China’s gifted pandas arrive in Qatar to ‘fully air-conditioned’ new home

The park is located near the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, providing World Cup spectators a chance to visit the animals.

The two giant pandas ‘Suhail’ and ‘Soraya’ have finally arrived in Qatar from China at Doha’s first ever Panda Park on Wednesday, where officials say the climate has been adjusted to suit the furry animals.

The two pandas were gifted to Qatar from China last month in honour of the Gulf state’s hosting of the much-anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup.

The pandas landed at Hamad International Airport (HIA) earlier on Wednesday following a large farewell ceremony held in Beijing on Tuesday. China’s Ambassador to Qatar Zhou Jian said the gift is a symbol of the friendship between the two nations.

The two pandas are currently undergoing quarantine for a 21-day period before being released to the larger, more spacious and fully air-conditioned park in Al Khor.

Speaking at the event, Qatar’s Director of Public Parks Engineer Mohammed Al Khuri said the Gulf state is the first ever country in the Middle East to host giant pandas.

Responding to concerns over moving the pandas to a closed space from their natural habitat, Tim Botus, Zoological Director at the park told Doha News at the inauguration, that the space was created after careful consideration.

Botus noted that the temperature at the park is also adjusted to suit the climate in China, adding that the attraction will be open to the public after the pandas complete their quarantine.

The two pandas are isolated in different areas that are split by a glass window, allowing Suhail and Suraya to see each other while in isolation.

The inauguration saw the attendance of groups of local primary school children, who took the time off to welcome the two pandas to Doha while waving the Qatari and Chinese flags.

The park is located near the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, providing World Cup spectators an opportunity to visit the animals.

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