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Qatar bids for 2022 World Cup 19, March 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
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Qatar has officially announced that it will bid to host the 2022 World Cup. This is one plinth of a far larger strategy to – essentially – put Qatar on the international map, whilst winning friends and influencing them. Sport is one method that Qatar is using to purse this goal. They have already hosted the 2006 Asian Games, one of Tennis’ WTA Championships, and will host the 2011 Asian Cup football tournament as well as the 2010 World Indoor Athletics Championships. Additionally, no-one watching television in (what seems like) the entire Middle East can have missed adverts for Qatar’s ‘Aspire’ sports academy, which aims to train the next generation of Olympic athletes from the region.

Sotheby’s Doha to sell ‘Pearl Carpet of Baroda’ 19, March 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar, The Emirates.
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Pearl Carpet

Sotheby’s auction house in Doha has announced that it will be auctioning a carpet commissioned to cover the Tomb of Mohammed in Medina. The ‘Pearl Carpet of Baroda’ is some 150 years old and lavishly decorated with hundreds of “precious stones, including diamonds, sapphires, rubies and emeralds” not to mention an estimated two million natural sea pearls.

It is somewhat fitting that the Pearl Carpet of Baroda is being sold in Qatar, which for so long was wholly dependent on the pearling trade, with up to 50% of its population working directly in the industry. The carpet is expected to fetch anywhere between$5-$20 million.

The auction on March 19, is the first at Sotheby’s Doha. They were attracted to Qatar like so many blue-chip western countries thanks to the foretasted growth rates and concurrently affluent – if tiny – population. It is also only a short hop to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Bahrain. Sotheby’s are not the first auction house to enter the region. Christies were the first, moving to Dubai and opening in April 2005 and Bonhams first sale was in November 2007, also in Dubai.