The finance minister said most of the state's
budget goes to infrastructure projects that have an important role to
play in the national economy.
"Qatar's Oil Stabilizing Fund, started in
2000, is significant to the public sector and to the international
investors as well. The fund would protect them from the effect of the
world-wide fluctuating oil prices to the betterment of the future
generations," the minister said.
Kamal said the strategic vision of Qatar depends on
diversification, "as the gas and oil would not remain for
ever." Therefore Qatar plans to have sufficient alternative
resources and not to have to rely on oil and gas by 2020, "even
though we know these two sectors are the cornerstone for
diversification," he said.
Kamal expected that with these alternative
resources the GDP will triple by 2035. He said the diversification
policy includes education and health where two-thirds of the total
budget outlay is spent.
"We have the potential to be strategic
partners with medicine and IT companies, as we are able to own up to
60% of their shares," the minister added.
DUBAI FESTIVAL FROM 22ND
The Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) road show rode
into Doha last week promising 10 weeks of 'bigger and better'
attractions starting from June 22.
Ibrahim Saleh, chief operations officer of DSS,
speaking after the road show, at a press briefing highlighted the
eighth edition of the event, which he feels would complement a massive
transformation of the city with an array of interesting and innovative
These are "designed to provide children with
the best in entertainment and knowledge this summer". Saleh led a
delegation of the Dubai government including Capt Omar al-Shamsi, head
of the PR and protocol department at the Dubai Department of
Naturalisation and Residency (DNRD), DSS officials, representatives of
the travel industry, hotels and rent-a-car companies. The team is on a
five-nation GCC tour.
The DSS, which runs until September 2, offers lots
of shopping and entertaining options through its 10 theme-specific
weeks organized jointly by various government departments, 13 key
sponsors and the Dubai Shopping Malls Group (DSMG) at a number of
participating shopping malls, Saleh said.
The DSS has shown an amazing growth rate over the
last years. Started in 1998 with just 600,000 visitors and a total
spending of Dh850mn, the festival last year attracted 1.51mn visitors
who spent a total of Dh1.56bn. It is poised to register 10% growth
The DSS starts with the Dubai
Municipality-organized Flower Surprises on June 22 and ends with the
Dubai Development Board organized Back-2-School Surprises on September
The other theme-specific weeks are Sweets
Surprises; Arts Surprises; Color Surprises; Ice Surprises; Adventure
Surprises; Cartoon Surprises; Heritage Surprises; and Knowledge
The Modhesh Fun City, at the Dubai World Trade
Centre, will be the event's biggest summer venue and it will feature a
large number of entertainment zones and play areas, Saleh said.
The Bundle of Surprises, offered by the hospitality
industry, provides free airport and venue transfers, complimentary
breakfast and steep discounts.
The grand DSS raffle gives visitors a chance to win
one BMW 740Li 2006 and a bumper prize of Dh100, 000 as part of the
popular DSS promotion. The raffle is priced at Dh200.
There are also individual scratch 'n' win coupons,
raffles and discounts offered by the 35 participating malls and
outlets throughout the event.
The events at the malls include Disney Magic,
Puppet Theatre, Men Baladi, Kids Fashion and an exhibition of hobbies,
besides other fun events.
All the events in malls and outside will be held in
temperature controlled venues, the official said. Capt Omar al-Shamsi
said his department, an active participant in the DSS event, makes
sure that visitors are extended all facilities as far as their visas
and entry at Dubai airport are concerned.
FIRST TRADE SHOW
Trade and industry in booming Dubai will soon be
connected with 120 international trade information centers elsewhere
in 90 countries to enable the business community to operate at the
highest professional level to achieve the economic targets of the
In this connection, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (DCCI) has decided to host the country's first international
trade center, called Trade Point, which would be operational by next
The Dubai Trade Point will be part of a global
network of information centers belonging to the World Trade Points
Federation (WTPF), headquartered at the United Nations in Geneva,
This is the first such centre in the UAE. The goal
is to establish an information centre that relies on the latest
technologies and a comprehensive network of international business
information. This is to be a very important source of information for
the business community.
Members who are chosen by the DCCI to become part
of the Dubai Trade Point will have access to a network of more than
120 trade information centers in over 90 countries, which looks to
help small and medium sized companies (SMEs) increase their
international trade activities by using electronic commerce
DCCI will be enjoying the option to choose the
members that will be allowed to enter the Trade Point centre, which is
aimed at to go for selective members who will benefit and also
strengthen the program.
According to Tariq Lootah, director of the Trade
and Industrial Development Department, DCCI, it is an effort
concentrating on developing export sectors, and so the priority will
be for local manufacturers and industries that are looking to export
their products, as well as industries involved in re-exporting.
The chosen members will use the Point to access a
global network of trade point centers to obtain trade-related
information, actual and potential traders, data on business and market
opportunities, potential clients and suppliers and trade regulations
and requirements for WTPF member countries.
In fact, the Trade Point Program was created by the
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in 2000. The World
Trade Point Federation was established in November 2002 after being
changed from the UCTAD program to a separate federation.
DCCI signed an agreement with WTPF to establish
Dubai Trade Point in April.
Arab member countries include Saudi Arabia, Jordan,
Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania
and the Palestinian Authority.
To establish a Trade Point in a country or city,
one needs to assess feasibility of establishing the centre, which
includes identifying source of start-up funding; obtain government
letter of recommendation; sign an agreement with the federation; set a
legal framework for the Trade Point; develop a business plan for the
Trade Point; and establish the standard Trade Point services.
SBP GOVERNOR DR ISHRAT HUSSAIN IN QATAR
A number of Pakistani professionals from the
banking and financial sector in Qatar hosted a lunch in honor of State
Bank of Pakistan's governor Dr Ishrat Hussain, who visited Qatar to
participate in the Conference on Islamic Banking Services last week.
The event, organized by Qatar Lubricants Company
general manager Fawad Rana, was held at the Sheraton.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Hussain briefed the
audience on the development in Pakistan's economy and the significant
growth achieved in various fields after the recent economic reforms.
Urging the community members to use their technical
expertise in serving the host country even better, he emphasized the
importance of relations between Qatar and Pakistan.
Dr Hussain expressed confidence over the close
co-operation between both countries by pointing out the potential of
investments in industry and technology, particularly in oil and gas,
cement, steel and automobile sectors where the economy of Pakistan
continues to show promising and stable growth.
The expected growth in Pakistan's GDP over the next
five years is estimated to be around 7% per annum, he added.
OMAN AIR INTRODUCES NEW FLIGHTS TO INDIA
Oman Air HAS introduced flights to two new
destinations in India — Delhi and Hyderabad.
Starting from this week besides flying to Muscat
with a daily flight.
The launching ceremony was attended by travel
agency managers and senior officials from Ali Bin Ali Travels, the
general sales agent for the Omani carrier.
The airline will operate three flights a week to
Hyderabad and four to Delhi. To both destinations, the airline will
offer special introductory fares", the manager said.
The passenger response on the opening day was
"very good, especially for Hyderabad.
The introductory fare to Delhi will be QR700 one
way, and QR1, 250 for a return journey. Hyderabad will cost QR700 one
way and QR1, 400 for the round trip. Tax is applicable at QR160 on one
way, and QR320 on return tickets.
These fares are applicable only for travel until
June 19 to both destinations, the manager said. After that date, Delhi
fares will be QR800 and QR1, 500, and Hyderabad QR1, 130 and QR1, 800.
ELECTRICITY PROJECT IN DUBAI
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) plans
construction of a Dh3.42 billion power generation and desalination
project as part of a four-year Dh10 billion capacity expansion program
The Jebel Ali Power and Desalination Station L
Phase 2 is Dewa's largest project so far and one of its most important
aimed at expanding current capacity substantially.
Saeed Mohammad Al Tayer, managing director and
chief executive officer, Dewa says that bigger projects are in the
pipeline to meet Dubai's consumption forecast and projected growth in
demand due to the huge construction and development projects.
The Jebel Ali plant having a capacity to generate
about 1200 MW (mega watts) of power will ensure a supply of 55 MIGD
(million imperial gallons per day) of water. The first phase of the
plant is scheduled for commissioning in the first quarter of 2007
while remaining part of the project during the first quarter of 2008.
The project was awarded to the consortium of
Hyundai Engineering and Construction Company of Korea and Fisia
Italimpianti of Italy. Project consultants are Lahmeyer International
Equipped with the most advanced control and
monitoring units and technologies for gas and thermal emission
reduction to protect the environment, the power plant will be based on
gas-fired system, as gas is considered one of the cleanest fuels
This station will be a model for the new generation
of power and desalination stations.
The plant design took into consideration the
results of an environmental impact study carried out by Dewa in
cooperation with Dubai Municipality's environment department.
The Hyundai-Fisia consortium outbid four others for
the desalination plant and two others for the power plant to win the
contract. Hyundai and Fisia have been involved in several other power
and desalination projects in the UAE.
(Inputs from PAGE sources)