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November 23, 2009 Posted by | Humor | 1 Comment

Train (Qatar to Bahrain) Construction to Start

What excites me about this project is that the train which will begin construction soon, also ties in with a beautifully laid out public train system to link major hubs in Qatar. I wish I had taken a photo of the map in the paper – it looks like the London tube system, different lines – different colors, circles where you can switch lines . . . Qatar is definitely going to do this, and to me, it is very exciting.

What public transportation means to me – instead of driving, which I don’t mind all that much, I can sit and read a book!

Qatar-Bahrain causeway work to start in early 2010
Web posted at: 11/23/2009 6:49:46
Source ::: Reuters
ABU DHABI: Construction of a 40km causeway that would connect gas exporter Qatar to the Gulf island state of Bahrain will start in the first quarter of 2010, an official said yesterday.

“We are evaluating the final design and cost of the project and expect construction to start early next year,” Jaber Al Mohannadi, general manager of the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway Foundation, told a conference in Abu Dhabi.

Construction was initially scheduled to start in 2009, but the addition of rail lines delayed the project.

“Project completion will be in 2015,” he said, but declined to give the estimated cost of the project because the figure was yet to be finalized.

Contractors selected to carry out the project include France’s Vinci and Germany’s Hochtief AG, Mohannadi said.

The latest official cost estimate of the causeway, one of the longest in the world, stands at $3bn to be shared between Bahrain and Qatar. Users of the bridge will have to pay a toll, Mohannadi said.

Jassim Ali, a member of the financial and economic affairs committee of Bahrain’s parliament, estimated the project to cost $4-$5bn.

“Qatar will probably be providing some soft financing to Bahrain” to help cover its share of the cost of the project, Ali said.

Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, has one of the world’s highest per capita gross domestic product, while Bahrain is a small oil producer with limited public finances.

The rail tracks on the causeway would be part of a planned train network that will connect the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which also include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is an important business hub of the region.

The 1,940km GCC rail network will cost $20-$25bn as Gulf Arab states plan to spend more than $100bn on various rail projects to improve public transportation.

Qatar and German rail and logistics group Deutsche Bahn [DBN.UL] signed a $23bn deal that provides for building a passenger and freight railway.

Bahrain in April launched a new port that it hopes would help it become a shipping hub for the northern part of the Gulf.

November 23, 2009 Posted by | Building, Bureaucracy, Community, Doha, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Leadership, Living Conditions, News, Social Issues, Work Related Issues | | 5 Comments

The Tribal in all of us – Prayers for Rain

I know it is about that time of the year . . . clouds are gathering, you can almost smell rain coming. And yet it holds off. Every year, in Qatar, and also in Kuwait, the national leader gathers with his people and prays for rain.

What country doesn’t need rain? Even in the Pacific Northwest, where jokes are made about the abundance of rain, when the rains fail to fall, people pray for rain.

I remember living in Monterey, California during a drought; it didn’t rain for a couple YEARS. When it rained, people danced in the streets for joy.

There is no sweeter smell on earth, I think, that the smell of the first rain hitting the dusty earth.

From today’s Gulf Times

Prayer for rains
HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani joining the worshippers to perform the Istisqa (rain-seeking prayer) at the Al Wajbah prayer ground yesterday morning. The prayer is in line with the Sunnah (sayings and deeds) of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), who performed Istisqa prayers when there was a delay in rainfall.

November 23, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Doha, ExPat Life, Leadership, Living Conditions, Qatar, Weather | 11 Comments