Daily Archives: July 28, 2012

QNB Sponsors The Official Olympic House, Bayt Qatar

Doha, July 28 (QNA) – Qatar National Bank (QNB), the largest financial institution in the State of Qatar, and the MENA region, is one of the major sponsors of Bayt Qatar in Central London, the official Olympic house for the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) during the forthcoming Summer Games in London. Bayt Qatar, also known as the Qatar House, acts as a symbol of Qatar and brings a little bit of the Qatari spirit to the heart of London, which is especially pertinent during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Bayt Qatar is open from the 26th of July until the 12th of August, to welcome high profile, dignitaries, QOC Members, CEO s and Chairmen, International Sporting Athletes as well as Local, Regional and the International Media.
Being a key sponsor and participant in various local and international occasions, QNB is always keen to reflect the social image of Qatar, through representing Qatari traditions and heritage in the best way possible.
The Bank played a lead role in the country s actual hosting of the 2006 Asian Games,  providing an army of volunteers and providing reliable and readily accessible banking services to organisers, participants and spectators of the event, which attracted more than 10,500 athletes representing 45 participating countries and regions from throughout Asia.
In 2010, QNB Group’s support was instrumental in the country s successful bid to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Undoubtedly, the country s hosting of this spectacular, world-class sporting event will form a cornerstone for future CSR activities in the years ahead. 
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered to be the world’s foremost sports competition and more than 200 nations participate.
QNB established in 1964 as the country s first Qatari-owned commercial bank, has an ownership structure split between the Qatar Investment Authority (50%) and the private sector (50%).
QNB Group has steadily grown to be among the largest banks in the Middle East and North Africa Region and is by far the leading financial institution in the country with a market share exceeding 45% of banking sector assets.
QNB Group has witnessed rapid international expansion in the past few years and operates in 24 countries around the world through its network, subsidiaries and associate companies.
QNB Group is among the highest rated regional banks from leading credit rating agencies including Standard & Poor’s, Moody s, Fitch, and Capital Intelligence.
 The Bank has also been the recipient of many awards from leading international specialized financial publications. QNB Group has an active community support program and sponsors various social, educational, and sporting events.   (QNA)

Qatar’s Delegation Participates in London Olympics Opening Ceremony Parade

London, July 28 (QNA) – Qatar’s delegation in the parade of participating countries during the opening ceremony London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games’ 30th edition, held  last night in the Olympic stadium in London which is hosting the event for the second time. Qatar’s delegation was led by shooter Bahia Mansour Al-Hamad who carried the flag of the State of Qatar in the parade. The delegation also  included the Qatari athletes who are currently in London to participate in the Games namely sprinter al-Maliki, swimmer Ahmed Ghaith, table tennis player Aya Majdi, swimmer Nada Mohammed Wafa along with a number of trainers, administrators and members of the administrative delegation.
Shooter Bahia has expressed great pleasure for carrying the  flag of the  State of Qatar in the opening ceremony parade as a representative of members of the sport and administrative mission, describing that as ”a  historic moment”.
After the end of the opening ceremony, Bahia  thanked the officials who have been selected her to carry the flag of the State of Qatar in this great forum great in which y more than ten thousand athletes are taking part and  promised to offer her best during the two competitions in which she will take part.
This is the second time in which Bahia was selected to carry the flag after it carried it during the Singapore 2010 Youth  Olympic Games.(QNA)

IMF Improves MENA Outlook, Warns of Possible Global Recession

Doha, July 28 (QNA) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) provided Saturday a darker outlook on the global economy compared to its April update. In return the IMF improved the outlook for the Middle-East and North Africa region.  The QNB Group released a statement today showing that the IMF has now upped its expectation for the growth rate of the MENA region to a rate of 5.5% in 2012, from 4.3% in its April forecast. The figure would be en-par with the average for emerging economies. QNB Group stated that the increase was “by far the largest positive revision for any region or country.”
 The IMF said that the boost was provided due , however, note that the boost was due in part to the recovery of some of the economic activity in Libya and to the increase in oil production across the region. The IMF back in April expected Libya to achieve a whooping growth rate of 76% as a result of Libyan oil production returning to pre-revolution levels. The Fund also saw Iraq achieving a relatively high growth rate of 11%, due to foreign investment in oil. The IMF, also in its April forecast, saw most MENA countries achieve a growth rate between 2-3%, with the GCC achieving a slightly higher growth rate average of 6%. The IMF did not provide a separate forecast for both countries for July forecast however.
QNB Group said in its statement that the IMF’s stronger regional outlook in its July update was “particularly striking given further deterioration in Syria since April, which is also having a negative economic impact on its neighbors.” On the flip side expansionary spending plans in some countries  budgets, including Qatar s, have probably contributed to the IMF s forecast of higher domestic demand, the Group said.
The IMF’s outlook for the global GDP however was not optimistic as it was for MENA. The fund revised the global GDP downwards by 0.1% to 3.5% in 2012, and by 0.2% to 3.9% in 2013.
India was the biggest loser as its GDP growth was revised down by 0.7%, while both Brazil and the UK were also revised down by 0.6%. On the other side, Germany and Japan were the most notable performers, as the two countries’ GDP was revised upwards by 0.4%.
The IMF saw that there were a number of immediate risks threatening the global GDP. The most prominent of which was the failure of policy makers to protect banks in the Eurozone, especially in Spain and Greece. The IMF also saw that a failure by US politicians in negotiating a revision for automatic tax rises and spending cuts would complicate the global economic situation even further. The tax and spending cuts, which would take effect in 2013, could cut the GDP of the US by 4% according to the IMF. Which would mean that the US economy could fall into recession, threatening the entire global economy to follow as a result. (QNA)

Qatar Foundation Announces Collaboration with Elite Harvard Institute

Doha, July 28 (QNA) – Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) has announced that it will embark upon a collaborative project with Harvard Law School s (HLS) Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP). The agreement is part of an initiative of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) to establish a Qatar graduate law school with three integrated pillars: a doctoral programme, a research institute, and a faculty development programme.
Under the terms of the arrangement, Qatar Foundation will support HLS and IGLP initiatives to extend their reach for legal education across the world. As part of the collaboration, IGLP will provide advice and expertise to Qatar Foundation as it seeks to establish a law school in Qatar, a world-class graduate legal institute. IGLP will offer advice in the development of the law school s academic programme, admissions policy, and exchange of academic and administrative know-how.
At present, IGLP runs a yearly workshop at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This respected project will be replicated in Qatar, allowing young scholars of law and policy from around the world to convene for discussions in Doha on an annual basis.
The first of these workshops will take place from January 4-14, 2013. It will provide opportunities for concentrated collaboration between both faculties and researchers, with a focus on areas of specific interest to the Middle East. The workshops will, it is hoped, improve scholarly networks for participants within the Arab and Islamic worlds by connecting them with their international peers. This ambition represents a key element of Qatar Foundation s mission to broaden the knowledge base of Qatar, the region, and the world.
Commenting on the agreement, Qatar Foundation President Dr Mohammad Fathy Saoud said, “We are delighted to announce this collaboration with one of Harvard Law School s elite institutes. Qatar Foundation s mission to unlock human potential resonates with the stated aims of the Institute for Global Law and Policy to foster innovation and policy dialogue so as to address pressing issues of global policy. I am confident that, by working closely together, both Qatar Foundation and Harvard can achieve their shared vision.
“At the heart of this cooperation is Qatar Foundation’s vision to establish a centre of learning that will help revitalise legal education in the Middle East, and represent Islamic and Arabic legal traditions in the global dialogue on legal and governance issues.”
The collaboration strengthens Qatar Foundation’s growing reputation as a world-leading educational establishment.
“I welcome this valuable partnership with Harvard Law School s Institute for Global Law and Policy. Our mission is to establish a distinguished and world-class law school in Qatar. By working closely with one of Harvard Law School s elite institutes, we are confident that we will achieve our goal and cultivate a strong legal education in Qatar,” said His Excellency Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, President of HBKU and Vice President of Education at Qatar Foundation. “We look forward to this collaboration and to offering researchers and academics within Qatar and across the region the opportunity to benefit from Harvard s extensive knowledge and expertise in this field.”
Representatives from Harvard Law School and the Institute for Global Law and Policy expressed their enthusiasm for this new collaboration with the Foundation and look forward to extending and deepening links between Harvard Law School and Qatar as the project advances.
“It is an honour to have been asked to help advise Qatar Foundation as it develops its plans to build a world class law school in Qatar,” said Harvard Law School Professor and IGLP Director, David Kennedy. “Our own faculty development initiative, to be launched this year, will become a strong component in that broader effort and strengthen education in law and policy both in Qatar and the Arab region and beyond. Indeed, we see strong prospects for helping Qatar become a hub for convening young scholars and supporting faculty development and research.”
Professor Kennedy s view was echoed by the Dean of Harvard Law School, Martha Minow. “The law school is proud of the research collaboration and training undertaken at IGLP and we appreciate Qatar Foundation s confidence in our work,” she said. “We hope this will be the start of a rich and broad-ranging collaboration with the Foundation as they strengthen their own contribution to legal education.” (QNA)

FEC’s Green Tent Warns Against Unsecured Internet

Doha, July 28 (QNA) – Speakers at the Qatar Friends Of The Environment Center’s (FEC) ‘Green Tent’ warned against the dangers of unsecured internet and the many problems it causes tor families, women, and children including blackmail as well as data and identity theft.  They called for spreading awareness on reporting any breaches in this regard and intensifying knowledge about the topic, in addition to enacting strong laws to punish offenders and protect the society as a whole.
During the evening, FEC Founder and Chair Saif Ali Al-Hajari stressed the importance of the issue explaining that it is not only present in Qatar, but is rather a global concern.
However, he referred to the communication-related dimension of the topic and its benefits in terms of linking civilizations.
The State of Qatar has set up organizations dealing with this matter, all constantly seeking to achieve the best practices in the field while staying abreast with local developments, Al-Hajari remarked, calling for the formulation of surveys for the purposes of research.
Efforts to combat the dangers of the internet should be unified in participation of concerned bodies, schools, parents, and mosques in pursuit of practical solutions in line with society’s traditions, he noted.
Al-Hajari pointed out that schools could add unique programs for children to exercise activities in fields other than the internet, highlighting that the Qatar Foundation for the Protection of Women and Children could conduct valuable research in this field and expressing the FEC’s support. 
Ehab Al-Sakka, Systems Analyst at the Qatar Foundation for the Protection of Women and Children and member of Qatar’s National Committee for Internet Safety (NCIS), spoke about the Foundation’s role and vision regarding the abuse of women and children, and internet safety.
The civil society Foundation abides by the Shari’a law, Qatar’s constitution, in addition to Arab and international covenants ratified by Qatar, he said. Among the pillars of its vision is a violence-free society and other factors seeking a positive environment for women and children’s protection through secretive and honest practices, Al-Sakka indicated.
The Foundation adopted the issue of the internet after tracking many problems, he said. Mainly, internet problems revolve around harmful content, electronic trafficking, and anonymous communication through social media websites, Al-Sakka added. He called for the avoidance of leaving children to use the internet alone in secluded rooms.
On the same topic, he shed the light on other dangers including false advertisements, scams, and credit card theft operations. There are some professional bodies which lure victims into facilitating their entry to unlicensed sites, only to later sue them over copyrights then move towards blackmail, Al-Sakka added.
Legal dangers also include hostility, blasphemy, and rumor dissemination, he explained remarking on the laws applied by many countries including the State of Qatar over internet usage and punishing offenders, warning that stealing e-mail passwords is considered to be a crime punishable by law.
The Qatar Foundation for the Protection of Women and Children held awareness campaigns with the NCIS in schools and mosques, in addition to workshops on all levels in partnership with concerned parties and ministries. 
Presenting some solutions to unsecured internet problems, Al-Sakka called for raising awareness in society and among family members over the issue and reporting any harassment for assistance by specialized State bodies.
The Foundation had a successful experience through the ‘Child Protection Club’, he said adding that along with the NCIS they aim to cooperate with other organizations in addition to partnering with the concerned department at Qatar’s Ministry of Interior and the Supreme Council of Information and Communication (ictQatar) by implementing firewalls and anti-viruses, and similarly with Qatar Telecom (Q-tel), which monitors websites by opening useful ones for users and blocking others.
Al-Sakka highlighted the role of parents, schools, and service providers in supervision to prevent negative effects on society. (QNA)

Industrial diversification augurs well for Abu Dhabi – UAE Press Editorial

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi has done well in diversifying its economy, away from an overwhelming reliance on oil and hydrocarbons; commended a UAE newspaper.

Its strategic authorities have looked at a variety of industries and given its substantial financial reserves and small national population, Abu Dhabi has focused on industries that require large amounts of capital and technology and a small requirement for labour; said Gulf News in its editorial today.

Abu Dhabi is already busy in a variety of downstream industries like refining or using the hydrocarbons for making fertilizer and plastics, as well as aluminium, which relies on a large amount of gas to provide the power required for the smelting; it noted.

But Abu Dhabi has also looked at totally new industries and has turned its detailed knowledge of the world’s energy markets to develop a key space in the emerging renewable energy business. Masdar City is an important test bed for totally new technologies which may in time become world leaders in the field of renewable energy, offering Abu Dhabi both an important commercial asset as well as strategic leadership in this vital sector; the paper added.

The emirate has also invested in totally new industries like ship-building and aviation, where it sees itself able to build an important strategic position over time. It is exciting to see plans for Mubadala’s Strata Manufacturing to assemble small passenger air planes by 2018, which is part of a wider plan to invest in a wide range of aerospace technologies; the paper hailed.

It quoted the pledge of Mubadala’s head of Aerospace at a Ramadan meeting last week that the emirate hoped to leap-frog its competitors and become one of the top three in the industry by 2020 and a global leader in composite airframes, wings and tail sections.

“This kind of detailed focus is important. Within a generation, Abu Dhabi knows that its economy needs to be cut loose from relying on the simple extraction of hydrocarbons from underground”, commended the paper.

It needs to have new industries which will help pump in more money to the emirate’s economy as well as supply essential career opportunities for the emerging population of Emiratis; the paper added.

Senate restructures judging panel of Sharjah Award for Voluntary Work

Sharjah: The senate of the Sharjah Award for Volunteer Work has decided to restructure the judging panel of the award.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Education Minister Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, Chairman of the Senate of Sharjah Award for Volunteer Work after reviewing the list of new nominees.

According to the administrative decision the new panel will be chaired by Dr. Amina Khalifa Mohammed Al Ali and will have Dr. Mohammed Yusuf Sharab, Fatima Mohammed Al Matroushi, Dr. Faker Mohammed Algaryeba, Abdullah Saif Katara and Dr. Salwa Mohammed Hadi as members.

FREEJ Village opens at Al Majaz Waterfront to enthral families in Ramadan nights

Sharjah: FREEJ, the Middle East’s first 3D animated series has come live at Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah transforming the venue to a village bustling with activities.

The Freej Village was launched as part of a package of diverse events designed for families and children to enjoy the special atmosphere of the holy month of Ramadan.

The village will be running during the holy month of Ramadan till the last day of Eid Al Fitr and will take families through the world of FREEJ with the four lovable main characters of the animated TV series, Um Saeed, Um Saloom, Um Allawi and Um Khammas.

FREEJ Village has been designed especially for families and children to spend quality time with their peers while enjoying the festivities of the Holy Month.

Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed Obaid Al Qaseer, Shurooq Chief Operating Officer, said: “Feeling proud of one’s roots and showing loyalty and respect for one’s national identity is one of the most important qualities a person can have. Through FREEJ Village, we want to mirror and celebrate the UAE’s rich history, its traditional and cultural ambiance, as well as folk arts and tales about the living and social conditions of our ancestors”.

He highlighted the growing mass interaction with the Village’s various characters and its activities since the opening of the village and added that he expects further success over the coming days.

FREEJ commercial director, Khalid Abuhmidan, added, “We were very happy to work with Shurooq on this exciting project for the first time. FREEJ Village is packed full of fun activities for children and parents, and we hope that children and adults who come to see the Village will also visit Al Majaz waterfront for the special screening of FREEJ on the Fountain”.

The village will run daily from 9pm to 1am throughout the holy month of Ramadan, and will continue until Eid Al Fitr.

Al Majaz Waterfront has in a short period of time become a favoured destination for families, due to its rich portfolio of world-class facilities and tourist attractions that suit all members of the family, such as international restaurants and the Sharjah Fountain with its different musical and laser shows.

The waterfront will press ahead with its plans to deliver events that add significantly to the Emirate’s rich portfolio of tourist attractions and landmarks.