How are India and Qatar expanding cultural relations?

After signing one-way codeshare agreement, Qatar is all set to expand cultural relations with India. How will it impact Qatar’s relations with Pakistan?

Qatar

Qatar Museums (QM) inaugurated yesterday a photography exhibition titled “Where Cultures Meet: A Photographic Encounter between Qatar and India” as part of its annual Year of Culture program. Notably, India is developing economic ties with Qatar in order to expand its economy and cultural capital.

The exhibition opened at Katara Cultural Village and will be on show until December 31 in Building 18. As part of Qatar-India Year of Culture 2019, two Qatari photographers — Hamad Al Shamari and Aisha Al Sadah — traveled to the Himalayan Region of Ladakh in India for two weeks.

The aim was to create an inspiring portfolio that will help foster mutual understanding and cultural relations between the two countries. Alongside it, two Qatar-based Indian photographers — Ajeesh Puthiyadath and Salim Abdulla — were selected as part of an open call to participate in the exhibition.

The exhibition presents common themes like architecture, landscape, portraits and street life both in Ladakh — a remote land tucked in the valleys among barren mountains and where communities known for their tolerant and generous manner live in peace — and in Doha, a bustling metropolis made up of century-old markets and futuristic buildings that line its waterfront.

Read more: Qatar Airways Signs Codeshare Agreement With IndiGo

Commenting on the exhibition, Aisha Al Attiya, Head of Years of Culture at QM, said: “The annual photography exhibition is an important milestone in the Years of Culture program. It promotes an appreciation for our similarities with partner countries and celebrates the differences between our two cultures and perspectives. We hope that the trip to Ladakh will continue to inspire Hamad Al Shamari and Aisha Al Sadah for many years to come.”

Under the leadership of its Chairperson, H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, QM developed the “Year of Culture” initiative — an annual international cultural exchange program designed to deepen understanding between nations and their people. Though the formal programming lasts only one year, the initiative often sparks long-lasting collaboration.

Previous years of culture include Qatar-Japan 2012, Qatar-UK 2013, Qatar-Brazil 2014, Qatar-Turkey 2015, Qatar-China 2016, Qatar-Germany 2017 and Qatar-Russia 2018. It is important to note that recently Qatar Airways and IndiGo have signed a one-way codeshare agreement.

In a regulatory filing, InterGlobe Aviation – the parent company of budget airline operator IndiGo – said the agreement is in-line with its international expansion plans and will enable Qatar Airways to place its code on IndiGo flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

IndiGo said this marks its second codeshare agreement as part of its growth strategy for international markets. Shares in InterGlobe Aviation rose nearly 2 percent after the announcement.

Read more: Qatar Airways Signs Codeshare Agreement With IndiGo

According to details, QA will place its code “QR” on IndiGo operated flights between Doha and the three Indian cities, IndiGo said. “This strategic alliance will not only strengthen our international operations but also boost economic growth in India, by bringing in more traffic and heralding opportunities for trade and tourism through seamless mobility,” said Ronojoy Dutta, chief executive officer, IndiGo.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker added that he is also interested in buying a stake in IndiGo but this is not the right time as issues among promoters are yet to be resolved. Qatar had in the past also shown interest in investing in IndiGo but the budget carrier has resisted.

Qatar Airways currently operates 102 weekly flights between Doha and 13 destinations in India, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Goa.

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