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Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti

QATAR - Tourism

A Tale of Two Textbooks

General Manager, Cultural Village Foundation-Katara

Bio

Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti is the General Manager of Cultural Village Foundation-Katara. He has held several leadership and administrative positions in Qatar and abroad in the cultural, educational, banking, and finance sectors. He has played a major role in helping Katara achieve its vision in educating and entertaining the community whilst building cultural bridges through a wide array of activities. Katara supports humanitarian causes that promote charitable aid work. Before this, he was the executive chairman of First Finance Company and served on the boards of several companies in Qatar, Kuwait, and Jordan.

TBY talks to Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti, General Manager of Cultural Village Foundation-Katara, on representing the ancient values of Qatari culture, embracing the full scope of digital modernity, and promoting cooperation in the field of education.

“Katara” was the historical name for Qatar’s peninsula prior to the 18th century. What is the importance of this institution for the preservation of Qatari heritage and traditions?

The message of Katara is inspired by the cultural originality and historical depth of its name. Katara was first used to indicate Qatar on Ptolemaic maps in 150 AD. The Cultural Village was built on the eastern borders to be the first to receive sunlight, just like the sun of knowledge shining over the world from the heart of Qatar. This is why we are working on providing a range of activities, events, and festivals with different forms and content. Some aim to revive the heritage of our ancestors, ancient traditions, and customs, such as the Senyar Championship and the Halal Qatar Festival, while others highlight different cultures, such as the Ecuador Festival, the ASEAN Festival, in addition to numerous exhibitions and workshops.

How do you assess your position as a cultural hub in the Middle East?

Katara includes a massive number of centers and societies, such as the Al-Bahie Auction House, the Qatar Fine Arts Association, Katara Art Studios, and the Youth Hobbies Center. Katara sponsors many events in line with its vision in tandem with various centers and societies. We also host many cultural events in collaboration with various embassies in Qatar, such as Roots (Latin American Festival) and the European Jazz Festival. In fact, Katara has succeeded in being a culturally attractive destination, not only in Qatar or the Gulf region, but also throughout the Middle East.

What is the appeal of Katara’s facilities for hosting international festivals and becoming a world leader in multi-cultural activities?

Thanks to its several facilities and high quality services, Katara has successfully hosted major global events in the amphitheater, which accommodates 5,000 people. We hosted several lectures, most notably one called “Does God Exist?” by the Islamic preacher Dr. Zakir Naik, which was attended by more than 13,000 people. We also provided visitors with large screens on the waterfront of the Cultural Village. For the first time in Qatar and the Middle East, Katara hosted the fourth edition of the International Opera and Classical Music Awards Ceremony (Oscar Della Lirica). Our amphitheater was inaugurated on 2011 under the slogan, “Qatar calling for peace,” and had musical performances by the renowned Greek musician Vangelis, along with a number of traditional fine art paintings by renowned artists such as Angelina Giroggio, Roberto Alagna, and Jeremy Irons.

How are you cooperating with local academic institutions to make an impact on human capital development?

The Cultural Village signed many agreements and MoUs with numerous universities, including CMU-Q, Qatar University, and Stenden University, in its effort to promote cooperation in the fields of education, scientific research, and community development. This also includes the provision of vocational training for university students and the exchange of professional and scientific expertise in various fields.

What is your approach toward the MICE sector?

As part of its tireless efforts to promote a culture of technology and attract energetic youth to develop their skills, the Cultural Village Foundation organized the Katara Tech Forum under the theme Culture of Technology, which promotes public awareness of information technology and discusses the latest developments in digital technology. The full details of the Katara Smart City Project were also revealed. Moreover, we organize various forums in different areas, including the Gulf Forum for Aquaculture and Agriculture Tourism.

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