A roundup of the week’s biggest stories in Qatar, brought to you in conjunction with Marhaba, the number one guide to Qatar.

Starting with last Sunday when it was announced that Formula One was in talks to stage a Grand Prix in Qatar this year. Formula One’s boss revealed for the first time that talks have taken place for the possibility of an inaugural Qatar Grand Prix this coming November.

Onto Monday and 84.7% of eligible population are now fully vaccinated according to the Ministry of Public Health.

And 1,143 people were referred to prosecution for COVID violations, 789 people were booked for not wearing a mask, 342 did not maintain a safe physical distance, and 12 did not install the Ehteraz app on their phone.

Tuesday and it was announced that Al Furjan parks are to be built across Qatar to ‘humanise cities’. The parks aim to change a car centric culture to a pedestrian and cyclist friendly culture.

And applications are being invited for Qatar’s tour guide training programme. The course will be conducted in English and the exam fee is 1,200 riyals, and the tour guide licence fee is 1,000 riyals per year. I’ve done the training programme and I’m a fully licenced tour guide, showing off Qatar to visitors is something I really enjoy doing. If you have some spare time, like working with people, and have a real passion for Qatar, I strongly recommend you sign up for this course. Oh, and you can earn some decent money as well.

Wednesday now and oh my goodness we’re into September. With some good news that fuel is to become cheaper this month. Diesel drops to 1.85 Qatar riyals, Super is down to 2.05 riyals per litre, and premium grade will cost just two riyals per litre.

And it was reported that there had been rain in the northern parts of Qatar the day before. A sign that the weather is starting to change.

And Qatar’s population shrinks to 2.38 million in July 2021, compared to 2.75 million in July 2020 a reduction of 370,000 people.

Yesterday, and the Peninsula said that 80 to 90% of traffic accidents in Qatar are caused by the use of mobile phones while driving, especially on highways. The fine for driving using or holding a mobile phone or any other device in hand, or becoming busy watching anything on a screen in the vehicle is 500 riyals. I’m not supposed to have an opinion, but I have one on this, I think the pain and suffering that can be caused by selfishly breaking these laws, deserves a higher penalty than 500 riyals.

Now onto today. And the Gulf Times reports on Hamad Medical Corporation performing Qatar’s first successful lung transplantation.

The Qatar Tribune has Qatar’s Foreign Minister and the UK’s Foreign Secretary visiting facilities housing Afghan evacuees.

And the Peninsula has the UK foreign secretary thanking the Amir for the Afghan peace process and evacuations.

Now for this weeks COVID update. And it’s really good news. There were 861 new local cases, and 434 arriving into the country. That’s a total of 1,295 new recorded cases in the last week. Unfortunately, there was also 1 COVID related death. And the good news is that there have been 1,637 recoveries, meaning that this week the active cases have dropped by 343 giving us a new current figure of 2,521 active cases.

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And with Honda’s Back to School Offer there’s even more reason to introduce a Honda to your family. Until September 30th you can enjoy 5 years warranty, free window tinting and a Virgin Megastore voucher worth 2,000 riyals. Terms and conditions apply, ask in showroom for details.

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