Sunday, July 31, 2016

Numbers in Qatar - 8 tonnes of dates

Cool-de-sac or indoor playground in the Pearl

That was a new place for me . It is in the Pearl not far from Novo cinema . This is an entertainment center with restaurant  for kids .
It offers soft play areas ,slides ,lego building station , face painting ,computer games ,play stations ,painting .  The age group  they expect  is from tots to 12 year old . However my 10 year old was a bit bored .Most of the kids looked preschoolers . The thing that I liked at this place was the number of hosts and hostesses calling the kids by their names and ready to play with them . We might have been in the middle of a party because every half an hour a dance or game was initiated by the hosts . After all my 10 year old had a good time but not sure  he wants to spend his hard earned pocket money here next time .
The entrance fee is 55 rials for unlimited time .That sounds reasonable . But it is trap .The cheapest drink at the restaurant is 10 rials .And the nugget-fries meal for kids is 35 rials and despite the title "gourmet restaurant " it was nothing special -just the usual nugget meal . . You are not allowed to bring your drinks or snacks . If you leave the place you are not allowed to go back .So do not arrive hungry or thirsty here otherwise you will pay a lot for traditional junk food .
I  met  there someone I had known before and it was so difficult to chat because it was too noisy . The face painters  did a great job  - real artists work there . The staff is mixed - Europeans and Filipinos .Both were nice and welcoming ,patient with the kids .

 Where Andalucia way ,Building b12
Medina Central ,The pearl , Qatar
 Contact : 
4437 8421
Daily Admission Fee – for unlimited time 

Children 3 and up – 55QR
Children 2 and under – 36QR
Adults - Free
Drop’n’Play – 145QR * includes a kid meal
All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. No adults will be allowed entry without a child. No outside food or beverages. Socks are required in some play areas.

Fathers are allowed to enter as well  - I saw fathers playing  video games and building lego creations :)

Qatar Ranks 1st Regionally in Competitiveness Report

 Global Competitiveness Report 2015/2016  by the World Economic Forum

 Qatar ranks globally 14th

 Regionally Qatar is  1st

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hot weather in Qatar

 That is not a surprise ! It is terribly hot outside ! There is no shortage of heat here 1

Agro Food Festival - Ezdan Mall

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Arts Intensive course for ages 16+

  Arts Intensive for ages 16+

  What to expect ?  explore art and design   with painting, printmaking, silk painting and dyeing, paper mache, computer graphics and photography. Daily creative exercises will also help build drawing skills and comfort with material usage .

 When : From :Sun, 31 Jul, 2016
 Thu, 4 Aug, 2016
 5 Lessons (over 1 week)
 From Sunday to Thursday
 9 am to 1 pm (no lunch provided)

 Where at VCUQatar

 Price QAR 1100  - Early Bird Rate

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fire in a mall under construction - Doha

Due to Doha's fast reacting fire brigade no casualties . That is the most important !

cute animal that you didn't know lived in Qatar

What about art ? Exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Art

All that I can say in advance  - I feel sorry that I have not visited this exhibition earlier. That would have given me a chance to return  and see everything in details . It was huge - the size of the exhibition , the diversity , the visual delights , the spiritual message .

 China and art  ? I think of ancient clay sculptures ,fine decorated porcelain , ink paintings . China and modern art ? I knew nothing about that - I must admit . Right as I entered I saw a lots of clay sculptures so many that I forgot  for a moment that it was contemporary  art and believed they were ancient . In fact they were the creature of a Chinese villager who discovered the artist in himself only some years ago . His sculptures featured  their everyday life in realistic style . People  and animals in the village . Street scenes ,interiors , and  abstract shapes .

 His art was interesting  and exciting . Never let yourself to be labelled ! One can be a villager  , a retired farmer and can be  an artist at the same time!

  The second room was an installation by Xu Bing . An ancient image painted on  a scroll was remade in huge size and the painting of the modern artist was enlightened on a transparent wall . At list this was the thing that I thought at first . Then I  looked at the other side of the wall and I saw that it was a collage made from junk ! It was so wonderfully made  that I could not believe . And the message is great as well -  the junk rearranged by a creative spirit can be the most wonderful thing .

 The wrinkly and inky effects unique to traditional Chinese painting were made of different materials from the junk . Things like feather ,mud ,plastic bags were turned into a landscape collage . The title was Background story . The artist is Xu Bing .

 Then came video games room the  Flower  - it was about some petals starting their journey from an urban home's balcony to the wild . The video game was directed by J . Chen and originally intended to arouse positive feelings in the gamers .It was a real zen experience .

Then came a room with a short film about street bullying - that was quite depressing -also the photos of a remote village and their traditional celebration in black and white .I always must think about  traditional dog and cat eating in China . It was not mentioned that they are eating this food but I had made those association when seeing dogs around the villagers .

 The opera room featured strange looking black and white lamps with painted  walls and shadows .
It was OK a bit depressing  but something that was specific -I mean related to the Chinese culture .

The water tank was  of a size of a large  room and full of dirty looking water .  There was hose in the middle hanging from the ceiling in the shape of a loop .  The water hose once in an hour started its crazy dance -it looked like a very long and savage snake splashing the dirty water on the windows . This installation was the work of Sun Yuan & Peng Yu .

  When I entered the  sakura  room  ( I named it like that )it was nice to look at the beauty of nature the soothing pink blooms of the trees on large paintings .

Another pinkish abstracts made it feel like heaven  .Or under heaven ? It was a three d painting - the colors were applied to the canvas by a pastry bag . They were amazing from far and tasty looking from close . The artist must have been inspired by a fellow cake artist !

And there were six or more rooms to see but I got tired physically and mentally as well ...

 That was nearly the last day of the exhibition .  When I thought of it after I would notice that I learnt very little of the Chinese culture .


 The well maintained exhibition hall  ,Riwaq gave home to this fantastic event .
I am so happy I could see it . The facility includes well maintained toilets , boutique to buy artistic items from cheap to very expensive , and a  super expensive cafe . There were a lots of local ,Indian , expat Arab families visiting the event and it made me feel nice to see so many people interested in contemporary art  .

Monday, July 18, 2016

Artist in Residence (AIR) exhibition

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Trip to Banana Island resort

I have just stumbled upon a great post  here . Two ladies decided to spend one day in the luxurious Banana Island resort  here in Qatar . It is a Maldive style resort with very high prices in case you want to stay one night but it is possible to enter with a day pass . It costs QR 200 per person . Out of it QR150 can be spent in a restaurant . It will buy a modest lunch with sandwiches and salad .
One can go to cinema ,bowling or  to the spa . Unfortunately they wrote nothing about the beaches and water activities !
But they made lovely photos and  had written nice descriptions .


Here is their summer offer  for daily visitors


 Another interesting description of a day trip to the resort comes from Marhaba Qatar  site . It gives details about the ferry ride, the spas ,wellness centers , restaurants but nothing about the beaches or water activities .

Beaches -pools acces in Qatar

  Beach Day Pass is  QR  375 per person= 200 rial lunch+beach for a day +20% discount at their spa ... there is pool for kids but the price is the same


250 rials  daily pass for beach ,pool ,sun - they have indoor and outdoor pools and a private beach

Ladies day on all weekdays from July 14 until August 31st 2016. 
Beach & Pool access QR 100 instead of QR 200 for Ladies from Sundays to Thursdays.
_________________ _________________________________________

Katara beach is the only affordable beach in Doha!  Adult ticket  per day: QR 50.00
Children from 6 to 16 years old: QR 25.00
Children under 6 years old: FREE

From 3.30PM – to 6.15PM  Swimming Ends at Sunset!

They have strict dress code ! No bikinis ,no speedos allowed - you are expected to wear minimum a short -tshirts style swimming attire !

If you just want to enjoy the seaside and sand in the evening then the prices in the evening are the following : Adult QR 25.00 and Children under 16yrs old FREE
Last Entry to the Beach at 11.00PM​


Pool and Beach Day Pass

Available from Sunday - Wednesday from 9am until sunset (excluding public holidays)
 QAR 350 per person and QAR 175 for children 6 years and under. Also, receive a QAR 200 voucher per person to use at Oyster Bay. ...


Affordable outdoor swimming pools for kids and adults !

On week days it is only QR 50 for adults and QR 25 for kids !
On weekends it is more expensive QR125 /50 .


Ladies Day is back !!! Women and Girls of all ages can splash out , socialize together or simply relax with friends in this female environment only every Saturday from 9:00 AM till 7:00 PM.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Numbers in Qatar - 33 countries

 Visitors Visa for one month

Citizens of 33 approved countries may apply for this visa, which allows them to travel freely between Qatar and Oman. It is issued upon arrival at the airport or border of Qatar for one month and can be extended for another month. Travelers may apply online for the visa ahead of time. The 33 approved countries are:
The United States, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece , Finland, Spain, Monaco, the Vatican, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Lichtenstein, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Aquapark review 2016 July

So here I am again .Ladies day at Aquapark . Prices at QAR 180 per person . Five star hotel price ! Safety lockers extra QAR 30 !
Are the facilities five star as well ?

Sad looking changing rooms .Wet walls ,peeling painting ,very small to change comfortably .
Lockers are better . We get no keys but a waterproof bracelet  that opens our lockers ! Wow !

Dress code - they claim that we have to respect the local culture . What does it mean ? No details given -only a note that the management got the right to expel anyone whose swimming attire is not proper . Not very welcoming .Not very professional . They should explain well and kindly what is allowed and what is not.

After reading all that I was scared .I had a one piece swimming suit without leggings .Will I be expelled ? When I entered the park area I saw a lots of women covering up with long sleeved swimming suits with leggings . Then I noticed a few who wore bikinis .I got relived then .

The lagoon pool was the first pool I tried . It was cold - I was shivering when came out .It is a luxury here  in summer to be cold . It is good that they care . Hot water can be the source of a lots of  kinds of infection . The bar inside the pool did not work . I swam there and had a little chat with an African lifeguard . She informed me that some facilities - bars /restaurants can not work during ladies days as they do not have female staff .

That is sad . The lagoon pool is a place that is shallow at the edges and deep inside .

Some years ago an 8 year old temporarily unattended boy drowned in it as he did not believe his bigger siblings that it was not safe for him .After this tragedy you would suppose that they watch out for it would not repeat . But what I saw was very little kids playing at the edges of the pool - mothers are chatting 20 meters away sometimes yelling at their wards .The lifeguards did not care ,either ... :(

I do not remember any sings either warning for swimmers that the pool is deep in the middle .

After the lagoon pool swimming  came  the lazy river . This is a bit boring for me -sitting in those donuts and getting around neck hurts after ten minutes ...
The wave pool is my real favorite .It is a real thrill .Jumping up and down in the waves !
It was quite an exercise . It lasts around ten or 15 minutes . I am not sure . But I found it too long and I left before the end . Though I loved it -just I was exhausted .
I was pleasantly surprised that we do not have to pay extra for the huge slides .So I tried one . The smallest one .It was frightening . The speed was too big ! I was afraid of falling out !How much my heart was beating after that ! I decided that no more slides this summer . Or at least no open slides !

The day was nearly over . Remembering their poor quality of food I ate well before arriving . Just the crepe stall was so much tempting that I decided to stand in line . I had to wait for a single crepe for 20 minutes ! It was nice a bit  dry .
The Aquapark was not crowded .The age group of the visitors was from totes to 60 - young adults were more than old ones . They have some facilities for disabled  customers so one could see some guests in wheelchair as well .People behave usually respectfully. I met only one group of teens who were so loud and so disrespectful that I had to ask them to chat in a lower voice while waiting for that crepe . They were chatting in Hindi ... Very unusual here - Indian women who are residents here are usually well -mannered !.Every nations got spoiled kids I thought ! Then it turned out that they were Hindi speaking Malaysian girls visiting Qatar . Even though they are just humans like anybody else !

They answered in a very rude way to my request and they jumped the line . Luckily the staff was sympathetic with me and served me before them .

All in all - though not a perfect facility but Aquapark is a fun place in Qatar . Ladies day is an expensive but enjoyable occasion to have a carefree afternoon . But please do not think that your kids are safe just because there are lifeguards . If you wish just to relax here then rather leave your kids at home with someone you trust ...

Qatar Olympic Team News

Summer Camps in Qatar 2016

 This is an affordable summer camp operated by Indians but children of any nationality are welcome . It already started but you can still enroll your children .

 Film making in August - " Camera Kids " two week workshop for bigger kids
 This is what we found on twitter

7 to 21 August, 2016

This is an intensive two-week lab.
During the classroom period, sessions take place six days a week.
Saturday: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Sunday through Thursday: 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
During pre-production and filming, participants may be asked to make time outside these hours, including on weekdays during the daytime.

Arabic and English

Group Size
20 participants

Programme Level
Applicants should be between 13 and 17 years of age.

1,500.00 QAR


 Bodylines Summer Swimming Camp  at Oryx Rotana Hotel

Saturday, July 09, 2016

What about the Art? Exhibition

Friday, July 08, 2016

Indian man drowned in the sea at Khor Udeid

It was a tragedy that happened on  the first day of Eid . The cheerful   picknick  by the sea turned into a nightmare when four or five members of the same group was dragged into a whirlpool .Locals pulled them out of the water and everyone was revived but the Indian expatriate , Thomas John .He had been living in Doha for 20 years .He  was 45 years old  and came from  Kuzhikkala, near Kozhencheerry in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district.

 read more 

Kosebasi Turkish restaurant -review

I was there on the second day of Eid . It is on the  first floor of Gulf Mall . I wished to have some  festive Turkish lunch . As I arrived at this place I saw  a large menu with photos displayed at their entrance  and I could  read  the prices of individual dishes . I stood there minimum five minutes studying the options ,making plans of having some kebabs and salad . A kind waitress invited me inside the restaurant . She was so polite ! I nearly fell into their trap ! Only when we were seated  she informed me that there was only one option that day " Set menu for 100 rials per person " What for  they display the menu if they forbid a la carte dinning ? I was quite upset . After some seconds of hesitating I gave up the idea of Turkish lunch . Never again Kosebasi . I am so happy that there is a new law against this practice that customers are forced to buy more dishes than they wish . Next Eid when the law is implemented it will be regarded as a simple crime -a punishable act. Today all that I can tell you about this place is they have unethical way of treating customers !

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Eid festival at Katara attracts large crowds

 In spite of the heat - and the usual summer exodus large crowds attended the Eid festival today on the first day of Eid -al -Fitr celebrations   . You can expect live entertainment from 6 : 30 pm and fireworks from 9 :30  .

bullet-resistant Kevlar keffiyeh headscarf design by an architect of Beirut

Oh Tempos !

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

To show solidarity MIA lit up green

 Istanbul , Baghdad ,Jiddah ,Medinah , Qatif ,Dhaka  - it is difficult to be happy at Eid ... :(

Eid Mubarrak

Eid buffet offers 2016 Qatar

Buffet lunch for families Qr 165 per adult - kids under age  8 year eat for free  - 8-12 years eat for half-price  -special play area for kids with their own buffet
at Cosmo restaurant at Millennium Hotel

Eid Buffet starts from QR 270 at Choices restaurant in Oryx Rotana Hotel


 Eid Special Set Menu - QR150 at Megu , Japanese restaurant ( Pearl )


_____________________________Isla Mexican cuisine with special music "Rumba Latina " - no price mentioned ( Pearl )


 Eid Buffet QR180 for adults
                   QR 60 for kids   - under age 6 y. kids eat for free
                at Eatopia ,gourmet restaurant at Gate Mall


Eid buffet at  St. Regis Doha -  QR 350

 Eid lunch buffet QR125 at a new hotel in Bin Mahmoud area - Centro Capital Doha


Eid Brunch Buffet at the Azraq restaurant for QR 350 for adults and 250 for children - the price includes the transportation to this wonderful resort island .


 Eid buffet at Ramada Encore Hotel
Lunch buffet QR70
Dinner buffet QR 80


 Eid set menu for QR 79 = 2 courses
                             QR99= 3 courses
At Carisma  restaurant in Warwick Hotel Doha

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Numbers in Qatar - 1.1mn

1.1mn tonnes of liquefied
natural gas (LNG)will be sold  per year  to the leading
European electricity and gas company called RWE according to a recent agreement


fasting for the first time

Zuzana , the Czech student in Indonesia is fasting for the first time in her life / though she is not Muslim but  she has a lots of friends who are  - so she decided to fast with them . She says it was not as difficult as she had thought before - the most difficult part was not drinking .
In Doha also there is an event where non-Muslims fast for one or two days then they gather for a charity dinner .Nice example how people of different religions can show respect to each other .
expat Qatar