Hamad International Airport in Doha opened in 2014. AP Photo
Hamad International Airport in Doha opened in 2014. AP Photo

Qatar introduces airport tax on passengers



Qatar’s government will levy a new airport tax on passengers from Tuesday as the country seeks new revenue streams amid falling oil prices.

Every passenger leaving Qatar from Doha’s Hamad International Airport, including transit passengers, will be charged 35 riyals ($9.61) for using airport facilities, according to a statement by the airport.

The charge will apply to tickets issued after August 30 and for any travel starting on December 1 onwards and would be used to “further increase the airport’s capacity and invest in new infrastructure”, the statement said.

Airport fees, while common elsewhere in the world, have until recently been avoided by Arabian Gulf states as they seek to gain a competitive advantage for business and become regional hubs.

Some 1.33 million passengers travelled through Hamad International Airport in June.

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New airport

In pictures: Qatar's new Hamad International Airport in Doha

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Airports in the UAE announced similar taxes earlier this year.

Interest rates are rising in the Gulf as low oil prices pressure governments’ finances, so Qatar has been looking at ways other than borrowing to fund its projects, including raising local gasoline prices.

Qatar has said it expects to post a deficit of 46.5 billion riyals ($12.8bn) in 2016, its first in 15 years, and to run a deficit for at least three years as low natural gas and oil prices weigh on its revenues as it prepares to host the Fifa World Cup in 2022.

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The Limehouse Golem
Director: Juan Carlos Medina
Cast: Olivia Cooke, Bill Nighy, Douglas Booth
Three stars

Poland Statement

All people fleeing from Ukraine before the armed conflict are allowed to enter Poland. Our country shelters every person whose life is in danger - regardless of their nationality.

The dominant group of refugees in Poland are citizens of Ukraine, but among the people checked by the Border Guard are also citizens of the USA, Nigeria, India, Georgia and other countries.

All persons admitted to Poland are verified by the Border Guard. In relation to those who are in doubt, e.g. do not have documents, Border Guard officers apply appropriate checking procedures.

No person who has received refuge in Poland will be sent back to a country torn by war.

 

 

Crops that could be introduced to the UAE

1: Quinoa 

2. Bathua 

3. Amaranth 

4. Pearl and finger millet 

5. Sorghum

Trolls World Tour

Directed by: Walt Dohrn, David Smith

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake

Rating: 4 stars

POWERWASH SIMULATOR

Developer: FuturLab
Publisher: Square Enix Collective
Console: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC
Rating: 4/5

TCL INFO

Teams:
Punjabi Legends 
Owners: Inzamam-ul-Haq and Intizar-ul-Haq; Key player: Misbah-ul-Haq
Pakhtoons Owners: Habib Khan and Tajuddin Khan; Key player: Shahid Afridi
Maratha Arabians Owners: Sohail Khan, Ali Tumbi, Parvez Khan; Key player: Virender Sehwag
Bangla Tigers Owners: Shirajuddin Alam, Yasin Choudhary, Neelesh Bhatnager, Anis and Rizwan Sajan; Key player: TBC
Colombo Lions Owners: Sri Lanka Cricket; Key player: TBC
Kerala Kings Owners: Hussain Adam Ali and Shafi Ul Mulk; Key player: Eoin Morgan

Venue Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Format 10 overs per side, matches last for 90 minutes
Timeline October 25: Around 120 players to be entered into a draft, to be held in Dubai; December 21: Matches start; December 24: Finals

BIO

Favourite holiday destination: Turkey - because the government look after animals so well there.

Favourite film: I love scary movies. I have so many favourites but The Ring stands out.

Favourite book: The Lord of the Rings. I didn’t like the movies but I loved the books.

Favourite colour: Black.

Favourite music: Hard rock. I actually also perform as a rock DJ in Dubai.

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

The Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index

Mazen Abukhater, principal and actuary at global consultancy Mercer, Middle East, says the company’s Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index - which benchmarks 34 pension schemes across the globe to assess their adequacy, sustainability and integrity - included Saudi Arabia for the first time this year to offer a glimpse into the region.

The index highlighted fundamental issues for all 34 countries, such as a rapid ageing population and a low growth / low interest environment putting pressure on expected returns. It also highlighted the increasing popularity around the world of defined contribution schemes.

“Average life expectancy has been increasing by about three years every 10 years. Someone born in 1947 is expected to live until 85 whereas someone born in 2007 is expected to live to 103,” Mr Abukhater told the Mena Pensions Conference.

“Are our systems equipped to handle these kind of life expectancies in the future? If so many people retire at 60, they are going to be in retirement for 43 years – so we need to adapt our retirement age to our changing life expectancy.”

Saudi Arabia came in the middle of Mercer’s ranking with a score of 58.9. The report said the country's index could be raised by improving the minimum level of support for the poorest aged individuals and increasing the labour force participation rate at older ages as life expectancies rise.

Mr Abukhater said the challenges of an ageing population, increased life expectancy and some individuals relying solely on their government for financial support in their retirement years will put the system under strain.

“To relieve that pressure, governments need to consider whether it is time to switch to a defined contribution scheme so that individuals can supplement their own future with the help of government support,” he said.

Dr Amal Khalid Alias revealed a recent case of a woman with daughters, who specifically wanted a boy.

A semen analysis of the father showed abnormal sperm so the couple required IVF.

Out of 21 eggs collected, six were unused leaving 15 suitable for IVF.

A specific procedure was used, called intracytoplasmic sperm injection where a single sperm cell is inserted into the egg.

On day three of the process, 14 embryos were biopsied for gender selection.

The next day, a pre-implantation genetic report revealed four normal male embryos, three female and seven abnormal samples.

Day five of the treatment saw two male embryos transferred to the patient.

The woman recorded a positive pregnancy test two weeks later. 

360Vuz PROFILE

Date started: January 2017
Founder: Khaled Zaatarah 
Based: Dubai and Los Angeles
Sector: Technology 
Size: 21 employees
Funding: $7 million 
Investors: Shorooq Partners, KBW Ventures, Vision Ventures, Hala Ventures, 500Startups, Plug and Play, Magnus Olsson, Samih Toukan, Jonathan Labin

The specs

Engine: four-litre V6 and 3.5-litre V6 twin-turbo

Transmission: six-speed and 10-speed

Power: 271 and 409 horsepower

Torque: 385 and 650Nm

Price: from Dh229,900 to Dh355,000

Rebel Moon – Part Two: The Scargiver review

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Sofia Boutella, Charlie Hunnam, Ed Skrein, Sir Anthony Hopkins
Rating: 2/5

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
Torque: 149Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
On sale: Now

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

The specs

Engine: 1.5-litre 4-cylinder
Transmission: CVT
Power: 119bhp
Torque: 145Nm
Price: Dh,89,900 ($24,230)
On sale: now

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

'Shakuntala Devi'

Starring: Vidya Balan, Sanya Malhotra

Director: Anu Menon

Rating: Three out of five stars