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Posts tagged as Saudi Arabia

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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Scope Real Estate to pump LE150M investments

CAIRO – 17 March 2019: Scope Real Estate Company plans to pump investments worth LE 150 million during the coming period, an official at Scope,The company also signed partnership contracts with Director of Contracting at Al Ahli Club Adly el-Kea’y to become deputy chairman of the company.The contracts were signed by Chairman of Scope Company Mohamed Salama Ghabashi and now-Deputy Chairman of Scope Adly el-Kea’y.
According to the official statement, the company intends to launch new investments in New Cairo and the New Administrative Capital as part of its investment plan.
Chairman of Scope Company Ghabashi said that his company is seeking to implement residential projects that are the first of their kind in terms of spaces and designs as part of its expansion plan in the real estate field.He added that the company owns a number of residential projects (Florence, Acacia, Lagoya, Scala, Maxi, Rosella, Fiori, Mini Compound, Galeria, etc.) with a total number of about 300 units sold at competitive prices and facilities up to 7 years to suit all needs.Ghabashi explained that 2019 is the golden year in the real estate market and the first winner is the buyer, clarifying that this is because many developers and investors have to sell at prices close to the cost price or with a small profit margin to provide investment liquidity.
The chairman of Scope expected the prices of real estate units to increase starting from the beginning of the second half of the year in conjunction with the increase in fuel prices as a result of the cut of fuel subsidies, which mainly causes a rise in the prices of basic building materials.He added that as a result of all these expectations and factors, 2019 is the golden year of residential investment and safe investments, especially after the decline of the dollar and the fall of gold prices.He also stressed that the company’s investment plan includes doubling the current number of its units to hit 600 residential units, in addition to owning a real estate portfolio to help the customers and gain their confidence.

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