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Posted On: 28 December 2008 04:38 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar's Top Stories for 2008

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It’s been an eventful year. The Peninsula has compiled Qatar’s top 10 news stories for 2008 Doha deal: The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani’s visionary leadership and initiative brought rival Lebanese leaders to Doha to sign a peace deal on May 21 which ended 18 months of political conflict that threatened to push Lebanon into another civil war. Qatar’s pride: The Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani opened the Museum of Islamic Art to the world on November 22 in the presence of prominent leaders from the region, top officials and a host of celebrities including Hollywood star Robert De Niro. Qatar National Day: Pomp, pageantry, parades, laser show and colourful fireworks marked Qatar National Day celebrations at the Corniche in Doha on December 18. Thousands of residents had gathered to watch the show which encompassed the motto ‘Day of unity, loyalty and pride’. National Vision 2030: The Heir Apparent H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani launched Qatar’s ambitious vision document – Qatar’s National Vision 2030 – before a gathering of ministers, policy experts and senior officials. The vision basically aims at transforming Qatar into an advanced country by the year 2030. Silatech summit: H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned’s initiative Silatech along with the Financial Times was held on June 1 to spur regional and global leaders to explore and encourage investment that would create jobs for young people and also catalyse economic development. Media Freedom: Qatar reaffirmed its commitment to support a free press on January 3 when an agreement was signed between the Doha Media Freedom Centre and Reporters Without Borders, a media monitor group, in the presence of H H Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. Bridging the Gulf: A consortium of firms started survey work of the $3bn Qatar-Bahrain Causeway on July 7. The construction of the causeway, a two-lane dual carriageway about 40km long, also known as the ‘Friendship Bridge’ was jointly supervised by the Qatar-Bahrain Causeway Foundation. Deal of the Year: Qatar Airways reiterated its push for offering high class service to its passengers when it signed a Memorandum of Understanding on July 15 at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK with Airbus for the purchase of four Airbus A321 narrow-body aircraft in a deal valued at $360m. Qatar Media Expo 2008: Qatar’s Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage, H E Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, opened ‘Media Expo Qatar 2008’, a four-day media exposition and conference on December 14 with much fanfare at the Qatar International Exhibition Centre. Dar Al Sharq organised the event. Qatar Central Prison: Qatar Central Prison opened its doors for an exclusive visit to The Peninsula team in July. The story “Behind bars” was a report on the daily lives of the convicts who enjoyed multi-cuisine menu, the freedom to meet their spouses in private rooms for restricted hours. QATAR’S TOP 10 stories of 2008