For illustrative purposes only.

My Little Pony

For illustrative purposes only.

From the final weekend of Entertainment City to an event for anime doll collectors to museum exhibitions and an Adventure Room challenge, there are quite a few things happening around town this weekend.

Here are our picks:

My Little Pony show

Enjoy the last weekend of the annual month-long summer festival by heading over to the DECC’s Entertainment City for the My Little Pony show, which will take place between Aug. 25 and 31.

Qatar Summer Festival

Doha News / Reem Saad

Qatar Summer Festival

Shows will be held throughout the day from 3:30pm to 9:55pm with 25 minutes of meet and greet sessions scheduled in between.

Entertainment City is also hosting thrill rides, video games and food, with prices ranging between QR5 to QR20.

For the full schedule, check out the Qatar Summer Festival website.

DollMe afternoon

Local Japanese anime and manga store Hobby Chan is hosting an event for doll collectors this Friday at the Oryx Rotana Doha from 4pm to 7pm.

The event aims to reach out to doll collectors based in Qatar and establish a local connection to the hobby, as well as introduce others to the tradition.

DollMe event

Hobby Chan/Facebook

DollMe event

Offerings include doll-related discussions, a doll photoshoot and a doll booth. The event will conclude with a Q&A session. Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

The event is free and open to all, but attendees should provide either a printed or virtual copy of their ticket upon entrance. Those interested in attending can register here.

Valet parking at the hotel will be available, and guests are more than welcome to bring their own cameras to the event.

Muhammad Ali exhibition

If you haven’t checked it out yet, an exhibition that pays tribute to late American boxing legend and activist Muhammed Ali is currently open at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).

The collection of artifacts is located on the MIA’s fourth floor eastern gallery and includes signed items from the boxer, as well as memorabilia from various points in his career.

Muhammad Ali exhibition

Reem Saad / Doha News

Muhammad Ali exhibition

The exhibition was curated by Qatar Museums and Qatar’s upcoming 3-2-1 Olympic and Sports Museum, and will run until Nov. 5.

The museum is open on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday from 10:30am to 5:30pm; Thursdays and Saturdays from noon to 8pm; Friday from 2pm to 8pm; and is closed Tuesdays.

We recommend you check out these five things while at the exhibition. More information about the exhibition from the MIA can be found here.

Adventure Rooms

Embark on an adventure this weekend by heading over to one of Doha’s recent start-ups on D-ring road known as “Adventure Rooms” – real-live escape game where you have 60 minutes to search for clues, solve puzzles, find keys and beat the clock to escape.

Play the Black Queen at the Adventure Rooms

Adventure Rooms Qatar/Facebook

Play the Black Queen at the Adventure Rooms

There are four different games: The Crazy Scientist, The Black Queen, The World Trip and The Prison Break. Games are in two categories. The standard mode involves one group trying to escape the room, where as for the dual mood several groups compete against one another to escape.

None of the games feature horror elements, and are suitable for everyone aged 9 and upwards. Children under 12 should be accompanied by adults.

Prices are QR100 to QR300 per person, depending on the number of people per group. For more information, visit their website.

New mums coffee

Late August/early September is often a time for new arrivals to Qatar. To help ease the transition, Doha Mums is welcoming new residents (and longstanding ones) to a discussion on motherhood and children over a cup of coffee this weekend.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The get-together will take place at Hyatt Plaza’s Tim Hortons this Thursday from 10am to noon. Mothers wishing to attend can RSVP here.

For more information on Doha Mums events, visit the group’s website.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

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Al Rayyan Al Jadeed temporary closure

Ashghal

Al Rayyan Al Jadeed temporary closure

Motorists in western Doha may need to leave extra time for their journeys when a section of Al Rayyan Al Jadeed St. closes for two weeks starting tomorrow, Aug. 25.

The 2km stretch of road between Al Qalaa interchange and Al Wajba junction will shut while asphalt is laid, as part of the ongoing works to Al Rayyan Al Jadeed Street.

These are expected to be complete by the end of Q1 2017, Ashghal said.

Diversions will be in place on Al Qalaa St. and Al Wajba St. during the works.

They should wrap up ahead of the start of the Eid Al Adha holidays and before most schools restart for the new term, the public works authority added in a statement.

Thoughts?

New Al Khor Expressway map

MME

New Al Khor Expressway map

A Turkish contractor has signed a QR7.6 billion (US$2.1bn) deal with Qatar’s government to build a new expressway through Al Khor, QNA reports.

The 34km route will have a total of 10 lanes, 12 viaducts and eight intersections as well as a dedicated pedestrian lane and a motorcycle lane. It will be built by Tekfen Construction, which is part of Tekfen Holding group.

The project is expected to be completed in three years, Turkish news wire Anadolu Agency reported after the agreement was signed in Ankara yesterday.

During an official visit there, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Rumaihi, Qatar’s minister of Municipality and Environment (MME), inked the deal with Ahmet Arslan, Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications and Tekfen Holding’s Chairman Murat Gigin.

The contract followed a meeting earlier in the day between the Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and Al Rumaihi to discuss issues including infrastructure, the MME said.

No details have yet been publicly issued on the route for the new highway, or when work is due to start. However, based on the map, it appears the highway will take motorists in and around Al Khor.

Trade deals

This contract is the latest in a series of key road projects undertaken in Qatar by Tekfen.

The company is already working for Ashghal on a QR3.6 billion (US$980 million) four-year deal to upgrade sections of Al Shamal Road. This is due to be finished by the end of this year.

Al Shamal Road work

Tekfen

Al Shamal Road work

Altogether, Turkish contractors have worked on 119 separate projects in Qatar, worth around QR55 billion ($15 billion), according to the Turkish transport minister.

The trading volume between the two states has tripled to QR4.7 billion ($1.3 billion) in the last five years. However, Arslan said he hoped further deals would soon be struck – particularly in the fields of energy and agriculture, AA said.

“The trade (volume) between the two countries does not reflect both nations’ potential. One of the largest energy producers of its region , Qatar can supply Turkey’s energy requirements while Turkey has whatever Qatar needs, especially agricultural products,” Arslan said.

Turkey also aims to expand its existing economic relations with Qatar and eventually hopes to sign a GCC-wide trade agreement with Qatar’s backing, the minister added.

The deal comes amid warm relations between the two states, which regard each other as strong allies.

Strategic relations

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met in Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan just two months ago to discuss “strategic relations.”

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Turkey's President Recep Erdogan

QNA

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan

The one-day visit followed an official visit to Qatar by Erdogan last December. This resulted in more than a dozen deals covering aviation, defense, energy and education.

Among the agreements were for Turkey to set up a military base in Qatar, visa-free travel between the two states and a “long-term agreement” for the trade of LNG.

Additionally, Qatar’s Emir was the first world leader to call Erdogan following last month’s failed coup attempt.

At the time, the Gulf state denounced the action as “lawless” and a “violation of the (country’s) constitutional legitimacy.”

Thoughts?

Empire State Building in New York

Michael Muraz/Flickr

Empire State Building in New York

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has acquired a nearly 10 percent stake in the company that owns the Empire State Building.

In an announcement yesterday, the Empire State Realty Trust said the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) bought 29.6 million newly issued Class A common shares in the firm at $21 each – a $622 million investment.

QIA will now have a 9.9 percent economic and voting interest in the firm, Empire State added in a statement.

The iconic New York building used to be the world’s tallest skyscraper.

Its owner’s portfolio also includes more than a dozen other office and retail properties, mostly in Manhattan.

US focus

The purchases comes as the QIA has been diversifying away from Europe and buying more properties in the US and Asia.

Last September, Qatar officials announced plans to invest some $35 billion in the US over the next five years.

Since then, the wealth fund has opened a New York office.

According to Bloomberg, the QIA has also formed a joint venture with Brookfield Property Partners LP to develop Manhattan West, an $8.6 billion mixed-use project.

Thoughts?