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In Suzanne's Words

Perhaps it’s the economy, maybe people focusing on their Eid Holidays. Whatever the reason, the country has remained pretty full this summer. The result – a more entertaining August awaits us than in recent years. If you are looking for ways to address the “I’m bored” serenading in your ears, Qatar Happening discovered new activities to help keep the kids happy this month. The Doha Exhibition Centre and new theme park at Sealine Beach Resort are amongst the attractions. Entertainment has pulled back a little in anticipation of major events re-entering the scene come Eid. Interesting outings are still available however, from art exhibitions in Souq Waqif to retro nights and popular comedy shows at Ramada Plaza and a new outlet to enjoy your cigars at La Cigale. Restaurants have been busy planning and keeping the yummy promotions coming. Timings and nightlife shift to Ramadan mode toward the end of the month, close to 22 August, depending on the sighting of the moon. Remember to respect local customs during the holy month and observe conservative behaviour. Don’t be shy, Iftar and Sohour are for all to enjoy.



Table of contents



Calendar of events


Feature Staycation


Spotlight on arts Let's Tango




Spotlight on entertainment Retro Nights




Spotlight on sports Dive In




Close encounters A Phone by any other Name




Gourmet guide 38 The Cantine of The Rich and Famous Restaurant promotions


Kids Club Little Village Nursery


Family Special Summer Family Fun


Musical notes Lovin' La Loba




It happened


Telephone directory


For updates and new events, visit UPDATED DAILY 4



COVER Publisher: The Art of Business Chairman: Ahmed Hassan Bilal Managing Partner: Suzanne Grant Content Manager: Jessica Davey-Quantick Head of Design and Photography: Jorell Legaspi Graphic Designer: Paolo Kurtis Tan Contributors: Fiona Murray and Jessica Davey-Quantick Research Assistant: Jay Panganiban Marketing Manager: Moona Masri-Whitice Client Relations Executive: Michael Dale Whitice Distribution and Accounts: Lanie Fillo Qatar Happening available at: QDC, Landmark Mall Kiosk, Mega Mart The Centre, THE One, Virgin Megastore, Doha Marriott Hotel Bookshop and the concierge of distinguished hotels Have your say: Your feedback and comments are always welcome. Please send your letters to the address below. Contact Details: Tel: 491 0565 Fax: 491 0570 Postal Address: P.O. Box 7848 , Doha, Qatar E-mail: Advertising Enquiries: Contact Moona Masri-Whitice at 491-0565 or Web page:

The information contained in Qatar Happening is correct at the time of printing. Details may change at any time without liability on the part of The Art of Business. You are advised to confirm details with the event organisers. Please visit for more information Sturgeon Wall Accents at the Maison du Caviar Photo: Jorell Legaspi 6


Calendar of events

August 2009 Sat 1st – Sat 15th Entertainment Village

Sat 1st – Sept 10th

Summer Show at The Third Line

Sat 1st – Sat 15th Indian Food Festival

Sat 1st – Thurs 20th Malaysian Food Festival

Sat 1st – Fri 31st

Summer Exhibits at Souq Waqif

Sun 9th & Mon 10th Laughter Factory

Mon 17th

Quiz Night

Sun 20th & Sept 28th

Treasures of Islamic Art 2

Tues 25th

Parenting Movie Night

Wed 26th

Mums' Night Out


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Staycation By Jessica Davey-Quantick It’s summer time and the living is easy... unless you’re stuck in Doha as the temperature climbs and the streets empty. While most people try to flee the heat for at least a short break, this year many people are staying in Qatar for at least a portion of the summer. Chalk it up to the economy or maybe just an addiction to AC’s, many people are Doha-destined for the summer months. But don’t despair! You might not be able to fly, but there are still plenty of things keeping Doha hopping all summer long. 9


First, if it’s escape you want, no place better than the new Jaula Spa at the Grand Hyatt Doha. If you can’t get a week off to fly someplace and luxuriate, an afternoon here may help – all treatments are performed in private suites, containing a personal shower, bathroom, and changing area. VIP suites include their own Jacuzzi, and couples suites provide a great locale if you want to get together a few other Doha-trapped souls and pretend you’re somewhere exotic.

Jaula Spa, Grand Hyatt

If you are planning a beach getaway but have a few more weeks to get through, you could also check out the Ritz Carlton Spa for their Summer Glow packages. While their cellulite massage is not the height of relaxation, it is effective, and will get you beach-ready in no time (all the better for those obnoxious Facebook pictures with which to taunt your non-traveling friends). For the same benefit, make sure to check out the Hot Yoga Retreat at the Six Senses Spa at the Sharq Village and Spa. It’s a great way to sweat out summer stress and get bathing suit ready, even if it’s just to lounge around your own pool and command your loved ones to bring you drinks with little umbrellas in them. Even though it’s hot, you can still spend some time outdoors. Why not pretend you’re on a cruise and try out Al Mourjan’s Dhow Cruises? They provide the food and complete service while cruising around Doha Bay for anywhere from two to 20 people – perfect if you want to pretend you’re someplace in the Caribbean searching for pirates. 10



And just because it’s hot doesn’t mean the nightlife shuts down. Laughter Factory continues all summer at Ramada Plaza, giving you a reason to giggle even if you’ve had to put travel plans on hold. Plus with fewer people in the city, it’s easy to get a good seat – the better heckle-or-be-heckled from.

For the kids, there are events happening at Hyatt Plaza with some of their most beloved cartoon characters, and at the Doha Exhibition Centre's Entertainment Village, which has lots of family friendly games, shows and rides all day long, every day. And if you’re willing to brave a drive out to the desert (and the accompanied family road trip) Sealine Beach Resort opens a theme park on August 1st, complete with camel and horse rides on the beach, ski dos in the water, and a giant trampoline even adults can have a hop on. There is an upside to staying in town this summer too – you can be the first to try out some new venues, like the Cigar Lounge at La Cigale, and be in-the-know when the rest of your pals return from their holidays. Newly opened, the chairs are designed by the team that creates Ferraris- need I say more? Even the art galleries are staying open – they all have shows coming up this summer, including a special Treasures of Islamic Art show at Waqif Art Centre. All in all, there’s more than enough happening in town to make it THE tourist destination, even if you live here. So go on, get out and make your friends who left jealous they didn’t stay in Qatar this summer! 12


Spotlight on arts

Let's Tango By Jessica Davey-Quantick Photography by Georges Yammine

“Other music exists to heal wounds; but the tango when sung and played is for the purpose of opening them.” ~ Unknown. Something new has hit Doha’s burgeoning music scene; by candlelight overlooking Doha’s West Bay, a cello, violin and piano tried to transport a bit of Argentina to Qatar. “I think it’s one of the most emotional music, in a very passionate way. You have other emotional music which is on a different level, but this music goes straight to the heart. It doesn’t use your brain to go to your heart, it just clutches you straight in the chest,” said Joris Laenen, the pianist. 14

Spotlight on arts

All three musicians, Laenen on piano, Christoph Schmitz on cello and Patrizia Doeringer on violin, met as members of the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. But this project, which included tango pieces as well as poetry readings, was a little different.

“We decided to play tango here in Doha which is quite an unusual thing,” said Schmitz. “It’s the first time I think (someone has played) tango tunes in Doha.” Describing himself officially as German, Schmitz grew up in Venezuela. Doeringer is German as well, but is half Peruvian. Laenen, who comes from Belgium, just was intrigued by the music. “I had this passion since I was 16 when I heard this music for the first time on the radio and I was hooked,” he said. It was his idea to add poetry to the evening as well as music. “I don’t know where the idea came from exactly. I think I said ‘yes I’d like to play some music like that’, and he said yes he always wanted to play this, so we said ok yalla let’s go,” said Doeringer. Laenen says it was all about the atmosphere.


Spotlight on arts

“We wanted to have a really intimate evening, like where this music is usually played in Argentina in really small bars. That’s what we wanted to create, a small evening where it’s about the atmosphere,” he said. “I mean I like playing in the orchestra, it’s a big stage with a big crowd, but this is so much more intimate. You feel like you’re communicating with the public more, they’re much more a part of the whole thing.” Doeringer agrees.

“We want to tell them something or (have them) feel the movement, how it is in Argentina or what we express with the tango. It’s like communication without words,” she said. “We wanted to create a nice atmosphere, with candle light and people really listening.” It appears they succeeded, with rave reviews from audience members, and demands that they do it again. All three say that is definitely something they are interested in doing, if they can find a location. “It isn’t easy finding a space and a piano in Doha!” said Schmitz. “This is only the beginning,” said Doeringer. For more information or to book the trio, check Let’s Tango out on Facebook, or call 608-9033. 16



Summer Show at The Third Line

Jun 15th – Sept 10th: The Third Line at Waqif Art Centre. In this first edition of a group show at The Third Line Doha, a selection of works by seven represented artists will be exhibited over the summer months. For more information, check out or call 432-6285.

Summer Exhibits at Souq Waqif

Monthly: Al Markhiya Gallery, Souq Waqif. Al Markhiya Gallery will be presenting works from its collection for July and August. Gallery hours will be Sunday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. till noon, 5:00 p.m. till midnight and Fridays 5:00 p.m. till 9:00 p.m. For more information, call 442-8007.

Treasures of Islamic Art 2 Sun 20th – Sept 28th: Waqif Art Centre. A unique historical show pays homage to a rich aesthetic tradition that transcends distances in time and space as well as differences in language, culture and creed. Gallery hours are from 10:00 a.m. till 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. till 10:00 p.m. For more information, email


Spotlight on entertainment

Retro Night By Jessica Davey-Quantick Break out your acid wash jeans, start teasing your hair and get ready to groove like it’s 1985. The Ramada Plaza presents a celebration of all things retro every Wednesday at Orion with their Retro Night. “It is a night dedicated to the sounds of the 70’s and 80’s music,” said Jake Carlin, Assistant Food and Beverage Manager. “While there are events for those born after 1990, we just thought it would be nice to remember the times of weird haircuts, wrongly coloured clothes and songs from people who recorded them in their bedrooms. There are also special offers on selected beverages.” Their list includes classic cocktails and other beverages, all at ‘retro’ prices- QR 20 excluding service charge. 19

Spotlight on entertainment

But what people are really coming for is the music. And the big hair.

“(It’s just) to add a fun night for those who remember the “flock of seagulls” haircut,” said Carlin. “Our customers like the fact that they can listen and sing along to music from their school era in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. (We’ve had a) great response so far including some who have come dressed for the part.” The play-list includes hits from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, and so far has generated loads of intergenerational getting-funky. The 80’s have also been experiencing a popular culture revival as of late; so even those born after the era of copious-hairspray application can enjoy the soothing sounds of a synthesizer played by a man in a piano keys tie. Particularly in the aftermath of the death of icons Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett, who each defined an era, either with their music or their signature flipped hair, retro nights are growing in popularity all over the world.


Spotlight on entertainment

There’s also something fun and innocent about the music of those decades, whether it’s disco (which never really died, it just went into hiding in basements to be released only when it was most embarrassing) or Madonna in that memorable corset. There’s something about music from this era that lures people to dance and act silly, and possibly pity the youth of today who, while also stuck with poorly thought out hair and fashion choices, get more angst-fueled music to listen to.

“We wanted to keep giving our customers choices and our entertainers challenges,” said Carlin. He says this is definitely something they may want to continue in the future. “We have started with this and then we will move on to other musically themed evenings. Maybe a swing night next.” For more information, call 441-7417.



Hyatt Plaza's Summer Chill Out

Sat 1st – Sat 15th: Hyatt Plaza. Check out entertainment for the whole family while you shop! Characters from Space Toon and other beloved children’s characters like Ninja Turtles and Strawberry Short Cake offer interactive games, activities, prizes and raffles during mall hours. For more information, call 499-9666.

Entertainment Village

Sat 1st – Sat 15th: Doha Exhibitions Center. Enjoy entertainment for the whole family from 11:00 a.m. till 11:00 p.m. Saturday till Thursday, and 2:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. on Friday. Tickets are QR 5 for guests over six, and game tickets start at QR 5. For more information, call Lahdan Al Mohannadi at 499-1922.

New Zealand Twist

Sat 1st – Fri 21st: The Library Bar and Cigar Lounge, Four Seasons Doha. Enjoy a fantastic fusion of New Zealand cuisine, accompanied by regional vino. For more information, call 494-8888.

Laughter Factory

Sun 9th – Mon 10th: Shehrazad, Ramada Plaza. The Laughter Factory returns during the hot summer months to help you escape the heat! Come and enjoy the best of international stand-up comedy, featuring world-class comedians direct from the comedy store in London. Guests are guaranteed a giggle! Both evenings are now non-smoking. Shows start at 8:00 p.m., tickets cost QR 110 per person. For more information, call 428-1555. 22


Salsa Social Party

Fri 14th: Pepka. Organized by the Salsa n Candela Team, the event will start with different kinds of dance classes such as Salsa, Bachata, cha-cha, swing and Salsa Rueda before the party begins. For more information, call 504-7010.

Quiz Night

Mon 17th: Shehrazad, Ramada Plaza. Bring along your team of six to take part in Doha’s favourite Quiz Night! With no entry fee and great prizes to be won, why not get your competitive hat on and come along and have some fun at the Ramada Plaza’s monthly quiz night. For more information, call 428-1555.

Shisha Garden

Fri 21st: La Cigale. Surrounded by water fountains and greenery, the new Shisha Garden opens during Ramadan and serves Arabic food and sweets along with Shisha. For more information, call 428-8888.

100% Arabic

Wednesdays: Pearl Lounge, Doha Marriott. A night full of traditions and belly shaking, from 9:00 p.m. till close. For more information, call 429-8888. 23


Salsa Classes

Saturdays & Wednesdays: Doha Marriott. Salsa n Candela presents beginners and advanced classes every Saturday starting at 6:30 p.m., with intermediate level on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. QR 75 per person. For more information, call 504-7010.

New Cigar Lounge

Monthly: La Cigale. Check out Doha’s latest cigar lounge, complete with a selection of mouth-watering food and the finest Cuban cigars, open from noon till midnight. For more information, call 428-8888.

Mission: Sealine Theme Park

Fridays and Saturdays: Sealine Beach Resort. Bring family and friends to an environment that lets you play out your dreams. Aside from this exhilirating experience, enjoy gastronomic feasts from Chef Uden Sudendi's premier selection of oriental grills from 12:30 p.m. till 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 476-5299 or email



Arts & Culture •••

Leisure & Sport •••

Community •••

Visitor Attraction •••

Nightlife & Food •••

Health & Wellness •••

Fashion •••


NOW ACCEPTING NOMINATIONS For more information, contact

TEL +974 491 0565 • FAX +974 491 0570 • P.O. BOX 7848, Doha, Qatar 25

Spotlight of sports

Dive In By Jessica Davey-Quantick Photos courtesy of H2O Swim Club Take a deep breath and get ready to plunge in, H2O Swim Club has big, splashy plans for summer. Offering programs for all ages, the H20 Swim Club opened last September, based from the American School of Doha with access to both indoor and outdoor pools – meaning the club is able to keep operating, even as the mercury climbs. “The response to our programs has been overwhelming,” said Seema Pascoe, Managing Director of the club. “We now have over 450 members.” 26

Spotlight of sports

It all started when their family moved from the UAE, and son Joshua needed a place to swim.

“Our nine-year-old son, Joshua, was one of the top swimmers within his age group and participated at national and regional levels for over four years. Upon arriving in Doha, Joshua was unable to find suitable space so we decided to take on the challenge of opening a new swim club to provide opportunities for individuals like Joshua to meet their swimming aspirations,” said Pascoe. “We also wanted to offer leisure programs to reach as many swimmers as possible and introduce them to this wonderful activity.” The club offers several programs, including their Swim Academy for ages eight to 60 and over, which includes competitive, development and masters groups. They also have a Leisure Swimming program, for ages six months to 100 which includes activities for those who just want to enjoy a paddle – everything from learn to swim classes for adults and kids to parent and tot programmes. 27

Spotlight of sports

Until August 13th, they’re offering a selection of special summer programs as well, to help introduce people to the club.

But Pascoe says it’s about so much more than just getting wet. “Our goal is to provide a first class year-round swim program with a special emphasis on teaching children the value of sportsmanship and teamwork,” said Pascoe. “Our objective is to develop the character traits, technical skills and an intense desire necessary for the maximum realisation of each individual’s potential, and to provide invaluable life skills.” And also teach the true value of chlorine and a pool noodle. For more information, contact the club at 556-8631 or check out Their summer programs run until the 13th of August.




H20 Swim Club

Sun 1st – Thurs 13th: American School of Doha. H2O Swim Club is offering leisure and competitive swim programmes for kids and adults. For more information and a full listing of their classes, check out, email or call 556-8631.

Yoga at the InterContinental

Sundays to Wednesdays: InterContinental Doha. Enjoy Yoga on the beach at 6:30 p.m. on Sundays and Tuesdays and at 7:00 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. QR 30 for members, QR 40 for non-members. For more information, contact the Bay Club at 482-4852 or email

Yoga at the Marriott

Sundays & Thursdays: Doha Marriott. Stretch out from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Free for hotel guests and members, QR 50 for non-members. For more information, call 429-8888.

Body Combat

Sundays, Tuesdays & Saturdays: InterContinental Doha. Combining powerhouse moves and stances developed from a range of self- defense disciplines including Karate, kickboxing, Tai Chi and Tae Kwondo, in a “take no prisoners”, adrenaline-pumping routine. It is an empowering, athletic workout that will have you “fighting-fit” in record time! Are you tough enough to handle it? Classes are Saturday and Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. QR 30 for members, QR 40 for non-members. For more information contact the Bay Club at 482-4852 or email



Aqua Aerobics

Sundays & Tuesdays: InterContinental Doha. This great workout will take place at 9:00 a.m. on Sundays and Tuesdays. QR 30 for members, QR 40 for non-members. For more information, contact the Bay Club at 482-4852 or email

Moksha Yoga

Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays, Fridays: Sharq Village and Spa. Stretch, sweat, laugh and relax with Moksha Yoga by Shannon Barry at Six Senses Spa Doha Monday, Wednesday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Friday at 10:00 a.m. QR 25 for members, QR 50 for nonmembers. For more information, call 685-9236 or email




Mondays: Doha Marriott. Push yourself with Pilates from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Free for hotel guests and members, QR 50 for non-members. For more information, call 429-8888.

Step Aerobics

Mondays & Wednesdays: InterContinental Doha. This class takes place at 9:00 a.m. QR 30 for members, QR 40 for non-members. For more information, contact the Bay Club at 482-4852 or email

Mixed Cardio

Mondays: Doha Marriott. Break a sweat from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Free for hotel guests and members, QR 50 for non-members. For more information, call 429-8888.

Abs Workout

Mondays & Fridays: InterContinental Doha. This challenging class is open for members and non-members and takes place at 7:15 p.m. on Mondays and 11:15 a.m. on Fridays. Members go free, QR 30 for non-members. For more information, contact the Bay Club at 482-4852 or email




Mondays, Wednesdays to Saturdays: InterContinental Doha. Classes take place at 6:15 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays, Thursday at 10:00 a.m., Friday at noon and Saturday at 9:00 a.m. QR 25 for members, QR 35 for non-members. For more information, contact the Bay Club at 482-4852 or email

Body Conditioning

Tuesdays: Doha Marriott. Tighten up from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Free for hotel guests and members, QR 50 for non-members. For more information, call 429-8888.

Bums and Tums

Wednesdays: Doha Marriott. A focused workout from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Free for hotel guests and members, QR 50 for nonmembers. For more information, call 429-8888.

Circuit Training

Thursdays: InterContinental Doha. Classes are weekly starting at 7:00 p.m. QR 30 for members, QR 40 for non-members. For more info contact the Bay Club at 482-4852 or email


Close encounters

A Phone by any other Name By Jessica Davey-Quantick Bedecked in bright t-shirt and sneakers like the rest of his staff, you wouldn’t know Grahame Maher was the CEO of Vodafone Qatar, a branch of one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world. “Qatar’s one of the most amazing countries in the world, doing amazing things,” he said, at the opening of Vodafone’s first store in Qatar, at Landmark Mall recently. Vodafone made their first Qatar call in December, opening up to the public fully on July 11th with their online store. Since December, they’ve had over 5 million page views, with people spending on average about 17 minutes on the site, which is more than Al Jazeera and the New York Times. With their arrival, they break up one of the last mobile monopolies in the region. “Realistically it was the relationship between our senior board members and (our partners in Qatar) who buy Qatar’s vision of 2030, about being a leading innovator in education, IT services and other things,” said Maher. “We think we can play a role here, and we buy what the (leaders in Qatar) are trying to do.” Before this he’s worked with Vodafone in Australia, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, and Sweden. His arrival in Qatar was also a first for Vodafone, venturing for the first time into the GCC. 34

Close encounters

The new store in Landmark is their first on-the-ground store, allowing people to pay in cash. But Vodafone’s big appeal has been online sales – whether it’s automatic top-ups of your account, or being able to change your plan online. That, Maher says, is also a first for the region. “People said online and new technology in Qatar would not work,” he said “someone had a great idea.” Up until now, telecommunications in Qatar have been the sole domain of Qtel. “Qtel is doing what they should do. In the last year they’ve changed a lot of their services in preparation (of our arrival),” said Maher. “I think competition is already giving benefits to customers. I’m not claiming we changed Qtel, but the competition has changed Qtel.” Whether customers buy one company’s corporate spiel over another’s, Maher says the important point is having an option. “We expect to compete aggressively and take a lot of customers, but there’s room for two in any of these projects,” he said. The effect of competition won’t just be for pocketbooks though. Currently, Vodafone is offering telephone services, but eventually Maher says they’ll branch out into providing Internet as well- which up until now has been controlled by Qtel. “Qatar has a reputation as being a leading country. We will work with people like Al Jazeera to make sure we do not leave one company to determine the censorship of the country,” said Maher. “We will change the situation here to be open fair and transparent within all of the consistents of being an Islamic country.” For more information on Vodafone Qatar, check out



Chat and Burn Baby Fat

Weekdays: Landmark Mall. Join Doha Expat Mums and Kids from 8:00 a.m. till 9:00 a.m. every weekday to Powerwalk with or without your stroller around Landmark Mall. For more information, check out

New Arrivals Coffee

Tuesdays: Starbucks, Landmark Mall. New to Doha Expat Mums and Kids? Or maybe you’re new to Doha or want to welcome someone who is? Join Doha Expat Mums and Kids every Tuesday 10:00 a.m. till noon for a coffee, great information, and some laughs. Children are welcome and there’s no need to RSVP. For more information, check out

Parenting Movie Night

Tues 25th: TBA. Mums are invited to view the critically acclaimed PBS documentary, “Where Do The Children Play”, starting at 7:30 p.m., hosted by Doha Expat Mums and Kids. For more information, check out

Asian Snacks Cooking Class with Doha Expat Mums & Kids

Sat 15th: Mövenpick Tower and Suites. Impress your friends by learning to make tasty Asian snacks and appetisers from 8:30 a.m. till 1:30 p.m.! Class fee is QR 170 and includes a gourmet lunch. For more information and to RSVP, check out



“Mums' Night Out� with Doha Expat Mums & Kids Wed 26th: InterContinental Hotel. Join other mums for an Arabic buffet dinner at 7:30 p.m. QR 165 per person and RSVP is required. For more information and to RSVP, check out

Face Painting and Henna Tattoos For Kids

Monday 31st: TBA. Let your little one decorate themselves from 9:00 a.m. till noon. For more information, including location and to RSVP, check out

Filcom Toastmasters Club

Sat. 8th, Sat. 22nd: TBA. The Filcom Toastmasters Club provides a supportive and multicultural environment where you learn three-fold communication skills: good listening, confident public speaking and effective leadership in a wide range of situations. Meetings start at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call Judith Britten (President) at 608-1900 or Ihab Naji (VP-PR) at 657-7260.

Talking Matters Toastmasters

Mon. 10th, Mon. 24th: Les Roses 1 clubhouse. Develop into an excellent communicator, leader and human being. Meetings start at 7:00 p.m. For more information, call Paul Easy at 580-7524. 37

Gourmet guide

The Cantine of the Rich and Famous By Jessica Davey-Quantick Photography by Jorell Legaspi No one tell my mom I ate foie gras. And liked it. I recently stopped by La Maison Du Caviar, located inside the W Doha Hotel. At first, my insides screamed in panic – ‘fish eggs? Noooo!’ But surprisingly, I only actually sampled one dish containing their namesake. While they have an extensive selection of caviar, for both eat-in and takeaway, they also have a stunning French inspired menu, that’s actually fairly reasonably priced. For QR 180 you can get a starter, main and dessert, without feeling like you’re ordering off a set menu. They’ve also got a list of ‘Les Incontournables’, or items they say can’t be missed. That’s where the foie gras comes in – I am not, traditionally, a foie gras fan. I know exactly how it’s made (I think my mother may have chained herself to something in protest about this at some point) but more than that, the foie gras I’ve had in the past have just done nothing for me. Not so this stuff; I found myself asking for extra toast to finish it off. 38


Gourmet guide

From the set menu, the quiche of salmon and fresh spinach was flakey and light, but nothing to really write home about. Same with the traditional French onion soup – tasty, but nothing to inspire ecstatic prose.

However, then they brought out the main course – magret of duck served with a pink peppercorn sauce, potato gratin and haricot verte. I don’t care how complicated the name sounds, this can be summed up simply as ‘delicious’. Once again they manage to bust out a dish I normally skip – duck – and have me sending bitter glances across the table at my colleague who was splitting it with me. There may have been territorial growling when our forks clashed over the last bite. The duck is tender, and far from the usual greasy-feel duck has. They recommend you let the chef prepare it the French way- pink- to get the full experience, and I completely agree. It’s almost like an excellent cut of prime beef, and melts in your mouth, if you just let the chef do his thing and not fuss with him. Finally, it was time for dessert. And once again they seemed intent on making me revise my picky-eater list: we tried two desserts, their fresh red fruit trifle and their chocolate fondant with candied kumquats. The trifle came with mascarpone cheese, something that, you guessed it, I don’t usually put in my mouth. But once again, they proved me wrong. 40

Gourmet guide

The real show stopper though was the fondant. Everyone it seems attempts this – a molten liquid puddle of ooey chocolaty goodness surrounded by rich cake. But La Maison du Caviar nails it, and as a professed chocoholic, I feel no qualms in saying this may be the best fondant in the city (prove me wrong other restaurants, prove me wrong – preferably around lunch hour, in takeaway containers). The candied kumquats provided a nice fruity twist to finish it all off.

All in all, I may have found a new favourite in a city overflowing with restaurant options. The atmosphere is funky yet luxe, going right along with their original inspiration, the French restaurant opened in 1956 by the request of the Iranian Shah. With paper linen on the tables and a casual atmosphere, it became known as the canteen of the rich and famous – it’s like the Andy Warhol of food, taking something high-class and presenting it in a way that won’t have you wracking your brain over which fork to use. This is a great place for a romantic date that won’t put too much pressure on the diners, or their wallets, while still giving tummies an exquisite experience. La Maison du Caviar is open from noon till 1:00 a.m. For more information or reservations, call 453-5303. 41

Restaurant promotions

Family Packages

Sat 1st – Sept 15th: Ramada Plaza. Chef Sharma introduces his special set menus for two or four people, made up of Bombay Balti’s most popular dishes. For more information, call 428-1555.

Sweet Strawberry Treats

Sat 1st – Fri 7th: Doha Marriott. Enjoy strawberries in all their forms in the Lobby from noon till 11:30 p.m. For more information, call 429-8888.

Indian Food Festival

Sat 1th – Sat 15th: Doha Marriott. Commemorate the greatest moment in Indian history and celebrate the Indian Independence Day at Taj Rasol Restaurant from 6:30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. For more information, call 429-8888.

Malaysian Food Festival

Sat 1st – Thurs 20th: Be part of this delicious different culinary experience and explore an exciting line-up of exotic Malaysian dishes from 6:30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. at Asia Live. For more information, call 429-8888.

Spice Brunch

Fridays: W Doha. Spice up your weekend every Friday from noon till 4:00 p.m. for QR 260 including bubbly at Spice Market. For more information, call 453-5363.



Restaurant promotions

Lebanese Lunch

Fridays & Saturdays: Four Seasons Doha. Meet at the crossroads of East and West every weekend at Brasserie on the Beach as Chef Najwa presents traditional Lebanese cuisine, buffet style every Friday and Saturday. For more information, call 494-8888.

Around the World Brunch

Fridays & Saturdays: Doha Marriott. Enjoy a lavish brunch from noon till 3:00 p.m. in the Restaurant Gallery, with cuisine from around the world. For more information, call 429-8888.

Pool and Beach BBQ

Fridays – Saturdays: Doha Marriott. Can’t decide what to do this weekend? Escape at the Marriott pool and beach, complete with bbq made to order from 11:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m. QR 125 for members, kids 6-12 QR 75, QR 225 for nonmembers, kids 6-12 QR 175. For more information, call 429-8888.

Onaki Ga Ittai

Saturdays: Ramada Plaza. Every Saturday from now until the end of Ramadan, feast on a menu of traditional Sushi, Miso Soup, Salad, Tempura, Teppanyaki and Fruit at Sakura. The food will keep on coming until you are “Onaki Ga Ittai” (not hungry anymore), for QR 180 per person. For more information, call 428-1555. 44


Restaurant promotions

Seafood Soirée

Thursdays: Four Seasons Doha. Brasserie on the Beach offers a fresh seafood selection in an elegant market- style presentation, with dishes prepared to your specifications. For more information, call 494-8888.

Al Mourjan Splash

Daily: Al Mourjan. Quench your thirst with the most delicious mocktail in town. Zesty lemon, fresh mint, bubbles and the bar man’s secret formula won’t disappoint. For more information, call 483-4423.

Chinese Set Menu

Monthly: Ramada Plaza. Escape the summer heat with Ruby Wu’s set Chinese menu from QR 180 per person. For more information, call 428-1555.

Dhow Cruises with A Touch of Class

Monthly: Al Mourjan. Set sail in Doha Bay on a Dhow cruise complete with five-star cuisine for two to 20 people. For more information, call 579-5039.

Lobster Mania

Monthly: Al Mourjan. It's lobster mania at the Al Mourjan throughout the month of August. Come and experience the different exotic flavours of lobster cooked the Al Mourjan way. For more information, call 579-5039 or 483-4423.



Restaurant promotions

Summer Fiesta

Monthly: Al Mourjan. Al Mourjan sparkles all week long with fresh new ideas. Every night enjoy something different: experience Lounge music on Sundays, Tropical music on Mondays, French music on Tuesdays, Spanish music on Wednesdays and International music on Thursdays and Fridays. For more information, call 483-4423.

Daily Seafood Buffet

Monthly: Doha Marriott. Tempt yourself from 6:30 p.m. till 11:30 p.m. with a selection of seafood at the Corniche Restaurant. For more information, call 429-8888.

Guilt Free Flavour

Monthly: Al Mourjan. Enjoy the best cuisine Qatar has to offer without the guilt. Al Mourjan’s Lebanese menu is prepared with fresh ingredients. A wide selection of barbeques are prepared to be lean and satisfying. For more information, call 483-4423.

Express Lunch

Daily (except Fridays): W Doha. Grab a quick bite from a three-course set menu, in only 30 minutes at Market by Jean-Georges from noon till 4:00 p.m. for QR 80. For more information, call 453-5373.

Bento Box Lunch

Daily (except Fridays): W Doha. Enjoy a lunchbox with a twist, delectable southeast Asian cuisine in only 20 minutes at Spice Market from noon till 4:00 p.m. QR 80 per person, including dessert. For more information, call 453-5363.


Ramadan treats

Iftar at La Cigale

Fri 21st – Sept 19th: La Cigale. Break your fast in an Art Deco atmosphere with family and friends at Le Cigalon Restaurant’s Iftar. The buffet features the traditional Ramadan beverages, dates, a wide variety of Oriental and Lebanese mezze, as well as Ramadan specialties and traditional sweets for QR 195. Also on offer are their take-away Iftar boxes and Ramadan baskets, full of their signature treats. For more information, call 428-8888.

Sohour at La Cigale Please confirm any changes due to Ramadan with each venue.

Fri 21st – Sept 19th: La Cigale. Sohour buffet will be held in La Cigale Ramadan Tent located at the indoor swimming area of the hotel with luxurious interiors and themed decoration, complete with yummy treats, shisha, and live music for QR 250 per person. For more information, call 428-8888.

Al Mourjan Iftar and Sohour

Fri 21st – Sept 19th: Al Mourjan. Indulge in fine cuisine and live music, complete with oud player and singer during Sohour. Call now for corporate, family and group bookings. For more information, call 579-5039 or 483-4423. 49

Ramadan treats

Ramadan Tent

Fri 21st – Sept. 19th: Doha Marriott. The Doha Marriott invites you to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan with them, complete with a special traditional menu. For more information, call 429-8888.

Ramadan Tent Please confirm any changes due to Ramadan with each venue.

Fri 21st – Sept 19th: Great Room, W Doha. Enjoy a lavish buffet and live entertainment for QR 190 per person. For more information, call 453-5353.

Ramadan at W Doha

Fri 21st – Sept 19th: W Doha. This Ramadan, break your fast to the delicious flavours and aromas of traditional Iftar cuisine at Spice Market for QR 180 per person, children under 12 free, from sunset till 10:00 p.m. For more information, call 453-5363.

Iftar & Sohour at Wahm

Fri 21st – Sept. 19th: Wahm, W Doha. Break your ritual fast at Iftar and then settle down all the way until Sohour amidst light conversation, board games and good cheer. For more information, call 453-5323.


Kids club

Little Village Nursery By Fiona Murray Woo hoo, it’s the holidays! But if you are working and struggling with summer childcare arrangements then it’s more ‘oh no’ than ‘woo hoo’. Recognising this, new nursery Little Village is offering fun and flexible classes for children aged from just twomonths to four-years-old. Opened in May by two Qatari Qtel marketing managers, Fatima Al Kuwari and Amal Al Mutawa, Little Village is trying to offer what busy mums and dads are looking for. “Parents have to trust you; to know their children are safe. This is a place where children can learn and grow,” said Fatima, who has a four-year-old son. “I wanted to set up the nursery for two reasons: first I love children and second, from my friends and colleagues I realised that there were very few places which took babies as young as two-months-old and for older children some friends waited a year for a place.” 51

Kids club

She and her business partner did a lot of research, looking at nurseries in Doha, good and bad. “There are very good ones, but with others, I was surprised, there are some which are not even child proof!” As well as offering childcare all year round, Little Village is happy for parents to use them just for the summer, to cover nanny holidays or when other nurseries and schools are closed. They employ qualified nurses to look after the babies and teachers and assistants to care for the older children. Children enjoy playing, music, dancing and learning the basics of colours, shapes etc when they are old enough. For the toddlers it’s more about learning to share – not the easiest lesson when you are two-years-old and you just have to have that Barbie with the pink glittery dress. A favourite room at Little Village is the Creativity Room where children are allowed to (eek!) paint on the walls. They are free to squidge and squelch the paints and make as much mess as they like – but staff are clear that they must not paint on walls elsewhere in the nursery or at home – cue collective parental sigh of relief. The nursery has a mix of nationalities: Arab, Qatari and European. English is the main language, with Arab and French teachers should parents want their children to expand their languages. “The mix of children reflects Qatar’s population. It’s good, it’s about accommodating the differences between people.” The nursery is in South Madinat Khalifa, close to Al Ahli hospital. For more information, call 421-7775 or visit 52


Family special

Summer Family Fun By Jessica Davey-Quantick Are you being entertained? Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority wants to make sure you are this summer, staging a series of events dubbed ‘Entertainment Village’ at the Doha Exhibition Centre from July 5th till August 15th. It’s designed to be fun for the whole family, including activities for both parents and kids. Artists from Europe, Asia and India will perform, with shows including everything from plays for kids and puppet shows to acrobatic and magic acts. Rides from gentle to extreme will tempt kids of all ages, and adults too. “The entertainment village will provide families, and most especially children in their summer holidays with a culture-rich, educational and fun-packed vacation,” said Lahdan Al Mohannadi, Head of Organizing Local Exhibitions. 54

Family special

The event will even include restaurants and shops on the premises, to make it a one stop, air conditioned venue for family summer fun.

“Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority is promoting high-quality leisure and cultural events, to make the 2009 summer lively and unforgettable,” said Al Mohannadi. This is the first time the event has been held all under one room, instead of in separate venues and malls. But if you’re still looking for some fun for the kids within a shopping centre, Hyatt Plaza is offering their Summer Festival, with over 20 characters from Spacetoon wandering the halls to entertain children, and hosting a Chinese acrobatic team. “They will be playing with the children,” said Kamal Nasrallah, from Action Qatar PR group. “Whenever they see kids in the mall they’ll start playing with them.” Entertainment Village is open from 11:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. all week, and 2:00 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. on Fridays. Entry is QR 5. The Hyatt Plaza’s Summer Festival is free of charge, open during mall hours. For more information, contact the Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority at


Musical notes

Lovin' La Loba Shakira shimmies back onto charts, this time with her single ‘She-Wolf’, the first track off her new album due out in October. Shakira and her memorable hips boast a string of hits in both English and Spanish, with sales of over 50 million records. Her last project alone, Oral Fixation Volumes 1 and 2, sold over 8 million albums worldwide, and the singles 'La Tortura' and 'Hips Don’t Lie' invaded our radios and beat through our eardrums for months. Online, she’s just as popular, with over 10 million digital downloads to her name. Her latest project, ‘She- Wolf,’ once again combines her danceable beats with Spanish influences. This time around she leans heavily on disco rythms, sounding more electronic, whereas her last efforts were closer to belly dance tracks. Her distinctive voice shines through even the slightly excessive vocoder use though. The song, which dropped on July 13th, is already getting play on radio stations around the world. She’s also causing a stir on television, with the video ratcheting up her already sexy style and signature blend of belly dance, latin moves and hip hop. The album will be available at Virgin Megastores in October, released by Epic, a division of Sony Music. 56




The Qatar chapter of the world’s largest student-based association, focused on leadership development and international exchange. Open to current university students and recent graduates. For more information, contact

American Women’s Association

For information or membership, contact Jeannine at 511-8085 or Marilyn at 514-9752.

Bridge Club

Meets every Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. All welcome. Contact 554-0873 or email

Canadians in Qatar

The Canadians in Qatar Association organises regular activities and events. For more information and details, visit

Doha Garden Club

The club meets on the second Sunday of each month from September to May, and holds an annual charity tour in March that visits exceptional private gardens in Doha. Annual membership fee is QR 100. For more information, email or call 602-8059 or Paula Riebe at 523-1650.

Doha Players

An amateur dramatics group that produces plays and musicals. Call 447-4911 or 575-5102 on weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., or email or visit for information on forthcoming shows or membership.

Dutch-speaking Association of Qatar (DSA)

Welcomes all Dutch speakers living in Qatar. Email Caroline at or visit

Egyptian Women’s Association

The ladies from Egypt hold reoccurring get-togethers. For more information, contact Mai Shawky at 572-4171.

Expat Women

Your magazine online, designed for women by women. Visit us at or email



Filmcom Toastmasters Club

Filmcom Toastmasters Club fosters effective communication and leadership skills. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. Contact Jonathan Holland at 540-3971 for further information.

French-Speaking Ladies Group

Contact Marie at 559-7467 or Rana at 572-6938. E-mail or visit

German Stammtisch

Monthly social gatherings organized by the German community. Contact 487-6959 or email


A creative group of “Ilonggos” committed to the growth and active participation of the Filipino Community in Qatar. They showcase every member’s talent and creativity to contribute ideas that can be generated into concrete projects and can benefit Filipinos both here in Qatar and the Philippines. Contact 595-9561 or email

Indian Women’s Association

Contact Seetha Krishan at 442-4052 or 551-6018, email or visit

International Ladies Potluck Group

This group meets once a month. For more information, email Ruth Sabry or Totta Thomas at

Lebanon Expats

Become a volunteer and stay updated about the forthcoming activities and events of Lebanese expats in Qatar. Send an e-mail to, visit or

Qatar Natural History Group

Discover the four corners of Qatar. Contact Fran Gillespie, Social Coordinator, via e-mail at for more information.

Qatar Quilt Guild

For more information, write to

Qatar Scientific Club

Over 4,000 members attend classes and seminars in 13 interest groups including scuba diving, remote-control aero modeling, astronomy, electronics, etc. Children aged 6-12 years are welcome to join the Children’s Club. Call 458-3780, 458-3827 or 458-2087. 59



Meet other Singaporeans living in Qatar and enjoy regular get-together sessions. Contact Annie Tan, Secretary, at 520-9294 or send an e-mail to

Simplemente Amigas

A new Latin ladies social group. For more information, contact Ceci Dur at 551-8358 or e-mail

Silver Dhow Association

This multi-cultural, multi-national ladies group holds monthly dinner meetings on the second Monday of each month. For further details, contact Ellen Thompson at 435-2598 or 587-0133 or e-mail

South African Ladies Association

For detailed information, go to, contact Lody by e-mail at or telephone 589-2366.

Spanish Speaking Ladies Group

Regular meetings are held every third Wednesday of the month. For more information, contact or Rocio Fielder at 664-2094 or Claudia Mayela at 589-3457.

Talking Matters Toastmasters

Develop into an excellent communicator, leader, and human being. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at the Pearl Lounge, Aalishan Restaurant at 7:15 p.m. Contact Paul Easy at 580-7524 for further information.

Tuesday Ladies Group

Open to women of all nationalities, this group meets on alternate Tuesdays and includes a guest speaker or a planned activity. For more information, contact 573-5078 or send an e-mail to

Turkish Women in Qatar

Interested participants can contact Mrs. Senyurt at 550-8026 or Mrs. Ataol on 546-8309.



It happened

Red Bull Music Academy, in its mission to take music around the world, presented Italian techno extraordinaire, Marco Passarani, at Doha Marriott’s Pearl Lounge Club. Photos by Clifton Cardozo 62

It happened

The South African Embassy, in cooperation with Virgin Megastore and the Qatar Photographic Society, spearheaded the celebration of international Nelson Mandela Day on July 18 at Villaggio. 63




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Qatar Haooening August 2009