Archive for the ‘News’ Category

IKEA in Qatar

In: News|Qatar|Shopping

11 May 2009




The Swedish furniture chain Ikea is going to expand in the Gulf region and plans to open two new stores in Oman and Qatar, the company’s country operations and project manager in Dubai, Siddarth Bhide, told Gulf News

Ikea opened its largest store by far in the Middle East in November 2005 at the Dubai Festival City Mall. The 24,500-square metre outlet is managed by Al Futtaim Retail on a franchise basis. Ikea opened its UAE operations in 1991 on Zabeel Road and then moved to Deira City Centre in 1995. In Abu Dhabi, the store will be expanded from currently 9000 square metres to 20,000, almost the size of the Dubai store.

Besides the expansion to Oman and Qatar, Ikea is also going to open new stores in Saudi Arabia, where it currently operates in Riyad, Jeddah and Dammam. There is also one Ikea store in Kuwait.

Businessmen here have reacted sharply to Bahrain’s plan to scrap the sponsorship system for foreign workers and said if such a move was made here it could spell disaster for them. Manama has announced it would enforce on August 1 a new labour law that would allow expatriate workers to switch jobs without seeking permission […]

Bahrain said yesterday it would scrap its existing sponsorship system for foreign workers in the hope of reducing its need for expatriate labour, a first in a region often criticised by rights groups over the issue. Many sectors of Gulf Arab economies heavily rely on low-qualified foreign workers, mostly from Asian countries. “We’re working on […]

UPDATE: The school is located near the Aspire Zone, behind the Turkish Boys School.  Call 4981155 or visit for more information.

ELITE International School, a new institution that follows an educational programme based on the American curriculum, will begin its maiden academic session in Qatar on September 6, school officials said yesterday.

Located in Al Aziziya, the school will receive admission applications today. It is open to students from age three to 10 years from kindergarten to grade six.

The school boasts of a computer centre, a library, a laboratory and sport facilities.
“The school’s buildings are ready for occupation and infrastructure is in place. We have hired teachers, librarian, a nurse and our managing director and her deputies are all ready to begin work. All that is left is to register children before the commencement of classes in September,” the facilities co-ordinator Aliaa Shatri said during a press conference yesterday.

“Our mission at EIS is to prepare students to become productive and successful citizens,” management team member James Gibbs said.

He said classes offered will include Arabic, English, mathematics, science, religion, computers, humanities and social studies according to the policies and regulations of Qatar and the standards of the American-based curriculum.

“Our school also offers an international focus that helps prepare students for the CITA examinations and we also provide classes in religion and classical Arabic for native speakers based on Qatar educational standards,” he added.

Another member of the senior management team Anna Lytkina emphasised that the school will not deny any child admission based on any form of disability.

“All students deserve equal opportunity to succeed and this means that not only the different learning abilities of our students will be taken into account, but also we will always be ready to provide all necessary facilities for students with medical problems,” she said.

For the designing of its curriculum and textbooks, the school’s management has chosen a century-old publishing firm called Harcourt Publisher, which will be introducing a tailor-made international global version of American curricula to meet local Qatari educational standards while preserving its international approach.

Members of the school’s board are chairman Abdullah bin Saad al-Mahmoud, vice-chairman Khalifa bin Abdullah bin Saad al-Mahmoud and managing director is Fatma al-Hussaini.

So who really is to blame for Vodafone’s delay in getting its services online in Qatar?

Vodafone’s Grahame Maher, suggests that a lack of cooperation from Qtel and Qatari authorities has a major impact in delaying the launch of Vodafone in Qatar. However, Qtel rebuffed this by saying that inaccurate and misleading. First, the delay was caused by Vodafone itself because they ended their contract with one existing network vendor and replace with another half-way through the process. Also, Qtel has no operational obligation to provide site-sharing support for the expansion of a competitors’ network. Actually, I’m surprised at this. Not that Qtel has no obligation but the fact that 2 networks would be sharing the same cell sites and resources. This never happened in the Philippines nor I think anywhere in the world. Why would you share your resources to a "competing" network? Qtel also reminded Vodafone that as an independent network who joined the bid for the 2nd netowrk, they should must have had a plan to build their own network and if the site-sharing agreement didn’t work out or wasn’t working out as planned, Vodafone could have staged plan B and that is to build their own network. I agree.

Now ictQatar has revised the license terms of Vodafone. Now, ict is requiring the company 98 percent coverage by September 1 this year and the launch of services, including two-way phone mobile and SMS, by July 1. Both of these items should have been done a month ago, March! So did ictQatar impose any "punishment" on Vodafone? Nope. Why? I don’t know. They should have taken a stronger stance no matter what reasons Vodafone gave them.
I am not against Vodafone. In fact, I am part of their 1st 1000 customers. I do hope they improve on their services and judging by the services they are providing right now, they are only probably up to 25% capacity. And to think they should have been up to 98% last month! Still, what I am truly looking for is good competition and better services.
Getting back, who really is to blame?

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