Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A Qatar-based businessman became a momentary millionaire when more than QR1.5 million was accidentally credited to his bank account.

But rather than go on a shopping spree with his new-found wealth, Michael Asemota immediately alerted his bank about the mistake and returned the money.

Asemota, who runs his own cleaning and hospitality contracting company, said he did not even think about keeping the cash “for a minute.”


Michael Asemota

“I’m not a rich man – I need money for my family,” the 37-year-old Nigerian expat told Doha News.

“But I didn’t have to think twice about being honest about the mistake. It wasn’t mine – I had to tell the bank that.”

Wrong amount

The issue began after Asemota opened an account last month with a Qatar bank that he declined to name.

There, he deposited a check for QR150,200 from a company client, according to the Qatar Tribune, which first reported the story.

He then received a text message from his bank saying his account had been credited QR1,502,000 – ten times the amount he deposited.

RikkisRefuge Other / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

He immediately went to the bank and told the branch customer services manager that there had been a mistake.

However, the official replied: “That’s what your account says,” Asemota told Doha News.

It was only when he then asked to see the manager and explained again the situation that the bank realized its mistake.

An extra “0” had been added when the check was processed, he said.

“The manager was shocked. He shook my hand and said ‘thank you, thank you,'” Asemota added.

Raised right

Speaking about his honesty during the incident, the businessman said his instinct had been to confess to the mistake immediately.

“It never occurred to me to just take the cash. I didn’t have to think twice about it.

It wasn’t my money and I couldn’t just take someone else’s money. I wasn’t brought up that way. It’s who I am,” he added.


53% humidity
wind: 29km/h ESE
H 42 • L 31
Weather from Yahoo!

Sheikha Al Mayassa

Sheikh Tamim murals at MIA Park

The dozens of Emir murals that have been posted and signed around Qatar now have a new home: the MIA Park.

There, more than 40 of the posters that bear messages of support from thousands of people in Qatar comprise a new exhibition called “Tamim Al Majid: Celebration of Unity.”

The display was opened by Qatar Museums chairperson and the Emir’s sister Sheikha Al Mayassa yesterday.

The murals bear the now-iconic image of the Emir by Qatari artist Ahmed bin Majed Almaadheed.

Since the Gulf dispute began in June, posters of the Emir have popped up all across the country.

Residents have been invited to inscribe messages of support on the murals, some of which filled up very quickly and had to be replaced with new murals.

Community graffiti

In a statement, Qatar Museums said:

As the guardians of the country’s heritage and culture, we at Qatar Museums wanted to capture this significant moment in Qatar’s history and the artistic expression it inspired by giving it a bigger platform and audience.”

It added that “the personalized ‘graffiti’ messages are some of the truest examples of public art in Qatar.”

The opening of the exhibition comes as the Gulf dispute reaches an impasse of sorts.

It also follows Saudi Arabia’s recent public support of a little-known Qatari sheikh who analysts suggested the country was presenting as an alternative to Sheikh Tamim.


All photos courtesy of SCDL

Qatar’s sixth World Cup stadium will mimic the traditional “gahfiya,” the rounded skullcap worn by many men in the Middle East, organizers have announced.

The stadium is shaped like a white bowl and adorned with an intricate pattern.

It’s a nod to the cap that holds the ghutra and aghal in place on the head, forming “a symbol of dignity and independence,” the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) said in a statement.

The World Cup venue is the only one designed by a Qatari — architect Ibrahim Jaidah, who also did the Fire Station gallery and the new Ministry of Interior building.

According to SCDL Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi, the new design “embodies everything that unites us as Arabs and Muslims, and is a fitting tribute to the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East.”

Other upcoming 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar also honor Arab traditions.


Al Bayt Al Khor stadium

For example, the Al Wakrah stadium is designed to look like a dhow, while Al Khor Al Bayt mirrors Bedouin tents and Qatari hospitality.

Stadium specs

The 40,000 seat Al Thumama stadium will host group stage and quarterfinal matches during the tournament.

It is located between E-Ring and F-Ring Roads, or between the Medical Commission and the under-construction Kahramaa Awareness Park.


Al Thumama stadium rendering

The venue is being built by a joint Qatar-Turkey venture between Al Jaber Engineering and Tekfen.

Once the World Cup is over, the stadium will be dismantled to house half the number of fans.

It will also become a sporting and leisure hub for the community, featuring a hotel, outdoor training pitches, basketball courts, an aquatic center, running track and community retail space, among others.

Despite the ongoing blockade by Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt and Bahrain, Qatar’s tight timeline to deliver World Cup stadiums remains on schedule, a senior official said.

The crisis has “caused an inconvenience,” Al Thawadi told Al Jazeera.

But “we have very quickly moved on to plan B, found alternative sources of supply as well as alternative routes of supply…projects are on schedule. No delays have occurred.”

Two designs left

The crown jewel of Qatar’s World Cup will be Lusail Stadium, which will host the opening and final matches of the tournament.

The design for the venue was supposed to be unveiled in early 2017, but this has not yet occurred.


Construction at Lusail stadium site

The open-air stadium will be Qatar’s largest, and is expected to seat some 80,000 football fans during the tournament.

Like the Al Thumama stadium, it is eying a 2020 completion.

The design for Qatar’s Ras Abu Aboud venue also remains a mystery for now.



Qatar Rail

First Doha Metro train arrives at Hamad Port

The first four trains that will run on the Doha Metro arrived in Qatar yesterday, in what is a landmark moment for the infrastructure project.

After a three-week journey by sea from Kobe in Japan, the new carriages were welcomed by officials into Hamad Port last night, Qatar Rail said.

This is the first batch of some 75 trains that will run on the new driverless rail network, which opens to the public in early 2020.

According to Qatar Rail, the trains will be transported to its Al Wakrah depot, reassembled and then tested to ensure safety standard.

On schedule

In a statement, the company said the trains were delivered some two months early.

Photographs showed the carriages being offloaded from a ship.

Qatar Rail/Twitter

First Doha Metro train arrives at Hamad Port

In another shot, workers posed by a carriage that was draped in a banner bearing the now-iconic image of Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim.

Alluding to logistics issues during the ongoing blockade, Qatar Rail said in a tweet, “Whatever the circumstances and challenges, we will remain committed to achieve #Qatar Rail.”

Qatar Ports Management Company (Mwani) also tweeted about the trains, posting a short, time-lapse video showing the carriages arriving on Qatari soil.

Last month, Qatar Rail said it aimed to receive and start testing its first consignment of trains before the end of this year.

To do this, it aims to have three trial stations on the Red Line up and running by then.

When Phase 1 of the network launches in 2020, a total of 37 stations will operate across three lines – Red, Green and Gold.

Driverless trains

All the trains on the metro will be driverless and fully automatic, similar to the Dubai Metro.

Each will have three carriages, and are being manufactured by Kinki Sharyo Co, based in the Japanese city of Osaka.

Qatar Rail

First Doha Metro train arrives at Hamad Port

In a statement on its website, Kinki Sharyo said the train had been designed with German company Tricon Design, to reflect Qatar’s culture.

Qatar’s Emir “personally selected” the exterior design of the train, which used the Arabian horse as inspiration for the sleek, shaped front-end of the Metro vehicles, the company added.

Meanwhile, the usual square windows on the side of metro trains have been replaced with a bespoke curved design, while the color scheme was “inspired by elements in the local environment.”


Qatar’s Emir checks out model of Doha Metro train

Inside, the train will be divided into three sections. A gold class will have individual seats and has been designed “for passengers that seek a higher level of luxury and comfort.”

There will be a dedicated zone for women and children, while seats in the standard class are arranged as a “side bench,” Kinki Sharyo added.

All the carriages will also be fitted with large screens that give passenger information and show a route map.

Station works

Meanwhile, work on the Metro stations is picking up pace. Earlier this month, Qatar Rail posted sneak-peek pictures of construction progress at some of the stops.

Glass facades, sweeping roofs and elegant vaulted ceilings could already be seen in place at some stations on the Red Line.

Qatar Rail

Exterior glass panels being installed on one of the new elevated stations

The Gulf crisis created supply chain problems, getting glass panels for the front of at least one of the stations.

However, Qatar’s Transport Minister Jassim Saif Al-Sulaiti said he was confident in the project meeting its deadlines:

“Any doubt that the project will be delayed in light of external factors has been relinquished by the hard work and dedication of the Qatar Rail team,” he added.

Who’s excited about traveling on the Metro? Thoughts?