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One Works

Rendering for the Transport Education Center

Qatar Rail has picked an Italy-based architecture firm to design an upcoming Transportation Education Center (TEC) in the country.

The center will include exhibition space and also serve as a recreational facility for the public.

It is expected to encompass the rapid changes Doha has undergone in the past few decades, and encapsulate its “past, present and future,” One Works said in a statement.

One Works

Rendering for the Transport Education Center

The firm won a Qatar Rail design competition regarding the TEC last month.

In a statement, Qatar Rail’s Senior Director Mohamed Timbely said: “One Works has perfectly interpreted the spirit and the goal we set for ourselves from the competition’s outset.”

The firm is also no stranger to the Doha Metro project, as it is already working on the finishes for seven Red Line North stations.

Desert fort inspiration

Speaking to Design MENA, One Works partner Leonardo Cavalli said its design was inspired by desert forts.

“We wanted to enhance Qatar’s heritage in every key element of our project, as well as in every single detail by recognizing how Qatar can look to the future by virtue of its past.”

The publication reports that the TEC will be located between Lusail Boulevard and the Al Qassar Metro Station.

The complex will include offices, a theater and a rooftop restaurant. Also on the roof will be an outdoor park space that can host expos on public transportation.

No timeline has been announced for the TEC. The first phase of the Doha Metro is expected to launch to passenger traffic in late 2019/early 2020.

Thoughts?

Laststubborn/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

After years of reducing Hajj visa numbers due to construction in Makkah, Saudi Arabia is now reportedly planning to increase quotas in the coming years.

According to Arab News, King Salman has approved a proposal to increase the number of pilgrims from inside and outside of Saudi Arabia during this year’s Hajj.

The move to restore quotas comes after years of construction work in the holy city winds down.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Pilgrims at Mt. Arafah during Hajj

It will likely come as good news for people around the world who have been frustrated with a scarcity of Hajj visas, including in Doha.

Last year, some 18,400 people in Qatar applied for 1,200 spots. Of those, 900 were reserved for nationals.

10-year low

The pilgrimage, which a Muslim is required to perform at least once in his or her lifetime, will take place at the end of August and beginning of September.

According to Arab News, the number of pilgrims hit a 10-year low in 2016, at 1.86 million. In 2007, it was reportedly at 2.4 million.

Before the quota was frozen at 1,200 people from Qatar a few years ago, thousands of visas were available to residents here, a local tour operator previously told Doha News.

Residents who are not approved to go to Hajj from Doha can still apply through their home countries, through the Saudi embassies there.

In this case, applicants would also have to travel to Saudi Arabia from their home country (not Qatar) and be part of a local Hajj company from that nation.

Thoughts?

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

There’s apparently a superlative for every country in the world, and not all of them are flattering.

The latest version of a data map called “International Number Ones” is now out, and lists defining characteristics for almost every nation on the planet.

It gives Iran props for producing caviar and Afghanistan for growing opium.

International Number Ones

World’s best list

Jordan is known for taking in refugees, Turkey suffers from too much Twitter censorship, Saudi Arabia imports a lot of arms and the UAE has an abundance of men.

Qatar doesn’t make it onto the map, but in a spreadsheet of all the data compiled by researchers, it gets a shoutout for being rich.

The assertion is based on a 2014 report about the country having the world’s most millionaires per capita.

‘Light-hearted’ map

To be sure, not every country is going to be happy about its designation.

Pakistan for example got a nod for gay porn consumption, Honduras is apparently the murder capital of the world and Egypt has a lot of “heavy women.”

But some countries do surprisingly well. Zambia is credited with having lots of female entrepreneurs, Rwanda with women in Parliament and Colombia with happiness.

Speaking to the Independent last month, data journalist and information designer David McCandless clarified that the map is “meant as a light-hearted graphic.”

He added:

“Where there were multiple options for some countries, we chose the most interesting or entertaining possibility – and kept the alternatives in the datasheet.”

How does your country fare? Thoughts?