Tuesday, August 07, 2007

AGCC meeting to be held in Doha instead of Muscat

This puzzles me.

There's been an article in both the TimesofOman.com and Al Shabiba about how the Sultanate of Oman had personally asked the Qatar Emir to hold the 28th AGCC meeting in Doha instead of having it held in Muscat as scheduled before.

Is the place not ready?

Do they have some kind of problem?

It was said in the article that:

"Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, minister responsible for foreign affairs, had conveyed a written message from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said to the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The message had included the Sultanate’s request to transfer the venue of the summit to Doha. The shifting of the summit venue came in the context of the government’s involvement in the reconstruction and renovation work following the unusual weather conditions that prevailed in the Sultanate recently."

But there was no reason as to why.

Would anyone out there have a possible answer?

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Links:

- TimesofOman.com: 28th AGCC summet venue shifted to Doha

- Shabiba: By request of the Sultanate and Gulf leadership approval .. 28th AGCC summit shifted from Muscat to Doha (Arabic)

11 comments:

Balqis said...

Hallooooo
And why Bustan was closed all this time huh

Amjad said...

lol @ balqis..

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Sleepless, the letter from His Majesty says that they're requesting this shift due to the reconstruction and renovation work following Gonu's disaster. I guess it's clear. PLUS, now Oman have 16 more months to finish all the construction work in the country: Airport's bridge/flyer , The Southern Road (the new high way) , Al-Khuwair intersection/roundabout , and other projects in the Sultanate.. I don't think we want to receive the leaders of GCC countries with all those unfinished projects in the country.

Amjad said...

BTW.. in al-shabiba article you provided, it says that Yousif bin Alawi handed in His Majesty's letter to Qatar's Emir on the 3rd of June, and that letter requested shifting the summit's venue to Doha. 3rd of June was before Gonu! I hope it's just a typo from al-shabiba and they meant 3rd of July.

muscati said...

I'm quite sure it's because the work on the Bustan Palace hotel is running behind schedule. Even before Gonu there was talk that there was no way the hotel would be ready on time. I guess Gonu gave them the excuse that they need.

Amjad- the Southern Expressway isn't due to be open till late 2009. As for the airport flyover, there's a good chance it will be ready towards the end of December.

Sleepless In Muscat said...

balqis:

it was and still is but i thought renovations were done.

amjad:

they have had presidents and other high leaders come to the country with them everyday

Balqis said...

Airport's bridge/flyer , The Southern Road (the new high way) , Al-Khuwair intersection/roundabout , and other projects in the Sultanate..
Ahaa, this has nothing to do with Gonu
As far as I know the situation is still bad in Quryat and Wadi Adi but I have my doubt they wanted to place them there
If is only a problem of bed and breakfast in Bustan, my house for Abdullah, Mohammed and others is always open
What a shame by the way

Amjad said...

balqis: yeah, they have nothing to do with Gonu but as muscati said, Gonu just gave them the excuse they need...

Anyways, what are they doing in al-bustan which needs all that time? was al-bustan's renovation affected by Gonu?

muscati said...

Amjad - I think the renovation schedule was over ambitious. They were planning a really major program with way too many changes and upgrades to the hotel on a very tight schedule. They are going to totally redo the lobby, the ballroom, the GCC conference room, the royal suites and a very large number of the guest rooms. And that's not counting the technical and mechanical work like putting in new electrical things, new wiring, new chillers, etc. That's way too much work, especially when some of the planning is being done at the same time. It's not like they had already chosen all the designs and then executing. Like for example the new guest room designs weren't even chosen till a couple months ago.

And on top of that the country suffered a hurricane that delayed everything and strained supplies, and so on.

Balqis said...

I remember the first time I came in 2001 it was October in Bustan and there was a meeting of GCC foreign ministers scheduled for December
They were working on the lobby: there was only the reception and a big space then
I couldn't sleep at all in afternoon bang bang bang
So now I imagine is gonna be fabulous

Sleepless In Muscat said...

Thank you everyone for your kind replies

Anonymous said...

Frankly for the last GCC conference they hadnt even finished the works on the roads up to Bustan for the start and had to complete after they all went. They always leave every start far to late for improvments and then wonder why everthing is not ready on time. For Muscat Festival its always the same - late start to work; not ready on time; find an outside problem as the reason to postpone and all it well.