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Ashraf Siddiqui

The 8th annual ‘Friends of Spain Award’ ceremony became an unforgettable event thanks to the lovely breeze, especially considering it was the month of May.

The simple and graceful event organised by the Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Doha (Camara) in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain was held in the exquisite lawns of the Spanish Ambassador HE Javier Carbajosa’s official beachside residence.

HE Javier Carbajosa, in his address congratulating the recipients of the 2024 Award, said, “This event is the perfect occasion to honour those individuals or institutions that have distinguished themselves in the promotion of social, economic, and human bonds between Qatar and Spain.”

He said a selective number of Spanish businessmen contribute significantly to boosting the image of Spain in Qatar. “This year we have the privilege and the satisfaction to bestow the individual award upon Dr Omar Al Ansari, Secretary General of the Qatar Development Research and Innovation Council, for his outstanding work in pursuit of excellence in innovation and technology as an engine for economic growth.

“This is the Qatari counterpart of ‘QASIP’ (Qatar and Spain Innovation Program), whose second edition has been recently launched, opening the door for the submission of projects to be financed, with the high component of innovative technology,” he said, hoping that second edition would be even more successful than the previous one.

The Embassy of Spain and the Chamber of Commerce in Doha, have decided to acknowledge the President and Vice President of the Qatar Football Association, Jassim bin Rashid Al Buenain and Mohammed Khalifa Al Suaidi, for the long-term work at the head of the QFA from where they have been promoting football and sports as an effective way to bring people together and promote friendship and understanding between countries.

The Spanish envoy said, “The Football Federation of our two countries share this philosophy and look forward to keep working together in the future.”

In his address, David Quintanilla Alvarez, the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, while congratulating the recipients of the award, said, “It has been easy to select the Friends of Spain Awardees this year for the board of directors and the Chamber”.

He said that during the last 15-20 years, several Spanish companies came to this country looking to demonstrate their capacity while developing the most challenging projects in different sectors.

He said, “It is no secret that many have succeeded and many more are coming yearly. “One of the most important outcomes of their work and their effort is what we celebrate.”

He said that QRDI and CDTI through the QASIP program have managed to foster the talent of companies from both countries to walk together in innovation projects that will bear success in the coming years.

Alvarez said that QFA has already trusted Spanish talent twice to lead its Qatari football players in achieving the greatest successes to date of the National Team, first with Felix Sanchez staff and now with Marquez staff.

In his closing remarks, he appreciated the trust placed in Spanish talent and wished that “this is just the beginning of a joint path that leads us all to achieve the highest levels of collaboration and success”.

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