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Round-the-clock cleaning vehicles during Ramadan

The General Cleanness Department at the Ministry of Municipality and Environment will offer more garbage containers during Ramadan and the cleaning vehicles will work along 24 hours.

“The Department pays special attention to the Holy month of Ramadan because of the nature of consuming during this month where the quantity and quality of food waste increases from the rest of the year by up to 30 percent,” said Safar Mubarak Al Shafi, Director of the General Cleanness Department.

Department has taken into consideration all the obstacles like temporary closures for some streets, traffic jam and careless behavior of some people like throwing waste material on un-designated places, in addition to not throwing it on the proper time, he added.

Cleaning vehicles will focus more on main sites, commercial streets, entertainment areas, the Corniche and the Central Market, in addition to central market and abattoirs. The ministry has urged people to throw wastes only in garbage bins and also throw it on proper time so that the vehicles can remove it.

Government employees to get salaries on May 21

Government employees to get salaries on May 21

On the advent of the Holy Month of Ramadan, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs announced that salaries for the month of May for employees of ministries and government institutions and bodies, retirees and social security beneficiaries will be paid on May 21.

The Ministry added that the salaries for the month of June will be paid on 21st of the same month before the holiday of Eid Al Fitr.

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Qatar’s World Cup Stadium Finally Opens To The Public On Friday

There are eight World Cup venues in Qatar and the first one is officially complete. A debut football match will be hosted this weekend.

Khalifa International Stadium in Al Waab is going to be open to the public for the Emir Cup final on Friday, May 19.

It took three years of renovations to the stadium that built more than 40 years ago.

It is renovated for the World Cup with redesigned arches and canopies for spectators. It also includes a cooling system for both players and viewers.

In a statement, Qatar Football Association President Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa bin Ahmed al-Thani said:

“We are happy that the Khalifa International Stadium will again host football matches in Qatar. The stadium has been witness to the most prominent sporting achievements of Qatar and is a venue that is closest to Qatari hearts.”

Ticket info

Al Rayyan will face off against Al Sadd and led by former FC Barcelona player Xavi.

Opening ceremony will begin at 6.30 pm.

10,000 tickets are already on sale at Villaggio and City Center malls at the price of QR30 per person. You can also buy tickets at Souq Waqif starting today and the stadium on the day of the event.

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Ministry plans to launch e-book on healthy recipes

Ministry plans to launch e-book on healthy recipes

The Ministry of Public Health is set to launch a book with healthy recipes in a new attempt to promote healthy lifestyle and to address the problem of obesity and other lifestyle diseases in the country.
The e-book will include a wide range of 57 healthy recipes aligned with the Qatar Dietary Guidelines which offers insights and guidance for healthy eating. The book will be available free on the Ministry’s website and the recipes will also be introduced at restaurants.

The recipes have been selected through a contest ‘Cook Healthy-Live Healthy’ and five top winners of the competition were honoured by H E Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health, yesterday.
Iman Al Hammadi won the first place, while Mary Turner, Kim White, Ghada Sadiq and Aisha Hussein won the second to fifth places respectively.

Sheikha Dr Al Anoud bint Mohamed Al Thani, Director of health protection and non-communicable diseases at the Ministry of Public Health, said: “The aim of the competition was to raise awareness of healthy food habits and to communicate with the community to make be part of promoting healthy lifestyle.”

“The ‘cook book’ with healthy recipes will be published soon as part of implementing Qatar Dietary Guidelines launched in 2015 to help people stay healthy,” she added.

The ‘Cook Healthy-Live Healthy’ competition was launched at the Qatar International Food Festival 2016. The Ministry of Public Health provided advice to visitors on healthy eating and discussed different tips for achieving an overall healthy lifestyle.

More than 70 recipes were submitted at the competition. The recipes were evaluated by nutritionists at the Ministry of Public Health and 55 were selected for publication in the Ministry’s recipe book, which includes various types of popular and non-traditional dishes from different cultures. It will also feature Qatari popular dishes and how to prepare those with healthy ingredients. The book also contains nutritional information for each recipe and tips from Qatar Dietary Guidelines.  “The book will be available on the ministry’s website for free and it will include all types of recipes for a wide range of dishes including appetizers, main courses and desserts,” said Dr Al Anoud.

The Ministry of Public Health, held the ‘Cook Healthy-Live Healthy’ in cooperation with other organizations, such as the Bidaya Center for Entrepreneurship and Professional Development, which helped the participants by providing them with consultation, support and opportunities to take part in exhibitions which promotes healthy living.

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Wakra, Rayyan and Khor to get more schools

Al Wakra, Al Rayyan and Al Khor will get new private schools as authorities have sped up the process of attracting investors to develop 11 plots. The Technical Committee for the Promotion of Private Sector Engagement at the Ministry of Economy and Commerce yesterday briefed investors at a workshop about process to develop and operate private schools.

The Ministry has already floated the tenders for the development of plots and the deadline for submission of the offers is June 18. Each plot of land will have area of around 15,000 sqm and investors would need to submit bank guarantee of QR300,000.

Officials said the land plots will be leased for 25 years and investors would pay one Qatari Riyal for a square metre.

The development of the plots of land would include three stages consisting of development, licensing, and operational phase. All building designs must meet with the requirements set by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education said an official from the Technical committee.

Investors can be a Qatari citizen, a foreigner or a single person or company registered in Qatar. Investors were introduced to technical and financial details for developing projects, procedures of submitting offers and standards and criteria to set up for a assessing the tender offers. Investor who getting 70 percent or more points in the evaluation of the offers would be considered qualified and one investor will be selected for each plot of land.

There are five main evaluation criteria and each of them have several sub criteria. Quality of developing design facility, readiness of construction and engineering plans were among the main criteria, in addition to environmental and occupational safety plan and experiences in delivering and operating educational facilities. The official stressed that the 11 land plots are allocated Kindergarten (KG) to grade 12.

Sara Nabil Al Salem from the Private School Licensing office at the Ministry of Education, highlighted that the Ministry receives applications for opening new schools only in November and December of every year and applicant can be from single person or company.

Applications should be submitted online with basic information about the applicant, school, curriculum, building and facilities, said Sara, adding that documents need to be attached with the application.

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Al Meera offers 1,438 goods at cost price for Ramadan

Al Meera Consumer Goods Company has officially kicked off its Ramadan campaign by offering 1,438 consumer goods at cost price in 35 branches across the country, in addition to Géant Hypermarket.
In line with the campaign, Al Meera is currently participating at the ‘Meerat Ramadan at Katara’ consumer goods festival for the duration of the holy month.
The 1,438 high-quality products have been selected to cater to specific needs of shoppers during Ramadan. The products are strategically-placed on “special shelf talkers,” Al Meera said in a statement.
Cobus Lombard, Al Meera acting CEO, Sales and Operations director, said: “Since inception, Al Meera has been at the heart of the community and has spared no effort to make a real difference in the shopping experience of consumers across the country.
“As part of our unwavering commitment towards the welfare and prosperity of the community we serve, every year, Al Meera makes sure to run massive promotions on hundreds of food and non-food items catering to the needs of all families celebrating every iftar and suhour.”
He added: “This year, we are pleased to extend our Ramadan campaign with Al Meera’s participation in Katara’s ‘Meerat Ramadan’ festival as a token of appreciation and gratitude for the continuous support of our patrons and to share the country’s families in their celebration of the holy month.”
Held at the Cultural Village Foundation from May 11 to June 29, ‘Meerat Ramadan’ festival hosts more than 30 local food supply companies offering a wide variety of Ramadan culinary staples and grocery items at low prices to help families around the country in their preparations for welcoming the holy month.
Throughout the festival, Al Meera is offering Katara’s visitors a rich variety of Ramadan specials, essential food items, and a selection of the 1,438 consumer goods at cost price.
The interior design of Al Meera’s shop at the festival is decorated to reflect the company’s internal colours at its newly-opened branches, in addition to replicating the latest innovations and modern shelving setup, in line with the company’s identity.
Al Meera’s Ramadan campaign comes in the framework of the company’s inclusive CSR programme and providing consumers in Qatar with high-quality products at the best price to live up to Al Meera’s motto of being everyone’s ‘Favourite Neighbourhood Retailer’.
Al Meera will also provide adequate quantities of ‘Tamween’ items for Qatari nationals at 34 of its shopping centres across the country during the holy month.
It is currently working with its local suppliers in providing attractive offers on a variety of consumer products and home appliances at its stores.
Al Meera will also use special labels to designate products that will be priced by the Ministry of Economy and Commerce.
The company is continuously collaborating with its local and overseas suppliers to supply and import the best products from sources, including Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, the US, and the UK, among others.

Qatar announces working hours during Ramadan

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs H E Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Mahmoud has issued a circular on working hours during the holy month of Ramadan for the ministries, government bodies and public institutions.

The circular said that on the occasion of the advent of the holy month of Ramadan for the Hijri year 1438, it was decided that the official working hours during the holy month for civil employees will be five hours a day, starting at 9am until 2pm.

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Qatar agency issues tips to protect against ransomware and what to do if you are hit?

Qatar agency issues tips to protect against ransomware and what to do if you are hit?

Computers across the world were locked up and users’ files held for ransom when dozens of countries were hit in a cyber-extortion attack that targeted hospitals, companies, and government agencies.
There is no information yet of any company or organisation getting hit by ransomware in Qatar.

As the digital epidemic is spreading across the globe and people are expecting more damage on Monday as people get back to work, it is better to be cautious of the problem and take some simple steps to avoid getting hit by the global attack.

Qatar’s National Computer Emergency Response Team (Q-Cert), under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, in a series of tweets has issued some tips to protect your data against such attack and also what to do if you attacked.

Malware is a general term that refers to software that’s harmful to your computer. Ransomware is a type of malware that essentially takes over a computer and prevents users from accessing data on it until a ransom is paid.

How Ransomware works

In most cases, the software infects computers through links or attachments in malicious messages known as phishing emails.

The software usually is hidden within links or attachments in emails. Once the user clicks on the link or opens the document, their computer is infected and the software takes over.

The ransomware encrypts data on the computer using an encryption key that only the attacker knows. If the ransom isn’t paid, the data is often lost forever.

How to protect yourself against ransomware?

Store backups of important data on personal devices.
Be sure to update your operating system, Web browsers and other programs that you use regularly.
Update your antivirus software regularly.
Turn off or disable JavaScript, Flash, and Silverlight.
Avoid pressing anonymous links received in your email.
Do not open any attachment unless you expect to receive this file, the malware could exploit the sender’s email (even from someone you know). So if the attachment is suspicious better check with the person who send the mail before opening.
Block emails with attachments like compressed files or Microsoft Office files that contain malicious macro files. Don’t trust any MS Office file contains macro files, unless you created it or if you have received it from someone you trust.

What to do if you are hit by ransomware?

  • Most security firms advise against paying ransom as this will fund the hackers and their crimes. The money will help them improve their system and attack you again as they know who will pay. And paying doesn’t guarantee that the data will be returned.
  • Disconnect the affected device and any storage device from the network, because in certain cases the damage might spread to other devices on the same network.
  • Use antivirus software to get rid of ransomware.
  • Return your files from your backups.
  • If you don’t have backup of your files then find a way to remove the ransomware. Some researchers in information security companies are trying to create anti-ransomware programs.
  • Friday’s attack exploited vulnerabilities in some versions of Microsoft Windows. Microsoft has released software patches for the security holes, although not everyone has installed those updates.
  • If your software is not patched, you can exploit that user. Anyone who applied the patch that Microsoft released likely wasn’t affected by this.

Users should also look for malicious email messages that often masquerade as emails from companies or people you regularly interact with online. It’s important to avoid clicking on links or opening attachments in those messages, since they could unleash malware.

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Ministry of Interiors warns against spreading rumours or fake stories

Ministry of Interiors warns against spreading rumors or fake stories

Ministry of Interior (MoI) has warned people against spreading rumours. It has become a bane of social media that people spread fake stories without verifying the source of the news. This could create panic or irreparable damage to others.

It is always better to check the source of the news or else get in touch with authorities or news organization using their social media handles to confirm the information.

Recently we received many queries from readers asking if there is an alert about Qatar witnessing very high temperature. This was a fake forward and was circulating in the social media for some time now with wrong attributions.

Ministry in its tweet said that action will be taken against those who spread false news from unknown sources

“Rumour mongering and spreading stories from unknown sources will harm others and those involved will be held legally accountable,” MoI tweeted.

Many websites and social media accounts copy information without verifying the authenticity and even after realizing that the information is false, never bothers to clarify it for the readers.

There were many instances of false news going viral during the last few months.

Last week Woqod had to tweet from its official handle to dispel rumours about tampering.

Increasing social media discussions on Woqod petrol stations manipulating the fuel dispenser speed to increase the cost pushed the company to take a stand on its social media.

Sometime in February Qatar Meteorology Department had urged residents to not pay heed to social media rumours of tsunami hitting GCC countries. A lot of fake stories were circulating in social media about the weather during that time.

Again in February, the Traffic authorities had to step in to clarify the rumours circulating on social media suggesting that a new alphabet Q has been added to car number plates in Qatar.

In December 2016 the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs had scotched rumours circulating on social media regarding work visas and job transfer requests.

There are many instances of people being jailed or fined in neighbouring UAE for spreading rumours on social media or for circulating fake messages which could harm people or bring disrepute to the country.

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MoI urges residents to update their data to use e-gates

MoI urges residents to update their data to use e-gates

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) has urged residents, who have renewed their passports, to update their data through data devices at Hamad International Airport or at the General Directorate of Passports or other service centers so that they can use the e-gate facility at the airport.

The ministry tweeted on their official Arabic Twitter account that now all residents with valid Resident ID can use the electronic gates (e-gate) at Hamad International Airport for departure and arrival. There are no charges for this service.

This helps in reducing crowd at the immigration counters and residents can save a lot of time. Many travellers were seen praising the free e-gate facility on social media for its swiftness and ease-of-use.
Family with kids under the age of 18 can’t use the e-gate.

The e-gate service is accessible to expatriates above 18 years of age, using their Qatari ID cards. They are required to scan the ID card on the card reader machine installed at e-gate. Followed by fingerprint or eye scan (retina scan). If data on the ID and biometrics/ retina matches, the system will open the gate.

Every resident is urged to get their fingerprint scanned at the small office situated near the departure gates. The process is very fast and gets over in less than 1-2 minutes. After this registration, one can use the fingerprint scanner to pass through the e-gates and this is much more efficient and also easier than retina scan.

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