Republic Day 2020 – Indians celebrate 71st Republic Day with gaiety and gusto

Indians celebrate 71st Republic Day with gaiety and gusto

George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor

DOHA: Hundreds of Indian residents gathered at their embassy premises to witness Ambassador HE P. Kumaran hoist the tri-colour in celebration of the 71st Republic Day of India, on Sunday 26th at 8 am.

The celebrations started with the hoisting of the Indian flag by HE P. Kumaran followed by the singing of the National Anthem by the choir and the assembled audience.

The Ambassador then read out excerpts from the speech by the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind who had addressed the nation on the eve of 71st Republic Day stating: “Our constitution has given some rights to all of us as citizens of an independent democracy. But within the Constitution itself, we have also taken the responsibility that we should always be committed to the fundamental democratic ideals of justice, liberty and equality and brotherhood.”

The Indian Ambassador also welcomed Inspector General Anwar Khan -Tatraksha Medal, who commands the Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICGS) Samudra Paheredar which is visiting Hamad Port in conjunction with the  Republic Day celebrations.

HE P. Kumaran stated that the visit of ICGS Samudra Paheredar during the celebrations of India’s 71st Republic Day will further strengthen the time-tested friendship between India and Qatar, and enhance maritime co-operation between the two countries.

Also, present on the occasion was Subordinate Officer (SO) S K Singh, who on 12 August, in the face of unknown danger saved precious lives in a successful operation whilst dealing with fire and salvage of OSV Coastal Jaguar thus averting incomprehensible maritime distress, off the coast of Visakhapatnam.

SO S K Singh was felicitated by the ambassador for his courageous and valiant act of bravery.

Several embassy officials including First Secretary – Hemant Kumar Dwivedi, Defence Attache – Capt. Kapil Kaushik, office bearers from various bodies connected with Indian Cultural Centre, Indian school faculty members, prominent local businessmen and other distinguished guests attended the two-hour function.

The programme ended with school children singing various patriotic songs that had the audience joining in and cheering the youngsters.

In a special message to readers of QatarIndians.com, the Indian Ambassador HE P. Kumaran said, “I sincerely wish you all a very happy 71st Republic Day and am proud of the immense contribution our community has made and are making to this nation of Qatar. I also thank the Qatari government for their continued support and appreciation of the Indians living and working in Qatar.”

Sonu Nigam – all set to thrill music lovers today (23 Jan 2020)

Sonu Nigam – all set to thrill music lovers today (23 Jan 2020)

A musical journey Doha audiences will remember

George Julius Williams | Consulting Editor

The Ras Laffan hall of Concorde Hotel yesterday evening was abuzz with a melodious ring as Bollywood’s highly popular singer par-excellence Sonu Nigam spoke to the media, at a packed press conference, ahead of his much-awaited concert today.

The multi-talented singer/composer/actor/performer/anchor/celebrity judge will perform tonight in the Asian Town Amphitheatre at 7 pm.

Nigam has sung in practically every Indian language as well as English and his 3-year journey in the music industry has witnessed a repertoire of over 10,000 songs and an amazing record of over 40 mainstream awards, including the prestigious National Film Award. 

Answering the first question of the evening put forth by this writer on whether Nigam would like to sing in Arabic, the singer replied, “I would definitely want to if the opportunity came across. In fact, I started last year with a devotional song and ended with an English song with Polish singer Natalia Lesz which became immensely popular and that was the time I started thinking about singing in Arabic, Russian and Chinese also.”

Replying to QatarIndians next question about his career as an actor, Nigam stated that there is much more involved in achieving success than just the craft itself, one should make sure that it is also part of a great project.

“For example, it not enough to just sing a great song but also to ensure it is part of a credible project so that it reaches out to a larger audience,’ he pointed out.

“I am a firm believer in destiny and don’t take credit for right or wrong choices but rather just work hard and leave results to the Almighty. After I acted in a couple of movies, I realized that I was not enjoying being part of the project. So I made a pact with myself that only, and only if, I am convinced that is a credible project, I will invest my time and effort into it. A movie takes about 100 days to shoot and that is followed by promotions, premiers, etc and I have probably been one of the most busiest human beings on the planet for a very long time. I have worked hard and God has made me work hard. I am thankful to the Almighty that at a time when people are finding it difficult to find work, I have been extremely busy. So there is no point in wasting time over projects I don’t believe in. If things have to happen, it will. Like last year I did a short film that won the best actor’s award also.  You can probably watch it if you want.”

(My research shows that the short film is Saurabh Pandey’s 2019 award-winning movie Spotless which also stars Shweta Rohira). 

Answering another question on whether he will do a similar video to the one where he appeared incognito as an old beggar, Nigam replied he has no such plans at the moment. But if he does plan one than it has to come naturally from within.

“I used to do stuff when I was in my 20s as I was young and aggressive and wanted to try everything. Then I realized that I will not enjoy my life if I pre-calculate my every move. Now I act impromptu if something interests me then I will do it and if I do, you will know about it.”

Nigam further went to elaborate that in the last couple of years he has completely stopped taking singing assignments, as he has “found himself.”

“Some people can’t even claim that they have found something like this, in their entire lifetime. I have been leading a very peaceful, blissful and blessed life. I have not accepted offers for singing in films but prefer to do live performances. Having said that, I have no problems taking singing assignments, if I think it’s credible. After achieving a standard of success due to God’s grace I do not want to lower it my taking on below-average songs,” Nigam added.

Answering another query about remixes, Sonu said, “I have no problems singing re-mixes. Good and bad songs have always existed in films, the only difference is earlier the composers, lyrists, singers would give it their personal touch. Nowadays, it’s much more commercialized with everyone more interested in doing the “launch song” of the movie. But even today there are good songs and good singers.”

Nigam added that he has nothing against re-mixes as he has done it before when “I did not know how to say no.”

The current society seems to enjoy remixes but he personally does not ‘feel it is the right thing’ to do. However, in case a credible remix project comes along, he would definitely think about it.

Dr. Tejinder Singh, CEO, and founder of Q-Tickets who are the organisers, earlier welcomed Sonu Nigam and said, “I love Sonu’s song, his voice and his passion for the playback singing. So when Shop Qatar organisers requested us for a concert, the only name I could think of was Sonu Nigam who has been entertaining us for the past 27 years with memorable songs. We are looking forward to an exciting evening of entertaining songs at tomorrow’s concert.”

Dr. Singh also thanked his team members for all the time and effort put in to organize the event. Abhinav Upadhyay spoke on behalf of Sonu Nigam’s team and thanked the press for turning up and promoting the event.

The press conference was hosted by popular local MC Anshu Jain who also mentioned the tremendous behind-the-scenes efforts of Aarti Mahajan, co-founder of Q-Tickets in organizing the gigantic task of bringing in Sonu Nigam and his crew of 32 members which includes musicians, dancers and top visual, light and sound engineers to ensure that Doha is treated to a concert of a lifetime.

Tickets are starting from as low as QR 30 and the Sonu Nigam concert is bound to be a musical journey to remember. Click here to book your tickets now!

Tickets are available on Q-Tickets and selling fast. QatarIndians are media partners of the event.

Image Credit: q-tickets

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A Passage to India | Thousands throng to ‘A Passage to India’ Community Festival

A Passage to India | Thousands throng to ‘A Passage to India’ Community Festival

Doha: Thousands of Indians thronged to the Museum of Islamic Arts (MIA) Park over the weekend to witness the Indian Community Festival, under the theme, ‘A Passage to India,’ bringing the curtains down to the Qatar India 2019 Year of Culture.

The festival was organised by the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) in collaboration with the Embassy of India and MIA with the participation of other associated Indian organisations.

A 4 metre-high and 8 metre-long model replica of a famous Indian monument, the Red Fort was the key attraction. There were several cultural programmes highlighting the culture, traditions, and diversity of India.

A Passage to India | Thousands throng to ‘A Passage to India’ Community FestivalSeveral Indian expatriate organisations presented a number of cultural items varying from folk and classical dances to musical programmes, as well as written quiz competitions among others.

A number of food outlets provided various Indian delicacies from different states of India.

One of the attractions on the concluding day was a police dog show organised by the Ministry of Interior highlighting the skills of the canines in searching bags containing drugs or explosives, identifying criminal offenders and standing guard for children among others security-related activities.

About 25 long-term residents of the Indian community, who have completed 40 years or more in Qatar, were honoured during a formal function for their outstanding contributions to Qatar and the Indian community.

According to A.P. Manikantan, ICC president, “We have had great participation from all sections of the community and everyone contributed to the success of the festival. It was great to see people joining the event in large numbers and taking part in many of the events making it one of the most remembered Indian community events in Qatar.”

All the apex bodies of the Indian embassy, such as the ICC, Indian Community Benevolent Forum, Indian Business & Professional Council and Indian Sports Centre had their presence at the event to highlight their role in the community.

Associated ICC organisations such as Indian Women’s Association, Bangiya Parishad Qatar, Rajasthan Pariwar Qatar, Qatar Tamizhar Sangam, Maharashtra Mandal Qatar, and Cetaaq presented their specialties at their respective state stalls.

The main sponsors were LuLu Hypermarket Qatar, gold sponsors Teyseer Motors & JC Valves, silver sponsors Doha Bank and BDP International, associate sponsors Petrotec, Desert Line Group, Al Tawfeeq Travels, Qatar Oxygen Co, Hempel Paints, Jersey Group, and Naseem Al Rabeeh Medical Centre.

The event manager for ‘A Passage to India’ is Music Lounge Events.

Image Credit: gulf-times.com

CES 2020 | Q-Tickets showcased in Consumer Electronics Show 2020

CES 2020 | Q-Tickets showcased in Consumer Electronics Show 2020

Doha: Qatar-based e-ticketing platform was selected by the government to be represented at the CES event in Las Vegas, USA.

CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the world’s largest and most influential tech event.

In Qatar, Q-Tickets received the “Best Mobile Application of the Year Award” in 2018 and the “Fastest Growing Company of the Year” in 2016.

Q-Tickets has successfully hosted online ticketing and management for Pakistan Super League, Afghanistan Premier League, Qatar Motor Show, and The Qatar T10 League.

Founded in 2013 by Tejinder Singh, Q-Tickets is an  online application that offers users the option of buying movie tickets online using an ATM or debit card.

Since its inception, Q-Tickets has attracted more than a million users, sold more than 8 million tickets and managed many prestigious events. It operates in UAE, Qatar, Oman, & Bahrain

CES is the world’s largest and most influential tech event, where the entire technology ecosystem gathers to conduct business, launch products, build brands and partner to solve some of the world’s most challenging issues.

More than 4,500 exhibitors launched nearly 20,000 new transformative tech products to more than 170,000 attendees, encompassing 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart cities and resilience, sports, robotics and more. CES 2020 featured new and expanded exhibit areas, 300 conference sessions with 1,100 speakers, and more than 1,200 startups from 45+ countries.

The 53rd CES opened in Las Vegas on 7 January and ended on Friday, 10 January 2020.

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Image Credit: Qatarday

Metro Street Food Festival | Residents relish Metro Street Food Festival at the DECC Metro station

Metro Street Food Festival | Residents relish Metro Street Food Festival at the DECC Metro station

Many Qatar residents are relishing a wide variety of delicacies from different parts of the world at the ongoing Metro Street Food Festival being held at the DECC Metro station.

The Metro Street Food Festival offers over 20 dine-in options and 18-hole World Mini-Golf setup for foodies and sports enthusiasts.

Visitors can experience the ideal open-air venue and spend leisure time with family and friends.

Located conveniently at the DECC Metro Station (South) near the Al Fardan Towers the festival will last until the 24th of April 2020. Entry is absolutely free.

The Metro Street Food Festival is open daily from 12:30 pm to 11:00 pm on weekdays and from 02:00 PM to 12:00 midnight on weekends.

The festival which started on 1st January is being organised by QSports with I Love Qatar, Qatar Events and Metro as event partners.

Year of Culture | Qatar Museum wraps up Qatar-India 2019

Year of Culture | Qatar Museum wraps up Qatar-India 2019

2020 edition to celebrate ties with France

DOHA: Under the patronage of its Chairperson, HE Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, Qatar Museums (QM) has wrapped up another successful edition of its annual Year of Culture programme.

The Qatar-India 2019 saw an exciting array of exhibitions, festivals, competitions and events that took place in both countries over the past 12 months. The carefully curated programme was specially designed to promote mutual understanding, recognition and appreciation between both India and Qatar.

The programme began with the award-winning Ticket to Bollywood performance in Qatar which paid tribute to Bollywood – one of the world’s biggest film industries. The performance was produced and directed by award-winning director Shubhra Bhardwaj and choreographed by the talented Pravarsen Yesambare. Back in India, QM kickstarted the year with a showing of the hugely successful Monsoon Wedding Musical, known as the anthem of modern India.

Additionally, a variety of exhibitions of various themes took place over the past year. These have included:

Still More World by Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective, which presented 13 installations, two of which were created especially for the show in Doha. The exhibition was curated by Senior Curator Laura Barlow and drew on the energy of Doha’s urban landscape of light. The installations, ranging from videos to textiles and sculptures made between 2011 and 2019, were presented in three galleries at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. The two newly created pieces were titled, Dohas for Doha and To People, and were displayed on Burj Doha.

Set in Stone: Gems and Jewels from Royal Indian Courts was curated by Dr Tara Desjardins, with the support of Nicoletta Fazio, Reem Aboughazala, and Tamadur Tariq al-Shamlan. The exhibition is currently on show at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and features more than 100 pieces of magnificent gems and jewellery from India. These objects also form part of QM’s various collections, including several masterpieces that have never been displayed before. The exhibition is open until the 18th of January 2020.

See the Unseen opened at the Fire Station and was an exhibition by Qatari artist Faraj Daham, after the artist returned from his month-long residency at “What about Art?” Foundation in Mumbai, India. This exhibition addressed the concept of historical concealment and exclusion through a qualitative approach between what is visible (meant to be revealed) and what is real (meant to be concealed).

Where Cultures Meet: A Photographic Encounter Between Qatar and India is on show at Katara – the Cultural Village until December 31 in Gallery 18. As part of Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture, two Qatari photographers – Hamad al-Shamari and Aisha al-Sadah – travelled to the Himalayan region of Ladakh, India, for two weeks. The aim was to create an inspiring portfolio that will help foster mutual understanding and cultural relations between the two countries. Alongside it, two Qatar-based Indian photographers – Ajeesh Puthiyadath and Salim Abdulla – were selected as part of an open call to participate in the exhibition.

The final event of the year was the award-winning musical Mughal e-Azam, one of India’s most iconic performances.

Qatar India 2019, sponsored by Qatar Airways, was planned in collaboration with leading institutions in Qatar and India, including the Embassy of Qatar in New Delhi, the Embassy of India in Doha, Qatar’s Ministry of Culture and Sport, Qatar Foundation, Katara, The National Tourism Council, Qatar National Library, Doha film institute and many more.

Heading towards its 9th year, the 2020 edition will celebrate Qatar’s ties with France. The year is expected to have a host of exciting events, exhibitions and activities that will introduce audiences in France to Qatar’s rich heritage while bringing some of France’s most inspiring cultural acts to the country.

Image Credit: Qatar Museums

Shop Qatar 2020 | 07 – 31 Jan 2020

Shop Qatar 2020 to start tomorrow

DOHA: Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) will start Shop Qatar 2020 with a fashion show, featuring Hind al-Rumaihi and French collective Faith Connexion at Barahat Mshereib on January 7.

Rashed Saeed al-Qurese, chief marketing, and promotion officer, QNTC said at a press conference, “There will be a number of colourful retail and entertainment programmes, fashion shows among other activities during this edition of Shop Qatar. We will also have a week celebrating the Chinese New Year. There will be three raffle draws as well as many other shopping attractions and discounts.”

When shoppers spend QR 200 at the participating outlets, they will get a chance to win 6 cars and cash prizes worth more than QR 2 mn through three raffle draws. There will be weekly raffle draws at 9 pm every Friday during the festival (January 17, 24 and 31), with 12 cash prizes worth QR 330,000.

The Qatar Visa Portal platform will be open from Sunday to receive visa requests from all countries around the world to participate in the fourth edition of Shop Qatar. Applications will be processed within 24 hours for those identifying Shop Qatar as the reason for their visit.

The festival will be a blend of tradition with modernity, entertainment with shopping and exciting events with elegance with some of the very attractive activities such as the Aspire Lake Festival, Doha International Book Fair among others.

The retail partners of Shop Qatar 2020 are Al Mirqab Mall, AlKhor Mall, City Center, Doha Festival City, Gulf Mall, Hyatt Plaza, Lagoona Mall, Landmark Mall, Mall of Qatar, Villaggio, The Pearl-Qatar and Galeries Lafayette. These partners will provide discounts up to 70% on a range of consumer goods including clothes, electronics, cosmetics and accessories for men, women, and children.

Throughout the festival, all participating malls will host free-roaming shows and family-friendly entertainment as well as colourful lights and confetti show every weekend.

Qatar Airways Holidays is offering fly and stay packages to visitors from both Oman and Kuwait. These include return flights, two nights (plus breakfast) at 5, 4 and 3-star hotels, and a free shopping transfer tour.

Fashion-forward shoppers can catch a glimpse of the latest couture and ready-to-wear fashion with some 20 international, regional and local designers will be showcasing their Spring/ Summer collections 2020 from January 23-27 at Shop Qatar’s Fashion Shows.

Shop Qatar 2020 will see a host of live music concerts featuring Pakistani and Indian artistes.

The fourth edition of Shop Qatar will run until January 31 in cooperation with the official festival partners: the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Qatar Airways, Katara, Alfardan Premier Motors, Vodafone, Qatar TV, Al Hazem, and 12 commercial partners.

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Free short term parking at Hamad International Airport until 6th January 2020

Free short term parking at Hamad International Airport until 6th January 2020

Hamad International Airport (HIA) has posted a travel alert that the use of short-term parking will be available free of charge between 3rd and 6th January 2020 between the hours of 10:00 pm and 3:00 am, as this has been identified as the busy peak period at arrivals. For passengers’ convenience and safety during the peak period, access to the arrival and departure curbsides will be limited and customers are requested to proceed to the short-term car park for free parking during these periods.

Short-Term Parking Rates:

Short-term car parking located at Hamad International Airport passenger terminal has covered and secured parking. Parking charges for your reference.

  • Hourly rate QAR 8 ( up to first 5 hours)
  • Each additional hour or any part thereof will be QAR 5 each (up to 24 hours)
  • Each 24 hour – QAR 135
  • A lost ticket will cost QAR 45,  in addition to the actual tariff for the duration of parking
  • Cash payment can be made at payment machines located on each car park level. Card payments can be made at payment desks located on level one in both east and west car park areas.

Source: dohahamadairport.com

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Sonu Nigam referred to as a “Modern Rafi” and considered as one of the most versatile and greatest singers of the Hindi film industry of all time is all set to entertain music lovers on Thursday, 23rd January 2020 at the Asian Town Amphitheater from 7.30 pm onwards

Sonu Nigam all set to regale music lovers | 23 Jan 2020, Asian Town Amphitheater

Sonu Nigam all set to regale music lovers – A musical journey to remember

DOHA: Sonu Nigam the popularly versatile Indian playback singerlive performercomposer, TV reality host and actor is all set to entertain music lovers on Thursday, 23rd January 2020 at the Asian Town Amphitheater from 7.30 pm onwards. 

He sings predominantly in Hindi and Kannada language films. He has also sung in EnglishBengaliManipuriGujaratiTamilTeluguMarathiTuluAssameseOdiaNepaliMaithiliMalayalam and various other Indian languages. 

He is often referred to as a “Modern Rafi” and considered as one of the most versatile and greatest singers of the Hindi film industry of all times – apart from being one of the highest-paid Indian singers.  

Nigam who has also acted in a number of films, released Indian pop albums is regarded as the “Lord of Chords” 

Nigam’s crew of 32 members which includes musicians, dancers and top visual, light and sound engineers will ensure Doha audiences are treated to a concert of a lifetime 

Q-Tickets is bringing this super talented singer as part of Shop Qatar and tickets are starting from as low as QR 30/- with early bird price till 13 Dec 2019. (VVIP QR 1000 (Early Bird Price QR800)  

The Sonu Nigam Live show is a musical journey to remember and not to be missed! 

Image Credit: q-tickets

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Spring Festival 2019: Spring Festival’s Russian circus draws huge crowds

Spring Festival 2019: Spring Festival’s Russian circus draws huge crowds

DOHA: The one-of-its-kind Russian circus performing now at the Souq Waqif and Souq Al Wakrah Spring Festival 2019 has proved to be a huge crowd-puller as it continues to attract a large number of visitors since it opened on December 21.

Speaking recently to a local TV channel, Khalid Saif Al Suwaidi, Manager of Souq Al Wakrah said, “What distinguishes this year’s festival is the Russian circus, which is being held out of Russia for the first time in Doha. Exotic animals are part of this Russian circus. We have seen great turnout from the visitors during the last few days especially from families who are keen to witness such shows”.

Visitors can see wild animals like lions and tigers at the circus shows. Singers and dancers enthrall the spectators with a variety of songs and dances.

While the Russian circus remains to be a favourite show, cultural presentations by several Arab performers which include folk songs and dances also enthrall many of the festival visitors.

The Spring Festival which runs until January 4, and opens daily from 4 pm until 10 pm features around 60 games and rides in the two Souqs.

Many families and children are enjoying the fun-filled activities, attractions, and entertainment shows at the 15-day long festival. Doha Metro is providing feeder buses and vans to take metro passengers to nearby areas surrounding the stations.

A Metrolink route, marked ‘M127’ to Souq Al Wakrah (from Al Wakrah station), including the Souq Waqif station (Gold Line), makes the two tourism destinations easily accessible to both foreign and domestic visitors.

Besides shows and roving performances, the third edition of the festival also offers a wide range of local and international cuisines for visitors to try at numerous restaurants, eateries, and booths at these two venues.

Image Credit: klook.com

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The Sonu Nigam Live show: Q-Tickets is bringing this super talented singer as part of Shop Qatar

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