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The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre designed by Iraqi born architect Zaha Hadid is to open in September: the new centre, on a site measuring over 111,000 sqm consists of a library, museum, and conference centre situated in Baku, Azerbaijan. The design gives a focal point to a new neighbourhood designated for residents, offices, and commercial centres.
Dubai International Airport will handle 75m passengers by 2015, helping it leapfrog London Heathrow to become the biggest and busiest airport in the world, according to the emirate’s new civil aviation strategy plan Dubai is already in the number two slot of busiest airports, having overtaken Paris Charles de Gaulle in March. More than 57.6m passengers travelled through Dubai in 2012. This year, 21.9m passengers travelled through the airport between January and April putting Dubai International well on the way to another record breaking year.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing further support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Turkey’s developing regions with a $65m subordinated loan to Türk Ekonomi Bankası (TEB).
The Musical Band of the Royal Guard of Oman (RGO) for Piping and Drumming came first in the Scottish Innerleithen Competition in the category of infantry and military discipline in June. The band also won best-team award in military marching. The RGO took part in the Scottish Helensburgh Competition and finished fifth. The Musical Band of the Royal Guard of Oman is marked by its music inspired by authentic Omani heritage coupled with traditional Scottish bagpipes.
At the Paris Air Show (17-23 June), Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker announced the purchase order for nine Boeing 777-300ER jets in a deal worth up to $2.8bn at current list prices. The order for the additional aircraft, which is an extended range version of Boeing 777, will help the airline open up new routes and add capacity to existing markets. “With its reliability, economics and range capability, the 777 will continue to play a key role in enabling Qatar Airways to operate more direct non-stop flights from our hub in Doha to destinations in many markets including Australasia and the United States,” the CEO noted, adding: “We have already shown a desire to open up new destinations in the US and the Boeing 777 will further feature in our expansion plans in this part of the world, as well as increasing frequency to other destinations.”
Prior to this participation, Zari O’Breesam has run an international roadshow over the past few months in London, Dubai and Manama, Bahrain and raised funds for community institutions such as the Dubai Women’s Association and the Children & Mothers Welfare Society in Bahrain.
A recent report, released in June, by the Economic Development Board (EDB) reports how women are playing an increasingly important role in Bahrain’s economy, particularly in the private sector. More women are also gaining higher educational attainments than men in the kingdom. The report anticipates an increase in women’s participation in the economy by 5% to reach 45.6% in 2020 from the current level. The average wage for Bahraini women grew from BD317 ($840) in 2006 to BD457 ($1222) in 2011.
The International Media Council for The Next Century Foundation presented Pat Lancaster, Editor of The Middle East magazine with the Peace through Media award at a glittering ceremony at London’s Oxford & Cambridge Club in Pall Mall in May. The Next Century Foundation is a charity devoted to conflict resolution.
Richard Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman), for which Wagner both composed the music and wrote the libretto, celebrated its his 200th anniversary at the Royal Opera House Muscat in May. The Flying Dutchman tells the romantic story of a man cursed to roam the violent seas for eternity until one woman’s true love offers him salvation. The opera was presented by the Latvian National Opera, which has been performing Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman since 1919; the performances were conducted by Maestro Mārtiņš Ozoliņš.