Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Qatar team begins title defence in Brasilia

The Qatar team, the defending World and Pole Position F1 H20 World Champions, begins the defence of their titles at this weekend’s Grand Prix of Brazil on Lake ParanoĆ” in the country’s federal capital Brasilia.

Twice World Champion Alex Carella and team-mate Shaun Torrente are confident and raring to go at the start of what promises to be another thrilling season of F1 H20 racing with a calendar that starts in Brazil and finishes in Sharjah in December, with stops in Kiev, Shanghai, Liuzhou, Doha and Abu Dhabi en route. This weekend’s race is the first ever F1 H20 race in South America and the second ever in the southern hemisphere – South Africa hosted a race in 1992. The team tested in Italy in the spring and is now in Brazil making final preparations for the start of the weekend’s on-course action on Saturday morning. Brasilia is located in central-west Brazil and is the fourth largest city in the country. The racecourse is situated around 920 metres above sea level.

“The whole team is looking forward to racing at the new venue for the first time and beginning our campaign to bring the world title back to Qatar again,”said Khalid bin Arhama al-Kuwari, head of formula racing at the Qatar Marine Sports Federstion (QMSF), which runs under the presidency of His Excellency Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor al-Thani.

Torrente is upbeat about his chances: “It’s good to be back in the boat, that’s for sure. For me, Brazil is more about staying in the race and scoring good points. Obviously we want to win, but I have to race smarter and think about the whole year. We are expecting about an eight to 12% power loss with the altitude depending upon the weather conditions.

“The good thing is that all the teams have the disadvantage and our crew chief Brendan Power and I have some experience from racing in Windsor, where the elevation is above 5,000 feet (1,530 metres).” Carella has been keeping busy in the close season and joined Team China’s Philippe Chiappe and the Morin brothers to win the recent Rouen 24-hour race in the Class 3 Moore cat ‘Drakkar’ on the River Seine.

Khalid Abdullah al-Kuwari will represent the Qatar Team in the competitive UIM F-4S category that runs in conjunction with the F1 H20 races. He faces competition from the likes of Kornel and Viktor Vo, Jan Andre Landsnes, Mohammed al-Mehairbi, Tobias Munthe-Kaas and Bincheng Wu.

After technical scrutineering and dunk tests on Friday (May 31st), the F1 drivers take to the water for the first time at 09.15hrs local time (15.15 Doha time) on Saturday morning for a one-hour free practice session.

The F-4S runners follow with their first practice and time trials and the first of the weekend’s two F-4S races begins at 14.30hrs. Qualifying for F1 gets underway at 15.00hrs.

Free practice starts at the earlier time of 08.00hrs on Sunday, June 2nd and F-4S practice and time trials precede the second F-4S race at 09.45hrs.

Muntajat and Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) have jointly participated in ChinaPlas 2013

Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution Company (Muntajat) and Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) have jointly participated in ChinaPlas 2013, Asia’s famous plastics and rubber trade fair.

Muntajat has been established to consolidate the marketing and distribution efforts of Qatar’s annual production of 10mn tonnes of chemicals and petrochemicals. It has been mandated to market, sell and distribute low density polyethylene (LDPE) and other petrochemicals produced by Qapco. The onboarding of Qapco products is planned to be completed in a few months.

“ChinaPlas is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the high quality of ‘Made In Qatar’ products...It is a highly strategic platform for Qatari products as major suppliers and users can meet, interact and exchange on the latest technologies and trends, especially looking at environmentally friendly and sustainable techniques and innovations related to plastic and its applications, to contribute to building a greener and safer world for the generations to come,” said Qapco vice chairman and CEO Dr Mohamed al-Mulla.

After the successful transitions of the marketing and distribution activities of the chemicals and fertilisers produced in Qatar over the past four months, Muntajat is committed to implement a seamless transition of Qatar’s export portfolio of polymers, according to Muntajat CEO Abdulrahman Ali al-Abdulla.
He said Muntajat’s strategic transitions plan has so far resulted in the “flawless onboarding of nearly 80% of Qatar’s export portfolio of chemicals and petrochemicals.”

Terming China as a key market for Muntajat as it continues to grow requiring a reliable supply of chemical and petrochemical products, he said that “by having a joint presence between Qapco and Muntajat, we reinforced confidence among our customers in the Chinese market and beyond.”

As the world’s population selects more packaged goods, he said the demand for polymers, including LDPE and LLDPE (linear low density polyethylene) produced by Qapco and Qatofin, will rise in the coming years.
Muntajat will be prepared to serve these growing needs through its planned network of offices spread all around the world, he added.

“ChinaPlas raises awareness amongst the public about the many developments related to eco-friendly plastics and their numerous practicalities and features, that contribute for instance to making cars or planes lighter, hence reducing energy consumption. Let’s not forget that if plastic was replaced by traditional materials in packaging, world energy consumption would double,” al-Mulla said.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Qatar research agency to unveil strategy, latest grants

Manama: Future initiatives and new research grants by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) for the next five years will be revealed at the funding agency’s fifth annual forum in the Qatari capital Doha starting today (Tuesday).

In a statement ahead of the forum, held under the theme Research Forward, Faisal Al Suwaidi, president of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, congratulated QNRF on its “success in building research culture, human capital and infrastructure for Qatar since its establishment in 2006”.

“QNRF is making a vital contribution to Qatar’s research community,” he said. “They have paved a sustainable path for Qatar’s research advancement and made wise investments in human capacity and research infrastructure. As QNRF embarks upon a new phase in its growth cycle, it will expand its role as the prime enabler of research by directing its funding towards the national priority needs of Qatar as specified in the Qatar National Research Strategy,” he said in the statement e-mailed to Gulf News.

Abdul Sattar Al Taie, Executive Director at QNRF, said that the agency had “more than 75 approved research offices in Qatar”.

“Under the NPRP, we have funded more than 29 of these organisations for research worth more than $500 million (Dh1.83 million) over the past five years, and with collaboration from more than 385 international research institutions,” he said in a testament to QNRF’s impact on research development in Qatar,
QNRF is embarking on a new phase of development, aimed at further expanding the country’s flourishing research culture and driving research forward to find solutions to the “grand challenges” facing Qatar and the region, he said.

The various aspects of the funding agency’s five-year plan will be highlighted at the forum.
Topics to be taken up include details on new funding opportunities, financial re-structuring of existing programmes, plans to address the country’s grand challenges, increased stakeholder engagement and partnerships, enhancing QNRF’s research management capabilities and infrastructure and evaluating and leveraging research outcomes.

The highlight of the forum will be the announcement of results of the sixth cycle of the agency’s flagship programme, the National Priorities Research Programme.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Qatar National Bank SAQ mulld as the top most bank of the world

Qatar National Bank SAQ, one of the largest lenders in the Middle East and one of the most profitable in fiscal year 2012, got the honor after surpassing $100 billion in assets this year.

It beat some 77 other banks with at least that much money, including Singapore’s Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC), which dropped to No. 2 after enjoying the top spot for the past two years.

State-backed strength

According to Bloomberg, QNB’s stellar fiscal performance has a great deal to do with the financial strength of Qatar itself, which is the world’s richest country per capita.

For example, the bank’s chairman, Yousef Kamal, is the country’s finance minister. And QNB is 50 percent owned by the Qatar Investment Authority. The report continues

Bigger than all other publicly listed domestic lenders combined, QNB provided 66 percent of loans to the government and government-owned entities last year, while state agencies accounted for more than half of deposits, according to data provided by the bank.

“The bank is essentially an extension of the state,” says Akber Khan, director of asset management at Al Rayan Investment in Doha. “Any concerns about future capital adequacy or balance sheet strength are entirely redundant.”

But QNB’s CEO, Ali Shareef Al Emadi, argued that his bank’s success isn’t completely due to government ties.
“We are very close to the government and government agencies, but we get deals on a very much commercial basis,” he says. “We lose deals; we get deals.”

Al Emadi added that instability in the region due to the Arab Spring revolutions and Dubai’s fiscal woes all ended up benefiting Qatar.

“We always see good liquidity coming to us when things get bad in the market. That’s a very strong signal from customers and investors that they view the bank as a safe haven.”

Qatar is leading the world in many fields, they will host the olympics and Qatar/s Tourism is developing steadily to reach a popular destination of the future