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Hypermarkets increase direct imports from several countries

Leading hypermarkets in the country have taken steps to bolster the stock of fresh food items as well as other food products. Most of them said that fresh food items from a number of countries will reach from Thursday.

Quality Group has decided to increase the direct import of food and consumer goods, especially fresh food items by air from a number of countries in Asia, Europe and the Far East. Several of these items from many countries will reach the country within a few days.

The move will increase the import of different varieties of fruits, vegetable, cereals, raw food, meat, egg, chicken, meat and other consumer goods from different countries and will ensure smooth and uninterrupted supply of products through its retail outlets in the country.

“We are planning to increase our food imports especially fresh food items like vegetables, fruits, sea food and poultry products from the producers in Asia, Europe and the Far East countries,” Shamsudheen Olakara, chairman of Quality Group said.

He described the market situation in Qatar as normal and prices within the stable limit. “We can assure our customers smooth and uninterrupted supply of most food items for two-three months with our present stock. Through Qatar Foods, Quality Fruits & Vegetables, Middle East Importers, Quality Foods & Services as well as our wholesale divisions, we are ready to serve the people with sufficient products for the coming months through increased direct import,” he explained.

“Import of food and other necessities to Qatar, will progress as usual. All measures are taken to ensure quality of the imported fruits, vegetables and other food items as well as more quantity,” Olakara added.

A Safari Mall official said that they are getting fresh fruits and vegetables from Oman and Iran.”More supplies will reach in a few days and we will be able to meet any demand for fresh food items.”

An official from Family Food Centre said that fresh chicken from Oman will start arriving from today. “We also have contacted many other distributors from several countries including Turkey and will have enough quantity of fresh food items to meet the demand,” he added.


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Enough food stocks for 12 months: Qatar Chamber

Qatar has stocks of food and other consumer goods which is enough for next 12 months, said Chairman of Qatar Chamber (QC), Shiekh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani. There will be no shortage of food items and other materials as over 95 percent of Qatari imports come through the air and sea, he added.

QC held a meeting which was attended by more than 40 major food supplies importer companies.

The meeting has come as part of the Qatar Chamber’s efforts to facilitate any procedures related to food consumer goods in light of the latest development of severance of ties with neighbouring countries and border closure. The meeting resulted in formation of a joint committee from the representatives of the major food importing companies and QC.

Qatar Chamber meeting attended by 40 major food supply importer companies.

Qatar Chamber meeting attended by 40 major food supply importer companies.

“The recent development has required the importers of food supplies from these three countries to sign contracts with other suppliers,” said QC yesterday in a press statement.

The meeting discussed the alternative sources for the importers, as many of these importers have already signed agreements with other partners to ensure flow of food consumer goods. Attendees assured that they have enough strategic stock of food stuff and they have variety of sources, and the local market will not be affected and they are ready to put all their stocks under the State.

Food items are available enough in the market and there is no shortage, and the impact of this development will be negative for traders of those counties which have lost the Qatari market, while the Qatari importers have many other alternatives.

QC said that it is going to facilitate any difficulties being faced by importers in collaboration with the competent authorities.

Shiekh Khalifa, Chairman of QC, expressed his regrets for the steps taken by Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to sever their ties with Qatar and close their borders and air space. Over 95 percent of Qatari imports come through the air and sea, and the Qatari private sector has contracts with suppliers in many countries and able to provide with the needs in competitive prices, Sheikh Khalifa said, adding that the losers were the exporters in the above mentioned three countries.

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Exchange houses record spike in remittances

Exchange houses in Doha recorded on Monday a spike in outward remittances, and they are expecting “high transaction activities” to continue this week, according to industry sources.

A senior official of an exchange house told Gulf Times that as much as 60% of transactions last Monday were made by Indian expatriates.

“The volume of transactions last Monday in our exchange was almost four times higher than the normal daily average. At least 60% of remittances were sent to India, and 20% were sent to the Philippines; another 20% comprised of other countries put together,” he explained while observing that “high transaction activities” are expected to continue throughout the week.
Another exchange house said many people flocked to their shop in the afternoon and had to extend operating hours to cater to the volume of customers.

“We had to work for an extra hour just to accommodate the large number of people that were sending remittances. Unofficially, we extended business hours in the evening for that day,” a senior manager said, adding that exact figures and the volume of transactions will be clearer by the end of the week.

An exchange house official also said there was only “a slight increase” in the volume of remittance outflow from Qatar from January to May 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
“There was only a slight increase in the first five months of 2017 compared to the same period last year although we were able to reach the same level of business this year,” he pointed out.
In the first week of Ramadan, transactions to the Arab corridor were “10% to 15% less” compared to the same period last year due to “many factors,” he also said.

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Qatar Airways operations running normal, 3 charter flights to carry stranded passengers from Saudi to Muscat

Qatar Airways in a message posted on their social media page said that their flight operation is going on normal except to the four countries – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt – which has banned the airline from their country.

“Qatar Airways operations are running as normal with no disruptions to flights with the exception of the four countries Qatar Airways has been restricted to fly to,” the airline posted on twitter.
To help stranded passengers in Saudi Arabia Qatar Airways has arranged for three charter flights.

“In response to these restrictions Qatar Airways has arranged for three charter flights departing Jeddah today at 16:00, 22:00 and 23:00 local time to Muscat in order to assist all Qatar Airways passengers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We encourage all Qatari Passengers stranded to make their way to King Abdulaziz International Airport to avail of these three flights today, Tuesday June 6,” the airline said in its statement.
A connecting Qatar Airways flight will then transport passengers onwards from Muscat, Oman, to Doha, Qatar.

Flight details are:
WY3502 departing Jeddah 16:00 local time (13:00 UTC 6th June)
WY3506 departing Jeddah 22:00 local time (19:00 UTC 6th June)
WY3504 departing Jeddah 23:00 local time (20:00 UTC 6th June)

Passengers are advised to report directly to King Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, three hours prior to the flight times above in order to be registered and accepted on to the flight.

UAE & Bahrain
Meanwhile, Qatar embassy in Manama has asked Qatari citizens wishing to leave Manama to Doha to approach Dada Bye agency to coordinate their travel on Kuwait Airways or Oman Air.
And the embassy in UAE told citizens to use Kuwait Airways or Oman Air to leave UAE and reach Qatar. First Oman Air leaves Abu Dhabi at 4:40pm and later at 9:45pm. Kuwait Airways leaves Abu Dhabi at 9:45pm.

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No need to stock up; necessary steps taken to ensure normal life: Qatar cabinet

There are many unsubstantiated news circulating on the social media about the current Gulf crisis. There is no need to panic or stock up as all necessary steps have been taken to ensure normal life, a statement said. Import of goods and movement of people will not be affected as all channels of import other than those from the Gulf States, which cut ties with Qatar, will work as before.

After a news about people hoarding food products went viral, most supermarkets witnessed massive rush. According to various supermarket officials, there is no need for panic as food products in Qatar is sourced from countries around the world – not only from Gulf countries. So there will not be any shortage as there are many supplying countries, which are accessible in a short flight time.

A statement from Qatar cabinet said that “Marine and air spaces will remain open for import and movement.”

And the cabinet also said that “we took all the necessary precautions to ensure normal life.”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in its statement that “these measures taken against the State of Qatar will not affect the normal course of life of the citizens and residents of the State and that the Qatari government will take all necessary measures to ensure this and to thwart attempts to influence and harm the Qatari society and economy.”

There is also another fake news going viral saying that the Ministry of Interior is going to eavesdrop on all communication channels of residents. This is incorrect and there is no official notification on the same. This message keeps popping up whenever there is any crisis or breaking news.

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Qatar tops MENA in Global Peace Index

Qatar has been ranked as the most peaceful nation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to latest Global Peace Index report .

Qatar has been ranked first in the Middle East and North Africa region from 2009 to 2017.

Qatar secured the 30th position out of 163 countries ranked in the report, five places up from the previous year. Meanwhile, the world has become more peaceful, with 93 countries recording higher levels of peace while 68 deteriorated compared to last year. Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world and has been topping the chart since 2008. New Zealand and Portugal came next, pushing Austria and Denmark down in the ranking.

The MENA region continues to be the least peaceful region.”Although this year’s uptick is reassuring, the world is still mired with conflict in the Middle East, political turmoil in the US, refugee flows and terrorism in Europe,” said Steve Killelea, founder and executive chairman of the Institute for Economic and Peace think-tank which produced the index.

“When combined with the increasing level of peace inequality, whereby the least peaceful countries are moving further apart from the most peaceful, the resulting scenario is one in which further improvements in peace are not guaranteed.” The global economic impact of violence is estimated to be approximately $14.3 trillion, equivalent to more than $1,900 for every person in the world.

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HMC in urgent need of O+ blood

Hamad Medical Corporation’s Blood Donor Center is in urgent need of O+ blood and has requested donors to come ahead and donate.

Located in Hamad General Hospital, the center is open during Ramadan from 8am to 1pm and 6pm to 12am during Sunday to Thursday and only during evening on Saturday. The Blood Donor Center is closed on Friday.

Meanwhile you could also donate at donor center located next to Carrefour in City Center. This center would be open from 6pm to 12 am.

The hospital has announced this requirement on all its social media account. One could contact 44391081 for further details.

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Daily Vodafone gifts to prepaid customers during Ramadan

Vodafone is giving its prepaid customers daily gifts with Happy 123 in the form of data, local minutes, or international minutes during the holy month of Ramadan, the telecommunications provider said in a statement.
To receive their gift, prepaid customers simply need to dial *123# daily from their mobile and they will be shown the gift that can be availed before midnight of the same day.
The customer just needs to select and accept the offer in the menu, which would refresh daily based on their usage.
Vodafone said: “We hope these daily gifts will help our customers stay in contact with their loved ones both in Qatar and abroad during Ramadan bringing them happiness during this very special month.”
Vodafone Qatar first unveiled its Happy Offers platform for its prepaid customers in May last year, a telecom innovation that has proven its success across the wider Vodafone Group.
Happy Offers brings tailored offers to each customer every day with amazing value across recharge credit, data, and local and international calling presented in a simple way, and in the customer’s preferred language.

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Ramadan begins today in Qatar

Ramadan Crescent Sighting Committee of the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) announced that today, May 27, will be the first day of Ramadan.
This came in a statement released by the committee after a meeting it held yesterday.
The committee’s statement said that they have confirmed the viewing of the Ramadan Crescent last night. The statement then announced Saturday as the first day of Ramadan.
The committee then expressed greetings on the arrival of the month to  Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani,  Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Deputy Emir H H  Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al Thani, and to the wise government, the Qatari people and all Muslims.

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Iconic Nokia 3310 now available in Qatar

The reimagined Nokia 3310 to go on sale in Qatar retail stores. Unveiled earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the phone is available in four colours – Warm Red and Yellow, both with a gloss finish, and Dark Blue and Grey both with a matte finish.

The Nokia 3310 will retail at QR 199.

Thin, light and durable, the Nokia 3310 from HMD Global is a head turning modern twist on one of the best-selling feature phones of all time. Boasting an incredible 22-hour talk-time and month long stand-by, the Nokia 3310’s fresh, colourful, modern design brings it up to date.

“Talk all day, text, take pictures, listen to music, and get hooked once more on the original mobile gaming hit Snake, all on a single charge. With its unparalleled month-long standby time, the Nokia 3310 encompasses everything you knew and loved in a sleek modern polycarbonate casing, and with inherent colour throughout its body the Nokia 3310 is more vibrant than ever before,” a statement from the company said.

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