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NOVEMBER 2019

INVESTMENTS POUR IN GLOBAL LNG QATAR’S ISLAMIC FINANCE HOLDS MUCH PROMISE SPURT IN GLOBAL LNG SECTOR INVESTMENTS LOGISTICS HAS COME A LONG WAY

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affairs > local

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inside this issue November 2019 / Vol. 45

16 QATAR’S ISLAMIC FINANCE HOLDS MUCH PROMISE

40 LOGISTICS HAS COME A LONG WAY

28 SPURT IN GLOBAL LNG SECTOR INVESTMENTS

46 A BEACON FOR SPORTS

Exhibiting resilience despite unfavourable conditions following a diplomatic rift with some neighbouring countries since mid-2017, Qatar’s Islamic finance industry holds much promise for stakeholders at present.

With liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) becoming a major source among clean fuels and growing at a rapid pace, investments in LNG-related projects have gained momentum around the world during 2019.

The trade and travel boycott imposed on Qatar by some Arab States including Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain in the region has helped in further strengthening Qatar’s logistics sector. The government is now determined to make the industry a regional hub for logistics in the Middle East.

Qatar takes its rightful place as a world sports attraction after successfully conducting mega sporting events in the entire Middle East for the first time, Alexandra Evangelista writes.

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inside this issue November 2019 / Vol. 45

08 AMIR MEETS UN SECRETARYGENERAL

10 QATAR AMONG TOP 20 NATIONS IN EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

09 AMIR INAUGURATES IAAF WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

12 KURDISH FIGHTERS ABANDON RAS AL AYN TOWN

and regulars 08

NEWS BITES

13

OIL & GAS REVIEW

14

BANK NOTES

15

REAL ESTATE

49 MARKETWATCH

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53

AUTO NEWS

55

DOHA DIARY


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PUBLISHER & EDITOR IN CHIEF YOUSUF JASSIM AL DARWISH MANAGING DIRECTOR & CEO JASSIM YOUSUF AL DARWISH GENERAL MANAGER DR. FAISAL FOUAD EDITORIAL CHIEF EDITOR IZDIHAR IBRAHIM SENIOR EDITOR V L SRINIVASAN JUNIOR CORRESPONDENT ALEXANDRA EVANGELISTA ART SENIOR ART DIRECTOR MANSOUR ELSHEIKH GRAPHIC DESIGNER MOHAMED RIYAZ ADVERTISING MANAGER SONY VELLATT ASST. ADVERTISING MANAGER ZUHAIB SIDDIQUI K.RASHID

EVENTS DIRECTOR KHALID MOHANNA SENIOR ACCOUNTANT SARFUDEEN SHAMSUDEEN PUBLIC RELATIONS OFFICER ESLAM ELMAHALAWY

DISTRIBUTION DEPARTMENT BASANTA POKHREL

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The Media Majlis at Northwestern University in Qatar explores and examines media, journalism, and communication—pasts, presents, and futures—through global, regional, and local/Qatar lenses. An active space – open to the public – the Majlis brings people together to engage with exhibitions and programs that challenge standard narratives. Its first exhibition – Arab Identities, images in film – explores how films have influenced our understanding of identity. From the silent film era to present day Arab documentaries, films have portrayed multiple Arab identities to audiences worldwide. Join us in exploring the diversity and evolving nature of identity and the Arab world.

qatar.northwestern.edu/campus/media-majlis mediamajlis.northwestern.edu

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from the desk Ever since Qatar won the bid to host 2022 FIFA World Cup nearly a decade ago, the nation has turned itself into a major centre for conducting international sporting events. Some of them include the AFC Asian Cup in 2011, FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in 2014, Men’s World Handball Championships and World Boxing Championships in 2015 besides the recently-concluded World Athletic Championships and World Beach Games in 2019 and international tournaments in tennis, cricket and other disciplines on a regular basis. The 24th Arabian Gulf Cup will be held at Khalifa International Stadium from 24 November to 6 December. Besides Qatar, four other countries – defending champions Oman, ten-time winners Kuwait, Iraq and Yemen – will take part in the tournament. The successful conduct of these sporting events has once again proved that Qatar is capable of hosting global tournaments such as FIFA World Cup and Insha Allah (God willing) even the Olympics in the coming decade. In the run-up to 2022 FIFA World Cup, the government has already taken up the humongous task of building various mega projects costing over $200 billion since last eight to nine years despite the falling oil prices and also the unjust trade and travel boycott by some Arab nations straining the country’s economy. All this notwithstanding, Qatar’s tryst with its destiny continues as most of the infrastructure projects including expansion of the newly-constructed Hamad International Airport, Hamad seaport, the World Cup stadiums, construction of new ring roads and Doha Metro rail, are progressing without any hindrance. The Amir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, was very clear as far as Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. “People should understand that Qatar had the best bid, and Qatar will provide and will do one of the best World Cups in history and I am sure about that,”  he told CNN way back in 2014. Meanwhile, Qatar Today takes a look at the growing demand for LNG and how the countries are investing billions of dollars to develop the infrastructure in support of the clean fuel in its cover story. In other stories, Qatar Today offers a look at how the two mega sporting events were conducted recently and the impressions gathered by the participating athletes about how the games were held. The growth of Islamic finance and the steps being taken by the government to strengthen the industry in Qatar makes an interesting reading while the regulars always bring the latest news pertaining to different sectors in the country. Happy Reading!


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Newsbites > Amir “THE STATE OF QATAR WILL CONTINUE OFFERING POLITICAL AND HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT TO THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE UNTIL THEY REGAIN THEIR LEGITIMATE RIGHTS.” HH SHEIKH TAMIM BIN HAMAD AL THANI

The Amir State of Qatar

AMIR

ATTENDS QU

CONVOCATION

T

he Amir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, attended the graduation ceremony of Qatar University’s 42nd batch of male students for 2019, which was held at the Sports and Events Complex at Qatar University (QU). In his address, QU President Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham hailed the country’s renaissance in all fields, which would not have been achieved without the collective efforts exerted by its people and their standing behind its leaders from the time of the founder until the present time. He said that QU had the great honour to contribute to this renaissance through the successive generations of its graduates, who were now working in all aspects of life and contributing by their ideas and efforts to build the homeland. One of the students, Abdulaziz

Abdullah Al Obaidli from the College of Law, delivered a speech on behalf of the graduates, praising QU where officials work in tandem with the students. Al Obaidli promised the Amir that they will be the role models, believing in partnership, transparency and in taking responsibility. Later, the Amir honoured the 87 outstanding graduates and

the QU president handed the certificates to 752 graduate students in various disciplines. The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Speaker of the Shura Council HE Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud, and several other dignitaries.

AMIR MEETS UN SECRETARY-GENERAL

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he Amir met with the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, at the UN and discussed regional and international issues, especially the situation in the Middle East and the developments in Palestine, Syria, Libya and Yemen. The meeting also reviewed the cooperation between Qatar and the United Nations. The UN official thanked the Amir for supporting the UN and its various humanitarian and development programmes, in particular its continuous support to UNRWA. The meeting also dealt with the most important topics on the agenda of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.

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AMIR MEETS WORLD LEADERS IN US

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he Amir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, met with German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and the accompanying delegation at the residence of the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations, on the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The meeting discussed the strategic relations between the two friendly countries and ways of developing them in the fields of economic and trade cooperation. Both leaders exchanged views on key international developments as well as the developments in the Middle East, particularly in Libya. HH the Amir also met with Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and reviewed bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them. They also discussed the latest developments in Sudan and the Amir affirmed Qatar’s stance in support of the Sudanese people to achieve their aspirations for freedom, peace, and justice as well as their unity and cohesion. The Amir also met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed bilateral relations and ways to strengthen them in various aspects of cooperation, especially in the political and economic areas. The two leaders also exchanged views on the latest developments in the region. The Amir also met with the US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, Chairmen and CEOs of Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, Brian Moynihan and Jamie Dimon, separately.

AMIR INAUGURATES IAAF WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

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he Amir opened the 17th edition of the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Athletics Championships Doha 2019

on September 27. This is the first time the IAAF World Athletics Championships were held in the Middle East. The opening ceremony also featured a stunning display of fireworks. The

Championships kicked off with the participation of about 2,000 athletes competing in 49 races and competitions over 10 days at Khalifa International Stadium and the Corniche Doha. 9 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


Newsbites > Local QATAR AMONG TOP 20 NATIONS IN EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

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atar has been listed among the top 20 countries in the world in terms of their improvement in their ease of doing business 2020 score, a World Bank report said. These 20 countries were chosen out of a total of 190 countries. The Doing Business report’s committee selects the economies that implemented reforms that make it easier

to do business in three or more of the 10 areas included in this year’s aggregate ease of doing business score. The report said: “Qatar embarked on an ambitious programme to modernise public services. Kahramaa, the water and electricity utility company, introduced a new process to receive and review applications through its online portal, reducing the time to

HH SHEIKHA JAWAHER HONOURS 411 FEMALE STUDENTS

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er Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Hamad bin Suhaim Al Thani, wife of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, patronised the 2019 graduation ceremony of Qatar University’s 42nd batch of female students at the QU Sports and Events Complex. The ceremony was attended by a number of sheikhs and ministers, along with members of the university’s administration and faculty,

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obtain an electricity connection. The Ministry of Justice streamlined property registration procedures and improved the quality of its land administration system by publishing official service standards and court statistics on land disputes. Lastly, the credit bureau started reporting credit data from a telecommunications company.”

GWC KEEPS TRACK RECORD OF GROWTH WITH ANOTHER 10% INCREASE

students’ parents and guests. On the occasion, a film was screened about the university’s achievements in 2019, as well as the global rankings achieved, in addition to QU’s role and its vision in the service of society and the State in accordance with Qatar National Vision 2030. Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher honoured 411 outstanding graduates, out of the total 2,468 in various disciplines.

GWC (Q.P.S.C.) has concluded its third quarter of 2019 with a 10% growth amounting to QAR 182 million, which is a relatively huge increase compared to QAR 166 million by the end of the same period in 2018. The gross revenue was QAR 915 million at the end of the third quarter of 2019. This corresponded with growth in earnings per share for the company’s shareholders, which increased to QAR 0.31 at the end of the third quarter of 2019, an 11% rise from QAR 0.28 during the same period in 2018. The company’s various divisions have all banded together to achieve these results, by diversifying revenue streams and seeking new business opportunities, cross-selling and creating end-to-end service packages, as well as by developing solutions and processes that increase both efficiency and sustainability in the company’s different practices.


QATAR POPULATION AS OF SEPTEMBER 2019

TOTAL POPULATION 2,747,282

MALES   2,019,789

FEMALES   727,493

Source: Planning and Statistics Authority, Qatar

QF WINS LEGAL BATTLE IN QR8.54 BILLION HOSPITAL DISPUTE

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he London High Court has confirmed that Qatar Foundation (QF) lawfully terminated its £1.9 billion (QR8.54 billion) hospital contract with a joint venture (JV) of construction firms Contrack and London-listed OHL. According to media reports, the High Court rejected the JV’s challenge against a November 2018 arbitration award, which found among other things that QF lawfully terminated its contract to design and construct the state-of-the-art Sidra Hospital in Education City in Doha. The High Court judgment noted that arbitration challenges were not to be used simply because one of the parties is dissatisfied with the result and praised the arbitration Tribunal as eminent and highly experienced.

SPURT IN QATAR-MEXICO BILATERAL TRADE

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he bilateral trade between Qatar and Mexico increased by 33% from $199 million (QR724.36 million) in 2017 to $263 million (QR957.32 million) in 2018, Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari, first Vice Chairman of Qatar Chamber, said. “Qatar's economy is open to all world economies and its investment climate welcomes forging new trade alliances and partnerships between the Qatari and Mexican private sectors,” Al Kuwari said during a meeting with a Mexican trade delegation specialising in agriculture, services and IT. The delegation was headed by the Mexican Ambassador to Qatar, Graciela Gómez García, which was also met by a number of Qatari businessmen and representatives of local companies.

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Newsbites > Region KURDISH FIGHTERS ABANDON RAS AL AYN TOWN

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urdish fighters have evacuated Ras Al Ayn, giving Turkey  and its allies control of one of the border cities that has borne the brunt of fighting since US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops from north-eastern Syria. The Turkish Ministry of Defence said a convoy of 86 vehicles left

the city on 20 October carrying fighters from the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Front (SDF) and wounded civilians south to cities beyond the 20-mile buffer zone that Turkey is seeking to clear along its border with Syria. However, the fighters remain deployed in other areas inside the buffer zone including the cities

of Kobane and Al Darbasiyah, Kurdish activists said. Hostilities in the 11-day-old campaign were paused last week to allow Kurdish fighters to retreat safely from the border area following talks in Ankara between the US vice-president Mike Pence and the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

SAUDI ARABIA REDUCES GASOLINE PRICES

S HAMAS DECRIES ISRAEL’S PRESENCE AT BAHRAIN MEETING

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alestinian resistance group Hamas has decried Israel’s participation in a US-led maritime security meeting in Bahrain which began on 20 October. According to media reports, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement that attempts to integrate the Israeli occupation into the region were doomed to fail. “Those who normalize relations with Israel bear part of responsibility for Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people.” Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman also participated in the two-day summit, with the main topic on the agenda being. “Iranian threat in the Persian Gulf.” The maritime security meeting in Manama is a follow-up to the US-led  anti-Iran conference held in the Polish capital  of Warsaw in February. The Israeli Foreign Ministry did not deny the report and said that the conference was part of the Warsaw process.

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audi Aramco has marginally reduced the prices Octane 91 gasoline to SR1.50s ($0.40) per litre, compared with SR1.53 per litre ($0.41) in the current year’s third quarter. It also reduced the prices of Octane 95 to SR2.05 per litre ($0.55), compared with SR2.18 per litre ($0.58) in the previous quarter. According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the revised prices would come into force starting 20 October. The move was said to have been taken in accordance with the governance procedures of pricing adjustment of approved energy and water products. The local gasoline prices are subject to change due to changes in export prices from the Kingdom to the international markets.

EGYPT INAUGURATES LARGEST METRO STATION IN CAIRO

Egypt has inaugurated the Middle East’s largest metro station in Cairo on 20 October as part of the country’s plans to renovate the city’s fastest means of transportation. Transportation Minister Kamel Al Wazir attended the official launch of operations of Heliopolis station, a facility constructed on 10,000 sq m. The minister said that the air-conditioned station is the largest subway station in Egypt, the Middle East and Africa, adding that the cost amounted to about 1.9 billion Egyptian pounds (USD116.8 million). The 45-km-long third line three-level station is 225 m long, 22 m wide and 28 m deep from the street level. It includes eight exits and entrances, 18 fixed stairways, 17 escalators and four elevators. The station, which is on Cairo Metro’s third line, is located in the middle of Heliopolis Square, one of the largest squares in the capital.


business > Oil&Gas “THE LNG INDUSTRY IS VERY DYNAMIC AND INVIGORATED, AND IT CONNECTS ALL CORNERS OF THE WORLD THROUGH HUNDREDS OF TRADE ROUTES, AND LNG RECEIVING AND REGASIFICATION TERMINALS. WE ARE DOING OUR PART TO KEEP THIS MOMENTUM MOVING FORWARD FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR PARTNER COUNTRIES.” HE SAAD SHERIDA AL KAABI Minister of State for Energy Affairs State of Qatar

QP TAKES OVER TWO LOCAL OFFSHORE OILFIELDS

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atar Petroleum on October 7 took over control of two offshore oilfields in Qatar, which were operated by Occidental Petroleum for 20 years, according to reports.

The management and operatorship of the fields Idd El Shargi North Dome and Idd El Shargi South Dome follows the expiration of the development and production sharing agreements, which ended Oct. 6, 2019. Qatar Petroleum had already announced it would be taking over the North Dome field once the agreement between Occidental Petroleum and Qatar expired. The companies then agreed the second field would also be handed over. Details of the transaction weren’t disclosed, the reports added.

QATAR COMMISSIONS BIGGEST CARBON STORAGE UNIT REPLACE

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atar commissioned a carbon capture-and-storage plant and aims to sequester five million tonnes of carbon dioxide from its liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities by 2025.

The Minister for Energy Affairs, HE Sherida Said Al Kaabi said on October 8 that the existence of the plant had not been announced before. “We have successfully commissioned a facility in Qatar. It’s the largest carbon recovery and sequestration facility in the region which has a capacity of 2.1 million tonnes per year,” the Minister told a conference in London on October 8. Qatar, which has for years been the world’s largest LNG producer and exporter, aims to build a large extension to its sprawling LNG facilities to increase production by 40%, according to a report.

ECUADOR FOLLOWS QATAR, QUITS OPEC

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cuador has announced its decision to quit the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in January 2020. Ecuador is one of its smallest producers and is planning to boost its oil revenues by producing more oil than the limit set by OPEC. The decision comes into force exactly a year after Qatar left the oil cartel to focus on natural gas production. In February, Ecuador’s Resources Minister Carlos Perez said again that the nation would produce more than its limit. “We will continue to produce what we need and OPEC’s decisions on production limits are not mandatory,” he said early this year. This is the second time Ecuador will be leaving OPEC after becoming its member in 1973 but withdrew in 1992. However, it rejoined the cartel in 2007. Ecuador is currently developing a 1.6 billion barrel per day heavy crude oil field in part of the Yasuni National Park.

OPEC OIL OUTPUT DECLINES

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ollowing the Abqaiq attack in Saudi Arabia, which temporarily halved the country’s production, OPEC’s oil production fell sharply  in September. The prices, however, remained around $60 per barrel.

According to reports, crude supplies from OPEC’s Middle East oil exporters fell to their lowest level since OPEC+ output cuts were introduced in January 2017 after an attack on two of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil processing facilities halted more than half the country’s oil production. Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iran, which together account for about three-quarters of OPEC’s entire production, shipped an average of 14.81 million barrels a day of crude and condensate in September, tanker tracking data compiled by Bloomberg revealed. That was a drop of 736,000 barrels a day from August. 13 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


business > Bank Notes “QATAR’S INVESTMENTS IN TURKEY ARE ON THE RISE, ESPECIALLY IN STRATEGIC SECTORS SUCH AS FINANCE, RETAIL, ENERGY, AGRICULTURE AND CONSTRUCTION. QATAR HAS DIRECTLY INVESTED ABOUT $23 BILLION TO DATE IN TURKEY AND IS RANKED THE 19TH COUNTRY IN DIRECT INVESTMENTS.” OMAR HUSSAIN ALFARDAN Managing Director Commercial Bank and Chairman of Alternatif Bank

FOREIGN CURRENCY RESERVES REGISTER GROWTH

DOHA BANK HOSTS KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSION

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atar’s Central Bank’s (QCB) foreign currency reserves continued to grow for the 20th consecutive month and reached QR197.1billion in September 2019, according to QCB data.

Official reserves consist of four main components: Bonds & Foreign Treasury Bills, Deposits & Cash Balances with foreign banks, gold holdings of the QCB, SDR deposits and Qatar’s share of the IMF. In addition to these, there are other liquid foreign currency assets, which together constitute the total international reserves. QCB’s official reserves rose by the end of September compared to the previous month by about QR 0.73 billion, to reach QR142.15 billion. Thus the total international reserves, with liquidity in foreign currency, rose at the end of September by about QR65 million to reach about QR197.07 billion, an increase by about QR50.77 billion from its level in the starting month of the siege in June 2017, and increased by 16.5% since September 2018, the data revealed.

QNB TO OPEN BRANCH IN HONG KONG

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fter opening its new headquarters in Jakarta as part of its plans to boost international operations, Qatar National Bank (QNB) has announced the opening of its first branch in Hong Kong.

QNB, which received approval for the branch from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, said it would provide a full range of banking products and services and that the launch was part of an international expansion plan to establish a foothold in key markets like Hong Kong and mainland China. The Hong Kong branch offers the opportunity to leverage QNB’s in-depth expertise to capture investment and trade flows in this promising market.

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D

oha Bank held a knowledge sharing session titled “Qatar – Land of Opportunities” on 29 September 2019.

Bank CEO Dr R Seetharaman, quoting the IMF, said that global growth was forecast at 3.2% in 2019. While advanced economies were to grow at 1.9%, the emerging market and developing economy group was expected to grow at 4.1% in 2019. He said: “Qatar’s overall GDP growth is projected to reach 2.6% in 2019. Qatar’s banking sector remains sound. Foreign liabilities withdrawn in the immediate aftermath of the diplomatic rift have been partially replaced with greater attention being paid to the diversity of funding sources and deposit maturity structure.” Qatar Financial Centre Authority CEO Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida spoke about the economic growth, GDP, key economic indicators covering imports, exports, L&G production, inflation and other key performance indicators. Qatar Stock Exchange CEO Rashid Ali Al Mansoori shared the context of his recent business meetings and industry conference in the US. The event was organised under the patronage of Doha Bank Chairman Sheikh Fahad bin Mohammad bin Jabor Al Thani, and Managing Director Sheikh Abdul Rehman bin Mohammad bin Jabor Al Thani. Several dignitaries were among those present.


business > Real Estate

“OVER THE PAST TWO QUARTERS, WE HAVE WITNESSED LONG TERM INITIATIVES FROM THE GOVERNMENT TO INDUCE FURTHER GROWTH IN THE ECONOMY. INTRODUCING INITIATIVES SUCH AS 100 PERCENT FOREIGN OWNERSHIP ACROSS VARIOUS SECTORS WITH NO CAPITAL FLOW RESTRICTIONS AND NEGLIGIBLE TAXES, EXPANDING THE COVERAGE OF FOREIGN OWNERSHIP IN REAL ESTATE ARE EXPECTED TO HELP MARKET STABILISE AND GROW FUNDAMENTALLY.” ANURAG GUPTA

Director Advisory Head Real Estate Advisory and Valuations KPMG Qatar

EIGHT EDITION OF CITYSCAPE QATAR UNVEILED BY HE ALI BIN AHMED AL KUWARI

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is Excellency Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, Minister of Commerce and Industry officially opened Cityscape Qatar 2019 – the only real estate exhibition and conference of its kind in the Gulf state – at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. Exhibitors from the Middle East, the UK, Europe, the Far East and North Africa were also present in the event for investment purposes. This year, Tunisia was also acknowledged for its first participation in Cityscape Qatar. In his opening speech, HE Al Kuwari, said: “Cityscape Qatar 2019 will be remembered as a breakthrough event– coinciding with the recently released real estate foreign ownership law. The freehold and leasehold laws aimed at creating a positive transformation in the real estate sector and supporting economic growth in Qatar.” Among the international exhibitors, Qatar’s presence didn’t go unnoticed with the showcase of some future mega projects such as Qetaifan Island North, the new Hamad International Airport expansion and more. Qetaifan Projects were all out in the exhibition as they showcased their developments on the place which is set to be the largest entertainment hub in the country. Keynote presentations and panel sessions focusing on gross yields within Qatar’s residential sector ran throughout the event. The sessions covered real estate regulations and growth in addition to market insights and a holistic planning approach.

FOREIGN INVESTORS TO GET RESIDENCY

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atar will grant residency to foreign investors including those in real estate developers active in Qatar’s property market for the first time, the latest in a series of measures designed to diversify the economy.

Foreigners investing an unspecified level of “non-Qatari capital” in the economy will be eligible for renewable five-year residency permits, according to QNA report. Real estate developers active in Qatar’s property market will also be eligible for the scheme, under the new law. Previously, investors were required to be sponsored by a Qatari business or individual to obtain residency.

CONSTRUCTION GAINS MOMENTUM IN QATAR

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atar has allocated 45.8% of the total planned budget in 2018 to complete major projects including infrastructure projects aimed at providing facilities to support the activities for upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022.

Driven by Qatar Vision 2030, the construction industry in the country offers a medium to long term investment opportunity. Qatar’s construction industry is expected to record a CAGR of 12.1% to reach QR195.6 billion by 2023, according to a research report. 15 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


business > Islamic Finance

QATAR’S ISLAMIC FINANCE HOLDS MUCH PROMISE BY V L SRINIVASAN

EXHIBITING RESILIENCE DESPITE UNFAVOURABLE CONDITIONS FOLLOWING A DIPLOMATIC RIFT WITH SOME NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES SINCE MID-2017, QATAR’S ISLAMIC FINANCE INDUSTRY HOLDS MUCH PROMISE FOR STAKEHOLDERS AT PRESENT.

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he industry has witnessed significant growth in Qatar with the four licensed Qatari Islamic banks – Qatar Islamic Bank, Al Rayan Bank, Barwa Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank – accounting for 25% of total banking sector assets as of January 2019. In its recently released report on Qatar’s Islamic banking and finance industry by the Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the total assets of Qatar’s four Islamic banks till Q4 of 2018 were QR349.95 billion ($96.14 billion), which is marginally less compared with the same

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period in 2017 ($96.73 billion). The report further said that Shariahcompliant financing, excluding interbank financing, stood at QR236.12 billion ($64.89 billion) while combined sukuk holdings stood at QR60.67 billion ($16.67 billion) as of the end of last year. The sector was profitable with earnings before taxes and zakat of QR6.55 billion ($1.8 billion) on revenue of QR34.61 billion ($9.51 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2018, translating into a sound return-on-equity of 18.9% during the period. As for core financial indicators, the

average capital adequacy ratio of Qatar’s Islamic banks stood at 18.2%, well above the minimum ratio of capital to riskweighted assets of 10.5% under the Basel III framework, ensuring that the banks have enough cushion to absorb a reasonable amount of losses before they would become insolvent, the report said. In terms of asset quality, the share of nonperforming financing of total financing stood at 1.3% — or QR3.07 billion ($843.6 million) — at the end of 2018, up from 0.8% a year ago, but clearly below the 3.3% average of European banks last year and the world


professional, scientific and technical activities, arts, entertainment and recreation, as well as accommodation and food service activities. The sectors with the lowest level of Islamic finance were water and waste management, as well as information and confirmation, IFSB data showed. ISLAMIC FINANCE PLAYS KEY ROLE Another report entitled “2018 Report on Islamic Finance in Qatar,” released by the Bait Al-Mashura Finance Consultation, a specialised centre for consultations related to finance, investment, management, Shariah audit and professional training in Qatar, showed how the measures taken by the government to address the posteconomic blockade period succeeded, the report said. The Governor of Qatar Central Bank (QCB), HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud Al Thani, said in the report that Islamic finance played a vital role within the financial and banking sector in the country. The QCB has been interested in Islamic finance since its inception, issuing circulars and providing the appropriate regulatory environment that has enabled the Islamic finance market in Qatar to be ranked first among the best countries having strong laws and regulations. The QCB Governor said: “The previous year has been a positive turning point in fostering the strength and power of the banking system in the country by taking advantage of the siege on Qatar and the sudden economic measures by the countries of the blockade.” “The QCB has adopted a proactive approach to address local and regional challenges to avoid any sudden shocks; it has also ensured the strengthening of financial positions of banks and reduced their exposure to unconscionable risk,” he said in the report. average of 3.74% and backed by provisions amounting to 59.6% of the outstanding nonperforming financing. The sectorial distribution of Shariahcompliant financing by the four Islamic banks by value was clearly dominated by real estate activities at QR75.60 billion ($20.77 billion) as of end-2018, followed by construction at QR15.43 billion ($4.24 billion) and financial and insurance activities at QR7.42 billion ($2.04 billion). Other dominant sectors with Shariahcompliant finance were mining, electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply,

“THE QCB HAS ADOPTED A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO ADDRESS LOCAL AND REGIONAL CHALLENGES TO AVOID ANY SUDDEN SHOCKS; IT HAS ENSURED THE STRENGTHENING OF FINANCIAL POSITIONS OF BANKS AND REDUCED THEIR EXPOSURE TO UNCONSCIONABLE RISK.” HE SHEIKH ABDULLA BIN SAOUD AL THANI Governor Qatar Central Bank

CENTRALISED SHARIAH BODY Akin to Malaysia, Turkey, Indonesia and other GCC countries, which already have a centralised regulation for Shariahcompliant banking products and financial services, Qatar is also planning to centralise its Islamic finance sector and has taken up several measures to establish a centralised Shariah supervisory body for Islamic banks operating in the country, the QCB said in its “Financial Stability Review for 2018” report. Accordingly, a centralised Shariah supervisory body will be created along with new Shariah standards to govern Islamic banking products and transactions. 17 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


business > Islamic Finance

“ISLAMIC FINANCING WILL PROGRESSIVELY ESTABLISH ITSELF AS THE MOST EQUITABLE GATEWAY TO FINANCIAL SECURITY.” YOUSUF MOHAMED AL JAIDA Chief Executive Officer Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority

“The establishment of a centralised Shariah supervisory body will help in achieving greater market-wide consistency and credibility in Shariah governance, in line with the best global practice. To be specific, a consultancy firm has been entrusted with the mandate of preparing Shariah principles and standards that govern the various Islamic banking products and transactions and the legal supervision thereof,” the QCB report said. At present, each Islamic bank in Qatar has an individual self-governing Shariah board, a practice which created some controversies due to non-standard financial structures. As of now, Qatar follows the standards regulated by the Accounting and Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI). GLOBAL EXPANSION Citing the “Qatar Islamic Finance Report 2018” published by QFC Authority, the QCB document said that the domestic market was saturated and regulatory constraints on consumer lending limits the prospects for further fast-paced growth in Islamic banking. As a result, Islamic banks were looking

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to expand into nascent Islamic finance markets abroad to leverage their market expertise and resources to maintain the growth. “Qatar’s Islamic banks are pursuing such strategic opportunities, seeking to operate in international markets such as Morocco and the UK. This opens new markets with significant untapped demand for Islamic finance and provides funding cost diversification to the parent Islamic bank in Qatar,” the QFC report said. A report by global rating agency Moody’s said that Islamic banking has a large potential for expansion in Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries in the next five years from a very low base, driven by government initiatives to nurture the sector. Among the CIS nations, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are set to lead this expansion of Islamic banking as these countries have large Muslim populations, and the governments are committed to establishing better legal and regulatory infrastructure for Islamic finance. Kazakhstan’s government aims to boost the share of Islamic banking assets to 3% of total


“ISLAMIC BANKS MORE RESILIENT THAN CONVENTIONAL BANKS” A STUDY CONDUCTED BY THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) WAY BACK IN 2010, WHICH COMPARED THE PERFORMANCE OF ISLAMIC BANKS WITH THAT OF CONVENTIONAL BANKS DURING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS, REVEALED THAT ISLAMIC BANKS ON AVERAGE DEMONSTRATED STRONGER RELIANCE DURING THE CRISIS, SAYS MAHMOOD ZELAIKH , AUDIT DIRECTOR WITH KPMG IN QATAR.

O

ne of the key differences between Islamic banks and conventional banks is that the former did not allow investments in the kind of instruments that have adversely affected conventional banks and triggered the global financial crisis. “Most of the Islamic banking products are asset-backed primarily by real estate and tangible assets and this also contributed to the Islamic banks being more resilient. This analysis remains true because if another crisis does occur in the near future Islamic banks will still remain more resilient than their conventional counterparts,” he said. Despite their resilience, Islamic banks are not immune from the impacts of the financial crisis since its occurrence will ultimately affect the real economy, and as a result it remains crucial for these banks to develop innovative products, diversify their asset base and reduce their sectoral concentration to weather the effects of a potential global recession. Shariahcompliant banks in Qatar, like others in the region, are still clearly dominated by real estate at $20.7 billion as at the end of 2018, followed by construction at $4.24 billion which cumulatively forms 38.5% of the total assets (excluding the interbank financings) of Islamic banks as of 31 December 2018. This may pose a challenge to Islamic banks with the indicators of an economic downturn flashing and the decline in real estate prices not only in Qatar but in the region as a whole, he said. RESILIENCE EXHIBITED The Islamic finance industry is a vital part of Qatar’s financial system, and it has exhibited resilience in the face of less favourable economic conditions. Outpacing the growth of conventional assets, Islamic finance assets have grown at a CAGR of 11% over the last five years and 13% in 2017 alone. According to Zelaikh, Islamic banks in Qatar also enjoy a healthy liquidity situation, especially with the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) having injected funds into local banks. The average capital adequacy ratio of

Qatar’s Islamic banks stands between 17.5% and 18.2%, well above the minimum ratio of capital to risk-weighted assets of 10.5% under the Basel III framework which means that Islamic banks have a cushion to increase their exposures or absorb any potential future losses. They have also demonstrated healthy growth in profits of 8.5% during 2018 compared to 2017. In addition in 2018, the Qatar Stock Exchange listed the world’s largest single-country Islamic exchangetraded fund (ETF) in Qatar. Islamic finance is well established as an alternative finance offering in global markets; however, there are a number of areas requiring attention in order to sustain and accelerate this growth. These include regulatory reforms, standardisation and innovation. Developments in these areas would unlock the full potential of Islamic finance and encourage adoption within both Islamic and non-Islamic nations. Regulators in Qatar, including the QCB and the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) have taken initiatives recently to develop the regulatory environment in an effort to standardise and centralise the regulations for the entire Islamic banking and finance industry in order to align the sector with the best global practices. One of the boosts received by Islamic banks was the fact that, back in 2011, the QCB banned conventional banks from offering Islamic products or operating Islamic windows locally which further allowed Islamic banks in Qatar to grow over the last decade and enabled them to complete with their Islamic counterparts. The QCB has indicated that there are measures in place to establish a centralised Shariah supervisory body and create Shariah standards to govern Islamic banking products and transactions. During 2019, the QFC has expanded the number of fintech activities to be licensed and conducted by companies listed on the QFC platform, in a move which reaffirms its commitment to strengthening the fintech ecosystem in Qatar. Despite the global growth in the fintech space, the Middle East

“ISLAMIC BANKS IN QATAR HAVE ALSO DEMONSTRATED HEALTHY GROWTH IN PROFITS OF 8.5% DURING 2018 COMPARED TO 2017. IN ADDITION IN 2018, THE QATAR STOCK EXCHANGE LISTED THE WORLD’S LARGEST SINGLE-COUNTRY ISLAMIC EXCHANGETRADED FUND (ETF) IN QATAR.” MAHMOOD ZELAIKH Audit Director KPMG Qatar

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business > Islamic Finance still accounts for a negligible share of the global fintech start-ups, which means that there remains a lot of potential to be realised particularly by Islamic finance fintech startups, he noted. MORE SUKUK ISSUANCE LIKELY The global sukuk market experienced a slowdown during 2018 as compared to the previous year due to several reasons: the financing needs declined in the GCC as liquidity conditions improved thanks to higher oil prices which hovered around the $60 per barrel range during the year; the political instability in the region; the tightening of global liquidity; and the measures taken by the countries in the GCC

banking assets in the country by 2025 from the current 0.2%, while in Kyrgyzstan the national bank aims to expand the share to 5% by 2021 from the current 1.4%. Islamic banking assets account for negligible shares in total banking assets in CIS countries. Even in Kyrgyzstan, which has the largest proportion of Islamic banking assets in total banking assets in the region, this share is smaller than 2%. Since the Development Bank of Kazakhstan sold QR276.64 million ($76 million) of five-year sukuk, to become the region’s first-ever issuer of sukuk in 2012, no other bank, sovereign or corporate, has followed suit. QFC JOINS IFSB On the other hand, the QFC has been admitted to the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), as an associate member in September this year. As an associate member, the QFC can participate in the IFSB General Assembly, receive technical assistance from the IFSB and participate in working groups, task force and closed-door discussions for the development of IFSB prudential standards. QFC CEO Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida said: “Islamic finance is a key focus as well as a strength of Qatar and the QFC, and we are in constant pursuit of strategies that will elevate the standards in this business sector and expand public awareness of Islamic financing and investment instruments.” QFC has already established a solid framework at the QFC for Islamic banks, in line with IFSB standards and plans to grow the Islamic finance capital markets in and from Qatar and encourage increased sukuk issuances in the market. 20 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019

to reduce expenditure, he said. During the first half of 2019, however, with reducing oil prices the total sukuk volumes grew to $87.4 billion in the first half of the year, from $64 billion in the same period of 2018. The increase was driven by the GCC, where issuance rose by 9% to $26.5 billion; Southeast Asia, where it grew by 41% to $53 billion; and Turkey, where sukuk issuance grew by 300% to $7.9 billion, he pointed out. “The credit rating agencies expect GCC countries to continue issuing sukuk for the rest of the year as lower oil prices and expansionary budgets mean governments are tapping debt markets for funding. They are also issuing more sukuk to

diversify their funding mix and develop the Islamic debt markets,” he pointed out. A prerequisite for faster growth with Islamic finance is inclusive standardisation, the standardisation of Shariah interpretation and legal documentation that factors in the requirements of all the stakeholders. Standardised Sharia interpretation and legal documents would boost the industry’s growth by clarifying risks for investors, streamlining the sukuk issuance process and creating extra scope for innovation. Standard-setting bodies have made significant efforts to drive forward the standardisation of sukuk, but there is still work to be done, he added.

The QFC platform is already home to several leading Islamic finance institutions such as Al Rayan Investment, which is wholly owned by Masraf Al Rayan, one of Qatar’s largest Islamic banks, and QInvest. It now plans to serve the QR7.28 trillion ($2 trillion) global Islamic finance market through three core geographies as Shariahprincipled finance will progressively evolve as the most equitable gateway to financial security, according to its top official. “Islamic finance is a key focus area for both Qatar and the QFC. This was reaffirmed in 2018 when Qatar launched the world’s largest single-country Islamic exchange traded fund with an initial asset value of QR436.8 million ($120 million), and in the QFC’s new strategy, which aims to serve the global Islamic finance market through three core markets – Turkey, Qatar, and Malaysia,” Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida said. As part of moves towards achieving a sustainable and inclusive economy, the QFC will also continue to participate in meaningful dialogues that create opportunities and collaborations in support of this goal, he said. Asserting that the principle of Islamic finance embodies the concept of sustainable and inclusive growth, he said that this becomes a key priority within the economic growth agendas of the governments and business entities. “Islamic financing will progressively establish itself as the most equitable gateway to financial security,” he added.

headquarters, which will raise QR36.4 billion ($10 billion) from investors around the world. The energy bank is expected to start its operations in the fourth quarter of 2019, with a paid-up capital of QR9.1 billion ($2.5 billion) and the move comes in light of Qatar’s plans to expand its energy sector and increase its LNG production capacity to 110 MTs per annum by 2024. The Energy Bank will be licensed by QFC to become the biggest bank of its kind globally, with representative offices in the MENA region and all over the world. Currently under formation, the bank is set to be an international investment entity that specializes in oil and gas, petrochemicals and renewable energy, offering firstclass services to the energy industries, in compliance with the Islamic Shariah. The Energy Bank is an international Islamic investment bank based in Qatar with the mission of seeking, funding and enabling conventional and renewable energy projects in the MENA region. The bank is operated by a team of experts, under the licence of QFC, providing a variety of Shariah-compliant products and services to enable energy companies to cater to the rising market demand, whether locally or regionally. The Bank is established by a team of experts specialized in the banking and energy industries, bringing to the table their wide expertise, local and international relations, technical capabilities, and knowledge of the energy sector. It will offer competitive and innovative products, corporate and project financing, as well as asset management services.

ISLAMIC ENERGY BANK For the first time, efforts are on to establish an Islamic Energy Bank with Doha as its


affairs > Technology QITCOM GOES GLOBAL

T

he opening ceremony of QITCOM 2019 was held at Qatar National Convention Centre and graced by the presence of HH, the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, and several other dignitaries. On a massive screen in the QNCC auditorium, a film about the development of the digital transformation in Qatar was shown to the audience. The Minister of Transport and Communications, HE Jassim bin SaifAl Sulaiti, spoke about the successful transformation of the country into a knowledge-based economy and an integrated digital society. He also said that Qatar has been among the few countries to realise the benefits of smart cities and their importance to achieving comprehensive and sustainable development in the country. He also mentioned the augmentations in Qatar’s ITC infrastructure to improve internet quality, technologies and systems that help support the quality of life in the country. THE THREE “Ts” OF QITCOM The five-day event was fully maximised with the launch of several projects and digital platforms by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC). The first launch was Tasdeeq, a platform that offers ratification and validation services to government and corporate organisations in Qatar. The secure document system allows users and organisations to validate and authenticate documents anytime, anywhere through a single portal. Tasdeeq is also available as a mobile app and promises a high level of confidentiality with an impressive encryption

THE LATEST EDITION OF THE QATAR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION SHOWCASED DEVELOPMENTS, NEWLY LAUNCHED PORTALS AND SIGNED COLLABORATIONS ALONGSIDE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE QATARI MARKET. feature that allows access to authorised parties only. On the other hand, Tawasol is another portal launched by MoTC, which is designed for a secure electronic collaboration between government employees. The portal acts as a knowledge sharing centre, whereby staff can set up audio and video meetings, chat, perform panel discussions, and distribute tasks as well as have access to essential documents related to their roles, projects or domains, as well as trainings and manuals. MoTC together with the Minister of Commerce and Industry, HE Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, launched Theqa, a new website for Qatar’s e-commerce gateway. This is part of MoTC’s efforts to enhance consumer confidence in the local e-commerce sector, and improve the quality of services provided by local online suppliers, in addition to providing traders and shoppers with the latest updates in the sector. DIGITAL VALLEY As part of the government’s endeavours to accelerate all the pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030, “Tasmu Digital Valley” was also launched. The initiative was described as an innovation cluster where different sectors work to build a Smart Qatar by linking digital solution providers with available opportunities in the market. MoTC in partnership with Fira Barcelona also launched the first edition of the Doha Smart Cities Expo, aimed at introducing innovative technology to Qatar. In tandem with QITCOM, Doha hosted the MSC Core Group meeting which discussed regional and security issues and raised awareness on cybersecurity and its implications. Chairman

of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger said: “This would help us learn lessons for future events, such as the cyber security summit that will be held in Berlin after one month on the sidelines of the UN Internet Governance Forum.” QITCOM 2019, in comparison to its previous editions, has reached a higher level with over 104 speakers from 30 countries, more than 400 local and international exhibitors, around 300 innovators and entrepreneurs, and 29 local and international sponsors attending the event. More than 60 countries from the

region and beyond participated in the various QITCOM activities. The UK, US, Armenia, Jordan, Rwanda, Italy and Oman had pavilions in the exhibition, while 11 high-level ministerial delegations from Iraq, Somalia, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Iran, Armenia, Bulgaria, Ghana, Gambia, Romania and Oman participated in the conference. Around 276 local private companies and government establishments, including 50 start-ups, also participated in the exhibition. 2121> >QATAR QATARTODAY TODAY> >NOVEMBER OCTOBER 2019


affairs > Arab Snippets THE CRY OF LEBANON Protesters announced that they will continue demonstrations and the closure of roads until the resignation of the government and parliament. The protesters also demanded new parliamentary elections one day after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced a series of economic measures adopted by the government and approved the 2020 budget without any new taxes. Photographer: WAEL HAMZEH Photo credit: EPA-EFE/WAEL HAMZEH

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business > Viewpoint

A YEAR ON FROM IFRS 9 AND 15 BY YUSUF SAYED

C

ompanies in Qatar will have completed their first year of financial reporting using the latest International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments and IFRS 15 – Revenue from Contracts with Customers, both became effective on 1 January 2018 and have changed the way we must read a company’s financial statements from now on. Implementing these accounting standards required different levels of efforts for companies in different industries. The banking industry, for example, had to put significant amount of efforts in implementing IFRS 9 under Qatar Central Bank guidance, which played a pivotal role. Another example is construction companies, which have been implementing IFRS 15, will have had to make significant changes in how they recognise revenue from sales. First, let us look at the impact of IFRS 9 – Financial Instruments. This standard has three aspects Classification & Measurement (C&M), Expected Credit Loss (ECL) and hedge accounting, which is not discussed in this article as Companies in Qatar have opted to continue to follow IAS 39 rules.

CLASSIFICATION & MEASUREMENT

Companies invest in equity instruments, both listed and unlisted. In the past, and these investments were generally classified as “Available for Sale” investments using the former IAS 39 principal. However, this 24 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019

classification eventually led to volatility to the bottom line either through impairment charges or upon disposal. IFRS 9 offers a solution to volatility issues by introducing Fair Value through Other Comprehensive Income (FVOCI) classification for equity investment, as the related gain/loss on equity investments are not recycled to the income statement. Companies in Qatar have widely opted for FVOCI classification. The downside of FVOCI classification is that gain/loss on equity investments are not reflected in the bottom line, earnings per share and there is ambiguity on transfer to legal reserves/ sports fund. Readers of the financial statements are expected to be mindful of such adjustments for a better understanding of the distributable profits. IFRS 9 has removed cost exemption basis as available previously under IAS 39 and requires the use of fair valuation for investments measurement in the balance sheet. There are obvious benefits as stakeholders will be able to take timely investment decisions. Companies in Qatar that are impacted have introduced fair valuation process. EXPECTED CREDIT LOSS

ECL uses a forward-looking approach that takes into consideration expected future economic events and their impact on debtors’ ability to pay. This technique requires robust projection process. Qatar Central Bank provides appropriate guidance

to banks for a consistent approach across the banking industry. This technique presumes that all debt instruments have some credit risk and depending upon the quality of the debtors’ credit risk, that is staging and available security cover an appropriate ECL is recognised. As we know, interest includes an element of credit risk compensation; therefore, it is likely that the banks may pass on additional ECL to the borrower leading to increased finance cost for the borrower who may offer acceptable and appropriate amount of security to mitigate such scenario. Borrowers will also need to continue to monitor economic cycle in general and the related industry in particular for projected trend in finance costs. For non-banking industry, trade receivable including contract assets (unbilled revenue), due from related parties, retention receivable, bank balances etc. are some of the typical assets that require ECL calculation. Companies should consider segmenting them, that is Government, non-Government etc to arrive at appropriate ECLs. This is more important for companies which have majority of transactions with Government or related entities where duration for processing of invoices is different from non-Government sector. Going forward companies will need to ensure timely collection of their receivable balances as it impacts ECL. IFRS 9 will lead to expected credit losses that will reflect the quality of the customer base,


the expected economic trend and the level of security available to safeguard losses on actual default. This may also have indirect impact of increasing the cost of borrowing. IFRS 15, the Revenue from Contracts with Customers, introduces new 5-step model for revenue recognition. The underlying principal is that the company should recognise revenue to the extent control over related performance obligation has been transferred to the customer. The highlights for each of the step are: IDENTIFY THE CONTRACT

Legal enforceability is the criteria for this step and therefore there is no specific requirement on the form of the contract, that is written, verbal or by action as long as enforceable under the law. Generally, companies in Qatar have appropriate process that ensures the compliance of this step. In the construction industry, where variation orders and claims are normal activity, the standard has specific guidance for such instances that requires variations to be approved. In case of claims, only when it is highly probable that revenue will not reverse in the future, revenue may be recognised. This requires an appropriate assessment including status of the claim, level at which discussions are ongoing, legal opinion etc IDENTIFY THE PERFORMANCE OBLIGATIONS

This applies to a contract where the seller is making more than one promise to the customer. Performance obligation is defined from the customer’s perspective and overall promise of the seller. At times, this could be highly judgmental and therefore companies may want to discuss and agree in advance with the auditors. DETERMINE THE TRANSACTION PRICE

One need to consider transaction price that is not variable and there is no probability of reversal in future. Construction contracts with penalty clauses, retail contracts with right to return, loyalty programme etc are some of the examples that should be considered at the beginning of the contract and regularly updated to reflect expected transaction price. This requires an appropriate analysis of historical data and projections until the variability scenario ends. There are two techniques available to estimate transaction price i.e. expected value and most likely value. Probability weighted analysis that is widely used for expected value technique by companies is one of the simplest method of

calculating the variable amount. Step 4: Allocate the transaction price to the performance obligations in the contract This step applies if multiple performance obligations are identified in step 2. In this step, transaction price (as determined in step 3) is allocated to performance obligations. Stand-alone selling price is the most preferable method to allocate the transaction price however, this may not be available in all cases due to customer specific requirements, alternatives like adjusted market assessment, expected cost plus margin and residual approach (limited cases). In case stand-alone selling price is not available, companies have preferred to use expected cost plus margin approach as the information is readily available within the company and it is relatively easier to estimate. Whatever method is used, the underlying principal is that the revenue should reflect the reasonable commercial value of the related performance obligation. RECOGNISE REVENUE

The standard requires revenue recognition to align with transfer of control over performance obligation i.e. over time or point in time. Over time, approach is qualifying in nature and is applied if one of the three criteria given in the standard is met failing which point in time approach is used. This step has complexities for sale of residential apartments where delivery takes place upon completion. The assessment of whether control is passed during the construction phase is a typical legal question where companies need to rely heavily on the national judicial system and how the courts have concluded in case there is a dispute between the contractor and homebuyer. The standard although allows companies to follow cost-to-cost approach to measure revenue, which is similar to percentage of completion. However, there is guidance on uninstalled material, wastage and inefficiencies. Construction companies will need to consider these aspects, as it will lead to either lower revenue and / or lower profitability during the construction phase. A well-defined policy and procedure will help immensely in identifying such factors on a timely basis. IFRS 15 will have minimal impact to the Banking industry as most of its revenues streams are outside its scope. Construction industry is expected to be significantly impacted as the scope of services varies from contract to contract and there is a high amount of judgement required to establish the level of transfer of performance obligations.

“CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IS EXPECTED TO BE SIGNIFICANTLY IMPACTED AS THE SCOPE OF SERVICES VARIES FROM CONTRACT TO CONTRACT AND THERE IS A HIGH AMOUNT OF JUDGEMENT REQUIRED TO ESTABLISH THE LEVEL OF TRANSFER OF PERFORMANCE OBLIGATIONS.” YUSUF SAYED Director, Audit KPMG Qatar

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affairs > World View AFTERMATH OF TYPHOON HAGIBIS

An aerial picture shows floods in Marumori, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, after Typhoon Hagibis struck the country, causing landslides and overflowing rivers. Photographer: Jiji Press/EPA Photo credit: EPA-EFE/JIJI Press

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COVER STORY

SPURT IN GLOBAL LNG SECTOR INVESTMENTS WITH LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS (LNG) BECOMING A MAJOR SOURCE AMONG CLEAN FUELS AND GROWING AT A RAPID PACE, INVESTMENTS IN LNG-RELATED PROJECTS HAVE GAINED MOMENTUM AROUND THE WORLD DURING 2019. BY V L SRINIVASAN

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COVER STORY

SPURT IN GLOBAL LNG SECTOR INVESTMENTS

S

everal studies have concluded that the demand for LNG will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4% between 2019 and 2035, led by energy-hungry nations in Asia such as China and India and also in Europe. According to a report entitled “Shell LNG Outlook 2019,” a look back at the 2018 global LNG market showed continuing strength with delivered volumes reaching 319 million tonnes (MTs) – enough to power around 643 million homes. LNG trade increased by 27 MTs – growth supported by 70% of the LNG capacity additions sanctioned between 2011 and 2015 coming online. Japan remained the world’s largest LNG importer, followed by China, which eclipsed South Korea for the second year in a row. Even the number of LNG importing countries continued to increase, reaching 42 in 2018, with Panama and Bangladesh

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turning to LNG imports for reliable, affordable and cleaner energy. Global LNG supply is set to rise by 35 MTs in 2019. Both Europe and Asia are expected to absorb all this additional supply. A rebound in new long-term LNG contracting in 2018 could revive investment in liquefaction projects. Based on current demand projections, Shell still expects supplies to tighten in the mid-2020s. “The global demand for LNG is expected to rise to 384 MTs in 2020 and this supply growth is expected to be absorbed by both Europe and Asia,” the report said. MOST COMPETITIVE Paris-based non-profit association CEDIGAZ, in its report entitled “Medium and Long-Term Natural Gas Outlook 2019,” said that the LNG market was fast becoming one of the most competitive around, with countries like Qatar exporting the most, and China importing the most, producing impressive growth figures over the last few years.

“Natural gas will grow by around 40% between 2017 and 2040 (+1.4%/year) and Asia is at the forefront of this growth period. Forecasts on gas demand in most emerging Asian markets have been revised north of projections compared to their existing targets.” Even the LNG interregional gas demand will increase from 39% in 2017 to a staggering 60% by 2040 while Qatar and other Middle East countries collectively account for the second-largest global growth market area. The region holds 23% of the international gas demand growth, the report said. With the current rate of LNG growth, it is expected that the global market will remain well supplied until the middle of the next decade. This is based on the support of additional Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) and the US will be a driving force for the worldwide market expansion and will possess a great deal of influence over the gas balance and pricing. With LNG demand set to soar, the


anticipated development of LNG liquefaction plants will be the key to supporting demand until 2022. It is predicted that natural gas will play an even greater role in global business infrastructure and will support firms in almost every trade market, the report pointed out. QATAR RELIABLE LNG PRODUCER Affirming Qatar’s global reputation as a safe, trustworthy and reliable LNG producer at all times and under all

addressing a conference in Tokyo a few days ago. NEW PROJECTS Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil have already announced FIDs with regard to the development of the Golden Pass LNG export project located in Sabine Pass, Texas, in the US. The two companies have also discovered huge volumes of gas deposits in Cyprus, and Qatar is also exploring the possibility of expanding its LNG business in other

Figure_1: Top LNG Importers (Mt)

2018

Preliminary Figures

2019

60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Japan

China

South Korea

India

Taiwan

circumstances, Minister of State for Energy Affairs and the President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, HE Saad Sherida Al Kaabi that Qatar was making every effort to reinforce its position as the world’s leading LNG producer by undertaking the North Field expansion project to increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity to 110 million tons per annum by 2024, and a major shipbuilding campaign to build up to 100 LNG carriers over the next decade. He said that Qatar was collaborating with many countries around the world to ensure the security of their energy supplies and the sustainability of their economic growth. “We are working with customers, industry players and stakeholders for sustainable, affordable and secure energy supply for all. Most importantly, we are providing a sustainable energy solution to environmental and climate change concerns, and responding to widespread global moves towards cleaner and more cost-effective fuels,” he said while

Spain

France

UK

Italy

Turkey

countries including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Mozambique besides investing in the construction of an LNG terminal in Germany. Moreover, several other LNG export capacity projects are in the pipeline, either in the planning stage or in various stages of progress including the 30.9 MTs project in Papua New Guinea at a cost of $39.5 billion. As for the Middle East, Qatar, currently still the world’s biggest LNG producer, is preparing to expand its export facilities by around one-third to produce 100110MTs per year by 2024. In Southern Africa, Exxon has joined hands with Eni to develop a $12 billion LNG export facility in Mozambique’s Rovuma basin whose gas reserves are estimated to be around 85 trillion cubic feet.

“WE ARE WORKING WITH CUSTOMERS, INDUSTRY PLAYERS AND STAKEHOLDERS FOR SUSTAINABLE, AFFORDABLE AND SECURE ENERGY SUPPLY FOR ALL. MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE ARE PROVIDING A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOLUTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL AND CLIMATE CHANGE CONCERNS, AND RESPONDING TO WIDESPREAD GLOBAL MOVES TOWARDS CLEANER AND MORE COST-EFFECTIVE FUELS.” HE SAAD SHERIDA AL KAABI Minister of State for Energy Affairs State of Qatar



In December 2018, the UK’s BP and its partners – Kosmos Energy and National Oil Companies Petrosen and SMHPM – announced the FID for Phase 1 of the 31 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


COVER STORY

SPURT IN GLOBAL LNG SECTOR INVESTMENTS

cross-border Greater Tortue Ahmeyim gas field following an agreement with the Mauritanian and Senegalese governments. Another major LNG project, costing around $40 billion, is being taken up by five major companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Mitsubishi Corp, Malaysianowned Petronas, PetroChina Company and Korean Gas in the northeastern British Columbia in Canada. The proposed pipeline is said to carry natural gas from Dawson Creek in British Columbia to a new processing plant on the coast of Kitimat. According to reports, at least 202 LNG terminal projects are in various stages of development all over the world and they include 116 export terminals and 86 import terminals. LNG export terminals are under development in 20 countries,

“ACHIEVING SANCTION FOR THE GROUNDBREAKING GREATER TORTUE AHMEYIM DEVELOPMENT, AND AT SUCH A FAST PACE, IS TESTAMENT TO THE DYNAMIC PARTNERSHIP WORKING TOGETHER TO BRING THIS INNOVATIVE PROJECT ONSTREAM AND ESTABLISH A NEW DEEPWATER GAS VALUE CHAIN.” BERNARD LOONEY Chief Executive BP Upstream



PROJECT

development represent capital outlays of $1.3 trillion, of which 70% is for North American export terminals and 6% is for Asia Pacific import terminals. In terms of capital outlays for import and export terminals combined, the top ten countries are United States ($507 billion), Canada ($410 billion), Russia ($86 billion), Australia ($38 billion), Tanzania ($25 billion), China ($24 billion), Indonesia ($24 billion), Mozambique ($23 billion), and Iran ($21 billion), the reports added. Global Energy Monitor’s Executive Director Ted Nace said that in 2019, as of mid-year, four new LNG trains began operating and 32 trains were in different stages of construction. One of the trains was scheduled for operations in 2018, 13 in 2019, six for 2020, three for 2021, one for

OWNER

DATE FID CAPACITY

Corpus Christi T3

Cheniere

May-18

4.5

LNG Canada

Shell & Partners

Oct-18

14.0

Tortue

BP

Dec-18

2.5

Golden Pass

Exxon/Qatar Petroleum

Feb-19

15.6

Mozambique Area 1 Anadarko

June-19

12.0

Sabine Pass T6

Cheniere

June-19

4.5

Calcasieu Pass

Venture Global

Aug-19

11.2

Arctic LNG 2

Novatek

Sep-19

19.8

84.1

TOTAL (Source: Rystad Energy GasMarketCube) of which Canada and the US account for 74% of proposed new capacity. If built, LNG terminals in pre-construction and construction would increase current global export capacity threefold. The LNG import terminals are being developed in 42 countries, of which 22 have no current import capacity and the capacity expansion is focused on the Asia Pacific region. Overall, LNG terminals in

32 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019

2022 and three for 2024. OPTIMISTIC FUTURE Rystad Energy, an independent energy research and business intelligence company based in Norway, normally considers a development time of five years meaning that most of these plants could start their commissioning during 2024 and be fully operational by 2025. “I think that all these projects that have


However, the industry is notorious for cost overruns and project delays as only 10% of all LNG projects have been constructed under budget while 60% have experienced delays.

officially announced FID, should still go ahead,” Carlos Torres-Diaz, Vice President, Head of Gas and Power Markets at Rystad Energy, said. There are several projects internationally (Qatar, US, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, etc.) that are likely to take FIDs between now and 2020. There are expectations that more than 150 MTs of additional liquefaction capacity is needed by 2030 to keep the market balanced.

“The many projects jostling for FIDs are presenting low project costs to woo potential partners, buyers and financiers. But, when we consider the historical reality of LNG construction, and the upcoming LNG construction boom, we think that these capex estimates should be viewed cautiously. At least some project delays are likely,” the study noted.

Responding to a question about the impact on new projects in case of a global recession, Carlos Torres-Diaz said: “We don’t see a risk in LNG supplies as a result of a potential slowdown in the world economy. The 84 MTs of projects that have taken FIDs during the last 18 months should have financing in place and should go ahead

“While there is a risk that current low LNG prices may cause some proposed projects to be cancelled, we think the risk to new LNG supply development is actually to the upside. In our high case we anticipate

700,0

North America Middle East South & Central America

600,0

Required additional capacity

Europe C.I.S.

500,0

Asia/Oceania

mmtpa

Africa World LNG Demand

400,0 300,0 200,0 Operational and Under Construction capacities (as of Aug. 2019)

100,0

LIAM KELLEHER

2040

2039

2038

2037

2036

2035

2034

2033

2032

2031

2030

2029

2028

2027

2026

2025

2024

2023

2022

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

Senior global LNG research analyst Wood Mackenzie 2016

0,0

“THE MANY PROJECTS JOSTLING FOR FIDS RIGHT NOW HAVE LOW HEADLINE COSTS, BUT IN LIGHT OF THE HISTORICAL REALITY OF LNG CONSTRUCTION, SOME PROJECT DELAYS ARE LIKELY.”

regardless of slower economic growth. Additionally, there are substantial volumes of natural gas production being added from E&P developments that are well underway so this gas needs to be marketed,” he added.

that an additional 70 MMTPA could be sanctioned in the next three years. Should even some of this materialise, construction would be stretched beyond the heights of the boom from 2010-2014.”

RECORD INVESTMENTS While demand has been on the rise for LNG, investments in LNG-related projects too increased to record levels in 2019.

Liam Kelleher, senior global LNG research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, said: “The many projects jostling for FIDs right now have low headline costs, but in light of the historical reality of LNG construction, some project delays are likely. While there is a risk that current low LNG prices may see some proposed projects cancelled, Wood Mackenzie believes the risk to new LNG supply development is low and we see considerable upside supply potential.”

A new research by Wood Mackenzie in April this year said that almost 90 MMTPA of LNG was expected to take FIDs and start construction. The capital expenditure  – for both LNG plant and upstream infrastructure  – will total more than US$200 billion between 2019 and 2025. 



33 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


COVER STORY

SPURT IN GLOBAL LNG SECTOR INVESTMENTS

He added: “In our high case, we anticipate that a further 70 MMTPA could be sanctioned in the next three years. Should even some of this materialise, construction would be stretched beyond the height of the 2010-14 boom.” US-CHINA TRADE WAR FEARS However, the industry is not so enthusiastic about the outcome of the trade talks between the US and China which resumed last week; LNG producers in the US are already burdened with the imposition of 25% tariffs on their LNG exports to China. Though the dispute has slowed down China’s GDP growth, the dragon’s demand for LNG is expected to increase by more than 10% this year. It may be recalled that the demand grew by 44% in 2017 and 39% in the subsequent year (2018).

“WE DON’T SEE A RISK IN LNG SUPPLIES AS A RESULT OF A POTENTIAL SLOWDOWN IN THE WORLD ECONOMY. THE 84 MTS OF PROJECTS THAT HAVE TAKEN FIDS DURING THE LAST 18 MONTHS SHOULD HAVE FINANCING IN PLACE AND SHOULD GO AHEAD REGARDLESS OF SLOWER ECONOMIC GROWTH.” CARLOS TORRES-DIAZ Vice President Head of Gas and Power Markets Rystad Energy



This means the loss of US LNG producers will be a gain for other LNG-exporting countries as China National Petroleum Corporation has predicted that the country’s LNG imports would increase from 54 MTs per year in 2018 to 80 MTs per year by 2025. “There could be a slowdown in the sanctioning of new projects as a result of the trade war between the US and China as a lot of the US projects were hoping to sign long-term contracts with Chinese buyers and this is unlikely to happen as long as the tariffs are in place,” Carlos Torres-Diaz said. Many of the projects are being developed by “smaller players” required to sell their volumes through long-term contracts in order to guarantee financing for their projects. Therefore, they would need to find alternative buyers if they want to continue their development plans, Carlos added. But the big news for US LNG firms comes from European countries as they will be importing more LNG in the coming years. According to the European Commission (EC), since the first cargo in April 2016, US LNG exports to the EU have been increasing substantially and have seen a steep rise of 272% after July 2018. With the US bagging two export orders,

34 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019

the LNG imports from the US is expected to be 112 Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) by next year and the EC has predicted that it will increase to 282 BCF in the next few years. When asked whether the construction of new projects would be affected by an escalation in the US-China trade war, Ted Nace also said that the global LNG system is already in a situation of overcapacity, and many projects are at risk of delay or even cancellation due to the potential for global recession. Among the potential causes of recession, a worsening trade war between the United States and China is certainly one looming factor, but there are others. “Increasingly, LNG investments are seeing worsening economics due to ever-cheaper renewable alternatives in the power sector. For example, the recent levelised cost of electricity figures from Lazard Bank, show that renewables are easily out-competing gas-fired power generation,” Ted Nace said.  IEA ALLAYS TRADE TENSIONS International Energy Agency Executive Director Fatih Birol said that while the US projects accounted for almost 50% of LNG liquefaction capacity sanctioned in 2019 to date, these projects were expected to account for less than one-third of total investments in financial terms. This highlights the cost-competitiveness of US LNG.   The other two-thirds of LNG investments have been driven by two large projects, the Mozambique LNG and Arctic-2 LNG in Russia, he pointed out. “Most of the projects which have taken FIDs in 2019 have already started construction work and we are confident that they will go ahead. LNG trade continues to grow a rapid pace (by 14% year-on-year in the first nine months of 2019).” “Despite trade tensions, US exports of LNG are growing and China continues to increase its LNG imports.  The growing flexibility of LNG trade, including destination flexible LNG contracts, spot trading and swaps, is  facilitating the optimal allocation of LNG cargoes. Moreover, the currently low natural gas prices are encouraging coalto-gas switching in some key markets,” he averred.


According to him, the differential between Asian spot and oil-indexed LNG prices rose to record levels through this summer. This could incentivise some Asian buyers to renegotiate some of their existing longterm contracts and/or introduce more spot indexation into new contracts. This highlights the importance for emerging Asian natural gas markets to develop well-functioning, liquid hubs where price discovery is possible, he said. A BANNER YEAR According to Reuters, Fatih Birol, while addressing a one-day   annual LNG Producer-Consumer conference in Tokyo in September last week, said that record investments of QR182 billion ($50 billion) have turned 2019 into a bumper year for LNG, with Canada and the US being the main drivers. The industrial sector is Asia’s biggest driver of LNG, with China expected to overtake Japan as the world’s top importer of the fuel in five years, he said. “This year, 2019 already broke the highest amount of FIDs for the first time ever, $50 billion,” he told the delegates. “The biggest growth is coming from China as in the next five years, about one-third of global LNG demand will come from China alone,” he said. The Reuters report, quoting Birol, also said that while growth of LNG imports by Japan, the world’s top buyer of the superchilled fuel, and Korea are expected to stay important, slowing growth there means the biggest contribution will be from China. Other Asian nations, such as Bangladesh, India, Pakistan Thailand are also importing more LNG. “European LNG imports will also increase as domestic gas production declines and nations diversify supply,” Birol said, according to Reuters.

“IN 2019, AS OF MID-YEAR, FOUR NEW LNG TRAINS BEGAN OPERATING AND 32 TRAINS WERE IN DIFFERENT STAGES OF CONSTRUCTION. ONE OF THE TRAINS WAS SCHEDULED FOR OPERATIONS IN 2018, 13 FOR 2019, SIX FOR 2020, THREE FOR 2021, ONE FOR 2022 AND THREE FOR 2024.” TED NACE Executive Director Global Energy Monitor



“DESPITE TRADE TENSIONS, US EXPORTS OF LNG ARE GROWING AND CHINA CONTINUES TO INCREASE ITS LNG IMPORTS. THE GROWING FLEXIBILITY OF LNG TRADE, INCLUDING DESTINATION FLEXIBLE LNG CONTRACTS, SPOT TRADING AND SWAPS, IS FACILITATING THE OPTIMAL ALLOCATION OF LNG CARGOES.” FATIH BIROL Executive Director International Energy Agency



The US will make up two-thirds of global growth in LNG exports, which could turn pricing dynamics in Asia towards more gas-linked, rather than oil-linked LNG contracts. About 70% of LNG contracts are oil-indexed, with the rest geared to gas. That could soon change to a 50-50 pricing mix, the report said.

35 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


business > Bottom Line TWELVE JOB INTERVIEW TIPS: HOW TO MAKE A GOOD IMPRESSION

YOU HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE CV, YOUR RESEARCH AND NETWORKING ACTIVITIES HAVE PAID OFF AND YOU HAVE LANDED AN INTERVIEW WITH YOUR COMPANY OF CHOICE. NOW, TO MAKE SURE YOU TURN THIS INTERVIEW INTO A POT OF GOLD AND SECURE THE JOB OF YOUR DREAMS, CAREER EXPERTS FROM BAYT.COM HAVE LISTED 12 KEY POINTS TO BEAR IN MIND IN ORDER TO TRANSFORM YOUR HARD-WON JOB INTERVIEW INTO A LUCRATIVE OFFER.

T

he importance of practice and preparation cannot be emphasised enough. Generally, a job hunter is much more versed in the fine art of interviewing if they have been out looking for jobs and interviewing for a while; it is critical, however, for newcomers to the interviewing scene to know what to expect, how best to behave in an interview setting and how to answer the questions in a manner that reflects on them most positively. Be updated on current literature.

BE WELL RESEARCHED You are much more likely to impress and convince the employer of your unique suitability for the job if you are familiar with the company, its position in the industry, its product lines and what may be required for a candidate in your role. Once you can see yourself as part of a “big picture” you can better formulate your answers, prepare your skills inventory and formulate your success stories as they directly relate to the company’s requirements. ARRIVE EARLY Respect the interviewer’s time. Aim to arrive 15 minutes early and busy yourself with the company or industry literature while you wait. You can also use the time to go over your CV and answers you have prepared so you feel more relaxed and in 36 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019

control during the interview. If disaster strikes and you are running late, make sure to call the interviewer to inform them.

FIRST IMPRESSION IS VITAL As you have heard a myriad times before, you will not get a second chance to make a first impression so make sure your first impression conveys a successful, enthusiastic, well-mannered professional who will be an asset to the team. Smile and shake hands firmly when you meet the interviewer and be aware that over 60% of the cues being communicated to the interviewer are non-verbal. Watch your body language, gestures and tone of voice and bear in mind that the manner in which you are conveying information may be as important as what you are saying. Stay calm and focused and demonstrate self-confidence and professionalism in your answers and how you deliver them. Your attire MUST be professional and you must be well groomed for your interviews; it is far better to err on the conservative side than to arrive dressed in a slovenly manner and communicate a complete disregard and disrespect for industry norms and the company culture. BE BRIEF IN REPLIES Answer the questions directed at you in

a precise and succinct manner and make sure you do not ramble or get carried away on an irrelevant and inconsequential tangent. The more you get carried away on a given question the more likely you are to slip up and communicate weaknesses or factoids that are best not brought to bear at the interview stage. Demonstrate clarity of mind and thought process by making your answers simple and to the point – this does not, however, involve killing the conversation flow with yes/ no answers. Aim to keep the conversation going on a pleasant, professional, respectful tone with answers that illustrate your strengths and experience and keep the interviewer excited to learn more.

SUPPORT YOUR ANSWERS Make sure to support all your answers with accurate facts and figures to gain credibility with the interviewer and show you have a keen eye for the bottom line. Expound in detail on targets achieved or overachieved and talk about measurable milestones and contributions to the bottom line whether they be in terms of money made, money saved, losses averted or otherwise. Be very specific about your skills and describe past success stories that support them in accurate, quantifiable detail.


KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS The interviewer is looking to hire a winner who has had a record of achieving success in a similar capacity in the past. Be prepared to elaborate on past successes that bear in a direct manner on the present job and show how those experiences are directly relevant to the role, responsibilities and skill set required for the present job. Keep in mind that the employer is looking to minimise his/her risk by hiring a candidate who has excelled in a similar or identical role in the past and can brings these skills to bear on the present job. Even if your past job was very different than the present one, you will be able to come up with success stories that relate directly to the job requirements in that they highlight key skills or character traits whether they be creativity, initiative, problem-solving acumen, sales skills, negotiation skills, communication skills etc. NO PERSONAL MATTERS Two areas that have no place during the interview stage are your weaknesses and your personal life. Avoid talking about personal matters and answer any question on weaknesses with either a brief explanation of what area you would like to further develop your skills in or by reiterating a key strength of yours that you perhaps take too far. The first shows you know what key skill you need further work on and are willing to take action on it, and the second approach reiterates a key point of strength. You may also mention a weakness that is completely unrelated to the position at hand. For example, if you are applying for

a creative role in and advertising agency you can mention that your accounting or investment management skills are not your strongest point and you are much more comfortable in a creative role. Whatever you do, don’t open a can of worms and torpedo your chances of securing the job by dwelling on real weaknesses and shortcomings that directly relate to your ability to excel at the job.

ASK QUESTIONS Have a list of questions  prepared beforehand that are designed to impress the employer and show that you are familiar with current company/industry issues. An appropriate line of questioning can make for excellent conversation and will leave the employer with the impression that you have done your due diligence and thoroughly researched the company and industry. Do not ask about salary and vacations at the early interview stages. TALK LIKE AN INSIDER If you have thoroughly researched the company, industry and product lines you will be able to talk like an insider and impress with your insider’s insight on relevant issues. Keep the conversation fluid and informative by bringing up facts you have learned about the company and its products and competitors and show how you, armed with your unique skill set and experiences, can positively impact the bottom line.

A potential employer will look for enthusiasm for the job itself, not just the salary on offer. Most serious companies will have a formal wage structure, so don't be afraid to ask about it at the appropriate time. Prior research into realistic salary expectations will also help avoid embarrassment.

DO NOT OVERPROMISE Do not promise what you are not in a position to deliver. Your overconfidence will eventually catch you out, with potentially serious consequences, should you actually get the job. Promote your skills enthusiastically but stick to the facts.

“WATCH YOUR BODY LANGUAGE, GESTURES AND TONE OF VOICE AND BEAR IN MIND THAT THE MANNER IN WHICH YOU ARE CONVEYING INFORMATION MAY BE AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. STAY CALM AND FOCUSED AND DEMONSTRATE SELF-CONFIDENCE AND PROFESSIONALISM IN YOUR ANSWERS AND HOW YOU DELIVER THEM.”

DO NOT DISCUSS SALARY EARLY Asking about salary  too early in an interview will make you appear mercenary.

ABOUT BAYT.COM Bayt.com is the #1 job site in the Middle East with more than 40,000 employers and over 36,600,000 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. 37 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


business > Bottom Line

EMBRACING DIGITAL INNOVATION IN BUSINESS EDUCATION DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY HAS DRAMATICALLY CHANGED LEARNING OVER THE PAST DECADE. WITH THE INTERNET, INFORMATION ON ANY TOPIC IS READILY AVAILABLE AT OUR FINGERTIPS. EXCELLENT PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT ON A VERY BROAD RANGE OF TOPICS CAN BE FOUND ONLINE FREE OF CHARGE. WHAT THEN IS THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN THIS DIGITAL LANDSCAPE? AND HOW SHOULD A LEADING BUSINESS SCHOOL LIKE HEC POSITION ITSELF IN THIS CHANGING ENVIRONMENT?

O BY MARC VANHUELE

ur objective with this section of Knowledge@HEC is to inspire our internal discussions on pedagogical

innovation and to influence our daily

38 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019

practice. We also want to share our insights with the outside world. We combine stories on our past achievements with ideas for the future. Descriptions of what we did, testimonies of the actors who lived the experience and contributions

from faculty and staff because digital pedagogy is group work. We examine why we take the digital route, how we approach the challenges and what we do concretely, both in terms of pedagogical practice and ongoing research.


In September 2017, we launched the fully online MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (MSIE), targeted towards active professionals. Twenty-five professors, including me, contributed with online courses. Other colleagues have created online certificates, specialisations and MOOCs. A recurring theme in our discussions since has been that the experience of creating an online course has fundamentally changed how we are teaching in the classroom. It even has changed how we see our role as professors. And it will change how institutions like ours will define and organize our work. The classroom is no longer a place just to transfer content and only part of the learning takes place in that classroom. How then can we as faculty design a combination of activities that attains the learning objectives of our courses? And how can we as programme directors and managers create an overall experience that, during their time at HEC, fully develops the potential of our already talented students? And where and how can digitalisation be an enabler to reach our pedagogical objectives?

HEC has always been a place that encouraged individual innovation. Digitalisation is a new challenge because it implies technological choices that have to be made at an institutional level. I hope that this section of Knowledge@HEC will stimulate your individual creativity and open up discussions on how we can transform education, make it more effective and reach more learners.

MARC VANHUELE Professor of Marketing HEC Paris

Marc Vanhuele’s research focuses on two fields: how customers treat price information and how marketing managers can improve their decision-making through better use of quantitative information on the consumer’s mindset.

ABOUT HEC PARIS Founded in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, HEC Paris is one of the world’s leading providers of Executive Education. HEC Paris joined Qatar Foundation in 2010 and brought worldclass Executive Education programmes and research activity to Qatar and the GCC region. HEC Paris offers in Qatar a complete and unique range of educational programmes designed for the leaders of tomorrow. In Doha, HEC Paris runs an Executive MBA, a Specialized Master’s Degree in Strategic Business Unit Management, Executive Short Programmes for managers and executives, and customdesigned programmes for companies. http://www.qatar.exed.hec.edu/

39 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


logistics > Tag This

LOGISTICS HAS COME A LONG WAY BY V L SRINIVASAN

THE TRADE AND TRAVEL BOYCOTT IMPOSED ON QATAR BY SOME ARAB STATES INCLUDING SAUDI ARABIA, THE UAE AND BAHRAIN IN THE REGION HAS HELPED IN FURTHER STRENGTHENING QATAR’S LOGISTICS SECTOR. THE GOVERNMENT IS NOW DETERMINED TO MAKE THE INDUSTRY A REGIONAL HUB FOR LOGISTICS IN THE MIDDLE EAST. 40 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


some of the supplies through Oman and even Qatar’s the country’s national carrier Qatar Airways helped in procuring the material.

T

hough rattled initially, the government swung into action to see that there was no disruption in the supply of material and equipment needed for the ongoing mega infrastructure projects, including those relating to the FIFA World Cup to be held in 2022. At the same time, the government also ensured there was no shortage in food supplies, most of which were routed through the UAE before the boycott. Since the UAE too cut off all diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar, it re-routed

AMPLE OPPORTUNITIES In an interview with DVZ, the leading German logistics publication, the Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA, HE Ahmad Al Sayed, explained the country’s evolving logistics landscape and also addressed logistics service providers (LSPs) from the DACH region in Germany. “The new state-of-art Free Zones are able to drive sustainable growth for all investors with the desire to enhance their global supply chains with us,” he said and invited regionally active and innovative players from the logistics industry to visit Qatar and be part of its newly established Free Zones. The growing logistics sector in Qatar presents European companies with new opportunities to build partnerships in Doha and expand to new markets. Europe is home to a very diverse logistics industry with an estimated number of up to 770,000 LSPs in this sector. The overall volume of logistics expenditures within the whole European region is estimated at a staggering QR4,308 billion. The corresponding volumes for the three logistics hot spots of Germany, Switzerland and Austria are $284.36 billion. The Minister further told Oxford Business Group that Qatar has been proactive in boosting activity and attracting investment, with a particular focus on three key sectors. “The first is logistics, which benefits from the strong air and maritime infrastructure already in place and the success of Qatar Airways, which currently performs the largest number of cargo operations in the world. Additionally, we hope to attract international investment by encouraging partnerships with domestic service providers to improve business and trading activities,” he said.

“THE FIRST FOCUS IS LOGISTICS, WHICH BENEFITS FROM THE STRONG AIR AND MARITIME INFRASTRUCTURE ALREADY IN PLACE AND THE SUCCESS OF QATAR AIRWAYS, WHICH CURRENTLY PERFORMS THE LARGEST NUMBER OF CARGO OPERATIONS IN THE WORLD.” HE AHMAD AL SAYED Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA State of Qatar

THIRD PLACE IN GCC In the 2019 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index report, Qatar was ranked third in the GCC region after the UAE and Saudi Arabia (3rd and 6th,) respectively. The report published by global logistics firm Agility said the transport and logistics industry is one of the most vibrant sectors in Qatar’s economy and described Qatar as the “surprise GCC Index darling this year,”

41 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


RANKING

logistics > Tag This

COUNTRY

AEMLI 2019

Logistics Opportunities

1

China

8.87

2

India

3

DOMESTIC

INTERNATIONAL

BUSINESS

Logistics Opportunities

Fundamentals

8.82

9.70

7.12

7.39

8.09

7.20

6.35

UAE

6.16

5.56

5.48

8.89

4

Indonesia

6.09

6.32

5.94

5.94

5

Malaysia

6.00

5.23

5.64

8.39

6

Saudi Arabia

5.71

5.27

5.23

7.67

7

Mexico

5.67

5.34

6.23

5.13

8

Qatar

5.62

5.38

4.85

7.84

9

Turkey

5.56

5.27

5.85

5.49

10

Vietnam

5.48

4.88

6.12

5.31

Source: Agility

with its score improving by 0.24 points to 6.02, leaving it in 11th place overall and improving its position by one spot. The index evaluated the performance of 50 emerging markets globally and found that Qatar made significant gains in compatibility as economic diversification progressed and non-tariff barriers were judged to be less of a burden, while connectivity improved thanks to better liner shipping connections. Qatar jumped two spots to be ranked eighth in the infrastructure/transport category and was ranked second for business conditions. Qatar’s eighth position is a result of solid performance in the domestic logistics opportunities subindex, driven by high per capita incomes and high urbanisation in particular, which help to create demand for goods and aid efficiency in its domestic parcel market, while its international market boasts particular strengths in efficient border control systems. However, as is common amongst the topperforming Middle-Eastern markets, it is Qatar’s business environment that powers its overall score, with improvements to

42 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019

protections against corruption and an efficient financial sector both playing a significant role. Qatar has also dealt well with attempts by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain to isolate it economically and diplomatically. Despite the blockade, Qatar’s economy has continued to grow, and in late 2018 the IMF noted that Qatar’s fiscal position was improving and that the Qatar Central Bank’s foreign exchange reserves were growing. This was affirmed in September 2018 with a merchandise trade surplus, which had grown 26% yearon-year. The positive trend is expected to continue, driven by increased oil and gas production, and by infrastructure projects related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Although the blockade by some of its neighbours is having an effect, Qatar’s GDP growth is forecast at 2.8% in 2019, the report added.

MAJOR PROJECTS What has spurred the logistics and warehousing sector’s growth in the country has been the ever-expanding

industrial activities. One of the major steps in developing the sector has been the construction of Hamad Port, which was officially inaugurated in September 2017 and is said to be one of the largest in the Middle East with annual capacity of 7.5 million twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU). Hamad Port is the third sea port after Doha and Al Ruwais ports in the country. Another major decision was to set up the Logistics Areas Project which comprises 1,583 plots spread over an area of 6,330,907 sq m and is aimed at improving infrastructure and to making Qatar a logistics hub. This project is strategically located close to Hamad Port, Mesaieed Industrial Port and the Orbital Highway. The schemes relating to the project are expected to attract QR30 billion ($8.24 billion) in direct investments. The area is also expected to become a regional hub for investments and logistics services, increasing the competitiveness in the trade sector and encouraging the private sector to participate effectively in the Qatar National Vision 2030. The logistics and warehousing industry is


being developed by public as well private sector companies and they include special economic zones, logistics parks and warehousing facilities, with the special economic zone company Manateq taking the lead in establishing them. The Prime Minister and Interior Minister, HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, inaugurated four new Manateq warehousing parks, reiterating the government’s commitment to stimulate more economic and commercial activities in Qatar. The four warehousing parks – Bu Sulba, Bu Fesseela, Umm Shaharaine 1, and Umm Shaharaine 2 – were developed by Gulf Warehousing Company (GWC), Al Asmakh Real Estate Development, Dohatna Logistics Parks and Barwa Real Estate Group, respectively. The completion of the landmark project is in line with the government’s thrust to encourage public-private partnerships (PPPs) in major projects and the contribution of the private sector in the state’s development projects. In 2014, Manateq invited developers in the field of warehousing and logistics services to tender for the construction of the four warehousing parks. Following the tendering process, contracts for the project were awarded to the four developers on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme.

PRIVATE SECTOR ROLE

Milaha, one of the largest shipping companies in Qatar, last year inaugurated Phase 1 of the 400,000 sq m Milaha Logistics City, with a 35,000 sq m warehousing facility dedicated to

temperature-controlled cargo. Milaha’s President and CEO Abdulrahman Essa Al Mannai described Milaha Logistics City as a significant investment on their part in Qatar’s supply chain infrastructure and, in particular, cold chain capabilities, and expects it to be a key enabler for logistics growth in Qatar. “We want to give our clients more sophisticated options to access the local market. This new service offering will further strengthen Qatar’s position as a leading maritime and logistics hub as well as our own position as a national and regional supply chain partner,” he added. Throughout 2018, Milaha played a vital role in enhancing operations at Hamad Port by inaugurating new shipping routes to Qatar. It has launched direct cargo services with several ports in Oman, Kuwait, Pakistan, India and Turkey among other countries. “This year, Milaha will pursue its longterm growth strategy by continuing to expand its business, opening new shipping routes and exploring new markets to contribute to the growth of our company,” Abdulrahman Essa Al Mannai said in the board of directors’ report. Highlighting that it’s maritime and logistics segment has created an alliance with three partners in the India-Arabian Gulf sector that is expected to last beyond 2019, Milaha’s report said the expansion plans included entry into Europe and selected Southeast Asian markets this year.

SIGNIFICANT GROWTH

“WE WANT TO GIVE OUR CLIENTS MORE SOPHISTICATED OPTIONS TO ACCESS THE LOCAL MARKET. THIS NEW SERVICE OFFERING WILL FURTHER STRENGTHEN QATAR’S POSITION AS A LEADING MARITIME AND LOGISTICS HUB AS WELL AS OUR OWN POSITION AS A NATIONAL AND REGIONAL SUPPLY CHAIN PARTNER.” ABDULRAHMAN ESSA AL MANNAI President and CEO Milaha

In an interview with The Oil & Gas Year, Abdulrahman Essa Al Mannai said that

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logistics > Tag This Qatar’s maritime has grown significantly over the past decade, not just the last couple of years. “We have a truly worldclass infrastructure in place that not only enables smooth import and export trade for Qatar, but also increasingly enables Qatar to become a hub for regional and international trade flows.” Al Mannai said that Hamad Port seamlessly handled more than 1.3 million TEUs in 2018, which was an increase of over 200% from pre-blockade levels. “QTerminals, which operates Hamad Port and is jointly owned by Mwani Qatar and Milaha, now handles trans-shipment cargo for other parts of the region, particularly the Upper Gulf,” he noted. According to him, the development of free zones around Hamad Port and Hamad International Airport will further enhance Qatar’s infrastructure and increase its attractiveness for new investors across a number of manufacturing and service sectors. “The infrastructure is definitely in place to create a more robust and sustainable trade and industrial ecosystem for Qatar,” he emphasised. Asked about local content measures for the sustainability of shipping and logistics, he stressed that the maritime and logistics sectors are critical to Qatar’s economic ambitions, from both an import and export perspective. He said that sea-borne trade accounted for 99% of imports and exports by volume, and ensuring the sustainability and robustness of the sector is extremely important for Qatar, hence the tremendous efforts by Qatar Petroleum (QP) and others to boost these sectors. Another major company, Nasser Bin Khaled International, a subsidiary of Nasser Bin Khaled and Sons, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Germany’s Ehrdhardt + Partner Group (EPG) for the establishment of a $500 million state-of-the-art, fully automated mega logistics park that would address the logistics needs of Qatar. The MoU was signed by NBK Group chairman Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al Thani and EPG President Marco Ehrhardt on the sidelines of the Qatar-Germany Business and Investment Forum which was held in Berlin a few months ago.

IMPRESSIVE GROWTH

General Manager of Qatar Logistics Mohamed Shaaban said that Qatar’s response to upgrade its logistics and warehousing industry has been very

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impressive ever since it was awarded the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The government has launched several mega projects to enhance the industry and they include the opening of the state-of-the-art Hamad seaport, Logistics Park, improved road networks among others. “With respect to warehousing and the high demand of this service, we have seen a large number of projects which were completed in a very short time and added of millions of sq m of new space. All the support and effort done by the country is remarkable and enables Qatar to be ready ahead to host this historic event.” According to him, Hamad Port has been one of the prestigious projects that facilitates and supports the local manufacturers and traders. The new seaport’s innovative operations are unique and have boosted the port’s efficiency and competency in a very short time. In addition, the launching of direct shipping services between Hamad Port and other major ports in the region has significantly reduced the sailing time which in return supports manufacturers and traders. Completion of the road network also supported trade both within and outside Qatar which, in tandem with Hamad Port’s development, ensured Qatar’s position as a regional and global hub in the region. “Large warehousing parks, which vary from dry, chemical, cold and chilled warehouses have been able to respond to all types of business and in all ways to ensure the high standard of warehousing services offered to our customers.” Lauding the government’s efforts to set up an exclusive project for logistics, Shabaan said that the Logistics Area Project is a complete logistics city enabling Qatar to provide all logistics services under one roof. “The Logistics Area Project will attract all large manufacturers and traders as the benefits of having all these services in one area will reduce transportation costs, save time and facilitate movement within the country and outside the country. This project will definitely play a key role in boosting global trade and connecting the eastern and western hemispheres,” he said. Shaaban further said that global logistics was becoming more and more complicated and this complexity has been caused by customer demand and the fast development of IT solutions in the warehousing industry.

“THE LOGISTICS AREA PROJECT WILL ATTRACT ALL LARGE MANUFACTURERS AND TRADERS AS THE BENEFITS OF HAVING ALL THESE SERVICES IN ONE AREA WILL REDUCE TRANSPORTATION COSTS, SAVE TIME AND FACILITATE MOVEMENT WITHIN THE COUNTRY AND OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY.” MOHAMED SHAABAN General Manager Qatar Logistics


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spotlight > Sports affairs > local

A BEACON FOR SPORTS QATAR TAKES ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE AS A WORLD SPORTS ATTRACTION AFTER SUCCESSFULLY CONDUCTING MEGA SPORTING EVENTS IN THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST FOR THE FIRST TIME, ALEXANDRA EVANGELISTA WRITES.

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he IAAF World Athletics Championships (IAAF) Doha 2019, this year’s biggest sporting event held for the first time in the Middle East, and the Qatar 2019 World Beach Games have finally concluded. Although the roars of the crowd are now silent

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and the awards have been taken home by the champions, Qatar continues to celebrate this grand success along with a number of other upcoming events in the country.

and tourists alike. These efforts resulted in positive feedback from foreign journalists who described the events as “phenomenal” and “well equipped.”

With the success of the IAAF World Athletics Championships, the nation proceeds to invest its time and effort in molding the country into a place for sports enthusiasts

INFLUX OF TOURISTS

With the privilege and the burden of hosting 2019’s most-awaited sporting season, Qatar


“IT’S REALLY GREAT TO HAVE OVER 40 AUSTRALIANS WHO CAME HERE TO DOHA TO WATCH THE GAMES.” JONATHAN MUIR Australian Ambassador to Qatar

also experienced an inevitable surge in its tourism sector. Over 3,000 people—including athletes, their families and avid sports fans—crossed oceans just to witness the two tournaments. These events alone have opened huge doors of untapped potential for the country. The Australian Ambassador to Qatar, HE

Jonathan Muir, also attested to this surge in a reception initiated by the Australian Embassy to celebrate the victory of Kelsey Lee Barber in the javelin throw. He said, “It’s really great to have over 40 Australians who came here to Doha to watch the games.” Qatar’s pride did not end there as Mutaz Essa Barshim bagged the gold medal for the

“I’VE WON A LOT OF MEDALS, BUT THIS ONE WAS AT HOME SO IT FEELS DIFFERENT. EVERYBODY CAME THERE SUPPORTING ME A LOT AND I JUST WANTED TO DO IT FOR THEM. THEY ARE THE CHAMPIONS TONIGHT, NOT ME.” MUTAZ ESSA BARSHIM High Jump Athlete State of Qatar

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spotlight > Sports Men’s High Jump at the World Athletics Championships at Khalifa International Stadium. Despite an ankle injury a few years back, Barshim definitely proved that nothing can stand in his way as he defied gravity once again with a winning record of 2.37 m. Despite his crucial preparations, he recaptured his form and gave his all in the competition. According to Red Bull, he said: “I wasn’t 100% ready, but with all these people cheering for me like this I just forgot everything. I felt like, okay, it doesn’t matter what happens tonight, if I injure myself if it’s my last competition, I am going to push everything out.” He also expressed his enthusiasm for winning the medal in his home country when he said: “I’ve won a lot of medals, but this one was at home so it feels different. Everybody came there supporting me a lot and I just wanted to do it for them. They are the champions tonight, not me.”

“DON’T FOLLOW SOMEBODY ELSE’S PATH. EVERYBODY IS CREATED DIFFERENTLY. EVERYBODY HAS A DIFFERENT SKILL. EVERYBODY HAS A DIFFERENT CHALLENGE THAT THEY HAVE TO GO THROUGH LIFE. MAKING SURE HOW TO MAKE YOUR PATH IN LIFE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN TRYING TO CHASE SOMEBODY ELSE’S PATH AND HOW THEY DID IT.” NOAH LYLES Sprint Athlete America

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World Beach Games

The Qatar 2019 World Beach Games, the global multi-sport event created by ANOC (Association of National Olympic Committees), has also ended. With over 1,200 athletes from 97 countries, the event sought to offer exciting and upbeat games perfectly fitting for the country’s weekend getaways. Brazil and Spain dominated the medal tally – Brazil took home 12 while Spain bagged 10. Although Qatar didn’t win as many medals compared to the other countries, its beach volleyball team bagged a valiant silver medal in the 4x4 tournament. Following on from this series of games, Qatar is now focused on to preparing for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The world hasn’t been shy in questioning the country’s preparation for the 22nd edition of the highly anticipated sports event but Qatar has responded well by demonstrating its rapid progress.

“FOR ALL SPORTS PEOPLE CHASING THEIR DREAMS, THE DRIVE AND SELF-BELIEF HAS TO COME FROM WITHIN YOU. AT THE END OF THE DAY, YOU ARE THE ONE AT THE TOP OF THE RUNWAY; YOU ARE THE ONE OUT ON THE FIELD; YOU ARE THE ONE DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE IN YOURSELF TO ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS.” KELSEY-LEE BARBER Javelin throw athlete Australia

Hosting the FIFA World Cup is the ultimate chance to positively change the destiny of Qatar and show the world what the region has to offer in the field of sports. Without a doubt, the IAAF Championships and the 2019 World Beach Games have provided a strategic benefit for the country, not only in world recognition but also as a sneak peek on what to expect for the World Cup. From the magnificent stadiums to organic tourist promotions of the country, the FIFA World Cup will be Qatar’s breakthrough and everlasting legacy. Acknowledging Qatar’s prospective rise, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Gianni Infantino said: “The Russian World Cup was the best ever and the World Cup in 2022 in Qatar has to be even better.” Poised for growth, the peninsula wakes each day striving and thriving as a country transforming into a global sports hub.

“ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT TO DO, YOU CAN DO. JUST PUT GOD FIRST AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR TALENT AT ALL TIMES AND NEVER GIVE UP BECAUSE GIVING UP DOESN’T HELP.” YOHAN BLAKE Sprint Athlete Jamaica


business > Marketwatch NEW KARWA TAXIS FOR PASSENGERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

MOWASALAT (KARWA) HAS LAUNCHED A NEW FLEET IN ADDITION TO AN EXISTING NUMBER OF KARWA TAXIS FOR PASSENGERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.

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owasalat’s new Karwa taxis are launched in two types with different seating capacity that can accommodate from two to three wheelchairs, along with seats for their escorts. With the new addition, the number of Karwa taxis for passengers with

special needs has reached 20 vehicles fitted with all required features that facilitate their usage. They are equipped with the latest ramps on the market to handle weight up to 400 kg with builtin safety locks and non-slippery floors that keep wheelchairs stable inside the vehicle, in addition

to electrical doors and other advanced features. Speaking about this launch, the Director of LTS, Mr Nasser Mamdouh Al Shammari, said: “We believe in the importance of supporting members of the community with special needs as part of our social responsibility initiatives.”

DUSIT DOHA HOTEL APPOINTS A NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF WITH MORE THAN 20 YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL HOSPITALITY EXPERIENCE, DUSIT DOHA HOTEL’S NEWLY-APPOINTED CHEF PROMISES PALATABLE WONDERS ON ITS CUISINES.

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ri Lankan national Chef Chamil, known in the industry for his use of locally sourced quality and organic ingredients, brings to the role 21 years of hospitality and culinary industry experience gained from roles in luxury hotels across Sri Lanka and the Middle East with

10 years’ experience in Qatar. Chef Chamil’s marquee dishes are introduced to the menu of Taste, the Dusit Doha Hotel’s contemporary all-day dining outlet. On his appointment, Chef Chamil said: “I am truly excited about this new Executive Chef role for which I hope to create, on a daily basis, unforgettable dining experiences while adhering to the highest quality standards and cost control. Through my passion for travel,

I have gained experience of a wide variety of culinary techniques and creativity which I hope to share with the Dusit Doha team in what will be a continuous pursuit of excellence. This will include delivering on Dusit’s exceptional brand of Thai-inspired cuisine while encapsulating the true essence of Qatari hospitality with cuisine which is based on the country’s muchcherished traditions.

THE 9TH EDITION OF UNIVERSITY EXPO IN QATAR UNIVERSITY EXPO, THE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN QATAR, SOUGHT OUT MORE THAN 100 LEADING UNIVERSITIES AND EDUCATION PROVIDERS FROM MORE THAN 15 COUNTRIES.

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niversity Expo Qatar, a two-day exhibition, was open to students above 16 years old, as well as their parents, school counsellors, principals and career advisors. The event was filled with inspirational talks, seminars, and opportunities to discuss education and career choices with local and international universities and higher education institutions. The 9th edition of the event gave students and parents the opportunity to attend over 20 seminars offering personalized advice and detailed explanations concerning any questions or issues they may have about higher education as well as studying overseas. 49 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


business > Marketwatch

ONEPORT: A LOCALLY MADE INNOVATION

DOHA’S URBAN OASIS THE MOST-AWAITED INDIGENOUS BOTANICAL OASIS IN DOHA.

A PURE QATARI-MADE FACILITIES MANAGEMENT APP POSED FOR INTERNATIONAL POTENTIAL

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uring a press conference, Mr Chadi Zakhour, CEO of UrbanOM, and Mr Saud Al Dulaimi announced the launch of oneport, a Qatari technological company specialized in providing facility management services for buildings and asset owners, by providing advanced solutions for maintenance providers, residential, and commercial property owners. The use and operation of oneport was highlighted during the event. Moreover, Mr Zakhour added, “We are proud to develop the entire programme in Qatar through cooperation with Qatari companies.” The company also participated in the Qatar Information Technology Conference and Exhibition (QITCOM), which was held at the Qatar National Convention Center.

“DESTINATION GERMANY” GERMAN NATIONAL TOURIST OFFICE (GNTO) PROMOTES ITS COUNTRY THROUGH A ONE-DAY ROADSHOW IN QATAR.

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atchless lifestyle, wellness and epicurean excellence are found in the walls of Al Messila, the first luxury collection resort in Qatar. Designed in a private palace ambiance, the new authentic spot in Doha perfectly complements the warm Qatari culture dedicated for all ages and genders. The modern resort is also designed to preserve the area’s natural heritage. True to the meaning behind its name, Al Messila means “where water flows” to pay tribute to the history of the property which was an oasis. Al Messila Resort and Spa offers a world-class wellness retreat for women, a classy and diverse dining experience, upscale accommodation, and an innovative little explorer’s club for kids.

NTO, in partnership with Qatar Airways, hosted a B2B roadshow which aims to introduce Qatari travel trade professionals, key opinion leaders and media to the latest tourism attractions to demonstrate Germany as a preferred destination for local travelers. Emphasising the importance of the Qatari market, Nicole Zaspel, Sales & Marketing Manager for

the Gulf countries at German National Tourist Office (GNTO), an affiliate of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB), commented: “Qatar offers huge potential for the German tourism industry, and we are delighted to showcase some of leading German tourism partners to the local travel trade industry in order to facilitate business and to inspire visitors to travel to our wonderful country.”


PIAZZA SQUARE AT THE HEART OF MSHEIREB DOWNTOWN DOHA BARAHAT MSHEIREB POSITIONS ITSELF AS THE PERFECT HUB FOR NETWORKING AND SOCIALIZATION

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ooted from the Arabic word, “Al Baraha”, Barahat Msheireb is the largest open-air piazza-style square in the Middle East which features a retractable roof. Supported by innovative cool pool systems for

circulating chilled air, Barahat Msheireb offers its customers the ability to dine outside even during the hottest summer months as well as throughout the year, enabling visitors to enjoy the square all year round. With a total area of almost

A NIGHT OF FIRE & ICE W DOHA CELEBRATES A PAMPER NIGHT FOR IS CLINICAL’S NEW FACIAL.

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night of Fire & Ice filled W Doha’s Bliss Spa as iS Clinical launched their latest facial. Not only did the event launch powerfully but the attendees also learned about the benefits of their new facial. Launched by Leader Healthcare Group, the renowned Fire & Ice Facial is an intensive botanical resurfacing treatment with a unique combination of pharmaceutical-grade serums and complexes to optimize and improve skin. The treatment takes pride in refining, rejuvenating and resurfacing the skin with no downtime or peeling. The treatment is suitable for all types of skin and ages, and it is even safe for pregnant ladies, lactating mothers, and even cancer patients.

7,000 sqm, Barahat Msheireb is designed to host lively events in collaboration with private and public organizations, attracting people once again to enjoy life in the heart of Msheireb Downtown Doha.

HEYA ARABIAN FASHION EXHIBITION ON ITS 16TH EDITION QATAR’S MOST POPULAR SHOWCASE OF ABAYAS AND TRADITIONAL ARABIAN ATTIRE RETURNED WITH MORE THAN 250 BRANDS AROUND THE GLOBE.

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atar’s most-awaited fashion exhibition showcased the latest in Arabian and modest designs, as well as inspiring discussions on the business of fashion, the latest trends, beauty, textiles and sustainable fashion. Delivered by Design Creationz with the support of QNTC as part of its efforts to empower the private sector to attract and host global events. Esraa Abel, spokesperson for Design Creationz, said: “We are proud to have more than 250 brands participate this year, with many returning ones exemplifying what Heya stands for; a space for industry experts, leaders and entrepreneurs to collaborate and come together under one roof helping each other evolve.” 51 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


business > Marketwatch

USING TECHNOLOGY IN DESIGN & TECHNOLOGY SUBJECT EVERY INNOVATIVE PRODUCT BEGINS WITH A LIGHT BULB IDEA THAT LEADS TO A SUCCESSFUL END PRODUCT. BY OWES IBRAHIM TEACHER AT AIA

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his is why at Arab International Academy (AIA), the Design & Technology subject nurtures learners by developing their learning skills through innovation and technology. As a design teacher, it’s my responsibility to make sure that learners feel responsible, that they can develop professionally, and that they have a can-do attitude inside and outside the classroom. AIA is dedicated to embedding 21st-century learning into our curricula. As part of that ongoing project, our AIA students are super-excited by utilizing 3D printers, professional media equipment and industry design software which caters to their technological learning needs. Over the past year, students have learned how to use Adobe Illustrator to create magazine design, they’ve made prototypes of educational apps using Adobe XD, and they’ve built

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and coded robotics using Lego EV3 Mind Storm and We Do 2.0. They’ve 3D printed board game pieces as part of educational resource development — the list of projects is endless! Using this technology, students learn how to think conceptually, how to take a project from light-bulb moment through the planning stages to finished product. This is excellent preparation for the demands of the real world, where industries are always searching for creative, capable people to take projects to market. In studying Design & Technology, students also have the opportunity to use the industrystandard media equipment available in our Media Suite. In the suite, students have access to chronographic media technology as part of our News Channel Club. The news channel gives learners the opportunity to build on interpersonal skills such as presentation, professional attitude and selfmanagement, as well as technical skills in

videography and sound/video editing, all within a social atmosphere that brings out the best in their personal attributes. Students in the Design & Technology department thoroughly enjoy being part of a process which allows them to unleash their creativity. They can also build up experience that will be of benefit as they transition from school to third level education or employment. As one eight-grade student tells us, “It’s a great experience for me to learn about camera techniques and record interviews just like they would in a real news channel.” Yes, there are some learners who struggle with technical software or being able to code, but isn’t that the challenge we all faced when we were first introduced to digital cameras from film? From using typewriters to laptops? Design & Technology at AIA is a subject that produces knowledgeable, capable, enthusiastic young people eager to take their skills from the schoolroom to the design room, the board room, and ultimately, to the world. www.aia.qa


affairs > Auto News DOMASCO LAUNCHES THE NEW VOLVO S60 SPORTS SEDAN IN QATAR The all-new S60 perfectly embodies the joy of driving through sedan.

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oha Marketing Services Company W.L.L. launched the Volvo S60 sports sedan in Qatar. The new dynamic automobile is named as the first Volvo Car to be sold without a diesel offer, which is aligned with the company’s industryleading commitment to electrification and a long-term future beyond the traditional combustion engine. The details of S60

also enhances the powerful character of the sedan which falls part of the new generation of Volvo cars. S60 is not only sporty and sleek but it is also built with high technology system such as the City Safety with Autobrake technology and an optional

MAXUS V80 BEFITTING CARGO AND TRANSPORT OPTIONS Maxus remains the ultimate choice for safe and comfortable operations in Qatar.

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uto Class Cars continues to distribute the multi-purpose van, Maxus V80, in Qatar as it proves its capabilities beneficial for individuals and corporations alike. Whether for transportation or commercial use, Maxus V80 is the number one choice for maximum efficiency. Maxus V80 is a large van that comes in different versions. The V80 cargo is the best option for cargo and commercial operations while the V80 16-seater is an ideal solution for transport, whether for hospitality, schools or public transport.

Pilot Assist. The S60 also includes Run-off Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation and other steering assistance systems. The optional Cross Traffic Alert with autobrake further enhances safety for people inside and outside the car.

MAGNIFYING NISSAN’S RETAIL CONCEPT Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co. inaugurates Nissan’s newly renovated showroom.

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n the night of October 6, Nissan’s newly renovated state-of-the-art showroom opened to the public. This initiative forms part of the company’s global strategy to transform all showrooms and service centres to meet Nissan’s Retail Concept. Nissan pushes through with the three key areas of its concept which concentrates on optimizing customer experiences, seamless integration across all touchpoints, and innovations that consider the growing digital environment. For a more in-depth customer experience, a digital car configurator was installed so that visitors could use it to learn more about Nissan’s cars. Additionally, the Nissan Drive feature will intuitively navigate customers through the Nissan brand experience. 53 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019


affairs > local Auto News

“FREEDOM IN ITS MOST BEAUTIFUL FORM” The all-new Mercedes Benz GLC introduced as an articulate and unmistakably diverse model.

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legant and sporty, the new SUV sets the bar higher for an on-road and off-road driving experience. True to its promise back in autumn 2015, the SUV combines an outstanding mix of spaciousness, practicality and comfort. In addition, the latest generation further demonstrates an advance in pioneering

technologies, distinctive design, and stateof-the-art infotainment. Thus, the GLC once more demonstrates its elegance in its distinct yet modern and versatile appearance. Apart from its exterior, the brand’s hallmark brand safety and intelligent adaptability are also evident in the new automobile.

THE RETURN OF THE RADICAL

RAM TRUCKS CELEBRATES A DECADE OF EXCELLENCE

Rolls-Royce VISION NEXT 100, codenamed 103EX, makes a comeback.

For 10 years, Ram Trucks has steadily succeeded in becoming a leader in durability, technology, efficiency and convenience.

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fficially launched in 2016, the 103EX is a highly innovative car which includes a fully electric drive train, completely autonomous drive and enhanced artificial intelligence. Wholly connected and entirely autonomous, it presents the marque’s uncompromised view of the future of luxury mobility. The car was briefly displayed at Goodwood before embarking on a global tour of appearances and media events around the world.

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am Trucks today is celebrating a decade of innovation as a standalone brand with a full lineup of no-compromise trucks and commercial vehicles. Ram Trucks has developed an impressive number of features including a class-exclusive and largest 12inch Uconnect Touchscreen, reclining rear seats, multi-link coil spring rear suspension, active-level four-corner air suspension, active air dam, mild-hybrid eTorque engine options, thermal axle technology, RamBox cargo management system, and a multifunction tailgate that has never been offered in a pickup truck before. In a span of 10 years, the standalone brand focused solely on trucks and commercial vehicles, allowing the company to build the best vehicles possible for their customers.

54 > QATAR TODAY > OCTOBER NOVEMBER2019 2019


culture > Doha Diary

KHAYR QATARNA GREENHOUSES INSTALLED AT THREE QATAR FOUNDATION SCHOOLS

A DOCUMENTARY IN PHOTOGRAPHS

A photography exhibition about a life-changing trip of WCM-Q students to Tanzania was showcased at Multaqa

Your Health First and QF’s Pre-University Education collaborated to build climate-controlled greenhouses

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he “Experience Tanzania” exhibition depicts a service-learning trip of doctors who traveled to East African country to offer health checks and basic healthcare services to its local community. The visit allowed them to learn more about the local lifestyle of its people, especially those residing in schools and orphanages. The team also had a short tour of Tanzania’s national parks, including the famed Ngorongoro Crater. The deeply moving and emotional experience with the Tanzanian people was documented by WCM-Q professor of physiology and biophysics, Dr Dietrich Büsselberg. He said: “It is always revelatory to witness how their experiences of providing healthcare to people in remote villages informs their belief of what it means to be a doctor. In Qatar, we have easy access to some of the best healthcare in the world and working and helping people who live far from mainstream medical services is a humbling experience for most of the students. I hope my photographs capture some of these emotions, along with the majesty of the natural world and the irrepressible spirit of the Tanzanian people.” HE Ms Fatima Mohammed Rajab, the Tanzanian ambassador to Qatar, was also present at the exhibition and praised the well-captured beauty of Tanzania’s people and nature.

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hayr Qatarna, a Your Health First – Sahtak Awalan initiative, has installed state-of-the-art greenhouses at three Qatar Foundation (QF) schools to teach students important lessons about food security, environmental sustainability and healthy eating. The greenhouses were installed at Qatar Academy Al Khor, Renad Academy and Qatar Academy Al Wakra, offer more than one thousand students the chance to learn how to cultivate a wide range of fresh produce, including tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines, strawberries and peppers, among other varieties.

BLURRING BORDERS BETWEEN ART AND HEALTH The World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) launched an exhibition titled “Artistic Dimensions to a Healthier World” at Doha Fire Station.

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he exhibition aims to explore the relationship between art and health, and also displays works of Giles Duley, an award-winning British documentary photographer, who strives to highlight the long-term impact of war.

Artworks produced by refugee Rohingya children will also be displayed as part of a project by UKbased humanitarian charity, Save the Children.

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culture > Doha Diary

A TRIUMPHANT SCALE

Spread across ten separate gallery spaces are the works of Africa’s most prominent living artist, El Anatsui.

WORLD-FAMOUS ATHLETES VISIT THE MINI ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIP World-renowned athletes, Ashton Eaton, Stefan Holm and Mike Powell held a meet and greet at the Mini Athletics Championship in Doha Festival City.

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he popular Mini Athletics Championship Competition has come to an end. To create a memorable experience for shoppers and visitors, champions in the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 visited the site and met young athletes who participated in the competition. Meeting and greeting fans at Doha Festival City, two-time Olympic Champion, Ashton Eaton, as well as Gold and Silver Olympic Medal high jumper, Stefan Holm, and two-time track and field World Champion, Mike Powell, engaged with the competing children, encouraging and commending them for their performance.

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rab Museum of Modern Art launched acclaimed Ghanian artist El Anatsui’s first-ever solo exhibition in the Middle East. Entitled “Triumphant Scale”, the exhibition focuses on the triumphant and monumental quality of the artist’s sculptures. Various mediums were used in the exhibition, all showcasing the artist’s 50-year career. A part of this collection is his signature bottle-cap series which started two decades ago as well as wood sculptures and wall reliefs spanning the mid-1970s to the late 1990s; ceramic sculptures of the late 1970s, as well as drawings, prints and books. Included in the exhibit is “Logoligi Logarithm”, a specially created installation that is related to his 2010 work Gli (Wall) which displays an alluring play of light and material that resembles the refraction of sunlight in a mist.

TALKS ON FAMILIES AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) held a series of seminars in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

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eld in Paris, the event forms part of the organization’s efforts to support and contribute to family issues at all levels by helping to place the subject at the top of policy makers’ agenda’s around the world. The session began with talks on fertility policies and fertility rates both

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globally and in the Arab world, while the second session highlighted work-family balance and its role in the sustainability of marriage as an institution. The set of sessions concluded with a discussion on marital rehabilitation programmes and their impact on family cohesion.


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58 > QATAR TODAY > NOVEMBER 2019

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