Under the slogan ‘A Brand New Tradition’, the first edition of Shop Qatar will kick-off in January with discounts on popular brands, cash prizes worth up to QAR 4 million, special offers on flights and hotel bookings, and a colourful schedule of entertainment featuring Cats the Broadway musical, live music concerts and 15 stand-up comedy acts.
The festival, which will be held from 7 January to 7 February 2017, was announced by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and festival partners including, Mall of Qatar, Qatar Airways and Ezdan World. The festival targets regional visitors and travellers from the UAE, which forms the second largest source market for Qatar.
Substantial growth was evident in the number of Emirati visitors to Qatar in the first three quarters of 2016, which was 17% higher than that recorded in the same period of 2016. Up to the end of November 2016, Qatar received 109,983 visitors who are UAE nationals.
Retail outlets around the country will be providing discounts of up to 50% on a range of consumer goods including clothes, electronics, cosmetics and accessories for men, women and children. In addition to Mall of Qatar, which opened last week to become the largest shopping and entertainment hub in the nation, participating malls include Ezdan Mall, Hyatt Plaza, AlKhor Mall, Lagoona Mall, Gulf Mall, Landmark, Dar Al Salam Mall, The Gate and The Pearl-Qatar.
Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at QTA, explained why the time is ripe for Qatar to host this festival. “Qatar enjoys a diverse retail sector, offering everything from luxury malls and high-end shopping promenades to entertainment-rich shopping centres, as well as authentic souqs and bazaars. Shop Qatar will shed light on this rich offering and celebrate it with Qatar’s residents and visitors.”
He added, “Based on the increases in visitor arrivals during the months that have coincided with other tourism festivals, we anticipate that a festival during the winter months has an even bigger chance of attracting visitors, due to the offering combined with Qatar’s great winter weather. Shop Qatar is also timed to fall within mid-year holidays for potential visitors in neighbouring countries, which are our largest source markets.”
In a move by QTA to support local entrepreneurs, Shop Qatar will also feature local products designed by students of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar and other local designers, which will be displayed in a variety of pop-up stores throughout the participating malls. In addition, visitors can benefit from experts on the latest fashion and make-up trends through make-up tutorials which will be offered throughout the period of the festival and a fashion show during the final week.
Ahmad Al Mulla, Mall of Qatar CEO said, “The launch of Shop Qatar marks a new age in retail in Qatar. At Mall of Qatar, we are aligned with the efforts of Qatar Tourism Authority in bringing new streams of economic development and diversity to our country. At the same time we aim to change the paradigm of shopping centers in our region by bringing the first retailtainment shopping experience to Qatar.”
To offer tourists the chance to conveniently travel, stay and shop in Qatar, QTA has partnered with Qatar Airways and popular hotel booking platforms to offer discounted air travel and tourist accommodation packages. Any flights to Qatar from within the GCC region booked on Qatar Airways for the period between 7 January and 7 February will be available with a 25% discount. In addition, members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club will receive double Q-miles on their booking during Shop Qatar.
Shoppers who spend QAR 200 at any of the participating retailers can enter a weekly raffle draw at Mall of Qatar for a chance to win cash prizes worth up to QAR 4 million. Draws will be held on the first three Fridays of the Festival (13th, 20th, 27th of January), with 15 cash prizes ranging from QAR 10,000 to QAR 300,000 to be won each week.
The draws will culminate in a mega-draw on the final day of Shop Qatar (7th February 2017) where a jackpot prize of QAR 1,000,000 will be up for grabs, in addition to 14 other cash prizes ranging from QAR 20,000 to QAR 120,000.
INTEL & ROG Masters East EMEA 2022 CS:GO Tournament Announced in UAE with a Prize Pool of $50,000
Developing the world’s most powerful and versatile gaming laptops, ROG continues to excite gamers around the world. ASUS is bringing ROG Masters 2022 CS: GO tournament to life in May. Hundreds of teams from 27 countries will compete against each other. The country finals of the tournament, all stages of which will be live-streamed, on May 27-28, and the grand finale is scheduled in June.
In the tournament, which offers a prize pool of $50,000, the 1st team will have the chance to win $20,000, the 2nd team $10,000, the 3rd team $5000, and the 4th team $2500. In addition, $1000 will be awarded for each local team that makes it to the finals.
Participants will have the best competition as they challenge each other to become the ROG Masters champions. The tournament is covering Eastern Europe and Middle East regions. Applications ends on May 16. Find more details from the link below: https://rogmasters2022.com/en.
Intel and Riot Games Launch New Edition of Intel Arabian Cup Esports Tournament
Riot Games and Intel have announced this year’s Intel Arabian Cup (IAC) competition will be the biggest in its history with a prize fund of $130,000 as part of their ongoing efforts to develop the best talent in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Following the success of the previous two editions, the IAC returns this month and will be better than before with the event now split into three new competition categories that will be played across three of the most popular Riot Games’ titles for the first time. These are League of Legends, VALORANT, and League of Legends: WildRift with registration now open for teams to enter.
The restructured and expanded IAC will create a pathway for more than 2,000 professional and amateur teams to become overall champions with the increased competition enhancing the gaming experience. It will also provide an opportunity to qualify automatically, secure playoff berths, and showcase their skills in front of thousands of online viewers from around the world.
The tournament, which will be held over the next 8 months, has attracted the best teams and players from across MENA including last season’s reigning champions Geekay Esports. The Saudi Arabian team will be among the 10 professional sides including eight of last year’s finalists that will be in action in the top-tier IAC Prestige. It will have two separate regular seasons followed by the Grand Finals as the teams aim to claim a share of the $100,000 prize pool.
To celebrate the launch of the third edition, Riot Games and Intel held a virtual press conference that was attended by key senior officials. Karim Hachani, Head of Publishing MENA at Riot Games was joined by Marcus Kennedy – Intel’s General Manager of Client Computing Group, Gaming and Esports Segment, and Ali Riza Kucuk – Intel’s Regional Consumer Director, Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.
Karim Hachani explained their strategy to improve every stage of the IAC and why the competition can help bridge the gap with other regions. He said: “Since the launch of the Arabian Cup in 2020, we have seen the competition grow immensely through strong participation and audience numbers. For example, there were over 6.1 million views throughout last year’s entire tournament which was incredible and is further proof that there is high demand for gaming across this region.
“As a leading gaming developer, we are fully aware that this industry is going from strength to strength and we are always exploring how to take things to the next level when it comes to gaming experiences in the MENA region. We listened to feedback from previous participating teams and with the ongoing support of Intel we have reworked the format of this year’s Intel Arabian Cup that will not only significantly enhance the experience but also launch new tournaments based on our gaming titles which will help attract more experienced and aspiring players so they can be part of what has become one of the most popular gaming tournaments in the region.”
Marcus Kennedy also revealed more details about Intel’s new ARC graphic processor units and its 12th Generation processor. He explained how these products and technology tools will help deliver more immersive and incredible experiences that will make gaming enjoyable.
With Intel on board since its inaugural edition, Ali Riza Kucuk said supporting the IAC is part of their ongoing efforts to develop the gaming landscape and their partnership with Riot Games is crucial to nurturing local talent and providing platforms.
The IAC will also consist of the IAC Playground amateur tournament which has a total prize fund of USD $30,000. Held separately in three different sub-regions: the GCC and Iraq, Levant and Egypt, and North Africa, the top two teams from each region will advance to the second qualifier which can then lead to the IAC Prestige tournament.
Qualification to the IAC Prestige can also be secured through the IAC Qualifiers which takes place 4-9 May followed by Qualifier 2 from 3-7 July.
Hachani added: “This is another important step to nurture the incredible talent that we have in this region and we look forward to seeing some enthralling matches over the next few months.” Fans can follow the action live with the competitions broadcasted on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.
Google I/O 2022 Virtual Event to Go Live on May 11
Google has announced that it will be hosting I/O 2022 on May 11–12. This time around as well, the event will be in a virtual avatar and will be free for all to participate in. You can log onto io.google through YouTube, while the interactive I/O Adventure world will be back for another year.
Chat with Googlers, ask product questions, engage with the developer community, and broaden your technical knowledge. Earn Google Developer profile badges and virtual swag. Create an avatar and look for easter eggs. Try Google’s new products and features through a sandbox experience.
Unlike other tech companies, the main Sundar Pichai and developer keynotes on May 11 will broadcast live at the usual Shoreline Amphitheatre stage. Last year, it streamed from Googleplex with a small audience of Googlers.
Various pre-recorded sessions covering Android, Chrome/web, and more will be made available after the livestream. Besides I/O Adventure, there will be the 2022 Learning Lab (workshops, tutorials, codelabs, etc.) and community groups. Registration is required to access these interactive features, including the My I/O custom panel to see earned badges and saved content, while the official event hashtag is #GoogleIO.
Google will make the agenda/program available closer to I/O 2022.
This event is one day shorter than usual and starts on Wednesday instead of Tuesday. It is Google’s opportunity to make its biggest software announcements of the year. Android 12 and Material You, along with Wear OS 3, were the clear highlights of 2021.
On the mobile OS front, Android 13 will have been in beta for a month when I/O kicks off in a departure due to this year’s accelerated preview period. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen if Made by Google will use the livestream to announce new products like it did in 2019. The Pixel 6a and Pixel Watch are heavily rumored.
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