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This year the MILIPOL Qatar '98 exhibition of security and defence equipment is offering manufacturers and agents an even greater opportunity to showcase their products in the MiddLe East.

The exhibition, organised by Qatar's Ministry of Interior, will once again be held at the Qatar International Exhibition Centre, close to the Sheraton Doha Hotel and Resort. However, this year it offers an additional 40 per cent of exhibition space and the organisers hope it will attract even more than the 200 exhibitors and 7,000 visitors who attended MILIPOL '96 in Doha, the first time the prestigious international exhibition moved away from Paris.

MILIPOL gives security organs from around the world the annual opportunity to examine the latest technological developments and innovations in national and corporate security systems and equipment. In the past that has included such diverse items as airborne surveillance systems; anti-bunker weapons; high security vehicles; area gas monitors; traffic regulation technology; population identity cards; hydraulic rescue equipment; garments and uniforms; drug and explosives detectors; and radio communications systems.

Now, the exhibition is held alternately in Paris and Doha. Following Qatar's participation in the 1995 exhibition in Paris, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Minister of Interior and now also Prime Minister, put forward the idea of a similar exhibition in the Middle East. Two years ago the French Societe Francaise d'Exportation du Ministere de l'Interieur (SOFREMI) granted the State the benefit of the MILIPOL trademark, and in November 1996 companies from 64 countries exhibited their products in the capital, Doha. For its first venture into the Middle East, the exhibition was sponsored by 32 local and international companies.

In addition to the indoor exhibition area, this year there will be a 20 x 80 metre tented structure, fully carpeted and air conditioned, built adjacent to the main entrance of the exhibition centre. Separate areas of the tent will serve as a VIP lounge, organisers lounge, and a 55m x 20m dining area to seat approximately 600 people. Contractors are Al Baddad, a company with representation in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. The tent will have a total of 18 separate air conditioning units, and the interior will feature traditional Arabic curtaining. Catering for MILIPOL will be by the Doha Sheraton Hotel and Resort, part of the Qatar National hotels Company. QNHC also owns the Sheraton Gulf Hotel; Palm Tree Island in Doha Bay; Qatar Holidays (arrangers of sightseeing tours), the Doha Club, Doha Golf Club and Doha Limousine.

Amongst the companies headquartered outside Qatar which will be represented at MILIPOL this year are:

A2CM; ACMAT; Ares Protection; Alvis Vehicle Ltd; Ahmed Al Saleh & Sons Co; Anta International Ltd; B-JC; Wolfgang Baumach GmbH; Bouleaux S.A.; British Aerospace Systems & Equipment; Carl Zeiss Jena GmbH; Crow Ltd; CGF Gallet International; CCT De L'Aisne; China Xinxing Shanghai Import and Export Corporation; Crypto AG; Cofrexport; Couach Plascoa; Dassault Electronique; Deschamps; ESDT; EG & G; EKONT; Federal Signal AT VAMA SA; Gaillon Textiles; Giat Industries; Glock Ges mbH; Imprimiere Nationale; Gryphon Group International; Gulf Business Machine; Haute Performance Systems; I2 Limited; Ion Track Instruments; IDS-Intelligent Detection Systems Inc; KASCO SRL; Louit S.A.; Matra Nortel Communications; Marine Development Services; Motorola S.A.; S.A. Les HuttesDenel; Ets. Jocquin; Noiret- Bohain Kermel; Premier Hazard PLC; Pyser-SGI Ltd; Royal Ordnance; SAIC; M.M.C. International BV; Radar Leather Division SRL; 2K International; Industrias Tecnos S.A. DIE CV; Realisations & Conseils Hyperbares; Sert; Solaufil; Sofema; Safe Barrier System AB; Stopson Creations; SAE Alsetex; DGA/DCN Ruelle; Sigier Capelle SA; Terra Footwear Ltd; The Fire Safety Engineering College (Oman); The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office; Carl Walther GmbH; Westing-house Audio Intelligence Devices; and Zaeim Electronic Industries.

British Aerospace (BAe), which has sales exceeding 7 billion [pounds sterling] sterling per year, and a current order book of over 19 billion [pounds sterling], will be exhibiting a range of small arms weapons at MILIPOL '98. BAe, through Heckler & Koch, offers the widest range of infantry weapons in the world, including weapons for special forces and police operations. During the exhibition, British Aerospace Systems and Equipment (BASE) -- will be demonstrating its all-terrain Mobile Surveillance System (MSS) which offers day and night covert surveillance of high integrity assets, land or coastal borders or other potential problem areas. The MSS, according to a company spokesman, is fitted with a thermal imaging camera and video monitors for real time monitoring and recording, and is air conditioned for extended surveillance operations - something very important in the heat of Gulf summers. BAe also participated in MILIPOL Qatar '96.

By the middle of October this year, MILIPOL '98 had attracted QR6,410,000 in sponsorship, from a total of 16 different organisations, and more were waiting in the wings for the opportunity to sign agreements. Main sponsors of the event, and sinking QR1,700,000 into its organisation are Abdullah Abdulghani & Bros., the local agents for Toyota. They are supplying some 60 Lexus cars for official VIP transportation, and have also supplied the permanent office space for MILIPOL in their headquarter Toyota Tower building, close to Doha International Airport. Their sponsorship is closely followed by that of Ali Bin Ali and Partners, who have pledged goods and services to the value of QR1million. The Middle East is the designated magazine for MILIPOL Qatar '98, offering sponsorship worth QR800,000, and representatives from the magazine will be available on the stand at the QIEC throughout the five day expo.

Local headquartered companies Qatar National Navigation and Transport Company (QNNTC), Qatar Public Telecommunications Corporation (Q-Tel), Mannai Corporation and the Teyseer Group have each pledged QR300,000 or its equivalent, whilst sponsorship of QR250,000 has been offered by the Qatar Trading Company, and QR200,000 has been donated to MILIPOL Qatar '98 by each of Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (RasGas); Al Naael Company; Qassem Darwish Fakhro & Sons Group of Companies; Qatar Steel Company; Qatar Electricity and Water Company; Al Seal Contracting and Trading Company Ltd.; and Qatar National Bank

MILIPOL '98's 218 metre square press centre is to be equipped free of charge by the Salam Group of Companies, which is offering additional sponsorship of QR60,000.

Abdullah Abdulghani and Brothers have notified the organisers that they wish to call a press conference from 11am to 12 noon on the second day of the exhibition, 8 November, during which they will be introducing representatives from their principals in Japan. Both the American and French embassies in Doha have been discussing with the organisers the possibility of hosting receptions during the exhibition. In addition, one of the French companies participating in MILIPOL '98 is seeking permission from the Ministry of Interior for a demonstration by one of their racing boats in Doha Bay, in the vicinity of the Sheraton Hotel where it would be easily accessible to delegates.

In addition to the sponsors, who will each have a presence at the exhibition, a number of Qatari-owned companies which have an international presence are taking part in the exhibition, as well as several which trade specifically in the State, but represent international manufacturers and suppliers.

Qatar, which prides itself on the state-of-the art equipment available to its armed forces and state security organs, is also witnessing a growing demand for industrial security systems and equipment. The number of oil, gas and petrochemical installations has increased dramatically, and security is tight on all ministry buildings. Radar has been introduced on the country's roads in an attempt to discourage reckless driving, and cameras have been installed on traffic lights at intersections to catch drivers attempting to `jump' the lights. The use of ID cards has also increased, with most residents now carrying Ministry of Interior ID cards, driving licences, and health cards, as well as security passes for work areas. This year, for the first time, hotels in Qatar have started to introduce `smart cards' to operate electronic locks.

Brief profiles of some of the Qatari Companies and Organisations represented at MILIPOL Qatar '98:

QATAR GENERAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION (QGPC). QGPC was established by Emiri Decree in 1974, and as a national organisation wholly owned by the state is responsible for all phases of the oil and gas industry. It produces crude oil, associated gas, condensate and non-associated gas and, since 1993, has been pursuing a policy of conducting hydrocarbon exploration and production through Product Sharing Agreements (EPSA) with a number of international companies. QGPC also has an interest in a number of other oil, gas and petrochemicals-related industries:

QATARGAS -- QATAR LIQUEFIED GAS COMPANY, owned by QGPC (65 per cent), Total S.A. (10 per cent), Mobil Qatar Gas Inc. (10 per cent), Mitsui & Company (7.5 per cent) and Marubeni Corporation (7.5 per cent). RASGAS -- RAS LAFFAN LNG COMPANY -- established by Emiri Decree in 1993, RasGas is owned 70 per cent by QGPC and 30 per cent by a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mobil Corporation. RAS LAFFAN INDUSTRIAL CITY, which with a planned area of 106, is one of the world's fastest growing industrial export locations. Close to the North Gas Field, Ras Laffan Port covers an area of 8.5 and became operational in 1996. The RLIC management team was appointed by QGPC, and works in close co-ordination with the corporation. QAPCO -- QATAR PETROCHEMICAL COMPANY LTD. (Q.S.C), established in 1974 as a joint venture between QGPC (80 per cent), Enichem of Italy (10 per cent) and Elf Atochem of France (10 per cent) to produce ethylene and low density polyethylene (LDPE) using associated ethane gas from petroleum production. QATAR VINYL COMPANY -- QVC, a joint venture project between QGPC (25.5 per cent), QAPCO (31.95 per cent), Norsk Hydro (29.7 per cent) and Elf Atochem (12.9 per cent). The agreement was signed on January 8th 1997, and commissioning of the plant is expected by the year 2000. QATAR CHEMICALS CO. (Q-CHEM), founded by Emiri Decree in October 1998, QAFAC -- QATAR FUEL ADDITIVES COMPANY.

QAFAC, established in 1990, and owned 50 per cent by QGPC, 20 per cent by Chinese Petroleum Corporation-CPC, 15 per cent by Lee Chang Yung Chemical Industry Corporation LCY-CIC and 15 per cent by International Octane Ltd -- IOL. Methanol and MTBE plants will be sited side by side in Messai'eed, and production is expected to begin in the third quarter of 1999. MTBE production also utilises butane which, together with natural gas, will be provided by the nearby NGL complex belonging to QGPC. QACENCO -- QATAR CLEAN ENERGY COMPANY, expected to be owned 51 per cent by QGPC. Its methanol project should have a worldwide capacity of around one million tons. The predicted start-up date for the project is 2001/2002. QAFCO -- QATAR FERTILISER COMPANY was established in 1969 to produce ammonia and urea. It is owned 75 per cent by QGPC and 25 per cent by Norsk Hydro. And NODCO -- THE NATIONAL OIL DISTRIBUTION COMPANY, wholly owned by QGPC, NODCO was established in 1968.

QATAR PUBLIC TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION (Q-TEL). Q-Tel, the state's soon-to-be privatised sole telecommunications provider, will once again be participating in MILIPOL. The corporation, which controls all broadcasting frequencies, is soon to launch its new `cablevision' service, upgrading the existing microwave-linked service and expanding it to offer 60 channels. Privately owned satellite dishes are banned in the state, with Q-Tel monitoring and censoring those incoming channels which are re-transmitted to Qatar Cablevision (QCV) subscribers. Q-Tel controls all aspects of telecommunications, including Internet connections, both private and corporate.

Credit Suisse are the corporation's financial advisors for the privatisation, responsible for global co-ordination. Qatar National Bank are Lead Managers for the sale of shares in Qatar, and Q-Tel was expected to appoint a bank during the latter part of October for the sale of shares in the other five Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) states -- Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. At the time of going to press decisions had not been reached regarding any share in the company to be retained by the government. It had, however, been decided to permit the ownership of shares by non-Qatari residents of the state.

Al Naael Co., founded in 1994, are the local agents for Citroen. In 1996 they added the Sanyung agency. Participants in the first MILIPOL Qatar exhibition, Al Naael only displayed the Sanyung military jeep on that occasion; this time round they will also have the multi-purpose Citroen Berlingo van on show on their 54 sq.m. stand. Al Naael, owned by US-educated Dr Nasser Abdulghani, has a record of supporting economic, cultural, sporting and social activities in Qatar. "We entered the automobile business in full realisation of the competitiveness of the market here," says Sales Manager, Mr Hussein, "and we made a decision to base our competitiveness on customer service. Car manufacturers have gone in for high-tech operations, and the vehicles themselves have become more and more sophisticated. We built the company on the strategy of service. We have two large and fully equipped workshops in Doha's Industrial Area. One is a specialised and fully equipped body shop. The other is a state-of-the art mechanical and electrical workshop, which, unusually for Qatar, is fully air-conditioned to ensure high productivity. You have to remember, our temperatures in Doha can easily reach 48 or 49 degrees in the summer months and mechanics simply cannot work effectively for any length of time in those temperatures. By improving workshop conditions we hope our mechanics can provide customers with the very best of service in terms of time and efficiency."

Four-wheel drive vehicles are essential in parts of Qatar, a desert country with both rough limestone plateaux and sand dunes of up to 60m in places. Al Naael hope to take five per cent of the country's 4x4 market with the Mercedes/Sanyung vehicle, stressing the after-sales service aspect.

Fahed Trading and Contracting, established in 1982 and owned by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Fahed Al Thani, represents the interests of a number of highly respected organisations in Qatar, including three which will be participating on the company's stand at MILIPOL. They are AM General Corporation of the USA, manufacturers of the Hummer Commercial and HMMWV Military vehicles; Halmatic Ltd. (UK), premier British boatbuilders, established in 1952 and part of the Hunting Group of Companies; and Carat Duchatelet (Belgium), world leaders in the conversion of luxury vehicles into armoured and stretched limousines, used by heads of state, royal families, ministers and leading businessmen world-wide.

Fahed Trading's General Manager, Ibrahim Abu Qamar, says the company views MILIPOL '98 as an excellent opportunity for new and old companies to show their equipment to a captive audience. "Increased sales are expected from our participation in MILIPOL '98. During the 1996 exhibition here in Qatar, AM General corporation signed a major contract with Qatar's Ministry of interior for the supply of vehicles."

According to Fahed Trading's Commercial Manager, Tony Moran, Halmatic Ltd currently supply to the coast-guard in Qatar, "and we would be very pleased to see a new order signed during the exhibition." Halmatic build their own range of pilotage, service, patrol, fast patrol and pleasure craft up to 33mtr L.O.A. on 30 different hulls. "Carat Duchatelet are currently supplying armoured and stretched limousines to the state," says Moran, "and wish to maintain their position in the market by participating in the exhibition."

The Hummer (HMMWV) is an excellent, combat proven 4x4 vehicle, designed and manufactured to US army military specifications. The `family' of vehicles consists of 26 models, capable of satisfying a variety of mission requirements, such as armament carriers; antitank; special forces; special operations; cargo utility; border patrol; reconnaissance; mobile workshop; communications and command post vehicles. They are also offered with a desert package option. The HUMMER (HMMWV) was the backbone of the US Army military truck fleet during Operation Desert Storm, following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Fahed Trading & Contracting are involved in design engineering, civil engineering, project and construction management in the fields of electricity and water, oil and gas and petrochemicals. They have been an appointed distributor of Mercedes Benz saloon cars since 1982, and also represent: Alcatel Group (France); Joannou & Paraskevaides Overseas Ltd. Cyprus; Rosenbauer International (Austria); Mercanta Ltd Austria; Roder, Germany; EMPL Fahrzeugwerk Austria, and Kercher Germany.

The company inaugurated a food division in 1997 to supply governmental establishments and large organisations, and has also established Gulf Hotels Company to manage and operate a five star hotel project in Qatar for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Fahed Al Thani.

Al Bateel Trading Co. has two divisions, one dealing with oil and gas field services, the other -- which is specifically involved in MILIPOL '98 -- specialising in telecommunications and security equipment. General Manager, Ahmed Mubarak Al Ali, explained that the company offers consultancy and turn-key project services to both government ministries and private companies requiring sophisticated telecommunications and security solutions. "We are the first company in Qatar to have received the ISO2000 certification for our work in telecommunications, and we are constantly looking world-wide for the latest technology to match our clients requirements." Speaking to The Middle East in mid-October, he said: "I have recently returned from a business trip to the UK, and between now and the end of the month we will be finalising our plans with regard to those products which we put on show at MILIPOL '98, where we have taken four booths of exhibition space."

Al Ahli Bank of Qatar is another organisation which will have a presence at the exhibition. Mr Abdulla Al Ansari, who is co-ordinating the bank's participation, told The Middle East: "We were delighted to respond to an invitation to participate in MILIPOL Qatar '98, which we received from His Highness the Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al Thani. We always aim to support international exhibitions and conferences held in the country. We have only taken a small stand in the exhibition of nine metres square, where we will be displaying booklets and brochures explaining our full range of customer services. However, we hope we can also be of assistance to local and international companies who may do business as a result of the exhibition."

Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad & Sons Group, occupying Stand J31 at MILIPOL '98, consists of four companies, of which B & T (Business and Technology) is most closely allied to the exhibition. Formed in March 1998, the company has wide-ranging interests in providing business services, particularly to international companies already working in Qatar, or those wishing to do business in Qatar. They have organised the stand for the British company, Underwater Security Consultants Ltd. (USCL.)

According to the Group Managing Director, Dr M. Kilani, "We are interested in extending our working relationships with international companies, providing them with easy access to the Qatari market. In this instance we invited USCL to exhibit at MILIPOL '98, facilitating their participation by making all the arrangements on their behalf, including preparation of the stand. B & T offers a full range of management, educational and strategic marketing services."

Also in the Ghanim Bin Saad Al Saad Group is Jersey for Decoration, dealing in sophisticated metalwork decoration, with a specialised workshop in the Doha Industrial Area, and a show-room in Al Bida Tower. A third company in the group is M-tel, a highly specialised company dealing in a wide range of telecommunications equipment, computer networking, structural cabling, distribution of electronic components, maintenance, intercom systems, mobile phones and accessories. The fourth company in the group, InterEx was formed for the organisation of exhibitions. They are currently planning an International Education, Training and Development Fair from 18-21 April 1999. It will be along the same lines as the British Council's BTEX, says Kilani, "but will also include educational institutions from countries other than the UK -- for example the US -- and we are also inviting the manufacturers of educational equipment to participate."

Other Qatari companies participating in MILIPOL '98 are: Delta Fire Protection; Gulf Automobiles & Trading Co; KDS Group of Companies; Mannai Corporation; Nasser Bin Khaled & Sons; Qatar Security Systems; and Trelco Ltd.

On the basis that even delegates to security exhibitions have to relax sometimes, the organisers have arranged an optional trip to Qatar's superbly beautiful Inland Sea (called Khor Al Udeid), on 11 November. Situated in the south east of the peninsula, beyond the industrial city and port of Mesaieed, the inland sea lies beyond one of the dune fields, giving visitors the opportunity to witness the beauty and splendour of the desert at its best. The tranquil turquoise waters of the Gulf are surrounded by white and golden crescent-shaped Barchan dunes which reflect all the golds and pinks of the sunrises and sunsets, casting dramatic shadows across the desert. When there is a wind, you can literally hear the sand sing. Some of the dunes nearer to Mesaieed are used for sport -- with 4x4's climbing the highest dunes and making the steep descent down the inner slope -- a pastime better avoided by the faint hearted. Nearer to the Inland Sea, sand-boarding is a popular sport, as is snow-skiing.

Those taking the trip on the 11 November (by bus and then by four-wheel drive) will be able to see the Arabian tents, sample traditional bread, tea and coffee and even smoke the narghila -- the traditional water pipes also known as `hubbly bubbly' pipes, because of the noise they make. Camel and horseback riding are available (be warned, watch first to see the several stages in which a camel stands up, then you will have a chance of staying on as it lurches backwards and forwards!) there will be a group playing traditional Qatari music and folk songs, and you will also get to see a demonstration of the henna paste decoration for the hands and feet, so popular amongst the ladies in the Middle East and Asia, and rapidly becoming a sought-after `fashion accessory' amongst top designers in the west.

The trip to Khor Al Udeid for MILIPOL delegates is being organised by Arabian Adventures, one of the two companies in the country offering organised sightseeing tours. They also have in their brochure visits to the north of the country, town trips, excursions to the oryx farm, to watch the ancient art of falconry, etc. Tours can also be arranged to the outstanding Weaponry Museum which features, amongst other things, a number of gold and silver swords and khunjars (curved daggers) from the Gulf.

MILIPOL '98 promises to be an outstanding showcase of security and defence equipment, and visitors can be assured of a wealth of traditional Qatari hospitality.
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Author:Coleman, Gina
Publication:The Middle East
Date:Nov 1, 1998

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