letters.

For however we look at it, it is just not acceptable that a country with low population density and high GDP levels had to sacrifice the lives of 13 innocent tiny tots, four teachers and two rescue workers from Civil Defence, to be reminded of safety features in a public space. All of us at Qatar Today pray for the souls of the departed and hope that this lesson will never ever be taken lightly. Everything seems to lose context when faced with such tragic loss but since we have to get back to business, we remind you of another setback the country faced a few days earlier and how the impediment was used to trigger positive reactions. Qatar was hoping to add the 2020 Olympics Games to the list of prestigious events it will host, but was denied after a technical report found that shifting the Games from its traditional summer slot to avoid the extremes of temperature risked damaging television revenues. But what was refreshing was how Doha 2020 – the orgainisng committee for the event – reacted to this disappointment, saying they will continue to bid for the Olympics. “With so many sports venues already in place and budgeted for, we felt that we offered the IOC great certainty and a low cost games plan as well as an exciting legacy vision, especially around developing women’s sport in the Middle East. However for Doha, it will always be a question of when not if,” said Noora Al-Mannai, Chief Executive of Doha 2020. And while this setback is in no way comparable to the tragic loss of lives, the response and the lessons learnt could be replicated to create a model city, one that makes safety and regulations its cornerstone. While most of us find it difficult to learn from failure, modern businesses have already learnt that there is no greater teacher than failure. This month, the Qatar Today cover story is on businesses that have shown great resilience at the market – the Qatar Today Top Ten. The CEOs of these top companies share their insights on winning and dealing with failure and some take us through their successful journey, not all of which were smooth and uneventful. The Qatar Today Top Ten are companies have been evaluated based on the performance of the 42 companies on the Qatar Exchange. We also talk to the Director of Islamic Market Indexes for Dow Jones, Tariq Al-Rifai and gather his thoughts on a range of issues regarding Sharia-compliant investments. A study in Qatar tries to understand what is holding back women in the workplace, while the Chairman of Qatar Project Management emphasises quality in construction projects. The Qatar Museums Authority is trying to reach out to the masses through its art exhibition and talking to us is the Director of Public Art Programmes, Jean-Paul Engelen. In our Spotlight section, we focus on companies who are giving back to society to help sustain our future generations. As the summer peaks, we urge you to be safe. Drive safe. Doha doesn’t need any more tragic stories… Ma’a salama!

Sindhu Nair


letters feedback qtoday@omsqatar.com

Outstanding May Issue the May issue of Qatar Today was simply brilliant. While the quality of the articles is good as usual, the design has gone really trendy. Although I am more tuned in to conventional ways of presenting an article (for any magazine in general) but this one I guess matches the style of any international business magazine. QT is always ahead and extensive in content/topics. Looking at its current size and the amount of readable material it packs, it is definitely good value for money too. S Bhardwaj

More than Passion needed

Qatar Today’s May cover story said that “it is only passion that steers the youth towards startups”. Whilst this may be true to an extent, there’s an element of having ‘nothing to lose’ in play as well. Sheikha Al-Misnad entertained the idea of it being more an indulgence – maybe even a novelty – and less of a necessity in this country as there wasn’t an entrepreneurial culture here, nor is there a serious drive for one when the public sector is so well looked after. It’s all very well and good starting a business, but I’d be interested to know how long these startups stay operational and what kind of revenues they are pulling in. Nora Jackson

International startups in Qatar

It’s fascinating to read about the political, economic and social relations Qatar is having with the rest of the world. Qatar has a lot to offer the world in terms of hydrocarbon fuels, but it’s willing to negotiate deals with other countries to accelerate practical improvements on the ground and not just to fill its coffers. It’s encouraging to see so many existing and proven companies set up their regional homes here, but I wonder how many internationals come here to start up their businesses?

qt poll – june

Poll result is based on messages received till 20th of every month

Richard Flatley

Q

Water Wastage

I see the government are spending big on a campaign of water conservation. “Keep Water Pulsing – Consume Wisely,” they say. That’s a nice message. I’m afraid the only way people are going to be wise in this context is if they are charged for every drop which comes from their taps. Why not give households a certain amount of “free water” and put a levy on the surplus? If they’re spending so much money on policy, spend it “wisely” and not on lazy rhetoric. Sharanya Malik

Best of luck, Qatar

will you invest in some company on the qatar exchange in 2012?

SMS answers to +974 33072524 A lucky winner will win a NOKIa C5-03

can qatar foster a culture of entrepreneurship by 2030?

76% 24% Yes

no

The winning number of the last QT poll is 3671649

I’d like to wish the Qatari national football team all the best in their June fixtures for 2014 World Cup qualification. They have done the nation proud getting this far, but from what we have seen from this country in the past four or five years, a real push for qualification isn’t beyond this tiny nation any more – in fact, it’s what we now expect. Mohammed Al-Hassan

Qatar Today invites readers’ feedback Share your views on the magazine or any issue connected to Qatar. One lucky reader will win an exquisite MontBlanc writing instrument.

Check out all articles of Qatar Today on www.issuu.com/oryxmags/qatartoday

Write to: The Editor, Qatar Today, PO Box 3272, Doha. Fax: (+974) 44550982, email: qtoday@omsqatar.com

follow us on www.facebook.com/qatartoday www.twitter.com/qatartoday www.qatartoday.tumblr.com

Qatar Today reserves the right to edit and publish the correspondence. Views and opinions expressed in the published letters may not necessarily be the publication’s views and opinions.


csr today: our society matters 75

NEWS BITES

Emir encourages Israel to push for peace

t

he Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, asked Israel to make a serious push for peace in light of what has happened across the region in the past 18 months. Addressing the Doha Forum last month, the Emir said:  The Israeli premier is now required to take a long-awaited step towards achieving peace.  And that peace should be based on cessation of disputed settlements (in occupied Palestinian territories), the 1967 borders and the two-state solution. The Emir reminded Israel that if it continued with its strategy, it would be become isolated in the region. “Arab public opinion seeks freedom of citizens as well as of countries.  Palestine is the last Arab homeland that has not been given its freedom to date, and it s time to earn it,” said the Emir while opening the 12th Doha Forum and Enriching the Middle East s Economic Future  Conference at the Sheraton Doha. The Doha Forum is looking to be a figurative platform that contributes to shaping political and economic aspirations in the region going forward. The Doha Fo-

The Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani addresses the Doha Forum at the Sheraton last month.

rum, which is an annual event staged by the Qatar, will take a new approach in the future, by becoming a platform for proposals that benefit mankind, the Minister proposed. There is something wrong, and we

must recognise it. It requires politicians, economists, thinkers, civil society and international bodies and organisations to intensify their solutions, he said.

Possible change in sponsorship law

q

atar is looking into replacing the contentious sponsorship laws with a liberal contractbased system and the establishment of a trade union to help advise workers about their rights. The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour. Hussein Yousuf Al Mulla said asking private companies not to keep the passports of their employees was a positive step in removing the sponsorship system, adding

12 Qatar Today

june 2012

that the term sponsorship  is akin to slavery by some human rights organisations. Al Mulla reiterated however, that a worker who wished to move to another job in Qatar would have to terminate his contract and leave the country, but he should have some rational justification to do that.  If another employer brings that worker back to Qatar, he must sign a new contract,  he clarified. However, he didn t specify if the worker would be required to spend a signifi-

cant amount of time overseas before taking up a new job in Qatar. Al Mulla said that a Labour Committee  would be established with a representation from the private sector and expatriate workers to bring about a trade union in the future, whose primary task would be to receive complaints from workers and defend workers  rights. The Labour ministry would ultimately have no control over the committee.


news bites

QNRF to commit to new research projects

q

atar National Research Fund (QNRF) recently announced that it has awarded QR512 million to research proposals that come under the scope of the National Priorities Research Program (NPRP), which has been specifically designed to foster a culture of research in Qatar. Now in its fifth cycle, this marks a 16% increase on the previous one. Proposals received covered a Faisal M. Alsuwaidi, broad range of disciplines such QF President of Research and as the natural sciences, engineerDevelopment ing and technology, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences and humanities. QNRF, a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), launched the fifth cycle in September 2011 and has received over 1,460 Letters of Intent since then, generating a large number of research proposals. The 632 proposals that qualified were sent for external review and evaluation by up to five international peer reviewers.

QSTEC and QEWC to develop solar powered energy

q

atar Solar Technologies (QSTec) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Qatar Electricity & Water Company (QEWC) last month to commit to exploring the possibilities of developing power generation using solar energy in Qatar and beyond. Dr Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri, Chairman and CEO of QSTec and Fahad Hamad Al Mohannadi, General Manager of QEWC signed the MoU Dr Khalid Klefeekh Al Hajri,Chairman at QEWC s headquarters. and CEO of QSTec and Fahad Hamad Al “This marks important progress Mohannadi, General Manager of QEWC towards providing a sustainable source of energy in Qatar, which is part of the Qatar National Vision 2030,” said Dr Al Hajri. “We hope that collaboration will see many projects become a reality both here in Qatar and across the globe.”  Al Mohannadi stated: “The interest in alternative energy sources and solar energy in Qatar is growing. The development and advancement of solar cell technology and the related industry should be the corner stone for the future strategy on alternative energy resources. Over the past several years the region has seen a number of pioneering and strategic efforts to diversify energy resources and develop projects that rely on renewable energy. These are all efforts to help conserve traditional energy resources.”

ictQATAR investigates Hala BlackBerry service

T

he Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR) established that QTel had communicated confusing and/or incorrect information to its customers about data usage limits and charges that apply when those limits are exceeded. ictQATAR explained that there were no recent tariff changes to the QTel s Hala BlackBerry service offering. It remains that customers who buy the pre-paid Hala BlackBerry service are debited in increments according to data usage. As the included data usage is 250 MB per/week, QTel is required to notify these customers when they are reaching that limit so that they may be aware of charges that may apply after the limit is exceeded. ictQATAR directed QTel to provide clear and accurate clarification to its customers on usage limits and charges that apply for the QTel s Hala BlackBerry service offering. Qtel responded, stating:  “Qtel implemented a network upgrade to enhance the customer experience through a new SMS alert service. In the course of implementing this upgrade, a number of customers were identified who were using more than the 250 MBs allocation and were not being charged for the additional data consumed. This system error was soon rectified, resulting in some customers receiving an unexpected charge over the last few days. Qtel acknowledges that the application of data limits took some customers by surprise, and is taking immediate steps to rectify this issue. In-line with Qtel s Customer Charter, those BlackBerry customers who were charged for excess data consumption over the past week will have that credit restored to their account.”

june 2012

Qatar Today 13


news bites

Q.NBN and Vodafone Qatar sign Agreement

Qatar joins the Global Green Growth Institute

Q

q

atar National Broadband Network (Q.NBN) and Vodafone Qatar QSC (Vodafone) have signed an interim wholesale agreement in a move towards bringing high-speed communications to all who live and work in Qatar. The agreement was signed by Mohamad Al-Mannai, Q.NBN CEO and Richard Daly, Vodafone Qatar CEO. This agreement is the first such wholesale agreement to enable a licensed telecom operator to use Q.NBN s network to deliver telecom services to customers. Last year they defined how the two organisations could work together to realise the Qatar government s objective to roll out an accessible nationwide high-speed fiber optic network. Under this interim wholesale agreement, Vodafone will initially provide broadband services to residential and business customers in Barwa City and Barwa Commercial Avenue.

Doha fails to make 2020 Olympic shortlist

i

stanbul, Tokyo and Madrid will compete to host the 2020 Olympics after Doha and Baku were cut from the list last month. Doha has been rejected for a second time in a row. The remaining cities will now embark on a lobbying period with the winner named on September 7, 2014. The decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) not to shortlist Doha for the Olympics and Paralympic Games 2020 does not curtail the country’s ambitions or its work in progress towards becoming a regional and global sports hub, Doha 2020 officials said. Doha 2020 CEO Noora Al Mannai said the Bid Committee was disappointed, but

14 Qatar Today

june 2012

remained definant about the future. “We are still committed to our sports legacy projects and to empowering women through sports. With so many sports venues already in place and budgeted for, we felt that we offered the IOC great certainty and a low cost Games plan as well as an exciting legacy vision, especially around developing women’s sport in the Middle East. “The good news is that our National Vision and master plan guarantees an urban fabric that places sport at its heart; therefore Doha will be ready to host the Games whenever the IOC leadership grants the wider IOC membership the opportunity to decide the fate of bidding nations at this stage of the process. Nevertheless, much of the legacy plans for 2020 will go on.”

atar joined a consortium of founding member countries to establish the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) last month. HE Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Chairman of Qatar s Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, who initialed the agreement on behalf of Qatar, described the institute as an important initiative to address the challenge of climate change. HE Al-Attiya stated: “The GGGI plays a critical role in our collective effort to promote the paradigm of green growth, and ultimately improve the economic, environmental and social conditions of both developing and emerging countries.”  The member countries now move towards shaping the global knowledge for green growth, an initiative that will work on identifying major knowledge gaps in green growth theory and practice.

SDC announces winning entrepreneurs

S

ocial Development Center (SDC), a member of Qatar Foundation, announced the winning entrepreneurial projects for the first series of the Reyada Awards for Qatari Entrepreneurs. The awards were presented to the winners by HE Munira Bint Nasser Al Missned, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees, SDC, accompanied by Amal Al Mannai, Executive Director, SDC, as well as a number of VIPs and renowned figures in Qatari society. Winning entrepreneurs in the New Venture Challenge category included Lulwa Al Mansouri, who earned the Golden award, followed by Mohamed Mansour Al Sharshani, recipient of the Silver award. Saleh Alaidh was also awarded first place for Entrepreneur Achiever Award while Shams Al Qasab ranked second in that category. In the Outstanding Entrepreneurial Support Award category, Vodafone earned the Golden award for its dedicated corporate social responsibility efforts to support entrepreneurship, while College of the North Atlantic earned the Silver award in the same category.


aljazeera telling the stories

70

O & G overview

Oil professionals meet in Doha

h

undreds of oil and gas industry professionals met in Doha for three days to discuss new production optimisation technologies to meet the rapid growth in the global demand for energy. The International Production and Operations Conference and Exhibition, organised for first time in Qatar by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, was held on May 14-16, under the patronage of HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry. Wael Sawan, Executive Vice-President for Qatar Shell, underlined Shell’s views on the global energy challenge and the forecast growth of global demand. He said: “Global demand for energy is expected to double in the first half of the century, driven by a rising global population and growth in the developing economies. At the same time, we must urgently tackle greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst consequences for the environment. Although cleaner energy sources will meet

HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry with Shell officials

a growing share of demand (30%), fossil fuels will continue to meet up to 65% of global demand for decades. “At Shell,” Sawan went on, “we’ve researched all current energy types. And we found that in the 20th century, it took around 30 years for new energy sources and carriers to capture 1% of the market after commercial introduction.”

The top executive of Shell in Qatar cited a number of examples detailing Shell’s response to this challenge, including enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies, unlocking tight gas using floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG), and also chemically converting gas into high-quality liquid hydrocarbon (GTL) to meet growing global demand for these products.

Barcelona gets Rasgas LNG

highlight Qatar takes major stake in Shell Qatar became an investor IN Royal DUTCH Shell Company as the country’s sovereign wealth fund prepare to buy a 3 to 5% stake in Europe’s biggest oil company. “We are delighted to welcome the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) as a long-term and major shareholder in Shell, and particularly given our excellent strategic relationship with the Qatari state,” said Ross Whittam, a London-based spokesman for Shell. The company’s comments followed a report on the purchase in the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES). Shell said it wOULD issue a statement when any shareholder’s stake rose above 3%.

16 Qatar Today

june 2012

r

asGas Company Limited (RasGas) achieved yet another milestone when the first Q-Flex vessel delivered Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at the Barcelona LNG receiving terminal in Spain. It was not only the first RasGas Q-Flex vessel to discharge LNG at the Barcelona LNG receiving terminal but also the largest the terminal had ever received. The LNG cargo was delivered aboard RasGas’ long-term chartered Q-Flex vessel Al-Utouriya. The cargo was part of RasGas’ long-term LNG Sales and Purchase Agreement (SPA) with Endesa Generacion, SA.


qatar’s women in business

64

bank notes

QAMC and Barclays form partnership

T

he Qatar Asset Management Company (QAMC) – a collaboration between the Qatar Financial Centre Authority (QFCA) and the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) – and Barclays Natural Resources Investments (BNRI), a division of Barclays Bank PLC and global private equity business focused on natural resources investment opportunities, recently announced the formation of a strategic partnership. Under the partnership terms, QAMC will invest QR910 million ($250 million) in BNRI’s current and future portfolio companies, of which a substantial proportion will be allocated to BNRI’s existing QR7.65 billion portfolio of companies. BNRI will continue to source, execute, manage and exit private equity transactions in the natural resources sector on a global basis and co-investors will be invited to participate immediately upon completion of each

al khaliji launches online banking service

Al Khaliji announced the launch of its new online banking service last month. “As a result, close to 95% of transactions that can be done at any of our branches can now be done online,” said Robin McCall, al khaliji Group Chief Executive Officer. “whether it be transferring funds, paying off a credit card, and so forth. But what really makes this service stand out is the user interface; it appears, and acts, like a modern smart application, as we decided that the traditional look and feel of typical online banking websites met neither our needs nor our brand,” he added.

S&P rates Qatar Islamic Bank ‘A-/A-2’

I

n a move that reflects Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB)’s sound financial position and business strategy, Standard & Poor’s recently assigned its ‘A-’ long-term and ‘A-2’ short-term counterparty credit ratings to QIB with a stable outlook rating on the long-term. S&P, which rates QIB for the first time, hailed the bank’s business position, its leading position in the fast-growing Qatari Islamic banking segment and its business model and management. It views QIB’s capital and earnings as ‘strong’ and expects the bank to register strong loan

18 Qatar Today

june 2012

transaction. The regional BNRI office will be located within the QFC and Mark Brown, Managing Director and Head of BNRI, added: “The demand for natural resources continues to grow as the global economy expands, but their supply is limited. This means our focus investment area of global natural resources is set to continue to generate attractive investment opportunities. Our partnership with QAMC and Qatar allows BNRI to capture that opportunity for the benefit of all our co-investors.” Abdulrahman Ahmad Al-Shaibi, Managing Director of the QFCA, commented: “This strategic partnership is an important milestone in Qatar’s strategy of developing an asset management hub and promoting the expansion of Qatar’s financial services industry. Barclays is already well established in Doha as a QFC-licensed entity, and we are delighted now to welcome the BNRI team to the QFC.”

growth, believing its operating margins should remain stable enough to operate with healthy internal capital generation. According to S&P, the bank’s lending book is predominantly domestic, and therefore directly tied to the domestic environment in Qatar. This is largely in line with its view on the Qatari economy having strong momentum, being dependent on oil and liquefied natural gas production and large infrastructure development programmes. With regard to industry risk, the banking industry is underpinned by a high and stable share of core deposits, strong efficiency, and recently more stringent lending practices.

Consumer price inflation

i

BQ reported that inflation in March, as measured by the consumer price index (CPI), levelled at 1.2% yearon-year (y/y) for the third consecutive month. By the end of 2011 inflation had averaged 1.9% (y/y), rising on the back of a rapidlygrowing economy, expansionary fiscal policies, burgeoning global fuel, food and commodity prices (especially in the first half of 2011) and a stabilising rental market. Among the four largest components of the CPI, “entertainment, recreation and culture” posted the highest year-on-year change of 5.5%, followed by “food, beverages and tobacco”, which increased by 3.4% y/y. “Transport and communications” gained 2.0% y/y, while “rent, fuel and energy”, the largest category, continued its deflationary pattern, declining by 5.7% y/y. Pronounced inflation in the transport and communications category, which averaged 6.4% during 2011, came in the wake of a 25% increase in the price of fuel by the Qatari government in January, 2011. This was a major contributor to inflation in 2011. Despite depressed housing rents, headline inflation is expected to continue to rise gradually over the course of the year by an average of 2.0% y/y. Inflationary impulses are likely to stem from government’s capital spending plans ahead of the 2022 World Cup, burgeoning credit growth, accommodative monetary policies and recent public sector pay and pensions increases in 2011.


ban k n ot es

A subtle approach to finance Longer life expectancy and potential career breaks are two strong reasons to make financial planning a priority for professional women. And while the basics of a good financial planning strategy should not be gender-driven, there are a number of subtle differences that professional women should take into account.

Achieving

financial success during your time working in Qatar is a fundamental target for all professional women. Effective planning is the route to realising such a goal - one which maps out your financial priorities. For many women, shoring up potential financial gaps in your career in terms of retirement planning is a key priority. This involves maximising the tax free status you currently enjoy while working here. A good starting point is to draw up an income/ expenditure plan which will reveal how much of your salary you can commit to a savings plan. Take into account company allowances which may take care of essentials such as housing, car, health insurance and other perks - all of which leverage the amount of disposable income. A key consideration for professional women is the possibility of taking a career break to accommodate family commitments. Taking a few years out of the earnings pool can greatly reduce the growth potential of your savings. So putting aside more now while you are earning can help to keep your financial plan on track and ensure your savings grow to the required level. It’s also important to take extra care about the savings vehicle chosen. Plans that allow you to pause contributions or ones that offer flexibility in terms of payment level can be more useful to those who have an eye on future family commitments. Retirement planning features highly on the agenda for most women who have been working or living internationally, particularly where they have been doing so for a number of years. Job changes, uncertainties of short-term contracts, moving to different countries and career breaks all take their toll on the flow of savings into retirement schemes and a review of pensions and other retirement options should be carried out on a regular basis. So taking a look at some of the key issues facing professional women when undertaking financial planning in more detail, we have highlighted three important considerations that professional women need to take into account when drawing up their financial plan. 1. The glass ceiling. The percentage of female expatriates has feedback qtoday@omsqatar.com

hovered at 17-20% for the past five years, according to the latest report from Brookfield Global Relocation Services. In its 2011 report, Brookfield potentially puts this stagnant growth down to career development issues which see women less likely to be offered international assignments. Family issues and lack of support are other reasons put forward for the lack of growth in female expatriates. So professional women need to bear in mind that with career progression choice potentially limited they need to ensure they are maximising the financial benefits offered in their current role. 2. Career breaks. Women are more likely than men to take long career breaks for family reasons. It is important to build this into planning for retirement and to cover any potential gaps by maximising your current earning potential and increasing monthly savings and investments. 3. Longer life expectancy. According to statistics, women generally live longer than men, which means they will need to consider saving more for a longer retirement. There is no easy answer to this, apart from increasing savings, as your savings goal could also be complicated by the possibility of taking a career break. However, don’t overlook the potential to maximise tax breaks and using tax efficient savings and investment strategies where possible. Of course longer life expectancy aside, there is a chance that some of these conditions will change in the future. With global companies under increasing pressure to remain competitive, traditional expat packages are giving way to alternative models that include shorter term assignments abroad. According to Brookfield Global Relocation Services 2011 survey this move favours women who, as a result, are likely to see an increase in the number of expatriate career opportunities available to them. And with increased choice comes increased opportunities for financial planning. Getting in tune now with the subtle financial planning differences professional women face may prove beneficial in the longer term

BY David Russell Senior Executive Officer, Guardian Wealth Management David Russell joined Guardian Wealth Management in Geneva, helping from inception to establish an office which is now regarded as one of the leading providers of independent financial advice to the employees of many international organisations. With the expansion of the company into the Middle East, David was elected to take over the reins as the Senior Executive Officer for Qatar. He brings a wealth of experience to the Qatar office as well as a sound legal background, which stands him in very good stead in ensuring the team bring the best in financial advice to theIR many expatriate clients.

20 Qatar Today

june 2012


qpm: the power of quality 24

realty check

Wa’a b back Qatar holds 8% share of Al on track regional projects

d

espite grappling with challenges and delivery issues related to current projects, major opportunities in the construction sector remain prevalent in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Iraq in 2012, according to the newly released Deloitte Middle East’s annual report on the sector: ‘GCC Powers of Construction: Five Lessons to Learn From’. Key findings in the Deloitte report indicate that large infrastructure projects, particularly around social and transport infrastructure, will offer tremendous opportunities for contractors, as will continuing upstream and downstream oil and gas related developments in the coming years. Of the biggest investments currently underway is Qatar’s plan to spend QR364 billion ($100 billion) in preparation for hosting the 2022 World Cup and achieving its 2030 vision, and Saudi Arabia’s capital spend programme approaching QR1.5 trillion ($400 billion) over the next 10 years alone. The Deloitte report indicates that although there are massive opportunities associated with huge construction spend, many project sponsors still have to deal with illiquid projects and debt. The Deloitte report classified Qatar as the fastest growing economy in the GCC region and holding an 8% share of the total value of the regional projects. In terms of its construction industry, its value was forecasted at approximately QR29 billion in FY11. Projects planned to be underway in Qatar in the future are valued at approximately QR840 billion ($230 billion). Sports will be a key element of the construction industry boom, in the non-oil and gas sector, with investments allocated to hotel, leisure, tourism, sports, recreational and infrastructure projects estimated at QR220-250 billion ($60-70 billion).

A

l Wa’ab City officially announced the appointment of Benchmark International as its Development Managers. Benchmark brings a wealth of experience in managing iconic developments offering solid, sustainable propositions across the MENA region. Sheikha Hanadi Bint Nasser Al Thani the CEO of Al Wa’ab City welcomed the new partnership and said, “We are very pleased to have Benchmark International on board as Al Wa’ab City’s Development Managers. While this partnership will ensure quality and delivery, it shall also reflect vision and values of Al Wa’ab City, cementing its central position as the inviting hub of a vibrant community, a complete living, working and lifestyle experience.” Boasting an array of living and working spaces, a large percentage of Al Wa’ab City consists of landscapes; providing an attractive, authentic and enhanced environment. It will be home to more than 8,000 people, offering a safe and well maintained environment with one of the lowest density ratios of any major development around the city of Doha.

Cityscape showcases new projects Cityscape Qatar, an international real estate investment and development exhibition and conference, was opened by the Vice Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce, Mohammad bin Ahmed bin Towar Al-Kuwari at the Doha Exhibition Centre.

22 Qatar Today

june 2012


realty check

Barwa’s new venture announced

Barwa’s stand at CityScape 2012

b

arwa Real Estate Group, revealed its latest community-oriented residential property – Lusail Golf Residential Development, at Cityscape 2012, which was held from May 23 to 25, 2012. Covering an area measuring 3,659,736 square metres, 31% of Lusail Golf Residential Development is allocated to residential areas and 69% to sports facilities and green areas. 28% features public areas and gardens, 12% open spaces, such as, pedestrian paths, roads and utilities, and 2% is dedicated to community amenities, such as, schools, mosques, a hotel, and a health clinic. A further 26% is dedicated to sports amenities which include a golf course, golf club and tennis facilities, and 31% features low and medium residential density zones.

The Best Real Rare honour for Ezdan Estate Projects Recognised he winners of the inaugural Cityscape Awards for Real Estate in Qatar were announced to recognise and reward outstanding individuals and companies who are leaders in delivering outstanding real estate developments in the exciting Qatari market. Awards were presented in six categories, and winners were: Best Sustainable Development Award – Msheireb Properties, for the Msheireb Downtown Doha project Best Public Sector Award – Hamad Medical Corporation, for the Cyclotron PT CT Centre Best Mixed Use Project Award, BUILT – The Pearl Qatar United Development Company Best Mixed Use Project Award, FUTURE – Barwa Real Estate, for the Barwa Al Doha – Baraya project Best Tourism and Hospitality Award, FUTURE – Al Sharq Village & Spa Hospitality Best Residential Project Award, BUILT – The Pearl Qatar United Development Company

t

e

zdan Real Estate Company is ranked first among the Arab real estate companies, by sector, and is listed as one of the top 500 Arab companies based on capitalisation listed for the year 2011. According to the list of the ‘Finance and Business’, the specialised business magazine, the market capitalisation of Ezdan Real Estate Company reached $16,165,590,000 (QR59 trillion)

by 2011. Ezdan Real Estate Company is one of the first 500 listed Arab companies, and is ranked seventh based on market capitalisation for the years 2010 and 2011. The company has been ranked third among the local companies that are listed at the Arab market list comprising the GCC countries, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine. Of the top ten companies out of the 500 selected Arab companies there are three Qatari companies, four Saudi companies, two Kuwaiti companies and one Emirati company. As for the Qatari companies, Qatar National Bank is ranked first, among the Qatari companies, and is ranked third among the Arab nations; while Industries Qatar ranked second among Qatari companies and fourth in the Arab world. Ezdan Real Estate Company is ranked third among Qatari companies, and seventh overall in the Arab world.

june 2012

Qatar Today 23


r e alt y c h e ck

The power of quality

Dr Hassan Al Fadala, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Qatar Project Management

We always assume quality costs more. But it is undisputed among those who understand total quality management that quality reduces cost, primarily by reducing waste and unnecessary system redundancy. Stressing the importance of quality, Dr Hassan Al Fadala, Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Qatar Project Management quotes William A Foster. “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution.”

Al

Fadala says that quality can never be achieved without proper management no matter how impressive the initial plan or how innovative the design is. And quality is at the forefront of the project management industry today and of vital importance to the development of Qatar as it continues its pace of growth. He talks to Qatar Today about Project Management in Qatar. What are the most important elements of project management in relation to large scale construction projects? I would like to quote His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, “Comprehensive development is our main goal in achieving advancement for our country and the prosperity of our people.” In one sentence, His Highness has summed up our wideranging goals - to create and build a comprehensive development plan which will serve Qatar’s people and their quality of life, infrastructure, economy and social foundations and, in effect, its future. These words touch upon the most elementary factors of success, the most fundamental of which is quality. Quality is at the forefront of the project management industry today and of vital importance to the development of Qatar as it continues its stunning pace of growth. Another imperative role project management has always played is that of cost control and cost management. Project management helps owners complete a project on budget regardless of variable factors; this applies to governments, real estate developers or even investors. Project management identifies all costrelevant areas and takes into consideration risks, contingencies and currency fluctuations. Project management oversees the

24 Qatar Today

june 2012

designers’ work, the material specification process and requirements to ensure the client’s budget and desired outcome are in line with the project owner’s expectations. This essential exercise does not end there, but continues throughout the project lifecycle to manage the cash flow of the project and to control the running cost. The result is a robust and reliable budget that can take the project from the initiation date to completion and beyond, to a successful and viable outcome. The key to success is, again, timely involvement of project management. To give you an abbreviated example of the necessity and cost effectiveness of project management, I will share with you one of our recent cases. Our team was asked to provide a value engineering exercise for a multi-billion riyal development. This project management approach helped the owners of the project save 14% of the total cost of the project at a cost of 2% for project management services. Last, but not least, the third and most important pillar is time. To make sure that we deliver on time, we need to plan, execute and monitor our projects through effective project management and time management using scheduling and planning. Which are the projects in Qatar that are being managed by QPM? The scope of QPM’s projects are diverse and incorporate multiuse developments including residential apartments and villas, civil infrastructure, hotels, retail and commercial centres, leisure facilities such as golf courses and health clubs, medical facilities, schools, and mosques. Within Qatar, QPM is currently providing project management


re alt y che ck

services for three key developments: Phase 1 of Barwa City, Barwa Commercial Avenue, QP District, and Al Duhail Camp. Barwa City is a site that masses a footprint of approximately 2.7 million square metres and is located in the Musaimeer Area. This development is positioned as one of the largest civil projects in Qatar and directly reflects QPM’s ability to facilitate mega-projects. Once completed, Phase 1 will offer housing for more than 35,000 residents by creating nearly 6,000 apartments. What are the steps undertaken by QPM in the project management process? Effective project management encompasses conducting feasibility studies and reviews, programme development and management, cost management, project control, health and safety management, environmental management, risk management, stakeholder management, claim management and resolution, all while implementing the client’s vision according to international quality standards. What challenges are faced when managing big projects, especially those that are specific to the region? One of the omnipresent challenges – the world over – is cost. The global financial crisis shook the whole world and affected all. The real estate sector was the biggest loser in this crisis, worldwide. We’ve learned from past experiences that reaching the former level will take time. Therefore, we need to make wise and diligent economic decisions and build our projects on the basis of supply, demand and economic feasibility. From a project management perspective, the crisis showcased the need for experienced project management companies because a project will not be economically successful if it is delayed, of high cost or of low construction quality. What according to you is the biggest constraint in the region, with regard to timely completion of projects? The sheer size of the projects is the biggest factor. Due to their large size, most projects are split into phases and take years, some of them decades, to complete. For example it will take 12 years to completely finish the new Barwa project in Cairo. Many things may happen within that timeframe i.e. change in scope, design, budget, manpower or any other external factors, which make project management very challenging. Who are your competitors in this field? Our competitors are all foreign companies, but we look at competition with a positive perspective, which stimulates us to work harder and develop our services and capacities in order to benefit the national economy. What are the important projects in the region and what is the USP of QPM to be the preferred choice in project management? QPM’s regional portfolio includes Al Hourara Coastal Resort in Morocco, Ibn Hani Bay Resort in Syria, Al Rayyan Hills in Yemen, the Mshaireb project in Sudan, and the Waterfront project in Libya are just a few of QPM’s international projects. The portfolio also extends to three projects in Egypt, including the Nile

Corniche in downtown Cairo, BARWA New Cairo and the Sharm El Sheikh Resort. We provide our services through a multinational team of highly-skilled, qualified professionals supported by the latest Information technology and effective project management software such as the Building Information Modelling System that maps an entire project and isolates construction clashes before they might present a problem. The Building Information Model provides a single, consistent and dependable source of all the information associated with a building project for each of the three major phases in the building lifecycle: design, construction, and operation. Our international expertise derives from strategic partnerships with world-renowned companies supported by a wealth of know-how, developed over decades. QPM is celebrating its fourth year in operation. What have you achieved in the past four years and what is your vision to move forward? QPM has attained management system certifications in three sectors: namely ISO 9001:2008 (for Quality), ISO 14001:2004 (for Environment) and OHSAS 18001:2007 (for Health and Safety). QPM has secured a contract to manage a huge new development on behalf of Qatar’s Internal Security Force (ISF). The ISF has a requirement for a new camp at Al Duhail on the outskirts of Doha. QPM will oversee the design, construction and overall project management for the development, which will cover four million square metres in total. Further, QPM is managing the project of Musheireb Development in Khartoum, which represents a milestone for QPM in that it is an international project. These are just three examples of the scores of positive steps QPM has made in its short history. Where does the construction sector stand at present in Qatar? When do you think all the projects will come together for the 2022 World Cup, and at what stage should planning for these projects be executed? The construction sector in this country is certainly healthy. Qatar has weathered the global downturn and replied with stunning growth to become the world’s fastest-growing economy. The country has many ongoing projects which is changing the face of the country. These include Lusail City, the Doha Metro, Qatar Rail and, of course, the development of the stadiums and infrastructure for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. We are now beyond the planning stage and into the development of the projects related to the World Cup. I have no doubt that with effective project and time management Qatar will develop and execute an excellent 2022 World Cup, on time and on budget. But again, while Qatar’s GDP is currently heavily reliant on hydrocarbon extraction and sale, the diversification of the economy continues apace to bring other revenue streams online. QPM is part of this process, bringing the hugely productive skillsbased sector of project management to the table. There is much to do, but QPM sees the challenges ahead, welcomes them, and aims to turn these challenges into opportunities through vision, ability and application

june 2012

Qatar Today 25


harleying all the way to oman

96

arab snippets

AFP PHOTO/HO/ SPA

GCC Union on the cards?

In a handout picture released by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA), GCC leaders and officials pose for a group picture on the sidelines of a summit meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh on May 14, 2012. From L to R: Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin AbdulAziz, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad al Sabah, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, Omani Deputy Prime Minister Fahd Bin Mahmoud al-Said, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin AbdulAziz, his Bahraini counterpart King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa and Emirati Vice-President and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

he leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have endorsed an agreement that will promote collective security among the six member states. Abdullatif Al-Zayani, the GCC secretary-general, said at a press conference on May 14, in Riyadh following the 14th GCC consultative summit that all the countries approved the accord and that the leaders had instructed their interior ministers to sign it. The agreement stipulates full cooperation between member states and mutual responsibilities to preserve their collective security and stability. It also highlights the need to promote common security arrangements to the highest standards to help combat transnational and organised crime. It also boosts full compliance with the law by all GCC citizens in the member states. Gulf leaders gathered in the desert kingdom to discuss developing their six-nation council into a union, a Saudi proposal likely to start with the kingdom and unrest-hit Bahrain.

T

26 Qatar Today

june 2012

oman

Municipal Elections for the first time

F

or the first time, Oman will hold elections for its Municipal Council (MC) in October, according to an announcement by Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal Al-Busaidi, Minister of Interior. The date for the elections will be announced later, but the nomination process

started on May 19. Nominations would close on May 30, said a report by the official Oman News Agency (ONA). Members of the Shura and State Councils are not eligible to contest the municipal elections. The rules also bar all government employees from contesting MC elections.

uae

Islands matter

T

he Arab Parliament has reaffirmed the UAE’s full sovereignty over three islands – the Greater and Lesser Tunbs and Abu Musa – calling on Iran to settle the issue amicably through direct negotiations or the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Ahmed Mohammed Al-Jarwan, Head of the UAE Parliament Bureau delegation to the Arab Parliament meetings, said in a statement that the issue of occupation of the three UAE Islands by Iran had been included in the agenda of the Arab Parliament to settle it, adding that the UAE is keen to

participate in all regional, international and special parliamentary sessions. He called for parties to comply with the Palestinian Reconciliation Charter, speed up its implementation, set up a national reconciliatory government and complement the work of a committee to develop the Palestinian Liberation Movement. AlJarwan also called on the Arab Parliament to seriously support the Palestinian struggle, especially over Jerusalem, through assertion of the right of the Palestinian people to resist the occupation in all forms.


world view

Hollande pour la France FRANCE, Paris: France’s newly-elected president Francois Hollande celebrates at the Place de la Bastille on May 7 after the announcement of the first official results of the French presidential second round. Socialist candidate Hollande won the French presidential election with 51.6% of the vote, ousting right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX

Yemen Unrest YEMEN, SANAA: A Yemeni military policeman shows his bloodied gloves as he and colleagues collect evidence at the site of a suicide bomb attack in Sanaa on May 21, 2012. A Yemeni soldier packing powerful explosives under his uniform blew himself up in the middle of an army battalion in the Yemeni capital, killing 96 troops and wounding around 300, a military official and medics said. AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED HUWAIS

28 Qatar Today

june 2012


world view

Tymoshenko Recovering UKRAINE, Kiev: The daughter of Ukraine’s jailed former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Yevgenia Tymoshenko, reads a letter from her mother in front of a giant screen displaying a picture of the opposition leader on May 12 during an antigovernment protest in Kiev. The 51-year-old Orange Revolution standard-bearer, who suffers from debilitating back pain, was moved from jail to a hospital in Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, on May 9. She had accused prison guards of beating her and released photos of her bruises. AFP PHOTO / SERGEI SUPINSKY

Sino-US tension eases UNITED STATES, New York: Blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng ( L) and his wife Yuan Weijing smile upon their arrival at the New York University Village apartment complex in Manhattan in New York, May 19, 2012. China allowed the activist to leave a hospital in Beijing and board a plane for the US, a move which was hoped would end a diplomatic standoff between the two countries. AFP PHOTO / MLADEN ANTONOV

Blue Moon UNITED KINGDOM, Manchester: Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Vincent Kompany (R) and manager Roberto Mancini hold the trophy as they celebrate becoming English Premier League champions in a parade leaving from Manchester Town Hall on May 14. Manchester City scored twice in injury time to beat QPR and ultimately beat Manchester United on goal difference to the Premier League crown. AFP PHOTO/ ANDREW YATES

june 2012

Qatar Today 29


v i e w p oi n t

Seven Value-Creation Imperatives from Private Equity Companies strive to create value for their stakeholders, a pursuit that occupies countless hours in boardrooms and executive suites around the world. Only a select number of companies, however, get it right.

Middle

East companies can improve their chances of finding the correct approach by applying the best practices of the top-tier private equity (PE) firms. These international players have lessons to teach because they regularly create economic value and build efficient, high-growth businesses. Leading PE firms in the Middle East, that have the correct value-creation approach for their portfolio companies and sustain it over time, have been generously rewarded. Owners, boards and executives of public and private companies can learn from PE firms’ seven critical imperatives that Booz & Company has identified. They can adapt them to their own business models to create additional and lasting value. Focus on value The first imperative for PE firms is a relentless focus on value. To attract continued investment from investors and rightfully earn their fees, PE firms maintain close attention to value-creation beyond

30 Qatar Today

june 2012

simple financial engineering and severe cost-cutting. Today, PE deals are increasingly featuring substantial operational improvements that result from the application of deep industry and functional expertise, going down to core operations. More importantly, PE firms regularly evaluate the value-creation potential of the businesses in their portfolio and quickly exit business lines that do not draw on these companies’ core strengths and differentiating capabilities. Middle East companies can apply a similarly impartial lens to their portfolio, that will allow them to prune their activities after assessing financial performance and then the degree to which a portfolio company employs mutually reinforcing capabilities that cross business unit lines and that distinguish the enterprise as a whole. Remember that cash is king PE firms typically finance 60-80% of an acquisition with debt. This high-leverage model instill a sense of urgency among firms to liberate and generate cash as expeditiously as possible. To improve cash flow, PE firms tightly manage receivables and payables, reduce inventories, and scrutinise discretionary expenses. To

preserve cash, they delay or cancel lowervalue discretionary projects or expenses, investing only in initiatives and resources that contribute significant value. Middle Eastern companies can take a page from PE playbooks and develop similar performance-improvement plans. Although specifics will vary by enterprise, any such plan will focus on increasing profits and improving capital efficiency. Executives should start with a blank slate and then objectively and systematically rebuild a company’s cost structure, justifying every expense and resource. Time is money The third imperative identified as critical among PE firms is operating as though time is money. With an urgency to generate cash quickly to pay down debt, PE firms run on this “time is money” mantra. PE managers can ensure that the leadership of companies in their portfolio understands the necessary changes through 100-day plans. To be sure, portfolio company executives are extraordinarily empowered, and have close working relationships with actively involved boards and are not driven to appease external stakeholders. Still,


vie w point

even public company executives could learn a lot from the PE firms’ need for speed. Waiting carries an opportunity cost that too many firms inadvertently and unfortunately pay. Apply a long-term lens Another PE firm imperative is to apply a long-term lens. While PE firms act with speed, they still engage in rigorous analysis and thoughtful debate. They typically have three to five years to invest their fund, and then a window of about 10 years to exit and return proceeds to investors. After realising the short-term cost benefits of eliminating low-value activities, top-tier PE firms necessarily invest in long-term high potential ideas for creating core value in companies they acquire to position them for growth and profitability - the fundamental drivers of a great exit. The art of making these judicious choices is a capability that companies should develop. Assemble the right team Assembling the right team creates value. PE firms intuitively understand that strong, effective leadership is critical to the success of their investment. They sometimes invest in a company based solely on the strength of its management. Pressured to do more with less, PE firms must continually reassess individuals in

middle as well as top management positions and quickly remove or replace weak performers. In fact one-third of portfolio company CEOs are replaced in the first 100 days. These same talent management tenets can apply to companies in the Middle East. Link pay and performance The next PE firm imperative is linking pay and performance. CEOs and senior managers at PE portfolio companies are deeply invested in the performance of their business – their fortunes soar when the business succeeds and suffer when it fails to achieve objectives. Significant sharing of upside and downside potential through equity participation ensures consistency of agendas.Top managers in portfolio companies receive their annual performance bonus only if they achieve a handful of aggressive but realistic performance targets. Although not all companies may be able to match the equity-based rewards of a successful PE-backed venture, they can create a tighter link between management pay and performance, particularly over the long term. Companies can stimulate a high-performance culture through a performance review process that distinguishes and rewards star talent. Select stretch goals The final PE imperative that public com-

panies should embrace is developing and paying rigorous attention to a select set of customised metrics. PE general partners quickly assess what matters in driving the success of an acquired company, and then isolate and track these factors. Chief among these are measures of cash and return on invested capital as true barometers of financial performance. They set clear, aggressive targets in these few critical areas and tie management compensation directly to those targets. Many companies are already following the PE example by developing “dashboards” that monitor the main measures of business performance and longer-term value-creation. The vision and long-term strategy should drive a set of specific initiatives with explicit objectives. These initiatives and their financial implications should, in turn, shape annual plans and budgets. There are reasons why those who can afford the substantial management fees continue to invest in private equity. Evidence shows that the best of these firms repeatedly generate strong returns by implementing genuine and sustainable operating and productivity improvements in their portfolio companies. Similarly, Middle Eastern companies can benefit from PE firms’ proven and broadly applicable imperatives to create lasting value

Visit

www.booz.com and www.booz.com/me

By Vinay Couto, Senior Partner, Ashok Divakaran, Partner and Chadi Zein, Principal with Booz & Company

About Booz & Company: Booz & Company is a leading global management consulting firm, helping the world’s top businesses, government ministries and organisations. Our founder, Edwin Booz, defined the profession when he established the first management consulting firm in 1914. Today, with more than 3,300 people in 60 offices around the world, we bring foresight and knowledge, deep functional expertise, and a practical approach to building capabilities and delivering real impact. We work closely with our clients to create and deliver essential advantage.

june 2012

Qatar Today 31


v i e w p oi n t

Construction sector propels Qatari economy Having established itself as a global leader in liquefied natural gas (LNG), Qatar’s recent stellar economic growth was widely expected to plateau in 2012. As the impact of two decades of expansion in gas output reached fruition, the General Secretariat for Development Planning predicted that 2012 would see lower oil and gas prices due to falling global demand.

Rising

hydrocarbon prices since late 2011 – which some believe is evidence of a resurgence in the global economy – are ensuring that the forecasts have not transpired. Expected growth figures for 2012 have been revised, with the International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) putting GDP at 9.8% for 2012. Yet this is not purely the result of buoyant prices on global energy markets. Rather, the better-than-expected performance of the Qatari economy points to the growing strength of the non-hydrocarbons sector, chiefly driven by a rapidly expanding construction industry, which is showing itself to be a valuable contributor to economic growth. Indeed, such has been the extent of new infrastructure and building projects that Qatar is set to enter a second wave of growth, buoyed not by oil and gas but by the building sector. According to financial services company Standard Chartered, non-oil activity will take control for the remainder of the year. In many senses construction has been the biggest winner of Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 World Cup, with infrastructure projects across a range of sectors now getting off the ground. The “building boom”, as it’s already being called, will see projects worth QR910 billion being executed over the coming decade, with the bulk of these set to start in 2013. Indeed, in 2012 alone over QR80 billion ($22billion) of new contracts are expected to be signed, mainly concerning infrastructure, retail areas and office space. Among the major developments proposed are construction of the New Doha International Airport (QR25 billion); a deepwater seaport (QR20 billion); some QR73 billion worth of new roads and planned upgrades to existing road networks, as well as 12 air-conditioned football stadiums at a cost of QR117 billion. Moreover, Qatar’s tourism sector is set to benefit from a near70% growth in hotels, with 77 new hotels and 42 hotel apartments planned to accommodate World Cup visitors, according to STR Global’s latest construction pipeline report. And in transport in-

frastructure, Qatar Railways Company (QRail) has signed a deal worth QR1.9 billion with Qatari Diar Vinci Construction for the new phase of works on the Lusail Light Rail Transit system. These developments are being part-funded by the Qatari government, with promised public investment of around QR346 billion during the 10-year period leading up to the World Cup, over QR237 billion of which is expected to be in infrastructure. This increased investment in construction is driven by the government’s plan to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons – which currently accounts for half of the country’s total economic output – and boost Qatar’s real non-hydrocarbon GDP growth rate, which the IMF puts at between 9% and 10% for 2012. It is worth considering the economies of scale that are becoming evident as a result of the spotlight falling on the construction sector. Chief among these is the fact that Qatar’s fast-growing construction sector is now generating a great deal of interest from international players. The Project Qatar 2012 construction trade show, for example, which was held in Doha in early May, was attended by over 40 French firms, many of whom have won global recognition for their development of innovative materials, and expertise in sustainable construction and smart buildings. Among these France-based global construction specialists are Adler Technologies, specialists in concrete construction materials; Alterrya, which focuses on power-generating technology and renewable energy; and Groupe Atlantic, which is already highly involved in the Middle East and is a leader in multi-energy solutions in Europe. Their presence at Project Qatar is indicative of the wealth of immense construction opportunities now present in the 2022 World Cup host nation, as well as new opportunities to offer innovative solutions for a variety of ambitious projects. Overall, the future trajectory of Qatar’s economy looks set to bring a virtuous cycle of rising investment in construction, increased foreign expertise and project involvement and falling dependence on hydrocarbons revenue. It’s a bright future indeed

feedback qtoday@omsqatar.com

By Oliver Cornock The author is the Regional Editor of Oxford Business Group

32 Qatar Today

june 2012


listening post

GROWING

POPULARITY FOR ISLAMIC INDEXES Islamic Market indexes are designed to strip out stocks which don’t comply with ShariA principles. So where can one find fiscal value in such an acutely regulated environment? Can it compete against ITS conventional counterparts?

s

ince the launch of the Dow Jones Islamic Market (DJIM) World Index in 1999, the DJIM family has expanded to provide a wide variety of benchmarks tracking Sharia-compliant securities – including indexes for 69 countries, across both developed and emerging markets. The family also includes regional, industry sector and market capitalisation indexes. By screening investments for compliance with Sharia law, the indexes help to reduce research costs and compliance concerns that Muslim investors would otherwise face in constructing Islamic investment portfolios. Qatar Today caught up with the Director of Islamic Market Indexes for Dow Jones,

34 Qatar Today

june 2012

by R ory C oe n Tariq Al-Rifai, and gathered his thoughts on a range of issues regarding Shariacompliant investments and how productive the DJIM World Index is against more ‘unrestricted’ indexes. “In many cases it performs better,” argued Al-Rifai. “We’ve gone back in history and we’ve noticed that in developed markets, such as Europe and the US, Islamic indexes perform better. There are a few cases where they didn’t – one was when the dotcom bubble burst, for instance. Islamic indexes tend to be high technology and healthcare, and these were hit badly during the dotcom bubble, so prices fell harder than the regular indexes. But during the recent financial crisis the Islamic indexes held on better because there aren’t any financial or insurance companies included. The highs and lows are similar but the severity is different.” Foundation of the indexes Dow Jones founded the indexes in 1999, seeing a rising awareness of Islamic finance and Islamic investments – asset managers wanted to have a world-renowned


listening post

“There’s a misconception about Islamic indexes. An Islamic Index is one which is permissible for Muslims to invest in. it doesn’t mean that one must only invest in Qatar Islamic bank or Dubai Islamic bank. It’s investing in companies which are permissible to invest in.”

benchmark. Before 1999, if you had an Islamic fund you didn’t have a measure or a gauge to compare it against, which made it difficult to estimate how your portfolio was performing. There were of course the conventional indexes, but they used different rules and regulations. “From 1999, Islamic investing really took off,” said Al-Rifai. “Our main index – the DJIM World Index – represents the world’s markets and it’s weighted according to how many companies are in each market and how big the markets are. There’s a misconception about Islamic indexes. It’s investing in companies which are permissible for Muslims to invest in. For example, Evian produce bottled water; they’re an American company without any discernible ties to Islam. However investing in them is permissible.” Some of the high profile companies which make up its Islamic Market World Index include Apple, Microsoft, IBM and Google in the Technology sector; Exxon Mobil and Chevron in Oil and Gas; and Johnson & Johnson and Pfiser in Healthcare. Screening The selection universe for the DJIM indexes includes the components of 69 countrylevel benchmark indexes. To determine their eligibility for the DJIM indexes, the stocks are screened to ensure that each meets the standards set out by the Sharia regulatory board. A company must meet Sharia requirements for acceptable products, business activities, and interest and income expenses. After eliminating companies that profit from unacceptable business activities, the DJIM Index Sharia board evaluates those that remain using several financial ratios, which are established to exclude companies that have unacceptable levels of debt or earn impure interest income. Liquidity is an additional criterion for inclusion, and the in-

vest in – alcohol, tobacco, gaming, conventional banking and insurance companies are not permissible. Then we put financial ratio screens on the resulting universe to minimise companies which have a high level of debt, because this means that they are paying a lot of interest, which is not acceptable. The resulting universe includes the companies which make up the index. “So for instance, a company might go to the market to raise a conventional bond. This is no good because they broke through the leverage ratio so we remove it at the next review. Another reason would be if a chicken producer decided to buy a pork producer – they have a line of business now that’s no longer permissible so we must drop them also,” he explained.

Tariq Al-Rifai Director of Islamic Market Indexes Dow Jones

dexes include only actively traded stocks that are easily accessible to investors. “The DJIM World Index has about 2,600 companies – this number fluctuates every quarter when we add or remove companies,” said Al-Rifai. “There are three reasons why we might drop a company from an index. The simplest one is if it is acquired or it merges – this has nothing to do with Sharia principles, it’s just no longer traded on the market. “Then there is Sharia screening. We look at the world markets – which have thousands of companies and we apply two screens to determine Shariah compliance. The first one is industry screening. There are obvious industries which we cannot in-

Tool for fund managers So who are these Islamic indexes aimed at? The average man on the street who wants to earn a quick buck whilst adhering to Sharia principles, or a fund manager at an investment bank? The indexes collate data and get averages, but how do they help to make strategic investment decisions? “Our investor is not the average man on the street,” explained Al-Rifai. “It’s the fund manager that manages the fund or the bank that launches a product to attract a fund. So why would they choose us as a customer? If you’re a fund manager you need to be able to gauge yourself to see how well you are doing against others, and how is this done? These investment managers work with a benchmark – they’ll choose an index and say: ‘We’re going to launch a GCC equity fund, so we need a GCC index. We also want it to be Islamic.’ That won’t only be their benchmark, but they’ll also be able to see what stocks are permissible. “We also work with fund managers in creating exchange-traded funds (ETF) or exchange-traded products, which are essentially funds which behave in their

june 2012

Qatar Today 35


listening post

DJIM World Index Sector allocation

Technology

% Country allocation

%

Oil & Gas

12 US

54

17 UK

Healthcare

16 Japan

7

5

Industrials

Basic Materials

Consumer Goods

13

9

14 Canada

Switzerland Australia

5

3

3

Others

9 Others

21 (as at 30/5/2012)

characteristics as a stock – you buy it and sell it on the stock market like a stock – but it’s actually investing in a basket of stocks based on an index. That’s a bit more technical, but they need an index to do this structure,” he explained. Trends in the market In a practical sense, where are we seeing the indexes help investors make decisions? Are we seeing any discernible trends in the marketplace? On the back of the results which the indexes throw up, where are asset managers and investment banks placing their chips? “Right now we’re looking at three trends in the market,” said Al-Rifai. “First off we’re seeing a lot of growth and interest – especially since the financial crisis – in fixed-income products such as bonds or the money market. It gives you ongoing income while limiting the downside potential. Volatile stocks and real estate are where investors have got hurt the most, but bonds are popular now, they’re almost like a deposit and every month you get a tidy return. In 2006 we launched the first ever Sukuk Index – sukuk are Islamic bond equivalents. That has been going well, but the major issue is that the sukuk market is still relatively small compared to the demand that’s there – it’s not widely traded, so there are liquidity issues. “Secondly, investors are looking for something which gives them an income, gives them some comfort and minimises the downside. Seeing this, we launched the Dow Jones Select Dividend Index, which measures the stock performance of the world’s top dividend-paying companies – maybe 3-4% returns. For investors, and particularly Islamic investors, this kind of return gives them the solution they’re looking for –

36 Qatar Today

june 2012

which is something that’s liquid, something they can trade in and out whenever they want and at the same time it’s generating an income for them. “Thirdly, we see that there is a lot of interest in commodities – oil, precious metals, grains and things like that. But commodities, such as oil and natural gas, are traded on futures pricing, which is not Sharia compliant. As such, Islamic investors have shied away from this sector. However, there is another way these investors can gain exposure to commodities. This is what we did at Dow Jones Indexes. We took the companies that are in our Dow Jones Islamic Market World Index and selected the ones that are commodity producers (such as Exxon Mobil, Total, BHP Billiton, Newmont Mining, etc.) and we made an index of these companies (i.e. an index of commodity-producing companies – not direct commodities). This is the solution we came up with to solve one of the dilemmas in the Islamic finance industry. Another solution would be to develop Sharia-compliant pricing for commodities directly, but this is out of our scope so we will leave it up to others,” he said. The DJIM Global Equity Commodity Index intends to measure the stock performance of companies engaged in the exploration or production of scarce and renewable commodities, as well as companies that provide related services. Only companies that pass rules-based screens for Sharia compliance are included in the index. The commodity sectors represented are agriculture, energy, metals, precious metals and water. Easy accessibility Liquidity is an additional criterion for inclusion in the DJIM indexes, and they include only actively traded stocks that are

easily accessible to investors. The selection universe expressly excludes the very smallest and most thinly traded stocks. So does this rule out the likes of China, where some stocks may be difficult to access? “We have indexes for China,” said Al Rifai. “In fact in Asia we launched a Greater China Index, which is China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. It basically offers exposure to that market. What we launched recently for GCC-based asset managers is the ‘CHIME Index’ – for China, India and the Middle East. We made this index for those asset managers who want to invest in companies in these countries, and we launched a fund with a Qatari company to do Islamic CHIME. From our perspective we have no problem getting pricing in China, or otherwise we wouldn’t have done an index.” Regulations A five-member independent Shariah supervisory board advises Dow Jones Indexes on the methodology of the DJIM Indexes. With Sharia being largely based on interpretation, how difficult is it to gain a consensus on contentious matters which may be understood differently depending on the country you are in? “In 1999 there wasn’t any consensus,” said Al Rifai. We’re a global index provider – we wanted to make sure we had a methodology that we could use to screen what’s universally accepted. So if you look at our board members, it’s pretty diverse. We have an American, a Syrian, a Bahraini, a Saudi and a Malaysian, so I think we have a good representation of the schools of thought. Obviously the standards that we developed are widely used today, but when you look to invest in the stock market – the concepts, the methodology and the screening – they are all fairly universal right now”


1

2

3

4

5

masraf al rayan

woqod

mawashi

national leasing holding company

industries qatar

6

7

8

9

10

Qatar industrial Manufacturing Company

Qatar national cement company

doha insurance company

doha bank

Qatar islamic insurance company june 2012

Qatar Today 37


cover story QT TOP TEN

After some respite in 2010, the global economy returned to sentiments of uncertainty in 2011, as focus switched from the private financial sector to individual countries, particularly in the US and Europe. After a general improvement in the performance of most stock market indexes in 2010, fears of sovereign debt-default led to a regression in their performances in 2011. However, in a show of remarkable defiance, the Qatar Exchange managed to buck that trend and was one of the only markets to finish the year in the black.

A

t the end of 2011, the Qatar Exchange (QE) price index finished at 8,779.03 points – a gain of 1.12% on its closing value in 2010 and one of 26.2% on its 2009 closure. Major indicators such as the general index,

38 Qatar Today

june 2012

market value, total trading value, total trading volume and the number of transactions making up the traded volumes all increased in the twelve-month period. The total traded volume of shares (in 252 trading days) increased to 2.3 billion during 2011 – a 10% increase on 2010, which had one less trading day. The daily average of traded shares rose to 9.1 million compared with 8.3 million in 2010. The value of traded shares was QR83.4 billion in 2011 – a 24% increase on 2010, while the daily average traded value was QR331 million compared to QR268 million in 2010. Sixteen of the 42 companies listed finished the final day of trading in 2011 at a higher value, while 26 stocks declined from their end-2010 price. Total subscribed shares reached 9.663 billion, a 5% increase. The market capitalisation of the 42 listed companies increased to QR457 billion – an increase of 1.6% from 2010. So amidst all the global negativity, who were the drivers of all this growth on the QE? The QE is comprised of 42 listed companies with just 9% ownership interest from overseas – a statistic which may be analysed in more detail if the 2011 trend continues. Qatar Today and AlShall Economic Services provide your one-stop-shop on the most lucrative shares on the QE over the past five years. We have collaborated once again to review the QE’s Top Ten.


“We retained the same calculation methodology as in previous years,” said Camille Raphael, General Manager of AlShall Economic Services. “We tried to ascertain which companies would have brought an investor a better return had the investor bought one share in that company at the beginning of 2007 and sold it at the end of 2011, including any additional shares they may have received for free during this period.” Calculation methodology “To the share market price appreciation,” he continued, “we added the amount of cash that the company distributed to its shareholders from its net profits over the period under study as well as the attractiveness of the company’s shares based on revenue and net profit growth, with the rationale that the value of a company (hence its share price) could potentially increase if the company’s sales revenues and net profits keep increasing extraordinarily year over year. “Lastly, liquidity of the stock expressed in terms of average traded volume and number of transactions was taken into consideration, given that if someone would like to exit the investment, they should be able to do that with relative ease,” he added. For calculations of price per share, cash distributions, net profit and revenue growth, Al Shall looked at total shares held at the end of 2011 on the basis of the purchase of one share in that company at the beginning of 2007, and the computations were made on a per share basis. This was done to offset any ownership dilution from corporate actions such as mergers and acquisitions or capital increases. It should be noted that from time to time, Qatar listed companies distribute cash to their shareholders during the year, depending on their previous year’s performance (what is referred to as cash dividends), as well as free share dividends. “We also decided to measure all financial and trading performance as an average of the five-year period, to mitigate extraordinary one-time performances, and assess the listed companies during a period that has seen both boom and gloom,” said Raphael. AlShall understands that it calculated the rankings based on a selection of financial measurements, that

may or may not be the best criteria to assess the attractiveness of a company, but it feels it needs to use a holistic lens to be fair to all companies. “It is important to diversify the financial measurements in conjunction with statement analysis to achieve a more objective approach in determining a company’s rank,” said Raphael. Relevant to an investor’s point of view, the overall ranking of companies was based on seven financial indicators in line with their respective weighted average criteria. The weights used are 20% each for price growth, dividend yield and liquidity, while net profit growth, revenue growth, return on equity and return on assets are weighted at 10% each. Price growth Historical data on year-end share closing prices and share dividend distributions for the past five years are used to assess each company’s ranking in terms of price growth (or average yearly portfolio value increase based on one share purchased in each company at the beginning of 2007). Gulf Warehousing Company (59.7%) was by far the best in terms of price growth, followed by Mawashi and National Leasing Holding Co. Dividend yield Dividend yield demonstrates how much a company pays out in dividends each year in relation to its average market capitalisation. Masraf Al Rayan (7%) achieved the highest ranking in this category, followed by Doha Bank and Doha Insurance Co (both 5.4%). It is also evident that six of the Top Ten come from the financial sector.

“It is important to diversify the financial measurements in conjunction with statement analysis to achieve a more objective approach in determining a company’s rank.” Camille Raphael General Manager AlShall Economic Services

Liquidity The measure of liquidity should indicate how easily shares can be purchased or sold on the QE based on average trading volume per year and the number of trades per day. Generally speaking, companies with both a high daily volume of traded shares and a high number of trades have better liquidity than those with light trading volumes and a low number of trades. Masraf Al Rayan ranked first on this criterion, followed by last year’s top performer, Mawashi. (CON’D ON P.42)

june 2012

Qatar Today 39


cover story QT TOP TEN

QE is open for business “One important thing in early 2012 was the readiness of the QE Venture Market, which is the market established for small enterprises. We’ve created the environment and from a technical and regulatory perspective we’re ready to go. We’re now engaging with potential listing candidates.”

40 Qatar Today

Andre Went CEO, QATAR EXCHANGE

t

he Qatar Exchange (QE) maintained its position as the bestperforming market in the GCC and Arab region in 2011. It is a well-regulated environment that uses state-of-the-art NYSE Euronext technology to support transparency and accuracy, which makes trading an efficient experience overall. The QE aims to support the country’s economy by providing a market for issuers to raise capital to grow their businesses and an environment for investors to cultivate the opportunities they see in the listed companies. The QE currently has 42 listed companies, which aggregate for a market capitalisation of QR457 billion ($126 billion). It understands that to grow, to attract more companies and investors to its table, it needs to set that table right, and QE Chief Executive Officer, Andre Went explains that reform and diversity are key to that drive. “We defined a five-year strategy in 2009 which incorporated three phases,” says Went. “Phase one was the reform of the cash market; phase two is to launch derivatives and a central counterparty, and phase three is to try to generate more international business development. We’re currently in phase one.”

june 2012

Reform of the cash market Following a strategic partnership agreement in 2009 between Qatar Holding and NYSE Euronext, a EuroAmerican corporation that operates multiple securities exchanges, the Doha Securities Market (DSM) was renamed the Qatar Exchange. It was hoped NYSE Euronext’s experience and reputation would give the market some added features and credibility in a global context. “The partnership has three components,” says Went. “One is the shareholding partnership – NYSE Euronext has a 20% stake in the exchange, so they work in developing the exchange (the other 80% is represented by Qatar Holding); second is a technical aspect where IT services like Universal Trading Platform (UTP) are being arranged; and the third is a services agreement where ‘knowledge transfer’ is being done on an ongoing basis, so we have a number of experts coming from Europe, some on a consultancy basis. In all three areas, the partnership is going great.” Went is adamant that to improve the liquidity of the cash market and to secure the confidence of traders –both in Qatar and abroad – there had to be alignment with global standards in all areas, from the trading infrastructure to the settlement of transactions. Apart from attracting investors from Europe, Asia and the US, the exchange is also starting a campaign to attract more expatriates living in Qatar to look into investing in QE. So what changes has the QE implemented in the past 12 months to affect its strategy of enticing


more investors to trade on the exchange? “In 2010, we started implementation of a new trading system called UTP, which is a state-of-the-art technology in line with international standards. We also made a change in the ‘post-trade’ – or the settlement of transactions – where in the past the monetary side of those transactions was handled by a private bank; it’s now handled by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB). We have also increased our number of registered brokers from seven to 10. “We also introduced a delivery-vs-payment (DVP) system, which is a set of rules on how a transaction is settled. It ensures you receive your shares at exactly the same time you pay for them, and of course the other way round – when you sell your shares you lose control of them at precisely the same time as you receive your settlement. Towards the end of 2011 we implemented the T-bills market, which is the very first step towards the development of a bond market. “Early last year we made some changes in terms of the trading hours,” Went adds. “A half-hour was added in the morning and the afternoon, so now we’re open from 9.30am to 1:00 pm for continuous trading; this adds a bit more overlap with the Asian and European markets. “We also decided to change the ‘tick sizes’ in the market – tick sizes are the smallest increment in which you can enter orders into our order book. It used to be ten dirhams, but we related it more to the price of the shares. For example, for low-priced shares up to QR25, the tick size is one dirham; for QR25-50 it’s 5 dirham and above QR50 it’s 10 dirhams.” Diversity of investment opportunities The QE is now past the half-way marker in its five-year plan, so where does Went see the exchange at this intermediate stage? How is it performing in line with its stated mission of offering diversity in the range of investment and trading opportunities? “We are seeing satisfactory progress in the cash markets - some things we would like to see done a little bit quicker, but then our T-bills market has been implemented ahead of time. The next major step will clearly be derivatives, but we first need to finalise the cash-market phase and ensure that sufficient liquidity is available in the market. “One important thing in early 2012 was the readiness of the QE Venture Market, which is the market established for small enterprises. We’ve created the environment, and from a technical and regulatory perspective we’re ready to go. We’re now engaging with potential listing candidates. This is the only such market in the region – it follows a similar principle to the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange, which allows smaller companies to float shares with a more flexible regulatory system than is allowed on the main market. “The bond market would fit very well in any situation financially,” says Went. “It’s a different way to raise capital and it hasn’t a high-risk profile – definitely not the bonds that are issued by the State of Qatar or Qatari companies; it’s very secure and well rated. I think the uncertainty after the financial crisis adds to the demand for these kinds of instruments. Bonds and sukuks, are very secure instruments which wouldn’t be impacted by the financial crisis; if anything, the demand for them increases.

“The hopes for the remainder of this year would be to launch exchange-traded funds (ETFs). We are in discussions with the regulator about the implementation of other instruments and measures, such as real estate investment trusts (REITs), liquidity provision, securities lending and borrowing, and direct electronic access, which will be important steps in the development of the exchange. Then going forward we will start looking at the derivatives market – we can’t focus on this until we see results in the cash market.” Went also reveals that the exchange is looking at a Sharia compliant index for those who require such an investment tool. “It is part of the product development – a Sharia-compliant index can be used to enhance and develop other products like ETFs, and further down the road derivatives that are linked to an index.” Performance There are 42 companies listed on the QE, but it has just 20 constituents. It’s normal for any market to have a so-called “bluechip index” that reflects the largest and the most actively traded companies. Inclusion is statistically determined by such factors as liquidity in the market, velocity and market capitalisation, and constituents are reviewed every six months. The QE maintained its position as the best-performing market in the GCC and Arab region in 2011. After a 24% increase in 2010, the index grew by 1.12% in 2011 – the only market in the region to post a positive return. The year ended with a total market capitalisation of QR457 billion ($126 billion) – a 1.59% increase on 2010. “We have seen some swings in the past, but 2011 brought a lot of stability, both on the QE Index and the Total Return Index (TRI),” says Went. “If you look at some of the other markets in the region, QE has clearly been the best-performing market in the region.” The exchange is being developed to attract traders and investors from Qatar and abroad, so how much is the market here being stimulated by foreign interest? “The economy of Qatar is clearly very attractive - it’s developing very well,” says Went. “Foreign investors (both institutional and retail) make up about 8% of the market capitalisation of QE, but in terms of annual turnover, they account for about 35%.” One aspect which encourages foreign investment is a wellregulated marketplace, where investors can feel at ease with the environment in which they are placing their money. The State of Qatar has been trying to get all regulatory authorities under the same umbrella for some years now and the plan is to have a single regulator in the near future. When asked for an outlook on the future, Went says: “The strength of QE is directly related to the strength of the Qatari economy and the integrity of the capital market in Qatar as the country continues to grow and develop in line with Vision 2030, and as liquidity continues to flow into Qatar the positive impact this will have on QE will only further enhance our strong and robust trading environment and give investors increasing confidence in our listed companies.” (Interviewed by Rory Coen)

june 2012

Qatar Today 41


01 02

35.5%

03 04 05

42 Qatar Today 06 07

june 2012 08 09 10

Average Net Profit Growth

Net profit growth Net profit growth is calculated on a cumulative shares held basis, to reflect whether the shareholder’s original claim over each company’s net profit has increased or decreased over the five-year period, and on average by how much. This is done to offset any possible dilution resulting from corporate action. Healthcare company, Medicare Group ranks the highest, achieving a remarkable 942% average increase per share held, with 08 09 10

Source:

Audited Financial Statements for the past five years (2007-2011), Qatar Exchange and ALSHALL Calculations

(con’d FROM p. 39)

Masraf Al Rayan in second place on 178%.

Net Revenue growth Revenue growth is one of the basic criteria to assess a company’s attractiveness, with the assumption that the higher the revenue growth, the more the potential for future profits. Qatari German Co. for Medical Devices significantly led the rankings in this category with its cumulative shares held multiplied by revenues per share growing at an average of 855%. Last year’s top performer in this catAverage Cumulative RPS Growth Including Share Dividends 2007-2011

24.8%

Average Dividend Yield 2007 –2011

Gulf Warehousing Co.

78.1%

145.2%

374.6% Masraf Al Rayan

Qatar Gas Transport Co. Limited (Nakilat)

854.6%

The Commercial Bank of Qatar

3.8%

Barwa Real Estate Co.

Qatar Fuel (Woqod)

Average Dividend Yield

Qatari German Co. for Medical Devices

Qatar Insurance Co.

3.9%

07

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

06 3.9%

National Leasing Holding Co.

05 4.0%

04 Qatar Fuel (Woqod)

35.8% Qatar Gen. Insurance & Reinsurance Co.

10

4.1%

Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Co.

4.7%

03 4.5%

Doha Bank

02 Ahli Bank

5.4%

7.0% Doha Insurance Co.

01 5.4%

50.7%

09

Masraf Al Rayan

08

27.7%

07

National Leasing Holding Co.

06

Zad Holding Co.

05

51.0%

106.7%

04

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading

107.5%

03

Qatar Gas Transport Co. Limited (Nakilat)

126.4%

02

United Development Co.

178.3%

941.7%

01

Masraf Al Rayan

Average Price Growth 2007 –2011

Price Growth

Average Cumulative EPS Growth Including Share Dividends 2007 - 2011

Industries Qatar

17.1% Medicare Group

Qatar National Bank

17.3% 17.1%

Medicare Group

Qatar Gas Transport Co. Limited (Nakilat)

23.0%

Zad Holding Co.

28.0% 26.6%

Qatar Fuel (Woqod) Qatar Cinema & Film Dist. Co.

National Leasing Holding Co.

28.2%

34.5%

Gulf Warehousing Co.

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

59.7%

cover story QT TOP TEN


Net revenue growth 01 02 03 04

Industries Qatar

05 06 07 08 09 10

egory, the gas transportation company Nakilat, slipped down one place despite registering an average growth of 375%.

Return on equity Return on equity measures the ability of the company to generate sufficient returns for the capital invested by its shareholders. Woqod (62.6%) and Industries Qatar (34.5%) maintained their top two positions as in last year’s ranking in this category.

Average Return on Assets

june 2012

Qatari German Co. for Medical Devices

National Leasing Holding Co.

Qatar Gas Transport Co. Limited (Nakilat)

Qatari Investors Group

Medicare Group

Industries Qatar

10

9.7% 9.6%

Qatar Cinema & Film Dist. Co.

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

09

United Development Co.

08

9.7%

9.9%

07

National Leasing Holding Co.

Al Khaleej Takaful Group.

06

Qatar Islamic Bank

14.5% 10.9%

16.6% Qatar Islamic Insurance Co.

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading

05

Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Co.

23.4%

Qatar Fuel (Woqod)

04

17.0%

28.0%

Industries Qatar

03

Qatar National Cement Co.

02

Barwa Real Estate Co.

47.2%

Average ROE 2007 –2011

Qatar Telecom (Qtel)

01

Average ROA 2007 –2011

Masraf Al Rayan

National Leasing Holding Co.

20.5% Qatar Telecom (Qtel)

Doha Bank Ahli Bank

21.2% 21.2%

Qatar National Cement Co.

23.0%

United Development Co.

23.6%

20.3%

Qatar Fuel (Woqod)

Qatar Electricity & Water Co.

Qatar National Bank

25.7%

31.2%

34.5%

62.6%

61.1%

62.0%

Barwa Real Estate Co.

62.2%

Qatari Investors Group

64.4%

72.1%

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

United Development Co.

National Leasing Holding Co.

Average Return on Equity Liquidity

Return on assets ROA determines the company’s ability to utilise its assets effectively and efficiently, thus earning a good return from them. In this criterion – crucial to asset-intensive companies – Industries Qatar (28%) ranked best followed by Woqod (23.4%), which was again similar to last year.

Financial sector inching up It is important to note that the rankings apply to only 32 of the

Qatar Today 43


08

09

10

United Development Co.

81.8% Doha Insurance Co.

257.2% Qatar International Islamic Bank

Ahli Bank

0.70% 07

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

06

0.65%

05

Doha Bank

04

0.74%

The Commercial Bank of Qatar

Doha Insurance Co.

Salam International Investment Limited

Qatar Insurance Co.

03

SOURCE: Audited Financial Statements for the past five years (2007-2011), Qatar Exchange and ALSHALL Calculations

42 listed companies on the QE, because only those that have been listed since the beginning of 2006 – and have at least five years of recorded public disclosure – were selected. So with the criteria defined and the 32 companies assessed in each one, who were the 2011 top-performing companies in the QE over the past five years? This year’s top performers came from various industries. Six of last year’s top 10 companies are included in this year’s rankings. Islamic Bank, Masraf Al Rayan – which was excluded from the

44 Qatar Today

june 2012

calculations last year given its recent listing – takes top spot from fuel supplier Woqod, which slips to second position. The financial sector showed a major improvement in terms of rankings with four companies in the Top Ten – Al Rayan, Doha Insurance Co., Doha Bank and Qatar Islamic Insurance Co. Woqod has consistently been in the Top Ten to date, while the industrial sector is represented by Industries Qatar and Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Co. Two companies come from the consumer services sector – Mawashi, the meat and livestock trading company, and National Leasing

RPS Growth 2011/2010

16.3% Masraf Al Rayan

1.66%

0.88% 02

98.8%

19.8%

18.0%

National Leasing Holding Co.

Al Meera Consumer Goods Company

EPS Growth 2011/2010

01

Qatari German Co. for Medical Devices

25.3%

Top 10 Companies in terms of earnings per share Growth 2011/2010

0.64%

10

Top 10 Companies in terms of Dividend Yield 2011/2010

106.8%

10

Gulf Warehousing Co.

09

% Dividend Yield 2011/2010

08

Masraf Al Rayan

07

Qatar Gas Transport Co. Limited (Nakilat)

42.3%

44.8% Industries Qatar

Qatar Gen. Insurance & Reinsurance Co.

Dlala Brokerage & Invest. Holding Co.

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

Ezdan Real Estate Co.

527.5% United Development Co.

Qatar Oman Investment Co.

06

Al Khaleej Takaful Group

09

05

0.64%

08

04

25.0%

Salam International Investment Limited

27.5%

25.5%

Ahli Bank

07

Qatar Fuel (Woqod)

184.7%

90.0%

Price Growth 2011/2010

06

33.5%

Medicare Group

45.8% 05

35.1%

Masraf Al Rayan

Gulf Warehousing Co.

04

03

0.81%

03

02

0.76%

02

01

0.84%

01

56.1%

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

108.2%

143.7%

Qatar Cinema & Film Dist. Co.

163.9%

Al Meera Consumer Goods Company

Top 10 Companies in terms of Price Growth 2011/2010

72.1%

cover story QT TOP TEN


10

Qatar Islamic Bank

Al Meera Consumer Goods Company

National Leasing Holding co.

The Commercial Bank of Qatar

Qatar National Bank

Qatar Gas Transport Co. Limited (Nakilat)

Barwa Real Estate co.

Industries Qatar

12.5%

11.6% Average ROA 2011/2010

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

12.9%

Top 10 Companies in terms of Liquidity 2011/2010

Masraf Al Rayan

10

National Leasing Holding Co.

09

Mannai Corporation

14.8%

Top 10 Companies in terms of Return on Assets (ROA) 2011/2010

08

Al Meera Consumer Goods Company

15.3% Qatar Islamic Insurance Co.

Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Co.

07

16.3%

17.6% Qatar Fuel (Woqod)

44.6% 09

06

22.7%

Mannai Corporation

08

05

Qatar National Bank

Industries Qatar

07

25.0%

Qatar Islamic Insurance Co.

29.4%

06

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

29.7%

05

26.1%

Al Meera Consumer Goods Company

30.5%

Industries Qatar

04

National Leasing Holding Co.

38.3% 03

33.1%

Qatar Fuel (Woqod)

02

Qatar Electricity & Water Co.

39.2% 01

17.0%

25.0% United Development Co.

04

Qatar National Cement Co.

03

Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

02

ROE 2011/2010

26.0% United Development Co.

65.0%

Top 10 Companies in terms of Revenue per share Growth 2011/2010

01

Aamal Company

34.3%

29.2% Industries Qatar

National Leasing Holding Co.

42.0%

37.1% Qatar Fuel (Woqod)

Ezdan Real Estate Co.

59.2% Qatar Co. for Meat & Livestock Trading (Mawashi)

Top 10 Companies in terms of Return on Equity (ROE) 2011/2010

Al Shall Economic Servics QSC is a private Qatari shareholding company providing different economic, buisness and corporate finance advisory services to local and regional institutions. It has been established in late 2002 by Al Shall Consulting company KSCC, a kuwait-based private consulting company, along with other partners, as a stratgic arm in Qatar in order to provide the same range of established services in Kuwait.

Holding Co. Comparative performance The QE finished 2011 with a 1.12% gain. The Dow Jones Index took the lead last year however, by gaining about 5.5% from the end of 2010, but this was an exception in a very poor year in the markets. Losses on other key markets included -24.6% in India and -21.7% in China.

In the GCC, the Bahraini market was the biggest loser with losses of about -20.1%. Conditions in all markets could have been much worse had it not been for the outcome of the December 9 Euroleaders’ summit conference, which provided some provisional assurance. Their failure could have resulted in more major regressions (Brief on each of the Top Ten companies from page 46)

june 2012

Qatar Today 45


cover story QT TOP TEN

Market Efficiency

O

“The availability of financial and other relevant information that is made publicly available in a comprehensive and timely manner is vital to the proper functioning of a market.” Milhan Baig Head of Valuation Services Deloitte Qatar

46 Qatar Today

ver the past year, the value traded on the QE increased by about a quarter to reach QR83.5 billion. This increase was largely driven by the services and banking sectors. However Milhan Baig, Head of Valuation Services at Deloitte Qatar, intimates that since last year the number of transactions making up the traded volumes only increased by about 6% (1.05 million to 1.12 million transactions), which implies a relatively greater increase in the value per transaction compared to the actual number of transactions. “It may be argued that as the increase in traded value is driven by a relatively small number of transactions, the share values involved portray the sentiments of only a small number of investors, who may have, for example, greater confidence in or a better understanding of the market as opposed to the overall pool of potential investors,” says Baig. “Under the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH), at any given point in time the quoted prices of shares listed on an exchange in an efficient market should fully reflect all available information, and they should be appropriately priced based on the ‘overall’ sentiments of the market. If we conceptually consider QE in the context of the EMH and the key attributes of efficient markets, it might seem reasonable to assume that shares listed on QE might be priced differently if they were listed on more developed markets, given the following factors that impact the efficiency of a market: the availability of timely and relevant information; and the volume and frequency of transactions which capture the market’s reaction to that information,” says Baig. “The availability of financial and other relevant information that is made publicly available in a comprehensive and timely manner is vital to the proper functioning of a market, as it provides investors with the basis on which to form decisions to buy and sell quot-

june 2012

ed shares, affecting demand, supply and ultimately pricing. As such, investor relationship management functions and adequate governance procedures, with transparency in financial reporting as well as ample existence of equity analyst reports, sustain the availability of quality information and contribute to the existence of a more efficient market overall. “Greater volumes (size) and frequency (timing) of transactions generally depict fluidity in a market, which leads to more up-to-date and relevant pricing of quoted shares, which gives investors a relatively higher level of confidence in the available market data,” he says. More efficiency through increased participation Baig argues that the level of transactions and information available is generally much lower than for more developed markets such as the LSE, NYSE, NASDAQ and Nikkei, and as such might be considered less efficient. An improvement in market efficiency may be achieved through increasing the number of companies listed on QE and providing more information relevant to those companies. This, as well as the introduction of margin trading and short-selling, could facilitate more transactions, which ultimately develops more market efficiency. “It is also interesting to note that of the total 42 companies listed on the QE, the average foreign ownership interest held in the companies is only around 9%. Allowing a larger pool of local and global investors to buy and sell shares listed on QE may be another way to increase the level of transactions,” he contends. In summary, Baig maintains that facilitating market efficiency should be a vital concern for any emerging economy and there are certain initiatives that can be taken to facilitate this. From a share pricing or valuation perspective, investors and speculators need to be, as ever, aware of the factors fundamental to market efficiency and should apply a degree of subjectivity when considering the valuation of listed company shares in an emerging economy such as Qatar. {The opinions expressed here are the views of Milhan Baig and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Deloitte & Touche (M.E.)}


1

n ot el igibl e Last year

1

Dividend Yield

1

Liquidity

2

Net Profit Growth

Masraf Al Rayan failure not an option

Masraf Al Rayan was launched in October 2006 and is primarily engaged in the provision of banking, financial and investment services in accordance with Islamic Sharia principles. Its strategic vision of the future is to be a leading and innovative international Islamic financial institution with Corporate, Retail, SME and Private Banking, as well as Treasury. Al Rayan Investment is the investment arm of Masraf Al Rayan, which completes the circle for Masraf Al Rayan as a full-fledged Islamic bank. Group CEO Adel Mustafawi discussed how the bank reached the #1 rating.

H

ow has Masraf Al Rayan performed in the past 12 months? We grew our total assets at a rate of 59.4% last year; our net profit also went up by 16.3% to QR1.41 billion, with earnings per share of QR1.88. (Please see attached tables.) How are you leveraging Qatar’s economic growth to perform the way you are doing? We are the fastest-growing bank in Qatar. Masraf Al Rayan has been sustaining this excellent growth trend since its inception, and this is something that we expect to maintain in both the short and the longer terms, as we are blessed with well-diversified customers in both sources and the use of funds. What were the key changes/decisions your company had to make recently to keep performing and how difficult was it to make these changes/decisions?

When Masraf Al Rayan was established, there was a clear vision and strategy to implement a Sharia-compliant work environment to facilitate the best possible performance, versus the conventional, traditional methods. We are continuously being innovative and forward-looking in our strategies for delivering the best possible services to our customers whilst maintaining and providing internationally acclaimed standards in a familiar local environment. Have you noticed fresh competition? How do you feel about this, and what are you doing to keep on top of it? We operate in a free-market economy and we therefore, acknowledge that competition is an integral part of the landscape. It is also something that we welcome, as it creates more innovation in the industry and better services for customers. But we are continuously improving our market share by the day.

“We always finish #1 in the efficiency category in the local banking industry, so the word failure is not in our dictionary” Adel Mustafawii GROUP CEO MASRAF AL RAYAN

Masraf Al Rayan achieved net profit of QR1,408 million – a 16.3% increase on 2010. Total assets reached QR 55,271 million in 2011 – a growth rate of 59.4% on 2010. Financing activities increased to QR 34,766 million – up 38.7% on 2010. Customer deposits increased to QR 46,264 million – growth of 71.2%. Total shareholders’ equity reached QR 8,504 million – up 13.3% on 2010, while the dividends paid to shareholders for 2011 reached QR1.10 per share.

june 2012

Qatar Today 47


cover story QT TOP TEN

coming year? Chief among our goals for 2012 is to sustain our current high growth levels on all our business books by aligning with the nominal GDP growth rate of the country.

Are there any inhibitors to your growth here in Qatar? What changes would you like to see which might boost your own performance and that of your industry? No. The local economy is growing at a high double-digit rate, supported by the LNG expansion and the government’s huge infrastructure spending; banks are financing this historic growth and development for the country, as it is our duty to take part in the nation-building mission.

What makes a leader different from an entrepreneur? What qualities must one have to be an inspirational leader in a large organisation? Leaders inspire others to do the right thing. We also strategically think and plan for the institutions that we lead. Lastly, we lead by example and also

What are your Company’s goals for the

2

1

Last year

4

Price Growth

5

Divid end Yield

2

Avg Return on Assets

depend on the goodwill and reputation of our staff. At Masraf Al Rayan, we believe that our human resources are our greatest assets. How do you deal with failure? There s a perception that a  failure culture  within an institution is proactive, as it means staff are willing to try something different maybe a little too risky for the good of the company. We always finish #1 in the efficiency category in the local banking industry, so the word failure is not in our dictionary

1

Avg Return on Equity

9

Net Profit Growth

Woqod

fuelling energy needs Woqod is a public share company listed on the Qatar Exchange since 2002. The company is responsible for the distribution of fuel within Qatar. This includes diesel, gasoline and aviation fuel through a fleet of more than 150 road tankers. It trades in ship-to-ship bunkering, bitumen importation and distribution, lubricants and modern service stations. Woqod also distributes all LPG in Qatar.

w

oqod has been profitable since establishment and was the first Qatari company, to pay a dividend in its first financial year. Its strategy is to be the best downstream energy company in the region as measured in terms of customer and employee satisfaction and shareholder earnings.  “We pride ourselves on the continuation of the success and development that has been registered since the Company’s inception,” says Abdullah bin Hamad AlAttiyah, Chairman of Woqod. During the financial year ending

48 Qatar Today

june 2012

December 31, 2011, Woqod managed to maintain positive net profit rates that exceeded 7.5% to reach QR1,155 million. Despite the 20% increase in the paidup capital of the company during 2010 through the distribution of bonus shares, earning per share (EPS) for 2011 increased by 7.5% to reach QR27.77 per share against QR25.83 in 2010.  “Based on the results achieved for this period and on our expectations for developments in the global economy and their impact on the local, regional and international levels during the upcoming period, and in view of the company s

“We pride ourselves on the continuation of the success and development that has been registered since the Company’s inception.” mohamed turki al-sobai vice-chairman and managing director woqod


future plans and projects,” Al-Attiyah continued,  “the Board of Directors recommended to distribute cash dividends of QR415.8 million according to a rate of 100 % of the value of the paid-up nominal capital, i.e. QR10 per share, in addition to 25% bonus shares. This recommendation takes into account the company’s current financial liquidity and the future funding needs for capital projects that were adopted for the year 2012.”  However, it reported that its net profit fell 10.5% to QR241 million in the first quarter this year. The decrease in net profit was due to a “decline in sales” for certain petroleum products following completion of the New Doha International Airport and gas projects, among others. Announcing the first quarter results

3

4

Last year

Woqod, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director Mohamed Turki Al-Sobai said the company’s assets totaled QR7.6 billion in March, up 20.6% on 2011, while equity reached QR4.6 billion in March, up 18% on 2011. As a result of the increase in capital base through the issuance of 25% bonus shares in 2011, earnings per share reached QR4.6 in Q1 2012 compared with QR6.5 in the same period last year. Al-Sobai said Woqod was currently engaged in some 31 key projects in Qatar. They include setting up new petrol stations, vehicle inspection centres and Sidra stores, Woqod Tower (Dafna), product supply pipelines, new deals for supply of lubricants and expansion of the LPG distribution network

2

Price Growth

8

Divid end Yield

6

Avg Return on Assets

During the financial year ending December 31 2011, Woqod maintainED positive net profit rates that exceeded 7.5% to reach QR1, 155 million. Despite the 20% increase in the paid-up capital of the company during 2010 through the distribution of bonus shares, earning per share (EPS) for 2011 increased by 7.5% to reach QR27.77 against QR25.83 in 2010.

2

Liquidity

7

Net Revenue Growth

5

Net Profit Growt h

Mawashi a journey of success

Mawashi has successfully managed to turn what was perceived by the Qatari government to be an underperforming company into one that is highly profitable. In fact, there were plans for the government to step in to refocus the company. Qatar Today met its Managing Director, Ahmed Nasser Sraiya Al-Kaabi, to find out more ABOUT the abandoned takeover as well as its plans for the future.

H

ow has the company performed over the past 12 months? Last year saw a continuation of the successful journey that began in 2010, thanks to the efforts of the Mawashi team in all departments. Our profits doubled to QR64 million compared to the same period in 2010 and we are now focusing clearly on our future expansion plans. The idea of a company takeover in 2011 was a major challenge for the staff and made them feel insecure, but I confronted

the challenge by raising morale and reassuring them that we were the best people to run the sector. In fact I made it clear to the government that we had manoeuvred a difficult corner and it rewarded the new Board of Directors by cancelling the takeover and entrusting them with continuing its work in this sector. But Hassad Food Company was actually instructed to begin the takeover process. What were the reasons for the intended takeover? Was it just a matter of the company’s declining profits or

“I don’t like the word failure  – I prefer to say  experience. An initial mistake is not a failure but a lesson, though if the mistake is repeated then it is a failure. “ ahmed nasser sraiya al-kaabi managing director mawashi

june 2012

Qatar Today 49


cover story QT TOP TEN were there other reasons? At the end of 2009 profits were QR18 million and starting to decline, and for that reason the government decided to step in to protect shareholders’  equity. But thanks to the efforts of the new Board of Directors and staff at Mawashi, we turned things around to become the third most profitable company. Last year you were aiming to cover the whole Gulf market. How far have you got with this? Mawashi is made up of a parent company and some subsidiaries. The parent company signed an agreement to import Australian meat to the UAE under an exclusive distribution deal, and has also signed an agreement with Wellard, the world’s largest livestock transporter. We have other transport agreements but we really want to acquire some livestock carriers of our own, as we have the resources to invest here. We are planning to acquire two ships (with the capacity to carry 75,000 and 15,000 head of livestock respectively) to transport animals from neighbouring countries such as Sudan and Somalia. We intend to set up a specialist transportation company within Mawashi. Our investments in Georgia are growing and Georgian meat is already on sale in the market. We have focused this year on bringing in Georgian breeding females, which are highly regarded by Qatari breeders. We see this as a production line to increase Qatar’s animal stocks. What are the main changes or decisions the company has recently been forced to make to maintain its performance, and how hard has it been to make them? All our decisions follow exhaustive study as to whether they will increase our profits, and we will not abandon any of our traditions for financial reasons. Take the example of our decision this year to increase imports from Sudan. Last year we were only dealing in agricultural and animal products, but now we have started to export Sudanese sheep as well as various kinds of Sudanese fodder, including compounds. The company’s output was initially modest, but even that decision was only taken after research into the Sudanese market, and it shows in the Sudan project’s substantial profits. Have you noticed the emergence of any new competition? Competition in any sector always means

better service for consumers. There are other companies working in the refrigerated meats trade and competition is good for innovation and development. We innovate when we see something missing in Qatar, such as meat processing. The distinguishing feature of our products is that they are fresh, whereas everything else in the market is frozen. We work on the basis that we have no competitors on the same scale as us, so we measure ourselves against international companies. Are there any obstacles to growth here in Qatar? What changes would you like to see to help improve the performance of Mawashi and the meat sector as a whole? The economy in Qatar is supportive and en-

Mawashi’s profits: 2009

QR18

million

2010

QR32

million

2011

QR64

million

couraging. Our monthly sales figures have been showing continuous growth, and we’ve been seeing a big increase in the number of companies coming here. We are optimistic about the prospect of a boom in real estate and construction, and foodstuffs activity. I hope that foreign capital will be allowed into the Qatari market and that the market will be open and free to flourish; that there will be a slight easing of the foreign investment laws; and that it will happen gradually

so that Qatari investors can compete with the foreigners. How is a business leader different from an entrepreneur? What are the qualities a person needs to be an inspiring leader in a big corporation? A leader, in my view, is someone who can create and manage a team, outline an objective (or vision) and make it happen. A leader creates a kind of confidence in his employees so that they work enthusiastically and share the vision of the future of the business. The best leader was the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), who communicated the idea of Paradise to his followers and made them see it as a reality. An entrepreneur, however, is an inventor; he needs someone with leadership qualities to keep his business going and translate his idea into reality. There is a view that a ‘culture of failure’  within an organisation is a positive thing, because it means the employees are prepared to try something different, even though it may be risky. What is your opinion on this? I have no time for failure and I don’t like the word  failure  – I prefer to say  experience . An initial mistake is not a failure but a lesson, though if the mistake is repeated then it is a failure. A person has to be allowed to fail in order to do anything, and if a leader is afraid of failure he simply won’t act at all. So let’s call it a  ‘culture of experience’ . What are your goals for the year ahead? We have a poultry project here in Qatar where local production meets no more than 30% of requirements – which we are just starting to get up and running. We are also planning to get into food processing in liaison with the Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP). 2011 was a year of focusing on our core activity. but now that we have established our success and boosted the company’s profits, there are no limits to our ambitions for the future

It is the second time in IQ's eight year history that group revenues exceeded the QR12 billion mark. The group recorded revenue of QR12.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2010, and QR3.9 billion in the fourth quarter, representing a year-onyear increase of 25.1%. With full year net profits totaling QR5.6 billion, the group has achieved its second highest earnings on record.

(Interviewed by Ezdhar Ali)

50 Qatar Today

june 2012


4

3

Last year

3

Price Growth

7

Dividend Yield

8

Avg Return on AssetS

5

Liquidity

5

Net Revenue Growth

6

Net Profit Growt h

National Leasing Holding Company a calculated effort

National Leasing Holding Company (NLHC) was established in 2003 as a Qatari Shareholding Company. Its share capital in 2009 was QR329, 868,000 comprising of 32,986,800 shares at QR10 per share. It provides a wide range of products and services including facilities for lease and facilities for rent and renting leading to ownership for individuals and firms in accordance with Islamic Sharia Regulations which suit the financial requirements of large, medium and small firms.

S

heikh Falah bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Directors, recently revealed how the company performed up until the end

of 2011.   “NLHC witnessed a growth in profits in 2011 of QR215 million – an increase of 20% compared with QR179 million in 2010,” he said.   Total operating revenues reached QR602 million – an increase of 41% on 2010. Total equity increased by 17%, jumping to QR762 million, while earnings per share rose to QR6.53 per share, a 20% increase on 2010. The Board of Directors at NLHC also recommended approval of distributing a cash dividend of 35% (QR3.50 per share) – a total of QR115,453,800.   “Our success is not out of the void, nor was it reached with ease,” said NLHC Chief Executive Officer Hamad Abdulla Al-Emadi. “In fact, the strategic objectives were vigilantly set. The plans were meticulously laid down and processed with steadiness and faith towards attaining objectives which strictly complied with our values and principles.”

NLHC is aiming to expand the scope of its work and get involved in real estate development, infrastructural works, machinery, and hospitality services. “We all share a firm belief that the gigantic accomplishments attained in 2011 will sooner or later reflect their positive impact upon the company,” added Al-Emadi. “Our financial results during this year have been nothing but an actual translation of efforts. Our focal objective for 2012 is simplified to address the capability to elaborate a stablystructured company with the potential to withstand all challenges in the future.”  NLHC recently successfully completed a rights issue process to increase capital. The subscription was 245% of the offered shares, and they managed to collect QR1.2 billion, bringing the total to 41 million shares at QR29.50 per share. Sheikh Falah bin Jassim stated that NLHC had taken all necessary measures to ease the process of the rights issue for shareholders. The rights issue met with a massive response from the shareholders, showing their confidence in the strong equity of the company and its ability for continuous development and sustainable growth in accordance with its business plans

“OUR rights issue met with a massive response from the shareholders, showing their confidence in the strong equity of the company and its ability for continuous development and sustainable growth in accordance with its business plans” SHEIKH FALAH BIN JASSIM BIN JABR AL-THANI CHAIRMAN AND MANAGING DIRECTOR NATIONAL LEASING HOLDING COMPANY

NLHC witnessed a growth in profits in 2011, amounting to QR215 million – an increase of 20% compared with QR179 million in 2010.  Total operating revenues reached QR602 million – an increase of 41%. Total equity increased by 17%, while earnings per share rose by 20%. The Board of Directors recommended approval of distributing a cash dividend of 35% (QR3.50 per share) – a total of QR115,453,800. 

june 2012

Qatar Today 51


cover story QT TOP TEN

5

2

Last year

10

Pric e growth

1

Avg Return on Assets

2

Avg Return on Equity

Industries Qatar Riding the wave of success

Industries Qatar was incorporated as a Qatari joint stock company in 2003 and has become an industrial giant with interests in the production, distribution and sale of a wide range of petrochemical fertilisers and steel products, the second largest of this type in the region. Its products are sold in over one hundred countries worldwide.

i

ndustries Qatar (IQ) and Qatar Petroleum (QP) are intertwined by their ownership, operations and management, where QP holds 70% of the share capital of IQ and IQ’s board members are the same as the QP Board members. Furthermore, the Chairman and Managing Director of QP serves concurrently as Chairman and Managing Director of IQ, as well as Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry, to ensure full coordination between QP/IQ and key national policies. IQ recorded revenue of QR16.5 billion for the year ended December 31, 2011, representing a year-on-year increase of 34%. This increase can be primarily attributed to resilient prices across all key products as price inflation benefited the group by QR3.4 billion. The Board of Directors recommended a total annual dividend distribution for the year ended December 31, 2011 of QR 4.1 billion, equivalent to a payout of QR7.50 per share and representing 75% of nominal value. In addition to the record revenue, the group also registered its highest net profit. Full-year net profit of QR7.9 billion was significantly ahead of the previous record, in 2008, of QR 7.3 billion. Profit margins during the year were also extremely strong, averaging almost 48%.

52 Qatar Today

june 2012

“The financial year was noteworthy for the group as it contained a significant number of milestones and achievements,” said HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry, and Chairman and Managing Director, IQ. “As we have promised, we have delivered,” he added. “In the financial and operational performances achieved, we witnessed further evidence of IQ’s ongoing quest for excellence. The group also proved its ability to execute and advance its various strategies, leading to greater financial and operational integration among group companies and enhanced the development of the domestic economy through the employment of qualified and trained nationals, while at the same time continuing to achieve strong financial results,” said Abdulrahman Ahmad Al-Shaibi, Chief Coordinator of IQ. “Last year was undoubtedly a decisive year as IQ recorded its highest revenue and net profit since its establishment, with revenue exceeding QR16 billion and net profit of approximately QR8 billion. And, with the completion of that year, we are now able to reflect with admiration on the goals achieved, the successive accomplishments and ongoing progress made,” he said. In early 2012, IQ received an AA- rating from Standard & Poor’s, in recognition of the group’s strong competitive advantages

“IQ proved its ability to execute and advance its various strategies, leading to greater financial and operational integration among group companies and enhanced the development of the domestic economy through the employment of qualified and trained nationals.” abdulrahman ahmad al-shaibi chief-coordinator industries qatar

IQ recorded revenue of QR16.5 billion for 2011, representing a year-on-year increase of 34%. This increase can be primarily attributed to resilient prices across all key products as price inflation benefited the group by QR3.4 billion. The Board of Directors recommended a total annual dividend distribution for the year ended December 31, 2011 of QR 4.1 billion, equivalent to a payout of QR7.50 per share and representing 75% of nominal value.


and debt protection metrics, to add to the Aa3 rating received from Moody’s in 2011. Both ratings were predicated on the group’s excellent cost positioning, largely due to competitively-priced gas feedstocks, product and end-market diversification, positive debt metrics and very important pub-

6

9

Last year

lic policy role. The ratings were assigned a “stable outlook”, reflecting the expectation that key assumptions, including the group’s importance, debt levels and cost position would not be materially compromised. Both ratings place IQ one notch below the sovereign rating of Qatar and in a very se-

5

Dividend Yield

lect group of international petrochemical and chemical companies. Moody’s rating reflects the highly competitive cost structure of the group’s ventures, and IQ’s role in enabling two key policies of Qatar: economic diversification and wealth distribution.

5

Avg Return on Asset

QIMC

strategies to keep pace with progress Qatar Industrial Manufacturing Company was established in 1990 with capital of QR200 million ($55 million) held 20:80 by the state and the private sector, which was paid in full by 2002, then raised in 2006 to QR300 million and in 2010 to QR396 million. Qatar Today met CEO Abdulrahman bin Abdullah Al-Ansari to find out more about the strategies that have made the company successful.

A

l-Ansari explained that QIMC is currently drawing up a new strategy to enable it to keep pace with the economic upswing in the country. This also applied to QIMC s subsidiary companies, for which a clear vision and new five-year strategies had to be set.  “Our new strategy calls for certain standards to be met,” said Al Ansari. “Our management has been trying to apply total quality standards and obtain ISO 9001:2008 certifications for QIMC and its subsidiaries.” QIMC is also applying for a credit rating, but purely for evaluation purposes and not with the aim of borrowing money. Investments QIMC commissioned a consultancy services bureau to review the company last

year. It had always been operating according to a particular strategic view with a particular set of policies and procedures, so it felt this needed to be re-examined. “We have put in place a new company structure and new policies and procedures,” said Al-Ansari. “We have also rebranded the company to reflect its strategic direction of improving its market position and expanding through small and medium-size projects, while remaining interested in entering into large-scale projects.”

“QIMC IS ready to keep pace with the coming economic boom. WE HAVE a lot of EXPANSION projects initiated on the basis of market research and in anticipation of an economic boom.” abdulrahman bin abdullah al-ansari chief executive officer qatar industrial manufacturing company

Aspirations Al-Ansari said: “QIMC has a broad industrial base covering petrochemicals, minerals, food processing and construction materials, and is continually working to diversify its portfolio of projects. The board promises shareholders that it is up to the task of revitalising the company and carry-

june 2012

Qatar Today 53


cover story QT TOP TEN

ing out future projects in a more expeditious manner.” He explained they had completed the first stage of four, that of reviewing the company’s position. The second stage is identifying options and alternatives; then drawing up the strategy is stage three before finally determining the overall organisational framework. New projects Al-Ansari talked about a number of expansion projects, initiated on the basis of market research and in anticipation of an economic boom. “We are ready to keep pace with the coming economic boom,” he said. “QIMC has a lot of projects lined up linked to development in Qatar.” He gave the example of the Qatar Sand Treatment Plant, which is geared to produce 40,000 tonnes of sand per day, compared with the country’s current daily consumption of 18,000 tonnes. Another example is the ongoing expansion at Qatar Acids Co.’s sulphuric acid plant to meet increasing consumption in Mesaieed Industrial City (MIC) and other key industries. He also said that Gasal Company, which specialises in manufacturing industrial gases, had been able to cover MIC’s overall requirements and was planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in setting up an industrial gas network to cover the entire Ras Laffan Industrial City. “We will set up industrial gas plants in Ras Laffan on the same lines as those in Mesaieed, and will supply the installations there with industrial gases,” he said. QIMC’s expansion plans include Qatar Plastic Products Co., along with a wooden tile-producing factory due to come into operation at the end of the year. Work on setting up the Qatar Aluminium Extrusion

2011 in figures Net profit

QR206

million

Dividend

QR118.8

million

Shareholders’  equity

QR1,253

million

Co. is now complete, and the project is waiting to be linked up to the national grid. The raw materials will be provided by Qatalum, making its output – 8,000 tonnes per year of it – 100% Qatari. “It is the only factory of its kind in Qatar,” said Al-Ansari. “We expect demand to increase in the period ahead, which is what led us to start thinking about expanding the project even before it actually entered production,” a reference to the fact that the aluminium extrusion plant has been built to accommodate production lines with a total capacity of 24 tonnes a year. “We are currently working to add two production lines alongside the existing one. The second line will be ready at the end of the current year, and the third during 2013.”  Meanwhile, the company has started to implement the KLJ Organic-Qatar project to produce chlorinated paraffin, caustic soda and hydrochloric acid, with an expected start date in the first quarter of 2014. Acquisitions Al-Ansari revealed a new activity that

QIMC intends to get into as part of its new strategy, which is acquisitions. “We have come to the view that acquiring existing enterprises that complement our own activities and fit with our strategy and aspirations could be of interest,” he explained. “We have appointed a team to work on this, and have made a start by taking a 51% stake in an Italian factory operating in Qatar. We are in the final stages of concluding the deal.” He indicated that the investment fund available for such acquisitions stood at around QR200 million, while QIMC’s total investment in its subsidiaries was roughly QR1 billion. “We have a number of acquisition projects under consideration that will be announced in the near future,” Al-Ansari continued. “There are negotiations going on to acquire companies both in Doha and elsewhere.” Furthermore, the CEO announced, the company would be setting up a 100,000 sq. metre project in the Industrial Area, “QIMC Logistics Village”, to provide logistical support to QIMC and its subsidiaries. First quarter results QIMC’s profits were up in the first quarter of this year and were expected to improve further by the end of the first half, the CEO said, but he was quick to point out that first quarter results don’t give a good idea of the company’s performance for the rest of the year because a lot of operational costs fall during the first quarter and do not recur during the rest of the year, thus depressing the Q1 profit margin compared with the remainder of the year. He noted that QIMC has companies due to come into production during the coming months, which again suggests that there will be a rise in returns and profits to come (Interviewed by Ezdhar Ali)

QIMC’s profits were up in the first quarter of 2012 and were expected to improve further by the end of JUNE, but first quarter results don’t give AN ACCURATE idea THE COMPANY’S performance because a lot of operational costs fall during the first quarter and do not recur during the rest of the year, thus depressing the Q1 profit margin compared with the remainder of the year.

54 Qatar Today

june 2012


7

3

n ot el igibl e

Avg Return on Asset

Last year

6

Avd Return on Equity

Qatar National Cement Company Confronting Challenges

Despite the impact of the global financial crisis and new competition in the local market leading to a fall in revenue, Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC) met local demand for cement, washed sand and lime. Qatar Today met QNCC General Manager Mohamed Ali Al-Sulaiti to talk about the company’s achievements and its future plans.

H

ow has QNCC performed over the past 12 months? Sales income fell because of reduced demand for cement, washed sand and quicklime during the year in view of the negative impact of the global financial crisis on the local market and against a backdrop of new competition in the market, with the entry of another Qatari company producing appreciable quantities of cement, and another company producing washed sand. In addition, Qatar Steel ceased to take deliveries of quicklime last June, having previously been our principal quicklime customer. These factors had a direct effect of reducing the company’s sales income over the past year. However the company managed, through its own production lines, to meet the local market’s requirements for different products while maintaining the same high quality and stable prices, and this has made a tangible contribution to the development boom in Qatar. We set up a new calcium carbonate production unit with a capacity of 250 tonnes per day to meet Qatar Electricity and Water Company (QEWC)’s requirements, in

line with the government policy of trying to source strategic materials within the country. By the end of 2011 the project had reached the performance testing stage. We already had a contract with QEWC to supply all its calcium carbonate requirements, amounting to about 250,000 tonnes per year, for 25 years with an option to renew. What are the main changes or decisions QNCC has recently been forced to make to maintain its performance, and how hard has it been to make them? During the past year we have gone a long way towards meeting the corporate governance standards required by the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) in order to achieve the desired objectives of transparency, openness and probity. We are one of the first public shareholding companies in Qatar to introduce the QFMA’s corporate governance regime. Our administration was overhauled, with the introduction of comprehensive modern systems covering various areas, by consultancy bureau Ernst & Young, which was appointed by the Board at its meeting last December. We also contracted Al Mannai Trading Company to install an Enterprise Resource Planning

“There is no such thing as failure, but there are challenges and risks. As far as we areconcerned at QNCC, we tend to go looking for challenges; we confront them and get to grips with them in order to make something out of every situation, even a negative situation. And the most important challenge we face is the issue of a healthy environment” mohamed ali al-sulaiti general manager qatar national cement company

Sales income fell because of reduced demand for cement, washed sand and quicklime during the year in view of the negative impact of the global financial crisis on the local market and against a backdrop of new competition in the market, with the entry of another Qatari company producing appreciable quantities of cement, and another company producing washed sand.

june 2012

Qatar Today 55


cover story QT TOP TEN (ERP) system to improve performance in the company s various activities, the positive benefits of which will be seen in the years to come. What changes would you like to see in Qatar to help improve the performance of QNCC and the building materials sector as a whole? The infrastructure for importing through the ports is still not meeting the country’s needs, and we would like to see Mesaieed Port expanded to keep up with the country’s development boom and avoid the current bottlenecks where ships have to queue up before they are allowed into the port to unload. We would also like the road network to be modernised, especially to and from production areas, and for special roads to be built for transporting heavy, bulky goods. What are your goals for the year? To keep pace with plans for the country’s development over the crucial years ahead,

we are making efforts to raise the productive capacity of our cement plants. Management is looking at new options for increasing output, achieving maximum economy and efficiency in the various production operations, seizing every possible opportunity to increase sales of washed sand using the large quantities stored on site, and clearing the way to exploit the company’s available productive capacity so as to achieve an attractive economic return. We will also explore all available options to deal with the fallout from Qatar Steel’s termination of quicklime deliveries to prevent any further damage to the company. We will continue to implement the ERP IT system in all departments and sections to enhance performance within various business activities in all locations. How is a leader different from an entrepreneur? What are the qualities a person needs to be an inspiring leader in a big corporation?

The most important qualities of an inspiring leader are that he should have a clear vision of the goals he is steering his workers firmly towards; that he should be skilled in the arts of communication, planning and motivation; that he should be able to win the confidence of others and be prepared to take risks; and that he should achieve his goals with the fewest possible losses. There is a view that a ‘culture of failure’ within an organisation is a positive thing, because it means the employees are prepared to try something different, even though it may be risky. What is your opinion on this? There is no such thing as failure, but there are challenges and risks. As far as we areconcerned at QNCC, we tend to go looking for challenges; we confront them and get to grips with them in order to make something out of every situation, even a negative situation. And the most important challenge we face is the issue of a healthy environment (Interviewed by Ezdhar Ali)

8

5

2

Last year

Dividend Yield

Doha Insurance Company insuring competitiveness

DOHA INSURANCE COMPANY WAS FORMED IN 2003, IN RESPONSE TO THE NEED FOR GROWTH IN THE INSURANCE SECTOR. THE COMPANY IS STILL IN ITS INFANCY BUT HAS GREAT VISIONS FOR EXPANSION IN STRATEGIC AREAS.

d

oha Insurance Company (DIC) is a Qatari shareholding company which is engaged in the business of insurance and reinsurance. Its capital base is QR234 million ($65 million). During 2006, DIC established an Islamic Takaful branch under the brand name “Doha Takaful” to carry out insurance and reinsur-

56 Qatar Today

june 2012

ance activities in accordance with Islamic Sharia principles. DIC is the latest qualitative addition to the Qatari national insurance market. With a fresh approach to the concept of security and protection, DIC is sharply focused on delivering tailor-made products to suit the specific needs of clients. It has been assigned an interactive credit rating of BBB+ stable by Standard & Poor’s

Doha Insurance Company’s financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2011 revealed a net profit of QR65.8m in 2011 versus QR60.7m in 2010. The company’s Earnings Per Share amounted to QR3.66 in 2011 compared to QR3.37 in 2010. The financial statements for the three month period ended March 31, 2012 revealed a net profit of QR21.2 million in comparison to QR19.2 Million for the corresponding period in 2011The Earnings per Share (EPS) amounted to QR0.91 as of March 31, 2012 versus QR1.07 of the same period in 2011.


9

7

Avg Return on Equity

3

Dividend Yield

Doha Bank

promoting innovative strategies doha Bank is the largest private commercial bank in Qatar. It commenced its domestic and international banking services in 1979. It provides individuals and commercial, corporate and institutional clients with ways to manage their financial lives.

d

oha Bank had a highly satisfying business year in 2011, according to R Seetharaman, Group Chief Executive Officer.   “We had demonstrated our resilience during the 2008 crisis, and in 2012 Doha Bank will continue to be mindful of global and regional risks,” he said. “Our results are largely attributable to the bank’s strategy to innovate, diversify and capitalise on market synergies, as it continues to increase shareholder value.” Doha Bank posted full-year net profit of QR1.24 billion in 2011, up 18% on the year before. The bank’s total assets rose to QR52.4 billion last year, an increase of 11% compared with 2010. Loans and advances rose to QR30.7 billion in 2011, representing growth of 15.7 %. Customers deposits grew by 2.8% to QR31.7 billion in 2011, while shareholders’ equity totalled QR7.1 billion in 2011, an increase of 17.3%. Earnings per share were QR6.03, while the average return on shareholders’  equity and the average return on assets were 22% and 2.49% respectively. The bank’s non-performing

loans (NPLs) were 3.3% of total loans. Doha Bank’s quarterly results were announced recently, where net profits of QR390 million for the first quarter of 2012 marked a 7.4% increase on the same period last year. Loans and advances grew by 13.1% to reach QR29.5 billion, as at March 31, 2012, while total assets increased by QR5.9 billion, a growth of more than 12.8% since March 31, 2011. Customer deposits and unrestricted investment accounts registered growth of 11.8%. International rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Capital Intelligence and Fitch Ratings assigned a stable outlook for the bank owing to its consistently strong financial fundamentals, asset quality and robust liquidity. In addition to this, Standard & Poor’s maintained the rating on Doha Bank Assurance Company. Doha Bank Assurance Company LLC (DBAC), has been given a counterparty credit and insurer financial strength rating of BBB with a stable outlook by Standard and Poor’s, on successful utilisation of its relationship with Doha Bank and continuation of its strong ratios

Doha Bank posted full-year net profit of QR1.24 billion in 2011, up 18% on 2010. The bank’s total assets rose to QR52.4 billion last year, an increase of 11%. Loans and advances rose to QR30.7 billion in 2011, representing growth of 15.7%. Customers deposits grew by 2.8% to QR31.7 billion in 2011, while shareholders’ equity totalled QR7.1 billion in 2011, an increase of 17.3%. Earnings per share were QR6.03, while the average return on shareholders’  equity and the average return on assets were 22% and 2.49% respectively.

june 2012

Qatar Today 57


cover story QT TOP TEN

10

n ot el igibl e Last year

4

Avg Return on Asset

Qatar Islamic Insurance Company (QIIC)

outstanding profits despite competition Qatar Islamic Insurance Company (QIIC) came in tenth place, having had to cope with the entry of a large number of competitors into the Qatari market, according to the company’s General Manager, Ali Ibrahim Al Abdul Ghani, who says that the company is trying to broaden its client base.

H

ow has QIIC performed over the past 12 months? QIIC’s performance has been excellent, with premium growth of roughly 17%, a 30% dividend to shareholders for 2011, and an insurance surplus refund to policyholders of 20% of subscriptions (premiums paid during 2011). Moreover, the company is doing all it can to reach the maximum possible number of companies and corporations within Qatar with the aim of broadening its service base. The growth we have achieved comes as a result of the prosperity and growth taking place in Qatar. Insurance moves in step

58 Qatar Today

june 2012

with economic and urban development, since insurance services cover all stages from planning to completion. What are the main changes or decisions QIIC has recently been forced to make to maintain its performance, and how hard has it been to make them? Has the company had to abandon any of its traditional practices or beliefs in order to stay ahead of the competition? QIIC has lowered its premiums in order to be competitive, which is not something it has traditionally done. It regards the premiums policyholders pay as subscriptions, and at the end of each year, depending on the results of the insurance business, the

“In the insurance field success is measured by results, and it depends on following the basic technical rules of the business. Failure to stick to these means failure in performance, as failing to follow the basics is taking a gamble that could lead to success for a short time but usually ends in failure.” ali ibrahim al abdul ghani general manager qatar islamic insurance company


company gives them back the surplus of these subscriptions, which in 2011 came to 20%. In other words, the subscriptions the company charges are only estimated, based on expected levels of risk. Have you noticed the emergence of any new competition? How do you feel about that, and what are you doing to beat your off rivals? Fifteen new entrants to the Qatari market have been licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre, some in insurance and some in reinsurance, and they have taken a large volume of various types of insurance, such as health and engineering. This is not a good sign for us, as they are not Qatari companies and are not investing in the local market, and there is no knowing whether they are in it for the long-term. In other words, if they make losses they might simply close their offices and leave. Are there any obstacles to growth here in Qatar? What changes would you like to see to help improve the performance of QIIC and the insurance sector as a whole? There are no obstacles to growth, because the Qatari economy is strong and vigorous,

but among the changes we would like from government agencies or companies is preferential treatment for Qatari companies over foreign ones, because the success of local companies is in the interests of the national economy. We would also like to see the formation of an umbrella group of Qatari insurance companies that would enable them to consult and work together to confront external challenges. It could be called the Association of Insurance Companies, or any other name the authorities were happy with, to make this umbrella grouping known. What are your goals for the year ahead? QIIC’s goals for the coming year are to expand its services to all economic, industrial and commercial sectors by developing its insurance programmes and improving its services. How is a business leader different from an entrepreneur? What are the qualities a person needs to be an inspiring leader in a big corporation? A successful leader is someone who achieves continuous, steady success, whereas an entrepreneur is a businessman with a number

of businesses, in some of which he is extremely successful while in others his performance is modest or weak. So a successful leader is also an entrepreneur, but not the other way around. The marks of an inspiring leader are constant improvement, precision in delivery, and close monitoring of every aspect of the work. There is a view that a “culture of failure” within an organisation is a positive thing, because it means the employees are prepared to try something different, even though it may be risky. What is your opinion on this? In the insurance field success is measured by results, and it depends on following the basic technical rules of the business. Failure to stick to these means failure in performance, as failing to follow the basics is taking a gamble that could lead to success for a short time but usually ends in failure. At QIIC we work according to the rules of Sharia law because they form the basis of our work as an Islamic insurance company. We see the company as a brick in the edifice of the Islamic economy that we believe is from Allah and holds good for all times and places

QIIC’s performance has been excellent, with premium growth of roughly 17%, a 30% dividend to shareholders for 2011, and an insurance surplus refund to policyholders of 20% of subscriptions (premiums paid during 2011). Moreover, the company is doing all it can to reach the maximum possible number of companies and corporations within Qatar with the aim of broadening its service base.

june 2012

Qatar Today 59


bottom line

Mid-Career

Transition It is never too late to start again, as is evident from the stories of mid-career investment bankers becoming internet gurus, architects turning into landscape artists – the list is endless. If you are feeling unfulfilled with your career and know that changing jobs, companies or locations won’t change that, or if you have taken time off to pursue other interests and are ready to start a new role, don’t fret – it’s never too late to start afresh, providing you plan ahead and follow a few basic rules.

Here are tips by career experts to ease you through your career transition:

Identify what you’ve always wanted to do Fifteen years in construction engineering left you with dust in your eyes and a dull, grey outlook on life. You’re ready to get some emotional fulfilment from your next job and exercise your creative flair. Except you need to figure out what you want to do. For some, the decision to switch careers is based on some life-long interest or hobby, say jewellery designing or fabric painting. For others, old jobs have become tedious and unfulfilling and their future course is unclear. Take this time to examine your priorities, values, interests and goals in life. Ask how important the financial element is versus the geographic or creative, intellectual or interpersonal element. If you don’t know what you want to do next, narrowing down your parameters of interest helps you focus. Research different areas, read industry publications, travel, scout business fairs and read college brochures to identify an area of business/study that will meet your life objectives. Consider franchise opportunities and setting up a small business of your own if you don’t want to be employed again. You will be surprised at how many interesting opportunities are out there just waiting to be explored!

60 Qatar Today

june 2012


bottom line

Perfect your marketing kit

Learn

Utilise and repackage old skills You’ve found that job you want but don’t know how to get it. It doesn’t help that you were a civil engineer and the job you now want is in media advertising. Don’t be discouraged. Take your CV and start dissecting your skills and past experience to find all those elements that would apply to your new role. You will be surprised at how many skills are interchangeable and constant across careers and disciplines. Highlight those common denominator skills and attributes. These could be creativity, communication skills, organisational skills, leadership skills, quantitative, qualitative and problem-solving skills. Also highlight your general ‘aptitude’ for learning. Indicate how you learnt certain aspects of your past job in the minimal amount of time, got promoted early, were assigned to special projects or received praise for accomplishments.

This may be the time to go back to college or vocational school to get that degree/training/certification you’ve always wanted. Take this opportunity to study whatever it is that you’ve always been interested in. If you have taken time off work to have children, travel, get married or other reasons, going back to school is a great way to beef up your CV, update your skills and enter the job market on a competitive footing.

Your CV and cover letter should be geared towards your new role. Elaborate on the relevant items and focus less on technical jargon and skills that are completely irrelevant in your new role. Run the CV and cover letter by friends/acquaintances in the new field to make sure they are in the best possible shape.

Build a roadmap for success Plan for success in your future role right down to the nitty-gritty details. By now you should have a very good idea of what is needed for success in your new role. Set goals for yourself and milestones to achieve these goals. Visualise yourself already successful in this new endeavour and work backwards to see how you can get there.

Leverage client contacts and past connections Once you have identified your future career direction, leverage your contacts to get your CV in the best shape possible and to get the interviews you want. Your connections will come in very useful in helping you secure the future job of your dreams. If you can find a mentor in the field you want to pursue, that would be ideal. Find out from these mentors how best to go about educating yourself for your future role, what courses to take, what seminars to attend, what books and journals to read and how to approach your job search.

Don’t look back A radical career change often means completely different working hours, responsibilities, work environment and peer culture. To adapt to this new life, you must slowly shed all vestiges of your old career. Acquire the tools of the new trade, the skills, the education and the relationships, and don’t look back. Emulate those who have succeeded in this new role and visualise yourself succeeding just as much by learning from them and from every other resource available.

bookmark www.issuu.com/oryxmags

About Bayt.com: Bayt.com is the #1 job site in the Middle East, with more than 40,000 employers and over 6,750,000 registered job seekers from across the Middle East, North Africa and the globe, representing all industries, nationalities and career levels. Post a job or find jobs on www.bayt.com today and access the leading resource for job seekers and employers in the region.

june 2012

Qatar Today 61


bottom line

Disconnected Communications:

The Corporate

Newsroom Customer Communication Stakeholder Comms. Crisis, ect.

News Input Strategic & Executive Input

Newsroom Hub All corporate comms. contribute to output

Archive/ Data & Media Management

t

62 Qatar Today

june 2012

External Media

Inw ard

Out war d

Website Online

Internal Communication Media Monitoring & Analysis

he Chief Executive of a medium-sized firm is standing by the office shredder and looking puzzled. “Mary,” he says to one of his staff, “my secretary has gone and I don’t know how to work this machine. I put this confidential paper in and pressed the button.” Mary responds: “That’s it, that’s all you need to do.” “Great,” says the CEO. “So when will my 20 copies come out?” Corporate communications can sometimes feel like a shredding experience: a perfectly good strategy is dissected into strips of disconnected news that don’t always resonate with the various target audiences.

The role of a corporate communications unit is to consider the strategic communications programme required to achieve the objectives of an organisation. Much of the work is focused on targeted communications with stakeholders and audiences, whether it’s communicating a project, product, service or policy. Often “news” is related solely to media relations or an internal newsletter, but what if the concept of “news” is applied to all audiences and stakeholders? How could corporate communication practitioners reframe their approach or restructure their operations to treat all communications and


bottom line

information as news? The first step is identifying your audience, stakeholders or market. A simple helicopter approach to audience analysis is using the three I’s. Cluster your audience into three groupings – those who are Involved, those who have an Influence over what you do and those who simply need to be Informed. It may be that some audiences appear in more than one of these groups. For example, there may be key media that can greatly influence public opinion or the reputation of a product or project, so they are influential, but there will be other media that simply need to be informed. Generally speaking, those who are Involved or have an Influence are considered stakeholders and those in the Informed group are considered audiences. Tell me a story So why might it be important to think about communications as “news”? Here are three ideas that could dynamically shift an organisation’s approach to corporate communications. While it may seem like an oxymoron, sometimes the failing of corporate-driven communication is that it is delivered from the perspective of the corporation. The organisation is too focused on what it wants to say and how it wants to say it, rather than comprehensively considering the requirements of the audience. A case in point is the regional environmental agency that sent out large posters around the Pacific urging countries to save turtles. One official from the organisation visited a local village to find out how the campaign was being received. Nobody in the village could read English or French so apart from a few posters pinned up in classrooms for decorative purposes, most were used in the local school for drawing on the reverse blank side and the official was

promptly served up a meal of turtle soup by the local chief. A second benefit of taking a news approach is that it obliges the corporate entity to develop a story. So rather than corporatespeak, the communication is delivered in the age-old storytelling format. “In business,” says Cary Brazeman, principal of The Corporate Storyteller, “an effective corporate story usually begins with an idea, the same idea that is the basis of the business plan. What’s the company’s raison d’etre - its promise to business customers or consumers? That big idea should be the basis of the corporate story.” Brazeman says great business performances often elude otherwise strong organisations because their stories are poorly conceived or inadequately told. “In most markets, saying your company provides ‘exceptional customer service’ or makes ‘value-added’ products doesn’t inspire a prospect, because your competitors either do the same things or say they do. Corporate storytelling digs deeper and reflects on the core ideas that define a company and its personality,” says Brazeman. So in North Dakota, in the United States, when Pamela Schmidt wants to explain why she left a career in television to start one of the first long-term care insurance agencies in the country, she tells the story of her grandfather’s pride; when Randy Hatzenbuhler wants to inspire 300 seasonal employees at North Dakota’s largest tourist attraction to rise to a higher level of customer service, he tells a story about feeding elk; and when Nancy R. Willis wants to remind the staff at St Alexius of the importance of the medical centre’s mission, she tells a story of nine young women bringing healthcare to the Dakota territory. Storytelling is a particularly powerful tool when used by leaders to inspire and engage employees, transform corporate cultures and communicate the values of their

organisation in an engaging and memorable way, says business writer from ND Business Watch Debora Dragseth. In the examples above, each corporate story delivers a different big idea: Schmidt demonstrates “Bringing Meaning to the Work We Do”; Hatzenbuhler conveys “A Legacy to Future Generations”; and Willis talks about “Mission and Purpose”. In the news tomorrow A third, more challenging but potentially dynamic, idea is to completely reframe the corporate entity’s communication infrastructure to the concept of a “corporate newsroom”. Corporate communication practitioners fully understand the notion of treating their communication as news when it comes to media relations, because the audience (the media) requires a story in a news or press release format. Even internally, professionals understand stories must be written in a news style for newsletters and the like. But treating the function of corporate communications, whether outsourced or in-house, as a “newsroom” could also have a dynamic impact on how the organisation communicates. Whether it is for the website, an opinion leader piece, writing a speech, for archival purposes, a corporate video, even an annual report, the notion of converting each communication to “news” could have a powerful impact on how a corporate entity reaches its audiences. The challenge for senior executives is to fully understand and appreciate how to utilise the communication tools and talents at their disposal most productively. Using corporate communications only to convey what the corporation wants in a rigid style and format, and being blinkered to other opportunities or approaches, could be as wasteful as using a shredding machine to photocopy a confidential briefing paper

Visit

www.omsqatar.com

By Samson Samasoni, Managing Director, Grow Founded in 2005, Grow is a creative multiple award-winning brand communications and PR agency based in Doha. Grow PR specialises in strategic communications, public relations and change communications.

june 2012

Qatar Today 63


bottom line

Qatar’s highpotential women

please stand up

w

omen have become increasingly present in the public discourse in Qatar in recent years. Their participation in the workforce and their career advancements are acknowledged as pivotal factors in the Qatar National Vision (QNV) and Development Strategy (QNDS). There are a number of high-level protagonists like HH Sheikha Mayassa, who emphasised at the recent UNCTAD conference that “Qatar will spare no effort to empower women”. However, efforts at accelerating women’s empowerment are still largely small-scale, disjointed efforts that concentrate on entrepreneurship or women working from home. But how prevalent are women in organisations here in Qatar, let alone in middle or top management? And what is being done for these women? In other parts of the world, organisations that excel have long been asking themselves that question. They do so not just to empower women and make them an equal part in the workforce, but because it makes solid business sense. A Catalyst study linked profitability to women in leadership, finding that companies with more women board members, on average, significantly outperform those with fewer women. Eighty percent of HR managers in a recent McKinsey study considered gender diversity a business imperative. More diversity matters because it is linked to higher productivity and a more engaged workforce and makes a company

64 Qatar Today

june 2012

more attractive to join and stay with for excellent people (men and women). Multinational companies like Pfizer in the Middle East have established gender diversity programmes and thus a “nourishing environment for innovation”, as Darein Hassan, Africa Middle East Diversity Lead at Pfizer, stated at the recent Arab International Women’s Forum. Qatar is no exception to this trend – to the contrary. “Women’s contribution to local and regional economies is essential to commercial success,” said Hamad Rashid Al-Mohannadi, Managing Director, RasGas, at the 2011 Qatar International Business Women Forum. When developing the QNDS, Qatar took the opportunity to include goals for women in the workforce to rise to 42% by 2016. Women in leadership positions are hoped to increase by 30% in the same time. It is laudable to have lofty goals, but how are they going to be implemented? How do those ambitious goals find their way into organisational strategies? That is where Qatar needs the buy-in from its business community, the people on the ground who can make it all happen. So we took a closer look at the situation in Qatar and asked women in over 20 organisations in various sectors how they felt about their own situation and the opportunities for women in their organisation. Whereas some women still work in settings and industries where there are only a few female colleagues far and wide, some organisations increasingly employ women. Almost one-third of those surveyed worked in companies with a 15-20% female share. A quarter estimated that share at 35-45%, while in one-sixth of cases the female share was estimated at 50% or above. Companies employ more women than before at the entry level, but how do things develop for them along the career path?

Women are stuck in the leadership pipeline We also asked people to estimate the share of women in middle and top management, and here the picture looks quite different. In more than half the cases, women make up less than 10% of middle managers and one-third said that there are even less than 5% female managers on that level. In top management, women become even scarcer: one-third of those surveyed did not have a single female top manager (CEO, GM etc). On the upside, it could be observed that the share of women in top management is higher in small and medium enterprises. So what do organisations in Qatar do to increase women in leadership? Not enough, the men and women surveyed thought. Over 60% said that there were no programmes or offerings for women of any kind. Fourteen percent had intermittent programmes and only one-fifth of the organisations had more comprehensive women’s initiatives, ranging from women’s associations to development and mentoring programmes. Women are not (yet!) working to their full potential As a consequence of the above, it is not surprising that women feel they cannot contribute to their maximum. More than half said they are currently “not at all” or “not really” working to their full potential. When asked whether the organisation provided opportunities to realise their potential, 50% said “not at all” or “not really”. Given the disparity between the present situation and the goals set, what can be done? Since there is a business case for it as well as a national commitment to promoting and increasing the female share in the workforce and in leadership in Qatar, let’s have a look at what organisations and their female employees can do:


bottom line We call it the ‘two-pronged approach’: shifting the institutional AND the individual mindset. Experience from coaching and consulting work, case studies and research have shown that simultaneously addressing institutional and individual barriers to women’s advancement in the organisation leads to greater success. The institutional mindset Organisations are creating structures and cultures which both need to be considered if they want their employees – both men and women – to be engaged and to live up to their full potential at the workplace. Structurally, this means looking at individual strengths and matching the individual talents to create effective management teams. Structural issues where women still face particular challenges also include flexibility regarding working hours and the location of work, part-time work arrangements, addressing specific needs of women in their development plan and the possibility to work and learn from female mentors and role models. More importantly, the culture needs to reflect the importance and relevance of the potential of each individual and of gender equality for organisational performance and health. Obviously, the embodiment of that attitude by top management is crucial as it sets the bar for managers and employees throughout the organisation. Leaders need to pay attention to the different challenges women face in the workplace, but need to do so in an empowering, not limiting, way. The recent McKinsey study ‘Unlocking the full potential of women at work’ quoted one leader as saying: “For one opening, we had an employee who was highly qualified-she was running operations in Asia. However, we didn’t ask her if she would be interested in the position, since she was pregnant and we assumed that she wouldn’t want to move.” Many women succeed in juggling both careers and family. As a leader – male or female – it is important to understand each individual’s aspirations and needs and not to make assumptions that might limit

Do you feel you are currently working to your full potential?

Women's programmes available association & mentoring

development & mentoring

Does organization provide opportunities to grow to your full potential?

development programme

yes, completely

mostly

not really

not at all

intermittent development nothing

The AGILE System Steps to unlock high potential in workplace and management Agile; adjective, Figurative: quick-witted, able to respond swiftly and easily Assessment to determine the current status Goal-setting to define the scope of work Intervention to shift mindsets and behaviours Learning to review the process and its effect Ensure follow-through to sustain success

that person’s choices and possible contributions to the company’s success. The individual mindset However, it is not only up to the organisations to foster women. Companies can create circumstances that meet the specific needs of women, but the women themselves need to be ready and willing to seize the opportunities that present themselves. The McKinsey study revealed that “even among the successful women more than half felt they held themselves back from accelerated growth. Most said they should

women's association

yes, completely

mostly

not really

not at all

have cultivated sponsors earlier because a sponsor would have pushed them to take opportunities. Too often, these women said, they did not raise their hands or even consider stretch roles.” So women need to step up and believe in themselves, their capabilities and their skills – and certainly utilise resources around them: actively approaching mentors, sponsors and networks has proven essential to developing self-confidence, getting encouragement and taking on responsibility and thus taking steps to realise their full potential. In order for that to become possible, there is a more fundamental change to be made, though. Men are, by and large, brought up to believe that it is their birthright to be successful, so it is natural to them to selfpromote, seek sponsorship and take risks. Women are taught to be careful and considerate or, in more liberal environments, taught that they have to fight harder, to prove themselves even more than their male counterparts. Thus there are whole beliefsystems to be tackled in order for women to truly advance – in a way that is aligned with their personal and cultural values. Companies that work on developing the institutional as well as the individual mindset in an integrated way will succeed in leveraging the high potential of their workforce – men and women – more fully and this, in turn, evidently creates better results

EMAIL

BIRGIT.RADL-WANKO@TATAOWAR.COM CAROLIN.ZEITLER@TATAOWAR.COM

BY Carolin Zeitler, founder and CEO, and Birgit Radl-Wanko,

co-founder and General Manager, Tataowar Coaching & Consulting, have combined the expertise and experience they gained from many years in business, coaching and consulting to co-create the unique Tataowar programmes with their focus on identifying and empowering women in organisations, business and the community.

june 2012

Qatar Today 65


tag this

art for the masses Jean-Paul Engelen recently celebrated his first anniversary at the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), where he has been Director of Public Art Programmes since March, 2011. Laurene Leon Boym talks to him about the QMA’s plans to ignite the art scene here while educating qatari nationals in the process.

e

ngelen, who worked previously as Christie’s London expert on contemporary art, has been helping to showcase a psychedelic solo exhibition by the uber-pop Japanese artist Takashi Murakami at the QMA. This makes sense after all: Pop Art was his first love. His candour on the subject of 1960s Pop Art is refreshing as he tells a funny story about how, as an innocent young man, he was blindsided by his first contemporary art happening. “I started following the contemporary art market at the age of 15,” he says, “when I went with my

68 Qatar Today

june 2012

parents to an exhibition at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne to see Andy Warhol’s photography (Exposures, 1980). Through Exposures – Warhol’s installation of Polaroid photos – I learned how playful and powerful art reflected popular culture. It opened my eyes, jump-started some thinking and changed my understanding of art permanently.” Before this, Engelen’s exposure to painting and sculpture was purely limited to exceptional but traditional and representational art. He was born into a Dutch family where a love of art ran through their blood – they were the founders of the European Fine Arts Fair in Maastricht, Holland. He is candid about the conservative nature of his parents’ art collection. (“it was all Ming and Kangxi porcelain”) and was eager to challenge that paradigm once exposed to more challenging and engaging ideas. The close call with Warhol’s photographs and their understanding and connection to their source of origination set Engelen on his cultural mission, which was an admirable one, to demystify and present “art” in a straightforward way to those who live in the country. The QMA is currently hosting several simultaneous art exhibitions in Doha. In addition to the Murakami “Ego” blockbuster at Al-Riwaq, there is the Louise Bourgeois exhibition at Katara Art Centere-


tag this

JEAN PAUL ENGELTEN DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC ARTS PROGRAMME, QATAR MUSEUM AUTHORITY, with the pop artist takashi murakami’s exhibits behind him

and a showcase of the Chinese contemporary artist, Cai Guo-Qiang, “Saraab”, at Mathaf (Arab Museum of Modern Art). The idea machine is constantly turning at the QMA, with an array of projects in the ideation, planning and execution stages. Recently it commissioned the first public sculpture in the Middle East from American sculptor Richard Serra, in a site-specific work for the tip of the new Pei Partnership Architects-designed Museum of Islamic Arts Park. There is also its sponsorship of the survey of iconic British artist Damien Hirst currently on display at the Tate Modern, London. The first Middle East survey of Damien Hirst’s work is planned to engulf Doha, scheduled for the autumn of 2013. Both Hirst and Murakami are blue-chip artists independent of their solo exhibitions in Qatar. “The important message is to show different points of view in art, so people understand the depth and range of what is possible – that there are creative expressions for people to express themselves in a wide variety of ways,” says Engelen. “The first step, in creating that public awareness of art, is to get people into the buildings and looking at the exhibitions. Eventually, we would like to have a comprehensive education programme for school outreach.” “The core organisation (at the QMA) is a small dedicated team and we need to triage the sequence of events. First exhibitions, then public outreach and

education. If, as a first step, people can connect with the work, then they will be excited to dig deeper into the programmes we are planning,” he adds. Credit should go to HE Shaikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani, Chairperson of the QMA, for her enthusiasm for the arts and education and her unwavering dedication to incorporating her passions into the building of a new nation. Indeed, the QMA is taking proactive steps in that direction: a forward-thinking agenda has high hopes that museum visitors will discover creative role models in their community with the upcoming comprehensive survey of Qatari Artists and Collectors in the Mal Lawal exhibition opening in September at AlRiwaq. The origins of the exhibition are purely local in nature, and will be seen from two perspectives. The first half of the exhibition is devoted to rare and precious objects from various collectors in Qatar, and the second half is devoted to the exhibition of works from Qatari artists spanning three generations. The Mal Lawal exhibition is notable as it creates a watershed moment for Qataris to understand they are not just passive consumers of artistic masterpieces but, as the second half of the show will demonstrate, they can also be the future architects of their country’s artistic destiny. Upcoming generations of Qatari nationals may be not only consumers but potentially leading producers and authors of the advancement of culture in the Arab world

june 2012

Qatar Today 69


tag this

The

stories as they are It is time for the Arab world to tell ITS own stories, says Ahmed Mahfouz, Managing Director of AJ Documentary Channel, on the sidelines of the EIGHTH AlJazeera International Documentary Film Festival.

w

70 Qatar Today

june 2012

hile there are so many elements that are true and exclusive to Qatar, the balanced nature and independent structure of Al Jazeera (AJ)’s eagle eyes, thriving in the midst of a region where government-controlled media are the norm, certainly tops the list of the country’s top ten amazing aspects. The eighth Aljazeera International Documentary Film Festival (AJICFF) was held here in April and it showcased stories from the Arab world.

by Rubina S i n g h

“The AJ Documentary Channel is the first Arabic channel in the world that specialises in this genre of documentaries and is available in the Arabic language, on air, 24/7. The theme for this year’s festival was ‘Future’, symbolising the uncertainty hanging over the future of the Arab world, and reflects the mood after the Arab uprising,” says Mostafa Nagy, Head of Programmes at Al Jazeera Documentary Channel. Understandably, then, the films ranged


tag this

from countries across the globe and a variety of topics. However, the preoccupation with the theme of the personal toll on the human psyche resulting from political instability, and the film makers’ focus and interest around issues of war, martyrdom and the Palestinian cause, were unmistakable. On the sidelines of the AJIDFF, Qatar Today was given an exclusive interview with the unassuming Ahmed Mahfouz, Managing Director of AJ Documentary Channel, who shared the channel’s vision and philosophy. The AJIDFF occurs every year. Is there anything different in the festival this year? After the Arab uprising, there is a big question mark in the minds of the Arab people regarding the future of the Arab world. I think these revolutions are not going to be merely political revolutions but will also be a revolution in the people themselves. Hence this year’s theme symbolises the uncertainty, the big red light flashing in the minds of the Arab world about tomorrow. So this year’s theme, ‘Future’, is very important. Secondly, we invite filmmakers from different countries to join us at the festival and we do workshops with them. We try to use the festival to nurture our relationship and to clarify our direction and goals for the coming year. This year we made a change in our style of functioning. We have invited filmmakers from AJ English, AJ Arabic, the Balkans, Turkey and Kiswahili-speaking Africa. Same network, five different languages. We are now moving to a concept of integration, and this change in our working style will have a significant impact not only on AJ Documentary Channel’s relationship with the producers but also on the producers’ relationship with the entire AJ Media Network. This is a new concept which we are initiating and we hope it will be successful. The strategic plan with which AJ Documentary Channel is operating seems to be extremely impressive. What changes would you still like to see observed? After five years of working at AJ Documentary Channel, I think now is the time to transfer from the scope of business to the scope of industry. In the existing style,

producers would send us proposals, discuss budgets etc. Now, we want to push them to be able to operate at an international level and style. We want to enable the Arab film producers to move to the next stage of development, to be able to gain the skills for pitching ideas internationally. I have participated in a lot of pitching sessions all over the world and I have noticed that there are very few Arab producers at that level. We have now started to provide opportunities for development in this direction by bringing agencies here that will train the producers to acquire this talent and knowledge, to enable them to compete with their international counterparts. Can we get a peek into the next year’s theme? At AJ Documentary channel, we focus on social, traditional and other aspects so any kind of proposal is acceptable. However, we don’t promote a lot of political programmes – they are covered by AJ English and Arabic. We operate in another playground. We are the cultural bridge between the AJ Media Network and the rest of the world. We focus on the youth, especially after the Arab revolution. We have made it a point in our programming to schedule more programmes that will speak to the youth as well as projects that revolve around the topics of new media, the Internet, sports, rap and other music.

Ahmed Mahfouz Managing Director AJ Documentary Channel

Is the channel interested only in Arabiclanguage films? We accept all kinds of films from all over the world. About 60-65% of our programming comes from our acquisition department, yet we also have our own production division. We believe that our productions give us our identity, so they focus more on the social, political aspects of the Arab world, and at the same time we are trying to boost the filmmaking industry in the Arab world. We have more than 180 filmmakers all over the Arab world, but we accept movies from anywhere and then dub them to the Arabic language. Are films made in the Arab world being dubbed into other languages? Is there more that needs to be done in this direction? The AJDC is a pan-Arab channel, not just a

june 2012

Qatar Today 71


tag this

The winning list

T

he Aljazeera Golden Award in the long film category went to “1/2 a Revolution”, co-directed by Danish-Palestinian Omar Shargawi and Egyptian-American Karim El-Hakim. The film is a personal story about the filmmakers’ involvement in the Egyptian revolution. The title was chosen to suggest that the revolution is not quite over yet. . The documentary left behind 25 others in the category to bag the QR50,000 prize. The Netherlands entry “Permission to Engage” by Suchen Tan won in the medium film category while Kyrgyzstan’s “Nomadic” was the winner in the short film category. The former tells about the true meaning of war for the lives of Iraqis while the latter focuses on yak herders’ fight for survival against Nature’s wrath. “This is my land...Hebron”, produced by Italian Giulia Amati and Stephen Natanson, won in the long film category of the Jury Award and “Free Running Gaza” by George Azar took home the award in the short film section. An interesting common thread engrained in most of these different productions hailing from various parts of the world was unmistakably the call of the motherland, an underlying concern for the predicament of people affected by war and unnecessary

Qatari channel. We are working from Qatar but we also represent the rest of the Arab world. So yes, we do sell all our programmes on DVD to end users at home and think that is also compatible with our goals and with our message. We want to encourage the dialogue between us and the rest of the world and at the same time we want to be the bridge that carries our story across without

72 Qatar Today

june 2012

strife and an unspoken underlying concern for what the future might hold. “Fallujah – A Lost Generation”, which won the Public Liberties and Human Rights Award in the medium length category, is the outcome of director Feurat Alani’s “personal experience while working as a correspondent in Iraq during the war.” The story revolves around “the consequences of the US bombing on the civil population and especially the babies of Falluja. Birth defects and growing cancer affected Fallujah after the war,” says Alani. “This award means a lot for me and all Iraqis, especially because it is a human rights issue. It is recognition for Iraqis at war. Doing this film was a struggle because the subject is very sensitive and obstacles were in my way. Neither the US nor the Iraqi government was willing to talk,” he added. “Other Europe” and “The Gaza Monologues” were the other winners of the “Public Liberties and Human Rights” award in the long and short film categories respectively, while the latter also had the privilege of being the film screened at the opening night of the festival. This documentary introduces us to the therapeutic effect this play had on war-torn children, all while they were sharing with the world the experience of being under siege in Gaza.

diluting our identity. We want the rest of the world to see us from our point of view. Why is it important for the world to “see us from our point of view?” I think the world is curious about Arab people and it is the right time to show them our identity, without any stereotyping, so that they can see that we are more than just

“Camel and Sahara”, so they can see our traditions and how advanced we are as a civilisation. By that I don’t just mean our flash cars and impressive architecture but our culture and our roots, which is what gives us our identity. I think it is illogical to expect that someone else can speak about us better than we can ourselves. It is very important to us that the world knows us as we are


Tag this

Social TV is the Future

b

The concept of sitting around your television with friends and having a conversation is not new. ut Social TV is changing our cyber-livingroom, with increased interactivity with the content through the Internet. In broad terms, Social TV refers to technology that supports social interactions among viewers by the use of social media. In an attempt to bring back the social aspects of television that were lost with the introduction of multiple-screen homes, Social TV aims to connect viewers with their friends even when they are not watching together. As a concept, social television is not linked specifically to Internet TV, IP TV or Web TV. It is also not limited to a traditional home screen, but could be available on a desktop, mobile device, tablet computer or notebook. All the mobile devices are collectively known as the second screen. Many reality TV shows like The X-Factor have already begun to integrate Social TV either through polling or by integrating social elements within the show.

june 2012

Qatar Today 73


Tag this

News channels are also encouragingly using social media tools to gather content and interact with viewers. Integration of Twitter feed in news hour, and citizen journalism are good examples. Social TV is definitely the buzzword for the year 2012. Consumers are turning to the so-called second screen like never before. Using a laptop in front of the TV is not new behaviour. Every time a commercial plays on the television I switch back to my laptop. Television channels have yet to capitalise on the opportunity of interacting with the user when the commercials are on. A 2011 study conducted by Yahoo/Nielsen found that as many as 86% of viewers use mobile devices while watching TV. This may give a hint about the usage habits of a television viewer that cannot be ignored. Not being able to capitalise on the second screen during the advertisement breaks cedes it to Facebook and Twitter. Broadcasters get rewarded if they find a way to drive engagement and increase viewership. As per the research conducted by Nielsen, television shows that are widely discussed on social networks like Facebook and Twitter also tend to have higher ratings than other shows. I hope I have now justified why Social TV is a growing trend for the year 2012. How does a user socially interact with television shows? The known mediums are Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Forum. There are many Social TV apps that are generating organic content and allowing people to interact with the TV shows.

follow

www.twitter.com @kapilkb blog @ iwep.blogspot.com amateur photographer @earsplease. blogspot.com

IntoNow is a service that allows you to tell your friends what television shows and movies you’re watching in real time. You “check-in” by hitting a button and letting your phone listen to what you’re watching. Yahoo snatched up this audio-synchronisation app for QR75110 million last April, just 12 weeks after it was launched. GetGlue launched in 2008 as a platform on which you could “check-in” to television shows, books and movies, but TV quickly became its primary application. GetGlue, and another check-in app, Miso, have both closed funding rounds in recent months. Apple is also in the Social TV race. The much-hyped Apple TV sold 2.8 million of the boxes in the year that ended in September 2011. AirPlay, a software tool included with Apple’s iPads and iPhones, is widely viewed as being potentially disruptive to

the cable industry. AirPlay lets you wirelessly stream what’s on your iOS device to your HDTV and speakers via Apple TV, or mirror exactly what’s on your mobile display to the big screen.

In the Middle East region, Al Jazeera’s The Stream is doing an excellent job of combining social media and TV. The show producers thought of using the real-time and participatory nature of today’s Web to produce genuine content and build a community around it. They use Skype to conduct interviews with participants and Google+ Hangouts for group interviews, and Storify to curate social networks to build social stories. I personally have not come across a TV

show in the region that has integrated so many social media tools at the same time. Social TV primarily refers to the way that viewers use services like Twitter and Facebook to discuss or ‘“check in” television shows, which is happening increasingly on second screen devices like smartphones and tablets. With over 60 million people in the MENA region having access to the Internet comes an expected growth of social TV support that’s in line with global trends. Even though many people may not use check-in apps like GetGlue, the trend of using Facebook and Twitter to complement the television will grow on second screen devices.

By Kapil Bhatia Kapil Bhatia is an E-Business Manager, working in the Financial Services Industry for the past 10 years. His work ranges across Digital Marketing, e-Channels and development of marketing strategies, with a sound Information Technology base. TFour.me is an upcoming technology blog in the Middle East, where talk about Tech Entertainment, Social Networks, Digital Trends and list jobs. The blog would offer insightful analysis about Big Data and Internet industry and would feature Start ups in the Middle East region.

74 Qatar Today

june 2012


qatar today spotlight

Our Society Matters Qatar Today discusses CSR with companies who truly believe IN BEING RESPONSIBLE june 2012

Qatar Today 75


csr today

The progress so far and the way forward “Companies with their eye on their ‘triple-bottom-line’ outperform their less fastidious peers on the stock market” – The Economist. Triple bottom line  is usually referred to as the value attached to a company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors. The statement is proving right in the Middle East also.

by Sow mya S u n da r

C

orporate social responsibility (CSR) is no longer considered synonymous with charity. Companies take their CSR initiatives seriously as it has proved to add value to their businesses, open up new markets and create goodwill among stakeholders. Qatari companies, both state-owned and private, are taking a more focused approach to CSR by identifying key areas that best fit the organisation’s overall goals and taking steps to maximise the impact of their initiatives, and develop a model that will deploy resources most effectively. Be it Qtel, Vodafone Qatar, Qatar Financial Centre, Qatar National Bank, Qatar Airways, RasGas, Qatargas or Qatar Petroleum, they have all chosen to work with social communities to create a positive impact on their businesses. Be it supporting skill development, adopting cleaner technologies, recycling electronic waste or employee volunteer schemes, CSR is now a part of core business strategy and not an add-on. In Qatar, the approach to CSR is top-down. The Qatar National Vision 2030 sets specific goals for sustainable development and creates a broad framework for individual companies to choose an area that will fit into their business strategy. The country has taken long strides by creating awareness, introducing codes for corporate governance (CG) and developing standards for green buildings.

76 Qatar Today

june 2012


csr today

Regulatory changes a leap forward Since 2009, a number of regulatory changes have made a key difference. Two new CG codes, for publicly-listed companies, and banks and financial institutions, were introduced. It is now mandatory to publish a separate CG report along with the annual report. The CG report discloses key nonfinancial information that may affect stakeholders’ interest. Introduction of the Qatar

Country weights in the S&P ESG Pan Arab Index (After the rebalancing in Dec 2011) kuwait 3.2% morocco 7.33%

jordan 2.9%

bahrain 1.91% Saudi Arabia 28.49%

egypt 10.53%

UAE 22.77%

Qatar 22.87%

Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS), a code that mandates all buildings in Qatar to be constructed sustainably, is yet another landmark development. Taking their cue from Qatar’s environmental policy, organisations such as the Qatar Green Building Council and the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development are working with green entrepreneurs in the construction and real estate industry to incorporate green building technologies. For a country that is on the cusp of a

78 Qatar Today

june 2012

construction boom, imbibing sustainability practices at the budding stage is proving to be revolutionary. ESG indices tracking money In 2011, the Middle East got its first-ever Environmental, Social and Governance activities (ESG) index that tracks companies based on their ESG scores. ESG indices establish a benchmark for companies involved in CSR activities and acts as a reference for investors who consider ESG in their investment decisions. This was the first attempt in the Middle East to quantify a company’s non-financial parameters and link them to create value in the stock markets. Since the launch of the S&P/Hawkamah ESG Pan Arab Index in 2011, the index has outperformed the S&P Pan Arab Composite Index. During its recent rebalancing in December 2011, Qatar’s weighting in the index increased significantly. Qatar has secured the second position in the index in terms of weighting, a testimony to corporate Qatar’s ongoing CSR efforts. The index has two Qatari companies – Qtel and Al Khaliji Bank – in the top 10. Al Khaliji secured a position in the top 10 during the recent rebalance, recognising the company’s CSR initiatives in the past year. There are 12 Qatari companies in the 50-stock index as compared to six last year – a significant move that not only takes cognisance of Corporate Qatar’s CSR initiatives but also adds value to these companies. Elevation within the index can mean more institutional interest in the stock, which might ultimately lead to value creation for its shareholders, proving that companies with a triple bottom line  do shine in the markets. The recent announcement by Barclays Bank and MCSI of the creation of a family of co-branded global ESG fixed income indices also proves the rising interest in ESG among the investing community. World over, assets worth approximately QR80 trillion ($22 trillion) are expected to be chasing socially responsible investments, that is more than 10% of the total global capital markets. This market is expected to grow to account for 15-20% of the global market by 2015. As money starts flowing into responsible companies, notching its way up the ESG index can help a company get access to cheap funds to fund its growth plans.


csr today

Greater awareness, maturing attitude There is greater awareness among the business community regarding CSR. The KPMG International Corporate Responsibility Reporting Survey 2011 established that CR reporting enhances financial value due to direct cost savings and enhanced reputation in the market. This thought is echoed across a large number of companies in the Middle East too. A number of state-owned companies publish their CSR activities on their website. For example QNB, Qatar Airways and RasGas have dedicated sections on their websites that disclose their CSR activities. However, detailed disclosures about the amount spent and its impact on the company are hard to come by, leaving room for further improvement.

Weights at launch in February 2011 jordan 4.8%

bahrain 3.7%

oman 5.3%

Saudi Arabia 30.3%

morocco 7%

kuwait 11%

qatar 11.2%

UAE 14.7% egypt 12.2%

Better reporting Qatari companies have yet to embrace reporting standards. For example, only one Qatari company, Qafco, has published its sustainability report, according to GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), a global organisation that produces one of the world’s

80 Qatar Today

june 2012

most prevalent standards for sustainability reporting. A quick browsing of the annual reports of listed companies reveals that, not many companies discuss their CSR activities in the reports. For example, Al Khaliji Bank and Qtel, both among the top 10 stocks in the ESG Pan Arab Index, have included a section on their CSR activities, and Qtel has disclosed the total amount spent on CSR activities during the year. However, more work needs to be done to quantify and report the effects of a company’s CSR activities on its business. It can be made mandatory to file sustainability reports as it raises awareness and leads to greater sustainability efforts. CSR Audit A number of sustainability professionals have advocated the concept of a CSR audit for firms. A CSR audit aims to identify environmental, social or governance risks faced by the organisation and evaluate managerial performance based on ESG criteria. There are various international standards against which a CSR audit can take place, such as Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative and the Good Business framework. Effective implementation There is a strong feeling that more needs to be done to improve policy frameworks and issue guidelines for better ESG practices. Dr Nasser Saidi, Executive Director, Hawkamah Institute of Corporate Governance, suggests that sovereign wealth funds formally incorporate ESG into their investment decisions by investing in companies that are part of the ESG index. He also suggests that an SME CG code be introduced akin to that for listed companies and financial institutions to improve disclosure for small and medium enterprises (SME). The Social Development Council (SDC) recommends that a regulatory body be created to oversee the strategies employed by companies to prioritise CSR and include it as one of the prime elements in their operational plans. It also strongly advises the adoption of Qatarisation as a primary CSR objective for both public and private companies. The Ministry of Business and Trade is currently working on local standards for CSR. The country appears to be on the right path to sustainability. It’s a long ride and the journey has just begun


csr today

Oryx GTL’s four pillars of society ORYX GTL has incorporated a diverse Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, which defines its obligations to consider the interests of its stakeholders and the social and environmental consequences of its business activities.

T

he plan intends to work on four different levels, also known as the “four pillars”, as identified by the Qatar National Vision 2030. The pillars consist of human, social, economic and environmental development. Driven by its commitment to the community, Oryx GTL considers CSR an integral part of its superior organisational governance and best practice in business. Human development – investing in people for a brighter future The goal of human development is the development of the people to sustain a pros-

82 Qatar Today

june 2012

perous society. As a continuation of its corporate citizenship, it is proud to be part of an exclusive group of official sponsors for the 2010 National Day Celebrations Organising Committee. These celebrations aim to preserve and reflect Qatar’s national identity and the traditions and values of Qatari society, while at the same time allowing for the implementation of modern processes to realise sustainable development, which is an integral part of the Qatar National Vision 2030. Within the framework of its programmes to support Qatari society, it has concentrat-


csr today

ed efforts to attract young, skilled Qataris to train them further. This includes sponsoring students to attend international conferences and introduce them to the latest technologies, developments and practices worldwide, thereby planting the seeds for development of intellectual capital and best practice standards. For example, it sponsored students to attend the conference of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and the 2011 XTL conference. This CSR has also been reinforced through the company’s recent establishment of a Mechanical Engineering Chair at Qatar University. Recently, in an effort to benefit students with special needs, to facilitate their transportation within the vicinity of their university and create easier access to amenities, Oryx GTL collaborated with Qatar University to provide club cars, which are meant to serve boys and girls under direct supervision of the student affairs department. A healthy mind a healthy body, as the saying goes. This is why sports activities are also part of its CSR programme and it is sponsoring Al-Khuraytiat Sports Club for the period 2010-2014. This year it extended its sponsorship to the female football team. This is in keeping with previous efforts to promote sports, such as its donation to the Qatar Sailing and Rowing Federation for the IODA Asian Games in autumn 2008. Social development – underpinning our faith in family Oryx GTL’s CSR programme for social development emphasises that the family and its well-being constitute the first element in building a society based on a solid foundation. To help achieve this strategic goal, it has committed itself to support organisations that improve opportunities for people who live in Qatar. By effectively participating in broad community social development programmes, from donations to health organisations and actively supporting safety awareness campaigns to visits and social activities with various sectors in need, it aims to make a positive difference to Qatar’s society. For instance, we have been working closely with Qatar Red Crescent, which received financing for the campaign “Gates of Goodness in Ramadan”, along with other

charity projects including child cardiac operations and eye surgery, which help underprivileged children to regain their health. Oryx GTL’s contributions and activities are designed to support Qatari civil society organisations to improve opportunities for people who live in Qatar. A sponsorship programme has been implemented with Qatar Diabetes Association as well as executing shared programmes within the organisation itself, for the benefit of its employees. They have come together to increase awareness about caring for diabetic children by publishing English and Arabic brochures on the subject and distributing them to all schools. Oryx GTL’s CSR initiatives are not only limited to campaigns, donations and mate-

Economic development – securing a high standard of living Last year, HE the Minister of State for Interior Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani recognised the efforts of Oryx GTL in supporting the national economy and praised its vital role in promoting the security awareness initiatives carried out among community members. HE the Minister honoured the organisation, particularly for its support for the successful traffic awareness campaign “Accident-Free Summer 2010”, that was organised by the National Campaign for Road Accidents Prevention. Oryx GTL’s CSR programme made donations to the Traffic Department, helping finance the yearly national campaign as well as the Traffic De-

ORYX GTL partners with the Green Programme for Schools

The Green Programme for Schools (GPS) is an environmental initiative of Msheireb Properties in association with Qatar Today magazine, which aims to reach, inspire and reward students and schools in Qatar by meaningfully engaging and inculcating in them the importance of building a green culture. As a sub-programme, Oryx GTL is sponsoring an energy awareness campaign to enhance environmental awareness and culture in Qatar. By committing as Gold Sponsor, Oryx GTL aims to raise awareness about greener energies, in line with the Qatar environmental goals in its National Vision 2030. Oryx GTL believes in the power of youth, and that sustainable growth can only be accomplished through education. For this campaign, which intends to educate students about energy, educational and information boards will be placed in all participating schools. As part of the campaign, there will be quiz competitions, a slogan-writing contest, and other events with prizes for the best performances.

rial support, but also include activities such as visits to Qatar Foundation for Elderly People Care and the Qatar Society for Rehabilitation of Special Needs, for whom additional medical equipment was purchased. Such contributions reflect its role in providing support to members of Qatari society – especially vulnerable groups – and demonstrates its recognition of the work undertaken by these associations. Besides supporting charitable and nonprofit organisations, it has provided moral and educational support to the Qatari community by offering workshops that educate and raise awareness on health and environmental issues.

partment’s summer campaign at malls and commercial centres during the months of June and July. To further strengthen Qatar’s economic status by developing job opportunities for Qataris, Oryx GTL’s support and participation at the 2011 Qatar Career Fair gave nationals the opportunity to apply for positions within prestigious companies to integrate them into the working environment. This opportunity will not only make them realise their true potential in the workplace but can help to cement Qatar’s position as the GTL capital of the world. Qatar’s thriving economy can also meet the needs of the people by providing educational opportunities to contribute to

june 2012

Qatar Today 83


csr today

their future. In the education sector, its CSR programme facilitated pupils’ enrolment at Qatar Academy for intensive summer courses through sponsorship via Qatar Foundation’s Al Khor Academy. Furthermore, Oryx GTL supported Qatar Foundation’s Learning Centre to further develop its training programmes through providing advanced special education materials for reading and writing, in addition to technical training for the centre’s staff – mainly administrative skills and computer data entry. Environmental development – protecting the environment is our fundamental duty Protection and conservation of the environ-

Oryx GTL has concentrated efforts to attract young, skilled Qataris to further train them. This includes sponsoring THEM to attend international conferences and introduce them to the latest technologies, developments and practices worldwide, thereby planting the seeds for the development of intellectual capital and best practice standards.

ment forms one of the main pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030. Its support in this area reflects our genuine commitment and contribution to add to Qatar’s vision. Qatar is considered one of the first countries in the region to initiate a major interest in the Arabian oryx and preserve it from extinction. For that reason, the Sector of Natural Reserves was established under the Ministry of Environment to take care of the oryx with the latest scientific methods. The Arabian oryx is considered one of Qatar’s national wildlife animals. It’s part of the Antelope class and known as “Al-Wodeihy” (Arabic for “clear”). This name has been given to it because of its clear markings. It has a white silvery colour covering its entire body, while some areas of the head and the tip of the tail are covered with black and white hairs, with brown spots on the face and legs and bluish spots around the nose and eyes. The Oryx has been adopted and cared for by Qatar as a potent symbol of its com-

84 Qatar Today

june 2012

mitment to save this precious species from extinction. Oryx GTL is proud of its support to the Sector of Natural Reserves in the Ministry of Environment to ensure that one of the most important environmental symbols for preservation and conservation is actively maintained and supported. Oryx GTL’s would also like to point out that its products are the most environmentally friendly of their type and the company has been awarded the ISO 14001 for the environment since its first operational year. In conclusion, the four pillars are the corners that will continue to hold up its society and pave the way for a prosperous and healthy future for Qatar. Oryx GTL wants to be part of that process, not only contributing to the economy but also to Qatari people and the company’s own staff. As an example, its CSR programme has paid special attention to the country’s northern area, engaging in the Community Outreach Programme (COP) to execute educational, social and investment programmes for the welfare of the people in association with Qatar Petroleum’s Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC). The COP has identified the need to establish closer interactions and build better working relationships and manage the expectations of the communities of Al Khor, Al Dhakira and the north in general. With these activities and commitments, it is actively engaged with other COP parties in executing environmental, safety, health and educational programmes that have direct benefit to the northern communities of Qatar and to raise awareness in these locations. Supporting the Awsaj Academy On March 29, Awsaj Academy welcomed the official visit of Oryx GTL’s CEO, Abdulrahman M. Al-Suwaidi, a special guest and an important partner to the Academy, where Dr Ralph Pruitt, director at the academy, expressed his deep appreciation for Oryx GTL’s generous donations that continue to support and strengthen Awsaj Academy’s programmes and initiatives. In its turn, Al–Suwaidi made it clear that Oryx GTL’s goal is to reach out and support Qatar’s community and to explore new opportunities and initiatives that will broaden and deepen their current partnership


csr today

Qatar Shell Investing in the future Qatar is embarking on an era of remarkable economic development and growth under the vision of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani that aims to diversify the country’s economy and generate value from Qatar’s natural resources for the benefit of not only the current generation but future generations as well.

Above: Shell and Qatar Petroleum agree to establish a Centre of Excellence, Tafawoq. Right: Shell have their own demonstation at the Scuderia Ferrari Demo on the Corniche earlier this year; and local children particiapate in a quiz challenge about road safety.

s

hell is the largest foreign investor in Qatar and has invested up to QR76 billion in the last six years. While sustainable development and social responsibility are an integral part of Shell’s business principles, its business strategies are geared to support the Qatar National Vision 2030 and Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 to ensure lasting and sustainable benefits. As part of this commitment Shell has embarked on a number of projects that are set to make a difference, both in the country’s short and the long-term future.

86 Qatar Today

june 2012

Qatarisation Qatar Shell aims to become the employer of choice for Qatari nationals, who will lead the delivery and operation of Shell’s current and future projects. Shell’s commitment to Qatarisation is seen in its ability to attract bright local talents and train and equip them to become future leaders. Shell has been recognised for its efforts by Qatar and was awarded the Qatarisation Awards for three consecutive years from 2009 to 2011, becoming the only multinational company in the country to win this honour three years in a row.

Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre Shell has established a world-class research and development facility and learning centre, known as the Qatar Shell Research amd Technology Centre, which is located at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). The facility includes a learning centre that offers courses to 2,000 participants per year and is one of Shell’s premier learning hubs in the region. Shell is committed to spending QR364 million over 10 years at this world-class research facility. Through the facility, Shell is pursuing advanced research that covers GTL catalysts,


csr today

delivering novel uses for sulphur, carbonate reservoirs and carbon dioxide storage. Tafawoq Recently Qatar Petroleum and Shell launched a unique initiative to establish and operate a regionally recognised Project Management Centre of Excellence, known as Tafawoq, which is the Arabic equivalent of “excellence”. The centre is a partnership between the two companies and will provide Qatar with a centre for competence development in management of capital projects and associated supply chain to enable a much more professional project delivery in Qatar. Its first learning programme, “Essentials of Project Management” was launched by HE Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Min-

ister of Energy and Industry, and Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum, and Wael Sawan, Shell’s Executive VicePresident, Qatar, on April 30, 2012. The programme is currently attended by 26 project professionals from Qatar Petroleum, Qatargas and Shell. Several other courses are being tailored to Tafawoq requirements and will be available in the second half of 2012. Shell Eco-marathon Shell has partnered with universities in Qatar to encourage students to participate in the Shell Eco-marathon, a global challenge to design, build and test ultra-fuel-efficient vehicles. This event also helps technical students develop a range of important nonengineering skills such as project management, teamwork, leadership, marketing,

communications, sponsorship and finance. On April 30, 2012 QSTP and Shell signed an agreement with Qatar University and Texas A&M University at Qatar under which students from both universities will participate in the Shell Eco-marathon Asia this year. Both institutions competed in the Ecomarathon Europe last year, making them the first teams from the Middle East ever to compete in this global competition. This year, the universities from Qatar will compete at the Eco-marathon Asia that is set to take place this summer from July 4-7 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For the record, the most fuel-efficient car ever designed by a Shell Eco-marathon student team was capable of driving 4,896 kilometres on a litre of fuel – the equivalent of driving from Doha to Paris. Road safety Through rapid development and an increase in the population, road safety has become a greater challenge in Qatar. The government has made great strides in tackling this problem in recent years. Qatar Shell believes it can play a role by sharing its best practice and global experience in this important area. Shell has driven over 300 million kilometres in the past six years of its project in Qatar without a serious injury, setting a best standard on road safety performance in the industry. At a global level, road safety is one of Shell’s social investment themes where considerable experience has been gained through implementing successful programmes in countries where Shell operates, and involving more than one billion kilometres driven each year. In March, Qatar Shell sponsored and participated in the 28th GCC Traffic Week, organised by the Ministry of Interior, to reach out and engage with the Qatari community in an effort to reduce road accidents. Shell will be working with the National Traffic Safety Committee for Road Safety to conduct in-depth research on public perception s on road safety and will use the findings to plan future public information campaigns. These projects are planting seeds of change that will bear fruit in the future. By investing now, Shell is working to help Qatar achieve its targeted changes and make a difference for the future, and will contribute towards realising the goals envisioned in the Qatar National Vision 2030

june 2012

Qatar Today 87


green scene

25,000

school students become

green ambassadors

o

fficials from the Green Programme for Schools (GPS) visited the Doha Modern Indian School (DMIS) and Gharnata School for Girls to monitor the GPS execution in each school. Launched on June 5, 2011, GPS is the first environmental initiative for students in Qatar, with around 25,000 students joining the campaign to date. The year-long programme aims to ‘Reach, Inspire and Reward’ students and schools by meaningfully engaging young people and inculcating in their minds the importance of building green equity. The visit was part of the ongoing monitoring stage among participating schools for the GPS initiative led by Msheireb Properties in association with Qatar Today magazine and supported by the Supreme Education Council. Officials included Jawaher Al-Khuzaei (Communications Manager of Msheireb Properties), Nawal Al-Kowary (from the Supreme Education Council’s Communications and Information Office), Ravi Raman (Vice-President of Oryx Advertising Company) and Amanat Solanki (CEO of Mission 20). The GPS officials appreciated and encouraged students and the faculty for their active participation in the programme. Certificates were also awarded to students who

90 Qatar Today

june 2012

put their suggestions in the GPS idea boxes placed in the campus. Addressing the students, Al-Khuzaei said: “Your passion for environmental conservation deserves a big thank you and sets a wonderful example to fellow students in Qatar. Your suggestions are very important, as new ideas are essential to enhance our efforts toward building a better planet. It is amazing to see so many young people take on this responsibility through our GPS campaign.” Meanwhile Raman added: “I see among you the kind of enthusiasm and initiative that I wouldn’t find in anyone else, which is an amazing testament to your capability and awareness. The GPS cannot work without your support. We encourage you to make this environmental initiative a habit and a responsibility.”  Commenting on the school visits, AlKowary said: “Both schools have successfully contributed in achieving the objectives of the GPS. I am pleased that the Gharnata School, despite being an old building, has taken efforts to deploy eco-friendly technology. This programme has encouraged not just students but also school staff and other GPS members to be more eco-conscious. I

wish the programme continued success for the future.” Based on pre-determined criteria, the participating schools will be monitored and evaluated for a year on water and electricity conservation, paper recycling and reuse initiatives by GPS, involving officials from Msheireb Properties, Qatar Today magazine, Qatar Green Building Council and other technical members. The best-performing schools in these categories will be awarded the title of Eco School of the Year. In addition, each school will also have strategically placed pledge boards, suggestion boxes and creative stickers inside the college that would constantly remind and encourage students to utilise resources carefully

To know more about the programme,

To know more about GPS,

visit the GPS page at http://www. facebook.com/GPSQatar.

contact 44550983


braking news

riding high with islamic investments

34

Alfardan Automobiles welcomes the all-new BMW 320i

a

lfardan Automobiles, the official importer of BMW Group in Qatar, recently announced the arrival of the all-new BMW 320i in its showrooms to complete the 3 Series model range with BMW 328i and BMW 335i. Having sold 12.5 million cars since its launch in 1975, the BMW 3 Series continues to be BMW Group’s worldwide best-selling model series, consistently accounting for more than a quarter of the company’s global sales. With the addition of the BMW 320i, BMW Group is expanding its 3 Series product offering and making the world’s best-selling premium car even more accessible to a wider customer audience across the region. Commenting on the BMW 320i’s arrival, Dr Joerg Breuer, Managing Director, BMW Group Middle East, said: “The BMW 3 Series has been riding the wave of success ever since its launch 37 years ago – in fact, every third BMW sold in 2011 was a 3 Series.” Performance and technology have always been key areas of expertise for the BMW brand, and agility and driving dynamics remain outstanding attributes of the new BMW 3 Series. Customers

can now choose from two powerful TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engines – 320i and 328i – and the six-cylinder 335i that all come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and TwinPower Turbo engine technology, offering more EfficientDynamics technology to make the new 3 Series more powerful and fuel-efficient.

Al-Gharafa crowned Volkswagen Junior Masters Champions

a

l-Gharafa Sports Club won the Volkswagen Junior Masters Middle East Championship at the third annual soccer competition, which took place in Dubai over the weekend. Held at the Jebel Ali International Shooting Club and Centre of Excellence, 160 players in 10 teams from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE took part in the soccer tournament with Al-Gharafa progressing to the Volkswagen Junior World Masters finals to be held in Poland at the beginning of June. Commenting on this year’s competition, Karsten Jankowski, Marketing Director, Volkswagen Middle East, said: “The Junior Masters tournament, now in its third year, brings together the best teams in youth soccer from around the region. All teams displayed great sportsmanship, as well as demonstrating excellent soccer skills on the pitch. Congratulations to Al-Gharafa Sports Club; I look forward to charting your progress at the World Masters in Poland.”

92 Qatar Today

june 2012


br a k i n g n e w s

New Audi A4 launched at Saad Buzwair Automotive

a

bestseller is now even more attractive. The new Audi A4 has a new drivetrain, chassis and infotainment solutions, with an even more attractive design, which attest the “Vorsprung durch Technik”. Now in its eighth generation, the A4 is the worldwide best-selling Audi model, while over the past 39 years Audi has sold roughly 10 million units of the A4 and its

predecessor, the Audi 80. The design is even cleaner and more distinctive with pronounced horizontal lines at the front and a revised engine hood, bumpers and single-frame grille. The xenon plus headlights, LED daytime running lights and tail lights with LED strips have also been updated. The interior of the Audi A4 is now more elegant than ever. Many control elements are framed in chrome; the

steering column stalks, ignition key and the ergonomics of the optional MMI navigation plus infotainment system have been redesigned. Further improvements have been made in the operation of the automatic transmission, the air conditioning system, Audi drive select and the leather multifunction steering wheel as well as the interior colours and upholstery range. The Audi A4 update has reduced fuel consumption levels by 11%, despite the increased power and torque. In the Middle East, it’s available with a 1.8 TFSI entry level engine with 120 hp and a higher-powered 1.8 TFSI which produces 170 hp. A 2.0 TFSI with 211 hp and quattro four-wheel drive, as well as a top-of-the-line 3.0 TFSI quattro, which has a supercharged V6 producing 272 hp, are also available. All engines feature forced induction and direct injection for tremendous pulling power, and come standard with the start-stop system. The two front-wheel drive models of the Audi A4 family feature the constantly variable multitronic transmission as a standard, while the quattro versions have the seven-speed S tronic on board.

Audi Q3 added to Middle East SUV range

a

udi’s new compact SUV, the Q3, has arrived in the Qatari market. Following the success of the company’s Q5 and Q7 SUV models, which made up 30% of total Middle East sales in the first four months of 2012, Audi is placing high hopes on its first SUV in the compact segment. Jeff Mannering, Managing Director of Audi Middle East, said: “The demand for both the Audi Q5 and the Q7 still outstrips supply. We are constantly negotiating with the factory for higher allocations for the Middle East markets, even though the new generations of the Q5 and Q7 are expected only in 2013 and early 2015 respectively. We are positive that the new Audi Q3 will fare equally well.” The Q3 is immediately recognisable as the youngest member of the large Audi family. Every aspect of it showcases Audi technology – the body, the drivetrain, the chassis and the assistance and multimedia systems. The coupe-like lines are an expression of its sporty character. The Audi Q3 offers ample room for all five passengers and sets new standards for ergonomics and workmanship as well as countless possibilities for customers to express their own personal style. The luggage compartment of the compact SUV has a capacity of 460 litres, which can be increased to 1,365 litres. Many useful options, including a pass-through hatch, make the Q3 even more versatile and convenient in everyday use. The Audi Q3 comes with a generously long list of standard equip-

ment, including 17-inch alloy wheels, the concert audio system as well as ISOFIX child seat mounting. Audi also offers a choice of optional equipment taken directly from the luxury class, including the adaptive light system, the high-beam assistant, the panoramic glass roof and the comfort key. For the Middle East, the standard settings also include heat-insulating glass and a deluxe automatic air conditioning that considers the position of the sun and humidity.

june 2012

Qatar Today 93


br a k i n g n e w s

New Chevrolet Malibu makes its Doha debut

j

aidah Automotive – a subsidiary of the long-established and influential conglomerate Jaidah Group – has announced the arrival of Chevrolet’s all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu in Qatar. The Malibu provides customers with expressive design, advanced technologies, ride performance and fuel-efficient powertrains. More than 8.5 million Malibus have been produced since its debut in 1964, and the all-new eighth-generation 2013 Malibu retains the ‘DNA’ of the award-laden seventh generation, but made even better with improvements across the board.

The sedan reveals a bold new look with aggressive, sporty design cues sitting atop a range of 16-, 17- or 18-inch wheels. The new bodystyle not only looks good, but its aerodynamic qualities – honed by more than 400 hours of wind tunnel testing – produce a drag coefficient of .29 cd – the same figure as the very sleek Corvette sports car. Interior volume is increased by 113 litres, the quality of cabin materials has been uprated throughout, and it offers the quietest ride in its segment through the use of components that prevent tyre, wind and road noise from entering the cabin. A richer complement of interior details – including high-tech lighting elements – and highquality materials support the Malibu’s more sophisticated presence. In Europe, the Malibu has already received the highestpossible rating (five stars) in European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) testing. In South Korea, the Malibu received the highest safety evaluation in the Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR) test conducted by the world-

Honda Introduces the 2012 CR-V

t

he fourth-generation CR-V made its debut at a function hosted by Doha Marketing Services Company WLL (Domasco), exclusive agents of Honda in Qatar. The new CR-V will be available for customers in three different grades – LX, EX and EX-Leather. Globally, the CR-V has been recognised as a pioneer of compact SUV. Since its first launch in 1996, over five million CR-Vs have been sold, which implies it has global ap-

94 Qatar Today

june 2012

peal in terms of design, quality, refinement and popularity. Building on this solid reputation, the all-new CR-V now enters into its fourth generation with enhanced exterior aesthetics, car-like interior comfort, innovative features and a smoother and quieter ride. It’s designed to offer urban sophistication and exceed customer expectations of a five-seater compact SUV. “We are delighted with the local response to the all-new CR-V as its pending arrival became known some weeks back,” said Greig Roffey, Sales and Marketing Manager for DomascoHonda. “The all-new CR-V was launched earlier in some international markets with rave reviews, and it has already received a number of prestigious awards. We immediately started getting enquiries from local customers, and as early as six weeks ago we started taking orders for this fabulous new SUV,” he revealed.

renowned Korea Insurance Development Institute. Waleed Al Sayed, General Sales Manager of Jaidah Automotive, hailed the arrival of the 2013 Malibu, saying: “It’s a superb automobile – available from this month exclusively in Jaidah’s showrooms. With expressive styling, a comfortable cabin, outstanding ride and handling, and topnotch safety, we are certain that the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will meet – and exceed – our customers’ expectations.”

Road Safety campaign launched

A

bdullah Abdulghani & Bros Co. (AAB), sole agents for Toyota and Lexus vehicles in Qatar, in association with the Traffic Department and the Ministry of Interior, is launching a traffic safety campaign aimed at educating drivers on safe driving and strictly following the traffic rules and regulations. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Nasser Abdulghani Abdulghani, Managing Director, AAB, said: “AAB is happy to join hands with the Traffic Department to launch this unique campaign as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.” Dr Nasser added that it is the corporate policy of AAB to contribute to society, especially when it comes to subjects related to traffic safety, as they always believe education is the best means to save valuable human lives. Dr Nasser lauded the efforts of the Traffic Department in educating the public on safe driving and following traffic rules and regulations which have really brought down the accidents in the country. The campaign is jointly organised by AAB and the Traffic Department wherein the Traffic Patrol team will spot five safe drivers every week who drive their vehicles safely by obeying all traffic rules and regulations. The safe drivers will be awarded a gift voucher by AAB and a certificate of appreciation jointly signed by the Traffic Department and AAB. This campaign will run for six months.


br a k i n g n e w s

Harleying

all the way The invite simply said: “We will take you on a journey to help you understand what makes Harley-Davidson unique, with an insight into what we mean when we say ‘Freedom of the Open Road’” – and how true it was! The blissful open road from Dubai to Oman was the perfect medium to experience my maiden adventure on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, writes QATAR TODAY ’S MOTORING CORRESPONDENT.

96 Qatar Today

june 2012


br a k i n g n e w s

lthough I physically only hopped onto a Harley when I got to Dubai, the excitement of riding one from Dubai to Oman began a week before, and I still hadn’t got over it a week later! A fish out of water is how I’d describe myself as I walked into the Harley-Davidson office in Dubai. There I was, amongst all these HOGs – not the animal kind, but the die-hard Harley bikers - and my eyes were immediately attracted to their jackets that were slapped with badges endorsing their riding convoys and road trips around the world. Mine was a sheen leather jacket which I borrowed from a friend of mine and the only badge was the brand of the jacket. Anyway, the welcome was warm and accommodating and after a brisk halfhour we were down at the parking lot ready to take on the road. Seeing all the bikes parked right beside each other, the V-Rod had an immediate magnetic effect on me, but within minutes I was part of the pack riding towards the breathtaking Musandam peninsula. All the way it was total freedom on the open road – my machine, God and me, nothing else in between.

The V-Rod The look of the V-Rod will dissuade anyone from calling it a ‘Harley’. In fact, one of my co-riders – a die-hard Harley rider – told me that when this model was first introduced many did not accept it a part of the Harley family. I have to agree that the whole design, its look and feel, is very different from a traditional H-D motorcycle, but riding it is just an awesome experience, especially if you are a speed-seeker. Although I would have loved to ride this all the way (selfishly), I could not deprive my co-riders of enjoying this VRSCDX Night Rod Special. Yes, that’s what it’s called! Dark and sinister, the restyled Night Rod Special features a new tapered tail section, lighter-weight wheels and improved ergonomics with reduced reach to both the rider footpegs and the handlebar. The inverted front forks and retuned rear suspension enhance the whole riding and handling. This is a blacked-out, dead-on power cruiser in every sense. The matt coated paint only adds to its look and personality.

TECH SPEC Rubber-mounted, liquid-cooled, 1250cc Revolution engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI); 125 hp @ 8,250 rpm; 82 ft.lbs (111 Nm) @ 7,250 rpm. The new features incluide: Black, split five-spoke cast aluminium wheels are 1.4 kg lighter than previous wheels. Tapered tail section with flush-mount LED tail light. Pullback handlebar places controls three inches (7.62cm) closer to the rider. Reduced-reach, forward-mounted rider footpegs. Inverted front forks. Two-up seat with custom stitching. Graphics, including V-Rod 10th anniversary emblem. 240mm-wide rear tyre

june 2012

Qatar Today 97


br a k i n g n e w s

Dyna Fat Bob The Harley-Davidson Dyna FXDF Fat Bob comes with a pretty unique name, but what’s more unique is the bike itself. This custom cruising machine is made of stuff that riders of all shapes and sizes absolutely love to sit on. With its drag-style handlebar, forwardmounted foot controls and its two-up seat, this machine creates an aggressive riding experience and surely commands respect. The Dyna Fat Bob’s characteristics emphasise character aggression, balanced by a 130mm-wide front tyre with a gnarly, robust tread pattern. The new model presents a sporty front fender with painted brace supports, a one-up, two-piece Dyna classic seat, a chrome “Tommy Gun” 2-1-2 collector exhaust system with dual mufflers – although you may still want to have your ear-plugs in during a long journey, as I did. Right at the belly of the engine is a new rubber-mounted 1690cc Twin Cam 103 V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI). The engine is capable of delivering 92 ft.lbs of torque, providing enough muscle power to make other bikes of its class simply envious. Making it more impressive for the Dyna Fat Bob is that its engine has been mated to a six-speed Cruise Drive transmission, making it an extremely comfortable cruise in comparison to the V-Rod. I guess when Harley-Davidson designed the 2012 Dyna FXDF Fat Bob, they had one clear-cut mission in mind: to make the bike as fat and meaty as possible. I would think that with this machine they have managed to exceed even their own lofty expectations.

98 Qatar Today

june 2012

Fat Boy The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy is one of the original heavyweight boulevard cruisers, providing motorcyclists with all the “fat” essentials – 200mm rear tyre, low-profile wide bars and super-fat fenders. The legendary Fat Boy motorcycle that defined the “fat custom” category was a thrill to ride. Everything of this machine can be coined as “fat” – the tyres, bars, fender and the big, powerful, black powdercoated, counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B engine. This model is the very definition

The Harley-Davidson Dyna FXDF Fat Bob comes with a pretty unique name, but what’s more unique is the bike itself. This custom cruising machine is made of stuff that riders of all shapes and sizes absolutely crave.

of a heavyweight motorcycle, with a bold styling statement and a wide, comfortable riding stance. The 2012 models continue this fat tradition, but with the addition of an even fatter powerplant. Replacing the 96 V-Twin for 2012 is the counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B engine. The 103 V-Twin, which pushes

98.7 ft.lbs of torque, is hooked to a six-speed Cruise Drive transmission, which provides optimal gearing. It also offers a larger readout on the odometer with more information, such as gear and rpm data, plus the internally-wired 1.25-inch low handlebar, with the option of a security package and ABS. All this technology works seamlessly into the exquisite styling in a way that only Harley-Davidson can deliver. I have to say the Fat Boy is extremely heavy to push around when it’s stationed, but on the move it’s as if you are gliding through the wind with utmost ease. Musandam – the “Norway of Arabia” Our final destination was Musandam, an exclave of Oman, which is the smallest and most northerly region of Oman. The entire Musandam road (the climb) is basically flanked by the magnificent mountain range that dominates the landscape. To the other side of the road are breathtaking snapshots of the beach that display shades of green and blue water. The route was never short of long narrow gorges and ear touching round hairpin bends, which made the ride that much more adventurous and exhilarating. For those who have been to the Grand Canyon or seen its pictures (like I have), well, I have to say that some points of the gorgeous Musandam road are no different. A post on my Facebook page by a friend who watches far too many action movies summed this whole experience of mine most perfectly (or maybe a bit too far): “A lone rider, a renegade, a man of law seeking outlaws, with a licence to ride the ultimate two-wheel machine in total freedom.” Doesn’t that sound like an intro line out of an action movie to you?


br a k i n g n e w s

Packing it all in

Rory Coen tries to justify the additional ‘a’s in the new Nissan Sunny caaaaar, and he succeeds

10 0 Qatar Today

june 2012

“i

t’ s not just a car, it s a caaaaar,” say Nissan. I thought their marketing department were aiming their all-new Sunny at the pirates of the Gulf. I wasn’t quite sure what else this slogan could have been about, so I did some further investigation.  “The Sunny is the latest generation of a great tradition, and as reliable as ever. But the world has changed and life is getting grander. It is more comfortable, more spa-


br a k i n g n e w s

Sunny 1.5 S spec 1.5 4 litre DOHC

cylinder engine

5 4

Speed manual transmission or

Speed automatic AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary audio input jack cious, than ever, which makes your journey all the more enjoyable. It’s more than just a car, it s a caaaaar....,” explained the manual. Well, I took the caaaaar out for a spin around the chewed-up roads of Doha not so long ago, starting out at their premises on the Al Sadd road with a mind to take it out towards the Aquapark. I was in two minds about taking a dip once I was out there, such was the intense heat of the afternoon, but the air conditioner, which really is the most important aspect of a car’s make-up in Qatar, worked a treat and cooled me off in a matter of seconds. Maybe that’s what one of the extra ‘a’s stood for, I immediately thought. It wasn’t long before I understood what another one of the ‘a’s stood for: anti-lock braking system. If people’s lives weren’t in danger, you’d have to applaud the creative driving you see on the roads of Doha. A manoeuvre, which I’m sure I saw on Too Fast Too Furious  last month triggered a chain of reactions from a series of drivers which forced me into a sudden stop. Yep, the brakes work, I noted. No need for any further testing here.  A quick look at the manual later told me:  An advanced system reads how quickly the brakes are engaged, immediately applying the maximum available power boost for optimum braking. The Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) shortens braking distance by adjusting brake proportioning to compensate for added weight from pas-

sengers or cargo . Yeah, right, I said. Any closer and I would have got a paragraph on the airbags.  So, with my heart in my mouth for the next few minutes, I made my way out of town by the durable Al Sadd road. The stopping and starting, and the waiting and wondering, gave me a chance to fiddle around with some of the controls and buttons that decorated the dash and steering wheel. I think what impressed me the most was the Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, which I hadn’t time to initiate there and then, but I garnered an impression of its efficacy. The steering wheel has a couple of small buttons for answering and hanging up on a call, which makes using your phone whilst driving as complicated as making a simple indication (although even that’s too complicated for some people). Any modern car has a drive computer, so I imagined a caaaaar would definitely have one integrated. I noticed most of the key information was available, such as service interval information, distance to empty and the average and instantaneous kilometres per litre. I eventually got it out on the open road, bound for Saudi Arabia. Such was the length of time it took me to get to this point that I decided against the Aquapark, so I began to give the Sunny some gas to see what it was capable of speed-wise. The 1.5-litre, 99 horsepower, 13.7 kg-m@4000 rpm, fourcylinder DOHC engine powered gracefully

Drive Computer: fuel economy, odd trip, cruising range Air conditioning SRS Airbag system for Driver and Front Passenger Anti-lock Braking System with Electronic Brake force Distribution and Brake Assist

175/70 R14 Tyres

and efficiently to the speed-limit – no doubt acceleration is another ‘a’ – and it allowed me to coast along at my ease for a couple of kilometres. The new design really seems to slip effortlessly through the air, providing for a slicker journey. I brought the car back to the Nissan garage before checking out some of the extra features which are present in the new caaaaar. For back-seat passengers, there’s a rear cooling fan, and an arm-rest and cupholder, which means your children might well be fighting for the back seat in the future. And the boot is huge, with 490 litres of space in there

june 2012

Qatar Today 10 1


MARKET WATCH

ART FOR THE MASSES AT QATAR MUSEUMS AUTHORITY

68

Bang & Olufsen Makes Qatar Debut

d

arwish Technology, the technological arm of Darwish Holding, recently launched the new Bang & Olufsen store at Lagoona Mall, under the auspices of Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammad Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and in the presence of Bader Abdullah AlDarwish, Chairman and Managing Director of Darwish Holding, Saoud Abdullah AlDarwish, Vice-Chairman of Darwish Holding; and Peter Skak Olufsen, board member of Bang & Olufsen, who came especially from Denmark heading a group of senior managers in order to attend the opening. The new B&O showroom introduces a distinctive range of high-quality audio and video products to this vibrant market. Founded in 1925 in Struer, Denmark, Bang & Olufsen is world-renowned for its distinctive range of quality consumer electronic products. On this occasion, Peter Skak Olufsen,

10 2 Qatar Today

june 2012

commented: “We believe there is a substantial pool of existing and potential clients here who have the taste and discernment to truly enjoy Bang & Olufsen products with their unique design and quality.  “Over the years, many audio and visual enthusiasts in the country have acquainted themselves with our products and brand from their travels overseas. Many of them have also purchased our products outside Qatar. We are delighted that they will finally get to experience Bang & Olufsen products right here on their home ground and we feel there is a strong basis for solid growth in this part of the world,” added Olufsen. In Qatar, Bang & Olufsen products will be sold exclusively through the company’s appointed representative, Darwish Technology, which will take on full retail operations for the store. Darwish Holding has more than 80 years of luxury retail experience. Bader Al-Darwish, Chairman and Managing Director of Darwish Holding, said: “What we like about

Bang & Olufsen is that the company challenges the ordinary. Our task is, together with the customer, to tailor-make his/her home entertainment solution, and let his/ her dreams come true. Bang & Olufsen offers a large range of integrated solutions of televisions, music systems, lighting and other electrical installations to make the experience complete. For Bang & Olufsen the user is the centre of experiencs.” Located at the Lagoona Mall, the store is of premium retail space with a fine display of all Bang & Olufsen products. The new store promises to bring its customers a true Danish experience based on the Bang & Olufsen blueprint evolution shop concept, characterised by understated Scandinavian quality and design. All the individual elements that make up the blueprint evolution shop concept have been designed with an attention to detail and to a level of quality that matches Bang & Olufsen’s minimalistic design. As a design-conscious company, Bang & Olufsen harbours an inherent respect for the architecture and originality of a building. When developing new shops it respects traditional local building methods and always tries to retain and emphasise the special characteristics of a given building, street or area. Each element of a Bang & Olufsen shop is created to ensure that the customer receives the best possible impression of the brand. From the discreet, sleek facade with its fibre-optic lettering through to the simple yet stylish shop layout, every visit to a Bang & Olufsen shop will be an experience. The environment inside the shop is accessible and welcoming. It projects excellence through the carefully researched colour schemes and the selective use of quality materials. The materials used include bright maple wood, natural aluminum, white Corian and glass. These combine to create a fresh, bright and well-lit Scandinavian setting in which the Bang & Olufsen products are presented.


MA R KET WATCH

LG launches 3D Smart TV series

l

G Electronics (LG) launched its latest 2012 Cinema 3D Smart TV line-up in Qatar for smoother and more immersive 3D viewing. With a size of almost zero mm, it sets a new world record for the narrowest bezel 3D TV. The 3D Smart TV is composed of an impressive cinema screen, wireless display, premium content services, over 1,200 global Smart TV apps and a Magic Remote. Additional features include a dual play function for gamers and a wide selection of 3D movies, sports and games. President of LG Electronics, Gulf FZE D. Y. Kim said: “We have avidly explored the Smart TV model to create a product that offers a superlative TV viewing experience; useful, easy-to-use TV apps and premium content. LG’s quality innovations and growing market share have ensured its position as number one across the premium 3D Smart TV segment. With the new Smart TV line-up, we are certain that our growth will continue on the upward trend, further strengthening our already established leadership position in this segment globally.”  Jumbo Electronics Director and General Manager, C.V. Rappai added that the launch’s success reiterated LG s unrivalled position as a leader in the TV segment and

would allow the company to increase its overall market share in Qatar. LG Cinema 3D meets a wider and everexpanding world of 3D entertainment at the tip of your remote. Offering simple control over your home entertainment experience, the main features of the LG Cinema 3D Smart TV include: Cinema Screen: Leveraging LG’s stateof-the-art display technology, LG has reduced the width of the bezel to insignificant levels, to almost zero bezel. By doing so, physical obstructions have been removed to deliver ultimate simplicity and the most immersive Cinema 3D viewing experience, reminiscent of an actual movie cinema.

3D Depth Control: A new 3D visual technology that lets users adjust the depth, or the distance between the onscreen objects, of a 3D movie or TV show they are watching. 3D Sound Zooming: The immersive 3D experience is accompanied by 3D Sound Zooming, which generates a 3D sound that is synchronised with the displayed 3D content, allowing users not only to see but also hear in 3D. Dual Play function: for gamers, LG allows dual-player games to be played on a Cinema 3D Smart TV without having to split the screen.

Magic Remote: LG’s Smart TV remains easy to use, thanks to the enhancements in the Magic Remote, an all-inone device that combines the functions of Pointing, Gesture and Wheel, the most conventional and advanced TV remote of its kind.

Wireless Display: The new Cinema 3D Smart TVs offer a variety of connectivity features. The newest among them is Wireless Display, which enables easy and quick connection between TV and personal computer (PC) with Intel’s WiDi Technology.

3D World: provides access to a constantly growing library of 3D movies, games, sports and TV shows at the tip of one’s remote.

2D to 3D conversion engine: Converts all existing 2D movies and TV shows into 3D

june 2012

Qatar Today 103


MA R KET WATCH

DoubleTree by Hilton properties to open soon

Restaurant Award for Kempinski

t

he all-day stylish restaurant Aroma in Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha won the “Best Contemporary European Restaurant” award and was highly commended in the category “Best Business Lunch” at the Time Out Doha Restaurant Awards 2012. The stylish contemporary European restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel is well known in the city for its “Rushed for Time” business lunch and the a la carte dinner. “We are very proud of our Executive Chef, Jonathan Spiteri, and all our Food and Beverage team who with passion and dedication brought Aroma with these successful results to the top. A combination of selected genuine ingredients prepared in the open kitchen makes Aroma offer the guests a dining experience unparalleled in today’s busy world,” said Wissam Suleiman, General Manager of Kempinski Residences & Suites, Doha.

h

ilton Worldwide and Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company (ARTIC), part of Al Faisal Holding Company LLC, announced the signing of a management agreement for two new DoubleTree by Hilton properties in Doha. Both developments, the 145-room DoubleTree by Hilton Doha Al Sadd and the 240room DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Doha, are expected to open in 2014. Chairman of Al Faisal Holding, HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani, said: “As the city continues to attract international investment and visitors, Hilton offers the quality experience and first-class hospitality standards and service that is expected of a major business hub. The addition of the DoubleTree by Hilton to our portfolio reflects our clear investment focus on high-quality assets as we continue to grow the business both locally and internationally.”  President of Hilton Worldwide, Middle East and Africa Rudi Jagersbacher said: “We are pleased to be part of Qatar’s long-term ambitious growth and development which reflects the bold expansion plans we also have to provide exceptional hospitality service for the country. Our commitment in Doha over the next three years will see the opening of five new properties and the launch of three Hilton Worldwide brands including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn.

10 4 Qatar Today

june 2012

ASEAN Gala Dinner 2012

A

SEAN Committee in Doha (ACD) Chairman and Ambassador of Malaysia Ahmad Jazri Mohamed Johar, along with his counterparts from other ASEAN resident embassies in Qatar, announced the first ACD Gala Dinner to be held on June 14, 2012 at Katara Halls, with the theme of One Vision, One Identity and One Community .  “We recognise the importance of speaking with one voice and promoting our common interests. This is why we have pooled our resources to make the Gala Dinner happen. Through this event we hope to bring ASEAN to Qatar and promote greater mutual understanding and cooperation,” said Ambassador Johar. Tickets for the event will be made available soon across all respective embassies and other selling points. For sponsorship opportunities, visit www. aseanqatar.com.


MA R KET WATCH

Wyndham Grand Regency Doha wins travel award

t

he Wyndham Grand Regency Doha bagged Qatar’s Leading Meetings and Conference Hotel  title for the second consecutive year at the annual World Travel Awards (WTA) in Dubai, owing to the extensive meetings and events facilities offered at the property. The WTA is held annually to celebrate those brands that are pushing the boundaries of industry excellence. “This is a great honour for our hotel and I’m delighted to accept this award on behalf of our entire team,” said Ayman Lotfy, General Manager, Wyndham Grand Regency

Doha. “Their unwavering commitment and dedication, combined with our best-inclass facilities, really set us apart in a highly competitive marketplace. We’re proud to be able to offer our guests a true five-star experience and, in doing so, aim to remain one of the region’s leading hotels for many years to come.”  The Wyndham Grand Regency Doha offers 600-sq.m Al Qasr Ballroom, which can host up to 550 guests at a cocktail party or 650 theatre-style, as well as 246 luxurious guest rooms, including single, double and suite accommodations. The hotel also features three restaurants, an Angsana

Strata is high on everything

Spa, gym and swimming pool, in addition to the 36 suites and penthouses and the Al Asmakh Royal Suite.

Alfardan Properties launches innovative website

A

t

he newest dining and lounge experience in Qatar, Strata at InterContinental Doha The City, is enabling both tourists and residents of Doha to reach new gastronomic heights through a seafood-centric menu enjoyed on the 55th and 56th floors of the West Bay tower. Offering a selection of three caviar and four oyster options, as well as chilled indulgence  platters of hand-chosen seafood served alongside chef’s sauces, salad and bread, Strata’s menu encourages guests to share their choices while enjoying the country’s striking views in all directions. Contemporary Asian flavours round out Strata’s offering, with sashimi, slow-

cooked lobster and smoked cod proving to be early favourites. The Strata Compilation – an adventurous dessert platter for two – plus mango carpaccio, warm apple tartin and homemade ice cream are among Strata’s final course choices, providing a fitting end to the meal for guests.  Strata provides a dining experience unlike any other in Doha: market-fresh, delicious seafood, drinks, and desserts served at the country’s highest vantage point. “InterContinental Doha The City is encouraging its guests to share their selections and experiment with new flavours, while the cityscape and skyline provide the ideal backdrop,” said Renzo Cavagliotti, General Manager of InterContinental Doha The City.

lfardan Properties has announced the launch of a new website – www.mydohahome.com – that enables people to browse through all the available Alfardan Properties-managed residential and commercial properties in Qatar. Alfardan Properties COO Muhiballah Mani said: “This website is being launched at a time when Qatar is increasingly gaining global attention and is emerging as a major Middle Eastern hub. We believe that this web solution, which features unique residential and commercial real estate options, will benefit people from across the region planning to live and work in Qatar. The concept and object of the website is to facilitate searching for real estate options in Doha and to present all those who plan to move to Doha or change their current residences unique luxury options provided by Alfardan and Alfardan Properties.  The website offers visitors who register their inquiry an instant 360-degree solution for their requirement, covering availability of units, specific services and facilities, for both residential and commercial properties of the company. The units featured include Alfardan Towers, One Porto Arabia, Laguna Beach, Kempinski Residences & Suites, Alfardan Gardens and the recently-opened Al Gassar Resort.

june 2012

Qatar Today 105


MA R KET WATCH

Chic Outlet Shopping hosts roundtable at ATM

The roundtable event was held at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, and saw, from left, Mansour Hajjar (Managing Director, Allied Enterprises), Terry Daly (Divisional SVP Service Delivery, Emirates Airline), Sylvie Freund-Pickavance (Business Director, Value Retail Management). Hassan Al Hashemi (External Relations Director, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and Piers Schmidt (Chairman of Luxury Branding) discuss the topic of international shopping.

t

he Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai provided the perfect setting for Chic Outlet Shopping to host the third roundtable discussion raising awareness of the international shopping tourism sector. In 2011, the collection of nine Chic Outlet Shopping Villages attracted more than 29 million visitors, up by 12% on 2010. Taxrefunded sales generated by non-EU visitors to the collection grew by 58% year-on-year, with China, the Middle East and Russia representing the three largest markets for the collection respectively. Fast forward to the first three months of 2012, and tax-refunded sales generated by visitors from the Middle East were up by 84% versus Q1 2011. Sylvie Freund-Pickavance (Business Director, Value Retail Management) said that serving the international luxury shopper involved more than shopping alone. The experience of the Chic Outlet Shopping Villages is based on the offer within each village, which is not only about shopping. It’s exactly like when you travel – it is not only about flying, it’s about going somewhere and finding ways to really pepper the shopping experience with unexpected things: the quality of the food, art exhibitions and new brands. 

CGC achieves Gold Certification from Cisco

i

n recognition of Consolidated Gulf Co. (CGC)’s achievement of Gold Certification from Cisco, Mazen Raad, Regional Manager at Cisco Qatar, presented a plaque to Anil Mahajan, COO, CGC, at a ceremony held recently at CGC’s corporate office premises in Doha. Thanking Cisco for distinguishing CGC as a valued partner, Mahajan said: “We are pleased to realise the next level of Cisco Gold partnership. The certification falls in line with our strategic goal of being the best technological and engineering resource to our customers. The combination of Cisco’s solutions and our proven expertise and value added service portfolio uniquely positions us as a tried and trusted local provider.”  Meanwhile Raad added: “To earn this prestigious certification, CGC has met rigorous standards for networking competency, service, support and customer satisfaction among other specialisation requirements set forth by Cisco. We value the commitment and expertise that CGC has established and look forward to a continued successful partnership.”

Nando’s opens on C-Ring Nando’s opened a new outlet at Al Emadi Financial Square on the C-Ring Road in Doha. The new restaurant marks the fifth addition to the Nando’s chain in Qatar. Oryx Group for Food Services reiterated that the opening of the outlet is all the more significant since it is the first Nando’s restaurant in Qatar to roll out the chain’s new-generation design.

10 6 Qatar Today

june 2012


MA R KET WATCH

Sormani: Italian delight

Ali Bin Ali’s hospitality arm opens Paris’s renowned Sormani at The Pearl-Qatar. Cassey Oliveira was there to let her imagination guide her.

e

njoying an exclusive seafront position at the iconic The Pearl-Qatar, Sormani is set to take centre stage in Qatar’s restaurant scene by offering a distinctive new dining experience with the very best in modern French and Italian cuisine. And the unparalleled view of the inland waters lends a perfect backdrop to the chic and modern decor of the restaurant, designed by Arredaesse of Milan. General Manager of Ali Bin Ali Hospitality Hashem Melhem promises a world-class dining indulgence at Sormani, where service is impeccable and truly special. Committed and passionate professional chefs, led by world-famous Pascal Fayet, interact with guests to create a highly personal experience, complementing a full-of-flavour menu of inventive Italian cuisine. On bringing Sormani to Qatar, Chef Pascal said: “Qataris are connoisseurs of good taste. They love something unique, something exceptional. Guests in Qatar will be treated to the same excellent food and service that we are known for in Paris.” The secret to the flavoursome, inventive cuisine that Sormani offers is ‘imagination’, which Chef Pascal personally visits markets to seek. “Like when a mother goes to

the market and sees vegetables, she immediately knows what dish to prepare for her children. It’s the colours and smell of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat in the market that inspires me to create a new dish. “At Sormani, we keep inventing and re-inventing,” says the chef. “We offer a new menu every season, but what is consistent is quality. We ensure we do it right each time.” And for Qatar, the chef has already charted out a spectacular menu of mouth-watering dishes that include the famous carpaccio, lasagne, ravioli, risotto and a variety of fresh seafood, each prepared with the very best of ingredients – from the white truffles of Alba and Bugata mozzarella to Italy’s best

bresaola and risotto con fageoli with sausage from Naples. The restaurant’s speciality, however, is the white and black truffles. “It’s important to know the preferences of my guests. When I talk to them, I create in my head a piece of art. Just tell me what you like, and I will prepare something magical from it,” promises the chef

june 2012

Qatar Today 107


MA R KET WATCH

Building business

through networking

Launched in 2004 by the German Business Council, Back2Business Qataris now in its eighth year and is expected to open doors for major opportunities in both local and international businesses as Qatar is poised to continue in its trajectory of economic growth.

Standing: Jarmo Kihlstrom and Erlend Ingebrigtsen, Scandinavian BC; Paulina Vahamaa, German BC; Elsbeth Blekkenhorst, Dutch BC; Ignacio Galañena, Spanish BC; and Carlos Maldonado, Dutch BC. Front Row: Pamela McDowell, B2B General Secretary; Katherine McAdam ANZBIQ; and Jane Ashford, QBBF,

i

f you think this is too farfetched a dream, you have to attend the Back2Business networking event this year on October 3. Last year saw close to 800 representatives of the business community and this year with an anticipated 1,000 attendees, the International Business Councils have taken an additional step, and included CSR into their portfolio. “As a collection of International Busi-

10 8 Qatar Today

june 2012

ness councils we are collectively aware of Corporate Social Responsibility and this year Back2Business is in discussions with several charities with a view to providing a donation from any surplus following the event to the chosen charity,” say Jane Ashford, Qatar British Business Forum (QBBF) External Liaison Committee Member. The Steering Committee is continually looking at ways of improving sponsorship opportunities to ensure maximum expo-


MA R KET WATCH

sure and return on investment for all sponsoring companies involved. “In 2012, our sponsors will have increased visibility through a magazine, event video and an anticipated 1,000 attendees with on-site marketing exposure,” says Katherine McAdam, ANZBIQ External Liaison Committee Member. But what is the ultimate goal of such a networking event? “The Back 2 Business Steering Committee is delighted to once again host this popular networking event that takes place after the summer break to allow leaders and decision-makers of the Doha business community to catch up on the Qatari market scene and exchange ideas. Back 2 Business has become the most highly awaited business event of the year for all those interested in gaining access to leaders of industry. Up to 1,000 representatives of the local and international business leaders and decision-makers in Qatar, Asia Pacific and Europe are expected to come together at the event this year.” International Bank of Qatar (IBQ) is the diamond sponsor and is “a committed long term partner” with the event. Back 2 Business is currently working with seven business councils. “The current Steering Committee is comprised of the following business councils in Qatar: Australian-New Zealand (ANZBIQ), British (QFFB), Dutch (DBCQ), German (GBCQ), Italian (IBCQ), Scandinavian Business Council (SBCQ) and Spanish (SBC).” Each year, two different business councils have the opportunity to be the main organisers of the Back2Business event and this year’s organisers are: ANZBIQ (Australian and New Zealand Business in Qatar) represented by Katherine McAdam and Jane Ashford representing the QBBF. Talking about the concept and how it came together, the Organising Committee says, “Back2Business is a business-networking event which was launched by the German Business Council Qatar (GBCQ) in 2004. The event was an immediate success and lead to other Business Councils joining and assisting in the organising of the event. “The main objective of the event is to create opportunities for businesses to meet and network, to exchange news of happenings in the business sector in Qatar as well as to provide opportunities for foreign companies to access the Qatari market.”

Business Councils taking the cue Talking about the benefits of Back2Business event, the members of the Spanish Business says, “The benefits to participate in the Back2Business event are the exposure and networking given to all our members, and the option for them to participate even as a sponsor reaching a huge number of high profile people in Qatar. “We intend to capitalise on the event by strengthening relations with the other Business Councils organising the event, and upgrading the image of our companies, our members and our country. As the number of companies landing in Qatar and the number of projects launched in the country will attract more and more companies and participants in the upcoming years, so will the popularity of the event grow, they feel. Palma Libotte, Chairperson of the Italian Business Council feels that the event is the best occasion to share information and also to know more about the projects in Qatar. “We hope the local companies will learn more of our activities. We are mainly business orientated working to support the entrepreneurs who wish to access the Qatari market. Our companies based in Qatar can broaden their networking horizons through such networking events.” German Business Council (GBCQ) had a Doha presence as early as 2002 and was more of a networking platform for Qataris, Germans and other nationals to meet and exchange views and ideas. “The GBCQ’s membership has grown significantly since its foundation up to about 160 members currently. The GBCQ is managed by the German Industry and Commerce Office Qatar (AHK), which is the official institution authorised by the German Federal Government and the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce. We organise monthly members’ meetings and invite guest speakers from ministries, various authorities and representatives from local or foreign companies to update the GBCQ members with latest industrial developments and new projects,” says Anna-Kristin Kronert, Head of corporate Communication, German Industry and Commerce Office Qatar. Back2Business was launched by the German Business Council Qatar and since then every year the number of participants has increased. “We take great pride in the

success of Back2Business as one of the biggest events of the international business community in Doha. As one of the largest business councils in Qatar we plan to stay involved with the Back2Business - we view it as our responsibility to actively participate in signature events for the international business community in Doha,” she says. On the revenue generated by this event, GBCQ is quite categorical saying they are a non-governmental and non-profit association. “This means we do not seek to capitalise on Back2Business. This is an event made by and for the businessmen and businesswomen in Qatar. There is no strategy to earn money with this get-together. The income from the entrance fees and sponsorships are meant to just cover the expenses,” she reiterates. The Qatar British Business Council is equally excited with this networking event. “It affords the QBBF the ability to interact, not only with other Business Councils in the B2B event, but also with members of those groups in networking and the ensuing exchange of information and ideas,” says Emad Turkman MBE, Chairman of Qatar British Business Forum The Dutch Business Council (DBCQ) has grown steadily over the past five years. “Our aim is to provide good networking opportunities to our Dutch and non-Dutch members. The Back2Business event is the ultimate platform to collaborate with other Business Councils and their members and enhance communication between them. For the DBCQ members the event represents a means to reach a wide audience of the business Community in Qatar. The DBCQ plans to be part of this ever growing event for many years to come,” says Elsbeth Blekkenhorst, Vice-Chairperson of the Dutch Business Council. The Scandinavian Business Council is also excited with the networking opportunity while the Australian and New Zealand Business in Qatar (ANZBIQ) anticipate that the event will continue to grow in coming years. “It is already the premier networking event in Qatar and we are proud to be associated with it,” Garry Friend, Chairman of ANZBIQ echoes. Australia and New Zealand Business in Qatar (ANZBIQ) aims to promote relations between the two countries and Qatar

june 2012

Qatar Today 109


MA R KET WATCH

It’s a Family Affair at

Raymond Weil Ever since William Tell was forced to sling an arrow through an apple on his son’s head, the Swiss have been synonymous with precision. The fabled 15th-century tale details how Tell’s son trusted his father to do the needful. Raymond Weil carries similar values, where three generations have been creating and innovating quality time pieces since 1976. by Ro ry C oe n

t

hirty-six years ago, Raymond Weil founded the eponymous brand with a goal to create timepieces which conceptualised his unique vision of innovative designs and unique craftsmanship at affordable prices. Today, 66 years after he first dabbled in horology, he is the oldest watch creator alive and is an icon in the global watchmaking industry. Although he has passed the reins of control to his son-in-law Olivier Bernheim, the brand still revolves around his original vision. Bernheim, Raymond Weil’s son-in-law and the brand’s CEO, was in Doha to open its second outlet. It has had a presence here since 2002 and there are plans to open a third outlet in the near future. It certainly seems to have a strong focus on Qatar. “The Qatari market is fast growing,” said Bernheim. “We do a lot of business with the locals of course, but also with visitors on business trips. There has been a great influx of expatriates who are keen on our brand. Ten years ago, City Center was the hot point for shopping – but other shopping malls quickly opened up. We anticipate the country’s economy is going to grow a lot – such are the events we are seeing on the horizon – so Qatar is going to become an important market in the region and we want to have a strong presence here.” Range of watches Raymond Weil launched the Maestro collection in 2010, which demonstrates the profound attachment of the Weil-Bernheim family to their horological roots and their desire to offer the final consumer classical pieces. The various models soberly explore the many ways of interpreting harmony, discretion and classicism. With a new moon phase, a chronograph and a calendar version, Maestro plays its part in today’s passage of time. “The Maestro collection represents everything of what Raymond Weil is,” says Bernheim. “It’s an original piece – it’s emblematic of craftsmanship. The men’s model extends the ability to discover everything that is complicated in a watch. We also have some casual wear pieces, which are more oversized, and fits what the region is asking for.” The Nabucco range, renowned for its sleek, powerful and elegant

11 0 Qatar Today

june 2012

design, boasts a new version in titanium and stainless steel: Nabucco Inverso. With its “12” in Roman numerals and yellow hands to illuminate the dial, the Nabucco welcomes a new design in its line, while remaining true to the collection’s creative values and mythical forms. Raymond Weil launched a brand new female line in 2011: the Jasmine collection. In the brand’s purest tradition, the new Jasmine collection combines all the elements of Raymond Weil’s feminine watches. With its voluptuously rounded, curved case, exuding modernity, classicism and exclusivity, it’s the perfect reflection of the Raymond Weil woman. “We are quite unique in the sense that we do sell a lot to women,” says Bernheim. “The Jasmine collection, which is very boldly designed, fits perfectly on the wrist of a lady. I think every lady likes this collection. It’s very important, once we are established in the ladies segment, to continuously create and develop.” When tested, Bernheim was very hesitant to choose which collection was his personal favourite, such was the dedication he afforded each one. “That’s a very difficult question for me,” he chuckled. “Being behind the creativity, every new piece is like a baby for me, but I suppose I like the Nabucco casual wear watch to wear over the weekend. However, I also have a Maestro, which is a dedication to the original art and to my father-in-law.” Although the brand has expanded substantially over the past twenty years, it remains a family affair through and through. Olivier’s two sons, Elie and Pierre – the third generation – have joined the company and are innovating just like their grandfather did. They will be the ones who will carry the brand when their father feels it’s time to hang up his watch. But he has more years in him yet. “My dream is to demonstrate that family owned businesses – when they are innovative, assertive and well managed – can continue and thrive for a long time,” said Bernheim. “Within the watchmaking industry creativity is the essence, and the fact that the same family guided the destiny of the brand says a lot in terms of craftsmanship and design. I see it being capable of demonstrating that small can be beautiful and family values are so important now.”


Sport file

Corporate League

Golf Championship

at Doha Golf Club

Ravi Raman, Vice President – Oryx Advertising Co, Fahd Nasser Al-Naimi, Qatar Golf Association General Secretary, Mohamed Faisal Al-Naimi, Qatar Golf Association Executive Director, Shabrawi Khater, the Managing Director of Network Advertising & Events, Rehab Moustafa, Network Advertising & Events, Sports Events Manager at the offical launch of the corporate golf championship.

s

enior officials from Qatar Golf Association (QGA), Network Advertising & Events and the exclusive media partners Qatar Today and T-Qatar Magazines officially launched “Corporate League Qatar – Golf Championship” in May. Doha Golf Club will host the event next November 23 and 24. It’s designed to be a fun weekend for all, whether you take part in the championship or are watching from the rough. Doha Golf Club is home to the Qatar Masters, a tournament which has been attracting some of the world’s top pro-

11 2 Qatar Today

june 2012

fessionals every February for the past 15 years. It will now play a gracious host to the top corporate golfers in Qatar. Details of the format of the event have yet to be released, but Qatar Today, as the exclusive media partner, will keep its readers uptodate on procedures and deadlines in this regard. QGA Executive Director Mohamed Faisal Al-Naimi expressed his delight at staging such an event for the first time in the country, saying: “We are happy to bring such a unique event to the businesses of Qatar. As we know, sport is an essential component of Qatar’s National Vision 2030.” Fahd Nasser Al-Naimi, QGA General Secretary, added: “Qatar Golf Association, since its establishment, is focusing on the development of Qatari golf by hosting many events such as this. We believe this kind of event will definitely linger in the minds of corporate professionals for a long time and motivate them to be a part of it every year.” Shabrawi Khater, Managing Director of Network Advertising and Events, said: “Behind ‘Corporate League Qatar’ is a team

with years of experience who sat together to plan for such an eve108nt. Our aim is to have over 320 players, playing for two days, who can bring along their families to enjoy the fun. We are going to do our best to make Corporate League Qatar recognised as a power for team-building and networking, thereby forming a base for mutually beneficial relationships both in business and in personal satisfaction. We also are supporting the event with a special website, www. clqatar.com; a Facebook page, www.facebook.com/clqatar, and a Twitter account: www.twitter.com/clqatar.” Ravi Raman, Vice President, Oryx Advertising Co., said: “We are pleased to be associated with this first-of-its-kind event. Golf is certainly a great sport for networking and we found Corporate League Qatar to be in perfect sync with our titles Qatar Today and T Qatar. The readers of both these magazines are affluent and at senior levels. I am sure both the participants and spectators will thoroughly enjoy all that the weekend has to offer”


Sport file

Al Gharafa win Emir Cup

Raul signs one-year deal with Al Sadd

t

he Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, watched Al Gharafa goalkeeper, Qasim Burhan block two penalty kicks as Al Gharafa beat Al Sadd on penalties to become Emir Cup champions for the seventh time. At the end of the presentation ceremony, the Emir handed over the trophy to their captain, Othman El Assas. Coached by Paulo Silas, Al Gharafa hasve now sealed their place in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League, the continent’s top club event. El Assas, Diego Tardelli, Ze Roberto and Fahad Al Shammari scored from their spot kicks for Al Gharafa, with only defender Lawrence Quaye failing. Al Sadd – who dominated the match in normal time – scored off their first three penalties, taken by Mamadouh Niang, Abdul Qader Keita and Wisam Rizq. However, they were undone by their final two spot kicks by Hassan Al Haydos and Nadir Belhadj. Hamed Shami of Al Gharafa said: “It was a tense penalty shoot-out. I would say luck favoured us in the shoot-out and we won. But I think we deserved to win this title. It was an important football event in Qatar. It was a tiring match. The hot weather was not that easy to deal with. Both teams performed well, but we got the big trophy.”

Qatar prepare for crucial World Cup opener

t

he decisive fourth round of AFC qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil gets underway this month. Two nations from each of the two groups will proceed by right to the finals, with the third team in each group having to qualify through a brace of play-offs to progress. Qatar, who failed at this stage in their efforts to qualify for South Africa 2010, will want to go one step further this time around, and to do this they’ll need a solid start. Their opening three games fall in the opening two weeks of June, with the opener against Lebanon in Beirut on June 3. The group’s highest seed will be no push-overs, though, having beaten South Korea 2-1 in Beirut in a Round 3 qualifier last November. Qatar meet top seeds South Korea in their second game in Doha just five days later. Avoiding defeat would be seen as a positive result in most circles, but the high temperatures and humidity which Doha experiences at this time of the year might not sit well with the Koreans. It could be a telling factor as the game progresses. They won’t be quite finished yet, though, because they have their second trip to Tehran this year on June 12, having already drawn with Iran in the third round.

f

ormer Real Madrid forward Raul has signed a one-year deal with Emir Cup finalists Al Sadd. The 34-year-old, who played with German club Schalke 04 this season, said: “I am happy to have signed for one of the top clubs in Qatar. I know Al Sadd has a huge fan following and that it is aiming at trophies next season. I think I have enough experience to fulfill the wishes of our fans.” Al Sadd Secretary-General Jassim Al Rumaihi said they weren’t in a position to reveal how much Raul would be paid for his craft and experience, but he did confirm that the Spaniard had agreed to a one-year deal. “We will see how things work out in the coming season. If both parties feel we can extend the contract, then we could do that,” Al Rumaihi said. “Our expectations never stop. When we win something, a title or a trophy, we want to do it again. The only title we won last year was the AFC Champions League, but now we want to win in Doha too. We firmly believe that his experience will help us win trophies and get back to the top in Qatar.” Raul, who watched the Emir Cup final between Al Gharafa and his new employers, said he talked with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola before deciding to play in Qatar. “I sat down with Pep and we talked about football in Qatar,” Raul said. “He told me that football is on the move here and that he enjoyed his football during his time,” he added. Al Sadd, who lost the Emir Cup final to Al Gharafa, failed to win a title in Qatar last season. They did win the AFC Champions League title last November, however. Midfielder Wisam Rizq welcomed Raul’s move. “I think he’s a fabulous addition to our club. I am delighted with this move. He has a lot of experience and I hope with him in the side we can start winning trophies once again.”

june 2012

Qatar Today 11 3


doha diary

Qatari change makers

Rachel Petero speaking at the Women Leading Change programme

r

achel Petero, Founder and CEO of Genviva and the brains behind the Women leading Change Qatar (WLC Qatar) team, has numerous ideas running through her mind at any given moment. And she cashes in on each one of them with equal dedication. Now she has an innovative project which is already under way called Women Leading Change, where successful Qatari women come under this umbrella and work together to motivate and inspire other Qatari women forward to realise their true potential. “WLC Qatar will create a platform for Qatari women to lead projects and initiatives aligned to Qatar’s National Vision 2030,” says Petero. Buthaina Al-Ansari is the keynote speaker and ambassador of the Women Leading Change Qatar series, and the launch event in late April had many Qatari women speaking about their success stories.

11 4 Qatar Today

june 2012

Buthaina Al Ansari the ambassador for Women Leading Change

“WLC Qatar aims to provide a platform from which Qatari women can realise their dreams and aspirations in line with cultural and family values. The commercial value of nurturing this emerging talent in line with Qatarisation and the development of a knowledge-based society is critical,” she says. “As Qatari women we need to take the lead in the development of our country in all areas of human, social, environmental and economic development. Qatar now holds the number one position in the world for female enrolment in secondary and tertiary education. We should be proud of what we have all achieved as individuals while still maintaining our strong family and cultural values,” said Al-Ansari at the keynote address. So how is WLC Qatar different from other programmes which seem to guide entrepreneurs? “There is no one place for Qatari

women to go. So WLC Qatar becomes a sort of catalyst for Roudha, Injaz and such programmes and is a holistic guidance in all aspects of business. It is about the emerging talent, and we will connect these women to the right entity,” says Petero. And what next for WLC Qatar after the launch? Petero is not one to rest on her laurels; she is already busy with the next networking event. “In association with our strategic alliance partners Roudha Centre, we will have a networking event where we will talk about current and future roles of women as leaders in Qatar, the importance of maintaining cultural and family values and solutions and the challenges of achieving your aspirations.” WLC Qatar will also be celebrating the success story of an emerging talent, Qatari businesswoman of the month Waad Ali, the owner of Waad Designs, an awardwinning Qatari fashion brand


construction propels qatari economy

32

doha diary

Spring Carnival at The Pearl-Qatar

The St Regis Doha is officially open

O

mar Hussain Alfardan, President of Resorts Development Company and Alfardan Group, and Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., officially inaugurated the St Regis Doha with the unveiling of a commemorative plaque on May 5. “Since its inauguration, the St Regis Doha has successfully fulfilled its promise to deliver to visitors an exclusive and customised luxury staying experience. We are proud to have St Regis Doha added to our portfolio as a unique masterpiece at Al Gassar Resort and the finest address in Doha,” said Alfardan. As one of the first St Regis Hotels to open in the Middle East, the hotel has already created a buzz with the premiere of two new restaurants associated with worldrenowned chef and restaurateur Gordon Ramsay, along with the upcoming opening of Jazz at Lincoln Centre, the first-ever venue associated with the New York Citybased jazz centre outside America. Guests can also take advantage of the ongoing opening offer, which is valid until June 30, 2012, that has rates starting at QR1,900 per night for a superior room, including a 30-minute spa treatment, a St Regis afternoon tea in Sarab Lounge, Wi-Fi Internet access and a Jazz at Lincoln Centre welcome gift.

c

elebrating its multicultural community and great outdoor lifestyle, The Pearl-Qatar (TPQ) launched its Spring Carnival, providing residents and visitors with a range of musical entertainment and fun-filled activities. Some of the thrilling performances included a jazz saxophonist and bands showcasing music from the Arab world as well as countries including Russia, Spain and North America. One such brass band troupe enthralled visitors with their infectious music as they performed around Porto Arabia boardwalk every night of the weekend. A children’s area was also set up, keeping kids busy with face painting, balloon animal-making, and other activities including arts, crafts and games. “The Pearl-Qatar is a true multicultural community, and what better way to reflect that than with musical performers from the Middle East and around the world who appeal to the entire family,” said Fadi El Kik, Chairman of TPQ Executive Board. “The carnival has proven extremely popular with activities for the whole family, but it was the musical acts which have set the fun-filled tone.”

11 6 Qatar Today

june 2012

Arumaila Hotel exterior


doha diary

Legendary Cirque du Soleil TCAD HOSTS Open Day at to debut in Qatar the Island

u

c

irque du Soleil, the world-famous, Montreal-based artistic entertainment group, will launch its vibrant signature production, Saltimbanco, in Qatar for the first time this summer. The action-packed performance is scheduled to run from July 4 - 7 at Aspire Dome. The first of seven shows will start at 8:00pm on July 4, for which tickets are now available at Virgin Megastores (Landmark and Villaggio Mall locations) and online at www.cirquedusoleil.qa. Saltimbanco – from the Italian “saltare in banco”, which literally means “to jump on a bench” – is inspired by the urban fabric of the metropolis and its colourful inhabitants. It is Cirque du Soleil’s longest-running touring show and has performed since 1992, drawing spectators into a fanciful, imaginary city where diversity is a cause for hope. Synchronising acrobatics and athleticism into artistic expression, Saltimbanco is classic Cirque du Soleil at its best!

nited Development Company (UDC), master developer of The Pearl-Qatar (TPQ), held its third Open Day for residents of the Island. The Open Day, organised by TPQ’s Central Authority Directorate (TCAD), was inaugurated by TCAD Director, Abdulrahim Al-Ibrahim, who said: “The Island is now a thriving and continually growing multicultural community. TCAD works with all departments not only to ensure the smooth running of the Island, but also to plan new activities and introduce services that make life easier. Our business is to continue to deliver five-star services consistent with TPQ’s glamorous and luxurious image.” The fun-filled day had a range of activities and entertainment for children including face painting, jumping castles and games, while families interacted with the retailers and service providers at the Island.

Luxurious Boutique hotels sparkle at Souq Waqif

q

atar’s premier hotelier, Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels, launched two new exquisite, five-star destinations – Arumaila and Musheireb – located in the heart of Doha’s historic Souq Waqif, alongside the inauguration of The Residences, the group’s luxury residential property inspired by the decor and ambience of traditional Qatari homes. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Executive Manager of Al Rayyan Project Management, Abdulla bin Ali Al-Attiyah said: “The Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels brand is

built with distinctiveness and eccentricity being at the heart of each and every one of the properties. Arumaila and Musheireb, as well as The Residences, carry this brand identity across all their offerings, ensuring that guests experience every aspect of the brand from the moment they enter the buildings to the moment they leave Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels. We look forward to welcoming guests from Qatar, the Arab region and across the world in the coming months,” he concluded. Arumaila Boutique Hotel offers a total of 19 rooms – 17 standard rooms and two

suites – while Musheireb features 14 rooms – ten deluxe rooms and four suites. The Residences offer four three-bedroom and five one-bedroom residences. In addition to impressive fine dining restaurants such as the The Canteen and Al Matbakh-Rooftop Grill in Arumaila, and Al Mataam in Musheireb, both boutique hotels are equipped with a full range of state-of-the-art facilities that include gyms and spas. Currently, Al Najada, Al Mirqab, Arumaila and Musheireb Boutique Hotels are operational, while additional hotels will be revealed to the public in the second quarter of 2012.

june 2012

Qatar Today 11 7


doha diary

Hamad bin Khalifa University Convocation 2012

d

onning their traditional caps and robes, hundreds of graduates received their graduation rings from HE Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, President of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and Vice-President of Education at Qatar Foundation (QF), during the fifth convocation ceremony, held for the first time under the auspices of HBKU, which

brings together all of the higher education and related research at QF. The class of 2012 signifies the highest number of graduates in QF’s history, with 373 students participating in this year’s convocation. The gender gap has also narrowed, with 188 women and 185 men making up the Class of 2012. HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of QF, led the charge to the Class of

2012, saying: “I see in you the blossoming of new futures, which I have worked so long to establish through the providing of quality education. And as we have helped create new futures for you, it is now your responsibility to create new futures for the coming generations who follow in your pioneering footsteps.”

First step towards medicine

S

eventeen foundation students at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) received their completion certificates for the WCMC-Q Foundation Programme – a one-year bridging course for Qatari nationals who are keen to pursue a career in medicine. The programme is aimed mainly at school leavers who show interest in the field of medicine, to prepare them to improve their competency in critical areas necessary to be eligible for admission to the preliminary stages of the medical degree offered at WCMC-Q.

Innovations Unlimited ME wins award

I

nnovations Unlimited ME (IUME), a Qatar-based event management company, has won an award for the ‘Best Special Event’ of the Middle East 2012. “This award is a great honour for our company and it shows that great attention to detail and creativity get recognised by our peers in our industry,” said Markus Jordan, Managing Partner. “I am very proud of my professional and dedicated team who worked endless hours to stage the Best Special Event in the Middle East, in Qatar!”

QF HonoUrs Student Sponsor

Q

atar Foundation (QF) hosted a congratulatory dinner at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) Student Centre in honour of Bader Abdullah Al-Darwish, who granted the ‘Abdullah Al-Darwish Scholarship’ to eight students from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) to help finance their tuition.

11 8 Qatar Today

june 2012

“I’m convinced it is my duty to serve and support the development of our country,” said Al-Darwish. “By sponsoring education I hope to participate in making Qatar a leader in innovative education and research. We will convert Qatar into a knowledge-based society and I’m proud of these students, whom I consider to be like my children.”


World’s Most

Innovative Companies 1

Market Cap

Industry

QR75.5

Software and Programming

billion

QR306

2

billion

QR76

3

billion

QR187

4

billion

QR1.98

5

trillion

QR64

6

billion

QR739

7

billion

QR34.7

8

billion

QR48.5

9

billion

QR154

10

Following on from last month’s cover story on entrepreneurship, and how small businesses make it big, Qatar Today ‘s June Top Ten list looks at the world’s most innovative companies and how they are still trying to make it even bigger...

billion

Internet and Catalogue Retail

Medical Equipment and Supplies

Computer Services

Computer Hardware

Consumer Goods

Computer Services

Cosmetics

Electrical Equipment

Specialised Chemicals

Innovation Premium*

75.1

Salesforce is a provider of enterprise cloud computing applications. It provides a customer and collaboration relationship management (CRM) service to businesses of all sizes and industries worldwide and provides a technology platform for customers and developers to build and run business applications.

58.9

Amazon serves consumers through its retail websites and focuses on selection, price and convenience. Its four customer sets include consumers, sellers, enterprises and content creators. It also manufactures and sells Kindle devices. It offers programmes that enable sellers to sell their products on its websites and their own branded websites and to fulfill orders through it.

57.6

Intuitive Surgical designs, manufactures and markets da Vinci Surgical Systems, which consist of a surgeon’s console, a patientside cart and a vision system, as well as other accessories. It translates a surgeon’s natural hand movements, which are performed on instrument controls at a console, into corresponding micro-movements of instruments positioned inside the patient through small incisions, or ports.

52.3

Tencent Holdings is an investment holding company, where it and its subsidiaries are principally engaged in the provision of Internet value-added services, mobile and telecommunications value-added services and online advertising services to users in the People’s Republic of China.

48.2

Apple, along with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures and markets mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players, and sells a range of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions and third-party digital content and applications.

47.7

Hindustan Unilever is India’s largest consumer goods company, based in Mumbai. It is owned by the British-Dutch company Unilever, which controls a 52% majority stake in it. Its products include foods, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products.

44.9

Google is a global technology company focused on improving the ways people connect with information. It generates revenue primarily by delivering online advertising. Its business is focused on areas such as search, advertising, operating systems and platforms, and enterprise. Businesses use its AdWords programme to promote their products and services with targeted advertising.

44.5

Natura Cosmeticos is a Brazil-based company that, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the manufacture, industrialisation, distribution and commercialisation of cosmetics, fragrances and personal hygiene products under the brand name Natura. It operates in Chile, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Spain and the Netherlands.

43.6

Bharat Heavy Electricals is an India-based engineering and manufacturing company which is engaged in the energy related/ infrastructure sector. It caters to sectors including power generation and transmission, industry, transportation, renewable energy and defence. It has a network of 15 manufacturing divisions, four power sector regions, regional offices, and a number of project sites spread all over India and abroad.

42.6

Monsanto, along with its subsidiaries, is a provider of agricultural products for farmers. Its seeds, biotechnology trait products and herbicides provide farmers with solutions that improve productivity, reduce the costs of farming, and produce better foods for consumers and better feed for animals. It manages business in two segments: seeds and genomics, and agricultural productivity.

* The Innovation Premium is a measure of how much investors have bid up the stock price of a company above the value of its existing business based on expectations of future innovative results (new products, services and markets). Members of the list must have QR36.38 billion ($10 billion) in market capitalisation, spend at least 1% of their asset base on research and development, and have seven years of public data

12 0 Qatar Today

june 2012

List compiled from : Forbes.com


Qatar Today June 2012  

Qatar Inc. aims highQatar Today Top TenQatar Today once again looks at the top-performing companies on the Qatar Exchange in 2011 and tries...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you