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Posts tagged as Abu Dhabi

Culture: Qatar’s US$434m desert rose museum finally blooms

ALMOST a decade in the making, three years late and at an estimated cost of US$434 million (RM1.77 billion), Qatar’s vast national museum, built in the shape of a desert rose, opens this week.A glittering ceremony, expected to include Qatar’s ruler Sheikh Tamim Hamad al-Thani, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah and French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, takes place tomorrow, with the doors opening to the public the next day.“Architecture to give a voice to heritage whilst celebrating (the) future,” tweeted the museum’s renowned French architect Jean Nouvel, also responsible for the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The pale, futuristic 52,000-sq m structure located on Doha’s waterfront corniche will be the first notable building visitors to Qatar see as they make their way from the airport to the city centre.Even in a country which is being built, rebuilt and utterly transformed for the 2022 football World Cup, the national museum could be the single most eye-catching design of all Qatar’s new buildings.

The entrance includes 114 fountain sculptures in a 900m-long lagoon and the museum’s multi-curved roof, which resembles a giant jigsaw puzzle, is made up of 76,000 panels in 3,600 different shapes and sizes.Inside, there is more than 1,500m of gallery space.Among the exhibits is a 19th century carpet embroidered with 1.5 million Gulf pearls and the oldest Quran yet discovered in Qatar, also dating back to the 1800s.

“This is a museum that narrates the story of the people of Qatar,” Sheikha Amna Abdulaziz Jassim al-Thani, the museum’s director, has stated.The National Museum of Qatar also stands on the site of the former palace of Sheikh Abdullah Jassim al-Thani — son of the founder of modern Qatar.
The palace has been restored as part of the massive project.The museum, which officials say celebrates Qatar’s Bedouin past and energy-rich present, also reflects the country’s massive wealth and ambition. ‘Post-blockade identity’And as well as an architectural and cultural statement, the new museum is also a political one by the Qataris.It is among a growing list of spectacular buildings in Qatar, including the recently opened national library and Museum of Islamic Art further along the corniche.
The national museum is also the latest in the cultural “arms race” and soft power course among Gulf nations, which includes Nouvel’s Louvre in Abu Dhabi opened to huge fanfare in 2017, designed to show-off the progressive aspects of the various competing emirate states.And for Qatar, the museum’s delayed opening — originally scheduled for 2016 — has given it a chance to reinforce its national identity from other Gulf states, say experts.Since June 2017, Qatar has been diplomatically and economically blockaded by neighbouring former allies, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, accused among other things of supporting terrorism. Qatar rejects all charges and says the blockade is an attack on its sovereignty.The bitter dispute has fractured long-standing Gulf alliances and the new museum will allow Qatar to reinforce its separateness from its rivals, says Sigurd Neubauer, a Middle East analyst based in Washington.

“On the basic level the museum represents Qatari identity which has really accelerated in the post-blockade environment,” he said.At the same time as the reputation of Doha’s rivals appear “inward-looking and regressive”, because of incidents like the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Qatar’s standing is the “opposite”, adds Neubauer.“It’s really not about the building, Qatar is trying to create an environment and national identity that provides a space towards independent thinking.“It is doubling down on its own progressive reforms.”

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Quetta Gladiators, Shane Watson, Hasan Ali dominate PSL 2019

The fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League, which began at Dubai (UAE) on February 14, has successfully and peacefully concluded in Karachi on March 17 as Quetta Gladiators clinched their maiden title.
In the final, they recorded a convincing eight-wicket win over Peshawar Zalmi after defeating them in all the previous encounters in the tournament both the league matches and the Qualifier.On individual basis, Shane Watson’s remarkable performance not only helped his team Quetta Gladiators lift the winning trophy but also he received awards for the Player-of-the-Tournament and the Best Batsman of the tournament.Shane, who appeared in all 12 matches for his team, scored 430 runs (ave 43.00), the most by any batsman in the tournament. He made four fifties, with an unbeaten 91being his highest score.
The award for the best bowler of the tournament went to fast-medium pacer Hasan Ali for taking the most wickets in the event – 25 at an average of 13.64.He grabbed four wickets in an innings on three occasions which is also the most by any bowler in the tournament. The highest total by any team in PSL-4 was 238/3 scored by Islamabad United (vs Lahore Qalandars at Karachi on March 9) while the highest match aggregate (427 in 40 overs) was made in the same match.
The largest victory (by runs) was recorded by Peshawar Zalmi as they defeated Karachi Kings by 61 runs at Karachi on march 11 and the largest by wickets (eight) was achieved on four occasions, as detailed below:1- Quetta Gladiators beat Multan Sultans at Sharjah on February 20,2- Lahore Qalandars beat Quetta Gladiators at Dubai on February 27, 3- Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi at Abu Dhabi on march 4, 4- Quetta Gladiators beat Peshawar Zalmi at Karachi on March 17.The highest individual score in the tournament was 127 not out, made by Colin Ingram of Karachi Kings against Quetta Gladiators at Sharjah on February 24.
This was the first of the two individual hundreds scored in the event. The second was made by Cameron Delport (117 not out for Islamabad United vs Lahore Qalandars at Karachi on March 9).
Asif Ali of Islamabad United hit the most sixes in the tournament. He struck 26 sixes in 12 matches as the most sixes in an innings were smashed by Ingram.He hit eight sixes while playing for Karachi Kings against Quetta Gladiators at Sharjah on February 24.The best bowling performance was displayed by pacer Faheem Ashraf of Islamabad United.He captured six wickets for 19 runs in four overs against Lahore Qalandars at Karachi on March 9.The most feats of taking four or more wickets in an innings were achieved by Hasan Ali (thrice).His best bowling was four for 15, which he performed twice. The most dismissals were made by wicket keeper Ronchi.
His victims were 11 (10 caught and one stumped) in 12 matches. He dismissed three batsmen of Quetta Gladiators at Abu Dhabi on March 5, which is the most by a wicket keeper in an innings.The fielder who took the most catches in the tournament, was Kieron Pollard.He held 10 catches in 13 matches. However, the record of taking the most catches in an innings is held by Babar Azam, who took four catches while playing for Karachi Kings vs Islamabad United at Karachi on March 14.

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