“Buying a car seems to be the last priority of residents nowadays. Since last year, many of them have been using their existing cars and not considering replacing them.”

- A used car salesman speaking to the Gulf Times this week about the slowing market in Qatar. Because so many people are leaving this summer and others are choosing to save money, the supply of used cars far outpaces the demand for them. Anecdotally, the newspaper said it's been easier to sell older, cheaper cars than almost-new ones.

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MIA Park Carousel

Qatar Museums

The merry-go-round at the MIA Park

A new merry-go-round has been installed at the Museum of Islamic Art park and will open to the public for rides soon.

The carousel was designed by Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi and doubles as a piece of art, Qatar Museums (QM) said in a statement. It is titled “Enchanted East.”

The structure’s permanent home will be between the children’s playgrounds and the waterfront cafe at the MIA park.

MIA Park Carousel

Qatar Museums

The merry-go-round at the MIA Park

According to QM, the carousel is comprised of 40 designed animal “seats” that are inspired by MIA’s permanent collection.

That includes works of Islamic arabesque, Arabic calligraphy and famous carpets from Islamic civilization.

Azzawi is a renowned modern Arab artist and has exhibited at the Arab Museum of Modern Art (Mathaf) in the past.

A retrospective exhibition of Azzawi’s work is also planned to launch in October at both Mathaf and the Al Riwaq gallery near the MIA.

Carousel timings

The park is expected to charge QR15/child, an MIA staffer told Doha News.

Once open to the public, the carousel will operate during Ramadan from Sunday–Saturday, 7pm to midnight. It will be closed Tuesdays and Fridays.

MIA Park Carousel

Qatar Museums

The merry-go-round at the MIA Park

Then from after Eid Al-Fitr in July to September, it will run from Sunday –Saturday, 6pm to midnight; and closed Tuesdays.

Finally, operating hours from October to May will be Sunday-Saturday, 10:30am to 11pm; and closed Tuesdays.

Who plans to check it out? Thoughts?

Qatar Petroleum to take over Tasweeq by end of 2016

Qatar Petroleum (QP) has confirmed it will absorb Tasweeq by the end of this year after a Cabinet decision gave the state-backed energy giant more responsibilities. Tasweeq was an independent government firm that sold oil and gas prices to foreign customers.

In a statement on QNA, QP said Tasweeq’s management and employees would oversee day-to-day operations during a “transition period.” It added that it plans to ensure “efficiency in the use and deployment” of the combined group’s staff, but did not confirm whether the move would lead to job loses.

Gulf Mall traffic

Peter Kovessy / Doha News

Gulf Mall traffic

Shopping centers that charge for parking around Qatar must now comply with the government’s new fee restrictions or face penalties.

In a statement, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) reminded malls and other businesses this week that the grace period to adhere to the new structure has ended.

The MEC announced a cap on parking and valet services in April, as part of efforts to “protect the rights of the community.” The actual fees were reported last month.

The ministry said at the time that drivers would also be given a half hour to hunt for a parking space and won’t be charged if they leave before that.

Rates

Lot operators are limited to charging customers QR2 an hour for each of the first two hours.

That climbs to QR3 each for the third and fourth hour, and QR5 for every subsequent hour. The maximum a person can be charged is QR70 a day.

Additionally, there is a cap of QR30 for regular valet parking and QR60 for VIP valet parking.

So far, City Center, Ezdan, Villaggio, Lagoona, Landmark, Dar Al Salam, The Gate and Gulf malls have all complied with the new rules.

Souq Waqif parking

Peter Kovessy

Souq Waqif parking

Souq Waqif, the Doha Golf Club, Ahli Hospital, the Pearl-Qatar and Katara Cultural Village have also fallen into line, the MEC said.

The rapid growth of Qatar’s population and the launch of construction projects that have taken over previously vacant lots has reduced the number of available spots for motorists to leave their vehicles.

There are currently only a handful of lots in Qatar that currently charge for parking, although that has started to change.

Several of the new lots that have opened in recent months, such as the Doha Exhibition and Conference Center as well as Sheraton Park, now require motorists to pay.

Thoughts?