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Last night I attended a very interesting lecture hosted for Honorary Cultural Ambassadors, on the subject of Intercultural Communications in Qatar. Our lecturer Dr. Irene Theodoropoulou from Qatar University was absolutely brilliant at discussing  the subject utilising many examples, experiences and much humour.

I have been in Qatar for nearly nine years now. And consider myself pretty knowledgeable on Intercultural Communications having spent a great deal of time living and working with cultures from all over the world. Yet she was still able to expand on and clarify the knowledge I have self acquired.

Inspired by her lecture, I am going to make sure that Qatar Quick will have a section on Intercultural Communications very soon. To help you interact with not only locals but also the expats working here from all over the globe.

Doha Fire Station Art Gallery
The lecture was presented in the Fire Station Art Gallery

One of Qatar Quicks top tips while visiting Qatar, is to buy a copy of The Entertainer

Qatar Quick do not earn commission, or make any money from persuading you to buy a copy of the Entertainer. we are simply recommending it because it makes sense.

Qatar Quick Recommended

What is it?

It’s a book or an App containing 2 for 1 vouchers on lots of things you like to do.  Their website states; “Whether you want to dine out for a special occasion, relax in a Moroccan bath or spend time with your family, there is something for everyone in Qatar 2018!”. The vouchers are valid for the calendar year they are purchased in.

How much does it cost?

Full list price is QR 375, but a lot of the time there are offers bringing that down by around QR 100 to QR 275.

Why Should I buy one?

If you traveling alone, then there is absolutely no point in buying a copy of the Entertainer. But if there are two or more of you, you will be able to make the purchase price of the Entertainer back in as little as one transaction. A good Brunch in a top hotel will cost anywhere between QR 200 and QR 350. Use a 2 for 1 voucher and the book/App is paid for.

Once you have recovered the purchase price, you are saving money every time you use a voucher. Even if you are only in Qatar for just a week you should easily get your money back and make some great savings.

Tip

Using vouchers on fast food and hotel buffets is going to give you the best return. Along with beach/leisure passes. We have found that à la carte 2 for 1 doesn’t normally represent a big saving. If you are in a restaurant you will normally use a ‘Buy 1 Get One Free Main Course’. The saving of one main menu item when the bill comes for starter, main, dessert and drinks only makes a small difference. But hey it’s worth having.

Where can I buy a copy?

You can buy online here, or a copy can be purchased in most large supermarkets and book stores.

 

 

You can easily buy a new ooredoo or Vodafone SIM on arrival at Doha International Airport

Once you have made it through customs it may be a good idea to buy a local SIM for use during your stay in Qatar. Qatar enjoys absolutely excellent mobile coms, with fast and reliable mobile data. You will need your passport for ID when buying a SIM in Qatar, and they will take a copy of your passport and register it against your SIM.

There are two mobile networks operating in Qatar; Vodafone and ooredoo. Both charge QR 35

to buy a new SIM. And both have very similar pricing for data and calls. It would take a great deal of comparison to try and decide which one to go for on price alone. And I would not want to be sued by either of them by saying one had a better network than the other. So the choice is yours. But ask them both about their Fexi plans because I believe they represent the best value for visitors.

As you step out of the automatic sliding doors that separate customs from land side arrivals you need to turn left if you want a Vodafone SIM, or right if you want an ooredoo SIM.

Vodafone Qatar

For Vodafone once you have walked to your left you will quickly come across a WH Smiths store. This is where you can buy your Vodafone SIM.

If you walk out of customs and turn right, you need to walk to the end of the building (follow signs for buses) and you will see a big ooredoo stand by the escalators.

Take you new SIM, pop it into your phone and you are good to go.

The Corniche is one of the gems of Doha

One of the things I love about living in Qatar, is when I step out of my apartment, walk for about 20 minutes. Then find myself in the picture postcard location that is the Corniche.

In an attempt to try and stay alive a bit longer, I am walking a bit more these days. And I am lucky enough to live very close to the Corniche. A quick walk through Al Bidda Park and I am there.  On the way I pop into Woqod to buy a nice big bottle of water to keep me hydrated while out.

A new Multiplex for the Al Sadd Area

Last Thursday Vic and I popped along to Mirqab Mall to tryout the newly opened Flik Cinema. For us the opening of Flik is really good news as it’s very close to where we live and has loads of free basement parking. We went to watch ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ and paid just QR 35 each for their Gold seats (bigger seats that recline and have premium views of the screen). If we had gone for standard seats it would have been less at QR 30 each.

Flik Cinema - Mirqab Mall
Flik Cinema – Mirqab Mall
Price of snacks in Flik
Price of snacks in Flik

Snacks & Drinks

Popcorn was reasonably priced. We had a large caramel for QR 24 and it was large indeed. I actually had some left over at the end of the movie.

Price of Drinks in Flik
Price of Drinks in Flik

I ordered a large Pepsi but it was too small. Made the mistake of asking for large think I would get large, but large is small and XL is large if you get what I mean. If you only have two sizes then surely one of them is small and the other is large. Grrrr….

Vic wanted a bottle of water. But she ended up with a small Pepsi as well. Because Flik are being clever and are only selling expensive water. This makes me so angry. I refuse to pay QR 12 for a small bottle of water. Next time we will pop into Carrefour in Miqab and buy a small bottle of water for QR 1.5 before going to the cinema.

Jumanji

 

Jumanji a reboot of a classic that is better than the original

Loved the move. The new Jumanji was not what I was expecting at all. It was really, really good. Laugh out loud funny all the way through. And it wasn’t just Vic and I laughing, the theater was about 30% full and the majority were laughing with us.

It was easy for us to get to Flik in Mirqab Mall. It was easy to park in Mirqab Mall and indeed free. We watched a great movie at a really good price and had a thoroughly good evening. We recommend the cinema, the mall and the movie.

Would we go back?

We will be returning to watch something else there very, very soon.

The Miqab Mall Fountains
The Miqab Mall Fountains

 

 

Victoria had a touch of bad luck the other day. When riding in a taxi her phone slipped out of her pocket and hid its self somewhere in the car. By the time she spotted the missing item she was out of the cab, and the ride was long gone.

She tried using “Where’s my phone” and was able to track it for a short time, but her battery was almost out when her phone hid its self from her, and calls to it went unnoticed as it was on silent. She activated lost phone mode which displays a message and a phone number for anyone who finds it. But after 24 hours of being AWAL we thought it had gone forever as there was no call reporting it found.

Then two days later I get a call from a Sri Lankan driver. How do I know he was Sri Lankan? Well because he made sure I knew this good deed was being done by a Sri Lankan. He had been cleaning the inside of his car, and discovered the phone. A quick charge later he was able to see and call the number being displayed, and an hour later the phone was in my hands. Phew!!

So job well done Mr. Sri Lankan Driver! You are a credit to your profession and your country. A complete gentleman.

Oh and don’t worry, I made sure he was correctly rewarded for his good deed.

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The new Mirqab mall is still in its early days at the moment. Many retail units still yet to open and a cinema almost, but not quite ready to start accepting paying public.

On the plus side though, loads and loads of free parking spaces, a Carrefour that is not too busy yet, and the nicest McDonald’s I have ever been in. And of course there is this wonderful public space in the middle with lots of light and cooling fountains.

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Yesterday evening was the first training session for the newly appointed Honorary Cultural Ambassadors, which I was lucky enough to have been selected for. Training took place in the cinema of the Fire Station Art Gallery and lasted for 3 hours.

There were four presentations covering the Museum of Islamic Art, the soon to open Qatar National Museum, the Fire Station and lastly the Olympic and Sports Museum due to open in 2019.

There was a lot to take in, and I started taking notes too late. But here are a couple of things I didn’t know and found interesting.

  • The architect of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) insisted that the building should be where it is, because he didn’t want it in a location where there was any risk of any new development ever overshadowing this amazing building. And because water has a calming effect for museums, galleries and such like.
  • The Qatar National Museum will open in 2018.
  • The Fire Station Artist in Residence Program had over 170 applicants this year. But the judges panel of 5 experts had to select only 20 artists. Each successful artist was given one of the 20 studios located in the Fire Station, financial assistance for materials and also mentoring. Old unused school buildings around Qatar are to be converted into studios to allow more artists to expand and develop their skills.
  • The Olympic and Sports Museum is under development at The new Khalifa International Stadium located in Aspire, and will open in 2019.

Honestly there was a lot of information, and I hope to be able to tell you more about each of the 4 museums in the coming weeks as I get more hands on with them. Starting with the Fire Station, which we are visiting tomorrow to have a tour of the current exhibition showing there.

The first training session for Honorary Cultural Ambassadors held at the Fire Station Art Galary

 

From 10th August 2017, Barzan Digital have become Approved resellers for Rapiscan 20170822_152107Systems baggage scanning and metal detector products in Qatar. Working in partnership with Quest Security Equipment, Barzan now offer a full range of products to enhance security in Qatar’s premium hotels.

As well as offering training and service facilities Barzan will have their own fully qualified installation team for Rapiscan products.

Barzan Digital can be contacted on +974 704 54321 and ask for Brian Candy.

Rapiscan Systems Logo

Having recently had very bad experiences with both Pizza Hut and Domino’s, I was quite keen to try out a new kid on the block.

Located next to the Centro Hotel in Al Jazeera Street, Castello is a small restaurant with takeaway on the ground floor and a seating area upstairs.

It’s prices are good with a small salami pizza costing QR 30 and a large costing QR 40. Margarita pizza QR 24 (S) / QR 34 (L) and a further 16 other toppings available.

Quality is Good. However Trip Adviser only allow the selection of Average or Very Good (nothing in the middle). And it is neither of those, so to be fair to them I gave them very good as their Trip Adviser rating rather than average.

The bases are made from scratch and I believe are all thin and crispy. I ordered a large Seafood for QR 49. The base was perfect, the topping was good (not average and not very good) just good. Not enough basil or oregano for me, and although they asked me how spicy I would like it (I said Spicy but not too spicy) there was no hint of spicy heat to be found. But I still enjoyed it. Was it worth QR 49…. yes it was. Would I go back again…. yes I would.

I’m looking forward to trying their other more interesting toppings that are not on the big high street chain menus.

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