Our celebration of the National Day this year acquires a special colour, taste with the flavour of the World Cup. Qatar has changed the destination of sport from mere competition on the field and cheering in the stands, to sublime meanings that serve communities, peoples, and countries, to raise the value of sport in achieving peace and rapprochement between peoples.
Qatar has fulfilled the promises and silenced the critics and sceptics, after years of work and planning based on creativity and uniqueness in the various stages of preparations, and on the evening of the twentieth of last November.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani patronised the opening of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at Al Bayt Stadium on the evening of the twentieth of last November in the presence of Their Majesties, Highnesses and Excellencies leaders of sisterly and friendly countries, heads of delegations and Olympic committees and federations, and Their Excellencies heads of the diplomatic missions accredited to the State, senior sports officials, and a large crowd of the fans.
His Highness the Amir announced the opening of the tournament saying: “From Qatar, from an Arab country, I welcome everyone to the World Cup 2022. We have worked hard, along with many people, to make it one of the most successful tournaments. We have exerted all efforts and invested for the good of all humanity.
His Highness the Amir continued by saying: “Starting from this evening, we will follow, and with us the whole world, God willing, the great football festival, in this spacious ambience for human and civilised communication. People of different races, nationalities, faiths and orientations will gather here in Qatar, and around screens on all continents to share the same exciting moments.”
His Highness wished “all the participating teams a magnificent football performance, high sportsmanship, and a time full of joy, excitement and delight for you all. And let there be days that are inspiring with goodness and hope. Welcome and good luck to all.”
The ceremony began with cultural performances present important aspects of the history of Qatar and the Arab countries in celebrating and honouring the guests, in a symbolic sign of Qatar welcoming all fans from around the world, artistic paragraphs were also shown that highlight the values of respect, acquaintance and learning from the difference between peoples in an invitation to converge cultures and spread love and goodness among people during the tournament.
The opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2022 was the culmination of a journey of success, with an Arab flavour on a global platform, as Qatar is the first Arab Middle Eastern country to organise this great event, and on that eternal night in the history of Qatar and the Arab-Islamic nation, Doha wrote its success in letters of light. It fulfilled the covenant and promise and turned the dream into reality, lit the world with joy, and delighted millions of fans around the world, to follow an exceptional tournament with all sports, organisational, security and entertainment standards.
The exceptional Qatar World Cup has become a unique occasion for all the guests of Qatar who are still living a wonderful sports, tourism and cultural experience on this good land, homeland of security and safety, and the World Cup will remain ingrained in the memory of generations and history as a distinguished version, the most wonderful, beautiful, brilliant, organised and safest in history. Qatar has inaugurated a new era of sports diplomacy, and has become the capital of sports, and this distinguished version of the World Cup has become an example for all sporting events in the future.
The success of the World Cup and its wide acclaim and follow-up around the world will remain a source of pride for Qatar, its people and its youth, who were behind this achievement, with their effort, thought, hard and continuous work over twelve years, in order to create an environment conducive to organising an exceptional World Cup tournament, honours the Arab nation and affirms that Qatar is the homeland of fulfilling promises and covenants, values and principles, love, peace and friendship, and glories that generations receive.
This year has been full of political activity for our country at home and abroad, at all levels, which reflects the active role of Qatar and the position it enjoys among countries, peoples, international organisations and institutions, at the top of this activity were the external participations made by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, on the ninth of this December, His Highness the Amir participated in the 43rd session of the Supreme Council of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) in Riyadh, the sisterly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His Highness also participated in the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Cooperation and Development, and His Highness the Amir held an official talks session with HE President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.
During the current year, His Highness the Amir participated in the 31st Arab summit meetings in Algeria, the Jeddah Security and Development Summit, and the sixth summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Kazakhstan, and at the Twenty-sixth Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), Rwanda. His Highness also participated in the opening session of the World Economic Forum, which was held in Davos, Switzerland, under the slogan “History at a Turning Point”, and the work of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 77). His Highness also attended the opening ceremony of the 19th edition of the Mediterranean Games Oran 2022 in the Algerian city of Oran, and the opening ceremony of the 24th Winter Olympic Games, which took place under the slogan “Together for a Common Future” at the National Stadium “Bird’s Nest” in Beijing.
During the current year, His Highness the Amir made a series of visits and tours to many brotherly and friendly countries, including the United States, China, Iran, Turkey, UAE, Slovenia, Spain, Germany, Britain, France, Rwanda, Egypt, Algeria, the Czech Republic and Kazakhstan.
Doha has turned into a global capital of political, diplomatic, and economic activity, through extensive visits by a large number of leaders of Arab, Islamic and friendly countries, where His Highness the Amir received them, separately, at the Amiri Diwan, and discussed with them bilateral relations and ways to support and develop them, as well as issues and topics of common interest.
A few days ago, His Highness the President of the United Arab Emirates visited Doha. The Presidents of Algeria, Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, Mozambique, Iran, Namibia, Somalia, the Austrian Chancellor, the Presidents of Guinea-Bissau and Slovenia, the Governor General of Canada, the President of the Republic of Kosovo, the Presidents of Togo, Sierra Leone, Venezuela and Malta, the Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council of the Republic of Yemen, the President of the Transitional Military Council of the Republic of Chad, the President of Egypt and the President of Tanzania, the German Chancellor and the King of Spain, the Presidents of Liberia and Turkmenistan, visited the country this year.
Doha was also visited by the prime ministers of Morocco, Korea, Lebanon, Armenia, Greece and Pakistan, and the head of the national unity government in the State of Libya. These visits confirm the respect and appreciation of the countries of the world for Qatari politics, its political, economic, diplomatic, and developmental contributions, and its stances based on dialogue as a means to achieve international peace and security.
In terms of international activity, Qatar participated in the COP27 conference hosted by the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh, with a delegation headed by HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, HE also participated in the launching ceremony of the second edition of the Green Middle East Initiative Summit 2022, which was organised on the sidelines of the conference, and HE also participated in the 58th edition of the Munich Security Conference in Munich.
Qatar has become a beacon of international peace and stability. In another achievement of Qatari diplomacy, its benevolent mediation culminated in the sponsorship of the Chadian parties signing the Doha Peace Agreement and the participation of political-military movements in the comprehensive, sovereign national dialogue in Chad, after negotiations involving more than 50 groups from Chad, over the course of five months.
On the ninth of December, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani attended the ceremony of His Highness’s Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award in its sixth edition in Doha, and His Highness honoured the award winners.
In continuation of its career that started about 8 years ago, the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding launched last February the eighth edition of the award and opened the door for candidacy and nomination for the 2022 session.
Within the framework of the country’s democratic process, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani patronised the inauguration of the second ordinary session of the first legislative term, corresponding to the Shura Council’s 51st annual session,
His Highness delivered a comprehensive speech on this occasion, in which he expressed his appreciation to the members of the Council for their efforts in our national march with the correct opinion and full care for the requirements of the public interest and government action. His Highness also reviewed the achievements and set the priorities for the future of Qatar, and the hopes and aspirations it aspires to in its plans and policies at various levels, internally and externally.
Our country also witnessed a legislative renaissance, according to which basic laws regulating the various aspects of life and transactions in the state were completed, in this context, His Highness the Amir issued a law regulating the use of cash in transactions. His Highness also issued a decision to increase the pensions of retirees, a law on military retirement and a law on social insurance.
The state has also issued more legislation to protect workers’ rights, care for them, and create a suitable professional environment for them. International officials have praised Qatar’s leadership in the field of human rights in the region, which reflects the new legal reforms in the labour law and the state’s interest in preserving workers’ rights. It is also an embodiment of the importance of their role and their great and appreciated participation in the renaissance and development process in the country.
The comprehensive development of the country remains the supreme goal that the state is working to achieve, and it is proceeding steadily in fulfilling its requirements at all levels, in accordance with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and its desired goals.
During the current year, government agencies, bodies, institutions, and public companies were reorganised to increase their efficiency and compatibility with the requirements of the times, and to expand the use of electronic systems to ensure the efficiency of government performance and the implementation of development plans with the necessary efficiency and speed and facilitation for citizens in activities and services.
On the economic level, despite the slowdown in the global economy and the geopolitical atmosphere in the world, the Qatari economy continued to grow, which was positively reflected in all activities in the country
Last Tuesday, the Ministry of Finance announced that Qatar’s budget for the third quarter of this year had achieved a surplus of QR 30 billion. The ministry stated that the total revenues for this quarter amounted to QR 81.8 billion, of which QR 76.3 billion were oil and gas revenues, while non-oil revenues were estimated at QR 5.5 billion.
The ministry’s data had revealed earlier that Qatar’s budget surplus in the first half of this year doubled several times to reach QR 47.3 billion, compared to a surplus of QR 4 billion during the same period of the year 2021.
The figures of the state budget surplus for the third quarter reflect the level of promising prospects that the wise leadership has previously emphasised, to which His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani referred in his speech before the Shura Council in its current session. His Highness said that the budget surplus will be directed to reduce the level of public debt and increase the state’s financial reserves.
In the health field, Qatar is working to ensure the provision of the best level of health care and to provide preventive and curative health services, according to the highest standards, in a way that guarantees a healthy future for all residents, as the health sector in Qatar is moving confidently towards advanced global positions. Qatar has been included in the list of the best in the world in terms of the quality and accessibility of health services.
Last November His Highness the Father Amir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani inaugurated Aisha Bint Hamad Al Attiyah Hospital of the Hamad Medical Corporation in the Tinbak area. The hospital is the second largest of the four hospitals affiliated with Hamad Medical Corporation, after Hamad General Hospital in terms of size and absorptive capacity, and the most modern in terms of medical equipment and devices.
HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani inaugurated the HMC’s Al Maha Pediatric Specialized Care Center for Children, the new Al Khor Health and wellness Center and the Al Meshaf Health Center. This brings the number of health centres affiliated to the Primary Health Care Corporation to 30 health centres.
Education was and will remain a strategic choice for Qatar that will never deviate from it, and the State is keen to invest in education in a way that enhances the building of its human capital, according to long-term visions and strategies sponsored by the wise leadership to develop the educational system and build modern Qatar with the arms of its sons armed with science, knowledge and ambition to achieve.
In addition to graduating new batches of students from Qatar University and Education City universities, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani issued Amiri Decision No. 13 of 2022 to establish the Doha University of Science and Technology. Last June, His Highness the Amir honoured the top outstanding male students in secondary school at the state level. Last March, His Highness the Amir patronised the Education Excellence Day Award ceremony in its fifteenth session, and His Highness honoured the 72 winners of the award for this year.
To preserve the security of the homeland and the citizen, the Armed Forces with its various branches, the Ministry of Interior and its employees have been receiving the attention and patronage of His Highness the Amir and his wise government by providing them with the latest weaponry and participating in internal and external training with the forces of brotherly and friendly countries to keep the watchful eye on the security of the homeland and the citizens and the shield that defends its achievements, interests, and every atom of its soil. Last August, His Highness the Amir attended the arrival of the first batch of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft (Al-Dhariyat) of the Qatar Amiri Air Force at the Dukhan Airbase. Last September, His Highness the Amir attended the reception ceremony of the “Al Zubara” ship and the “Musherib” vessel of the Qatari Amiri Naval Forces at Umm Al Houl Naval Base. The Qatari Amiri Naval Forces celebrated the delivery of the ships of “Al Abrar” made by the Anadolu Shipyard company. This year, the new headquarters of Apache helicopters (QRA) was inaugurated at Al Udeid Air Base. The Qatari Amiri Naval Forces inaugurated the (Simaisma) – Corvette Type – in Milan in the Italian Republic. Last June, the Armed Forces celebrated the arrival of a training ship for the candidates “Al Shamal”, arriving from the Republic of Turkey to Doha, and it is one of the world’s largest training ships in the world.
In terms of clean energy that characterises Qatar, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani patronised the summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, which was held under the title “Natural Gas: Shaping the Energy Future” at the Sheraton Doha Hotel. Last March, His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani inaugurated the Barzan gas project, which is the largest project after the Pearl GTL, which was launched in 2011 at a cost of USD 19 billion. It also adds a high-quality value in meeting Qatar’s gas needs.
Qatar Energy has completed the formation of eight international partnerships in the North Field East and North Field South expansion projects, which are expected to start production in 2026 and 2027, respectively. It is the largest project in the history of the LNG industry and will raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 to 126 million tons annually.