DOHA, Qatar – Preparations are underway at Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) for a season of festivities in Qatar this summer marked by attractive offers and exciting activities, from Eid celebrations to the much-awaited Qatar Summer Festival.
Working closely with partners in the public and private sectors, QTA has finalized a schedule of activities for the five-day Eid Al Fitr Celebrations in Qatar. The celebrations begin on the first day of Eid under the theme ‘Capture Joy’ and will offer a variety of entertainment activities at venues across Qatar, including sports organizations, malls, cultural landmarks and Qatar National Theatre.
Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer, commented: “We have a festive season ahead of us, with two key events that fall under Qatar’s strategy to grow and diversify its tourism offerings in partnership with the private sector, especially during off-peak periods. These festivals target domestic tourists and visitors from around the GCC with a range of entertainment activities for families in a festive, safe environment that reflects their culture and heritage. We have designed the events to ensure a positive, reenergizing impact on the hospitality and retail sector.”
Visitors to Qatar’s malls will be able to enjoy a myriad of exclusive family entertainment shows such as: Alice in Wonderland (City Centre Doha), Sleeping Beauty (Dar Al Salam), The Little Mermaid (Ezdan Mall), Snow White (Lagoona Mall), Iftah Ya Simsim (Hyatt Plaza) and Dora’s Friendship Fiesta (Al Khor Mall).
The Festival will also feature parades around Qatar’s participating shopping malls between 5:00 pm and 10:00 pm, including Drummers Parade, Fritters, Hungry Chefs, Walkabout Birds, Koka Stilt Walkers and Live Statue.
Other shows will be on rotation at Qatar’s malls throughout Eid entertaining young and old alike. They include Doctor Bubble, Equilibrium on the Reels, Comedy Show, Tanoura Performance, Ardha Traditional Dance, Oriental Dabke and Kids Magician.
Meanwhile, theatre-lovers will be able to enjoy the QTA sponsored theatrical performance “Tar Al Wazir” an Arabic comedy about social issues in Qatar and the GCC, featuring stars Abdulaziz Jassim, AbdulNasser Darwish and Huda Sultan. The play will show between 6:30 – 9:30 pm at Qatar National Theatre, and ticket prices will range from 50 QAR to 500 QAR. The children’s play “The Hunter and the Pirates” will show on Al Rayyan Theatre in Souq Waqif between 4:30 – 6:30 pm, with ticket prices ranging from 30 QAR to 300 QAR.
QTA’s partners will be putting on a wide variety of cultural and entertainment offerings, including live entertainment at Katara Cultural Village starting at 6:30 pm and culminating in a firework spectacle at 9:30 pm.
Tourism hotspots around the country will be celebrating Eid with visitors: Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum will be offering free tours while horse riding sessions will be available at the Al Samariyah Equestrian Centre. A wide variety of entertainment options will take center stage as well at Aqua Park, Al Dosari Zoo and Game Reserve, the Pearl-Qatar and Aspire Zone Foundation. The Qatar Air Sports Committee will offer Aerial Paragliding Tours at Sealine Beach.
Meanwhile, festival organizers at QTA are working towards launching the month-long Qatar Summer Festival (QSF) in its third edition, just three weeks after Eid Al Fitr ends. QSF aims to encourage inbound and domestic tourism with a range of attractions such as special hotel rates, cultural events, shopping promotions and weekly raffles with prizes worth up to 2,000,000 QAR.
According to Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festivals and Tourism Events, QTA took its visitor-centric approach this year one step further. “As part of our planning process, we held a virtual forum on social media platforms, inviting tourists and residents to post their thoughts on ways to enhance the festival. We are now considering this input and ways to incorporate it into the Festival, to ensure it reflects our target audience’s needs and wishes.”
Partnerships with members of the hospitality sector to provide special packages to visitors this year have doubled in number from Qatar Summer Festival 2015, reaching 56 hotel establishments. Hotels will be offering special packages such as ‘pay for two nights and stay for three’ in hotels, and ‘pay for five nights and stay for six’ in hotel apartments. Select establishments will provide additional incentives covering a variety of options including free breakfasts, late check-outs, free meals for children when accompanied by their parents (a maximum of three children per family) and free transfers to and from Hamad International Airport. These offers are also available to residents booking during the same period.
QTA has also been busy promoting the festival in a roadshow across the GCC which attracted over 500 travel trade professionals looking to include Qatar in their summer travel packages.
Held under the theme “Color Your Summer,” QSF offers a variety of colorful experiences including concerts, comedy events, and sports events involving celebrities from across the region.
Visitors and residents can look forward to the return of QSF’s Entertainment City, which will feature a range of new and exciting gaming and entertainment options for children and adults alike, and will be held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center for the first time.
Long-recognized by the country’s leadership as an avenue to further Qatar’s development, tourism has been designated a priority sector by the government. Qatar Tourism Authority’s mission is to firmly establish Qatar on the global map as a world-class tourism destination with deep cultural roots. In 2014 QTA launched the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy (QNTSS), which seeks to diversify the country’s tourism offering and increase the sector’s contribution to Qatar’s economy by 2030.
QTA works in partnership with public and private stakeholders to achieve this mission by planning, regulating and promoting a sustainable and diverse tourism industry.
As part of its planning efforts, QTA identifies types of tourism products and services that will contribute to the Qatar tourism experience, and works to attract investment for their development.
Regulation efforts involve ensuring tourism sector establishments operate at the highest standards while perpetuating Qatar’s culture.
QTA promotes Qatar as a destination around the world, through its destination branding, international representation and participation at trade shows, and by developing a rich calendar of festivals and events. With a growing international presence, QTA’s representative offices in London, Paris, Berlin, Milan, Singapore, and Riyadh support QTA’s promotion efforts.
Since launching QNTSS, Qatar has welcomed over 7 million visitors, and achieved an average annual growth in arrivals of 11.5% between 2010-2015. The economic impact of the tourism sector in Qatar is becoming increasingly visible with 2014 estimates showing a total impact on Qatar’s total GDP of 4.1%.
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