Daily Archives: July 27, 2012

Qatar’s Athletes to Compete in 2012 Olympic Games on Saturday

London, July 27 (QNA) – Qatar’s national athletes will begin on Saturday their participation in the preliminary competitions in the prestigious 30th London 2012 Summer Olympic Games which kicked off in London on Friday. Qatar’s flag-bearer and prominent shooter, Bahia Al-Hamad will begin her participation in the preliminary competitions of women’s rifle event side-by-side with 55 shooters on Saturday.
It is worth mentioning that, the Shooting competitions in London 2012 Olympic Games will bring together around 390 shooters (male and female) representing 108 countries.
Likewise, Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah is intensifying his Pre-Games training session few days before his participation in the Skeet preliminary competitions of the London Olympic Games on 30 and 31 July respectively.
In another sport scene, Qatar’s  Aia Magdi will lock horns against Zihang Mao of Canada in the women’s table tennis event on Saturday. Also Qatar’s Ahmed Gheith Al-Attari will compete in the men’s swimming 400 event in Olympic Swimming Pool on Saturday. Around 12 prominent athletes will represent Qatar in the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games including, Nasser Al-Attiyah (Skeet), Rashid Al-Thaba (Trap/Double Trap), Noor Al-Malki (100m Athletics), Hamza Driouch and Mohammed Al-Qarni (men 1500 m), Mohammed Bakheet (Marathon), Mutaz Barsham (High Jump), Musaab Abdulrahman Balah (men 800 m), Nada Wafa Arkagi and Ahmed Gheith Al-Attari in the Qatar made its first participation in Olympic Games in Montreal 1976   Canada with one administrative delegation, followed by the second participation in Los Angles 1984 Summer Olympic Games with three teams competed in the  football, athletics and shooting.
In Barcelona 1992 Summer Olympic Games, Qatar’s Olympic dream changed into a reality after Mohammed Suleiman confidently earned a bronze medal in 1500 m. as in Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games, Qatar s weightlifter, Asaad Saif Said won the bronze medal in the 105 kg event. (QNA)

Prime Minister Congratulates Hisham Kandil

Doha, July 27 (QNA) – HE the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani has sent a cable of congratulations to Dr Hisham Kandil on his appointment to form a new government of the Arab Republic of Egypt. (QNA)

QOC Secretary General Opens ‘ Bayt Qatar’

London, July 27 (QNA) – HE the Secretary General of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) Sheikh Saud bin Abdurrahman Al-Thani has opened Bayt Qatar (the House of Qatar), launched  on the sideline of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games at the London s prestigious Institution of Engineering and Technology at Savoy Place (IET: Savoy Place).
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Qatar’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom Khalid bin Rashid Al-Mansouri, members of the International Olympic Committee, a number of QOC members and members of the Qatari administrative mission taking part in the Games.
QOC said Bayt Qatar combines all the characteristic of Qatar and the Arab world, starting from the Islamic ancient art to the Arab contemporary art, in addition to the works of many renowned photographers and sculptors and opens up new avenues for innovation born in Qatar, pointing out that the house will invite all Arab Olympic Committees to a breakfast  banquet during the month Ramadan.
In a speech he delivered at the opening ceremony that the sport features of the “House of Qatar,” reflect the basis of all what we will do here in London, stressing that top priorities of Qatari athletes to provide the best possible performance in stadiums. They will also be the ambassadors for our country in the House of Qatar, during the Olympic Games’ events.
HE Sheikh Saud said : “We are proud that twelve athletes: eight youths and four girls will represent Qatar in this important sports gathering, and we are proud in particular of the fact that eight of these athletes are still under twenty years of age, and that one of our athletes in these Games, is  Nasser Al-Attiyah, who will  participate for the fifth time in the Olympics. “
He confirmed that the Qatar Olympic Committee and our sport community have  worked very hard to  perform well in this major sporting events, adding, “We, many years ago, have set to ourselves a long-term commitment to develop our youths and our girls, our men and women in various sporting activities, and here we are today reaping  the fruit of our efforts at the highest levels of competition in the Olympic Games. “
HE Sheikh Saoud meanwhile praised the support the  Qatari Olympic Committee receives from  the International Olympic Committee, “whose officials  helped us in every step  we made in order to achieve our goals,” wishing the athletes every success during the coming days.
Bayt Qatar (House of Qatar) will offer members of the QOC, its stakeholders and partners, athletes, media and Olympic family guests a stunning, historic and convenient venue throughout the London 2012 Olympic Games where they can experience unique Qatari hospitality.
Bayt Qatar will showcase the works and initiatives of a selection of Qatari organisations that contributes towards Qatar s National Vision 2030 a vision that aims at transforming Qatar into an advanced country, capable of sustaining its own development for generations to come through a strategic framework that is underpinned by pillars of human, social, economic, and environmental development.
It is worth mentioning that, the Qatar made its first participation in Olympic Games in Montreal 1976   Canada with one administrative delegation , followed by the second participation in Los Angles 1984 Summer Olympic Games with three  teams competed in the  football , athletics and shooting.
On other hand, under the auspices of Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), Hey Ya: Arab Women in Sport is the first exhibition in London by the internationally renowned photographer Brigitte Lacombe with the documentary film-maker Marian Lacombe was opened in London on Wednesday.
HE Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Mansour bin Rashid Al-Khater, the Executive Chairman of  QMA beside a number of Olympic and diplomatic leaders attended the event.
The exhibition features a brand new series of large-scale photographs by Brigitte Lacombe of more than 50 Arab sportswomen, from beginners to Olympians, from 20 different Arab countries. The images are shown alongside videos by her sister, Marian Lacombe, which situate the images within the women s personal histories and a wider discourse of gender, culture and sport in the Arab world. The exhibition is on show free to the public at Sotheby’s Gallery, London from 25 July until 11 August 2012.

KZHF implements Iftar Project in Argentina

Buenos Aires: The UAE embassy in Argentina has supervised Iftar Project implemented by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Humanitarian Foundation in Cordoba in coordination with the Arabian Muslim Society.

Fasters hailed the charitable gesture which was organized for the second time in Argentina.

For his part, Jihad Saeed Sulaiman chairman of the Arabian Muslim Society extended thanks to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for this humanitarian initiative in the holy month of Ramadan.

UAE Ambassador hosts Iftar banquet in Pakistan

Islamabad: Essa Abdulla Al Basha Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to Pakistan hosted here an Iftar banquet under the framework of the activities carried out by the embassy during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

The ceremony was attended by Dr. Farooq Sattar, Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis as the government’s representative in addition to a number of ministers, MNA’s along with ambassadors of the Arab and Islamic countries.

On the occasion, Al Nuaimi expressed his congratulations and blessings on the occasion of Ramadan to President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Their Highnesses the Supreme Council Members and the Rulers of the Emirates, the Crown Princes and the people of UAE.

He also congratulated Asif Ali Zardari, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, members of his government and people of Pakistan on this occasion.

UAE stresses full support to counter piracy off the Coast of Somalia

New York: The United Arab Emirates has stressed its full support to develop the capacity of Somali national forces, especially its coast guard following the end of the transitional period in August with the aim of countering piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

Abdulkhaleq Bin-Dhaaer Al-Yafei, Minister Plenipotentiary, Permanent Mission of UAE to the United Nations announced this yesterday before the 12th Plenary Meeting of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia at the UN headquarters here in New York.

Following is the full speech of Al-Yafei, Mr. President, I would first like to express on behalf of the United Arab Emirates our thanks to Spain, for chairing this 12th Plenary Session of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia. As the 11th Chair of this important group, the UAE is aware of the significance of this undertaking, and the efforts that go into it.

2012 has been a year of great opportunity for the international community’s collective response to piracy off the coast of Somalia. High-level international commitment to achieving a lasting solution to the piracy problem has been repeatedly demonstrated: as leaders from government and industry have come together in meetings in London, Istanbul, Dubai, and this month in Perth, to seek ways to enhance the collective response.

At sea, the robust and admirable international counter-piracy naval operations and private maritime sector’s increasing development of self-protection measures has significantly reduced pirate attack and the success of attempted hijack.

On land, sustained international engagement and the continued efforts of Somali and AMISOM forces on the ground has led to progress in the security situation in Somalia, and facilitated political progress in the country that was hardly imagined in previous years. In this respect, the signature of the Dubai Declaration’ between President Sharif of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, and President Silanyo of Somaliland, on the sidelines of the UAE’s second high-level public-private counter-piracy conference last month, opening the door for potential reconciliation and a comprehensive agreement on Somalia’s political future, is testament to this new era.

This comprehensive progress has been translated into the figures: this month, the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Centre reported a dramatic 54 per cent decrease in incidents of piracy off the Coast of Somalia from 2011 to 2012, year on year.

This progress should be cause for optimism for the future for all parties: the international effort will overcome the global threat posed by maritime piracy.

The UAE’s second public-private counter-piracy conference, held under the title A Regional Response to Maritime Piracy: Enhancing Public-Private Partnerships and Strengthening Global Engagement, was a part of this comprehensive international effort.

The Conference was an opportunity for high-level delegates from government and the global maritime industry to reflect on the progress made. But it also presented an opportunity for the international community to look to the challenges ahead: as Somalia and regional states, and the global maritime industry, called upon the international community to ensure that the counter-piracy response can be turned in a long-term cure.

2012 H1 delivers record hotel guests for Abu Dhabi on track for 2.3 million yearly target

Abu Dhabi: A total of 1.189 million guests stayed in Abu Dhabi’s hotels and hotel apartments during the first six months of this year showing an increase of 14% on the same period last year.

Figures released by Abu Dhabi Tourism ‘&’ Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) show in all 1,189,995 guests checked into hotels and hotel apartments throughout the emirate from January to June this year accounting for some 3,369,228 guest nights – an increase of 9% on the comparative six months of 2011.

“This is a very encouraging performance which leaves us well on track to attain our yearly target of 2.3 million guests,” said Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, TCA Abu Dhabi. “The task ahead is to maintain the momentum but we are relatively confident of doing this as we look forward to a season ahead packed with major events, including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Abu Dhabi Art and the planned November opening of Yas Waterworld – which will be the UAE’s largest water park – and will further heighten the entertainment proposition of Yas Island. In addition, we anticipate Abu Dhabi’s hosting, this September, of the 18th World Routes Development Forum bringing a significant number of aviation and airline senior personnel to the UAE capital.” A stellar June performance of 205,950 hotel guests – figures this year were up 17% on June 2011 – helped achieve the record half yearly results.

“This year the entire hospitality chain, supported by significant numbers of service and attraction suppliers, came together with the Authority to mount a concerted summer campaign which offered compelling incentives to come to Abu Dhabi over summer. This co-ordinated campaign would appear to have paid off to some degree and leaves us positioned for closer collaboration in the future,” added Al Muhairi.

Over the first six months of the year, Abu Dhabi achieved over 2.5 million room nights – an uplift of 8% on 2011. Total revenue was up by 2% to AED 2.3 billion (US $631 million), some AED 921.8 million (US $251 million) came from food and beverage income, which was up by 11%, while the AED 1.15 billion (US $314 million) room revenue was a 4% dip on 2011.

Most key markets returned an increase in hotel guests over the six months with the exception of the UK, USA and France. The UK slipped 2% to 71,465 with a 5% drop in guest nights to 298,969, which still left it top of the international performance ranking. The US fell by 5% to 40,857 guests and 11% in guest nights to 219,772 and ranks fifth in the destination’s international hotel guest performance league, while France fell by 3% to 23,696 guests and dropped 11% in guest nights to 83,087, to stand as the ninth largest overseas market. The number of Indians staying in Abu Dhabi’s hotels rose 31% to 65,519 guests accounting for 234,043 guest nights, a rise of 15% on 2011, making it the second largest overseas source markets, while Germany grew 44% to 49,126 with a 40% guest night growth leaving it in third place. Saudi Arabia performed well delivering 36,430 guests, up 36% on 2011, who stayed for 79,307 guest nights – an increase of 37% over the six months making it the destination’s sixth largest source market outside the UAE.

The emerging markets of China and Russia recorded promising returns. China grew 84% in guest numbers to 15,297 and 53% in guest nights, while Russia climbed 31% to 8,978 guests and 33% in guest nights which totaled 51,824.

Hotel occupancy rate in Abu Dhabi over the six months dropped by 7% to 65% largely due to an increase in room inventory- Abu Dhabi now has some 128 hotels and hotel apartments accounting for 22,079 rooms. The average length of stay slipped 5% to 2.83 days and revenue per available room (REV PAR) was down 15% to AED301.67 (US $82.2), again reflecting increased market competitiveness.