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QPO's Mannequin Challenge video.

Video still

QPO\’s Mannequin Challenge video.

This month, many Qatar residents have been embracing the Mannequin Challenge, a new global internet trend that involves recording yourself frozen in mid-action.

Locally, several individuals, schools, sports teams, businesses and other organizations have all shared themselves partaking in the challenge.

Here are five of the most memorable videos:

1. Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

In this beautifully-shot video, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) is seen frozen in their seats while Qatari artist Dana Al Fardan’s song “My Eyes” plays in the background.

The production was the result of a collaboration between QPO, DNA Records,, Austrian filmmaker and producer Alex Klim, and others.

Speaking to Doha News, ILQ co-founder Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon said the team shot this video in only one take, because the QPO only have five free minutes before rehearsal.

ILQ had been preparing for the shoot for three days, however.

“We joined the mannequin challenge in a way that shows off Qatar’s direction towards culture, supporting new talent, and setting new standards,” Al Haroon added.

2. Qatar Olympic football team

In this clip, 20 Olympic football players freeze in the middle of what appears to be a gym workout.

Stop are stopped in the middle of lifting weights, while others are paused doing crunches or working on the elliptical machine.

3. Marsa Malaz Kempinski

Here, hotel employees and staff take the challenge at the Kempinski’s Cafe Murano.

Two customers pause mid-greeting, while a chef and waiters are shown poised to pour hot beverages into guests’ cups.

The clip, like most other #MannequinChallenge videos, is accompanied by a rendition of hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles.”

4. Redbull/College of the North Atlantic-Qatar

A busy campus freezes for about 25 seconds in this challenge, where students pose mid-selfie, perch on trees and hold a yoga pose indefinitely.

This clip ends of course with someone opening a Red Bull.

5. Jamid Box

Finally, one more workout video. Here, members of a Qatar gym are seen frozen in several challenging positions.

Some are doing a headstand, while others are lifting exceptionally heavy weights, or climbing opposite a wall.


This one was a reader submission – construction workers having a bit of fun trying out the challenge:

Which challenge videos have you been enjoying? Thoughts?

AAE-1 undersea internet cable

TIME dot Com

AAE-1 undersea internet cable

One of the world’s longest underwater internet cables has landed at Qatar’s Simaisma Beach, paving the way for faster online streaming, voice calls and other services.

State telecom provider Ooredoo Qatar is one partner in a consortium of 16 companies behind the construction of the 25,000km Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) cable.

Simaisma Beach

Ooredoo Qatar

Simaisma Beach

When it launches later this year, residents can expect a boost in data speeds, Ooredoo Qatar’s CEO Waleed Al-Sayed pledged in a statement:

“The AAE-1 cable will provide people in Qatar with access to new, high-speed global routing, and faster, more reliable bandwidth.

As part of our vision to continually enhance the Ooredoo Supernet, we are investing in major internet infrastructure that will enable Qatar to become one of the best-connected countries.”

The AAE-1 will connect major internet hubs in 18 countries across three continents, including in Qatar, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Thailand, France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

An Ooredoo spokesperson told Doha News that the company is now in the integration phase, connecting the cable to the Al-Kheesa Cable Landing Station (CLS) in Al-Daayen.

Second cable in the works

However, is not the only new undersea cable coming up in the region.

Last month, Oman (which will also benefit from AAE-1) announced the landing of a separate cable that is expected to speed up internet around the region.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Construction on the 20,000km Southeast-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) began in 2014 and is expected to be completed by year-end.

Ooredoo Qatar is also a partner on that cable’s development, but a spokesperson said that SEA-ME-WE 5 has not yet landed here.


Telecom providers have been working at a frantic pace to strengthen the reliability and speed of internet connections in the Gulf.

Less than a decade ago, the region was far more vulnerable to outages when the few existing cable networks around were damaged.

In 2008 for example, users across the Gulf were knocked offline after several high-speed internet underwater cables became damaged in three separate instances over the period of two weeks.

And only last month, Ooredoo’s internet went down across Qatar for a few hours, a problem that the provider blamed on an “issue with an international link.”

AAE-1 undersea internet cable


AAE-1 undersea internet cable

In its statement this week, Ooredoo said the AAE-1 would “provide additional protection and diversity to the world’s heavily-congested cable systems, ensuring that companies and individuals suffer less from bottlenecks or disruption caused by cable breaks.”

The new cables also aim to boost data speeds, gaining plaudits from analysts.

This will prove particularly helpful in Qatar, which is one of the most internet-hungry countries in the region.

Last year, a UN study found residents were more connected to the internet than almost any other country in the world, with 98 percent of households online.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Jan Persiel/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Updated at 8pm with a statement from Ooredoo

If you had trouble accessing WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook and certain websites this afternoon, you weren’t alone.

It appears internet service in Qatar slowed down or became non-existent for many people around town, starting at around 3:30pm.

However, some said that they regained access to websites, apps and services like WhatsApp once they connected to a virtual private network (VPN).

This allows users to get online via a remote or international server. Because VPNs are working, this suggests that there was a local issue at play.

Shortly before 6pm, Ooredoo tweeted its apologies and said it is working to resolve a “technical issue.”

In a statement to Doha News this evening, a spokesperson added:

“Today’s Internet difficulties, which were caused by an issue with an international link, are now fully resolved.

Our technical team were able to trace the problem and resolve it in under one hour, and have taken steps to prevent any reoccurrence. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank our customers for their patience.”


About an hour after the outage, or 4:30pm, some users said their internet had been restored, though others complained that they were still offline.

On Facebook, many residents expressed relief that they weren’t the only ones whose internet was offline.

Some said they had begun to doubt their relationships after not getting responses from their partners, while others were worried their routers or phones were broken.

Were you affected by the outage? Thoughts?