May / June 2019
Edition 37

Interview to Mr. Javier Villahermosa

Vice- Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Qatar.

Vice Chairman
Dear Vice- Chairman if you do not mind I would like to split the interview into two parts. The first one being more personal and the second one focus on the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Qatar.
Let’s start!
1. Where are you from in Spain?

I am from Seville, but I grew up in Algeciras, although I left Andalusia for the University and never came back to live to my home city.

2.How many years have you been living in Qatar?

8 years, since 2012.

3. What brought you to Qatar? Was it your first time posted in Middle East?.

It was just a professional expatriation relocation by my Company at that time, it was decided to open Middle East Market, first Oman and then Qatar. For me, I was already at international positions since 2006, but living as expat out of Spain with my family since 2010, where we were living in Tripoli-Libya until the Civil War started and we were evacuated.

4. Would you recommend to the new comers to the country to study Arabic?.

Of course it is always an add value for the business and even daily life to know the local Language, it is also fair to say that in Qatar, one of the most international atmosphere countries in the world, you can develop your business and daily life without speaking or writing Arabic because English is common language.
Anyway, it is always very polite and respectful with Qatari People to know and to use some introduction and salutation words and phrases in Arabic, like I do since I am in the MENA Area.

5. Which is your favorite spot in Qatar? In Spain?.

In Qatar the Desert, with its white color dunes, totally different of Sahara Desert which Spanish People may know more; and in Spain, the mountains with blue ski and white clouds, and fresh air, it is exactly what we do not enjoy in MENA.

6. How many years have you been in the Board of the Chamber of Commerce former Spanish Business Council?.

I joined the Board in 2014, leading the Events Area for 2 years, and I became Vice-Chairman in late 2015.

7. As Chamber of Commerce to what extent can the Institution help companies entering Qatari market?.

It is always very useful to have a first approach to a new Country, especially in Qatar, through a Chamber of Commerce. Qatar, as it is well known, has many and different excellent attractions to develop new businesses, but in regards real local knowledge, information and intelligence market in general, a new Company may take too long to just approach to the reality, then if you do it through our Chamber this timing will be optimized and reduced a lot, and time is money.

8. After so many years could you please comment on the evolution of the Spanish commercial presence in the emirate? Now Spanish companies do sign contract on a long or short term agreement?.

It is a fact that before the Qatari National Development Plans were floated, only a few of Spanish “Pioneers” were here (which it is very worthy) including few related to Oil&Gas or Construction for instance, but just a little few ones. Then, these Plans were launched to the World and reinforced with the Award of the FIFA World Cup 2022, this aspect jointly with the deep Crisis in Spain at that time was like a Lighthouse for Construction Companies mainly, which came to Qatar seeking for those new big Projects. Once these big Development Projects are being completed, since a few years ago new opportunities such as Facility Management, Services, Trading, etc … have appeared or reinforced. So, the Contracts and Agreements are nowadays of difference nature than before, generally speaking and with some exceptions, of course.

9. What role does Qatar Play today in the internationalization of Spanish Companies?.

As I just explained, during the deep Crisis started in late last Decade, Qatar became a lighthouse or even a life jacket to survive, but this is the Past, absolutely the Past. Nowadays, Qatar is a gate to enter and run business in Middle East Market (of course, having in mind the restrictions by the unfair Blockade, which I hope to be just temporally), but not only this, it may be a launching base to jump to Asia due to its good flight connections, TelCom and financial aspects.

10. Which sectors rebound today in the Qatari economy?.

From my point of view: mainly Facility Management, and all kind of Services and Trading; Construction is only focused in smaller Projects than before, and the pending ones to complete the FIFA World Cup Facilities. This is the New Qatar.

11. What’s Spanish companies mayor asset abroad?.

I would highlight some of them such as: our Human Capital, our Adaptability, our previous experience in Spain (one of the best and most open Economies in the World for long time now), also sociability taking it in positive as add value for business, more in this part of the World where personal approach is of the key for success.

In summary, Spanish Companies are perfectly ready since years ago to success abroad in the Global World; and do forget: also roughly 2.5 million Spaniards who are working and living abroad far from their families and our Home Country.

Digital Trends

On June, Thursday the 20th 2019, the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Qatar organized an event on Digital Marketing at Marriott Marquis City Center.
Today as it is a less expensive game than ever before all the companies do have their own social media platform, web pages and communication campaigns but it is not that easy. In a high technology and internet connected era all the digital marketing trends and strategies do evolve at the speed of light. That it is why Mr. Joe Atallah, with more than 20 years of experience in IT industry, now Executive Director at the Digital Agency Xpert Solutions explained all about the different channels of communication. Mr. Joe set clearly the way to reach the audience, and which is the specific time and place to do it.
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On June the 12th 2019, at Intercontinental Beach Hotel hotel European Councils in Qatar organized an event to celebrate Europe Day. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration'. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe's nations unthinkable.
The emphasis of the evening was to celebrate the unity in diversity across Europe based on a robust set of shared values, which allows the European Union to secure their peaceful coexistence and collective prosperity.
Mr. Cristian Tudor, Ambassador of Romania to Qatar, country Holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union took the floor, later the Qatar Youth & Junior Choir performed the Qatari and European Union anthems.
The event was lived up with European music, a quiz and a raffle.
This time, as a souvenir of the event, EcoSouk bags were given to all the attendees.
EcoSouk bags were brought to Doha last year by a Laura, a British mum of 3 living in Qatar. She wanted to cut down on the amount of plastic bags used in the supermarket and so sourced these to hold her fruit and veg. The mesh bags and green pouch are made from recycled plastic bottles.
Hundreds of people are now using them throughout Qatar - all wanting to do their bit for the planet.
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On Wednesday, June the 26th 2019, el Faro Restaurant at Marsa Malaz Kempinski Hotel, launched a new concept of the restaurant and a representation from the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Qatar was there to witness it. El Faro means "lighthouse" in Spanish, and from now on Chef Javier Aranda is the one advising and developing the project of reopening it. This is his first collaboration abroad of the Chef.

Among the dishes that are offered both in the bar area and in the more formal area, stand out such recognizable and Spanish references as the gazpacho, the paella and other rice dishes, pintxos or the famous torrija from the chef.

His commitment to the restaurant and the Kempinski hotel consists of the preparation of the menu, its implementation of the same and the subsequent monitoring of this and the team that the chef has designated for this new journey.
El Faro opens its doors again, with an absolutely renewed culinary proposal and a concept developed by Javier Aranda and his team, part of which moves to Doha to be able to execute the work while the chef is in Spain serving his two renowned restaurants in Madrid: La Cabra and Gaytán.

The local, in a clear nod to the culture of our country.
At merely 27 years old, Javier Aranda received his first Michelin Star for La Cabra Restaurant and in 2016, Javier Aranda received his second Michelin Start for his newest culinary venture, Gaytán Restaurant.

Today finally we can find all of this dedication, enthusiasm and amazing representation of the Spanish Gastronomy in Doha.
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On May the 1st the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Qatar convened its Get Together at Roof Top in St Regis hotel and on June the 19th at Wahm Lounge in W Hotel. We do believe that if you want a really successful business, then you need to have a great source of relevant connections in your network that you can call on when you need them.
Networking provides you with a great source of connections, and really opens the door to talk to highly influential people that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to easily talk to or find.


The company ‘Borgonlia’ is planned in 2018. It is a 100% Qatari project, but with the support of a European enterprise whose experience in leather is more than forty years, both in the sale as in the consultancy and interior decoration in the European market.
Our idea is to provide a new product in the Qatari market in order to show a change in the decoration, so that we can give a different innovative vision. It is about a change towards the future, new styles and luxury.
Nowadays there is nothing like this. Borgonlia leather is of the highest quality that can be found in the world. Our products are of an exceptional quality, totally genuine. It is impossible to find a product with similar features in Qatar considering that we have the absolute exclusivity of sales.

We are a global Qatari company interesested in diferents sectors,interior designe,decoration,wildlife exclusive collection,luxury carpets,and focused also in the sport area with the exclusivity of one of the best gym equipment company from Spain,to distribute in the middle east,always we are open to grow up in the demanding market
Since 1982, Sheraton Grand Doha has been a pioneer, giving guests unprecedented access to exceptional service in Qatar. An iconic landmark for over three decades in Doha, the Sheraton holds a special place in the hearts of Qataris and is located strategically on the crescent bay of the city’s Corniche. We make it our mission to empower guests to seize opportunities and experience more whilst being a part of the Sheraton

Msheireb Museums, an Interactive Journey Through Qatar

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño was commissioned to provide the museography implementation for the Msheireb Museums, which opened three years and a half ago and have already attracted more than 80,000 visitors.
Msheireb Museums is located in the exceptional district of Msheireb, in the heart of Doha. Developed by Msheireb Properties (Qatar Foundation), the complex consists of four traditional houses from the early 20th century that have been refurbished to house the thematic museums.
ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD) carried out the museographic implementation of these iconic museums, which offer a journey through the country’s history, focusing on a specific aspect from its past.

The audiovisual technologies used in the project introduce visitors to an immersive experience through synchronised multi-screens, touch sensitive devices and projections adapted to the building’s architecture.

In the last three years and a half since its official opening in 2015, more than 80,000 people have visited the Msheireb Museums, which have become one of the leading cultural attractions of Doha, a country that is now looking to tourism as a significant source of prosperity.
Contact person:
Victoria Martín
Marketing & Communications Manager
Phone : +34 625 190 762
ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño

FMM Team Conducts Workshops to Prevent Heat Stress

In its continuous commitment to reduce injuries caused by high temperatures among its employees, the FMM Learning and Development in collaboration with the HSEQ Department conducts a series of training sessions on heat stress.

The workshop sessions provide FMM employees with the necessary training and strategies for recognizing symptoms of heat stress and how to safely protect themselves from heat related exposures and illnesses.

The sessions were given by representatives from the FMM Learning and Development and HSEQ Department. Each training session delivers various information such as heat stress signs and symptoms, first aid techniques and staff’s responsibilities during the high heat period.

The FMM Heat Stress Prevention Workshop is given annually from April to August. These trainings are being attended by thousands of FMM employees who work outdoors during high heat season and are prone to heat stress, including managers and subcontractors.

Certain local legislations protect employees from occupational diseases and injuries such as Ministerial Decision No. 16 of 2017, Article 100 of the Qatar Labour Law, National Health Strategy 2018-2022 and Public Health Strategy 2017-2022. (3)

FMM Hosted the 3rd Iftar Dinner for its Employees

Facilities Management & Maintenance Company, LLC (FMM) hosted an Iftar dinner for its employees to celebrate the spirit of giving during the holy month of Ramadan. Held at its accommodation premises, Ramadan Iftar Celebration is a yearly event that promotes cultural diversity and inclusion.

Scheduled last 02 June 2019, FMM have arranged an Iftar at Ezdan 38 and Al Thani Residential Compounds at Al Wukair, Qatar for over 3, 000 employees. Senior officials and employees all came together on this auspicious occasion to show their solidarity with their Muslim colleagues by distributing Iftar meals and snacks to all camp residents.

Acting HR Director Edward Dumitrescu along with other FMM executives, department heads and team leaders took this opportunity to personally hand out meals to thousands of employees greeting and wishing them a blessed Ramadan in person.

The FMM Family extends its sincerest appreciation to the Management, HR, Communications, Accommodation and Security and Transportation Teams for making this event such a success. (4)


Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl - Doha is delighted to extend the below benefits:
  • 20% discount on Kempinski managed F&B outlets for maximum of 6 persons per ID Card Holder excluding shisha & tobacco: (Al Sufra, Amwage, Bohemia, Café Murano, El Faro, Sawa & Gourmet House)
  • 20% discount on body treatments at the Spa by Clarins and The Art of Shaving Spa
  • 20% discount on couples/family Lifestyle Exclusive Membership at our Health Club
  • For F&B, discount applicable for maximum of 6 persons per ID holder
  • For Spa by Clarins and The Art of Shaving, discount applicable for the ID holder only
  • Valid company ID must be presented to avail the discounts
  • Offer valid until 31st December 2019
  • This offer is not available in conjunction with any other promotion & special events
  • Other terms & conditions apply
For reservations & enquiries:
Call +974 4035 5555 or email to

Licuas T & C Rehabilitation of Pipes with trenchless technologies

Licuas T & C is currently working with ASHGHAL- Public Works Authority in contract of sewage rehabilitation of pipes with two different techniques UV lining and Patching application for this purpose Licuas brought in to Qatar the equipment with most advance technologies available in market.

UV Lining

Lining is executed in the pipe which is damaged, cracked or leaked in all its length. Lining will increase the life of pipes for 50 years. This is an alternative method of replacing the old pipe without excavating. This is more cost effective method to repair pipes and trenches to date. Licuas is very happy to say that we have successfully completed 500 meters of lining in Doha and planning for upcoming UV linings (more than 10.000)
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Curing and inspecting a lining job in Qatar

Patching Application

Patching by using epoxy is designed to remerge cracks individually. This system is used to repair small section of pipe with the help of CCTV and packers for application of Epoxy solution. Licuas have accomplished more than 350 patching around Doha and the number is still growing
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Packer to install Patching of 0.6m


As of 21st March 2019, Sacyr Construcción S.A. in Joint Venture with Medgulf Construction Company W.L.L. received the Awarding Letter for the project ‘Roads and Infrastructure in South of Al Meshaf – Package 01’. The project belongs to Ashghal’s Local Roads and Drainage Programme, a nationwide programme that includes the development of roads, drainage and new infrastructure.
Project Layout
The project is located 5 kilometers west of Al Wakrah. The scope of work includes the execution of a deep trunk sewer by trenchless pipeline construction (Micro Tunnelling) and the urban development of 117 Ha. The contract amounts to nearly Qatari Riyals 474 Million, with a total duration of 42 months.
SEK International School Qatar has celebrated the graduation of the grade 10 and 12 students in the presence of SEK President, Ms. Nieves Segovia, the Vice President of SEK Education Group, Mr. José Luis Delso, and the guests of honour, the Ambassador of Spain to Qatar, H.E. Belén Alfaro, and the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Spain, Mr. Fernando de Castro.

As a learning organisation aimed at modelling values and practices for our students, we built on the belief that "education is a journey without end, only horizons". Thus, for over one hundred and twenty-five years, SEK has unceasingly sought "a new, and better, educational horizon", without ever settling for anything less. That is the keystone of our entire educational model, that our students learn to learn, but also to unlearn and relearn, to be able to tackle life’s only constant, that is: change.

SEK raises on four pillars that cement our identity and explain our pioneering spirit. A spirit that takes us often where no one’s ever been before, enabling us to dare to do things that have not yet been done and encouraging us to reach new heights.

The first of these four pillars is excellence, that is: the desire to excel, to demand rigour, effort and perfection of oneself.

Secondly, an international vocation, that is: being a citizen of our times. Our grade 10 and 12 students received an education at a distinguished International Baccalaureate school, heir to the SEK education legacy that pioneered the implementation of the International Baccalaureate programme over 40 years ago.

Independence and responsibility are other SEK hallmarks. Since 1892 we have passionately defended the uniqueness of our educational model and the dignity of each of our students and teachers. Our students have been educated to dare to question the status quo, to think differently, to travel to the unknown and to evince the indomitable spirit of the pioneers.

Finally, SEK’s fourth pillar is that of a tradition of innovation. We honour our past and learn from its valuable legacy, but we work for, and in, the future. This is our wish for all our students. That they learn from the traditions of your family, of your country and its culture, and that with those sound foundations they strive to build a diverse, but common world.

Congratulations to grade 10 and 12 students for achieving this high important milestone, as well as to parents and teachers for their invaluable support. (2)
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Dare to Brunch
SBCQ General Secretary
Elvira Pradas
Mobile: +974 6603 2370
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