Qatar will celebrate Sunday the anniversary of its National Day under the slogan “Our Unity is the Source of Our Strength”, which is an excerpt from a speech by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The slogan reflects the keenness of the Qatari people to consolidate this principle in the homeland and in future generations, as Qataris have demonstrated, generation after generation, their adherence to their national unity and confronting difficulties with determination and action, through their solidarity and rallying around their leadership, and their loyalty to their homeland.
The Founder of the modern state of Qatar took over the reins of power nearly 140 years ago on Dec 18, 1878, and preserved its sovereignty and the dignity of its people, and made Qatar a united, cohesive and independent state.
He also established the values and principles on which it was based, and thanks to these values, the State proceeded on the paths of glory and honour, accomplishing achievements, patronizing rights, safeguarding covenants, providing aid to those in need, supporting the oppressed, triumphing for truth and justice, observing the right of neighbourliness, adhering to values and morals, and presenting to the world a bright model for a secure and stable state capable of achieving the highest rates of development and providing decent life for its people and residents on its land.
This day is significant for Qataris, as it represents the meanings of unity and harmony among everyone who lives on the beloved land.
This occasion comes while Qatar is achieving a major renaissance in all fields, including political, economic, social and athletic fields due to the wise policy and sound directives of the wise leadership, and thanks to the solidarity of the people of the country and their support for their wise leadership.
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 November 20 His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani patronised the opening of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at Al Bayt Stadium in the presence of leaders of sisterly and friendly countries, heads of delegations and Olympic committees and federations, and 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.”
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 opening ceremony of the World Cup 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, brilliantly 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 Qatar at home and abroad, at all levels, which reflects its active role and the position it enjoys among countries, peoples, international organisations and institutions. At the top of this activity were the participations made by His Highness the Amir on December 9 in the 43rd session of the Supreme Council of the GCC in Riyadh.
His Highness also participated in the Riyadh Gulf-China Summit for Co-operation and Development, and held an official talks session with Chinese President China Xi Jinping.
During the current year, 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 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 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, HH 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 the Amir received them, 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, UAE President 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 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 ministries 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 December 9, the Amir 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.
Within the framework of the country’s democratic process, His Highness the Amir 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 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.
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.
On the economic front, 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 QR30bn.
The total revenues for this quarter amounted to QR81.8bn, of which QR76.3bn were oil and gas revenues, while non-oil revenues were estimated at QR5.5bn.
The ministry’s data had revealed earlier that Qatar’s budget surplus in the first half of this year doubled several times to reach QR47.3bn, compared to a surplus of QR4bn during the same period of 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 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 sector, Qatar is working to ensure the provision of the best level of healthcare 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.
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 issued Decision No 13 of 2022 to establish the Doha University of Science and Technology.
In terms of clean energy that characterises Qatar, the Amir 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, HH 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 $19bn.
It also adds a high-quality value in meeting Qatar’s gas needs.
QatarEnergy 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 126mn tonnes annually.
Last October, the Amir patronised the opening ceremony of the Al Kharsaah solar power plant project, which provides the equivalent of 10% of the country’s electrical energy at peak time.
QatarEnergy also announced a project to establish two solar power plants, to start producing electricity at the end of 2024.
QatarEnergy has also entered contracts to build, lease and operate 60 LNG carriers as part of its historic shipbuilding programme to support the North Field East and North Field South expansion projects, with the number expected to increase to around 100 tankers in the future.
QatarEnergy has expanded its operations in 16 countries around the world, in partnership with a number of major international companies.
In the context of growth and work for the present and the future, HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani inaugurated last November, the new expansion project of Hamad International Airport (HIA), to help meet the growing passenger and freight needs, and the Hamad Port Visitor Center.
In view of the measures taken by the State to preserve the environment and improve the quality of life in cities, Qatar has become the first country in the world to obtain all its cities accreditation from the World Health Organisation as healthy cities.
Qatar ranked 23rd globally among 163 countries included in the report in terms of the security situation, advancing by (6) places over the previous year as the safest and most secure.