Unique experiment to reduce street heat by painting it blue

Unique experiment to reduce street heat by painting it blue – Abdullah Bin Jassim Street in blue

The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) has been working on an experimental project with a Japanese company to paint the Abdullah Bin Jassim Street near Souq Waqif in blue colour to reduce the temperature of the asphalt by around 15 – 20 degrees Centigrade, the local Arabic daily Arrayah reported on Friday.

Engineer Saad al-Dosari tweeted that the temperature of the black asphalt is 20 degrees higher than the actual temperature as black colour absorbs and radiates heat. In addition, the blue colour of the street is pleasing to the eye.
The official added that the street and the experiment will be under evaluation for 18 months.

Image Credit: gulf-times.com

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The number of abandoned cars across the country is expected to be around 17,000 to 18,000 cars. The neglected vehicles are also hindering the implementation of important development projects in the Industrial Area due to unnecessary congestion.

Workers’ arrears paid in full after matter brought to government’s notice

Workers arrears paid in full after matter brought to  government’s notice

QNA Doha

The salaries of all the employees, who on August 4 staged a peaceful protest in the Sheehaniya area demanding their wages of three months, have been paid in full within two days of the matter coming to the notice of the authorities, it was announced on yesterday.

A statement issued by the Government Communications Office (GCO) said an investigation was launched immediately after the guest workers “conducted a peaceful strike in response to the non-payment of salaries by their employers in May, June and July 2019”.

Following the investigation, the authorised signatories of the two companies in question were arrested and it was found that salaries had been delayed following a period of negative cash flow at both companies, caused by non-payments elsewhere in the supply chain.

“By August 6, 2019, after consultation with all stakeholders, the outstanding salaries of all workers were paid in full through the Wage Protection System (WPS),” the GCO said.

“Workers also have the right to change their employer due to the violation of Qatar’s labour laws. The Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (ADLSA) is co-ordinating with all workers who choose to exercise this legal right,” the statement said.

“The Government of Qatar is committed to improving the Wage Protection System to ensure that workers’ wages are paid on time and that wage arrears are systematically settled.”

The GCO said ADLSA continues to conduct its programme of workshops throughout Qatar to raise awareness of the complaint mechanisms in place for guest workers. “If a worker identifies a workplace violation, they are encouraged to lodge a complaint at a Government Service Center or at one of Qatar’s complaint kiosks.

“The Government of Qatar places the utmost importance on strengthening the rights of its guest workers and ensuring that all companies respect these rights and adhere to Qatar’s labour laws,” the statement added

Joint campaign to remove abandoned vehicles in Industrial Area launched

Joint campaign to remove abandoned vehicles in Industrial Area launched

A joint campaign to remove abandoned vehicles in the Industrial Area was launched last week by the Committee for Removal of Abandoned Vehicles in co-operation with the Department of Mechanical Equipment, the Municipality of Doha and the security authorities.

This is part of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment’s continuous efforts to end the nuisance which is distorting the general landscape of the country and also has a negative impact on the environment.

The campaign comes in accordance with the provision of Law No. (18) of 2017 on hygiene.

Officials present at campaign launch were Saleh Hassan Al Kuwari, Director of Natural Reserves Department and Deputy Chairman of Committee for Removal of Abandoned Vehicles; Marzouq Mubarak Al Mesaifir, Assistant Director of Mechanical Equipment Department and Member of the Committee, Ghanem Nasser Al Qubaisi from the General Control Section in Doha Municipality and officials from the Internal Security Forces “Lekhwiya”.

Saleh Hassan Al-Kuwari said, “The campaign will continue until the completion of the removal of all neglected vehicles in all areas of the Industrial Area.”

According to his expectations around 7,000 to 10,000 neglected cars will be removed during the campaign. “This means that the campaign will continue for about one to three months due to the large size of the industrial zone and the number of vehicles in that area,” he added.

The campaign targets abandoned cars located within the borders of the Industrial Area with the participation of a number of equipment and machinery belonging to the Municipality, the Lekhwiya and the General Directorate of Traffic.

Al Kuwari pointed out that the abandoned cars are lifted and then transferred to the tow yard in Al Mashaf area which so far has accommodated up to 25,000 cars. Some 3,000 rickety cars were chopped off in two months, according to the official.

On his part, Marzouq Mubarak Al Mesifir remarked, “The committee’s efforts started from the municipalities of Doha, Al Shahaniya and Al-Dhaen and now has now been extended to the Industrial Area which is considered the most important. The committee has intensified its efforts during the last period through continuous campaigns in these areas.”

After transferring the cars to the tow yard in Al-Mashaf, Messemeir and Umm Salal areas, six months will be granted to their owners, as per legal procedures, after which the vehicles will be disposed of by an auction, organized by the ministry. Alternatively, at the request of local companies, they can get rid of the cars by cutting them up and thus benefiting from the scrap iron.

“Since the beginning of this year, 4,950 abandoned cars have been lifted, and the campaign will continue until the removal of abandoned vehicles from all the municipalities,” he added.

The number of abandoned cars across the country is expected to be around 17,000 to 18,000 cars.

Lieutenant Abdullah Ali Shuail Al Marri of Lekhwiya said: “Lekhwiya is involved in maintaining security and providing a number of heavy machinery for removal of abandoned cars that distort public view.”

Lieutenant Ali Rashid Al Marri of the General Directorate of Traffic and Patrols explained that the traffic participation comes within the framework of co-operation with the concerned authorities, where patrols are organizing traffic during the removal process.

Ghanem Nasser Al Qubaisi said, “The campaign aims at removing the neglected cars from street numbers 16 to 52. Today, about 50 -75 neglected cars were detected and removed during the morning and evening shifts.”

The neglected vehicles are also hindering the implementation of important development projects in the Industrial Area due to unnecessary congestion.

Image Credit: thepeninsulaqatar.com

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SIIMA Awards 2019 – Top South Indian artistes to attend | Lusail Indoor Arena – 15-16 Aug

SIIMA Awards 2019 – Top South Indian artistes to attend | Lusail Indoor Arena – 15-16 Aug 2019

The 8th edition of the annual Pantaloons South Indian International Movie Awards (SIIMA) will be held at the Lusail Indoor on August 15-16.

Nearly 600 artistes are expected to be present for the two-day event, including 200 leading celebrities such as legendary actors Chiranjeevi and Mohanlal.

The Lusail venue will host close to 8,000 people celebrating South Indian cinema in four regional languages of Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam.

Details of the event were announced on at a press conference attended by Mashal Shahbik from Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC), Vishnu Induri, SIIMA owner; Dr R Seetharaman, CEO, Doha Bank; Naveed Abdulla, CEO, OneFM Qatar; Jassim Mohamed, CCO, OneFM Qatar; Medhat Greiss, general manager, Teyseer Motors; and Indian actresses Andrea Jeremiah and Manvika Harish.

Mashal Shahbik from Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) said, “We are pleased to see exciting cultural events such as SIIMA, offering family-friendly entertainment, a core tenet of Summer in Qatar. Our partners at Radio OneFM have been instrumental in bringing first North, and now South Indian cinema to audiences during the Qatar-India Year of Culture.”

“Year of Culture is an initiative that seeks to expand mutual understanding between Qatar and other countries through art and cultural exchanges. Indian culture is full of colour and vibrancy, and Qatar has strong historical connections with it. From hosting large shows such as SIIMA to lavish destination weddings, we build even stronger bridges between our cultures and deliver exceptional experiences. At QNTC we empower our partners to develop initiatives to further tourism and events in Qatar.”

Vishnu Induri, SIIMA owner remarked, “Doha is an excellent city with fantastic facilities to host such an event. Though we were not sure about the venue and the place initially, QNTC made our work so easy. The kind of support we received from QNTC officials helped us in getting all the necessary permissions very quickly and completing the preparations within a few weeks. It has been a fantastic experience and we look forward to future collaborations with QNTC.”

Previous editions of SIIMA were held in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia.

Awards for Telugu and Kannada artistes will be given away on August 15 in the presence of Chiranjeevi while Mohanlal will attend the event on August 16 for the Tamil and Malayalam awards distribution.

Event partners for the 8th edition of SIIMA are Qatar National Tourism Council, Ministry of Culture and Sports, Qatar Airways, Teyseer Motors, W Doha, Doha Bank, Al Mana Leasing, Gulf Car, Royal Regis, Talabat, Rayyan Water, and 98.6 Radio Malayalam.

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‘Perfect Duet’ art exhibition showcases mother-son nexus | The ART29 Gallery – Qatar’s talented artist, Ahmed al-Jufairi and his mother, artist Hanady al-Othman, have opened the ART29 Gallery at W Doha Hotel & Residences

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) launched a series of engaging workshops and activities dedicated to families and art enthusiasts for July and August

Image Source: @oneFMQatar

Last chance to enjoy Summer Fun activities at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA Qatar)

Last chance to enjoy Summer Fun activities at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA Qatar)

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) launched a series of engaging workshops and activities dedicated to families and art enthusiasts for July and August. Taking inspiration from the museum’s collection, which covers 1400 years of history and a wide variety of materials and forms, the activities include a wide selection of art and calligraphy workshops as well as daily in-depth guided tours of the museum.

Running until the end of August, MIA Qatar presents over 35 courses developed by the Art and Calligraphy team to cater to all age groups. The exciting calendar of workshops includes courses of calligraphy in Kufic, Ruq’ah, Naskh, Nasta’liq or Diwani scripts and art workshops exploring acrylic or glass painting, drawing, geometry, clay sculpting and much more.

Every day during the month of August, MIA visitors also have the opportunity to explore the museum’s collection accompanied by a member of the team of Museum Guides.  In addition to the regular afternoon tours, available all-year-round at 2 pm, this summer visitors will also be able to enjoy an in-depth look at specific objects during the new Islamic Art in Focus short tours, taking place every morning at 10 am and again at 12 pm.

The last in the series of ‘Aladdin’ themed summer camps will run on 21st August for children aged 6 – 12 years old.  Inspired by the cartoon, children will make carpets and jewellery, hunt for Aladdin’s treasure in the museum and enjoy the original Disney cartoon, of course.  Places are limited so booking is essential.

The Summer Fun programme has been developed by MIA education department as part of the museum’s extensive learning programme, offering visitors of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to participate in a wide range of events, activities, research and learning opportunities designed for schools, families, adult and specialist audiences.

For more information about the Summer Fun activities at MIA Qatar, kindly visit http://www.mia.org.qa/en/whats-on

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Sushma Swaraj Former External Affairs Minister Passes Away

Sushma Swaraj Former External Affairs Minister Passes Away at 67 After Heart Attack

RIP Sushma Swaraj |’We will miss you’

Sushma Swaraj, former external affairs minister, and senior BJP leader, passed away on Tuesday night. She was 67. Sushma Swaraj was one of the rare loved politicians across party lines. The senior BJP leader was brought to AIIMS around 9:30 pm and was straight away taken to the emergency ward. AIIMS doctors said she died of a cardiac arrest.

Undoubtedly she was one of the best external affairs minister India had. During her tenure as Foreign Minister, she had developed a reputation of an approachable minister, often helping Indians facing troubles related to passports and visas.

A seven-time MP Swaraj did not contest the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and chose to sit out of the government this year on account of her health.

“A glorious chapter in Indian politics comes to an end. India grieves the demise of a remarkable leader who devoted her life to public service and bettering lives of the poor. Sushma Swaraj ji was one of her kind, who was a source of inspiration for crores of people,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a series of tweets.

Swaraj had put out a tweet in the evening congratulating Prime Modi after the Centre’s move to revoke special status for Jammu and Kashmir

Over a million visitors visited Qatar in June 2019 – Planning and Statistics Authority

Over a million visitors visited Qatar in June – Planning and Statistics Authority

As many as 1,053,015 people visited Qatar in June 2019, according to recently released figures by the Planning and Statistics Authority,

Various innovative initiatives undertaken by the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) have resulted in a large number of visitors from around the globe coming to Qatar.

Official statistics reveal that 113,302 visitors belong to GCC countries; 76, 666 people from other Arab countries; 21,052 from other African countries; 408,071 from other countries of Asia including Oceania; 338,692 from Europe and 95, 232 visitors came from Americas.

The Qatar Monthly Statistics Bulletin measures ‘visitor-arrivals’ meaning non-residents travelling to Qatar on a short-term basis for all purposes.

June statistics also indicate very good hotel occupancy rate in all-star categories rates at 65 percent in Qatar.

The occupancy rate of 3-star hotels topped the list showing 76 percent occupancy rate followed by 2- and 1-star hotels (75 percent); 4-star hotels (67 percent) and 5-star hotels (61 percent).

The performance of hotel apartments also remained promising in June 2019 showing overall 73 percent occupancy rate.

The ‘Summer in Qatar’ programme which began on June 4 and will conclude on August 16 enabled residents to invite their relatives and friends easily as the country further eased visa processes for their them.

Under the ‘Summer in Qatar’ programme, an electronic visitor authorisation system launched by the Ministry of Interior and QNTC in June this year also helped in facilitating the entry of visitors into the country enabling them to obtain a free visa upon arrival after applying through the online portal: qatarvisaservices.com

Online authorisation system streamlines the application process with 24-hour turnaround time.

To boost tourism in Qatar, the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) last month partnered with Chinese technology giant Huawei in a deal that will help to attract more visitors from the world’s fastest-growing visitor source market.

The partnership saw a Huawei camera crew visit Qatar to capture iconic and historic attractions around the country using the Huawei P30 Pro. The breathtaking images can now be used as wallpaper on Huawei phones.

Huawei also will promote videos taken by Huawei P30 Pro in Qatar through their online channels such as Huawei APP, social media and other video platforms, giving images of Qatar significant exposure to Chinese consumers.

In December last year, Cox & Kings India promoted Qatar as the group’s new preferred destination. The marketing and promotion campaign came as part of a strategic partnership with QNTC aimed at boosting the destination’s profile to attract luxury, business, and independent travellers to visit Qatar.

Nearly 260 Indian travel agents visited Qatar recently to attend a five-day training camp.

Rashed AlQurese, chief marketing & promotion officer, QNTC, had remarked, “We are pleased to be partnering with Cox & King’s group for the destination’s first-ever integrated campaign in India. Qatar is an easily accessible destination within a few hours from most Indian cities making it an attractive destination for travelers looking for short city getaways or a convenient stopover when heading further West.

“India is a priority market for us and we look forward to welcoming Indian visitors in Qatar to discover our destination’s authentic experiences all while enjoying our famed Arabian hospitality.”

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‘Perfect Duet’ art exhibition showcases mother-son nexus | The ART29 Gallery

‘Perfect Duet’ art exhibition showcases mother-son nexus | The ART29 Gallery 

Qatar’s talented artist, Ahmed al-Jufairi and his mother, artist Hanady al-Othman, have opened the ART29 Gallery at W Doha Hotel & Residences.

According to a statement issued by W Hotel  & Residences – the exclusive art exhibition titled ‘Perfect Duet’ showcases the nexus of mother and son, cultures and histories, India and Qatar, and colours and mediums.

The collection of artworks on canvas and sculptures exhibition consists of 20 installations based on different mediums of art, such as sculptors, hints of fashion, digital prints, 3D and oil, and acrylic paintings.

Their collective Al-Jufairi and al-Othman each have a very distinctive interpretation on the Qatar-India artistic message, with al-Othman choosing to celebrate women in a very bright, colourful and empowering paintings, such as one series of paintings entitled ‘She Thought She Could/So She Did’.

‘As mother and son, there is no stronger connection. As artists I was surprised to see that we work well together professionally because that usually doesn’t happen, Al Jufairi said of their relationship as artists.

Al-Othman remarked, ‘This is my first exhibition, and I want to use this to show that it is never too late to make your dreams come true’.

Indian ambassador to Qatar P Kumaran said during the opening night: “The vibrant expression of this union between India and Qatar, nourished over centuries of trade and cultural links, has been interpreted and expressed by both artists Ahmed al-Jufairi and his mother Hanady al-Othman and highlights, with a warm sentimentality, the artistic interchange between our two cultures.”

W Doha general manager Wassim Daaje said: “It is another exciting time for W Doha and ART29 as we provide a creative space for the most heartfelt duo – mother and son, to showcase their work to the local community. Their undeniable connection and passion is clearly evident through their art, and truly shows their passion to communicate with people through their artistic pieces.”

The exhibition is open to the public until August 27, from 10am-10pm daily.

Many of the works, in fact, were inspired by their travels to India including Al Othman’s rendition of the Pink Mosque and Al Jufairi’s several works inspired by Indian cities including Agra, New Delhi, Jaipur, and Udaipur.

‘I took Jam, a character I’ve created and showcased in past exhibitions, to four cities in India and shot these amazing photographs. I studied the history of these cities and tried to integrate them in my art especially for this show, explained Al Jufairi.

‘Perfect Duet’ is open for public viewing at W Doha Hotel’s Art29 from 10 am to 10 pm until August 27.

Image Source: albawaba.com

Pedestrian traffic fines up to QR 500 for violating traffic rules in Qatar – MoI Qatar

Pedestrian traffic fines up to QR 500 for violating traffic rules in Qatar – MoI Qatar

Ministry of Interior has reminded pedestrians to be cautious and to follow traffic rules. From Aug 2019, it imposes fines on pedestrians violating traffic rules.

Pedestrian traffic fines – The following fines are in effect now to pedestrians who violate traffic rules:

  • QR 100 – Pedestrians walking on the median strip of the road, or in places designated for cycling, and non-compliance at the extreme end of the road against traffic.
  • QR 200 – Pedestrians who don’t take the required precautions or use designated areas to cross a road.
  • QR 500 – Pedestrians who don’t follow the traffic signals while crossing the road at an intersection or when the Traffic Police allows vehicles to move. As well as breaking through military parades and processions.

The General Directorate of Traffic conducted a #AccidentFreeSummer campaign from 1st of July to 1st of August to create awareness about road safety in Qatar. This campaign was focused on serious traffic violations such as mobile phone usage while driving, Using parking lots of people with special needs by others, stopping vehicles in the yellow box and much more.

Pedestrians were taught on the proper method of road crossing and the importance of using reflectors. The move to impose fine on pedestrians was announced after this seminar.

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The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards have named Hamad International Airport (HIA) as the world’s second-best airport 2019

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Hamad International Airport named second best airport in the world

Hamad International Airport named second best airport in the world.

The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards have named Hamad International Airport (HIA) as the world’s second-best airport, in this year’s evaluation.

HIA first received this award in 2017 and since then continues to position itself as a leading global aviation hub.

The Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards evaluate airports based upon the direct feedback of their readers who vote for their favourite airport across the globe and upon criteria such as access, check-in, security, restaurants, shopping, and design.

And HIA with its focus to redefine airport experiences for travellers from around the world has managed to win this prestigious award based on direct feedback and votes of their readers

According to Badr Mohammed Al Meer, Chief Operating Officer at HIA, “We are very proud to be recognised by our loyal passengers for the seamless airport experience offered by HIA. To be named the World’s Second-Best Airport is a great achievement and testament to HIA’s high international standards. While this is a great recognition, we never rest on our achievements, and constantly evolve to deliver a true unique experience for our passengers.

Jacqui Gifford, Editor-in-Chief at Travel and Leisure, added, “For 24 years, our readers have been voting in the Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards. This annual franchise is a global collection of the top hotels, islands, cities, cruise lines, airlines, and more,” says Gifford. “Brands and properties from all over the world—from Peru to Japan, India to Italy, and right here at home in the United States—are recognized by our audience because they deliver on exceptional experiences, rooted in a sense of place.

HIA has achieved significant milestones within the criteria for which it has been voted as the second-best international airport.

Passengers have been given autonomy for the check-in process through the airport’s Smart Airport Program. Latest technology using a biometric-enabled self-check-in system and bag drop counters have made the process of checking in much more convenient for the passengers.

This has made the entire process faster thereby improving customer experience and allowing more passengers to be managed without the hassle of physical check-in facilities.

HIA has kept safety concerns in mind by increasing its security criterion and capacity for screening in its transfer areas and reducing queuing time, as part of its commitment to providing a seamless transfer experience for passengers and maintaining high levels of security.

HIA has also further improved customer service in the transfer security areas, allowing at least 95 percent of its transfer passengers to queue for under five minutes, which is an industry-leading achievement

The airport’s unique shopping and dining offering spread across 40,000 square meters of combined retail, food and beverage options are also continuously expanding.

HIA competed with some of Skytrax’s top 10 airports. Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, Hong Kong International Airport, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and Zurich Airport, achieving the second position, thanks to its exceptional state-of-the-art facilities.

In addition to sustaining a seamless passenger journey and advancing its technology, HIA is expanding its terminal to strengthen its ability to scale and compete with leading airports while increasing connectivity for airlines and passengers.

The expansion will include retail, dining, first and business lounges in the North Node, hoping to meet the demands of the increasing number of passengers and enhance the comfort and quality of the airport experience.

Furthermore, earlier this year, HIA was named as the fourth-best airport in the world at the Skytrax World Airport Awards.

HIA has been classified as a 5-star airport and only among the five hubs in the world to achieve this remarkable rank.

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