Daily Archives: September 25, 2012

Qatar Airways to Extend Footprint in Iraq

Doha, September 25 (QNA) – Qatar Airways continues its network expansion with the announcement of scheduled flights to Najaf – its third route in the Republic of Iraq, effective January 23. The southern city of Najaf joins the capital Baghdad and northern city of Erbil, two routes launched earlier this year. The addition of Najaf takes Qatar Airways’ frequency to Iraq from eight flights to 12 services a week.
The Doha-based airline will operate four-flights-a-week non-stop to Najaf, offering travellers a greater choice of travel options to more than 100 destinations around the world served by the airline via its hub.
The Najaf route will be operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.
Situated 160 kilometres from Baghdad, Najaf receives millions of pilgrims annually who travel to visit the Imam Ali shrine, one of the most revered holy Islamic sites.
With many upcoming construction projects, Najaf has become a model for other provinces in Iraq offering an early sign of huge investment opportunities in the country.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted the airline was boosting services to Iraq, a market where the carrier this year alone had launched services to two prime cities.
“Iraq is proving to be an important market for Qatar Airways; we currently operate four-flights-a-week between Doha and the cities of Baghdad and Erbil. We are confident that Najaf will prove to be a popular destination for our passengers, especially those from the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific and those returning to visit their homeland,” he said.
“With major infrastructure developments and vast untapped tourist potential, we are very excited about our launch of flights to Najaf.” Added Al Baker: “Qatar Airways constantly looks at new market opportunities and the launch of flights to Najaf will enable us to quickly meet the growing demand for travel to this increasingly popular destination. The start of our services to three cities in Iraq within a short span of time emphasizes the value and importance of tourism, trade and business links between Qatar and Iraq.(QNA)

HE Municipality Minister Meets Bulgarian Development Minister

Sofia, September 25 (QNA) – HE Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning Sheikh Abdurrahman bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani met in Sofia today Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development and Public Works Liliana Bvalova.
During the meeting, they discussed areas of cooperation and exchange of experiences between Qatar and Bulgaria in the field of municipal affairs and infrastructure projects in a way that serves the common interest of both countries. They also discussed the twinning agreement between Sofia Municipality and Doha Municipality.
The meeting was attended by HE Qatar’s Ambassador to Bulgaria Mohammed bin Ali Al Nuaimi, and members of the Qatari and Bulgarian delegations.
Meanwhile, HE Sheikh Abdurrahman bin Khalifa Al Thani paid a visit to the headquarters of Bulgarian Construction Chamber, where a presentation on the major construction companies in the field of infrastructure, roads and urban planning and municipal projects was made.
His Excellency and his accompanying delegation will tomorrow visit the metro station and the Largo station for archaeological discoveries. He will also meet on the same day with each of Minister of Transport and Information Technologies and Communication Ivalyo Moskovsky and the mayor of Sofia municipality Jordanka Fandakova. (QNA)

UPU Accommodates New Postal World Reality

Doha, September 25 (QNA) – The Universal postal Union (UPU) is accommodating the new reality of the postal world, a congress’ dignitary said here Tuesday during the 25th Universal Postal Congress (UPC) now in progress in Doha.
“The UPU as an organization of the United Nations is accommodating with the new reality of the postal sector in terms of structure. It molded its structure in a way to implement an infusion between Physical and Digital network together.” Dr. Serrana Bassini Casco, the Secretary General of the Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal (PUASP), said in an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) today on the second day of the 25th UPC which started Yesterday, Monday and was inaugurated by HH the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.
Dr. Serrana Bassini Casco, who is also one of the candidates for the prospective UPU director general, further told QNA that the world now is seeing a major shift from Physical delivery of items through postal Service with the integration of the digital options, which brings us to the point that we need to keep up with this transition.
“The postal sector has crucial problems. Volume letters are declining and new technology is taking over,” Casco said.
Explaining the challenges faced amid this transition within the developed countries she said, “The situation in developing countries and in some regions is different. We have the quality of services, we have good operators but we are facing challenges with the process of delivery,” Casco said.
She said the weak communication between developing countries and industrialized countries is one of the challenges and a gap that needs to be bridged.
“We should try to solve these problems as we now find that at one part of the world the quality of service is very good but on the other side we find it weak,” she said.
QNA quoted Casco as saying, “Customers after all are not interested about the internal issues of the postal operator; they only need their items to be properly delivered.”
She stressed the need to deal with these challenges at the different spots of the world as one issue rather than considering each region separately.
“One of the main goals of the UN is “solidarity” and I think we- UPU- need to keep this in mind.  We should offer cooperation to the less developed countries yet we need to keep in mind that that UPU is an integrator organization. So we shouldn’t handle the faced challenges separately during this congress, meaning we need to look at them as one issue using our strengths to reach out to regions with more necessities,” she explained. 
Casco is impressed with the Qatari efforts in hosting the congress and praised the choice of the Qatar National Convention Center to hold the event.
“I think it’s the best congress I have been to among the six conventions I attended for the UPU. It’s Splendid,” she said.
This year, the congress is to elect a new UPU chief that will follow current chief, Edward Dayan who assumed post in 2005 and reached his term limit this year. (END)

A Draft Protocol for Legal Cooperation Between Qatar and Sudan

Doha, September 25 (QNA) – A group of experts from the Ministry of Justice held a meeting here on Tuesday with their Sudanese counterparts to discuss an overall draft protocol for joint cooperation in legal field.
The draft protocol presented by the Sudanese side, deals with all aspects of joint cooperation including boosting ties of the already existing joint cooperation and discussing areas which have not covered by the previous agreements. Other scopes of joint cooperation in rehabilitation and training areas were also taken up.
The meeting was attended on the Qatari side by Ibrahim moussA al-Hitami , the director of the legal and judicial studies centre at the Ministry of Justice ,  Ms.Najat Mahdi Al Khalaf , the Director of the Conventions and International Cooperation Department along with Deputy Attorney General Turki Rashid Al-Muhannadi.
Attending the meeting on the Sudanese side were Salahuddin Abu Zeid Mukhtar, the Attorney General, Babiker Ahmed Ali, Chairman on Khartoum Prosecution, and Ms. Najat Moussa Ismail, the head of the Executive Office, and Ms. Awatif Abdel Karim Abdel Rahman, the General Counselor
Sudanese Minister of Justice Mohamed Bishara Dousa arrived in Doha earlier Monday on a  two-day visit to Qatar in response to an invitation from his Qatari counterpart HE Hassan Bin Abdullah Al Ghanem. (QNA)

ASPIRE4SPORT Preparations Underway, Raul and Hierro to Participate

Doha, September 25 (QNA) – ASPIRE4SPORT, the Middle East’s leading sports business congress and exhibition has confirmed that 80 percent of exhibition space has already been reserved for this year’s event and urged interested exhibitors to “seize the opportunity to interact with key players within the sports industry.”
With a desire to display their products and services to the region’s sports business decision makers, recent additions to the exhibitors list include: Bouigues, Auditoire, Bin Omran Trading, NBK Medical, Fenwick Iribarren, Inmotion Object Tracking BV, UBI France, and UKTI.
“The response to the 2012 edition of the conference has been overwhelming. With two months  to go before the event, the exhibition space has filled up fast with 80 percent of the available area taken. We expect the remaining space to be filled quickly,” said ASPIRE4SPORT President Tariq Al Naama.
Al Naama also confirmed the presence of a number of important and influential stakeholders in Qatar’s rapidly expanding sports industry. The impressive list includes Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, Qatar Olympic Committee, Qatar Football Association, Qatar Stars League, Qatar Foundation and Katara.
ASPIRE4SPORT Vice President Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud said that this year’s stakeholders include the most important sports entities in Qatar, which will no doubt prove invaluable to the other organizations that wish to network with them and hold business to business meetings.
This year, the exhibition area will be split into seven distinct zones within the exhibition area. The comprehensive spaces include ASPIRE BUILD, ASPIRE TECH, ASPIRE MED, ASPIRE LOGISTICS, ASPIRE EGUIP, ASPIRE ORG and ASPIRE TURF.
The big names attracted to ASPIRE4SPORT has extended to its star-studded guest list, which has continued to grow, with Spanish football legends Raul Gonzalez and Fernando Hierro set to attend.
Spanish striker Gonzalez, who currently plays for the Qatar Stars League side Al Sadd, will be featuring in the Star Chats panel of the conference with retired Real Madrid defender Fernando Hierro, who will share the invaluable insight gained from a career made up of 500 official games, four World Cups and two European Championships.
ASPIRE4SPORT organizers had announced earlier at the London 2012 Olympic Games the participation of former heavyweight boxing champion Lennox Lewis.
Entering its third year under the new slogan Connecting Business and Sport, ASPIRE4SPORT 2012 will feature three unique conference programs: Aspire Build, focused on infrastructure and stadium development; Aspire Tech, a conference on technology and sport; and Aspire Med, which will feature discussions on sports science and sports medicine. (QNA)

VCUQatar Welcomes 72 New Full-Time Students

Doha, September 25 (QNA) – Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar has welcomed 72 new full time students to the Education City campus – 62 to the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), six to the new Bachelor of Arts (BA) and four to the Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) programmes.
This fall semester, VCUQatar welcomes the first group of students to the new BA programme in art history. This is the first non-studio degree offered by the branch campus and is intended to support the development of the cultural infrastructure in Qatar, the university said in a press release issued here Tuesday.
The incoming BFA and BA classes of 2016 represent a truly diverse student body with students joining the university from Qatar, Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territory (Occupied), Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States.   53% of the incoming freshmen are Qatari.
VCUQatar Dean Allyson Vanstone and Joseph Seipel, Dean of the VCU School of the Arts in Richmond welcomed the incoming class. “Being accepted to this prestigious university is the first step in your academic journey,” said Dean Vanstone in her welcome address to the students. “The expansion in Qatar’s cultural and professional infrastructures makes this a vital time to enter the fields of art and design. Artists and designers help society innovate and generate sustainable solutions. You are this region’s next generation of artists and designers. Welcome to VCUQatar.”
The welcome address marked the conclusion of an exciting week of orientation activities, where students were introduced to university life at VCUQatar. Activities included a cross cultural awareness session, art foundation activities and a guest lecture by Anthony Fontana, learning technologist and instructor of Art at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
For her part, said Pornprapha Phatanateacha, associate director of the MFA program said that VCUQatar also welcomed the fourth class of the MFA in design studies, the first graduate program in design in the gulf region. “This international group of students comes from a wide range of educational backgrounds and has varied research interests”, she said.
“These bright, ambitious students are very eager to work on their research. They have come to us with an idea of what they want to do, and our goal is to facilitate this process, maintain their enthusiasm, provoke their curiosity, and push them to go further, so they can make significant contributions in design practice, management, and higher education in Qatar in the coming decade”, added Pornprapha Phatanateacha.
Admission to VCUQatar is competitive with applications being blind reviewed by a committee comprised of members of the faculty and staff. Decisions are based on a comprehensive assessment of the applicant s academic achievements to date, their artistic talent, creativity and originality as evidenced by the work they present in their individual portfolios (BFA and MFA), letters of recommendation, writing skills and English language proficiency.
The incoming class of 2016 represents highly qualified students who are poised to succeed in the fields of art and design. (END)

Qatar Exchange Down 0.28%

Doha, September 25 (QNA) – The Qatar Exchange was down on Tuesday 24.31 points or 0.28% to 8,549.30 points from the previous closing of 8,573.61. The volume of shares traded fell to 3,392,498 from 5,958,385Monday, and the value of shares decreased to QR126,356,217.67 from QR195,738,164.10 Monday.
 Among the top losers were Industries Qatar whose share dropped 0.63% to QR140.90, Islamic Insurance lost 1.03 to QR57.40, International Islamic Bank fell 0.95% to QR52.20 and Rayan down 0.55% to QR27.15.
Today the Qatar Banking and Financial sector lost 6.17 points while the Insurance sector dropped 2.03 points. The Qatar industrial sector down 8.48 points and the Services sector fell 10.05 points. (QNA)

HH the Dputy Emir receives copies of credentials of new ambassadors

Doha, September 25 (QNA) – HH the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani received at his Emiri Diwan office on Tuesday the credentials of eight new ambassadors.
HH the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent received the credentials of each of HE the Ambassador of Egypt Mohamed Morsy Awad, HE the Ambassador of Libya Abdul-Monsef Hafiz Albouri, HE the Ambassador of the United Kingdom Michael Angus O Neill, and HE the Ambassador of Belguim Herman Merckx.
 HH the Deputy Emir also received the credentials of HE the Ambassador of Croatia Tomislav Boshnyaks, HE the Ambassador of India Sanjeev Arora, HE the Ambassador of Nepal Dr. Maya Kumari Sharma, and HE the Ambassador of Costa Rica Luis Alberto Guillen Downing.
Their Excellencies the new Ambassadors conveyed to HH the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent greetings of their countries’ respective leaders and their good wishes for more progress and welfare to the Qatari people.
For his part, HH the Deputy Emir and Heir Apparent welcomed the new diplomats and wished them more success in their assignments and further development and growth to the relations between Qatar and their respective countries.
The new Ambassadors arrived at the Emiri Diwan earlier before presenting their credentials where they were accorded a red-carpet reception. (QNA)