Sunday, January 31, 2016

Why Arab investors love Bosnia

Interesting article by the Economist . Hiking , skiing , thermal bath , mosques , halal food .Those are the reasons  that Arabs go  for holidays to Bosnia . Real estate prices are lower than those in Geneva or Paris  - it is still Europe .

 This is also interesting 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

It is cold outside - winter in Qatar

It can go as low as 6 C in some part of the country . However Doha is expected to have temperature between 11 C - 21 C .


Kenyan folkloric show -tomorrow at Katara

Valentine's Day celebrations in Doha

top 10 skills you will need in 2020

Hungarian football player tranfers to Al-Gharafa Club

Krisztian Nemeth ,the Hungarian football player transfers to Al-Gharafa Club ,Qatar .The 27 year old is coming from an American Sport Club "Sporting Kansas City" .He was named there "Newcomer of the Year in 2015" .He became also the club’s first MLS Goal of the Year winner . The American club will get 2/3 of the sum Qatar pays for this player .Krisztian Nemeth said he wanted to be closer to this country , Hungary - that is why he chose Qatar .

Friday, January 29, 2016

Transparency index for Qatar - number 22

On a  list of 168 countries  Qatar ranks 22 when observing the country's transparency .Thus Qatar is the least corrupt country in the area .Right bellow it there is the UAE .

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Najma fire - trapped children rescued

There was a happy ending  of  the fire in Najma district ,Doha . The fire broke out  in a small compound and thick black smoke covered the area very soon after . . Two  home alone kids  were in desperate situation as their parents left for work  and they were  locked in the flat . The grocer noticed them through the window and warned the civil defence and together they acted .The door was broken and kids saved .

 Great job ! I hope they will be  both awarded !

( Still I am very sad when I think of those kids trapped in a mall's day care center some years ago )

Windy weather -light rains -cold nights in Qatar

New Era For Taxi Companies

Search for "Karwa" on your App Store (iOS) or Google Play store (Android).
Posted by Mowasalat "Transport Company” in Qatar on Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Transport company in Qatar had created its own program for customers and taxi drivers can find each other as soon as possible . It brings a new era to the taxi business it will be more customer friendly  -waiting time and complaint is less and less .
 How to use it ?

 1 . Get a smart phone

 2 . Download the app as it is shown above

3 . Book your taxi   - expect it to arrive within 15 minutes

 You can still use  the traditional phone booking :8008294

 is the new number whether you wish to call  Al Million, Al Ijaara, Cars Taxis of Profit Trading & Contracting Company , or Capital Taxis of Ibn Ajayan .

 Have a nice ride !

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dubai in the past and present

a five minute video to show the world where Dubai city was before 1980s and where it is nowadays

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Dubai Hotels - reading the fine prints

Winter break is soon here . Planning some days to spend in Dubai ? Reading the fine prints and hotel reviews is always  useful .

Some hotel does  serve alcohol  some hotel does not! It is advisable to study the fine prints either you are into drinking or not .
eg..  I found these hotels NOT serving alcohol !

Please note that NAIA Breeze Hotel Apartment does not serve alcohol.Al Amaal St. Business Bay, Dubai, United Arab Emirates "
"Please note that Ramada Downtown Dubai does not serve alcohol."

"Please note that DAMAC Maison The Vogue does not serve alcohol."
"City Stay Inn Hotel Apartment is an alcohol-free zone."
"Please note that Coral Dubai Deira Hotel does not serve alcohol."
" Please note that Akas Inn Hotel Apartments is a non-alcohol

 "Please note that this residence is a dry residence."
Dusit Residence Dubai Marina


 Paying only strictly with your own credit card !

Some hotels  do accept your close relative's credit card  with a  written approval but there are others that do not ! You can not pay with your husband's , borther's,father's ,son's  etc . credit card unless he is with you .For example :

"the hotel doesn't accept third party credit card payment. The credit card given for guarantee should belong to the guest himself in case of payment by same credit card. "Jood Palace Hotel Dubai

A lots of hidden  extra costs in the rooms price

Unlike  Qatar for the time being in Dubai there are taxes to pay when you stay in a hotel ! For example I found :"Not included in apartment price: 10 % Municipality fee, AED 20.00 Tourism fee per night, 10 % service charge."
"Supplements are not calculated automatically in the total costs and will have to be paid for separately during your stay."Dusit Residence Dubai Marina

 and a horrifying example of :" AED 5000 security deposit"    though most hotels will ask for some hundreds  dirhams for incidentals


the number of children allowed for free

 most of the hotels allow kids to stay for free if they share an existing bed - 1 -2  kids allowed per room or suit - the age limit is very different  -usually posh places allow only kids under age two to stay for free  -  less aristocratic places allow it  for kids until age 12
  extra beds cost extra money and in case breakfast is included in the room price it means extra cost as well


Dress code !!!!!

 Some hotels are very strict  -it turns out only when you read the fine prints !

 For example : "As part of the hotel's, females are not allowed to wear shorts or skirts above knee level while males are also not allowed to wear shorts above knee level."


Marriage  Certificate

Couples should bring and present marriage certificate

"Being a pure Sharia Compliant family hotel, unmarried couples are not allowed to stay in the hotel. Couples may be asked to present a marriage certificate at check-in. Alcohol is also not allowed on the property."

  Eureka Hotel  Al Rigga, Deira, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 And finally the most shocking  fine prints in Dubai for me was:

  from West Hotel Dubai

"Please note only guests of the same nationality can stay in the same room. "

 I can not decide if they really mean it  or just a strange way to say that you can not share your room with strangers ! Because if they really mean it then mixed nationality couples and their kids can not stay in the same room !
 That is really horrible !

Planning to stay in a Hotel in Doha ? Read my article about the fine prints !

Friday, January 22, 2016

Putin's falcon to the Emir of Qatar

The number of displaced people worlwide

 this comparison chart is self explanatory  -  our world is a sad place : nearly 60 million people displaced ...

Numbers in Qatar - 12

12 public gardens are scheduled to be opened this year


 some of them are going to have special shape : snail ,leaf etc .

 some of them are going to have water games

 more public gardens can be expected in areas  that have only a few parks


Park in the Middle East Canvas Print
Park in the Middle East Canvas Print by almawad

View of the centrally  located  Rumeilah (formerly Al_Bida ) park . It has been closed down for a year or more . It is being turned into a more beautiful  area . I hope they will preserve those parts which were beautiful like this .
It is still not clear why other parks located in the heart of the city have been closed for 11 years !  The Women's park and the Family park in Muntazah district were wonderful places to escape the concrete blocks of houses .

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Musical Heritage & Folk Singing Program at the Katar

#Katara hosts The Revival of the Musical Heritage & Folk Singing Program every Thursday & Friday from 5 - 11 pm on Katara Esplanade gate 18
Posted by Katara on Monday, January 18, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Ask the expert - Sleeping and our health

What happens when we sleep ?  public  discussion about  our health

lead by Dr . Shahrad  Taheri  - professor of the WCMU-Q

Where : The  Diplomatic Club

 When : Tuesday ,19 January -2016

What time : 6 pm  

free admission

Language : English with instant translation into Arabic

Numbers in Qatar - 1000


new home was built by Qatar for those people in Gaza who lost their dwelling place  during the 2014 bombing  by Israel

 source  -page 2

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

eat ,sleep .art t shirts -70s groovy style

Eat ,sleep ,art ,funny text design for those who are obsessed with designing ,painting ,drawing .This slogan is printed on a tie-dye tee in 70s ,groovy style .Great wear for creative ladies !

Art classes at VCUQ -Spring 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Quality Mall Hilal - FOOD FESTIVAL 2016

Invite you to the inauguration ceremony “FOOD FESTIVAL 2016” at Quality Mall Hilal On 7th Thursday, January 2016 7.00pm with family.
Posted by Quality Retail on Thursday, January 7, 2016

  Here is the timetable of the events of the Food festival 2016 - Quality Mall - Hilal branch .

 You can expect  eating competitions ,cooking competitions  and live entertainment  ! 

Friday, January 08, 2016

A besieged town in Syria is starving to death

Why no one feels mercy for them ? Flying over the besieged town and dropping food instead of bombs ...

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Create your own burger - competition for the gourmet living in Qatar

Cultural Diversity Festival in Katara coming soon

Crackdown on private tuition - I do not understand

The Supreme Council of Education is planning a crackdown on private tuition in Qatar . I simply do not understand . What is the harm in it ? Getting personal attention when learning something .It is all human . But the educational authorities think the other way :

  " the official urged pupils to focus on their teachers in classes instead of depending on private tutors, a phenomenon which, he said, could have a negative impact on children in the future."

What  negative impact ? One size fits all does not work in education . I might not understand well the teacher at school / I might understand other one outside the school . It is my own life experience . It happened to me that  I  was weak in a subject but I became excellent after taking private classes .

But in Qatar now it is considered a criminal act - one can get half-year of imprisonment or can be fined to  QR100,000 .Or both !

Education is not a crime ! I am sad  and confused !
Or perhaps I am missing something ?  Is there a well-known fact or custom here that the article did not mention ?


Sunday, January 03, 2016

Interesting things about Hotels in Qatar

I love reading hotel reviews and descriptions and the fine prints .One can learn really interesting things about them .

 I would not have thought for example that the age of  the single    guest is regulated  in Qatar according to their nationality .At least this is what I read on a five star hotel's fine prints :

"Please note that Qatari females must be 30 years old or above to check in and must show valid identification, unless accompanied by an adult. 

Qatari males must be 21 years old or above to check in. 

Guests under 21 years are not entitled to stay unless accompanied by an adult. 

Non Qatari guests must be over 18 years old to check in unless accompanied by an adult." ( source :  - The St. Regis Doha   The fine print )

More strange thing I found in Grand Hyatt Doha   -  The fine print " "The indoor pool is only accessible to those aged 18 years and above. "
I understand why the age limit for bars where alcohol is served but for a  pool I can not imagine the aim of this regulation .Especially ,that the outdoor pool can be used by the above mentioned age group .???

 The Fraser Suits Doha is " Offering views of the Doha Port and Indian Ocean "
 :) that was really funny -  the Arabian /Persian Gulf is the thing one can see from a Doha Hotel the Indian ocean is a bit far !

but  the same hotel offers time for ladies at the swimming pool "Please note that every Sunday and Wednesday between 11:00 AM and 08:00 PM, the outdoor pool is reserved for female guests." 

I found some more hotels which consider that the majority of  the Middle Eastern women tries to segregate when it is about swimming .

"Please note that on Saturdays, only ladies can access the hotel's swimming pool from 7 AM until 6 PM. "Safir Hotel Doha .Najma street

"Swimming pool is exclusive to ladies every Saturday from 8:00 until 16:00. "Plaza Inn 

"Some floors are dedicated to women and families." Retaj Al Rayyan in Dafna 

Qatar is a conservative Muslim country  -though most  hotels serve alcohol .Some Muslims guests feel uncomfortable about that and prefers to stay in hotels with NO alcohol at all . These facilities are not advertised one has to dig  the information about them up  . I found the following  dry hotels in Doha : The Royal Riviera Hotel Doha  in Old salata area  /Retaj Al Rayyan in Dafna /Saraya Corniche Hotel in Old Salata area /Retaj Royale in Old Salata area /Safir Hotel Doha .Najma street /Le Park Hotel in Al-Sadd area //Retaj Residence Al Corniche  /Wyndham Grand Regency Doha /

 and the last piece of info  : 
K108 Hotel Doha is a charity-oriented hotel where it donates 100% of its profits to charity and other important causes.

Entrance to the Islamic Museum of Art - award winning photo from Flickr

Entrance to the Islamic Museum of Art

This photo by Larry Johnson has a real Middle Eastern feel .Palm trees -night with lights and a mosque .It won several awards at the Flickr .
expat Qatar