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inside this issue May 2013 / Vol. 39/ Issue 5

cover story

50 Getting ready for 2022

The World Cup is just nine years away and plans are beginning to turn into reality. Qatar Today looks at some of the major infrastructure projects as well as asking how small- and medium-sized enterprises can leverage all of this to grow, diversify and ultimately export their products and services abroad.

spot light

84 Pushing a healthy nation

The spotlight focus for May is on the healthcare industry in Qatar. As the population sneaks towards two million, the big healthcare news for residents here is the introduction of compulsory health insurance. Qatar’s key stakeholders explain their strategies during this key changeover.

special focus

68 Going Dutch

The Netherlands celebrated a ceremony of investiture for their new King, Willem-Alexander, last month. The Dutch ambassador says that the nation is looking forward to matching Qatari ambitions with Dutch expertise, and link up Qatari and Dutch organisations and enterprises. Qatar Today takes a close look at what he means by this.

38 Kahramaa getting smarter

Electricity generated through photovoltaic cells at QF’s Solar Smart Grid Project will soon feed Kahramaa main grids. This revolutionary project will transform the country into a renewable energy role model in the region, says HE Eng Issa Bin Hilal Al Kuwari, President, Kahramaa in an exclusive interview with Sindhu Nair.

44 Go long on oil

What’s keeping oil-prices flat? Should the Qatari Riyal abandon its US dollar peg and go it alone? Where will the smart money be invested in the coming week and months? Rory Coen caught up with Burkhard Varnholt, Chief Investment Officer at Bank Sarasin, to get the important answers.


inside this issue May 2013 / Vol. 39/ Issue 5

60 Carbon neutered

Qatar is in the process of a first-of-its-kind experiment to investigate the use of floating mangroves for ‘carbon sequestration’ - the capturing of carbon emission - at Lusail Marina. Rory Coen got the insights of Benno Boer, Ecological Sciences Advisor for UNESCO Arab Region.

64 Collaborating for change

Gavi Alliance is a public-private partnership committed to saving children’s lives by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries. In an exclusive interview with Abigail Mathias, the people behind Gavi describe their international efforts and explain why they are here.

20 Financially Empowering Women

Ask most people to name the world’s largest emerging market and they will inevitably answer China or India. However, there is another emerging market that is forecast to grow by $5 trillion during the next decade – a figure double that of the GDPs of China and India combined. This particular emerging market is "women" says David Russell.

28 Sustainable Living

Qatar's first Passivhaus project marks a major shift in the country's construction industry.

and regulars 10 newsbites 22 o&g overview 16 bank notes 26 realty check 82 teck talk 102 auto news 106 market watch 114 doha diary


from the desk The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be. Isaac Asimov

Qatar Today, in its quest to bring you the most newsworthy stories from in and around the country, has always tried to keep abreast of change. Continuing with this spirit, we bring you our invigorating new design, with a fresh take on news, in a format that makes reading easier and more engaging. While our stories get more investigative, our designs aim to lure the readers with strong infographics and aesthetic layouts. We hope you"ll love our new look as much as we do. 2008

2009

2011

Nine years from now we will be approaching the most anticipated event ever in the country – the 2022 World Cup. People, preparation and proper planning are important links to the success of any event. Making the right decisions and hiring effective people to execute those decisions are crucial aspects of these preparations – and and the time to get started is NOW. Qatar Today’s cover story looks at the business that will be generated over the next few years and the impetus it will give to the SME sector. While the process of tendering and awarding contracts is slow, Qatar is keen to tackle the issue from a larger perspective. It has addressed the issue of workers' rights through a charter announced last month, by Qatar Foundation (QF) and the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee (Q22), which if enforced, will go a long way to ensure the health and safety of expats employed in the nation’s construction and service industries. How this translates into action has yet to be seen but we all hope this will be a harbinger of a World Cup with a conscience. World Cup 2022 is about legacy, and sustainability is already on Qatar’s agenda right now. This month, Qatar Today focuses on some interesting stories that reflect these principles: Kahramaa’s forays into solar energy, the Lusail Mangrove project, and the Passivhaus – all of which show an intent to get to grips with sustainable living. Read our stories on the ecological initiatives to understand the impact they could eventually have on our daily lives. So, welcome to intelligent reading. Enjoy the new look of Qatar Today and don't forget to tell us what you think about it. E-mail us or go to our Facebook pages to give your comments.

Sindhu Nair


Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Yousuf Jassem Al Darwish Chief Executive Sandeep Sehgal Executive Vice President Alpana Roy Vice President Ravi Raman editorial Editor Sindhu Nair SENIOR CORRESPONDENTS rory coen eZdhar ibrahim abigail mathias art senior Art Director Venkat Reddy deputy Art Director Hanan Abu Saiam assistant art director Ayush Indrajith senior Graphic Designer maheshwar reddy Photographer Robert F ALTImirano marketing and sales senior Manager – Marketing Zulfikar Jiffry ASSISTANT MANAGERS – MARKETING Chaturka Karandana THOMAS JOSE senior Media ConsultantS HASSAN REKKAB LYDIA YOUSSEF MARKETING RESEARCH AND SUPPORT EXECUTIVE KANWAL BALUCH senior Accountant Pratap Chandran distribution Sr. Distribution Executive Bikram Shrestha Distribution Support Arjun Timilsina Bhimal Rai basanta pokhrel

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 © 2013 Oryx Advertising Co WLL


letters

QT POLL

SMS

33 I6I 425

HAS THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE WORLD CUP 2022 BEGUN IN EARNEST? last month qatar today poll Getting real The last issue of Qatar Today had a delightful new feature which I adored. It talked to people about the country we all love. It humanises the magazine and makes us see beyond the success stories of the country. We hope to read more such “real” stories. Rahel Nehat

NDIA Fail It is really disappointing that the new international airport has not opened on schedule. After the big build up to the launch, Qatar has stalled. I was so looking forward to flying out from the new terminal.

Are you a member of a sports league?

63 37 YES

NO

Mujib

Inspiring women I was very inspired reading about Shefa Ali Nader in the piece about the wellness-in-the-workplace programme. It’s great to see a young Qatari woman take such initiative and interest in helping people become healthier and less stressed out. This seems like such a great idea and maybe it can become bigger and we can see similar programmes in other workplaces. Mohammed ismail

Fulfilling your dream Muhammed Mekki’s story of going from nowhere to gaining a $20 million investment is truly inspiring. It was as interesting to read about the mistakes he made as much as the key decisions that paid off. If you’re not willing to risk everything to reach your dream, then it mightn’t be worth risking anything.

experience a new era of reading Qatar Today invites readers’ feedback

Share your views about the magazine or any issue that affects you here. One lucky reader will win an exquisite MontBlanc writing instrument. Write to: The Editor, Qatar Today PO Box 3272, Doha. Fax: (+974) 44550982, email: qtoday@omsqatar.com

ahmed

Qatar’s Soft Power As a Qatari, I wish there was more discrepancy on the decisions to invest on foreign assets. Although I agree on a lot of the assets that are owned by the country, I wish that the decisions behind these investments would be channeled through the media so that we know. It is a matter of national pride and also to enable our participation in national interests. K Al-Hajri

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.

Check out all articles of Qatar Today on www.QATARTODAYONLINE.COM www.issuu.com/oryxmags/qatartoday follow us on www.facebook.com/qatartoday www.twitter.com/qatartoday www.qatartoday.tumblr.com 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.


affairs > local Business priorities

Remy Rowhani, CEO of Qatar Chamber’ addressing the assembled delegates from over 140 countries for a “historic” International Chamber of Commerce World Trade Agenda Summit in Doha last month. Delegates gave their stamp of approval to a final set of business priorities that would provide a debtfree stimulus to the global economy at a time when governments are struggling to inject growth into their own economies.

Population explosion

1,920,798 recorded on March 31, 2013

On shaky ground Hundreds of people rushed from homes and offices across Doha on April 9 and 16 after feeling ground disturbances from two earthquakes that rocked Iran.

An increase of 92% since January 2007 when it passed the one million mark.

12 > qatar today > may 2013

T

he epicentre of the April 9 earthquake, which measured 5.3 on the Richter scale, was just 300 or so kilometres from Doha, across the Persian Gulf in the Bushehr Province of Iran. Exactly a week later, Iran was hit by a much stronger 6.8 earthquake close to its Pakistan border. Both quakes killed dozens of people and injured thousands. “Some residents of Qatar felt tremors following an earthquake in Bushehr City of Iran. There is no damage or casualties in Qatar,” the Ministry of Interior tweeted. The first earthquake caused severe damage to the city of Kaki in the Bushehr province especially. However, there was no damage done to the nuclear power station that was in close proximity to the epicentre of the quake.


word of the month The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, speaking in Doha last month.

“We aim to build on the achievements so far and intensify our commercial contacts with Qatar. We plan to extend not only our commercial and financial but also our cultural and intellectual partnerships. Our job is to make all our Qatari friends feel welcome in London.“

Qatar continuing to spend big

Qatar unveiled its budgetary estimates for the current financial year (2013-14) last month, earmarking a record QR210.6 billion ($57.9 billion) for public spending – an 18% increase on the previous budget. 2013-14 budget

4 2I8 77.52 II.35 %

Estimated Growth

T

he largest increase is on public projects, where allocations are up 40% to QR74.88 billion. Education received an expected boost once again with a 15% increase in spending as the country continues its focus on creating a knowledge-based economy. A large portion of the current spending on education goes into research and development. “This is a key step ahead as the education sector now has a 3.8% share of the country’s GDP,” said Minister of Economy and Finance HE Yousuf Hussein Kamal. Healthcare spending increased by 13%, and the health minister said the outlay includes spending on Al Wakra Hospital (bringing it to full capacity), Sidra Hospital, and build-

ing several specialised hospitals for women and children. Total revenues are estimated at QR218 billion ($60 billion), up 6% on the previous fiscal year; much of the estimated increase is expected to come through tax collection. The budgetary estimates are based on an oil price of $65 a barrel, unchanged from the previous budget. Current expenditure has been estimated at QR77.52 billion, up 27% on the previous fiscal year, while salaries and wages have been given an outlay of QR44.26 billion (up 24%). Capital expenditure has increased by 9% to QR11.35 billion. The minister said that the country’s economy was expected to grow by over 4%, backed mainly by growth in the non-hydrocarbons sector.

Total Revenues: QR218 billion (up 6%)

Current expenditure: QR77.52 billion (up 27%)

Capital Expenditure: QR11.35 billion (up 9%)

qatar today > may 2013 > 13


affairs > local

Ooredoo finally launched its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network last month. It is planning to roll out the service on a phased basis, with speeds initially available in Doha and the Sealine district, but further plans are in place to add to the total number of towers every month.

4G is here!

W

ith Ooredoo 4G, customers can experience connection speeds that are three-to-six times faster than the existing 3G network. This enables seamless connections when

I SAY

“It is good to have [ambassadordesignate to Qatar Shuaibu Adamu Ahmed] arrive here in Qatar, and we do hope that he will be willing to meet with the community soon in order to listen to their yearnings and aspirations.“ O.J. Millar, Nigerians in Diaspora OrganisationQatar chapter (NIDO-Qatar) president, upon the opening of a Nigerian embassy in Doha.

14 > qatar today > may 2013

browsing multimedia-rich websites, updating social media, or streaming music and HD video with 4G USB modems and My-Fi devices. For example, customers can download a 600 MB album or HD movie in only a few minutes, and upload very big files in the blink of an eye. Since 2012, hundreds of customers have been testing the 4G LTE network, and Ooredoo has used their feedback to optimise the user experience. The move is another major step towards making Qatar one of the best-connected countries in the world, in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030. Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Operating Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said: “This is an important day for Qatar and for Ooredoo, as we launch the fastest-ever mobile Internet. We are taking a bold step forward into the 4G era, with mobile devices seamlessly delivering online content at the fastest-ever speeds. We are focused upon offering mobile Internet ‘at the speed of life’ with Ooredoo 4G, and we will be adding to the total number of towers supporting 4G throughout the year to deliver this.”

Qatarisation programme

on target Qatar Foundation expects its total staff employment to reach the target rate of 50% Qatarisation by 2016. Through an ambitious plan, the Human Resources Directorate aims to tap into the country’s human development capacity and increase the number of Qatari nationals across all its sectors.

P

ositive results have already begun to show, as Qatar Foundation succeeded in achieving the initial 50% Qatarisation goal stipulated in its first five-year plan from 2006 to 2011, and is continuing to see a marked improvement in its current five-year plan from 2011 to 2016. Commenting on the organisation’s longterm strategy and future employment plans, Human Resources Directorate Recruitment Manager Ahmed Al-Obaidly said: “We conduct an annual assessment to monitor the

ratio of Qataris joining every year, in order to ensure that the outcome meets our strategic objectives. I can say that we have been achieving very positive results on this front. “We are always seeking capable nationals who can lead the Foundation’s projects as well as research and education centres. We prepare students by offering them educational scholarships and facilitating training at the best institutes and international companies, so that we can help them assume future positions,” Al-Obaidly added.


affairs > local Sudanese reach

NEW APPOINTMENT! Kyle Whitehall will assume the position of CEO at Vodafone Qatar next month. The incumbent CEO Richard Daly, will be returning home to the UK for family reasons. Whitehill will join Vodafone Qatar from Vodafone Ghana, where he has been Chief Executive Officer since 2010.Whitehill has worked for Vodafone Group since 2001 and has previously held a variety of senior roles including Enterprise Business Unit Director in the UK and Chief Operating Officer in India.

28

QR28 billion – Qatar’s travel industry’s worth in 2013. A 30% increase on 2012

“The figures are indicative of the strong growth potential of the overall travel and tourism sector in Qatar. Undoubtedly, the sector will see further advancement on the back of ambitious development plans by the government to transform Qatar’s travel industry.“ Wafiq al-Wahidi General Manager, Amadeus Qatar

accord in Doha “We are grateful for Qatar’s continued support and efforts towards peace in different conflicts around the world. We (both parties) agree on all terms of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD) and seek to bring peace, security and stability to the region.“ Amin Hassan Omar DDPD head and Minister of State at the Presidency, who signed on behalf of the Sudanese government In context: A final peace and cooperation agreement between the Sudanese government and rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) was signed in Doha on April 6 by their representatives. For JEM, the agreement was signed by its chairman, Mohamed Bishr Ahmad. HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani attended the signing ceremony.

SPACE PROGRAMME

DOHA, We have a problem The Qatar Satellite Company, EshailSat, will forge ahead with its ambitious “Es’hail“ project after the Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, issued a decree approving Qatar joining the UN Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space.

E

s’hailSat selected Arianespace to launch its first satellite, Es’hail 1, in the current quarter (April-June) on board an Ariane 5 launcher. Es’hail 1 will provide television, internet, corporate and government services in expanding markets across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. The selection of Arianespace to deliver Es’hail 1 into orbit marks a step forward in the Es’hailSat programme to invest in and operate a high-performance satellite at 25.5 degrees East, a well-established or-

16 > qatar today > may 2013

bital position for television broadcast services. The new satellite will provide further resources for television broadcasting and will also open up new business opportunities for Es’hailSat and its customers. The six-tonne satellite will be launched from Arianespace’s space port in Kourou, French Guiana, on the east coast of South America. Es’hail is from the Arabic root word “Suhayl”, which means Canopus or the bright star Alpha in the southern constellation Argo.

Serious accident kills two Two people were killed and many seriously injured in a head-on collision involving two minibuses and a four-wheeler at the intersection below the Ras Abu Aboud flyover last month. The Sri Lankan embassy confirmed that two of the deceased were Sri Lankan nationals. The minibuses were transporting employees of the Doha Marriott Hotel in Ras Abu Aboud to their accommodation in the city.


business>bank notes A seminar to highlight opportunities for small and medium sized businesses seeking to be part of the Qatar Exchange (QE) Venture Market was held at Doha Bank last month.

Initiative to help SMEs launched

T

he initiative is a revolutionary new opportunity to pursue bold entrepreneurial visions and also benefit from the access to capital that being listed entails. Companies on the QE Venture Market will trade on the same Universal Trading Platform (UTP) infrastructure used by the QE’s main market, and also benefit from the same regulatory safeguards afforded to main market companies. The Venture Market will be clearly identifiable as a separate and dedicated marketplace tailored to the needs of small and medium sized companies. Early dialogue is recommended with Qatar Exchange and the Qatar Financial Markets Authority, which is the listing authority for the QE Venture Market. The first step is an initial

review of the requirements for becoming a listed company. An applicant must: be a joint-stock company licensed by the Ministry of Business and Trade (foreign issuers are exempt) have a minimum free float of 10% have a minimum subscribed capital of QR5 million have an audited one-year track record publish an Information Memorandum approved by QFMA undertake to adhere to all QE regulations submit documents as specified by QE: application form; copy of Articles and Memorandum of Association; copy of valid Commercial Registration

DGIC ready to float Doha Global Investment Company is set to float on the Qatar stock exchange this month, offering Qatar’s citizens a chance to share in the profits the country has been making.

T

he chairman of the exchange’s board of directors, Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla, announced that shares in the business were likely to be offered as soon as all the technical procedures and approvals associated with the listing were completed. He said that the firm would have paid-up capital of QR45 billion, half of which will be offered to investors and half of which will remain in the hands of the government’s sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Holding. The face value of the shares of the new firm (Doha Global Investment Company) will be QR10, of which QR5 will be paid up.

18 > qatar today > may 2013

QUOTE

“[Qatar’s] investment goals are not merely domestic. Through bodies such as the Qatar Investment Authority and its subsidiaries – Qatar Holding, Qatari Diar, Qatar Mining, Hassad Food and Qatar Petroleum – we are building a carefully-selected portfolio of prime assets spread across asset classes and geographies.“ HE the Minister of Finance and Economy, Yousuf Hussein Kamal


business > bank notes

Banks reveal first quarter results

As a result of QNB's high credit ratings and outstanding asset quality, it was selected as one the world’s 50 safest financial institutions by Global Finance.

20 > qatar today > may 2013

QNB QNB Group recently announced its financial results for the three months ended March 31. The bank achieved a net profit of QR2.1 billion, up by 6.7% compared with the same period last year. These results do not include financial results of NSGB Egypt where, during the first quarter of 2013, the Group successfully completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in NSGB amounting to 97.12%, which included the full stake of Societe Generale of France, amounting to 77.17%, along with 19.95% acquired from other shareholders. This acquisition is considered one of the largest in the Middle East and is in line with QNB Group’s strategy to expand its presence in selected markets in the region that have strong growth potential. This acquisition is an important step for QNB Group to realise its vision of being a Middle East and Africa icon by 2017. As a result of the bank’s high credit rating and outstanding asset quality, it was selected as one the world’s 50 safest financial institutions by Global Finance. Based on the Group’s continuous strong performance and expanding

international presence, it is currently ranked as the most valuable brand in the MENA region, with a world ranking of 120. International Islamic Capitalising on the opportunities for Sharia-based financing in the local market, International Islamic Bank posted a net profit of QR185.3 million in the first quarter of 2013, up 5.6% on the same quarter last year. The bank’s total assets stood at QR29.3 billion in Q1 compared with QR23.3 billion last year, while its financing portfolio reached QR15.6 billion compared with QR10.5 billion last year. Deposits totalled QR20.4 billion in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 20%; its capital adequacy ratio under Basel II stood at 18.7%, which indicates prudent risk management strategies. International Islamic Chairman and Managing Director Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani Al-Thani said the results attested the fact that International Islamic had improved its position both in the local market and abroad. The bank has gained significantly from the Qatari economy, which is


on an upswing thanks to the wise leadership and policies being pursued by HH the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and HH the Heir Apparent, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Commercial Bank Commercial Bank’s net profit increased by 7.3% to QR506 million in the first quarter of this year compared with QR471 million last year. The bank’s total assets grew 22% to QR85.6 billion. Customer loans and advances rose by 22% to QR51.4 billion and customers’ deposits grew by 22% to QR46.2 billion. Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Attiyah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Commercial Bank, said: “Qatar’s economy is expected to grow strongly in 2013 with an increasing contribution from the non-hydrocarbons sector. The recent budget demonstrates the government’s continuing strong commitment to infrastructure development as well as increasing investment in education and health. Commercial Bank has made a strong start to the year with growth continuing in wholesale and retail businesses; we will remain focused in 2013 on growing our core domestic businesses whilst developing our international alliance businesses in Oman and in the UAE, alongside our future new partnership in Turkey.” Andrew Stevens, CommercialBank’s Group Chief Executive, said: “In line with our expectations, the Qatar market has seen limited growth in both the public and private sectors during the period, with competitive pricing dynamics continuing to place pressure on margins. Despite this, the bank has been successful in growing its lending and continues to diversify its income sources to offset pressure on core income.”

Doha Bank Doha Bank posted a net profit of QR395 million for the first quarter of 2013, up 1.4% on the same period in 2012. The bank’s loans and advances grew by 14.9% to reach QR34.4 billion. Total assets grew by QR4.5 billion, more than 8.4%, to QR57.2 billion, while customer deposits reached QR33.2 billion in the first quarter, a growth of 5.9%. Doha Bank Managing Director Sheikh Abdul Rehman bin Mohammad bin Jabor Al Thani said: “The bank has become extremely strong over the years, with shareholders’ funds amounting to QR8.5 billion as of March 31, registering an increase of 28.8% during the last twelve months.” Doha Bank Group Chief Executive Officer Dr R. Seetharaman said: “Continuing with our significant achievements in 2012, the first quarter of 2013 was successful in meeting and exceeding customer expectations and maintaining our leadership in terms of performance, innovation, security and quality.” Doha Bank has successfully completed a 25% capital increase through a rights issue of QR1.55 billion. The bank’s existing shareholders registered at the Qatar Exchange, subscribed to these additional shares at a rate of QR30 per share, representing a premium of QR20 in addition to a nominal value of QR10 per share. The issue was oversubscribed by 1.8 times. This capital increase will enhance the shareholders’ equity base and support the bank’s prospects for achieving its strategic goals at the local, regional and global levels, the bank said. Earlier, during the bank’s general assembly, a 45% cash dividend was approved and distributed to the shareholders accordingly.

The recent budget demonstrates the government’s continuing strong commitment to infrastructure development as well as increasing investment in education and health.

net profits

QNB

International Islamic

qR billion

2.I

I85 qR Million

506 qR Million

395

6.7%

5.6%

7.3%

I.4%

Commercial bank

Doha Bank

qR Million

qatar today > may 2013 > 21


business > viewpoint

Financially Empowering Women

BY David Russell Senior Executive Officer, Guardian Wealth Management

"For women, financial security is peace of mind that they and their family will be protected during the challenges that life can throw at them, and the ability to relax rather than struggle to make ends meet in retirement."

HERE COME THE GIRLS one emerging market is ‘women’, who currently make up

40 66

%

of the global workforce

and whose collective wage is set to rise IN THE COMING YEARS to QR

trillion ($18 trillion)

22 > qatar today > may 2013

A

sk most people to name the world’s largest emerging market and they will inevitably answer China or India. However, there is another emerging market that is forecast to grow by $5 trillion (QR18 trillion) during the next decade – a figure double that of the GDPs of China and India combined. David Russell asked Claudine Gillard, Senior Financial Consultant at Guardian Wealth Management about this emerging market and how it links with the launch of a female-focused advice service. This particular emerging market is “women”, who currently make up 40% of the global workforce according to the International Labour Office, and whose collective wage is set to rise from $13 trillion to 18 trillion (QR47 trillion to 66 trillion) in the coming years. Yet while the level of women’s earnings rises, their view of money can be very different from that of men. Research from TD Bank Group, one of the largest financial service providers in North America, reveals that women see achieving financial independence as a key measure of success when it comes to financial planning. Having spent over 15 years giving customised financial advice to high-net-worth clients at high-profile private banking operations of HSBC, Barclays and Bank of Scotland, where the client base was made up of local residents as well as expats, Gillard has seen first-hand the lack of thought that often goes into the area of financial services for women, and why she feels now is the right time for Guardian Wealth Management to launch a bespoke service in Qatar. “I’m a firm believer that it is important to understand the difference in attitude that men and women have regarding their wealth. It is a proven fact that women will live longer, but have a shorter working life due to time off for family commitments as well as the ongoing discrepancy in pay. For women, financial security is peace of mind that they and their family will be protected

during the challenges that life can throw at them, and the ability to relax rather than struggle to make ends meet in retirement. In terms of priorities, luxury items come way down the list after children’s education, wedding costs and first homes, followed by the ability to cover health care needs in their later years and financial security in retirement.” Driving force Gillard explains what is driving this different sense of what is important when it comes to accumulating wealth. “Much of it is driven by women’s ability to save,” says Gillard, “due to their likely lower earnings throughout their career as well as the fact that savings are often curtailed or interrupted either through taking a career break or working part-time to raise a family. Women also tend to stop working much earlier than men and retire sooner. Furthermore, one statistic that serves as a loud wake-up call on the road to financial independence is that 95% of women will end up alone at some point in their lives due to divorce or widowhood. What I want to do is take away that anxiety if a woman is ever faced with that problem. “A female-focused financial advice service not only responds to these different priorities, but serves to promote a better understanding of the financial services landscape that appeals to professional women and full-time mothers alike. Typically, women focus on a detail-led approach that ensures they are completely certain about the transaction before they go ahead. Women also like to be certain they are seeking advice from an independent, regulated adviser with the credentials to match and fully authorised by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA),” she adds. As Gillard highlights above, the key to empowering women to reach the financial goals they have set for themselves is to ensure the route taken is as trouble-free and female-focused as possible


business>oil&gas A vision is needed

Khalid Sultan Al-Kuwari, Chief Marketing and Shipping Executive of RasGas, speaking to a young audience at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar as part of the Dean’s Lecture Series.

“In order to become a major energy supplier to the globe you need a vision, execution, a deep understanding of markets, a robust strategy and good people.“

GLOBAL LNG pricE to change? With the modern global LNG industry approaching its 50th birthday next year, a massive amount of new LNG capacity has been proposed – as much as 350 million (metric) tonnes per year (mtpa) – which, if all were built, would more than double current capacity (of less than 300 mtpa) by 2025.

E

ven with reasonably strong demand growth, this implies growing supply-side competition and upward pressures on development costs and downward pressures on natural gas prices. Nevertheless, the very positive longer-term outlook for natural gas is driving investment decisions, both in terms of buyers’ willingness to sign long-term contracts and sellers’ willingness to commit capital to de-

velop the needed projects. LNG demand growth is front-loaded, but in the wake of a capacity surge over the past few years, capacity growth is now back-loaded. This was discussed in a recent Ernst & Young report. LNG development costs have been rising at a torrid pace, and with LNG demand shifting to new, more price-sensitive customers just as the supply side battles with rising costs and increasing competition, sellers must

Proposed LNG CAPACITY

tonnes per year by 2025 adapt. The supply/demand magnitudes and dynamics aside, the biggest potential impacts are on LNG pricing. Going forward over the medium to longer term, there will most likely be a gradual but partial migration away from oil-linked pricing to more spot or hub-based pricing. LNG sellers are reluctantly facing the realities of pricing and are offering concessions in order to remain competitive, according to the report.

Rasgas

gets more storage space

RasGas celebrated yet another facility milestone when it opened a new state-ofthe-art warehouse at its Ras Laffan premises recently. The new warehouse provides support and services for all internal and external user departments of RasGas, including both its onshore and offshore facilities. The number of items held in stock, for example, is expected to rise from 55,000 to 95,000, according to officials. 24 > qatar today > may 2013


business > oil and gas

UMM Slal delivers LNG to Singapore

info

Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), the international arm of Qatar Petroleum (QP)

centrica plc

qpi

20II Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two parties To acquire jointly a package of producing conventional natural gas and crude oil assets and associated infrastructure located in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin from Suncor Energy for

3.58

Qatargas has delivered its first-ever cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Singapore.

T

he cargo was delivered on board the Q-Max LNG carrier Umm Slal to Singapore LNG Corporation Pte Ltd (SLNG)’s first LNG receiving terminal at Jurong Island. The Umm Slal began her voyage from Ras Laffan Port on March

17 with approximately 200,000 cubic meters of LNG on board, and on March 27 she safely berthed and commenced discharging her cargo at Jurong Island LNG terminal, marking the first delivery of LNG from Qatargas to Singapore.

QPI & Exxon to evaluate gas resources in North America

Q

atar Petroleum International and ExxonMobil have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that expands their cooperation and seeks to provide for joint activities to evaluate unconventional natural gas resources in North America and certain global liquefied natural gas (LNG) opportunities. The agreement aims to provide Qatar Petroleum International with potential opportunities to pursue prospects in a broad range of unconventional natural gas resources and associated liquids. No transactions have taken place so far, and any transactions will be subject to future announcement. “Over the past two decades, Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil have been working

26 > qatar today > may 2013

together to develop an unrivaled liquefied natural gas business in Qatar, supplying cleaner-burning natural gas to markets across the globe,” said HE Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum International. “Now we look forward to a new chapter in our relationship as we commit to exploring opportunities in North America and elsewhere.” Nasser Al-Jaidah, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Petroleum International, commented that this cooperation with ExxonMobil supports Qatar Petroleum’s intention to expand its international portfolio in order to help meet the growing global demand for energy.

QR billion

The assets would be held in a newly established partnership between Centrica and QPI to be operated by centrica

centrica plc

qpi

60 40 %

%

The assets include proven and probable (2P) reserves estimated by the partners

978 90

%

billion cubic feet equivalent (BCFE)

natural gas

production estimated - 2013

250 15

million cubic million feet per day barrels of oil per annum


business > realty check

How transparent are real estate markets? TN LB

MO

JO

ALG

IQ

EG

KW

BH

PK QA

SA SA

OM SD

GH

UAE

NG

KE

Highly Transparent

AO

ZM

Transparent Semi-Transparent Low Transparency

BW

MU

Opaque Not Covered

Jones Lang LaSalle’s 2012 Global Real Estate Transparency Index, which now extends to 97 markets, reveals renewed impetus in transparency improvements across the world’s real estate markets.

Ezdan Net Profit

408

QR 408 million in 2012, up 18% from QR345 million in 2011.

28 > qatar today > may 2013

ZA

F

ollowing the slowdown in progress that was observed in several countries in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis, the 2012 biennial survey highlights steady improvement during the past two years. “Nearly 90% of markets have registered advances in real estate transparency since 2010. Of the 15 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) markets covered in the last two surveys, 12 have shown an improvement in transparency since 2010. However,

these improvements have been relatively modest and MENA remains one of the least transparent regions in the world,” says the report. Outside the UAE, improving transparency is not seen as a priority and few major new initiatives have been introduced since 2010, but Egypt is the only market in the region where transparency has declined over the past two years. The UAE has reinforced its position as the most transparent real estate market in the region, with progress being recorded in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Dubai is MENA’s most developed real estate market and remains the regional benchmark for transparency. While there have been no major new initiatives, modest gains in the areas of transactions process and property management have resulted in Dubai registering an improvement since 2010. There has been little change in other GCC markets Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain have all registered only negligible changes in transparency levels since 2010, as the region has remained more focused on the political/social tensions that have followed the Arab Spring, and on dealing with higher levels of supply. In general terms these markets score better in terms of their regulatory framework and least well in respect of market fundamentals. The GCC markets remain positioned at the lower end of the “Semi- Transparent“ category or the upper end of the “Low Transparency” category.

Ezdan to build more residential complexes Ezdan Holding Group, a leading real estate development company in the region, plans to construct 10 new residential complexes, most of them in Al Wakra. The proposed new villages will together offer over 5,000 two- and three-bedroom apartments. Of these, nine villages will be located in Al Wakra while the remaining one will be built in the north of Doha. Ten new villages for limited-income people will also be built, according to company officials. The company has three towers under construction located in West Bay, including Wahab Tower and Asia Towers, which are expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of this year. Ezdan Holding Group held its Annual General Meeting at La Perla, Ezdan Tower 1 and approved the distribution of a 1.3% cash dividend, at the rate of 13 dirhams per share, recommended by the company’s Board of Directors. The Group’s audited net profit stood at QR408.7 million for the financial year ended December 31, 2012, an increase of 18.32%. The Chairman of Ezdan Holding, Sheikh Dr Khalid bin Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, told the General Assembly that the Group had witnessed a remarkable performance.


business > realty check

Qatar’s foray into sustainable living

BY SINDHU NAIR

At the Baytna press conference, a journalist, new to the country wondered why there was such a fuss about this “small“ sustainable house. The reason is simple – the culture of abundance prevalent here makes any small step seem like a huge jump towards sustainable living.

BUILDING ENVELOPE

The Passive House has solar panels on its roof and recycled water is used for irrigation .

30 > qatar today > may 2013

I

mportant to note is the fact that per capita energy consumption in Qatar is among the highest in the world. Yet slowly but surely, a mind-set change is taking place. Sustainability is being discussed in conferences and implemented in projects. One such important step to integrate sustainability into everyday life is the Baytna (My Home) project revealed to the masses on April 22. Following months of planning, design and construction, Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), Kahramaa and Barwa Real Estate Group (BRE) celebrated the completion of Qatar’s first Passivhaus (Passive House), marking a major shift in the country’s burgeoning construction industry. The Passivhaus villa is an ultra-low-energy building, derived from a super insulated airtight building envelope that requires little energy for cooling, reducing its

environmental footprint. The building was officially opened alongside a conventional villa. Under the Baytna project, two identical villas of 225 sq m were constructed side by side in Barwa City for a comparative study on the benefits of the Passivhaus design in our hot and arid climate. The Passivhaus villa has been designed with all the comforts of modern living while consuming at least 50% less energy, water and operational carbon dioxide emissions. BRE, Deputy Group CEO, Eng. Ahmad Al Abdulla said, “Ten research universities, three consultants and 40 suppliers were involved in this pilot project and on this day our ambitions are translated into actions on the ground.” “This experiment demonstrates Barwa’s ambitious environmental strategy inspired by Qatar National Vision 2030, which


OPEN TO GREEN

QGBC officials, Kahramaa President, Barwa officials together inaugurate the new Passive House building

advocates sustainable practices not only in construction techniques, but in every aspect of our daily lives as individuals.” Work began in August 2012, and after eight months of construction, Baytna has successfully limited additional capital costs in construction of the Passivhaus to approximately 16% more than the conventional villa. The project’s initial aim was to keep the additional capital costs for the Passivhaus within 15 to 20% over the conventional villa’s costs. A six-month period of testing and commissioning will now commence to compare the villas’ baseline performance without occupants, after which in October 2013, the two houses will be let out to occupants who will “live test" the facility. The Passivhaus is certified by the Institute of Passivhaus, LEED and the local green building certifiers, QSAS.

PARTNERS' SPEAK (pictured right) QGBC, Chairman of the Research and Innovation Committee, Dr. Alex Amato says, “Stopping the heat coming in was the primary aim for the Passive House. We have included low-energy lighting, fitting and home appliances. Electricity is generated by the solar grid and the excess is said to go to the Kahramaa grid (this is not confirmed yet). We are metering and monitoring all the subsystems so that we can test the performance when the house is unoccupied and later when the house is occupied, so that we have one complete cooling cycle.“ (left) Bionest, Manager Specialist Divisions, Paul R Wykes says, “The waste management of the Passivhaus is quite revolutionary as we have recycled both the black and the grey water. The water is then used again for flushing and also for irrigation. What makes this remarkable is that there is no need for a connection with the main sewerage as it can all be recycled at site. Also to note is that there is absolutely no odour and the water is within healthy standards.“

Cost of the Passivhaus house

I.74 % I6

QR1.74 million

more than the "Impassive house".

I.6

If the same project is produced in larger quantities (250 units) the cost reduces by 5% to 10% to cost QR1.6 million. If mass-produced (pre-fabrication methods being used) the cost could be reduced further.

qatar today > may 2013 > 31


business > viewpoint

Assessing the new

state of play

Qatar’s insurance sector is vibrant and well placed as new regulatory and accounting changes for insurers come into play. Insurance companies and insurance supervisors that wish to stay ahead increasingly need international perspective and strategy. How will this new state of play impact local and international insurance entities in Qatar?

32 > qatar today > may 2013


T

he unrelenting pace of regulatory reform across the financial services sector continues, and important insurance initiatives such as the IAIS (International Association of Insurance Supervisors) Insurance Core Principles (ICPs) will be a key focus for many insurers during the next few years. As Qatar insurance supervisors begin to examine how best to introduce the new IAIS ICP requirements, a growing strategic challenge for insurers is how best to accommodate compliance and reporting requirements and extracting value. Revised ICPs were adopted in October 2011, and since then many insurance regulators have spoken about reform agendas that seek to capture and align themselves with the IAIS standards. This year is the second full year since adoption of the revised IAIS ICPs, with many of the world’s insurance regulators now putting pen to paper and proposing and implementing wide-ranging reform packages. ICPs take the form of 26 standards with accompanying guidance papers covering governance, legal, solvency, valuation and group supervisory requirements and are enforced by the IAIS, though real enforcement is achieved by the IMF/World Bank Financial Sector Assessment Programme (FSAP).

Risk management change IAIS have a strong focus on risk management through the Enterprise Risk Management – ERM standard (ICP 16). Risk management is not new to the insurance industry, but the pace of change in regulatory requirements is new for the region. The current global operating environment is characterised by low growth, flat yield curves and high expectations from external stakeholders such as analysts, rating agencies and regulators for quality risk and capital management. Considerable pressure is therefore being applied to the management of insurers to write profitable business and achieve a decent return on capital while at the same time maintaining robust risk and capital management frameworks and reducing operating expenses. Given these

imperatives, it is not surprising that many insurers are increasingly turning to their existing risk management functions and asking: how can we best optimise output to ensure value-enhancing performance? The past 10 years have seen considerable change generally, with risk emerging as a separate function, and the CRO becoming a significant board-level role in many insurance companies. Innovation from the capital and risk modelling work in this period has been used to influence and inform current practices. A significant proportion of this development has been triggered by regulatory need, which has for many firms tended to be interpreted as requiring a ‘compliance’ focus rather than being primarily driven by the business itself. For a few, these changes have been driven by the volatile and challenging market environment and the need to have a greater understanding of the risks being run. In the future, risk functions are going to have to justify the cost of risk management, from both a commercial and a compliance perspective. While many risk functions have made significant progress, driven largely by compliance considerations in some markets, they now need to step back and align the commercial and compliance perspectives. The capabilities for this new world are in no way different, but there will need to be a significant change in attitude and therefore in culture. Embedding an efficient and coherent risk framework will be fundamental to this, as well as ensuring that technology and reporting are well structured and aligned to business needs. Perhaps the biggest challenge will be working out how to measure cost and value so as to demonstrate this to stakeholders – this will be far more challenging than simply demonstrating effectiveness, which will be viewed as a given.

BY Adeel MUSHTAQ Senior Manager, KPMG Assurance and Advisory Services

"A significant proportion of this development has been triggered by regulatory need, which has for many firms tended to be interpreted as requiring a ‘compliance’ focus rather than being primarily driven by the business itself."

The Conduct Agenda change The approach of many supervisors continues to build upon the G20 concepts of Treating Customers Fairly and Customer Outcomes and includes some key learning qatar today > may 2013 > 33


business > viewpoint

"The new approach moves away from the traditional focus on point of sale and places the regulatory lens squarely into product design and customer value."

from recent insurance conduct issues. The new approach moves away from the traditional focus on point of sale and places the regulatory lens squarely into product design and customer value, in particular the product development process and governance, product features and customer needs and whether products are designed to be suitable and remain suitable for the intended consumer market. Suitability of existing products. There is an expectation that supervisors will continue to challenge the suitability of existing products sold in the sector, particularly where such products are very profitable; there are clear advantages to firms being proactive on this topic. Compliance levels of financial promotions and the robustness of financial promotions approval processes. Improvement required in post-sales processes, including complaints handling and post-sales reviews. Accounting change The insurance contract project of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), or IFRS 4 Phase II as it is commonly known is an ambitious project to have a single comprehensive measurement model for

all types of insurance contract. The project is in its final stages with a Re-exposure Draft expected this summer and the final standard expected by the end of the year. IFRS 4 Phase II proposes a completely new approach to profit and loss, performance measurement and monitoring put together with implications for the underlying system changes and processes insurers have to go through to produce required information. The Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI) has also taken up a project to review its guidance for Takaful contracts. KPMG has been mandated by AAOIFI to review guidance for Takaful contracts to bring them up to speed with the latest international standards within Islamic Shariah principles. The key challenge for insurers in Qatar is to manage the differing timelines, interdependences and alignment of the change, beyond systems and for business synergies. A comprehensive review plan should identify practices that can add genuine value so the business can derive real benefit out of what may otherwise be viewed as simply a compliance exercise e.g. setting of risk appetites and subsequent linking to strategy and business plans. Qatar insurers need to stay abreast of the IFRS 4 proposals to ensure they are well placed to adopt the standard. Cutting through complexity It is difficult to remember a time when the region’s insurers were facing so many regulatory pressures from so many sources. Coupled with the plain fact that the region is supporting the growth and expansion of the insurance industry, it is clearly critical for insurance companies – either those operating solely on a local and domestic level or those operating globally and throughout the region – to build the tools and capabilities to cut through this period of increasing regulatory complexity and build a solid platform that supports the successful implementation of strategy into the future

Adele Mushtaq is a senior manager with KPMG Assurance and Advisory Services, is a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and holds a BSc (Hons) Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom. He frequently speaks at insurance and Takaful seminars and is responsible for research, advice and training on insurance, Takaful, IFRS and Solvency II. He also acts as a Takaful and ReTakaful contact for Bahrain and is project manager for the KPMG AAOIFI technical team assisting in the development of an AAOIFI Takaful standard. 34 > qatar today > may 2013


business > viewpoint

Assessing ASEAN property markets

By Arno Maierbrugger

Southeast Asia currently has one of the hottest property markets worldwide, with plenty of investment opportunities especially in frontier economies such as Thailand and Malaysia.

dr. arno MAI ERBRUGGER is Editor-in-Chief of www. investvine.com, a news portal focusing on Southeast Asian economic topics as well as trade and investment relations between ASEAN and the GCC. Investvine.com updates its clients on current business news and financial market data and publishes interviews with prominent business people as well as government officials. The related website www. insideinvestor.com is currently being developed as an online platform connecting investors with investment opportunities.

36 > qatar today > may 2013

F

oreign capital has been flowing into the ASEAN market over the past few years, not least from investors trying to escape the sluggish economies in Europe and the US. Furthermore, GCC investors have also been on the lookout for good deals, as the Gulf region, with its ample liquidity and oversupply on the property market, is experiencing increasing pressure on yields. Looking beyond borders, the property markets in certain Southeast Asian nations look promising. With all of the ASEAN members except Singapore and Brunei forecast to reach GDP growth in the 4-8 percentage figures in 2013 and remain on this healthy level for at least another couple of years, the property market is highly likely to grow at a similar pace on the grounds of rising demand, increasing investment activity and still fairly reasonable pricing. But which country to target? In the past, Singapore was the first choice for property investors. Its property market is still robust, but has decelerated due to Singapore’s slowing economy, tighter regulations on lending and the highest real estate prices in the region. Thus investors did look elsewhere and identified Malaysia and Thailand as new emerging real estate havens. Malaysia especially, with current square-metre prices for metropolitan prime property of between QR13,000 and 18,000, has high potential and is also a market where Muslim investors find themselves at home. The country is safe and stable, connectivity is excellent, and the growth potential cannot be overlooked. Middle class support The situation is similar in Thailand, where property prices are even cheaper at around QR11,000 per square metre for prime property. Buying condos in Bangkok will remain a trend for the long haul, especially one-bedroom units near mass transit stations. As long as the number of units entering the market is in line with the growing working population in Bangkok, the rising

income of the middle class will continue to support this trend. Bangkok is a city currently reaping the rewards of recent infrastructure plans. The city is at the heart of the new rail system, with five mass transit extension lines set for the area. Despite its currency having gained significant strength in the past months, Thailand remains one of the cheapest real estate markets in Asia-Pacific. This is one of the key factors that have kept the country’s real estate markets competitive. The interest of foreign buyers in Thai properties, including condominiums in Bangkok and resort condominiums and villas in key holiday destinations has remained stable. Furthermore, Thailand has begun to work on its reputation as a luxury property destination. With the new Maha Nakhon tower, Thailand’s tallest tower when finished in 2015, developers have managed to attract Gulf investment into high-end off-plan apartments, including penthouses worth more than QR58 million that will have views across the entire city to the Gulf of Thailand, branded by luxury hotel group Ritz-Carlton. With Thailand’s stock market, currency and economy performing strongly, it can be expected that high-end residential demand will continue to increase. Besides, Thailand has a large and growing middle class population who are gaining wealth that will support future developments and demand for real estate. Regional property experts have now also begun to praise the booming Cambodian real estate market. In a country that is in high growth mode with a stabilised political environment and is almost starting from scratch in terms of property development, investors might find excellent deals at prices of QR7,000-9,000 per square metre for prime property. With more than 2,000 new private residential units to go on sale in 2013 at these reasonable prices, Cambodia is likely to generate attractive returns in the long term. A good sign is also that more Singapore buyers have entered the Cambodian property market, investors who are known as being savvy and risk-conscious


newsbites > regional

38 > qatar today > may 2013


N o e n d IN s i g h t ?

BEIT HANUN : A Palestinian man holds up the national flag as he walks across a field during a rally marking Land Day in Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip close to the border with Israel on March 31, 2013. The annual demonstrations mark the deaths of six Arab-Israeli protesters at the hands of Israeli police and troops during mass protests in 1976 against plans to confiscate Arab land in the northern Galilee region. AFP PHOTO/MAHMUD HAMS

qatar today > may 2013 > 39


affairs > local > listening post development

Renewable Energy to feed Kahramaa grids

40 > qatar today > may 2013


Electricity generated through photovoltaic cells by Qatar Foundation’s Solar Smart Grid Project will soon feed into Kahramaa'S main grids. This revolutionary project will transform the country into a renewable energy role model in the region, says H.E. Eng Essa BIn Hilal Al-Kuwari, KAHRAMAA'S PRESIDENT in an exclusive interview with Qatar Today. TEXT BY SINDHU NAIR

A

photography BY Robert ALTAMIRANO

ccording to an International Energy Agency report, global electricity demand is expected to reach 32,000 TWh (terawatt hours) in 2035, reflecting a growth of about 70%. The report suggests that electricity demand in the Middle East will rise by 3.1% per year in the same period. However, the increase in year-on-year demand in the GCC is much higher than this long-term projection. Speaking at the opening of the Power-Gen and Water World Middle East 2013 conference and exhibition last month, the Minister of Energy and Industry HE Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, said that the biggest challenge for this region was to plan ahead and execute energy infrastructure projects to keep pace with economic growth. In Qatar the onus of this great responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of Qatar Electricity & Water Corporation or Kahramaa, the provider of water and electricity in the country. Speaking exclusively to Qatar Today about this huge responsibility, the President of Kahramaa, H.E Eng. Essa bin Hilal Al-Kuwari, says that Kahramaa has already taken that vital step and will be formally announcing a Memorandum of Understanding with Qatar Foundation (QF) whereby QF's Solar Smart Grid Project

Connectivity will be granted approval to connect to Kahramaa’s main grid. “Approvals shall be for all photovoltaic solar systems in QF that will be connected to the Energy Monitoring Centre (EMC),” says Al-Kuwari. Though the amount of the energy produced will be minuscule, Al-Kuwari maintains that it will be a step in the direction of renewable energy solutions for Qatar. QF has developed the country’s first polysilicon plant for the production of photovoltaic cells to harness solar energy. “This plant will support the development of a self-sustained domestic solar energy sector,” he adds. About his huge responsibility being at the helm of Kahramaa, Al-Kuwari says: “Kahramaa is the provider of two vital necessities for the country. It is a great honour and an opportunity to lead the country’s first utility and to develop its strategy to meet the growing demand caused by the unprecedented expansion in the country.” He says: “It is a job that comes with multiple challenges. We have to keep appraising and upgrading our technological facets, meet the booming country’s increasing need for electricity and water, and also meet the Qatarisation targets within our departments. My priority is to balance all these, meet the challenges and take the

meeting demands the volume of desalinated water produced in Qatar reached 332.8 million imperial gallons per day (MIGD); the forecast for 2012 - 2017 shows that Qatar needs an additional 2,000 MW of electricity capacity and 70 MIGD of water capacity, in addition to the 40 MIGD of water from the RO plant. So by 2017 Qatar water production capacity will be 442.8 MIGD for a 2,000,000 population living in Qatar. qatar today > may 2013 > 41


development > listening post "We have started an initiative to build a solar plant of 200 MW"

average electricity per capita consumption

organisation to international standards where we can benchmark our performance against others.” He adds: “My main concern is to bring Kahramaa closer to the customers. Listening to our customers is key to our success.” Energy management A Deloitte report entitled “Energy on Demand: The Future of GCC Energy Efficiency” shows that electricity consumption per capita during the period 2007-2035 in the GCC is likely to increase at an annual rate of 2.5%. As a result, GCC residents will soon emerge as world leaders in per capita residential electricity consumption. A large part of this increase is attributed to the needs of a growing population throughout the GCC and a significant 47% of energy consumption diverted into residential use. Qatar, following the same pattern as the other GCC states, has a very high per capita consumption of electricity compared to global figures. On average, Qatari-and UAE-residents consume about 11,000 kWh of electricity per year, while UK residents consume 5,730 kWh and Indians 550kWh (World Bank figures). These figures throw light on the importance of energy management. Globally, most governments make the amenity expensive to inculcate a culture of conservation. But in Qatar, electricity and water are still free to the local population and available at a "modified" rate to certain industries too. How does Kahramaa handle this complex situation and manage its resources well? Conservation is an obligation in Kahramaa, says Al-Kuwari and the corporation is going ahead with its goal of educating the population through a programme called “Tarsheed”, a national campaign for the conservation and efficient use of water and electricity. “So far we haven’t felt any resistance in implementing the conservation ideas that Kahramaa has introduced through Tarsheed,“ he says, “Moreover, the people of Qatar are educated and they do understand the concept of sustainability.” Al-Kuwari says that most people want INFOGRAPH: KRANTHI REDDY

42 > qatar today > may 2013


to be part of change and maintain a sustainable lifestyle, but they do not know how to go about it. “I think we, as Kahramaa, have to show them practical examples, provide them tools for conservation,” he says. Putting into perspective why the free availability of energy for nationals does not affect the sky-high consumption rates in the country, he says: “The average consumption of electricity and water by Qatari residents is about 14% of the 30% that the domestic sector consumes in a year; therefore, the impact of Qatari consumption is not huge considering the impact of other sectors like, commercial, tourism, industrial and governmental.” Eng. Al-Kuwari agrees that selling water or electricity without subsidy will have an impact on consumption. However, the price of the service or product is not the only factor that affects consumption habits. “We see an opportunity to improve figures for consumption per capita by restricting imports and replacing low-efficiency fixtures for electricity and water with high-efficiency equipment.” This will help in achieving Tarsheed's targets to reduce the average per capita water consumption (measured in cubic metre per person per year) by 35% in five years, and will decrease the average per capita electricity consumption ( in kWH per person per year) by 20% in five years, he says. One of Tarsheed’s successful projects in the first year, according to Al-Kuwari, was getting the approval of Permanent Committee of Water Resources on using treated water for golf course irrigation and district cooling instead of drinking water in 2013. The fact that drinking water was initially used to water golf courses illustrates how sustainability is not an ingrained culture in the region. It is therefore even more encouraging to notice the positive trends that such organisations’ have put forward.

average water per capita consumption

TOTAL WATER PRODUCTION

2010

2011

373.6 MM3

2012

401.1 MM3

437.1 MM3

MM3 = MILLION CUBIC METRES FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF INDEPENDENT WATER PRODUCERS (IWPS’)

ANNUAL GROWTH

9.6

%

7.4%

AVERAGE GROWTH FROM 2008 -2012

12.3%

9.0%

AVERAGE PER CAPITA WATER CONSUMPTION BASED ON TOTAL WATER PRODUCTION

BASED ON SYSTEM INPUT VOLUME, INCLUDING LOSSES THEREAFTER

BASED ON AUTHORISED CONSUMPTION OF SYSTEM INPUT VOLUME, NET OF LOSSES

Renewable projects Kahramaa is equally involved in government’s initiatives to reduce the country's carbon footprints according to Al-Kuwari. “We have started an initiative to build a solar plant of 200 MW. It will not be one big project but will be divided into smaller plants. We are in the tendering stage of the pilot project that will supply the first 10 MW. After we study the results of this pilot project we will go forward with the largescale project. So by 2020, we should reach our goal of achieving 200 MW of power from solar energy, which is equivalent to

BASED ON SYSTEM INPUT VOLUME EXCLUDING REAL LOSSES

AVERAGE PER CAPITA WATER CONSUMPTION, LAST 3 YEARS INFOGRAPH: KRANTHI REDDY

qatar today > may 2013 > 43


development > listening post

Tarsheed national campaign This is one of the pioneer initiatives conducted by Kahramaa in April 2012 under the patronage of HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Heir Apparent of Qatar. This comes within the scope of Kahramaa’s corporate social responsibility. “Actually, we didn’t face any difficulties in getting public acceptance of Tarsheed and conservation issues,“ says Al-Kuwari, “as the Tarsheed campaign comes within Qatar’s religious and cultural scope, as Islam calls for saving resources and not abusing Allah's gifts. Tarsheed is becoming very popular as it is recognized by many key players in Qatar. “We are looking to improve the campaign in the second year. Water is vital for Qatar’s sustainable development agenda; so far we think Tarsheed’s national campaign, will be a helpful tool in controlling water use in the country, as its goal in five years is to reduce the average water consumption by 35% and reduce average electricity per capita consumption by 20%,” he says.

2% of Qatar’s installed electricity capacity. “This project is designed to respond to Kahramaa’s power needs inside water pumping stations during emergencies.” But this is not the only project, clarifies Al Kuwari. “We are encouraging our partners in the private entities to build their own solar panels and use their facilities to produce energy. QF already have their own projects and they are producing their own electricity, and this feed will be connected to the Kahramaa grid in the next few months,” he says. In Qatar, the large technical potential for sustainable energy is from the direct sun. Studies have resulted in identifying four different sources of solar energy: solar photo voltaic (PV), concentrating solar power (CSP), concentrating solar-high-temperature heat for industries, and solar-thermal-low temperature heat for buildings. Kahramaa’s sustainable and alternative energy vision for the coming five years is to make alternative energy competitive and profitable, says Al-Kuwari. “Based on that, I would like to highlight the great potential related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and low-pollution technologies. And as long as we are studying some incentives to encourage investment in this sector, for example feed-in tariff, we are willing to discuss investment opportunities and ventures in such business ventures that provide profitable inputs in this sector,” he says. A surplus of resources Al-Kuwari is proud of the organisation’s achievements over the years but the one thing he is most proud of is that the country has not had to put any project on the back burner due to a lack of resources, water or energy. “Some of the neighbouring countries have had to put a hold on certain projects as they did not have enough energy for completion of the projects. We now have a surplus of energy and can even take on more due to this surplus. So Kahramaa can support and keep pace with the fast developments that the country is making and will be able to do so for a larger period of time too,” he says.

Water woes and solutions In a country with no water resources except for the salty sea water, the scene does look quite bleak. But even in the face of this situation, Al-Kuwari and Kahramaa are quite positive. The solution for water scarcity in the region is to use efficient technology to produce more water with less harm to nature and environment. “Qatar is on the right path as we are interested in investing in new technologies,” says Al-Kuwari. "Part of the solution for water scarcity in Qatar is to increase our strategic reserves of water by adopting two main strategies. Firstly, by increasing the water reserves of the country (and this is already in process by increasing reserves to seven days instead of the current two) through mega reservoir projects in Duhail, which will soon be inaugurated, in addition to other strategic water reservoir projects. The second is by injecting clean treated water into the underground water to feed the Qatar aquifer,” he says. Seawater is the main source of the desalinated potable water in Qatar, as natural water resources are very scarce in the country and have been exhausted over the years by irrigation and domestic use. The remaining under-surface water is used as a strategic reserve for the country. Are there no alternatives to the desalination process? “Actually, Qatar and most of the GCC countries are using combined cycle power and desalination plants to generate electricity and desalinate water,“ says Al-Kuwari. “Through this technology power generation use the exhausted heat for water desalination through evaporation process.” In Qatar all plants are natural gas-fired, as a step to use less harmful fuel for the environment. As an alternative desalination solution, he says,“Kahramaa is in the process of using another desalination technology called Reverse Osmoses (RO), which consumes less energy and can be constructed as a stand-alone plant without being combined with power generation plants. "Also, solar energy will be used as an integrated part of the energy mix used in the RO plants. The door will be left open for better sustainable solutions for power generation and water desalination,” he says.

Advice to Qataris “Try to utilise the resources provided by the country. It is an excellent opportunity to contribute positively to the country’s prosperity. I urge them to join Kahramaa.” 44 > qatar today > may 2013


affairs > local > listening post development

46 > qatar today > may 2013


What’s keeping oil prices flat? Should the Qatari Riyal abandon its US dollar peg and go it alone? Where will the smart money be invested in the coming weeks and months? Rory Coen caught up with Burkhard Varnholt, Chief Investment Officer at Bank Sarasin, to get some important answers.

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hen I interviewed Burkhard Varnholt just over two years ago, he was eager to explain why oil prices would rise to unprecedented levels in the following five years. Sarasin had just published the report Crude Oil: What’s moving oil prices in 2011, and it was very bullish on oil’s short-term ($120 a barrel in Q1 2012) and medium-term ($200 a barrel in 2015) prices. Varnholt wasn’t influenced by the geopolitical tensions in the MENA region at the time, so much as by longer-term factors such as supply and demand. He believed we were in the midst of “Peak Oil” and prices would very soon reflect this. The “low-hanging fruit”, or the easily-accessible oil, had all been discovered and explored, which meant it was getting more expensive to extract it; there hadn’t been a significant oil field discovered in 30 years. On top of this, OPEC members had an interest in overstating their reserves to achieve higher production allocations, meaning there was probably less oil out there than was estimated. So it was with much eagerness that I reminded him of his earlier estimations. The price of oil had remained relatively stable in the interim and only threatened $110 for

a couple of weeks in February last year before dropping to $80 five months later – a far cry from the $37-145 margin in the latter half of 2008. It was trading at $96 in early April, 2013. So what happened? Surely the demand/supply factor coupled with the regional hostilities would drive the price up? “The simple reason is the discovery of all those oil reserves in the United States,“ explained Varnholt, “which has just shown us again that some of the most amazing things can happen in these commodity markets when prices reach certain levels.” He argued – with a trace of facetiousness – that oil companies would probably explore the front lawn of the White House for the commodity when prices went above $100 a barrel. “The oil discovery in the United States was a big game-changer,” he says, “and it was something I certainly didn’t expect, as I think nobody did. It turned the United States, which was always a net oil importer, into a net oil exporter. It completely changed the equation in the oil market.” The US recently discovered vast reserves of shale oil, and the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that production will jump to its highest level in 26 years next year. It says US oil imports willfall by a quarter between 2012 and 2014 because of the rising domestic production. It qatar today > may 2013 > 47


development > listening post

"It’s not good policy to remain pegged. Good monetary policy is one not constrained by economic policy and such independence best enables monetary policy to pursue its prime objective: to supply the economy with a stable, fungible medium of exchange"

also forecasts that average global oil prices will be around $99 in 2014. Still bullish Whilst Varnholt had previously predicted that oil prices would hit $200 a barrel in 2015, he was still bullish about the price of oil in the long term. “I’m still expecting it to reach $200 at some point, but 2015 is now a little too early for this,“ he says, before qualifying his thesis. “What hasn’t changed is that the general direction of commodity markets remains upwards, and that’s because of factors that I alluded to two years ago, such as demographic growth, economic growth, bottlenecks in supplies, and bottlenecks in infrastructure – upstream, in getting the stuff out of the ground; midstream, transporting it; and downstream, getting the biggest bang out of every barrel. These bottlenecks, I predict today, will be big surprises to the markets in the next few years. What I believed back then was that the chances of finding something really big, like the Ghawar field in Saudi Arabia, were negligible – that the “low-hanging fruit“ had all been

taken. However, what will continue to contribute to the market are the expensive resources to dig deep or reach far out like they do in Africa or Latin America. “The market for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is by no means a matter of the past, either, because of the oil discoveries in the United States. One of the big surprises that the markets haven’t factored in is the transformation of coal-powered stations across Europe, the United States and China into cleaner power stations using gas instead of coal. China is really suffocated by the exhausts and fumes it produces from burning all this coal. Then again, at some point, there will come a big game-changer in the market for fossil fuels. So the general direction I continue to believe is up and the fundamental trends that I mentioned are, I’m afraid, still alive and will only get harsher in the next few years,” says Varnholt. Monetary policy The Qatari riyal has been fixed at QR3.64 to the US dollar since June 1980, and this has provided an anchor for macroeconom-

Varnholt Counsel “The smart money goes into real assets, into global equities, and it puts an emphasis on the sustainability of the business models it invests with. The smart money is long-term, it’s cautious and very much value-driven, and there are plenty of opportunities: we’re in a 10-year equity market boom that started in 2009 and may well last another five years.“ 48 > qatar today > may 2013

ic policy and a reference point for stability and confidence. Qatar is now approaching a critical time in its history as the drive to diversify by 2030 gathers pace. However, Varnholt feels it’s not good policy to remain pegged. He claims good monetary policy is one not constrained by economic policy, and such independence best enables monetary policy to pursue its prime objective: to supply the economy with a stable, fungible medium of exchange. But it would have to be an “all or nothing” break for the GCC economies. “It has always been a dangerous act in history, and at this time in particular,” says Varnholt, “when governments embrace monetary policy and either directly or indirectly use it to fund their deficits. That has never happened well historically, to the best of my knowledge, and I would be surprised if this was the first exception. We have seen a huge shift towards this across the West during the past five years. “The best a central bank can do for its economy is to provide price stability and let governments sort out the public funding and the competitive economic policies


INFOGRAPH: KRANTHI REDDY

($1 = QR3.64)

info. crude oil price history at the new york mercantile exchange

– none of that is the resort of monetary policy. You will get better economic policy if it cannot rely on a helping hand from the central bank, but that’s an inconvenient truth and every policymaker tries to avoid it. And through currency pegs, the unsustainable Western monetary policy is being exported globally, so my suggestion to the Gulf economies would be to let those pegs go and insulate themselves better from what the West is doing. “But I guess the GCC economies can only break away from that peg collectively, because if one chooses to break away it would put itself at a competitive disadvantage, as its currency would appreciate and the others would benefit disproportionately from this, and that’s why I don’t it see happening, but I think it would be the better choice,” he adds. With his strong views on mixing economic and monetary policies, it felt natural to ask him about his views on the current European financial mess. Is that a political or an economic issue? “Good question,” he chuckled, as he thought for a moment. “I think, above all, it’s a political issue, because economically Europe could easily shoulder it if there was the political will. This is not an inescapable dilemma. I mean, to put it into proportion, public debt in Europe is 80% of its GDP. That’s still manageable; it’s not like Cyprus or Greece. But Europe lacks the political will to save itself, and most of what we hear is rhetoric. Even Germany, which is

"Even Germany, which is usually portrayed in the media as the supporter of austerity, has terrible household figures. For the past several years, including 2012, public expenditure, public debt, and its deficit have all increased."

usually portrayed in the media as the supporter of austerity, has terrible household figures. For the past several years, including 2012, public expenditure, public debt, and its deficit have all increased. There wasn’t a

single year where anything was saved. The only thing that the austerity proponents can claim is that the rate of increase has slowed.” Regulation Varnholt contends that the most important regulatory process achieved post-2008 has been in the area of bank equity, with the introduction of the Basel III accord. Banks’ equity cushions were too thin, and the definition of what qualified as equity capital left too many loopholes open for ever-increasing leveraging of most bank balance sheets. “There are two things happening here,” says Varnholt. “Equity capital is being rediscovered, with interest rates and bond yields being zero-bound, as a better real protector against the loss of purchasing power associated with the West’s ultra-loose monetary policy. “Secondly, I am a strong believer that this very old-fashioned Basel III accord, which forces banks to raise equity capital to levels that were last seen a very long time ago, is the right thing, because it’s the only way to force the banking industry to behave more prudently in the interest of the general public. All this nonsense about risk-adjusted capital ratios – it has always worked to the benefits of the banks because they always had the smarter risk managers making their case, and the general public lost out because the regulators couldn’t cope with the arguments the banks proposed to them” qatar today > may 2013 > 49


affairs > international

50 > qatar today > may 2013


THE EMIR AT THE W HITE HOUSE

UNITED STATES, Washington: US President Barack Obama and the Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, end their bilateral meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on April 23. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad

qatar today > may 2013 > 51


development > coverstory

Getting ready for cover story

2022

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Qatar is about to be ploughed up and the 2022 World Cup seeds to be sown. Plans are being made, tenders launched and contracts signed. It’s like the “phoney war” period between the declaration and the opening battle, as parties prepare and brace themselves for the inevitable. the country now faces nine years of construction, disturbance headaches and traffic chaos. By Rory Coen and Sindhu Nair

But out of this chaos will come fantastic opportunities for entrepreneurs who want their slice of the World Cup pie. The Qatari government, which is shouldering most of the cost and the responsibility, is serious about getting the private sector involved. The World Cup is more than just the four weeks in 2022, it's also a chance for small to medium-sized enterprises here to gain traction, grow, diversify and ultimately export their products and services to a much broader market. It’s a chance for them to learn from the larger and more experienced international companies that will be bringing their expertise here. Qatar Today talks to one of the organisations heavily involved in the infrastructural side of things, Qatar Rail, as well as getting insights from representatives of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry about how businesses there leveraged the 2012 Olympics. Meanwhile, Project Qatar has its tenth exhibition at Doha Exhibition Centre this month, and this will give stakeholders a forum for exchanging information. qatar today > may 2013 > 53


development > coverstory

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atar has been given more time than any previous host nation to prepare for a World Cup. It has been two and a half years since the FIFA announcement in December, 2010 and we’re still over nine years away from the opening ceremony. Any nation that has hosted a major sporting event, such as the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup, will stress that preparation and proper planning are key to a successful event, getting the right decisions made early so that everyone has ample time to carry out their tasks. Many of the infrastructure plans were announced in 2010 and 2011, but the award of contracts has been slower than many business people and investors expected – perhaps reflecting caution as well as bureaucratic delays. The government argues that most World Cup projects were planned in the 2030 National Vision anyway but the announcement has made them shift some milestones and deadlines. According to the Tender Price Index for Qatar prepared by MEED Cost Indices, Qatar’s construction industry will have to deal with soaring construction costs as the country gears up for the staging of its biggest event. But these are not the only challenges as 2022 approaches. Construction costs in 2017 will be 18% higher than current price levels, putting strain on Qatar’s supply chain, and will ultimately have an impact on the value of contract awards from 2013 onwards, reaching a peak of QR 145 billion ($40 billion) in 2017.

Accelerated development Winning the World Cup has certainly set the country on a course of accelerated development. Infrastructure and real estate projects worth QR820 billion ($225 billion) are planned between 2011 and 2016, of which QR455 billion ($125 billion) is earmarked for construction and energy projects alone. Most of the big infrastructure projects will now have to be finished by 2022. Aside from preparing 12 new world-class stadia, upgrading its domestic transport system is among Qatar’s investment priorities, with funding of at least QR250 billion ($70 billion) worth of projects that have already been planned. The biggest chunk of the infrastructure spending will be poured into the country’s new rail and metro network, where more than QR125 billion ($35 billion) will be invested in the next ten years. In addition, Qatar plans to modernise its road system through an extensive expressway network worth a total of QR72 billion ($20 billion) in contracts. The transport master plan includes an upgrade of 400600 kilometres of existing roads at an estimated cost of QR30 billion ($8 billion); as well as expansions for Qatar’s three main ports – Ras Laffan City, Mesaieed City and Doha Commercial Port – and further expansion plans for the QR45 billion ($12.5 billion) new Hamad International Airport. In 2012, one of the biggest contracts awarded was for QR4.5 billion ($1.2 billion) for an affiliate of United Development Co. to dredge a 20-kilometre approach channel for the port. 2013 has seen some contracts signed by Ashghal and a major chunk by Qatar Rail. These large infrastructure projects will

“Qatar has the pick of the world coming here, and we’ll have to fight and we’ll have to be a partner instead of just coming here and selling something. There’s a stiff market and stiff competition.” Colin Stanbridge Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

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The time to start delivering for the World Cup is now, says Robin Butteriss, Head of Financial Advisory Services, Deloitte Qatar. He feels that preparations for the World Cup are ultimately an accelerator for the Qatar 2030 Vision and will keep everyone focused.


Beyond the World Cup

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atar’s World Cup honeymoon period coming to an end, and the task of delivering on its 2022 promise is moving closer every day. The biggest challenge is getting the infrastructure in place. As a relatively young and developing nation, Qatar is pretty much starting from scratch in this regard and is spending billions of riyals to put it all in place. But is it a sustainable project? “The 2022 World Cup in itself is not the reason why the country is building its infrastructure,” says Robin Butteriss of Deloitte Financial Services. “Qatar is building its infrastructure to support its 2030 National Vision and beyond." There is lot happening in the infrastructure space, such as the Qatar-Bahrain causeway, the Aspire Zone area, the roads, the ports development, Msheireb’s development of downtown Doha, and Lusail City. But other than these construction activities, the other tangible signs of the impending 2022 World Cup are the influx of population on the back of large infrastructure companies coming to set up branches here. “The residents of Qatar are already feeling the effect of road development. The next tangible sign of development is likely to be seen through large contracts signed in the next few months associated with rail projects,” says Butteriss. Ashghal and Qatar Rail will take the large slices of the World Cup 2022 projects pie, but what will be the opportunities arising from these massive projects for small and medium-sized enterprises? “There will be significant opportunities for local businesses through partnering with international business. Then there will also be direct opportunities through the supply of raw and manufactured materials, labour or even local know-how,” he says. What needs to be leveraged is the huge amount of expertise that will be here as part of the project, feels Butteriss. “It would be a shame not to leverage the knowledge-base that will be here for some time to build the city,” he says. The challenge is not unique The task that Qatar has to deliver for the 2022 World Cup is by no means small, and that’s not unique to Qatar; any country that has to be ready for a huge event goes through the same challenges. “But a challenge it is, nevertheless,” Butteriss agrees, “and one that can be delivered with a labour force that is skilled and efficient, where supply chain requirements are met and a recruitment process that is efficient is in place, and a system whereby international players who are required to support the development of the country are able to do so without major hindrances. “Qatar must keep in mind is that the country is playing in the global arena for scarce resources and accordingly laying the foundation to attract the best of these resources will be the key sucess factor,” he argues. When would be the best time for the country to begin in earnest the work towards completion of large

projects to be in time for the big event? Carpe diem “The time is now,” says Butteriss, “There are already a lot of skilled workers in residence, and the challenge is to engage these resources in an effective and efficeint manner. The scale of the task ahead will challenege all involved, and these challenges will evolve as the projects develop.” While huge investments will be made by international firms, it should also be kept in mind that these firms must deliver not just on short-term but on long-term goals. “Long-term partnerships that lead to knowledge transfer are the best for any developing country and should be the norm for any large projects. It is important for the international community to interact with the local authorities, and they should be ready to support the transfer of knowledge and expertise,” he says. Irregular payments, a lack of transparency in deal-making, weak enforcement of the law and occasional political turmoil have left some companies badly burnt in the Middle East, according to another consultancy firm. The average value of disputes in the construction industry in the Middle East doubled to QR407 million ($112 million) in 2010, bucking a downward global trend, according to global consultancy firm E.C. Harris. There has also been widespread sense of foreboding with complaints about contractors not paying subcontractors on time, thereby reducing the appeal these firms have for the country with huge projects in the pipeline. How true are these rumours? “I do not believe Qatar is looking to short-pay or under-pay any contractors,” clarifies Butteriss, qualifying the reports. “Qatar is holding itself to the promises that have been made for the 2022 World Cup, and will do so by delivering the projects too in all transparenct manner.” “There are procurement norms within the country, as there are with any country, which need to be fully understood. Failure to comply, will typically result in delayed payments which is how it should be. So many of these complaints are merely a matter of misunderstanding and miscommunication,” he stresses. Looking ahead There is far too much negative press around what is going on in Qatar, believes Butteriss. “The best way to meet the challenges of the World Cup 2022 is first to dispel the myths and improve communications around the programme, thereby fostering a more collaborative approach to embrace the task together with the private partnerships.” The vision is understood and now the task is to make the delivery is as clear as the vision. There is considerable time for the delivery, but the challenge is to begin without delay and to coordinate all the various factors to make this whole process a cooperative effort, says Butteriss.

qatar today > may 2013 > 55


development > coverstory

Qatar Rail

“The new rail networks must be built from scratch at the same time as the nation’s new highways, cities and sea and air transport hubs, driving up demand for people and equipment, and putting pressure on project deadlines.” give small and medium-sized enterprises (SME)’s a real boost in the coming years, and Qatar Rail feels that although the Qatar government is stumping up most of the capital, it’s a great opportunity for private sector investment. Qatar Rail is one of the major stakeholders in the big push towards 2022. Its total budget for the next decade stands at approximately QR145 billion ($40 billion). “Over 104 business opportunities have been identified from across the areas of rail infrastructure, transport and rolling stock and other business support,” a Qatar Rail spokesperson says. “The biggest areas identified are in construction and installation,

and services and maintenance. Over half of the identified business opportunities can be captured in Qatar, raising some QR73 billion ($20 billion) over the next 20 years. There are a number of quick win opportunities for the private sector within areas of the rail projects, including infrastructure provision, operations, rolling stock provision, transport operations, maintenance and management services, with revenue potential beyond the completion of the Qatar Rail projects. “Some of these revenue figures run to over $1 billion (QR3.64 billion), such as provision of frameworks for stations at QR4.4 billion, the supply of liquid concrete

at QR3.64 billion, project management services at QR13 billion, the provision of elevated structures at QR12 billion, or the supply of steel reinforcing bars and billets at QR7.6 billion, and many more related business avenues,” the spokesperson adds. The rail projects will be worth 0.3% of the Qatari economy each year and an annual increase of 0.7% for the private sector, but this, Qatar Rail insists, along with these fantastic opportunities, will bring enormous challenges. “The Qatari private sector will have the opportunity to partner with international companies,” Qatar Rail says, “since local companies have the required expertise in

Projects news

QR billion

QR billion

Qr million

2.35

3.53

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deal was awarded to the UAE's Al Jaber Group for package 13 on the Doha Expressway.

deal was awarded to South Korea's Hyundai Engineering & Construction for the Lusail Expressway. According to MEED Projects, spending on future projects will significantly increase this year as more than 30 highway projects, valued at QR100 billion, are awarded.

Contractor Drake & Scull International won a QR180 million contract to deliver mechanical, electrical and plumbing works for a housing development in Qatar.

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Qr million

225

Engineering consultancy Hyder won a QR255 million contract from Ashghal to design and supervise construction of a new section of the Doha Expressway project. (April 2013)


the existing regulations and local projects and logistics. However, the international companies have expertise in establishing railways, so there will be integration between the two, which will give the executing companies more abilities and power. Qatar Rail has set stringent norms for the big tenders, stating it is a must to have a partnership between the foreign partner and local companies. “The challenges in executing any project of this scale are clear: time, money and expertise. The new rail networks must be built from scratch at the same time as the nation’s new highways, cities and sea and air transport hubs, for example, driving up demand for people and equipment, and putting pressure on project deadlines.” Piece of the pie Qatar is still a developing nation – in every sense of the phrase – but leaders here are pragmatic in their approach to 2022, as evidenced by Qatar Rail above. They know they don’t possess the expertise to prepare for such an event as a World Cup, and that they need to leverage any advice and assistance they can get. This of course brings other pressures, as every city and nation on the planet will feel they can provide this advice better than the next one. London saturated itself with event planning expertise in the run-up to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and it now has dozens of companies brimming with intellectual capital. But this knowledge is now virtually redundant in a city which has no plans for hosting large-scale events in the near future. Part of the legacy plans put forward by the London Organising Com-

QR Billion

“As Qatar moves forward and as small businesses start to come forward to compete for contracts, the important thing is that they have an opportunity to engage with large international corporates, and this is an experience in itself.” Will Tyler, CEO of Octlink Ltd

mittee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) was to help these SMEs export this expertise post-2012. Indeed, LOCOG maintains that without these SMEs diversifying their products and services to meet the needs of the London Games, its success would have been compromised. To stimulate the SME sector in the UK in the run-up to the Games, LOCOG introduced a free service that enabled businesses to compete for contract opportunities linked to major public- and private-sector buying organisations. The idea became so popular across the UK than more than 50,000 companies registered on www.competefor.com. It acted as an electronic brokerage service, matching buyers with potential suppliers, and had a particular focus on opportunities in the supply chains of major organisations, which are often not visible to smaller businesses, although they usually offer smaller and more achievable packages of work. The types of business opportu,ni-

ties available ranged across all sectors of the economy. Examples included specialist construction plant hire, cleaning and catering services, kennelling for police dogs and the design of the London 2012 mascots. Colin Stanbridge, Chief Executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), which was in Doha last month to drum up business for members of the Chamber in Qatar, said they were very concerned to provide for small businesses in the lead-up to the Olympic Games. “It’s all very well the big companies benefiting from it,” said Stanbridge, “but we were concerned that we represented all sizes. We convinced the Olympic Delivery Authority and [LOCOG] to publicise their opportunities [on the CompeteFor website] for smaller companies. “We felt that one of the key elements was that the Olympics should be used as an opportunity for companies to be able to think about gaining an international reputation, and indeed one of the great benefits for any

QR Billion

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A wave of new contracts are set to be awarded at Doha’s New Port project as work progresses throughout 2013, says Tim Verdon of AECOM. The project has “three of the largest contractors signed up already, and we’ve got another three to sign within the next few months”. The level of contracts set to be awarded to contractors by the end of the year is likely to reach around QR12 billion. A tender for a 1.3 km-long bridge linking to the naval base will be floated soon.

Qatar Railways recently signed contracts worth QR1,490 million for its planned QR130 billion Metro. The company awarded a contract for consulting engineering services and project management to US firm Jacobs Engineering Group to manage the metro’s Red Line. Qatar’s planned metro project will include four rail lines and will link stadiums for the 2022 tournament, with an underground component in the centre of the capital, Doha. It is expected to employ more than 20,000 workers during the peak of construction. A team comprised of US-based Louis Berger and France’s Egis Rail will manage the Gold Line and main stations, and US firm Hill International will manage the Green Line. The three contracts are worth QR1.14 billion. An enabling works contract worth QR288 million was also signed with PORR-SBG-HBK Group, a division of Qatari firm HBK Contracting Co. Britain’s Lloyd’s Register won a contract for independent safety assessment worth QR55 million.

qatar today > may 2013 > 57


development > coverstory

“All eyes, especially those of small and medium-sized contractors, are on Qatar’s construction sector, which is expected to grow 12.5% over the next decade. Around QR220–250 billion is expected to be spent on hotel, leisure, tourism, sports, recreational and infrastructure projects.” George Ayache, General Manager of IFP Qatar

country or city holding a big sporting event is that it allows the world stage to come to the small company. It allows them to be part of something that they wouldn’t normally have a chance to be part of. We hope that in years to come these companies will grow because they have been part of a big sporting event, and indeed this should also happen in Qatar,” he says. Stanbridge explains that there is so much more for a company to cope with in the helter-skelter world of major event planning than just getting the job done. “What these small companies in London learned is how to deal with the bureaucracy and officialdom that goes with any big sporting event,” he says. “That’s a huge skill for a small company to achieve and it’s almost as important as the fact that they’re good at what they do. They can do the job, but they can also deal with the many hurdles and barriers that they observe. And it’s important that the companies in Qatar will gain this as well and sell these skills to the world, just as we are doing now.” Will Tyler, Chief Executive of Octlink Ltd, which was a large-format printing company before the Olympics, found they could diversify its offering once it realised the vast opportunities that an event like the Olympics could provide. Octlink is a London-based distributor for construction fencing and barrier protection products, and it worked with London 2012 to deliver such products as graphics and signage. It was part of the LCCI mission to Qatar last month to promote its portfolio of products, looking for distributors alongside sales opportunities. “The construction side of our enterprise very much came from the amount of construction that we found ourselves doing as a result of the Olympics,” says Tyler. “We are a good example of a company that diversified because of our interaction with 2012. “As Qatar moves forward, and as small businesses start to come forward to compete for contracts, the important thing is that they have an opportunity to engage with large international corporates, and

this is an experience in itself. It will take away the fear factor to start exporting in the future, which you’d feel is going to be a key goal for those companies to grow,” he adds. Smaller projects Next month, Project Qatar will host its tenth annual exhibition at the Doha Exhibition Centre, where buyers, suppliers and decision-makers will meet to network, share knowledge, negotiate and forge deals. So aside from the major infrastructure projects that will be ongoing across Qatar in the next decade, what are the smaller projects that SMEs might be interested in? Will they be able to diversify their products and services to meet the needs of the World Cup 2022 Supreme Committee? George Ayache, General Manager of IFP Qatar, says: “All eyes, especially those of small and medium-sized contractors, are on Qatar’s construction sector, which is expected to grow 12.5% over the next decade. Around QR220–250 billion is expected to be spent on hotel, leisure, tourism, sports, recreational and infrastructure projects,” Ayache continues. “Some other key projects on the minds of those attending our exhibition are the 433,000-square-metre Doha Festival City mall and the 271,000-square-metre Barwa Al Doha project. Contractors will need to be agile and responsive to market demand. “Bringing products and services that meet rapidly evolving demand to such a booming market is one major, albeit welcome, challenge. Another, broader, economic challenge was that the construction sector suffered a decline in 2009, following the global economic crisis, but this was temporary and even non-existent in resilient countries like Qatar. In general, the construction industry in the region started recovering in 2010 due to the huge public expenditure on infrastructure made possible by the revenue increase from rising oil and gas prices worldwide. In general, the construction sector remains very promising in the region for the next 10 to 20 years,” he says

Powering the World Cup Kahramaa is currently trying to forecast the “Qatar 2022” needs for electricity and water in order to secure very high reliability of transmission and distribution systems. The country has more than 2,700 MW in excess installed electricity capacity and is in the process of launching a new tender for water desalination to increase the country’s water capacity to meet growing demand. So its 2022 plan can be summarised as supplying enough electricity and water capacity from gasfired and renewable plants in addition to securing electricity and water transmission and clean redundant distribution systems at the supply points to all the stadiums and main event locations. This will be coupled with a coordinated contingency and emergency plans tailored to meet the needs of the organisers. 58 > qatar today > may 2013


business > bottomline

Choosing the best CSR initiatives

In recent years, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has really gained prominence and support in management circles. Organisations no longer see themselves solely as profit-making machines but as contributing and conscientious members of the community as a whole.

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or current Gen Xs in the workforce, salary is not the only deciding factor for job satisfaction. Consider these statistics from Bayt.com’s “Employee Motivation in the MENA “survey (2013): a majority (59%) of MENA companies engage in CSR activities. The top CSR causes that professionals feel their organisation should be involved in are: providing job opportunities (35%), preserving the environment (30%), supporting orphans (28%), providing training and job opportunities (27%), medical support programmes [such as blood donation drives] (26%), and human rights support (25%). Taking all of these factors into consideration, here are a few questions from the HR experts at Bayt.com that will help find a social cause that will be both fulfilling and enhancing to a corporate profile: 1. What are your organisation’s values? While there are a range of CSR initiatives for your company to pick and choose from,

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the best match should be the one that fits in well with your corporate mission, vision and values statement. 2. How much are you willing to invest, in time and other resources? While all causes are noble, your company’s resources are limited. If you have zeroed down on a list of options for CSR initiatives, run a feasibility study for each. Can you afford to lose the man-hours? Do you have the financial resources to back this project? Is it logistically feasible? A good idea would also be to approach this the other way round: first define your available resources (financial, man-hours, skills), then select the CSR projects that match well to these limits. 3. Do your employees feel strongly about the cause? For your CSR programme to be successful, it is important that the cause you select will be one that your team is passionate about.


After all, it is their enthusiastic participation that will make your effort a success. A good idea would also be to associate with a cause that is timely, such as flood relief. 4. What will your team gain? While this may not be a deciding question, it is important to consider the answer to this. CSR activities definitely boost your corporate brand equity and your team’s motivation levels, but what does your team gain? Does this initiative give them valuable project management skills for time-sensitive projects? Does it offer opportunities to develop better internal relationships among your teammates? Can your team gain valuable job-related skills while making a social impact? These questions will help you create a truly meaningful and memorable CSR project for your company. Next move: How to get your team involved in CSR? Once you have chosen the ideal CSR initiative for your organisation, you can get your plan of action ready through these steps: 1. Promote and inform: Promote your CSR initiative internally and inform all your employees about it. Explain to them what it is, who/what it targets and the benefits of getting involved. Employees feel more engaged when working for a bigger cause, and when they feel that their job takes them beyond their regular tasks. 2. Get management involved: Do not expect employees to feel excited and engaged if the management team in the company isn’t. In fact, all managers in the

company should take part in the CSR activity and lead by example. If they don’t believe in it, their subordinates never will. Top executives, HR staff and all departments and team managers should contribute. 3. Assign responsibilities: CSR activities should be noble, motivating and fun. Managers should assign the task of managing the team’s contribution to the CSR activity to a member on their team, while they supervise the progress. This will make team members feel empowered and entrusted with a bigger responsibility. 4. Cover the activity: It is true that this falls under the Communication Department’s responsibilities; however, it would be more interesting to assign one or two members from each team to report on the CSR activity, the progress achieved, the next steps etc. If the CSR activity requires on-field work, each manager can choose someone on their team with good photography skills to document it in pictures. Share regular reports and photos about your CSR project on your company’s internal blog, as this will encourage participation and interaction from employees. 5. Acknowledge and reward: Make sure you publicly acknowledge the employees who contribute to your CSR activity. Their participation shows their dedication and engagement, and says a lot about their personality. This also encourages other employees to take part in future activities

bayt 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.

KRANTHI qatarINFOGRAPH: today > may 2013REDDY > 61


affairs > local > tag this development

Carbon Neutered some questions to be answered in further research

01

02

03

04

How much sea surface do we have available in the world for floating mangroves?

How many tonnes of carbon can be sequestrated? How much nitrogen, potassium and phosphate can be taken out of the water?

How much would it cost?

What are the anticipated environmental impacts of thousands and thousands of square kilometres of these floating mangroves? How would that impact the temperature of the water underneath?

62 > qatar today > may 2013

05 What other coastal areas are suitable for mangrove plantation, such as sabkhat , (salt flats) for example?


By Rory Coen

Experts on biodiversity understand the immeasurable service that mangroves provide in reducing carbon levels in the atmosphere. Attempts are being made to conserve them in areas where they survive naturally, are ongoing and a new project supporting the growth of floating mangroves is now under way at Lusail Marina. The experiment is the first of its kind to investigate the use of floating mangroves for carbon sequestration – the capturing of carbon emissions. qatar today > may 2013 > 63


development > tag this Benno Boer, Ecological Sciences Adviser for the Arab Region at UNESCO (third left) stands with other officials at the Lusail Marina last month.

Mangroves carbon sequestration potential is

times greater than tropical forests and

times that of the temperate forests

million km2 ocean surface, but only

I

%

is suitable due to temperature and nutrient availability

64 > qatar today > may 2013

M

angrove forests are a unique and rich ecosystem found along intertidal coastlines at tropical and subtropical latitudes. In Qatar, there are approximately ten mangrove sites concentrated in the east, north and northwest of the country, most notably in Al Khor. The plants play a major role in climate change mitigation: their carbon sequestration potential is 50 times greater than that of tropical forests and 10 times that of the temperate forests found in Northern Europe. According to research by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), they can absorb up to 1.5 tonnes of carbon per year per hectare. However, their presence is being compromised by a number of factors such as coastal development projects, oil spillages and pollution by solid waste like plastic, aluminium and glass. Where once they covered 32 million hectares worldwide, they now cover only 15 million. But while their presence is declining across the world, and indeed the Gulf, places such as Eritrea and Abu Dhabi have dedicated resources to reversing this trend. It’s hoped that Qatar will follow their lead. “I read in the Gulf Times some months ago that Qatar has an annual CO2 equivalent emission of 85 million tonnes of carbon,” said Benno Boer, UNESCO’s Ecological Sciences Adviser for the Arab Region.

“However, one hectare of mangroves can only sequestrate 1.5 million tonnes per year. So if we extrapolate that, then we come to the conclusion that in Qatar alone we would need a surface of 600,000 square kilometres of mangroves to sequestrate the total carbon output of one year. But we can continue that for about 500 years, because each hectare of mangrove sediment can store up to 700 tonnes of carbon in the sediment. “Awareness, management and conservation plans need to be developed, in order to generate the needed attention with top-level political support. Abu Dhabi deserves applause, because it is very active in mangrove development since the 1970s, and is one of the few countries in the world that actually shows an increase in mangrove coverage, and this is based on political will and understanding,” he continued. Climate tolerant These ecosystems can thrive in hot dry climates without any supply of fresh water because they are “halophytic“ or seawater-tolerant plants. Qatari-owned company Mourjan Marinas IGY approached UNESCO last year about the possibility of putting mangroves into floating containers on their jetty so they wouldn’t have to use fresh water to irrigate them – the seawater could percolate up from below. Their question intrigued the global agency. “In the past, some have suggested producing mangroves in inland deserts under seawater irrigation to make the deserts


INFOGRAPH: KRANTHI REDDY

info world's 10 most mangrove-rich countries [September 2010]

green,” said Boer. “However, this is a controversial approach due to the dangers of irreversible salinisation of soils and ground water, as well as habitat loss. This floating mangroves experiment is totally unique and suggests an alternative method which has not yet grasped the attention of the climate change movement.” Boer had to emphasise the scale of what could be achieved. Floating mangroves could potentially cover millions of hectares of the coastal sub-tropical and tropical oceans. So from a simple idea of using the seawater in a jetty to irrigate mangroves, it could propagate into covering millions of hectares of the sub-tropical oceans. It could be a chance to sequester carbon and to do it profitably as well. “Floating mangroves can be developed into large-scale cash crop systems in the sub-tropical and tropical coastal oceans of the world, such as biofuel and livestock fodder, generating jobs, income and profit,” continued Boer, “but we really need to study the impact of this proposal more. We need to develop specific prototypes and study how much carbon they can really seques-

"Awareness, management and conservation plans need to be developed, in order to generate the needed attention with top-level political support. Abu Dhabi deserves applause, because it is very active in mangrove development since the 1970s, and is one of the few countries in the world that actually shows an increase in mangrove coverage, and this is based on political will and understanding." Benno boer, Ecological Science Adviser for Arab Region, unesco

trate and how much nitrogen, potassium and phosphate they can get out of the sea. We need to see what engineering and design to apply, as well as conduct feasibility studies. We must find very good university students for this, otherwise it won’t work.” At least five Qatar University students are expected to develop medium-scale prototypes in the second phase of the activity. The floating mangroves can be viewed in their planter boxes at Lusail Marina, Lusail City. “The conservation of the local environment and being as eco-friendly as we can is extremely important to Mourjan Marinas IGY,“ said Wayne Sheperd, the company’s General Manager. “We care to ensure that all of our marinas are built and maintained with the greatest sensitivity to the local environment. “For a long time it has been Mourjan’s vision to have this break-through initiative incorporated into the design and construction of our marinas, and we are delighted to partner with UNESCO and Lusail Real Estate Development Company to make it a reality. We are very excited” qatar today > may 2013 > 65


affairs > local > tag this development

Collaborating for

change One in five of all children who die before the age of five, lose their lives because they haven’t been vaccinated. How can this be prevented? BY Abigail Mathias

66 > qatar today > may 2013


I

mmunisation is a serious business. It can help to avert death and control the spread of diseases. As we go to press, Sky News has reported the death of a 25 yearold-male in South Wales due to measles.“Measles is a potentially fatal disease and around one in every 1,000 people who contracts measles in developed countries will die,” says Dr. Marion Lyons, Director of Health Protection, Public Health Wales. Health officials fear that as many as 800 cases have been detected and more deaths are likely to follow. Saving lives is second-nature to Gavi Alliance, a public-private partnership committed to saving children’s lives by increasing access to immunisation in developing countries. They bring together donor governments, the World Health Organisation, UNICEF, the World Bank, the vaccine industry, technical agencies, civil society, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other private sector partners. In an exclusive interview with Qatar Today, the people behind Gavi describe their international effortsand explain why they are here. Since 2000, the Gavi Alliance has contributed to the immunisation of 370 million children and prevented more than 5.5 million premature deaths. It has also helped strengthen health and immunisation systems in more than 50 countries and increased injection safety. They view Qatar as a potential investor. Seth Berkley, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer says, “Though we have saved more than 1.4 million lives through our efforts, we aren’t yet working with the key investors in this region. Qatar is creating a lot of interest in education. There’s an enormous synergy between education and health. If children are healthy, education will be critical to their well being.” The Copenhagen Consensus Centre placed expanded immunisation coverage for children fourth in a list of the 30 most cost-effective ways to advance global welfare. Berkley says, “Health is an important indicator of a nation’s growth. We came to Qatar hoping to build new partnerships. We

are here to begin a discussion.” Berkley has been featured on the cover of Newsweek, recognised by Time magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” and by Wired Magazine as among, “The Wired 25 – a salute to dreamers, inventors, mavericks and leaders.” It is almost daunting to meet someone of his caliber. When asked how he confronts those who oppose vaccines, he says, “In the West, anti-vaccine groups have had the luxury of not seeingsome of thedeadly diseases that rampant in other parts of the world. My wife ran the intensive care unit in a facility in New York and had never seen a case of tetanus for example, so to her that is a relatively lesser known disease to be treated for. In the countries we work, people see these diseases and they want their children protected so it is not hard to convince them of the benefits. We have certain sub groups not keen but in general people want it. They often have to walk long distances to come for the vaccine,” says Berkley. Talks that vaccines do not work, the frequency of side effects, lead parents and caregivers to refuse to vaccinate their children. Experts have questioned immunizationprogrammes saying that vaccine overload may overwhelm or weaken a child’s immature immune system and lead to adverse effects. Although the scientific evidence strongly contradicts this idea, some parents of autistic children believe that vaccine overload causes autism.The resulting controversy has caused many parents to delay or avoid immunising their children. Celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy have been noted in their disagreement towards vaccines linking them to the cause of autism. A website that goes by the name of ‘Anti-vaccine body count’ uses celebrity names that have been associated with anti vaccination, to clear misconceptions regarding vaccination. Onwer Derek Bartholomaus says, “Not getting vaccinated not only puts your life, or your child’s life, at risk, but it also puts the lives of others around you at risk. There are a number of people, approximately 3-5%, that are unable to receive vaccines due to various medical conditions.

SETH BERKLEY, MANAGING DIRECTOR AND CEO OF GAVI ALLIANCE.

Eradicating Rubella Thanks to widespread vaccination, rubella is no longer the threat it once was in many countries. But for millions of mothers and children in poorer countries, it poses an ongoing danger. Africa and Southeast Asia have the highest number of estimated cases and the lowest uptake of rubella-containing vaccine. The human and economic toll of rubella in these regions is staggering. Dr. Louis Z. Cooper, Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at Columbia University and past President of the American Academy of Pediatrics says, “Every day of delay means approximately 300 newborn children enter the world with life-altering disability because of rubella infection in pregnancy. With the technical know-how available, we have a chance to make history by eradicating measles and rubella once and for all.“ Curbing the spread of Measles Measles kill an estimated 430 people - mainly young children, every day. In 2000, about 548,000 children died from measles, whose symptoms include a high fever, severe skin rash, and a cough. At least 90% of children must be covered with measles vaccine to protect communities against measles. The M&RI continues to support country efforts to raise measles and rubella vaccination coverage and plans to financially support 16 measles campaigns in 2013. The Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) is a global partnership committed to ensuring no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome.

qatar today > may 2013 > 67


development > tag this

HIND KHATIB-OTHMAN MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR GAVI'S COUNTRY PROGRAMMES

DEREK BARTHOLOMAUS OWNER OF THE WEBSITE ANTI-VACCINE BODY COUNT.

68 > qatar today > may 2013

This group of people relies on “herd immunity” to prevent them from getting sick. If the percentage of vaccinated people in a community drops too low then the community becomes at risk to outbreaks of vaccine preventable illnesses.” He goes on to say that he doesn’t get paid for doing the website. Bartholomaus does not believe there is any truth in claims that vaccination causes adverse effects. People can suffer vaccine-related injuries, but the injuries that anti-vaccinationists’ claim (autism, sudden infant death syndrome, shaken baby syndrome, etc.) are completely false. If you have an unknown allergy to a component in a vaccine then there is the possibility for an adverse reaction, but most of the time the reaction to a vaccine is soreness at the injection site and occasionally, but rarely, a mild fever.” There’s no denying that immunised children have higher cognitive abilities and are more likely to attend school and go on to be productive, healthy adults. Yet 22 million children in the developing world are still not vaccinated against common but life-threatening diseases. One in five of all children who die before the age of five, lose their lives because they haven’t been vaccinated. According to Berkley: “We can monitor what happens to a disease after immunisation because we are constantly analysing the system. In Kenya we introduced the pneumococcal vaccine. The base line dropped dramatically after the vaccine was introduced in one year and in the next year there are almost no cases of the disease. There’s a dramatic improvement in people’s health.” “Getting new vaccines out to the people who need it most is our main priority. We work with companies that create vital vaccines. To take the case of Rubella, this was a relatively mild disease but when you look at the health of a mother about to give birth, the risk to the unborn child becomes very high. We also understand that people travel and that viruses often travel as well. One of the big initiative s we are planning is the 11 vaccines that are needed for all children. Twelve for teenage girls and one that eradicates cervical cancer,” he explains. The Gavi team consists of 160 people – relatively small for such a global public-private partnership. “We have a business planning process and we try to be clear on accountability. Every quarter we measure and we look at our tight deliverables. When we find that something has not been working we go back and change

the model. It is different from a traditional development project,” informs the CEO. He adds, “In 2000, we realised there were vaccines that couldn’t reach children who needed them. Our goal is to increase life expectancy and to make children stronger. We now have a new generation of vaccines. These include one that curbs liver cancer and another to prevent cervical cancer.” The team has partnered with the Islamic development Bank (IDB). “We talk to the ministries of finance through IDB and ask them, “If you don’t have the money Gavi will give you the money but as you get wealthier you need to take on this burden yourself. In essence we hope to offer a fair share in helping other countries as well.” Hind Khatib-Othman, Managing Director for Gavi’s country programmes has worked with UNAIDS, as Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), based in Cairo. Prior to her time at the Global Fund, Hind worked with UNICEF for 16 years in a number of regions.“Having a network and knowing how to engage with civil society does give impetus to our work,” she says adding, “As someone who comes from this region, I hope to gain global solidarity so that we can together eradicate harmful diseases and provide a better life for future generations.” Every country has different challenges. “India has the largest number of unimmunised people in the world while Somalia doesn’t have good systems in place. In Afghanistan there’s a huge change in child mortality,” informs Berkley. Confronting conflict ridden places is not new for the group. Othman says, “We work through partners on the ground. Organisations like WHO continue to function, despite the odds. From where we stand, we make sure that vaccines continue to reach women and children.“ Efforts in Rwanda Rwanda is the first sub-Saharan African country to introduce measles-rubella vaccine nationwide with Gavi support. From March 2013, an effort has been made to vaccinate more than 700 million children under 15 years of age against two disabling and deadly diseases. The combined measles-rubella vaccine will be introduced in 49 countries by 2020 with financial support from Gavi. The support builds on the efforts of the Measles & Rubella Initiative (M&RI) that have helped countries to protect 1.1 billion children against measles since 2001.


Immunised world

700

Over 700 million children in 49 countries, to be protected against measles and rubella.

Nearly a quarter of a billion children will be immunised from 2011 to 2015, an astounding

245,000,000

Rwanda, which is already effectively controlling measles, becomes the first sub-Saharan African country to provide measles-rubella vaccine nationwide with Gavi support. The vaccine will not only stop the transmission of rubella from mother to child, preventing children being born with severe birth defects, but also protect children against measles, which is highly contagious. In pregnant women, rubella can lead to miscarriage or severe birth defects, including blindness, deafness and heart problems. The combined measles-rubella (MR) vaccine provides a 2-in-1 shot against these two diseases and will accelerate global efforts to control rubella and measles. Five other countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, Senegal and Vietnam – are expected to introduce the MR vaccine through vaccination campaigns by the end of 2013. Efforts to vaccinate children have reduced measles deaths globally by 71% from 2000-2011, from an estimated 548,000 to 158,000 deaths with support from the M&RI. Rwanda, has reduced measles deaths to zero through high routine immunisation coverage and three measles vaccination campaigns supported by the M&RI. The alliance is investing more than $600 million in the fight against measles and rubella through large-scale campaigns. It’s financial support for the Rwandan campaign totals close to $ 7 million, of which $ 3.5 million is for the vaccines (including syringes and safety boxes) and $ 3.3 million to cover the campaign’s operational costs. Gavi was set up by people who wanted to do aid in a different way. It doesn’t just save lives for the here and now but gives those countries and economies the ability to

13

Over 13 million children immunised against pneumococcal disease with GAVI support by the end of 2012.

5

million children vaccinated against rotavirus.

QR

2.7

billion. The Bill AND Melinda Gates Foundation gave Gavi a start-up grant of QR2.7 BILLION ($750 million) in 1999.

QR

2.2

billion. Gavi is investing QR 2.2 billion ($ 600 million) in the fight against measles and rubella through large scale campaigns.

grow and succeed.” David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Global intitiatives There have been investments by leaders based closer to home. His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation entered a partnership in January 2011 in which each committed US $50 million for immunisation programmes in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “This donation is another important step of the ongoing work that has been championed by President Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Like all chidren, the children of Afghanistan and Pakistan deserve the quality of health and opportunities that childhood immunisation can provide,” said His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. The way forward The two biggest killers of children in the developing world are pneumonia and diarrhea. The hope is to create new vaccines to combat these diseases. “With more than a 50% reduction in deaths the challenge has been the possibility to drive even better results. To do this we have to go beyond places that are easy to reach. With new powerful vaccines we need to get to those who are at a higher risk of disease. We need local commitment from governments and NGOs who will negotiate with us for people,” says Berkley. Othman adds: “Gavi is accountable for its money, we list our successes and our challenges as well.” Eradicating disease has never been more necessary

43 22

%

of Gavi vaccines are produced by pharmaceutical companies based in emerging markets.

million children, aged under five, remain unimmunised in the world. Source: WHO/UNICEF coverage estimates 1980-2009, revision July 2011.

5.5 73

Gavi has helped save 5.5. million lives through its immunisation programmes in

73 countries – 1.3 million were in 33 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

qatar today > may 2013 > 69


affairs> >dutch focus localreport

The Dutch Connection

70 > qatar today > may 2013


The Netherlands promotes images of picturesque colourful tulip gardens with traditional windmills rotating in the back drop. The harsh heat and the desert landscape in Qatar are in stark contrast to the cool climes and lush greenery of this low-lying country. Well-known for its sports infrastructure and technological innovation, Dutch companies see good business opportunities here. By sowmya sunder

atar’s aspiration to be a sporting country and a gas hub chimes well with the Netherlands capabilities in these sectors and is the cornerstone of the developing relationship between the two countries. “We are looking forward to matching Qatari ambitions with Dutch expertise, and link up Qatari and Dutch organisations and enterprises,” says HE John Groffen, the Dutch Ambassador to Qatar. As Qatar starts to prepare for World Cup 2022, a number of opportunities for cooperation between the two countries are expected to open. Two Dutch delegations, under Ronald De Boer, have already visited Qatar – one in March 2012 and the other in April 2013 – to discuss possibilities. The delegations believe that the global experience gained by Dutch companies during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa 2010, UEFA’s European Championships in Poland and Ukraine and the London Olympics in 2012 can be delivered in Qatar and contribute to making 2022 a major success. De Boer is an ex-football player and played four seasons in Qatar and was one of Qatar’s ambassadors for the 2022 bid. Having lived in Qatar for seven years and seen the country develop its sports in-

frastructure he feels “the interest in football has always been there” but it is more a “television sport“ than a spectator one. He is hopeful that the upcoming infrastructure will bring more people to the stadiums. Legacy and efficiency This year’s “Dutch Sports Infrastructure“ delegation – a cluster of companies that exchange innovations around large sports events – consisted of 15 companies specialised in public safety, security, and stadium construction and infrastructure sectors. FME, the Royal Dutch Football Association and the Dutch Government have founded ‘Dutch Sports Infrastructure’ to provide a platform to discuss, innovate and find solutions for legacy and efficiency challenges. In June 2012, the Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022 visited the Netherlands to see the successful business model of the Amsterdam Arena and to discuss football development with the Royal Netherlands Football Association. Ruben Dubelaar, Program Director, Association FME-CWM, the Dutch organisation for technology industry, points out how smart solutions in real estate development, venues for events and integrated use of public infrastructure makes the Amsterdam Arena qatar today > may 2013 > 71


affairs> >dutch focus localreport

The Netherlands is a leading developer in the fields of gas, petrochemicals and renewable energy. In recent years the Netherlands has secured its position as a gas hub in Europe through the opening of the LNG Gate Terminal in 2011.

“one of the only profitable stadiums worldwide”. Through technological innovations the stadium aims to be carbon neutral in 2015. The infrastructure around the stadium with shopping malls makes it attractive while it is also used for cultural events when not used for sports. Such a “holistic approach“ towards building sports facilities should work for Qatar as well, he says. Dutch companies have expressed interest in sports and event management consultancy, design and planning, supply and infrastructure development around sports facilities. In the beginning of 2013, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Royal Dutch Embassy in Qatar developed a specific programme for Qatar named the Task Force Qatar 2022. Ruben says, “This programme stimulates the exchange of knowledge and latest technological innovations between the Dutch industry and the stakeholders in Qatar to benefit the gulf country’s international competitiveness in the long run.” Ruben also discussed the ability of Dutch companies to build “flexible, sustainable and modular stadiums“. Describing the Plug and Core System developed by Ballast Nedam, he says: “Once the tournament is over, the core of the stadium can be ripped apart and shipped elsewhere making it sustainable.“ The modular design uses a limited number of standard components and an industrial building method to efficiently erect a stadium. He also mentions technologies for “sustainable energy and stadium cooling solutions“ that Netherlands-based companies can provide. Indicating the huge challenges ahead of the World Cup, Ruben says that “getting the right material on time” will be a challenge. An important goal of the Qatari government is to “diversify the economy, built a local supply chain and to create a centre of excellence for sports”, he says. Oil and Gas The Netherlands is a leading developer in the fields of gas, petrochemicals and renewable energy. In recent years the Netherlands has secured its position as a gas hub in Europe through the opening of the LNG Gate Terminal in 2011. The gas infrastructure is integrated into a ‘gas roundabout’, with large-scale subsurface gas storage

72 > qatar today > may 2013

possibilities which is then exported to other European countries. Gas exports from Qatar to the Netherlands peaked in 2011. The imports have dropped subsequently as cheap coal prices diminished demand for gas in the region. The Port of Rotterdam acts as a gateway to Europe, and Qatar aims to make the Ras Laffan Port a gateway to the Gulf. Shell Qatar is an exemplary of the how Dutch technology and Qatari commitment can work beneficially. Shell is the largest foreign investor in Qatar and is actively involved in developing human capital. The Dutch industry is experienced in the design and construction of advanced drilling rigs, drilling vessels, jack-up barges, diving support vessels, crane vessels, wind turbines and other mobile offshore units. Dutch Energy Solutions, a collaboration of oil and gas suppliers, research and development companies, associations and governmental bodies, aim to establish on-going exchange of information, knowledge and business contacts with partners in the Gulf region. Dutch Energy Solutions has been founded by Association FME, Association IRO and the Ministry of Economic Affairs. In October 2012 a Dutch delegation visited Doha under the Dutch Energy Solutions programme with the ambition to enhance individual business relations with Qatari companies in a three day Oil and Gas Trade Mission. In April 2013 a selected group of large companies followed up with a special focus on downstream projects as the Ras Laffan Refinery Extension, the Al-Karaana Petrochemical Development in Ras Laffan and the new Petrochemical complex in Al Masaieed Industrial City. From the experience of servicing integrated industrial parks with a variety of industries, the Dutch companies met with the main industries in Al Masaieed. The ties have expanded to other areas such as food security as well. Last year both countries agreed to work together towards an agenda in Africa. Dutch companies, knowledge institutions and NGOs agreed to share their knowledge and expertise in farming projects there and methods of producing food using relatively little water was shared with the Qataris. The Netherlands is also known for its water management technologies


Celebrating change

The Dutch community in Qatar gathered at the St Regis Hotel Doha on April 30 to watch the investiture ceremony of their new King. HE John Groffen, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Qatar, who will be completing four years in Qatar this year, spoke to Qatar Today about the significance of this day, his experience in Qatar and the expanding bilateral relationship between the two countries.

Why was April 30 chosen for the investiture ceremony? How will it be celebrated? April 30, also known as the Queen’s Day in the Netherlands, is a national holiday in Netherlands. Our National day is celebrated as the Queen’s Day as we did not have a King for a long time. We have a ceremony of investiture and not a coronation ceremony. When Her Majesty Queen Beatrix became the queen, she decided to keep her mother’s birthday as the Queens day. The present queen was born on January 30, which is in the middle of winter. Her mother was born on April 30, in spring, and that is a nicer time to have a Queen’s Day reception. Therefore, since 1960, we have been celebrating Queen’s Day at the end of April and this year will be the last. This year, on this day, our Queen of 33 years, will abdicate the throne in favour of qatar today > may 2013 > 73


affairs> >dutch focus localreport Exports from the Netherlands to Qatar (QR) 2010

I.5 I.37 I.37

million 20II

million

Jan-Oct 20I2

million

Import from Qatar to the Netherlands 20I0

874

thousand 20II

5.9

million

Jan-Oct 20I2

I.I5

million

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her son, the Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, the Prince of Orange, who is 45 and married to Princess Maxima. The ascent to the throne of Willem-Alexander on April 30 means the Netherlands will have its first king in more than a century. The traditional Dutch Queen’s Day will no longer be celebrated on April 30, but from 2014 the King’s Day will be celebrated on April 27, the birthday of Willem-Alexander. A big closed-ceremony took place at the palace at the central square of Amsterdam. After the Queen signed the instrument of abdication, she came out with her son on the balcony of the palace. They went to church where the ceremony of investiture was conducted and the new King took an oath on the constitution. We celebrated our National Day reception at the St Regis Hotel Doha with Qatari officials, the Corps Diplomatique, the Qatari and international business community and the Dutch community. What recent changes that you have seen in Qatar as a diplomat and an expat? I see enormous improvement in the quality of life. For example, I like classical music and the Qatar Philharmonic orchestra is of very high quality. When I first came here they played at a fixed venue in the Aspire in the Ladies Hall. Since 2011, they are playing in the Opera at the Katara, which is a fantastic location. That to me is exemplary of the big improvement of the quality of life in Doha. I really love Katara. It really shows to me that if the Qataris want something, they can do it and they can deliver. I also see that Qatar as a nation is ambitious. Organising the World Cup is like putting a man on Mars. It is an enormous challenging logistic task. They have big plans and I am sure that they can bring it together. Two weeks ago I was at the finals of the Qatar Nations Cup in the new Lahriya stadium behind Qatar University. It looks fantastic - small, intimate but absolutely state-of-the-art. What were the key highlights from a bilateral relationship perspective? As far as the bilateral relations are concerned, when we first came to Qatar, our interests were focused on oil and gas, dredging and construction. Now our interests have broadened and we are interested in water management, sports, healthcare, higher education, research and development. These are the areas where we see growing interest and growing cooperation between the Netherlands and Qatar.

Dredging is now a minor activity but interest in the construction sector will pick up now that the stadiums have to be built. Over the last four years, we have had state visits. We have had a number of trade missions too; some with special companies and a special focus. We have also seen Dutch companies establishing themselves in Qatar. For example, the office of TNO, which is an applied sciences company, has an office in Qatar. From the Qatari side there are companies that have started establishing themselves in the Netherlands. Regular exports from Qatar, apart from LNG, are increasing. We are interested in Qatar National Food Security Programme (QNFSP) and the Global Dry Lands Alliance Initiative which is part of the QNFSP. We are at present negotiating with several partners in the Netherlands and QNFSP. We were surprised that Qatar offered to host the climate change conference, COP18 given its high carbon footprint. On the other hand it shows that Qatar is willing to make an effort to diminish the carbon footprint of this country. There are developments in this country that are very interesting. Initiatives to reduce flaring and the studies for carbon capture and storage are important steps forward. I agree with Qatar that we should have more LNG in our energy mix. In the Netherlands, we are trying to reduce carbon emissions by improving energy efficiency. Renewables is an important part of our climate policy mix. We are committed to the EU policy of reducing carbon emissions by 20 % by 2020 and also have 20% renewables in the energy mix by then. But it is going to be a challenge as cheap coal from America makes coal interesting business-wise. What impressions of Qatar do you take back to the Netherlands? There is a growing interest about Qatar in the Netherlands as the new coming place to go within the region and the place where you have to be active. I may be biased as I am the Ambassador to Qatar and my focus is on this country. Also Qatar is playing an increasingly important role in the political field. People talk of Qatar’s development agenda, influence and ambitions and that attracts a lot of people. I like the dynamic of this place. I see a desire to develop this country with an ambitious agenda. Though Netherlands has green soothing landscapes, the desert too has a calming effect. I will miss the view, of the desert and the waters in the Bay, from my window


Shell extending partnerships In a decade, Shell Qatar has proved to be an exemplary model of how clear vision and technology can create immense wealth. The partnership has now expanded from GTL to downstream projects. Shell has also been actively involved in building human potential in Qatar through various programmes such as the Shell Eco-marathon. Wael Sawan, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell, spoke to Qatar Today about what the deep partnership between Shell and Qatar means to both. Pearl GTL has been a landmark project. Has the project in a way inspired confidence in GTL technology itself, and how much credit can be given to the success of the project for the upcoming GTL wave globally? What are the lessons learned, and can they be replicated elsewhere? Pearl GTL is the largest gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in the world and the largest energy project in Qatar, cementing Qatar’s position as the GTL capital of the world. GTL is one of the diversification pillars in Qatar’s energy industry based on the vision of the Emir, HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to generate value from the country’s abundant supply of gas and diversify revenue streams. GTL is an attractive business proposition, as it converts natural gas resources into high-quality liquid fuels and products, thereby offering the full upside of accessing global, fungible, oil markets. It takes a lot of courage to develop a plant of the size and complexity of Pearl GTL, the first world-scale GTL plant. But Qatar had the will and the courage, and Shell had the

technology to deliver this. The technology has been evolving over the past 40 years, during which time we filed more than 3,500 patents in all aspects of this technology. We had experienced and harnessed the GTL technology in our Bintulu project in Malaysia since 1993, but Pearl GTL was a big step forward and our prior experience gave us the conviction, and our partners Qatar Petroleum (QP) the confidence, to go for a world-scale plant. We have been able to demonstrate the technology performing at its best across the entire plant and I am sure this will give the whole industry more confidence in the attractiveness of GTL business. Our focus today is on the safe and reliable operation of the plant and making sure we continue to deliver long-term value for Qatar and Shell. On the lessons learned, undoubtedly the one thing I would emphasise is an absolute focus on people. We are particularly proud of our worker welfare programme which has earned us many awards. This is very much built on the notion that if we focus on the welfare of our people, and take care of them, then we will see them boost


affairs> >dutch focus localreport their productivity and deliver the safety and quality performance that we aspire to. That has been what allowed us to achieve a great record for Shell and Qatar, 77 million hours without a lost time injury (LTI), and that makes us enormously proud as an organisation. The second key lesson is meticulous preparation ahead of startup; we pre-invested in the ultimate operation of the plant, bringing operators in, going through system by system from all our learning of past projects in Shell. The goal is to know exactly what the potential traps are, overcome them, mitigate them, plan for them, and therefore when you do start up you are in a position to be able to do so with minimal issues. Finally, and most importantly, the lesson is around having the right partner to undertake such a pioneering project. In QP and Qatar we have found an ideal partner for this journey. Applying technology on this scale and investing so heavily in a single project does not happen everywhere in the world; it needs an enabling environment, and that is what we find in Qatar. Not only is it blessed with abundant gas resources, but also with strong leadership, fast decision-making and an absolute drive to deliver transparency in all business dealings. What does Qatar represent to Shell? What are the key product markets? What is the market response to GTL products from Qatar, specifically Jet fuel? In as little as a decade Shell has invested up to $21 billion in Qatar, delivering two of the largest energy projects in the world with our partner Qatar Petroleum. These are Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) and Qatargas 4. And we are already investing in further growth projects. The significance of Qatar for us is the evolution from no operations in 2002 to making it one of highest-value countries for the Shell Group a decade later, with roughly 10% of the overall value for the Group. Qatar represents a significant part of our overall production and a significant part of our reserves and cash flow generation. GTL products represent a pioneering innovation to increase the supply of highly-demanded liquid hydrocarbons globally. Pearl GTL is the world’s largest manufacturer of quality baseoil, enough to fill 225 million cars every year. Today Shell Global Lubricants offtakes baseoils to Europe, the US and Asia for blending for end consumers throughout those regions. Intermediate

storage hubs have been established in all three regions. GTL Gasoil (diesel) is mainly shipped to Europe. The product has excellent cetane properties of over 80, and the product is colourless, odourless and burns cleanly. Pearl GTL has design capacity to produce enough gasoil to fill 160,000 cars every day. GTL Naphtha is very paraffinic, which means it yields a lot more high-value chemicals than standard naphtha. It is being shipped to crackers in the East. GTL Normal Paraffins are being sent to the US and Asia, where we have long-term contracts in place. In January 2013 QP, Qatar Airways and Shell celebrated the first commercial introduction of GTL jet fuel – the first to be approved globally in over two decades – to Doha International Airport. An Airbus A340-600, flight QR001, made history by being the first to fly outbound from Doha International Airport en route to London Heathrow using GTL Jet Fuel. What is Shell’s role in Qatar’s petrochemicals vision? What is the current status of the announced petrochemicals project? Shell continually aims to listen and respond to the needs of the country. We clearly understand that Qatar aspires to grow an internationally competitive petrochemicals industry. We have therefore been delighted to embark on another exciting journey with QP to deliver a world-class petrochemicals project, Al-Karaana Petrochemicals Complex, to further support the diversification strategy and deliver another viable option to generate value from Qatar’s natural gas resources. The development of a worldscale petrochemicals complex consolidates Shell’s strong partnership with QP across the full chain of hydrocarbon development. This project expands Shell’s current presence in Qatar and reaffirms our commitment to the country, and of course Shell is proud to have been selected by QP as their partner in this project and to deploy its technology, project management, operational and marketing experience to deliver a project of this size and scope. QP and Shell recently announced the award of the project’s front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract to Fluor, and that work is now under way. The scope under consideration for the Al-Karaana Petrochemicals Complex project includes the following: a world-scale steam cracker, with feedstock coming from natural gas

projects in Qatar; a 1.5 million tonnes per annum monoethylene glycol plant using Shell’s proprietary OMEGA (Only MEG Advantaced) technology; a 300 thousand tonnes per annum linear alpha olefin unit using the proprietary Shell Higher Olefins Process; and a 250 thousand tons per annum oxo product unit. What are the expectations from new research collaborations with Qatar, especially the carbon research programme? What is its significance to Qatar, and how will it impact the energy business? What are the benefits for Qatar? Shell was the anchor tenant at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), the first of all companies to open a research centre in QSTP. We did so because of the belief that this was going to be a place that was going to support Qatar in its vision and support our own activities here in Qatar, given the fact that we had Pearl GTL and other activities coming through. Our research programme in the Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre at QSTP is wholly aligned with the Qatar National Research Strategy, and focuses on the twin themes of Energy and Environment. One of the programmes that I am particularly proud of is a partnership with QP, QSTP and Imperial College London to spend $70 million, one of the largest-ever R&D efforts between government, academia and business. The Qatar Carbonates and Carbon Storage Research Centre aims to strengthen Qatar’s engineering talent and expertise and expand research capacity in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and cleaner fossil fuels, involving over 50 academic staff, including PhD students from Qatar. This new venture will create one of the largest university-based CCS research teams in the world. The centre has been set up to investigate key challenges in the exploitation of carbonate reservoirs by combining the international expertise of Shell, the knowledge and expertise of Qatar Petroleum, the resources, assistance and strategic advice of QSTP, and the research strengths of Imperial College London through its Energy Futures Lab. The aim of this research is to step forward in the development of CCS as a solution to climate change, by helping to build knowledge that can be used to unlock the vast CO2 storage potential of carbonate reservoirs. Researchers at the laboratory will also analyse how liquids and gases move through carbonate rock to optimise oil and gas production


affairs> >dutch focus localreport

A partnership for education

Just over a decade ago, when Stenden University set up a campus in Qatar, the education scene here was totally different. Today Qatar boasts a number of A-rated global universities and an array of courses. Stenden University Qatar is the only privately-funded institution in Qatar that prepares students for a career in the hospitality and tourism sector.

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s Qatar promotes itself as a business and tourist destination, and of course, with the World Cup in 2022, it is hard to ignore the possibilities in this sector. Qatar is also emerging as an education centre for the Arab world. “Having internationally-recognised institutions operating in Qatar make it more appealing for the Arab world and beyond to experience world class education in the region,” says Wayne Johnson, President of Stenden University Qatar. He feels that more needs to be done to promote Qatar as a destination, and the government has an important role to play. Speaking about Stenden’s interest in Qatar, Johnson says: “The partnership between Stenden (then CHN) and Al Faisal Holding (the local partner) was a perfect match.” Stenden had embarked on a drive to internationalise its courses and its focus was on strategic locations, namely the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The local partner’s interest in education, tourism and hospitality matched perfectly with that of Stenden University. “From its early beginnings, the programmes of International Hospitality Management and International Tourism

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Management were in line with national initiatives around these burgeoning sectors. The commitment by the Qatari government to expand the non-energy sector placed Stenden in an ideal position to make a positive contribution to these growth areas,” he adds. Studying at Stenden At Stenden, a Netherlands-based university with branch campuses in Bali (Indonesia), Rangsit (Thailand), Port Alfred (South Africa) and Qatar, students are exposed to the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) philosophy, a concept that lays stress on practical training and experience, preparing the student to directly enter the job market with the right skills and approach. Elaborating on the concept, Johnson says: “PBL places students in situations where they will face real problems in a typical work environment. The students have to find solutions by collaborating with the right people within the organisation.” Describing the industry exposure given at Stenden, Johnson says: “Each semester consists of five weeks of theoretical knowledge transfer in the form of lectures and presentations by industry leaders, and four weeks of practical training in the same topic.” In addition, students on all campuses have to complete a 10-month internship in their last study year. This is a combination of practical working hours and writing their final paper in the form of a business improvement plan for the company they are working for. This internship enables the students to get in contact with potential employers and experience working for them. Talking about placements, Johnson says: “Stenden Qatar has excellent relationships with major stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry in Qatar. The majority of Stenden's graduates start working in assistant manager or manager positions across industries in Qatar. They get ample assistance from the student counsellor and faculty members,” he adds. To enrich the experience, students can go on a Grand Tour and study at other Stenden campuses, as the study programmes are identical and accredited to their studies at their home campus. The exciting part is that the students can experience all Stenden campuses as long as their study programmes are offered when they wish to go. “Currently, exchange students from Leeuwarden in the Netherlands are studying in Qatar,” says Johnson. Emphasising that there is no difference in the quality of education in any of these locations, he goes on,

“The staff at the main campus in the Netherlands design all study programmes and issue degrees that are recognised by the Supreme Education Council in Qatar. The international campuses of Stenden University teach them with small amendments to local customs and culture.” Additionally, Stenden Qatar offers an Academic Bridge Programme for students who do not meet the requirements for entering into the full-time bachelor programme. “It is an ideal transition for all students who need to improve and develop their skills in English and prepare themselves for academic studies,” says the Stenden president. Opportunities galore As Qatar gears up for international events such as the FIFA World Cup 2022 and other sports events, the tourism and hospitality industry will see tremendous growth, opening up opportunities for qualified tourism and hospitality professionals. Stenden University Qatar has recently been approached by a number of global players in the hospitality industry to establish joint strategic partnerships and management development programmes. “These partnerships could also involve other Stenden campuses offering future employees to partnering organisations and the State of Qatar,” says Johnson. To cater to the emerging event management industry in Qatar, the Qatar campus offers specific Event Management courses within the International Business, Hospitality and Tourism Management Degree Programmes. Event Management 1 provides students with the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical volunteering experience, and Event Management 2 further develops the students’ capabilities and skills into practical experience.

Stenden had embarked on a drive to internationalise its courses and its focus was on strategic locations, namely the Middle East, Asia and Africa. The local partner’s interest in education, tourism and hospitality matched perfectly with that of Stenden University.

Looking ahead Johnson is positive about the prospects for the industry and his students in Qatar. “In the near future, we plan to introduce a post-graduate course and increase the research quality and capability of our university. Stenden plans to introduce new programmes in International Services Management by the end of 2013 and additional minor courses such as Sports Management. It already offers two minor courses – Event Management and International Destination Branding. New facilities are also planned to accommodate student growth and programme development. We hope that by 2017 we will have enrolled the first cohort of students in a PhD programme,” he says qatar today > may 2013 > 79


affairs> >dutch focus localreport

An Exchange Platform

Dutch Business Council Qatar Executive Committee (from left to right); Elizabeth Blekkenhorst (Vice Chairman), Peter Baurichter (Marketing and Communications Manager), Laurens Koning (Treasurer), Lennart Bottenberg (Chairman), Wolter ten Bokkel Huinink (Events Manager)

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he events organised by the DBCQ include informal monthly networking events known as “Borrels”, business presentations and site visits organised around specific themes or industries. It currently hosts about 70 members and the number is expected to rise as large-scale projects in Qatar open doors for Dutch specialist companies to explore the local business environment. The council is often approached by new companies that are developing in the region. The events it organises facilitate networking opportunities, making it easy to integrate and meet experienced professionals in Qatar. Several Dutch business delegations supported by the Dutch Embassy and specialist government bodies in the Netherlands visited Qatar this year. In April alone there were two missions, one headed by Ronald de Boer under the banner “Dutch Sports Infrastructure”, and one in the oil and gas industry under the name of “Dutch Energy Solutions”. The Dutch usiness Council supports these events

The Dutch Business Council Qatar (DBCQ) aims to promote the Dutch business community in Qatar and it does this by providing a platform where representatives of Dutch companies in Qatar and Dutch nationals can meet and exchange information with each other.

and offers its members the opportunity to mingle and exchange ideas with these delegations. “Both missions were very successful and many companies confirmed they have established valuable business relationships. We are seeing an increase in Dutch companies establishing in Qatar in sectors such as shipbuilding (Nakilat Damen) or technology and innovation (TNO). It is only a matter of time before more will come,” says Lennart Bottenberg, Chairman of DBCQ. Dutch companies are also on the forefront on food security and water management. “With one of the highest populated areas and agricultural land at a premium, the Dutch have been focusing on intensive agriculture, new food technology and sustainable methods of production,” says Bottenberg. He believes that opportunities for collaboration between Qatari and Dutch companies may occur in areas such as “food research, sustainable production and developing agriculture in saline locations”. The DBCQ is mainly focused on enhancing business opportunities in Qatar, but it also encourages Qatari companies to contact it when they consider opportunities in the Netherlands. “Most of the members have a long history of working in the Netherlands with strong roots and business networks,” says Bottenberg


development > tech talk

Are You Ready For

Real Time Has anyone ever told you to "get real"? That’s being brought to another level as companies try to sharpen their social media senses – or to work efficiently in "real time" – with a clear focus on entertaining their consumers on the go. 82 > qatar today > may 2013

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e all know that social media data is driving businesses to think differently. Whether it is engaging your consumer demographic in new ways, engaging with customers on a Facebook fan page, managing your brand image online, handling a viral Twitter crisis or listening to people talk about what they like or dislike on local forums, let me re-

mind you that all this happens in just a few seconds and you have little time to react. To put it candidly, this means “real time”. As social networks continue to grow at an exponential rate it’s evident that real-time marketing is becoming a brand imperative. But what does “real time” really mean? It’s not necessarily a measure of actual time, per se; it doesn’t always equal instantaneous. Real time can mean anything from


under one second to a week. This means that “real time” is probably a synonym for “accurate time”. It means quick – certainly faster than the usual campaign that takes weeks to organise, from compliance and internal team approval to booking media spots and sorting out logistics. Real time in the age of new media means “appropriate timing”, and the timing can be a relevant Facebook update or a response to a tweet. Some notable examples of real-time marketing are, of course, the notorious Oreo response to the Super Bowl blackout. The “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet was retweeted over 10,000 times in one hour. It was certainly the most relevant and timely. SmartCar’s hilarious infographic response to a negative tweet last year is another genuine example: On June 17, Clayton Hove (@adtothebone), the creative director of ad agency KK Bold, sent this: Saw a bird had crapped on a Smart Car. Totalled it. SmartCar USA saw the tweet and responded: Couldn’t have been one bird, @adtothebone. Sounds more like 4.5 million. (Seriously, we did the math.) For starters, brands need a smart social analytics tool that can not only listen to and determine relevant social chatter, but enable them to act on these real-time conversations. Social media actions require an analyst or marketer to know instantly what is happening in the space. We need to know what happens immediately after a post is visible, after a link is revealed, and when a tweet is sent. Try using tools like Ubervu or HootSuite that can help you monitor conversations using sophisticated algorithms. For companies that don’t need to or can’t react quickly, then real time probably means within a couple of days or within a week. This will allow them to analyse their content to remake it before and during a

certain period where the updated content will have relevance to the audience. For companies that are managing large, complex campaigns, especially those that involve apps, then the definition of real time changes. These companies have development cycles as they’re into the business of software development. It may take them weeks to get customer feedback and then analyse the output. The interactive experiences now being measured could not make use of data on the same day or even the same week. Determine which parts of the campaign are “optimisable”, in the sense that you can optimise your landing page, your target audience, and your social networking pages. Implement the ability to measure in real time. Watch and react to campaign performance in real time. Use unique links for each social network so you can see the number of clicks and conversions generated from each one. Another important aspect about real time is content creation. Real-time content creation makes sense when the opportunity presents itself, so having a newsroom for brands with writers and a strategist is important. However, brands should have a story rather than wait for something to happen in the media and then build their story around it. If you want your customers to make content (and any sort of retail business like a coffee shop does), you need to remove every possible barrier to instant creation and upload. For example, free Wi-fi would definitely add value to your brand as customers narrate their experience online. Once they walk out that door, there are chances of them spreading your message to their friends on Facebook, Twitter etc. “Real time” is a selling feature in many digital analytics offerings today. Some tools even offer almost graphical views of customer behaviour in seconds. You need to decide what’s right for your organisation and define the real-time boundaries. It’s the next wave; start thinking about it, as you need to learn to swim to stay afloat

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

kapil 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 up-and-coming technology blog in the Middle East, which features talk about tech entertainment, social networks and digital trends and also lists jobs. it offers insightful analysis about Big Data and the Internet industry and will feature start-ups in the Middle East region. qatar today > may 2013 > 83


development > tech talk 2006 YET TO ARRIVE

“Two years from now, spam will be solved.“ Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in 2004

Xbox ready for new release Microsoft will unveil details of its new Xbox videogames console at a special event on May 21. The firm had originally planned to reveal the device, which will go head to head with Sony’s PlayStation 4, last month.

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espite the delay, Microsoft remains keen to make an impact ahead of the E3 videogames conference in Las Vegas in June. Sony has already released some details of the PlayStation 4 to whet appetites. Microsoft has also revealed that, in common with the PlayStation 4, the new Xbox will use x86 microchip architecture, manufactured by AMD. The shift to the architec-

ture ubiquitous in modern personal computers means Microsoft will drop the Power PC technology designed by IBM, and game discs made for the current Xbox 360 won’t be compatible. However it means game developers, who have moved toward making games for PCs and mobile devices, will find it easier to deliver those titles for the next Xbox.

APPLE

Facebook Home on iPhone? Facebook is in talks with Apple to create a version of its Facebook Home Android software for the iPhone.

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acebook Home is free software designed to convert Android handsets into “Facebook phones”, with a Facebook home screen and prominent roles for Facebook’s communication features such as instant messaging and free voice calls. The software is designed to keep Facebook members engaged on the move for longer, as they increasingly access their accounts from smartphones and tablets, and attract more mobile advertising. The social network did not need Google’s approval or cooperation to build Facebook Home because of the permissive rules governing what developers can change in Android. Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said it would be “counter to our public statements, our religion” to restrict the software, even though it effectively takes over Android devices for Facebook’s

benefit. Apple’s iOS is much more restricted, however, yet Adam Mosseri, Facebook’s Director of Product, has now claimed Apple is discussing allowing Facebook Home or something like it on iOS. The talks are in progress and nothing has been finalised, he said.


Easier management from Ooredoo

@QATARTODAY passed

I0,000

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followers in April.

oredoo has launched a free app for Apple mobile devices that enables customers to easily manage their subscriptions and accounts at their fingertips. Thanks to the new Ooredoo app, available through the iTunes Store, customers can conveniently view their usage and pay their Ooredoo bills, top up their Hala credit, manage their Shahry accounts, and redeem their Nojoom points. Customers can also reserve easy-to-remember numbers and search the phone directory, all from the convenience of their Apple mobile device, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod.

Follow us for the latest news in Qatar

SMART WATCHES

WATCH OUT!

TELEVISION

Samsung launches Arabic music app

Samsung has announced the availability of Yala, a free Arabic music content application, which can now be downloaded on Samsung’s smart TVs. smart watches will be shipped this year Research firm ABI is predicting that over 1.2 million smart watches will be shipped this year alone. The company believes that the wearable computing device will be split into four categories: the notification type, voice-operational smart watches, hybrid smart watches, and completely independent smart watches. The company considers notification type devices to be products such as the MetaWatch and Cookoo.

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ala is an Arabic audio- and video-streaming application that allows consumers stream over 120,000 music tracks and 5,000 videos without paying a dirham. Users can create their own library by setting up playlists, adding albums, artists and radio channels. The app does not restrict the number of times that users listen to a track, providing a seamless experience for users looking for high-quality Arabic music on their devices. Within the Gulf, Samsung has been committed to

developing local Arabic-language content applications for its consumers. Samsung currently features over 400 applications that have been tailored to consumers in the Gulf, which can be downloaded to Samsung’s smart devices. The Yala application’s availability on Samsung’s smart TVs is a new development offering consumers the ability to stream and enjoy Arabic music content from the comfort of their home. The Yala App is also available on Samsung smart phones and tablets for free.

SERIOUSLY!

“There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.“ Ken OlsEn, President of Digital Equipment Corporation in 1977

qatar today > may 2013 > 85


focus > healthcare

Pushing a healthy

country 86 > qatar today > may 2013


As Qatar’s population sneaks towards two million, the big healthcare news for residents here is the introduction of compulsory health insurance. A study from Booz, which highlights the growing costs of healthcare for GCC governments, shows why these governments are trying to find a way of easing these costs.

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hey have always acted as the insurer of last resort for residents, but now the government need to take a different approach that invites the private sector to play a role to ease costs, improve quality of service and provide access to expertise. So as the onus of bearing healthcare costs shifts from the government to residents and their employers, Qatar Today talks to some of the stakeholders in the industry. The Qatari government recently announced its budget for 2013/2014, and its capital spending can be broadly categorised into three areas: infrastructure, education and health. The health sector accounted for 18% of this budget which will go towards the expansion of a number of medical facilities such as Hamad Medical City; Sidra Medical and Research Centre, a teaching and research hospital connected to Education City; and various health centres. As part of the 2030 Vision to diversify the economy and skill set of the country, a number of medical edu-

cation institutions came to Qatar to provide top-class educators and curricula. Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar provides a 21st century medical education for students, conducts cutting-edge biomedical research, and works with a variety of local stakeholders to improve the health of the community and promote excellence in patient care. The University of Calgary is one of Canada’s leading education and research institutions. Its Faculty of Nursing is recognised internationally for its excellence in clinical practice and family healthcare.The university was selected by Qatar to bring its renowned nursing programme to Qatar, and nursing students graduating from UCQ meet rigorous Canadian and international standards. Meanwhile, ConocoPhillips have joined with Hamad International Training Centre in launching a national health and safety campaign, “Kulluna”, to raise awareness and influence behaviour related to health issues, with particular emphasis on improving individual and family health, safety and wellness within Qatar. qatar today > may 2013 > 87


healthcare

spotlight

A draft for mandatory insurance The state ratified the draft law on mandatory health insurance last month and referred it to the Advisory Council for its recommendations.

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he law will facilitate implementation of the proposed national health insurance scheme that will cover all citizens and expatriates, including visitors to the country. The first phase of the mandatory health insurance scheme is expected to be implemented by the end of this year. The cabinet ratified the draft law at its regular weekly meeting chaired by the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabor Al Thani. The law will lay down rules and regulations for licensed healthcare providers as well as the institutions authorised to provide health

insurance. According to the draft law, health insurance will be obligatory and include mandatory health insurance services in addition to preventive, curative, rehabilitative and medical examination services against payment of health insurance premiums. The government will pay premiums on behalf of Qatari citizens. A company called the National Company for Health Insurance will be established and will be responsible for implementation and management of the health insurance scheme under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Health.

Lifestyle check

A Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) initiative is using the promotion of a healthy lifestyle to encourage Qatar’s school students to consider a career in the healthcare industry.

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y showing the positive effects of leading a healthy lifestyle through eating well and exercising, HMC’s Health Professions Awareness Programme (HPAP) is encouraging students to think about a future in the industry. The HPAP team, led by Balqees Al-Khazraji, Director of Health Professions Awareness and Volunteering Programmes at HMC, and Dr Khalid Abdulnoor, Director of Hamad International Training Centre (HITC) and Head of the “Kulluna” safety campaign, recently held a three-day health and wellbeing expo at

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the Ruqaya Preparatory School for Girls. The three-day expo, which has toured several schools in Qatar already, uses activities and information about healthy lifestyles to promote careers in the healthcare profession. Using the theme “Students’ Health – a Fruitful Future Investment”, the team from HMC also focuses on familiarising the students with the different services and specialties provided by the Corporation’s eight hospitals, and scholarships and employment opportunities in the medical, nursing or allied health fields.


Aspetar to go beyond pedometer Aspetar, a member organisation of Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), is planning to go beyond using the pedometer for its “step into health“ programme in a bid to reach out to more people.

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r Abdulla Al-Mohannedi, researcher on health promotion at Aspetar, says they will soon launch a new smartphone application to monitor the number of steps each individual takes every day. “The programme should be continuous,” says Al-Mohannedi. “After the pedometer, we will go for a new application for smart phones to make it easier for everybody.” He stressed they are continuously conducting research on the impact of their programme and will disclose the results of their studies by the end of the year. Al-Mohannedi also noted that of the 15,000 individuals who participated in the “step into health” programme, 6,000-8,000 had become active. This summer, Aspetar will put up signages and information materials at places such as malls and parks to persuade people to walk even while it is hot outside.

Robots do the work

Medical Records going online

H Nearly 200 procedures using robotic surgery techniques have been performed by Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) surgeons since the method was first introduced in Qatar. it has been used in 39 cardiac procedures.

amad Medical Corporation (HMC) will implement a Clinical Information System (CIS) by next year that will lead to the creation of a personal Electronic Health Record (EHR) for every patient by 2015. CIS will be introduced first at Al Khor hospital in January 2014 and will be systematically expanded to other hospitals and primary healthcare centres across the country in three months. It will be fully implemented by 2015. The implementation of the CIS system is a joint programme between HMC and Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC). The implementation within both HMC and PHCC’s existing services will see the creation of a single, integrated EHR for every patient, moving away from paper-based processes, said Dr Abdulwahab Al-Musleh, Deputy Chief of Medical, Academic and Research Affairs for

Clinical Information Systems. This EHR will provide immediate access to patient data and make it possible to order certain prescriptions and investigations, such as x-rays and other tests. “Patients will benefit by our implementing one of the most advanced clinical systems to improve patient care and revolutionise the future of our care delivery,” said Dr Al-Musleh, on the sidelines of the Clinical Information Systems International Conference, the first event of its kind in the region, held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Doha. “The new CIS will mean paperwork will be reduced in all areas, therefore enabling clinical and non-clinical staff to spend more time with patients. The immediate availability of evidence-based and best-practice clinical content will help in selecting the appropriate treatment and therefore leading to best outcomes,” he said. qatar today > may 2013 > 89


Who are Nurses? healthcare

spotlight

“Thanks to the vision of HH Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, world-class nursing education is ON Qatar’s doorstep.” Dr Kim Critchley, Dean and CEO, University of Calgary – Qatar (UCQ).

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has determined a need for more than 10,000 additional nurses to meet the demands of its growing population. The University of Calgary – Qatar (UCQ) is providing world-class nursing education to the people of Qatar to help meet this need.

Research

is a critical nursing specialisation. It is an opportunity to contribute to the Qatar National Research Strategy through research that enhances the capacity of individuals, families and the community to attain and improve health and wellness in Qatar. UCQ students, graduates and faculty are actively engaged in research into areas that include cancer, diabetes, heart disease, smoking cessation, depression, and maternal and maternity healthcare. 90 > qatar today > may 2013

urses are compassionate, giving individuals who are also highly-trained professionals committed to diverse, challenging and vastly rewarding careers in healthcare. The role of the nurse is vital to the continued success, growth and development of the healthcare system in Qatar. Thousands of professional nurses are needed in Qatar to provide healthcare leadership, to conduct important research into health and wellness issues unique to Qatar, and to act as administrators, educators, advisers, community supporters, advocates, programme managers, support providers and caregivers. The list is lengthy because the field of nursing is as diverse and dynamic as the people who take on this challenging and rewarding career. Nurses confront the world’s most urgent health issues, and they are responsible for key innovations that improve healthcare systems. Wherever they are working, nurses help families and communities live better, healthier lives. Because the field of nursing is so varied, professional nurses have the unique opportunity to grow, learn and change specialisations. Some of the more wellknown roles for nurses are those held in hospitals and clinics. Nurses also work in schools to educate students about health and wellness, and public health nurses work with new mothers and with families to provide a wide array of support and guidance both

in clinics and in the community. Nurses are also researchers, striving to improve all areas of healthcare and its delivery. Nurses work in business, government and the military. The roles in these institutions can be very different in nature allowing for a wide variety of opportunities.

The role of UCQ The University of Calgary is one of Canada’s leading education and research institutions. Its Faculty of Nursing is recognised internationally for its excellence in clinical practice and family healthcare. The university was selected by Qatar to bring its renowned nursing programme to Qatar, and nursing students graduating from UCQ meet rigorous Canadian and international standards. Graduates receive a University of Calgary Bachelor of Nursing degree and are prepared to meet the growing demand for expert nurses in Qatar. They are well equipped to contribute to their community by working at the forefront of health promotion and disease prevention. Since 2007 UCQ has been educating nurses for the forefront of Qatar’s worldclass healthcare system by offering a Bachelor of Nursing degree programme, a Diploma programme especially tailored to meet the needs of Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), a Post-Diploma Bachelor of Nursing programme for nurses already working in the Qatari healthcare system, a Foundation Programme, and a Master of Nursing Degree in Oncology that is delivered in partnership with HMC


healthcare

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Harnessing PPP for effective healthcare “The public sector is competing with the private sector for scarce resources such as talent.“

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. 92 > qatar today > may 2013

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he Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries will face a significant challenge in managing future healthcare costs. Healthcare spending is accelerating, in part because of the rising incidence of chronic diseases. Thanks to systemic transformation, strategic planning, and population screening programmes, governments understand that the current model, in which the state shoulders most of the direct financial burden and other social costs, is unsustainable over the long term. Governments need a different approach that invites the private sector to play a role as a means of taming costs, improving quality of service, and providing access to expertise. The GCC should use the public-private partnership (PPP) mechanism, which has been successfully applied globally, to increase private-sector participation. Governments can shape PPPs depending upon the different capabilities and appetites for risk of the public and private partners. PPPs come in many varieties and can be customised to suit each country’s circumstances. Health systems in the GCC provide a range of opportunities for private-sector players, including care provision, financing, healthcare supplies and health education. GCC governments will need to remove institutional hurdles for the deployment

of PPPs and create an enabling regulatory, operational and financial environment. This requires the correct legal and institutional framework for PPP governance and oversight, followed by a structured process for identifying and executing a pipeline of PPP healthcare projects. The careful and rigorous introduction of PPPs into healthcare can provide citizens with three mutually supporting healthcare improvements: greater accessibility, higher-quality care, and an affordable price for patients and governments.

Future demands on healthcare GCC healthcare systems have significant accomplishments, including widespread provision, rising professional standards and regulation, generous funding, and growing levels of investment. Among the most important advances have been population screening programmes and longrange strategic planning efforts that are putting these countries at the forefront of the healthcare industry, along with impressively rapid system-wide transformation programmes. These forward-looking initiatives will be most effective if the region can find a new way to pay for its future healthcare needs and build its health systems’ capabilities. The current model, in which the state absorbs most of the cost, is unsustainable in terms of both financing and healthcare delivery. As part of their national development


programmes, governments are currently engaged in major efforts to improve accessibility and quality of care. These healthcare changes and investments have the ambitious goal of putting the GCC on the top rung of the healthcare industry for care provision and quality. Central to the upgrading of healthcare in the region is the formulation of long-term strategic plans, an exercise that only governments can undertake. For example, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has developed a 10-year strategy that takes an integrated, comprehensive approach to care provision, a transformation that is instilling coherence into a previously fragmented system. Similarly, the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD) has developed a 10-year master plan to identify future capacity gaps and provide recommendations for developers, investors, and healthcare providers. Qatar has developed its National Health Strategy 2011-2016 around a comprehensive programme of reforms that are aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030, the country’s long-range national social and economic development programme. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) is implementing a 2011-2013 health sector strategy to establish a world-class integrated system that promotes the emirate as a destination for healthcare services. Major expansions in care provision are occurring across the GCC. These state-funded investments will meet current and future demand for inpatient and outpatient services, will reinforce trust in local healthcare provision, and reduce outbound medical tourism. As part of its healthcare transformation programme, Saudi Arabia is building healthcare services hubs, so-called medical cities, as well as hospitals and primary healthcare centers. In October 2012, Saudi Arabia inaugurated 420 health projects and laid the foundations for another 127 health facilities at a cost of SAR 12 billion ($3.2 billion). GCC countries have also begun to introduce mandatory health insurance to meet the growing cost of healthcare provision. A compulsory insurance scheme already operates in Abu Dhabi as of 2006 and there is mandatory private insurance in Saudi Arabia. Qatar began introducing a private health insurance plan in 2012, to be fully implemented by 2014. Despite these increased resources and insurance schemes, GCC healthcare systems are still struggling with capacity gaps and inconsistent quality of

GCC countries can use PPPs as a means of managing rising healthcare costs, as a mechanism to enhance the capabilities of the healthcare system, and as part of a programme of systemic transformation of the sector.

care. There is a shortage of healthcare professionals and limited availability of competent specialised services. For example, the quality of so-called quaternary services, the most specialised level of care, is diminished because of suboptimal distribution. There are sometimes too many hospitals in a small area offering quaternary services, which prevents each of them from accumulating the necessary volume of cases that would build its competency and quality of care. For example, Abu Dhabi island has three cardiac surgery centers, even though the volume of adult cardiac surgery cases is only 500 to 700 per year, requiring just one competent programme. Overall quality of care is also lower than it should be. There are few centers of excellence in the GCC that are on par with leading international providers. By contrast, developed countries on average have higher quality health services and there is limited differentiation among providers. Finally, increasing

healthcare spending cannot cope with the region’s elevated rate of non-communicable diseases. The GCC’s incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and mental and respiratory ailments is among the highest in the world. Of the world’s 10 worst countries for diabetes, five are in the GCC (Oman is the exception). This chronic disease profile is already consuming considerable resources, a pattern that will worsen over time. These ongoing healthcare challenges, and in particular the ageing of the current young generation, will force governments to spend more on healthcare services. Expenditure is currently below international benchmarks when compared with developed countries on a per capita basis. However, this will change and the fiscal burden on governments will increase. The state in the GCC already foots a very high proportion of healthcare costs by global standards. Increased expenditure will further strain public budgets, rendering the public-dominated model unsustainable. Some governments are already taking a more stringent approach, with federal ministries in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) practising aggregate fiscal discipline and zero-based budgeting. Governments will logically seek more private-sector participation, but this must be introduced in a manner that uses regulation to prevent private players from cherry-picking profitable patients and services. Without proper regulation, private companies will also compete with each other and the government for manpower in a market with a limited supply of skilled labour, thereby escalating costs. The result would be lower quality of care and excess capacity. As the CEO of a private hospital group in the GCC told us, “The public sector is competing with the private sector (rather than cooperating with it) for scarce resources such as talent.” To avoid such difficulties, governments can take a regulated, multidimensional, multi-stakeholder approach that will ensure the private sector brings complementary capabilities to the table. Given the complexity of the GCC’s healthcare challenge, and how it differs among the six countries, it is important to recognise that there is no silver bullet. Instead, the careful and targeted use of partnerships between public and private stakeholders can begin to address the core issues of accessibility, quality and affordability qatar today > may 2013 > 93


healthcare

spotlight

Kulluna cares ConocoPhillips is one of the world’s largest independent EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION (E&P) companies, based on proved reserves and production of liquiFIED natural gas. It explores for, produces, transports and markets crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, liquefied natural gas and bitumen on a worldwide basis, with activities in 30 countries.

In Qatar, ConocoPhillips holds a 30% stake in the world-class Qatargas 3 LNG project in Ras Laffan Industrial City. 94 > qatar today > may 2013

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onocoPhillips’ “SPIRIT Values” – Safety, People, Integrity, Responsibility, Innovation and Teamwork – set the tone for how it interacts with its stakeholders, internally and externally. They are shared by everyone in the organisation and recognised throughout the industry. They distinguish the company from its competitors and are a source of pride. ConocoPhillips is committed to contributing to social, economic and environmental improvements in all the communities in which it operates. The company is currently funding numerous environmental, social, health and education programmes around the world, including Qatar, where it is are supporting Qatar in achieving the National Vision 2030. ConocoPhillips Qatar is committed to nurturing local talent through training and professional development. To help ensure Qatar’s future growth and development, it has introduced several initiatives aimed at enhancing the skills and unique talents of Qatari students as well as supporting knowledge sharing and enabling local talents and future leaders of the industry to gain vital insights about how to start and develop their careers in the oil and gas sector. ConocoPhillips Qatar President Gary Sykes talked more about the company’s initiatives in Qatar and the state of the healthcare industry in the country.

“Kulluna” was initiated last year to raise awareness about national healthcare. How is this project progressing? Are you seeing any tangible results, or will it take more time? This has been a great success. We could not be more pleased with the programme.

In support of the Qatar National Vision 2030, more specifically health promotion, we had approached Hamad Medical Corporation to improve health and safety in Qatar by raising the level of public awareness regarding general health issues, personal safety, HMC services and lifesaving practices within Qatar. We have been fortunate to join hands with Hamad International Training Centre to launch a national health and safety campaign, “Kulluna”. We realise that making significant changes to people’s perceptions takes time. We are prepared to invest the time and resources needed to achieve solid results in raising public awareness and influencing behaviour related to important health issues, with particular emphasis on improving individual and family health, safety and wellness within Qatar. The first part of the campaign was dedicated to children’s safety. It introduced specific child safety courses such as the “Child Passenger Safety Technician” certification course, as well as raising awareness on the dangers of children drowning and the risk of injuries around the home, such as falls, burns and choking, and what families can do to keep their children safe. We ran several road shows in local shopping malls which were very well attended and gave parents the opportunity to speak with medical professionals, as well as interactive games for the children featuring our safety heroes Salem and Salma, the Kulluna campaign mascots. Kulluna will run until 2016, so yes, although we have already achieved a great deal, there is a lot that we still aim to achieve in this time and this long-term vision is reflected in the campaign’s key messages and activities, which mirror closely the strategy set out by HH the Emir of Qatar in the 2030 Vision.


sharing knowledge and best practices to bring global innovation and expertise to the industry in the country. In this regard, we have an ongoing programme where employees from ConocoPhillips are seconded into Qatar Petroleum and QatarGas. We also organise technical seminars and workshops in Qatar with the objective of knowledge sharing and capacity building within the energy sector. Among our objectives as well is supporting QatarGas to market LNG from our joint QatarGas 3 project in global markets.

healthcare

spotlight

Gary Sykes with HMC officials at the start of the first Kulluna Road show

We have been fortunate to join hands with the Hamad International Training Centre to launch a national health and safety campaign “Kulluna”.

What is your perception of the healthcare system Qatar presently? In what areas is it seriously lacking? Qatar provides first-class, state-of-theart facilities for all its residents. However, work needs to be done in raising public awareness about precautions and prevention so medical intervention is either not required or greatly minimised. That’s why through Kulluna we support HMC in promoting healthier lifestyles and influencing those behaviours that affect the health and safety of everyone in the community. The health and safety of every individual living in Qatar is a joint responsibility that should bring us all together as individuals and as communities; that’s why the name “Kulluna” – “All of us” is very fitting. Following precautionary and preventative measures before the need for intervention is our goal. Following this, we also aim to create awareness of the existing medical services and facilities offered by HMC, as well as highlighting the importance of corporate social responsibility.

ConocoPhillips has strong relations with Qatar Petroleum. What issues of mutual concern do both organisations have? ConocoPhillips has been working with Qatar Petroleum since 2003 to develop QatarGas 3, a large-scale LNG project in Ras Laffan Industrial City producing some 1.4 gross billion cubic feet per day of natural gas, as well as approximately 70 thousand barrels per day (MBD) gross of liquefied petroleum gas and condensate. The project also includes an LNG facility that produces 7.8 million gross tonnes per year. Our mission in Qatar is to add value to the energy sector through cooperation with Qatar Petroleum and QatarGas by

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Texas A&M University at Qatar and ConocoPhillips Qatar hosted the annual Qatar Process Safety Symposium in early March. How important are events like this? The Process Safety Symposium is a very important event which reflects our commitment to supporting discussions and vital research on process safety in Qatar, the region and beyond. Its value and relevance were reflected not only in the number and quality of speakers that it hosted, who presented on topics including incident case studies, best practices in process safety, and safety success stories, but also in the large number of attendees from both Qatar and abroad. At ConocoPhillips, safety is our number one priority and the essence of our SPIRIT values, and we intend to continue to support this event and similar initiatives that directly contribute to Qatar’s development goals in order to contribute to the country's expertise and knowledge for sustainable and safe growth and prosperity now and in the years to come.

What other projects is ConocoPhillips involved in in Qatar? Another important project in Qatar that we are extremely proud of is the ConocoPhillips Global Water Sustainability Centre (GWSC). Located in the Qatar Science and Technology Park, it has been designated as ConocoPhillips’ worldwide centre of excellence for water-related technologies. The GWSC’s mission is to develop innovative solutions for treating by-product water from the oil and gas industries. Other research includes desalination and water recycling. The GWSC has an educational water visitor centre to promote water conservation in Qatar


healthcare

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Building a healthcare system for the 21st Century A key goal of the research division is to increase understanding of conditions common in the Middle East such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, associated cardiovascular complications and neurogenetic abnormalities.

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eill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) was established in 2001 and has been at the forefront of the mission to establish a world-class healthcare system in Qatar ever since. Formed as a partnership between Cornell University and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, WCMC-Q provides a 21st-century medical education for students, conducts cutting-edge biomedical research, and works with a variety of local stakeholders to improve the health of the community and promote excellence in patient care. The university has so far produced 112 graduates, all of whom received a fully accredited US MD degree from Cornell University, the first and only US institution to offer this qualification overseas. This year a further 35 students will graduate from the university. These graduates will form the new generation of physicians and researchers working in Qatar and the wider region, enhancing the health of the community, developing new treatments for diseases that are prevalent in the Middle East and building on the Arab world’s rich

tradition of scientific discovery. Many WCMC-Q graduates undertake residency programmes at prestigious hospitals in the US and beyond, gaining knowledge they can bring back to Qatar for the benefit of the local population. WCMC-Q is part of Qatar’s Academic Health System and is working with the Supreme Council of Health and Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) to build an integrated health infrastructure that can better serve the needs of the community. WCMC-Q faculty members work closely with HMC physicians, exchanging knowledge and expertise with them, and students participate in preceptorship and residency programmes at HMC hospitals. In the future, the university will work closely with Sidra Medical and Research Centre, a state-of-the-art academic hospital that will push the boundaries of medical science and enhance local healthcare outcomes.

Research The university’s research division has nearly 30 laboratories and was launched with the aim of establishing itself as the leading biomedical research programme in the region, in accordance with the as-


healthcare

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pirations of Qatar National Vision 2030. A key goal of the research division is to increase understanding of conditions common in the Middle East such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, associated cardiovascular complications and neurogenetic abnormalities. WCMC-Q works closely with Qatar Foundation on research and receives financial backing from the organisation’s Qatar National Research Fund. In addition to its long-term strategy to equip Qatar with a highly-developed healthcare system adapted to the needs of a diverse and rapidly growing population, WCMC-Q also runs programmes that have an immediate, short-term impact on the health of the community. Through public health initiatives like “Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First”, the university is raising awareness of the dangers posed by unhealthy lifestyle choices such as poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise, and is encouraging people in Qatar to adopt healthy behaviours that will safeguard their wellbeing. In 2011, WCMC-Q established its Global and Public Health department to promote the university’s core values of 100 > qatar today > may 2013

excellence in education, research and patient care around the world, while also focusing research efforts on pressing public health issues in Qatar. The department has launched a research study to help Qatar Diabetes Association assess the prevalence of the condition among schoolchildren in Qatar, as well as embarking on a joint study with HMC to investigate the effects of smoking on the progression of diabetes. In recognition of Qatar’s diverse population, the university’s Centre for Cultural Competence in Healthcare works to equip healthcare providers with the skills they need to practise medicine in a culturally sensitive way. Teams of interpreters have been established to provide a bridge between physicians and patients with no shared language, while awareness training has been given to help negotiate cultural differences and ensure patients receive the best possible care. Through initiatives such as these, WCMC-Q provides an inclusive strategy for enhancing patient care in Qatar and improving the health of the community as a whole

throught initiatives like "Your Health First", the university is raising awareness of the dangers posed by unhealthy lifestyle choices such as poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise, and is encouraging people in Qatar to adopt healthy behavioUrs that will safeguard their wellbeing.


A new chapter for CPH

It is with pleasure that the College of Pharmacy at Qatar University announces the launch of the Qatar Chapter of the International Society of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), based at the College of Pharmacy in Qatar University.

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he Chapter is officially affiliated with ISPOR, based in New Jersey, USA, which is recognised globally as the authority for outcomes research and its application in healthcare. It promotes pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research, and encourages the efficiency, effectiveness and fairness of healthcare decisions to improve health. The ISPOR Qatar Chapter is the first of its kind in relation to supporting the advancement of outcomes research practices at a local level in Qatar, which in turn will result in bilateral access to programmes and benefits. It is a non-profit society and includes researchers, healthcare practitioners and decision-makers, and regulatory and educational groups in Qatar.

Specific objectives of the ISPOR Qatar Chapter are: Conduct workshops to develop understanding of pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research in Qatar. Act as a resource at a local level for

individuals interested in conducting pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. Serve as a forum in bringing together academic researchers, healthcare practitioners and decision-makers interested in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research. Provide an environment in which researchers, healthcare practitioners and decision-makers, who are interested in pharmacoeconomics and outcomes research can share knowledge at a country level. The chapter has recently initiated a number of Qatar-based research activities, and is currently in the process of organising relevant educational activities for 2013/14, including in collaboration with Hamad Medical Corporation. This is yet another milestone for the College of Pharmacy as an internationally-recognised forum for the advancement of research and pharmaceutical care in Qatar. qatar today > may 2013 > 101


business>auto news “Performance hatch lovers know the Focus ST and its capabilities very well and have been eager to own one as soon as we introduced it to the Middle East markets,”

Ford Focus ST in demand

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he Focus ST is Ford’s first truly global performance car, building on the heritage of previous Focus ST models and giving drivers around the world the opportunity to share the exhilarating performance, unrivaled handling, addictive sound and sporty design that Ford's ST badge represents. Shortly after arriving in the Middle East, the stunning Focus ST is becoming popular with strong demand for more units to be available. The five-door Focus ST delivers the same driving attributes that makes all Ford ‘Sports Technologies’ (ST) models stand out. The chassis, engine, sound and comfort of the vehicle are tuned to deliver a truly sporty experience combined with a high level of refinement. These same attributes will form the genetic code for future Ford models that might wear the ST badge. “The Focus ST has been designed to ap-

peal to driving enthusiasts across the Middle East,” said Paul Anderson, Marketing director at Ford Middle East. “Our global performance teams based in North America, Europe and Asia have worked together to develop the core product attributes – steering, driving dynamics, sound quality and power enhancements – for all Ford ST models including interior and exterior differentiation. They’ve been defined to the extent that our engineers were able to apply that global DNA fingerprint to the new Focus ST and deliver a distinctive sporting personality all its own. “Performance hatch lovers know the Focus ST and its capabilities very well and have been eager to own one as soon as we introduced it to the Middle East markets,” he added. “The feedback we have received so far from our dealers and customers around the region has been tremendous.”

Maserati Ghibli makes debut in Shanghai

Maserati debuted its four-door sports executive sedan at the Shanghai Motor Show last month. The all-new Ghibli is set to break new ground for Maserati. 102 > qatar today > may 2013

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he Ghibli has a sportier character than the larger Quattroporte, launched at the beginning of this year. It is available with two turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 engines, an eight-speed automatic transmission and both rear-wheel drive and the new “Q4” allwheel drive system. The Ghibli is the first Maserati production car in history to be powered by a diesel engine, with a 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel. It is Maserati’s first sedan in this segment and reflects the company’s belief that a growing number of premium executive car buyers are looking to make an individual statement through a car that is distinctive, elegant and luxurious. The Ghibli will play a significant role in Maserati’s growth plan to sell 50,000 cars per year.


BMW CoupE makes debut in Qatar

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The newest member of the M6 family was unveiled to regional audiences ahead of its appearance as safety car at the 2013 CommercialBank MotoGP last month.

he BMW M6 Gran Coupe follows the successful regional debut of the next-generation convertible and coupe models last year. Representing the ultimate in four-door high-performance sports coupes, the new model occupies an exclusive position in the premium segment thanks to a unique combination of outstanding dynamics, hallmark M-model harmony and everyday practicality. Axel Mittler, Head of Cooperation MotoGP at BMW M GmbH, attended the launch, sending a strong signal about how BMW Group views the Middle East’s importance to BMW M GmbH, following a 61% sales growth achieved across the region in 2012. The top selling M model was the BMW

M5, followed by the BMW X6 M and X5 M. Globally, BMW M GmbH concluded 2012 with a significant boost in sales, with the number of BMW M and BMW M Performance cars sold rising by more than 40% to 26,872 cars sold. Commenting on his visit and the importance of the Middle East to BMW M GmbH, Axel Mittler said: “The results achieved by BMW Group Middle East during 2012 were excellent. The region is important for BMW M GmbH because of its distinguished customers who have an appreciation and passion for high-performance sports cars. This is a remarkable achievement and is the result of our fantastic M cars and efforts made by all our importers, including Alfardan Automobiles.”

Triumph reveals ITS latest Daytonas The all-new Triumph Daytona 675 and 675R were unveiled for the first time in Qatar at the 2013 CommercialBank MotoGP.

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riumph’s Daytona 675 shook up supersport convention with its three-cylinder, 675 cc format when it first appeared in 2006, then it did the same to the established order by setting new class performance standards. The new models come with a brand new engine, new frame, fresh and sophisticated new bodywork and a host of other changes. The result is a bike which is 1.5 kg lighter than the old model, with more power, a greater precision feel, and increased agility. It’s faster on the track, better on the road and even more satisfying to own. The heart of the new Daytona is its new engine that gained more power – up 3 hp to 128 hp – with a maximum torque 2 Nm higher at 75 Nm. The exhaust system is a clear change as compact moving the weight forward, and this is one of the key factors in making the new Daytona even more agile and yet more stable at speed too. Also, the transmission features a new slip-assist clutch to provide a lighter weight. The

suspension is new and includes the latest fixed cartridge forks from KYB (formerly Kayaba) and revised rear shock. High-performance Pirelli Supercorsa tyres are fitted as standard. The ergonomics are altered slightly, with a 10-mm reduction in seat height and a little less weight placed on the wrists, but the riding position is still designed for the best control at high speed and on the track. qatar today > may 2013 > 103


business > auto news

Porsche Cayman loses weight The key to success and a primary goal in developing all Porsche sports cars is to achieve a high level of everyday usability combined with strong performance features on or off the road, says George Wills, Managing Director of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE. Does Porsche’s new Cayman live up to this billing?

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eaturing a new, lighter, design and powered by a 2.7-litre flat six-cylinder engine, the new Porsche Cayman produces 275 horsepower. It can accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 5.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 266 km/h. Its NEDC fuel consumption is 7.7 l/100 km when equipped with Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK). Its larger sibling, the Cayman S, makes use of a 3.4-litre naturally-aspirated flat-six cylinder engine for an output of 325 horsepower. Acceleration time from standstill to 100 km/h time is 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 283 km/h. The NEDC fuel con-

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sumption value is 8.0 l/100 km with PDK. George Wills, Managing Director of Porsche Middle East and Africa FZE, says: “The third-generation Cayman has been completely redeveloped. It is lower and longer, lighter and faster, more efficient and more powerful than ever. A longer wheelbase, wider track and larger wheels enhance the driving performance of the mid-engine sports car to an unparalleled level in its competitive class.“ More than ever, the interplay of the mid-engine concept and chassis tuning assures it the top position in its class. The fundamental geometry creates ideal conditions for the outstanding performance fea-


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"It is incredible to think that the new Cayman shed up to 30 kilograms of its original weight thanks to innovative lightweight body design." tures of the new Cayman. The 60 mm-longer wheelbase ensures greater stability at very high speeds, and a wide track width at both axles supports additional driving stability and agility in bends. Better road grip is achieved by the larger diameter tyres. The Cayman’s new electromechanical power steering and optional Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) active damping system, as well as Porsche Torque Vectoring (PTV), provide a more stable drive. “It is incredible to think that the new Cayman shed up to 30 kilograms of its original weight thanks to innovative lightweight body design, consumes up to 15% less fuel than the previous model, and is faster and a lot more agile than its predecessor. The third generation is clearly a complete revamped Cayman,“ adds Wills. Aesthetically, the sports coupe stays true to its heritage.

It has been redesigned to become more distinctive. The new model features an extended wheelbase with shorter overhangs. The standard 18- and 19-inch Cayman wheels give it not only a sportier appeal but also better lateral stability and handling properties. The car’s styling is marked by precise lines and razor-sharp sculpted edges. They emphasise the car’s low, extended silhouette with the windscreen shifted forward and the roof line that reaches far back. Typical of the more advanced styling is the shoulder line, which runs from the wings towards the rear side panels. The door mirrors are newly positioned near the top shoulder. Especially expressive and characteristic are the dynamic recesses in the doors, which guide induction air into the distinctive air scoops on the rear side panels and then directly to the engine

porsche cayman Body: Two-seat Coupe; lightweight body in aluminium-steel construction with doors, boot and bonnet lids made of aluminium; two-stage driver and front passenger airbags; side and head airbags for driver and front passenger.

I0.I Engine:

litres

Water-cooled flat-six engine; aluminium engine block and cylinder heads; four overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable inlet valve timing and lift (VarioCam Plus); hydraulic valve lifter; direct petrol injection; one three-way catalytic converter per cylinder bank, each with two oxygen sensors; engine oil 10.1 litres; electronic ignition with solidstate ignition distribution (six active ignition modules); thermal management for coolant circulation; auto start/stop function. Bore: 89 mm Stroke: 72.5 mm Displacement: 2,706 cm3 Compression ratio: 12.5:1 Engine power: 202 kW (275 hp) at 7,400/min Max. torque: 290 Nm at 4,500/min - 6,500/min Power output per litre: 74.6 kW/l (101.6 hp/l) Maximum revs: 7,800/min Fuel type: Super Plus

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business>marketwatch Omega is celebrating the global launch of its new Ladymatic campaign in particularly dramatic fashion. The new Ladymatic models were introduced in Vienna on March 23.

OMEGA’s new Ladymatic campaign

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nce again, superstar Nicole Kidman, “the face of the watch”, will be featured in Omega television commercials as well as print and web advertisements. The Oscar-winning actress has been associated with the Ladymatic line since it was launched in October 2010. The Ladymatic has lived up to its ambition to prove that an uncompromisingly fashionable timepiece with a remarkable mechanical movement would find a following among discerning

women around the world. At the heart of the campaign is Nicole Kidman, who was photographed by Peter Lindbergh, as she was in 2010 when the Ladymatic was launched. Lindbergh, who has been described as a “poet of glamour”, is one of the most respected photographers in the world; over the past thirty years his work has been published by every major international fashion magazine and it is regularly commissioned for the most influential campaigns of all the leading fashion designers.

Qatar is raising the steaks With the opening of its first store in Qatar, the Outback Steakhouse is ready for business at the Lagoona Mall.

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fresh spirit drawing from the vast Australian outback sets the tone at the Outback and inspires every single dish; the restaurant is a unique and outstanding model of quality, ambience and service. For steak lovers, for connoisseurs of good food, and for all those looking for a relaxed and friendly place to catch a quick bite or linger over a full course meal, this is the place. Reflecting the Australian take on life, Outback has a commitment to freshness that means all its food is made with the highest-quality ingredients, fresh to order and to each guest’s specifications. At prices that don’t pinch, it’s easy to enjoy a meal at Outback. Best known for grilled steaks, chicken and seafood, it also offers a wide

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variety of salads and freshly-made soups and sides. Outback signature steaks can be savoured seasoned and seared to perfection with a secret blend of 17 spices. “We are very happy to bring an authentic steakhouse experience to Qatar,” said Will van Staden, restaurant industry veteran, who has specially flown in from the USA with a support team of over 15 personnel to help with the opening. “Outback is known for its friendly and relaxed ambience as well as for the consistency and quality of excellence in all aspects of its operations,” he said. “Our guests all over the world are discerning and demand the highest standards of food and service, which they find with us time after time.”


Home is where the heart is Home Centre’s new “Brilliant Buys” collection promises to make shopping for the home an even more exciting activity, doing away with the frustration associated with finding the right fits for your dream home.

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eaturing appealing designs in durable finishes, the collection offers great value for money. The eclectic selection has been put together to offer a variety of interesting picks for diverse home furnishing needs. The range includes bedroom, dining and living room sets, linen, kitchenware, bath accessories, wall art and other striking decor pieces, all at very attractive prices. The new collection showcases a mix of modern and traditional furniture and home decor accessories in vivid and colourful styles, offering something for every taste. The collection comprises timeless products that hold utility value and aesthetic appeal. Home Centre’s combination of unique designs and refreshing colours reflects popular global trends in home decor. Tagged at accessible price-points, the collection also appeals to cost-conscious buyers. With full living room sets starting at QR3,500 and options for solid wood beds and bedroom collections at attractive prices, customers can find best buys in various furniture categories.

Shafallah stars shine AT Ezdan opening An impressive turnout of visitors witnessed trainees from the Shafallah Centre for children with special needs help out at the official opening of Ezdan Mall last month.

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he trainees expressed their immense enthusiasm to be present at this momentous event and unveiled a plaque commemorating the formal opening. A brilliant symphony was played by the Shafallah Orchestra that captivated the audience. The general manager at Ezdan Mall, Malik Awan, said: “We are honoured to have shared this significant day with the Shafallah Centre and are awed by the children’s skills.” A special kiosk’s allocation to the Shafallah Centre was announced, where creative art pieces by the Sha-

fallah children will be displayed and available for sale. A placement programme that will award jobs to young graduates of the centre was also announced during the ceremony. Sixty new brands, such as NewYorker, Johnny Rockets, iSpot, Altinbas, Riva and Maghrabi, are expected to open their doors this month. “A central location an enormous assortment of fashion brands, coupled with a wide range of eateries and cafes, offer Ezdan Mall the leverage to become ‘a social place for the family’ to meet, greet and shop in Qatar,” added Awan. qatar today > may 2013 > 107


business > market watch

B&O is sounding it out Bang & Olufsen have brought the latest state-of-the-art built-in sound systems to Qatar.

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he innovative BeoLab 15 (speakers), BeoLab 16 (subwoofer) and Amplifier 1, available at the B&O store in Lagoona Mall, add luscious soundscapes to any room, whether a luxurious hotel suite or in your private home. Built-in sound is the ultimate luxury in kitchens, dining areas and other spaces where one wants to play or listen to music. The builtin speakers are an excellent alternative to free-standing speakers where limitations are caused by space or interior decor. While many existing built-in solutions ask the consumer to choose between style and sound, the new Bang & Olufsen system makes sure that

design lovers and audiophiles no longer have to compromise. Bang & Olufsen’s integrated solution comprises two speakers and a subwoofer, all connected to a separate hideaway amplifier then tucked into walls or the ceiling. The circular design is discreet but distinct. When switched off, the speakers and subwoofer are flush with the wall, and all that can be noticed is the subtle geometrical composition by designer Anders Hermansen. When the music is turned on, the speakers’ motorised tilt function magically directs sound where listeners want it for amazing acoustic performance.

CGC hosts seminar on Cloud and Data Storage Consolidated Gulf Company (CGC), a leading IT and ITeS solutions provider, and StorIT Distribution, a Dubai-based value added distributor for EMC, jointly organised a seminar entitled “Cloud Transform IT" at Holiday Villa Hotel in Doha recently.

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he purpose was to share the latest information on simplifying IT infrastructure to reduce management complexities. The seminar enabled various enterprises to explore proven strategies and advanced solutions for simplifying IT with virtualisation and cloud computing technologies. Anil Mahajan, Chief Operating Officer, CGC, said: “The aim was to let users discover how cloud transforms IT, and how you can transform yours with EMC’s solutions to achieve higher efficiency and agility while lowering costs.” Dany El-Khoury, Channel Sales Manager, and Hashin Kabeer and Ravi Baldev, Senior System Engineers from EMC, a global leader in delivering IT services, were present to respond to the participants’ queries on how to build, deploy and

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manage IT infrastructure. They also explained at length on integrating and improving physical and virtual backup of the user’s data, its storage and protection. The experts highlighted the importance of virtualisation and cloud computing for organisations keeping up with the expanding influx of data in today’s IT-driven world where data, both internal and external to a business, plays a critical role in enhancing competitiveness and connections with customers. The event also demonstrated EMC’s products and solutions with unique features for virtualisation and cloud computing that help consumers across all segments and business verticals transform their IT setups and business competitiveness.


focus > sport file

GOLF UNITED STATES, GEORGIA: Bubba Watson presents Australia’s Adam Scott with his Green Jacket after winning the 2013 US Masters at Augusta. Scott sank a 10-foot birdie putt on the second play-off hole to beat Argentina’s Angel Cabrera, becoming the first Australian golfer to capture the title. Tiger Woods escaped disqualification for an erroneous drop on the par-5 15th hole, prompting huge debate among golfing enthusiasts. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad

Football

We are the Champions!

Al Sadd won their 13th league title and their first since 2007 when they defeated Al Kharaitiyat in their penultimate game of the Qatar Stars League last month.

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eeding a win to secure the title and avert a nerve-tingling final game, Al Sadd went behind early but fought their way back to win 3-1. Saud Al-Mohannadi, Secretary-General of the Qatar Football Association (QFA), handed over the QSL trophy to the captain of the Al-Sadd team. The 2013 Emir Cup got under way last month, involving 18 first and second division teams. The final match is due take place at Khalifa International Stadium on May 18 at 6:45pm to accommodate the large number of spectators expected to attend that day. Following the final match will be a glittering closing ceremony to honour the winning team.

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Date for your Diary

May I0

“I’m ready for the competition. My preparations have been solid and I did well on the indoor circuit. I’m looking forward to makING a winning start in the Diamond League series“ Mutaz Essa Barshim

Athletics

The Qatari flopper is back

High jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim will lead Qatar’s challenge at the opening meeting of the IAAF Diamond League at the Qatar Sports Club. The Olympic bronze medallist will face stiff competition from American world champion Jesse Williams, fellow Olympic bronze medallist and reigning European champion Robbie Grabarz and Russia’s 2013 European Indoor Champion Sergey Mudrov. The 21-year-old became the year’s best indoor performer with a 2.37-metre clearance in Moscow in February. World and Olympic 800-metre champion, David Rudisha from Kenya and Olympic 200-metre champion Allyson Felix from the US will also be competing. The local Kenyan and Ethiopian supporters always bring a lot of colour and passion to the event.

Swimming Schools Olympic Programme

SOP develops key values

Going for Gold! bronze

The final competitions of the Schools Olympic Programme (SOP) 2012-2013 concluded in a festive scene at the Aspire Zone last month.

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oys and girls representing over one hundred schools attended and participated in the final events including athletics, fencing, gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, basketball, volleyball, handball and football. “The SOP has positively helped more than 200 talented students to join local sports clubs,“ said Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary-General, HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, “and it also developed a series of noble human values through sports like friendship, cooperation, team spirit and determination.“

gold

silver

KUWAIT: Qatari swimmers won 28 medals (12 gold, nine silver and seven bronze) at the 10th GCC Swimming Championships (Short Course) in Kuwait City last month. They finished second in the medals table behind the hosts. qatar today > may 2013 > 111


culture>doha diary

By Abigail Mathias

When he was 20 years old, Marc Brew met with a terrible car crash that confined him to a wheel-chair. Fifteen years later, the Australianborn artistic director and choreographer moves audiences with his artistic shows all over the world. 112 > qatar today > may 2013

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is highly-acclaimed production ‘Fusional Fragments’ is infused with music by Grammy Award-winning percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and was recently performed in Qatar as part of the Arts and Disability Festival. It was the first time a festival of this kind had been held in the Middle East. It was presented by the British Council in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage in Qatar in conjunction with Qatar UK 2013. Describing his Doha visit, the chore-

ographer says: “For me, Qatar has been a country of exciting contrasts and I found the people welcoming and open to new experiences. The Arts and Disability Festival is encouraging that our work in Qatar will plant the seed for future opportunities and collaboration.” He adds: “Our company is a disabled-led contemporary dance company working with artists with and without disabilities, and I hope our work shows the high-quality work that can be achieved on an international stage. I hope the audience will be moved and be able to take a positive


Marc Brew at the Art and Disability Festival held at Katara, Doha. PIC: British Council

“We live in a diverse world and no one is perfect – that would be boring. I feel that diversity is the key to the growth of the arts.“ MarC Brew experience away with them of what one can achieve. To be inspired about possibilities and the future of dance and disability in Qatar.”

Fusional Fragments James Cousins && Rebecca Ewans Pic: Irven Lewis

World class On Fusional Fragments he says: “The whole aim of this project was to show that disabled artists can create work at a worldclass level. I wanted it to be powerful, dynamic and engaging, and also big. I have to say it’s turned out bigger than I could ever have hoped for.” As a professional dancer at the Australian Ballet School, and one who has taught dance for more than 15 years, Brew explains: “Ours is a high-quality contemporary dance performance that will move people to enjoy the visual experience and atmospheric experience of dance and music, with stunning lighting design by Andy Hamer and costume design by Matthias Strahm which creates the world we encompass.” In a competitive world, differently-abled people are often left behind. Brew says: “I think it’s extremely important to have disabled artists in leadership roles and creating work for the younger generation to aspire to and for a legacy to continue.” He adds: “I think there is a lack of disability awareness and equality at times, and what needs to change is people’s preconceptions of disability. We live in a diverse world and no one is ‘perfect’ – that would be boring. I honestly feel that diversity is the key to the growth of the arts.”

New territory Sharing some of his future works he says: “We are always interested in new and exciting collaborations that will challenge us artistically and professionally to explore new territory of the unknown and develop our own practice and skills. We have a new outdoor work we are planning for 2014 as well as a new solo for myself, and we plan on reworking my Candoco Unlimited Commission ‘Parallel Lines’ for my own company to tour alongside my new solo and ‘Fusional Fragments’ in the autumn, 2014.” He offers a fresh perspective on his hopes for Qatar, saying: “We are very eager to build our connections with Qatar to offer integrated dance workshops to teach in schoolS and organisations that work with people with and without disabilities, and to offer teacher training opportunities to offer the skills to the teachers which will ensure that the work can be continued. We would also very much like to build a relationships with local musicians and traditional music groups to look at possible music and dance collaborations similar to Fusional Fragments with percussionist Evelyn Glennie and composer Philip Sheppard. The possibilities are very exciting.” When it comes to encouraging others, Brew keeps it simple. He says: “It is all about opportunities and positive role models for others to aspire to. If one has an ambition and passion, reach for the stars and you will achieve it. Believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. I look forward to the future of many possibilities” qatar today > may 2013 > 113


New Free Rides Accessing Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art will be much easier from now on with the introduction of a new shuttle service connecting the contemporary arts museum with the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).

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he free service is a new value-added service to ease accessibility between the two iconic attractions of Doha, especially with the major roadworks taking place around Mathaf. Two light buses, attractively coloured in fuschia, will jet between Mathaf and the MIA from 11am to 5pm every Wednesday to Sunday. The shuttle bus initiative is a collaboration between Qatar Museums Authority and Occidental Petroleum of Qatar (Oxy Qatar) and is open to the general public. “We are thrilled that Oxy has supported this unique initiative. Qatar’s cultural landscape is developing at

a rapid pace and this free service will facilitate the discovery of the rich and diverse offerings of QMA’s contribution to this growth. “The bus will connect two of the greatest highlights that tourists and residents have at their fingertips,” said Michelle Dezember, Mathaf’s acting director. Part of Oxy Qatar’s social responsibility programme is to promote arts and culture in Qatar, and the company has chosen to partner with QMA on this unique effort. Designated bus stops have been allocated at MIA and Mathaf.


More from Grand Heritage Grand Heritage is adding one more luxury property to its thriving portfolio in Qatar, due to open in the first quarter of 2014.

One year and going strong The St Regis Doha welcomed its first guest on March 31 2012, when the hotel opened its doors to the public.

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he president and managing director of Grand Heritage International, owners of Bin Samikh Tower, Tanmeyat Real Estate and the investment part of Bin Samikh Holding Group, John Cullen and Jean-Patrick Thiry, recently signed a contract for the opening of a third property in Qatar’s West Bay area. Grand Heritage currently has two properties in its Qatar portfolio – Grand Heritage Doha Hotel and Spa, and Governor West Bay Suites and Residences. The success of its existing properties in Doha has propelled Grand Heritage to the forefront of the hospitality industry as a leading operator.

Educating the future generation ConocoPhillips participated in the Annual Qatar Petroleum (QP) Environment Fair 2013 from April 14-16 at the Doha Exhibition Centre.

ince its official opening, the hotel has welcomed thousands of guests, including government diplomats for international conferences, celebrities, business executives and professional athletes. As part of its first birthday celebrations, General Manager, Tareq Derbas met the local media over lunch and talked about the eventful year. He said the St Regis Doha is now considered one of the best hotels in the country and is setting new benchmarks in the hospitality sector. “This year the hotel was awarded the ‘Gulf-Connoisseur Best Luxury Hotel and Resort Middle East 2013’. The award followed The St Regis Doha’s success at the global World Travel Awards in December 2012, when it was named the World’s Leading New Hotel. Earlier in 2012, it was named Qatar’s Leading New Hotel and the Middle East’s Leading New Hotel at the regional 2012 World Travel Awards,” he said. By partnering with world-class brands to raise the bar in service, customer experience, hospitality and culinary offerings, the hotel offers guests and visitors a selection of restaurants and lounges, including the Astor Grill, the Lebanese and seafood restaurant Al-Sultan Brahim, the Cantonese Hakkasan and two Gordon Ramsay restaurants, one for fine dining and a more casual alternative called Opal.

ConocoPhillips pavilion was visited by patron of the event, his Excellency Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy and Industry. The booth featured games and tools designed to help children learn about the water cycle through an interactive game board which enables them to clearly understand their water consumption and the choices they can make to preserve water and save the environment. Over 35 companies and organizations showcased their programs and initiatives towards the environment in their pavilions and stands. The theme of this year’s event is “Clean Energy for a Sustainable World.“ qatar today > may 2013 > 115


culture > doha diary

Renaissance’s Indian festival

Souq Waqif fresh catch Souq Waqif Boutique Hotels, a collection of five-star luxury boutique hotels, inaugurated Al Sanbouk Fish Market, an exquisite seafood restaurant located in Al Jasra Boutique Hotel, last month.

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he restaurant was officially inaugurated by HE Juma Rashid Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of United Arab Emirates in Qatar. The opening was attended by diplomats representing the embassies of Belgium, Spain, Italy, Austria, France, Uruguay, Hungary, Kuwait, Poland and Kazakhstan in Qatar, among other local dignitaries and members of the media. Al Sanbouk reflects a unique convergence of dramatic design and international seafood cuisine. The restaurant’s design concept envelops guests in various shades of blue, recreating an oceanic atmosphere within the mystic

souq’s old-world charm. The name of the restaurant, “Al Sanbouk” derives from the Arabic term for a type of dhow – a fact that is aptly reflected in its interior. The dining experience promises a wide selection of high-quality fresh fish, lobster, shrimps, crabs and other seafood, cooked to perfection in a variety of international cooking styles, such as Italian and Thai – a timeless appeal for all generations of seafood lovers. In addition, locally and internationally inspired dessert options, carefully chosen to match the appetisers and entrees being served, are also available at Al Sanbouk.

Renaissance Doha City Center Hotel’s “Passage through India” at Crossroads Kitchen was inaugurated by Indian Ambassador to Qatar, Sanjiv Arora. The event gave a peep into an authentic Indian experience, complete with Indian music, incense and all the colours and flavours of this diverse nation. Launched on April 3, Crossroads Kitchen introduced an exciting array of cuisine ranging from biryani, curry and hariyali to koftas, tandoori, samosas and more. Traditional favourites from the North, South, East and West accompanied the meal, finished by authentic Indian desserts like gulab jamun, sheera and halwa.

National Library hosted Open Day The Heritage Collection – the heart of the new Qatar National Library (QNL) – includes a rare trove of manuscripts, books and artefacts that document a wealth of ArabIslamic civilisation and human thought. This was revealed at the open day of QNL last month.

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QNL and QF representatives were joined by officials from the embassies of the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Embassy officials included the Deputy Head of Mission for the Embassy of the United Kingdom, Cecille El Beleidi; the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of France, Brigitte Curmi; and Mathias Kruse, Deputy Head of Mission and Counsellor at the Embassy of Germany. Foreign dignitaries had the opportunity to take a special tour of the Heritage Collection and to learn about items of historical significance to Qatar and the region and to their respective nations. Highlight: Guests at the open day had a chance to see the original 1647 edition of L'Alcoran de Mahomet (PBUH). This was the first French translation of the Holy Qur’an, undertaken by the famous French orientalist Andre Du Ryer (1580-1660), Consul of France in Egypt and Turkey.


May Essentials “My Journeys Through Yemen”, an exhibition by Moudhi Al Hajri, known for her compelling photography is exhibited at Katara Galleries Building 22 till May 25.

Fashion at its best “Fingerprint” showcased the work of VCUQatar fashion design sophomores, juniors and five seniors – Basra Bashir, Dana Masoud, Oulla AlSamarrae, Rabab Abdulla and Sultana Jesmine – featuring a range with components of the ethnic, handcrafted, modern, eclectic, architectural and glamorous.

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Qatar Today looks at two expatriates from everyday life, one who has lived here for a significant amount of time and another who has just made Doha her home, for their take on life in this city.

My Home in Qatar Richard J Roth Senior Associate Dean, Northwestern University in Qatar

"I love the optimism and the national pride of these people. And I love the idea that so many people – I see this in my students – who aren’t Qatari nationals are nonetheless Qatari at heart"

On a mission At the invitation of Qatar Foundation, we came to Doha in the summer of 2008 to provide education for our students and, through them, shape the future of media in Qatar. A different place in five years? The population has grown 135% and along with it the number of cars, trucks and gas-guzzling Land Cruisers – something you don’t frequently see in the US, because gasoline prices there are five times what they are in Qatar. When I came, there were few traffic signals that I remember, none at roundabouts, and there weren’t half the skyscrapers there are now in West Bay. And they weren’t building a dozen new malls, as they are today. It’s all about the people A nation isn’t about buildings. It’s about people and customs, and those are the things I love about Qatar. I love visiting the majlis where men I can now call my friends talk passionately about world politics and local issues, a custom we don’t have in the

New Beginnings Hanny Gunawan

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I will change perceptions I will be sad to leave here, probably next year. But I will always watch from afar the ambitions and accomplishments of this place that has been so good to us. This place that has helped me realise that when I was living in the post-9/11 US, the media and morons with megaphones were (still are) so, so wrong about Arabs and Muslims. It is sad. I want to go back and help change those perceptions. I have surprised myself Yes, I expected to like living in Qatar. I never expected to love it. And I do.

“I see Qatar as a bustling country that has grown rapidly, and one that is safe and secure as well“

Director of Public Relations The Ritz Carlton, Doha Moved to Qatar in August 2012

Just arrived I see Qatar as a bustling country that has grown rapidly, and one that is safe and secure as well. Working in a country such as this will help me grow as well, especially since I have to work in an international environment. We have more than 45 nationalities at The Ritz-Carlton. I think it’s such a great strategy that Qatar is viewed as a centre for sport tourism.

States. I love the optimism and the national pride of these people. And I love the idea that so many people – I see this in my students – who aren’t Qatari nationals are nonetheless Qatari at heart: they were born here, raised here, educated here and hope to stay here the rest of their lives, contributing to this place they love, this place they call home, no matter what their passports say.

Aspirations Qatar is a fast-growing country, so I hope that during my stay here there will be so many new ventures to be explored and to make me grow professionally and personally.


Qatar Today May 2013  

Qatar Today May 2013 Issue

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