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Darrell’s and Sara’s excellent Qatar adventures

Republican and Democrat take advantage of oil state’s hospitality

Issa stayed at Four Seasons, with "its own private beach, five different indoor and outdoor pools, and lush manicured gardens."
Issa stayed at Four Seasons, with "its own private beach, five different indoor and outdoor pools, and lush manicured gardens."

Democrat Sara Jacobs isn't the only rich House member from San Diego County taking free trips courtesy of foreign business groups.

According to an October 27 disclosure filing with the Clerk of the House, Republican Darrell Issa, widely considered one of the wealthiest members of Congress, took off last month from San Diego on a six-day round-trip junket beginning October 10 to Doha, Qatar, thanks to the United States-Qatar Business Council.

Darrell Issa is widely considered one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

Per the filing, total transportation expenses of $8793, along with lodging costs of $1235, and meals worth approximately $560, were picked up by the council. A "return to the United States" Covid 19 test costing $30 was also paid for by the group.

The final itinerary says the tour began with a "dinner and briefing" from Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatari ambassador to the United States.

"Participants were briefed by and engaged in dialogue with Ambassador Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani and economic team members from the Embassy of Qatar to the United States, on Qatari business engagements in the US as well as plans for Qatari investment."

"Participants had the opportunity to learn about the planned Qatari outreach in the US and how Qatar is promoting business ventures in the US."

Forbes Travel Guide calls Doha's Four Seasons the "grande dame of the city."

The next day, October 12, the delegation heard from the U.S. Embassy Doha team about U.S.-Qatar relations. "This briefing provided an opportunity for the participants to learn about the key strengths of the trade/commercial, security, defense, and energy relationship between the US and Qatar."

A later meeting with officials touted the kind of money Qatar could bring to the United States.

"With many American tourism & hospitality companies already operating in Qatar, like Sheraton, Marriott, Intercontinental, etc., and many Qatari investments in the US like St. Regis DC, W Hotel Miami, etc., participants were briefed and engaged in dialogue on the many opportunities to further collaborate with the US in the hospitality sector.

"Participants discussed which locations may be of interest for Qatari investment in the US, general opportunities for investment in the US hospitality sector, collaboration potential with US-based tourism & hospitality operators, and how investments can create jobs in the participants' district."

Another session pitched the 2022 World Cup games in Qatar. "The briefing covered the operational side of things, information on the priority to advance the sports sector in Qatar, as well as the sustainable development of the World Cup stadiums and smart city infrastructure projects which American companies were involved with."

A gathering with Qatar's energy minister featured the role of oil in the country's economy, the world's largest producer of liquefied natural gas.

"Participants were briefed by Saad Al-Kaabi on Qatar Energy's investment strategy in the energy sector and its long and deep history of collaborating with American energy companies.

"Participants learned about the latest initiative related to the North Field Expansion project in Qatar and the country's long-term vision for further advancement in the energy and sustainability global space."

Like other Arab states, Qatar has pledged to employ new technologies, including carbon capture schemes, to help meet the world's climate-change carbon reduction goals, though skeptics remain.

"For me to just come out and say, 'Net zero 2050'. Very sexy,” Saad al-Kaabi said in a recent statement cited by the Associated Press. "I mean, looks great in the newspaper, but it's not the right thing."

Democrat Sara Jacobs has visited Qatar this year; the country picked up the tab.

An heiress to the Qualcomm smartphone chipmaking fortune, Jacobs got $10,489 in transportation costs, $878.94 worth of lodging, and meals of approximately $500, according to an April 18 disclosure of the trip, lasting from March 29 to April 3.

She was housed at the posh Mandarin Oriental Hotel in downtown Doha. "Although I have stayed in multiple Mandarin Oriental properties across the globe, this one, in particular, left me wide-eyed with its opulence and grandeur," wrote a reviewer for BusinessTraveller.

Issa stayed at Doha's Four Seasons, which Forbes Travel Guide calls the "grande dame of the city."

"With its own private beach, five different indoor and outdoor pools catering to all ages and lush manicured gardens, the hotel is a haven among the West Bay area’s towering buildings," writes Forbes.

"In a city studded with sumptuous stays, service at Four Seasons Hotel Doha is what sets it apart — it’s discreet yet personalized. This can mean customized T-shirts and bathrobes for returning guests or cold towels and sunglass cleaning by the pool."

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Issa stayed at Four Seasons, with "its own private beach, five different indoor and outdoor pools, and lush manicured gardens."
Issa stayed at Four Seasons, with "its own private beach, five different indoor and outdoor pools, and lush manicured gardens."

Democrat Sara Jacobs isn't the only rich House member from San Diego County taking free trips courtesy of foreign business groups.

According to an October 27 disclosure filing with the Clerk of the House, Republican Darrell Issa, widely considered one of the wealthiest members of Congress, took off last month from San Diego on a six-day round-trip junket beginning October 10 to Doha, Qatar, thanks to the United States-Qatar Business Council.

Darrell Issa is widely considered one of the wealthiest members of Congress.

Per the filing, total transportation expenses of $8793, along with lodging costs of $1235, and meals worth approximately $560, were picked up by the council. A "return to the United States" Covid 19 test costing $30 was also paid for by the group.

The final itinerary says the tour began with a "dinner and briefing" from Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatari ambassador to the United States.

"Participants were briefed by and engaged in dialogue with Ambassador Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani and economic team members from the Embassy of Qatar to the United States, on Qatari business engagements in the US as well as plans for Qatari investment."

"Participants had the opportunity to learn about the planned Qatari outreach in the US and how Qatar is promoting business ventures in the US."

Forbes Travel Guide calls Doha's Four Seasons the "grande dame of the city."

The next day, October 12, the delegation heard from the U.S. Embassy Doha team about U.S.-Qatar relations. "This briefing provided an opportunity for the participants to learn about the key strengths of the trade/commercial, security, defense, and energy relationship between the US and Qatar."

A later meeting with officials touted the kind of money Qatar could bring to the United States.

"With many American tourism & hospitality companies already operating in Qatar, like Sheraton, Marriott, Intercontinental, etc., and many Qatari investments in the US like St. Regis DC, W Hotel Miami, etc., participants were briefed and engaged in dialogue on the many opportunities to further collaborate with the US in the hospitality sector.

"Participants discussed which locations may be of interest for Qatari investment in the US, general opportunities for investment in the US hospitality sector, collaboration potential with US-based tourism & hospitality operators, and how investments can create jobs in the participants' district."

Another session pitched the 2022 World Cup games in Qatar. "The briefing covered the operational side of things, information on the priority to advance the sports sector in Qatar, as well as the sustainable development of the World Cup stadiums and smart city infrastructure projects which American companies were involved with."

A gathering with Qatar's energy minister featured the role of oil in the country's economy, the world's largest producer of liquefied natural gas.

"Participants were briefed by Saad Al-Kaabi on Qatar Energy's investment strategy in the energy sector and its long and deep history of collaborating with American energy companies.

"Participants learned about the latest initiative related to the North Field Expansion project in Qatar and the country's long-term vision for further advancement in the energy and sustainability global space."

Like other Arab states, Qatar has pledged to employ new technologies, including carbon capture schemes, to help meet the world's climate-change carbon reduction goals, though skeptics remain.

"For me to just come out and say, 'Net zero 2050'. Very sexy,” Saad al-Kaabi said in a recent statement cited by the Associated Press. "I mean, looks great in the newspaper, but it's not the right thing."

Democrat Sara Jacobs has visited Qatar this year; the country picked up the tab.

An heiress to the Qualcomm smartphone chipmaking fortune, Jacobs got $10,489 in transportation costs, $878.94 worth of lodging, and meals of approximately $500, according to an April 18 disclosure of the trip, lasting from March 29 to April 3.

She was housed at the posh Mandarin Oriental Hotel in downtown Doha. "Although I have stayed in multiple Mandarin Oriental properties across the globe, this one, in particular, left me wide-eyed with its opulence and grandeur," wrote a reviewer for BusinessTraveller.

Issa stayed at Doha's Four Seasons, which Forbes Travel Guide calls the "grande dame of the city."

"With its own private beach, five different indoor and outdoor pools catering to all ages and lush manicured gardens, the hotel is a haven among the West Bay area’s towering buildings," writes Forbes.

"In a city studded with sumptuous stays, service at Four Seasons Hotel Doha is what sets it apart — it’s discreet yet personalized. This can mean customized T-shirts and bathrobes for returning guests or cold towels and sunglass cleaning by the pool."

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