2018 Events to Watch Out for in Doha

Considered to be the fastest growing city in Qatar, with over 50% of the nation’s population living in it or its surrounding suburbs, Doha is also considered to be the economic center of the country.

And with its large population of locals and expats and tourists, it is but natural to expect that the city holds events that will entertain and attract tourists to frequent this rich metropolis all year round. And this 2018, here are some of the event to watch out for in Doha.

Annual Events and Festivals in Doha

Doha Cultural Festival

Attracting thousands of tourists every year into Qatar, the Doha Cultural Festival is held in March. And with H.H. Al Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al Thani, the Prince of Qatar overlooking the preparations for the big event, this festival is considered to be the biggest event of its kind.

At the Doha Film Festival ©Isabell Schulz/Flickr

The event promotes the heritage and the cultural aspect of the region which includes programs such as music, poetry, theater and dance. Tourists can also explore the photo galleries and fashion houses that depicts the traditional way of living of Qatari people.

The Prince also takes this moment to give awards to pioneers and individuals who contribute in uplifting the culture and values of Qatar.

Halal Hal Qatar Festival

Held in the southern part of Katara Cultural Village in March and could last for more than a week, the event highlights the animal trade as an essential part of Qatari culture and heritage. Halal pertains to sheep and goat that would be slaughtered and prepared in accordance to Islamic Law.

The Cultural Village Foundation-Katara organized the festival with the aim of reviving Qatari tradition of breeding sheep, animal husbandry and breeding livestock.

Livestock display at Halal Hal Festival ©Maggie/Flickr

Three main activities comprise the festival: Al Mazad which holds public auction of livestock; Al Mazain, a beauty contest of sheep and goats; and Al Izab barns which showcases different kinds of farm animals to breed and to raise.

Gurangao Children Festival

This festival is a week-long celebration throughout the Middle East after breaking of the fast on the 14th day of Ramadan. This festival is similar to the Halloween in the west where children dressed up in the traditional Qatari clothes, take a cloth bag and go house to house collecting goodies from their neighbors.

Doha International Trade Fair

Considered to be Qatar’s biggest shopping festival, this 10 day annual event is under the sponsorship of HE Sheikh Khalifa, Chairman of Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Traders from across the globe participated in this affair to showcase different products such as handicrafts, electronics, designer clothing, furniture, health products and so much more.

Handcrafted products like this would be available at the Trade Fair ©Shawn Key/Flickr

To those who would want to enjoy a different shopping experience, this festival is held at Qatar International Exhibitions Center, Doha.

Kite Festival

The sky would be filled with various colors at the International Kite Festival. ©Mark Hogan/Flickr

The International Kite Festival is a colorful 3-day event with so many fun-filled activities both for adults and kids. This year, the event will be held in Aspire Park from March 6 – 9, 2018. Visitors and participants can enjoy kite flying, traditional food, live music, dancing and storytelling and face painting for kids.

Mrs. Kholoud Al Hail is the Chairperson of the Event’s Organizing Committee.  She said that professional kite flyers can compete in a range of individual and team kite competition including the synchronized kite exhibitions and kite flying art displays.

If you have good skill in kite flying, you might want to join the competition for the prices for the wiiners are BIG.  First-place school team winner will walk away with QAR 50,000, while the second-place winner will take home QAR 30,000, and third-place winner will receive QAR 10,000.

With more than 100 years of history, the art of kite-making and kite flying has been passed down through generations. This authentic Qatari culture is a great way for families to bond together and have fun outdoors.

The Qatar International Food Festival

If you are keen on trying new different cuisines and would want to tickle your taste buds, the Qatar International Food Festival is the event to look forward to this coming 2018.

The festival will gather together the world’s best in culinary and will exhibit the growing diversity of Qatar’s culture. It will be a weekend of open-air affair that bring the whole family and friends together to enjoy the food, drinks, fun and laughter.

The event is usually held in March which is hosted by Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Airways. Visitors and tourists will surely enjoy the festival because it will be held in the Museum of Islamic Art Park overlooking the Doha waterfront.

Participants and visitors alike would definitely have a good time not only with the sumptuous cuisines from different countries but also from the different activities and games prepared for everyone.

Be sure to watch out for these events. More will be added as the year has just started. Cheers to a wonderful year ahead!