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News that you need to know! Selected news stories from Qatar, India, Middle East and around the world, with focus on news that matters to Indians in Qatar.

Qatar 2nd in household internet reach

With 96.4 percent penetration, Qatar has the second highest percentage of household broadband of any developing country, after South Korea (98.1 percent), according to the UN Broadband Commission. 85.3 percent of individuals in Qatar use internet, which makes it third among developing countries. Released yesterday in New York at the 10th meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, the report reveals that more than 40 percent of the world’s people are already online, with the number of Internet users expected to grow from 2.3 billion in 2013 to 2.9 billion by the end of this year. Over 2.3 billion people will access mobile broadband by the end of 2014, climbing steeply to a predicted 7.6 billion within the next five years. Interestingly, the report has noted that in India consumers use 2.2 SIM cards each on average.

4000-5000 NRIs to attend Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2015

For the first time since its inception, Gujarat will host the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas from January 7 to 9, 2015. To be held in Gandhinagar, the theme of the 13th edition is centenary celebrations of the return of Mahatma Gandhi to India from South Africa. Finance minister Saurabh Patel and minister in charge of NRG Foundation Pradipsinh Jadeja met Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during the first advisory committee meeting in New Delhi. Patel said, “Usually 2,000 NRIs register for the event. But since Gujarat is the host, we expect 4,000- 5,000 NRIs to register. The Pravasi Bharatiya Divas will be the best event ever since its inception.” Source : Ahmedabad Mirror

Jet Airways to increase services to Doha

With a record loss of Rs4,129 crores ($678.9m approximately) during the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Indian private carrier Jet Airways is looking forward to a major expansion of its international services  next winter. New services have been planned to Doha from Mumbai, Kozhikode and Thiruvanthapuram;  Dubai from Kochi and Mumbai; and Abu Dhabi from Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Goa. Company sources have said that it is working on a three-year business plan to turn profitable by 2017. The airline feels increasing foreign operations will boost foreign exchange earnings and offset rupee’s depreciation. International operations account for 56 percent of Jet’s overall revenue; the airline plans to increase this to about 60 percent. Source : Peninsula

Here is why Indian women reject NRI proposals

More than half of the Indian women turn down proposals from Non-Resident Indian men who display a disregard for Indian values, according to a survey. When single Indian women were asked by the matchmaking portal,, on what puts them off about marriage prospects coming from the NRIs, 51.7 per cent women gave a thumbs down to people who look down on Indian values. On the other hand, 33.5 per cent said they would reject prospects who would constantly crib about everything in India. Also, 66.7 per cent single Indian women are put-off by fake accents, the survey says. The online poll received over 5,200 responses from single Indian women across India. “The survey highlights how Indian women are looking for genuineness in people. It also reaffirms the age-old belief that first impression is important when meeting a prospective partner for the first time,” Premanshu Singh, AVP & Head-Emerging Business…

KBC gets its first Rs 7 crore winner in two brothers

The Narula brothers, Achin and Sarthak, became the first ever contestants to win the highest prize of Rs 7 crore in reality game show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, hosted by Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan. The Narula brothers, who hail from Delhi, emerged victorious after answering all the 14 questions correctly with the help of four lifelines.  Achin is a marketing manager and Sarthak is a student. Achin has been trying to be a part of the iconic show for the last 10 years but always fell short of being selected for the fastest finger first contest. Bachchan, 71, hinted about the big win on his official blog and Twitter handle while posting his pictures from the show. He wrote, “It is a topsy turvy world tonight and KBC is the one that needs to be blamed!! What incredible moments, what brilliance and what an incredible play..! That is all I am permitted…

Around The World
iPhone 6 receives 4 million orders in 24 hours

Apple Inc. said it received more than four million orders of its two new iPhone 6 models in the first 24 hours on September 12, more than it had initially set aside for preorders. The company called the first-day preorders a record, surpassing the previous high of more than two million units set in 2012 when Apple released the iPhone 5. For the first time, Apple is taking preorders for two new iPhones at the same time. With such strong demand Apple’s major assembler Foxconn appears to be struggling to boost its production to meet strong demand. Foxconn has continued to hire more workers to assemble the two new iPhone models at its largest production site in Zhengzhou, north central China, according to people familiar with the matter. The company has more than 200,000 workers in the  Zhengzhou site, dedicated to just making new iPhones and key components such as metal…

Qatar National Library provides free access to online resources

Qatar National Library (QNL), a member of Qatar Foundation has invited the local population to register freely to access its vast online resources to raise its local profile and enhance the lives of students, researchers and residents in Qatar. In support of Qatar Foundation’s efforts to ensure the country’s journey towards a knowledge-based economy, the initiative of visiting prominent organizations has given Qatar’s community the perfect opportunity in which to learn about QNL’s online resources, register free of charge, and begin discovering a wealth of digital content. Anyone who lives in Qatar and has a valid Qatari ID/Residence Permit is eligible for free library registration. Although the Library is yet to open the doors to its new building, QNL is currently offering free online access to a vast collection of online resources, including the latest bestsellers, classical works, concerts, top academic journals and documentaries. To register, please visit: and to access…

NRI investments in realty may rise by 35% : Survey

Property developers are expecting a 35 per cent surge in real estate enquiries from NRIs, with Bangalore turning out to be the hot favourite, says an Assocham survey. To tap the growing interest which comes at a time when the global economy is stabilising and India is showing strong signs of revival, real estate companies are pulling out all stops by conducting property shows, exhibitions and opening overseas representative offices. Bangalore is the most favourite property investment destination for NRIs, followed by Ahmedabad, Pune, Chennai, Goa, Delhi and Dehradun, it added.The enquiries are primarily coming from NRIs residing in UAE, the US, Singapore, Australia, the UK, Canada and South Africa. The survey was conducted among nearly 850 real estate developers in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Pune, Dehradun and Chennai etc. This year, the demand is more for the high-end property and commercial buildings, according to developers.  Source…

World’s largest passenger aircraft is here

The world’s largest passenger aircraft was officially welcomed into the Qatar Airways fleet yesterday (18 Sep 2014), in the presence of a galaxy of dignitaries. The national carrier’s first A380 landed at Hamad International Airport around 5pm, following its first official flight from an Airbus facility in Hamburg. QA’s first A380 can accommodate a total of 517 passengers: 461 in Economy, 48 in Business and eight in First Class – with the widest seats in the industry. All its seats are equipped with the latest entertainment systems besides the stylish and comfortable interior. The newly launched aircraft will conduct training flights for the next 15 days, and the first plane will begin flying to London Heathrow on Oct. 10. This is the first of 10 the airline has on order. The A380, which has a list price of US$414 million has been bought by 12 airlines, with Emirates the biggest customer. Image courtesy : Hartmut Spiegele

HIA served 2.16 million passengers in July

Hamad International Airport (HIA) has seen about 2.16mn passengers departing, transferring or arriving into Qatar in July. Qatar’s new  gateway saw an 11.36% passenger increase through its doors in July 2014 compared to July 2013. Cargo numbers have also increased at HIA with an additional 12.76% traffic in July. All cargo operations are now operating out of the new airport where the facility is fully automated, creating a seamless experience for both the cargo agents and customers. Passengers looking for further information on the airport, flights and airline operations can now visit their website or alternatively check for updates via HIA’s new social media channels including; Twitter (@HIAQatar), Facebook (Hamad International Airport) and Instagram (HIAQatar). Source : Gulf Times