Qatar PM pops in and out of Cayman

| 24/12/2010

(CNS): One of the world’s biggest yachts was anchored off Seven Mile Beach yesterday for only a brief period before heading off to Mexico. The Al Mirqab is one of the largest yachts ever built and it belongs to the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Qatar. Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani and his entourage, who are said to be travelling the Caribbean on business and pleasure, cruised into Grand Cayman yesterday from Cuba with plans to spend some vacation time here. However, sources tell CNS that the oil rich Gulf state PM changed his mind and decided to go to Cozumel instead. The airport confirmed that a private pre-arranged aircraft which had come to collect VIPs landed safely and departed soon after.

Al Thani’s luxury helicopter reportedly carried him from his mega yacht to his private A320 at the Owen Roberts International airport. Although there is no official confirmation on the reason for the party’s sudden departure, sources say that the view from the deck may not have been to the liking of the wealthy member of Qatar’s royal family.

The yacht, which flies a Cayman Islands flag, is 133 metres long and can accommodate 10 guests in 5 guest apartments with one VIP suite for the yacht owner. The apartments each havetheir own bathroom, living room and double bedroom. Amenities on board include a cinema, outside bars, inside and outside jacuzzi, sunbathing decks, a helicopter pad and a crew of 60.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Patricia X, if you’re who I think you are, you wouldn’t be expected to discover local culture considering your lifestyle. One has to be willing to assimilate in the society where they reside. If and until you choose to do that, don’t expect local culture to come knocking. 

  2. real world says:

    As per my previous posting, within five years, you may not have a choice but to do that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Maybe McDinejad went on board the PM’s Yacht and said ‘Lookiya we need some money……specially fah dem Wesbayas…..weez broke man. Bring yah money here and we gah get ya a good deal." And with that thePM summoned his Qatar Airbus 330 to collect him from the Owen Roberts International Airport as a matter of urgency.

    And that was the end of the Cayman-Qatar story !

    The Ex Pastor is on his way to Cozumel to try to bring the PM back.

  4. Anonymous says:

    you are wrong 

  5. Anon says:

    I’m surprised that no one has noted that the Al Mirqab flies the Cayman flag as the vessel is registered in the Cayman Islands.

  6. whodatis says:

    Have we decided to ignore previous comments / requests then?

  7. Patricia X says:

    I guess they would be the envy of all their friends who have never been to Cayman.  At least those people might believe Cayman to be a top end Caribbean destination.  Of course as soon as one leaves the grounds of the Ritz it goes downhill very very quickly.

    • Anonymous says:

      And as soon as you leave the grounds of the  WALDORF ESTORIA it goes down hill very quickly  as you continue into Bronxand Queens, Hello.!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he read CNS.  

    I mean, from the comments and vitriol regurgitated on a regular basis on this site, you would think this was…the UK or Afghanistan or some other backward failing state. 


  9. whodatis says:

    My fellow Caymanians – pay no attention to the "Cayman-bashers" in the room.

    At the end of the day they are ALL the ENVY of the party when they return to their native countries on holiday (and they all know it). That alone speaks volumes.

    What more is there to say?

    • Anonymous says:

      there is plenty more to say because there is so much room for improvement……

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems to me that the bashing goes on in both directions. 



      • Anonymous says:

        You started it !!!

        • Anonymous says:

          Seriously?  Where are we, kindergarten?  

          And just for the record, I am not the original poster.  I simply find it hard to believe all the ridiculous posturing that goes one here.  I have been to the UK, and Ireland, and Scotland, and the US, and Canada, and the Isle of Man.  All of these places are nicer than Cayman in some ways, and not as nice in others.  Cayman is not perfect; neither is any other place.  Cayman’s heritage is not any richer than that of any other country; in fact, it is not even unique.  When my mother-in-law visited Pedro Castle, she was struck by how many similarities existed between the displays depicting Caymanian life before development and what she experienced growing up in Ireland.  We’re not so different, you and I.  

        • Anonymous says:

          did not! 

    • Anonymous says:

       "…they are ALL the ENVY of the party when they return to their native countries…

      until they ask us "why did you come back", and we tell them:

      1. That the crime is worse than most of the world and it simply isn’t safe in Cayman anymore;

      2. That the economy has failed in Cayman and there isn’t a future there anymore;

      3. That corruption has reached levels that embarrass even the adventurous off-shore crowd;

      4. That the smell of place of often driven by the towering pile of garbage that Cayman has built for itself;

      5. and so on and so on….

      … and the people in our native countries say "Oh, that’s a shame.  It sounded so nice when you first said you were going", and we reply "Yes, but that was based on a lie".



    • Anonymous says:

       You’re right.  There is too much Cayman-bashing going on.  But, please, don’t put down *my* native land just to score points.  I love living in Cayman, but I can assure you I had no desire to come here, beyond perhaps a simple wish to travel and see more of the world.  I love my home country — its mountains, its forests, its clean, clear lakes and varied seasons; its cultural richness, its opportunity and the friendliness of its people.  When we were asked to transfer to Cayman, we turned the opportunity down, not once, but twice, before finally being told we *had* to come, because this is where the company wanted us.  Don’t get me wrong, I like living here.  I even love it sometimes.  But I love my home too, and it gets my back up to hear Caymanians making assumptions like those in the post above.  My friends and family have all visited here, and they agree it’s a lovely place to vacation.  But none of them have wanted to move here yet in the ten years I’ve been on island.  In fact, many have not come back twice, since there are so many other nice places on earth to visit. They enjoy their time on the beach and then they go home to their own lives, which are full and busy and happy, just like yours.  Me?  I just ended up here by accident, and now I find my life is here.  I’m sure you know Caymanians who have ended up living their lives in other places in just the same way.  It doesn’t mean they don’t love Cayman, does it?

      Do we really have to engage in this constant battle for supremacy?  And please don’t tell me who "started it."  Maybe we should all just grow up a little and show each other those wonderful manners we all claim as part of our heritage.

  10. Michel Lemay says:

    I want to re instate that if you mean to say something positive, do not put your job in danger, have nothing to fear, say what you mean and mean what you say then at least sign your first name. Next time I see you I would be interested in your opinion. Maybe you have a good solution. As most of you know me, I try my best to do what I preach so if I see you and recognise you, expect me to stop and say hi how are you ? And listen. Shake your hand maybe and look you in the eyes and who knows I may know someone who cares or can help. Our Dear Sister Hope tought many of us at our young menSunday Class many valuable lessons such as Hurry up and slow down and when you answer the phone do it at your best it could be Her Majesty the Queen. God Bless Her SOUL and that of her family. For she teach it and by God she lived it. Same Way !

  11. Michel Lemay says:

    Phillip, I agree with you that we should try and gather as much info as possible as to why the Prime and Foreign Minister of Qatar had to re-arrange his trip. Thank you Lonnie has well. It infuriates me to read comments as if we never caterered to such entourage and how IMPORTANT it is to the Cayman Islands. Yes it as a very powerful trickle effect as far as revenues but to also read some post on Dec.24th. about not giving a sheik and NEGATIVE, NEGATIVE comments will get us nowhere. We have to get OUR ship in order personnaly each of us is an ambassador of our beloved Cayman Islands and we can complain as much as we want about Leaders,CIG etc. ,this and that but you know what ? We also need to refine those who do not take our situation seriouly. Everyday I look at my Granchildren and ask my God to give me the Wisdom to do my share POSITIVELY meaning starting by MY attitude towards my country men, visiting tourist and everyone who lives and work here so they have a future. Let’s just start by saying good morning first etc. to each of us, you will be surprised where that can lead to next. Stop to let a family across the road, help an elderly person, take 2 minutes to stop and shake hands and say good to see you. Back to the basics.Learn about our beautiful (3) Islands.I am curious why that Premier and yacht re-scheduled ! Did we do something wrong? That’s how we learn. Michel

  12. Anonymous says:

    It seems like CNS’ comment regarding Sheik Al Thani not liking the view from the yacht is a speculative jibe regarding Mt. Trashmore. I wonder which of us, including CNS, is privy to the Sheik’s personal decisions so as to know that he planned to stay in Cayman then changed his mind. From all indications of a preliminary itinerary with which I’m familiar, it did not appear to be his intention to do anything other than what he did – transfer in Cayman.  BTW, his plane departed to Havana, not Cozumel.  So please feel free to speculate all over again.  

    Separately, paying attentions to Rummy’s post should tell us something. I would bet that he did not encounter too many Caymanians in the service industry on his most recent visit – as compared to his previous visits. That would indicate that the "de-Caymanization" of our islands does not find favour with tourists. Any surprise?? 

    • Rummy says:

      Fair comment with regards to the lack of Caymanians. My first visit to Cayman was around 1966 for 2 weeks as a lad and subsequently spent longer periods. The taxi driver who annoyed us was, I think, put off that we knew where we were going and he did not like the fact that both of us spent a significant part of our lives in the Caribbean- our accents seemed a give away! We left the Caribbean years ago but have visited in the winters from time to time but not Cayman. One of our purposes of the cruise, our first, was to see what Cayman was like with a view to returning for a longer period but now it is off our list!

    • Anonymous says:

      I was in Cozumel when the El Mirqab docked at the cruise ship pier.  My cousin and I watched it from just outside the fence with binoculars as it docked.  About a half hour after docking, a group of about 10 left the boat and quickly slipped across the street and began walking south.  We were about  40 yards north of the gate at the time.  The next day, another tourist commented that they saw a Qatar jet arrive at the airport that same evening.  It caught their attention as it seemed out of place.  The boat left Cozumel Sunday evening around 10 – 10:30 PM.  I never did see a helicopter.

    • Lachlan MacTavish says:

      Bottom line is you can see the dump from a vessel, plane or a hotel room. Amazing the dump is still there. 

  13. Joe Average says:

    Who really cares if some Prime Minister member of a Royal family that has accumulated it’s wealth by ripping off it’s own countrymen stays here, travels on, or not?  Personally, I don’t give a sheik.

    • Anonymous says:

      Darn, Joe Average you are an angry man.  Please read your comments 18.47  and what peeeeeeees me of is that you are not from the Island.  But you write as if you are, of course we read between the lines.

      • Anonymous says:

        and that he is not from the island means what???? 

        • Anonymous says:

          20:32   To answer your question " And that he is not from the Island means what????.

          It means that you should stop setting up strife between Caymanians and expatriates.  There are many foreign expatriates who are enjoying the Cayman Islands, but when they read these negative comments, they feel that Caymanians are against them.  They do not know that that it is expatriates like you  drinking Cayman black coffee smoking cigarette and laughing at the damage they are doing on CNS.

          Please do not continue to show so much anger because of certain problems, it has now passed, If you are angry at your boss, who is also not a Caymanian, take it up with him.   But it is a New Year comming soon, and we want to live good together, Expatriates and Caymanians.

          • Anonymous says:

            he wasn’t stirring up strife… he was saying not to worship false idols.

      • Joe Average says:

        You are right.  I’m not there at the moment but my skin is so thick it encompasses all the ridiculous things I see.  Cayman and Caymanians (and expats too) should never agonize over whether some wealthy person decides to pop in, or what their reasons may be or not be.  Or even the comings and goings of financial institutions or governments.  The wealth the island possesses has never resided in the whims of a few. Or any of the things we are told.  Sorry. 

        You are told.  I realized that on first setting foot there a few years back.  I love Cayman and just like any other country the wealth is not in those things- it is in the people and- it is up to the people to realize that.  Although they are often told differently it is up to the people to make their wealth their own because they are the most valuable resource.  Without them there would be no country.  Just a grouping of the helpless:  hedge fund managers and the itinerant wealthy needing gardeners, helpers, and housekeepers. Politicians needing votes. And mega-yacht owners needing grey poupon. We don’t need them. They need us.

        I’m not angry. Just frustrated waiting for the time when we begin to focus on where true ‘power’ comes from.

        And begin to use it.

        God Bless Cayman And it’s people.


  14. Patricia X says:

    Maybe when he made his initial plans he did not realise how Grand Cayman is a fairly ugly little island devoid of culture with limited beaches and bad development processes.

    • whodatis says:

      " … he did not realise how Grand Cayman is a fairly ugly little island devoid of culture … "

      I constantly hear and read this sort of remark in regards to Cayman.

      Exactly how is it earthly possible for any country / nation / people / society to be "devoid of culture"?

      Please explain that to me.

      (I am guessing you are not Caymanian, so if you do choose to answer my question could you kindly include your country of origin? Perhaps you could throw in a few sound examples of your nation’s "culture" – make it a learning experience for us all.)

      Many thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Particia X, I got one word for you ‘ROLLOVER"

      • Judean People's Front says:

        Let me make this perfectly clear, nobody is to stone anyone, even if they do say the word ‘rollover’!

      • Anonymous says:

        got 2 words for you………’key employee!’

  15. Anonymous says:

    Thank You CNS.

    I saw the Qatar Airways plane at the airport and thought "That’s odd…it has to be a charter." You guys are always on top of things.

  16. Anonymous says:

    maybe he heard about mckeeva’s stimulus package….and laughed all the way to cozumel…..

  17. Anonymous says:

    maybe he heard about caymans archaic licensing and trading laws…

  18. Anonymous says:

    maybe he read up on the way cayman treats foreigners…..

    • Lonny T says:

      If he heard about that, he would never leave ! This place really needs to stop this expansionist foolishness and get back to putting Cayman first.

    • Anonymous says:

      09:28   PLEASE,    Why do you people hate the Cayman Islands and its people so much, yet wake up here every morning to bright sunshine, cool breeze and go to you job to feed your children and keep up your bad habits.  For the sake of the the opportunity, please dont keep it up in the New Year, Cayman is really tired of the bashing.  Very few Caymanians have internet in their homes, so we know that 95% of the letters/comments are not Caymanians.  Give it up please, and say nice things for the New Year.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Sad to say but maybe he is afraid of getting robbed. Don’t you all realize that all the negative happenings in Cayman is running everyone and ruining everything.

    • Anonymous says:

      Holy Macarel which part of the universe are you living?  Its got to be Mars.  Because I know you are not living on this planet called earth, and infact there is more crime in your country, that is why you are here sucking up that big Cayman dollar.  Cayman do not want to hear the undercover  foolishness this year from expats.   I do hope honest expats who are living here realize that  majority of these Cayman/expat. comments are comming from expats, making trouble.  Dont you all know we are unto to what is happening, so cut it out.

      • real world says:

        Nice try but get over yourself.

        Thousands of expats have left in the last year alone.

        There are thousands of used cars for sale on the internet and littering the roadside.

        Count the unoccupied units that are laying empty, awaiting those ‘big fat rents’ that you are still holding out for.

        Count the for sale signs in prime areas.

        I don’t think that there are too many people ‘sucking up the big Cayman dollar’, the last time I heard, it was tethered to a currency that has devalued significantly. That is like mooring your rowing boat up to the Titanic for safety. Love it or hate it, expats here do not have the monopoly on moving away to find work. You should try it some time, you may like it. Within five years you may not have the choice.

        Blame all you want, but open your eyes, as you are quite clearly in a deep mess and running out of people to blame it on!

        • Anonymous says:

          Thank you real world, now we can jumpstart all those cars left by the road side and use them.   Move into those luxury apartments and pay small rent.  Soon take down those For rent signs and move in.  Gosh,have some peace fromthe outside influence and live happily on our fried fish and fritters.

  20. Rummy says:

    I visited Grand Cayman on a cruise ship last year but after enduring rip off and rude taxi drivers and could not care shop asssistants my wife and I retreated to our ship much earlier than we originally planned. A few years ago we enjoyed extensive stays in Cayman  but we shall not be returning as we prefer to spend our holidays and cash where we  feel welcome and not where we feel unwelcome and possibly threatened.

    • Kookoo says:

      The centre of George Town is now catering for the overweight undereducated masses of the fly-over states who come ashore to consume utter tat.  Look at the new stores spreading over town, the cheap nasty jewellers and the shops selling pirate t-shirts.

      One tip, if you see a sign that says "You must see this shop" then you don’t ever ever need to go there.

      • Anonymous says:

        There may well be some tawdry shops in George Town, just as there are in  any other tourist destination, but it also sports some world-class retailers, who maintain the very highest standards, while offering a depth of choice of products at competitive prices, hard to find anywhere else in the Caribbean.

        Furthermore, most top brands are stringent about the display environment their retailers provide, and Cayman’s stores in general maintain this high standard. To imply otherwise does Cayman a disservice.



        • Anonymous says:

          It’s not really competitive pricing when you consider the mark up. Duty free my a$$!

          In fact, I was looking to buy a watch. Way overpriced on island. I simply purchased it online — much better deal.

        • Kung Fu Iguana says:

          You have not travelled much if you believe that garbage.  There is nothing here that you can’t get in most other high end destinations.  And watch prices?  Not anycheaper than anywhere else for the high end marques since they all fix prices.  In fact one the UK is cheaper for those brands if you reclaim the VAT.

          But the vast majority of central George Town is filled with nasty tasteless tat.


  21. Anonymous says:

    dang it! isn’t he the kind of tourist we want here?? 

  22. reality says:

    I saw it

    I looked to me the Cruiseships put him off

  23. anonymous says:

    Oh No!  Now Mac will not be happy with his 10 foot fence and asphalt road.  He will want a Yacht also.  Get ready for higher fees to pay for it. It is called "keeping up with the PM’s".

  24. Anonymous says:

    Why are some people so quick to believe the worst about Cayman.Perhaps the plan was to arrive  in Cayman a few days earlier before departing to spend Christmas in Conzumel.Arrival in Grand Cayman could have been delayed for any number of reasons ,resulting in the cancellation of the Cayman Is. portion of the voyage.Come on folks ,let’s be positive.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rarely have I seen such an edifice of theory erected on such a pin-head of fact. As as for the negative comments about Cayman, I find the old saying, "Smile, and the world smiles back," works pretty well on the whole.

  25. Anonymous says:

    They left the most beautiful place on earth????????? Lol

    • Anonymous says:

      The  Cayman  money is the most beautiful pn earth though.  OLOL!!   I bet you wont go and leave that.  Besides I hear shop keepers say you all have big wide and deeppockets.  LOL!!

  26. Anonymous says:

    maybe it was the approaching northwester

  27. Anonymous says:

     Urghhh…how embarrassing!

  28. Concerned Caymanian says:

    Yup – Cozumel has the same beautiful beaches and the same shopping that have here.  They also have warm greetings for tourists and wonderful service.  I don’t suppose the PM of Qatar is worrying about the relative costs, but service is one commodity that we don’t really have here!! 

  29. Philip says:

    It would be very intresting to find out the reason for the sudden departure, was it no dock space?, the restricted areas that this size yacht can anchor on seven mile beach?, or other unkowns. The goverment should try there hardest to get in contact with the captin of this vessel to understand why.

    The captians of yachts this size are a very small group and comunicate with each other, if one has a bad experience he is surely going to pass that infomation on to other captains. we need to do all we can to atract these size yachts, 60 crew spending money , avation fuel, supllies, car rentals, fresh flowers, dining,hotels for pilots, support staff, the list can go on and on.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don’t suppose that he heard of our "crime free destination", do you?

      Well if he don’t want to grace our shores with his presence, there many Rich dudes from Europe, Canada , and the USA who will always come here. Who care if he wants to head to Mexico.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed, definitely we need to ascertain the reason’s for their early departure if it is due to not being able to berth the mega-yacht.

      If so then we need to factor this into the development of the new sea-port if this has not already been done.

      Cayman has to move forward, and not be hamstrung by a couple of not so wise men from the North and East, who cannot even get the role of the media in governance correct.


      • Anonymous says:

        Right.  We need to rip everything up to build a facility to handle the two or three mega-yachts that come our way each year.


        • Anonymous says:

          ‘rip everything up’???…..typical sensationalism….get real

  30. Anonymous says:

    he didn’t like Mount Trashmore!!!


    What a suprise !!!