2021 has been a challenging year for many people around the world; no doubt. Despite this, a lot of people are looking forward to the New Year.
ALSO READ: Advantages of Working as an Expat in Qatar
Although many people have postponed their plans and projects due to the challenging year, the New Year provides new opportunities to get back on track.
Aside from vacations, there are also various activities that you can do during this year. One of these is planning for the public holidays here in Qatar.
Qatar Public Holidays in 2022
Due to the outbreak of the pandemic, many people have cancelled their vacations and business launches.
Regardless of how this has affected you, everyone can always get in touch with the local government to get the details of the upcoming public holidays that are being observed in the country. Otherwise, you may refer to this post.
If you’re planning on visiting Qatar in 2022, make sure to follow this guide to get a quick reference to plan your trip.
The following is a list of Qatar’s gazetted public holidays, as published on the Qatari government’s official website:
February 8 (Tuesday) – National Sports Day
Every second Tuesday of February, Qatar’s National Sports Day is held to promote a healthy lifestyle and plenty of physical exercise.
In Qatar, you can find various sports activities such as football, cricket, and swimming. There are also various festivals and events for these types of sports.
There are also various types of sports that involve various forms of competition such as golf, auto racing, and Olympic-style handball.
On National Sports Day, which is also celebrated in other countries, private and public institutions are required to organize events for their employees.
May 3-5 (Tuesday-Thursday) – Eid Al Fitr Holidays*
Eid Al Fitr, which is also known as Shawwal, is a public holiday in Qatar. It is celebrated with festivities and general merriment.
Eid Al Fitr is celebrated on the Western calendar, which means that it falls on a different day each year. This is because it is believed that a new moon will appear in the sky on that day.
In Qatar, various traditions are practiced during Eid Al Fitr. While at home, people are dressed up and eating large, festive meals with their family and friends. On the day of Eid, a duty known as Zakat al-fitr is also given to children.
Many public sector employees in Qatar take off for several days during Eid Al Fitr. As for the private sector, workers take off for various weekends and holidays.
Two Eid festivals, which are celebrated after Ramadan, are the most significant dates in the Islamic calendar. The first is Eid Al Fitr, which occurs after the end of the Hajj. The second one, Eid Al Adha, is also celebrated during this period.
Eid Al Adha is a tradition that occurs every year around two months after the end of the Muslim holy month of Mecca. During this period, people come together to celebrate and share food and money.
The meeting and greeting begin with Eid prayers, which are typically held in mosques.
An Imam then delivers a brief sermon. In most cases, the prayer is conducted in a mosque, which is usually male-only. Everyone is dressed according to their best attire.
After a small breakfast, everyone is welcomed with “Eid Mubarak” or “Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair”.
While children are busy greeting everyone, adults sing traditional songs and phrases to knock on doors.
July 10-12 (Sunday-Tuesday) – Eid Al Adha Holiday*
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, is a Muslim holiday that is celebrated annually in Qatar.
The occasion of Eid al-Adha is linked to the account of Ibrahim, who willingly gave his son Ishmael to be sacrificed in accordance with the commands of Allah.
After Ibrahim passed his test, a ram was given to him to place under his son’s body.
Eid al-Adha is one of the most important Muslim holidays. It lasts for four days straight starting on the 10th day of the Islamic calendar.
Most government employees in Qatar get five days off during Eid al-Adha. Private-sector workers have three days off.
Although most banks will be closed, some banks, especially in the shopping malls, will still be open during the holiday.
During Eid al-Adha, many Muslims perform various rituals, such as attending a mosque and listening to a sermon. They also symbolically sacrifice an animal known as qurbani.
In some Muslim countries, such as Australia and Canada, individuals can buy a goat or sheep to sacrifice to be eaten. However, this is not common in other parts of the world.
In some countries, groups of people can buy a whole carcass from a meat market or a slaughterhouse and divide it among themselves. They also give money to help feed the poor.
During the days of Eid al-Adha, many Muslims go to Mecca to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. Doing this can be arranged through package holidays.
Package holidays are organized from different countries to enable Muslims to travel to Mecca.
December 18 (Saturday) – National Day
The Qatar National Day is celebrated on December 18 every year to commemorate the establishment of the modern state of Qatar.
It was moved to December 18 in 2007, when Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani was the Crown Prince of Qatar.
Prior to this order, the day was celebrated on September 3, 1971, which was the date when Qatar gained its independence.
The National Day of Qatar is a day to honor the country’s rich history and traditions. It’s also a day to preserve the traditions of the people of the country.
It’s also a day to remember the sacrifices made by the people of Qatar in establishing its independence.
* Dates to be confirmed
Note: Fridays and Saturdays are official days off in Qatar
Apart from the gazetted holidays, Qatar has several official observances, which people if not most businesses adhere to.
January 1 (Saturday) New Year’s Day
New Year festivities are common in the world. In the Middle East, it is also a time for people to have fun and spend some quality time with their families.
Today, people in Doha are more or less celebrating the occasion like they do in other parts of the world.
January 1 marks the start of the civil year in the Roman calendar. This is also the traditional start of the military campaigns during the spring season.
In 1592, Pope Gregory XIII officially introduced the Gregorian calendar. It was adopted in various European countries immediately after that.
In 1752, the UK and the US started observing the new calendar. This means that 11 days were lost instead of 14.
Not all cultures follow the same calendar in celebrating New Year’s Eve and Day. For instance, some groups like the Chinese and Islamic calendar follow a different schedule.
March 6 (Sunday) March Bank Holiday
The first Sunday in March, also known as Bank Holiday in Qatar, is a public holiday. On this day, most schools and businesses close. It is considered a day off for everyone.
A bank holiday is a national holiday in the UK, Ireland, and the Crown dependencies. It refers to all public holidays that are set out in statute or convention.
March 20 (Sunday) March Equinox
The March equinox is the moment on Earth when the satellite’s subsolar point moves away from the equator.
The March equinox is a day that occurs in the Northern Hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. It is known as the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox.
June 21 (Tuesday) June Solstice
The Solstice occurs twice: once in the summer and once in the winter.
The tilt of the Earth’s axis is the maximum during the duration of the solar festivals. During the festivals, the Sun’s rays are reflected back to the planet.
The longest day of the year occurs on June 20, 21st, and 22nd. It is also the shortest day of the year.
In June, the Summer Solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere while the Winter Solstice is in the Southern Hemisphere. This means that it is the longest day of the year in different countries such as the UK, Russia, China, and Australia.
September 23 (Friday) September Equinox
The September equinox occurs when the Sun appears to cross the equator. It usually occurs on September 21 to 24.
The September equinox is regarded as the first day of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.
December 23 (Thursday) December Solstice
The Solstice occurs twice a year, once in the summer and once in the winter. When the Sun’s position is highest in the sky, the Earth’s axis tilts by around 23 degrees.
The solstices can occur on the following dates: June 20, 21, and 22nd. They also occur in the winter season.
In December, the Winter Solstice occurs in the Northern Hemisphere, while the Summer Solstice occurs in the Southern Hemisphere. This means that during December, the days are shorter in most countries except Australia and South Africa.
December 31 (Saturday) New Year’s Eve
Qatar’s New Year’s Eve festivities are sure to bring a smile to everyone. With a diverse range of events and attractions, it’s a melting pot of cultures that comes to life.
The last day of the year is New Year’s Eve, which is also known as the day before New Year’s Day.
Although it was adopted in some parts of Europe, the Gregorian calendar was not used in other countries until around the 17th century.
The festivities surrounding New Year’s Eve can be traced back to festivals that were held in Europe before Christianity was widely adopted.
Although many cultures follow the same calendar, some, such as the Muslim and Hindu festivals, have different traditions when it comes to celebrating New Year’s Eve.
Festivals Observed in Qatar
Throughout the year, various festivals and events are held in various countries. Some of these are heavily influenced by religion.
Eid al-Adha is a religious occasion in Qatar. Aside from celebrating this occasion, the Tribeca Film Festival also focuses on the country’s modern development.
During festivals, people can experience various attractions such as the horses and dhow vessels lining the seashore or the extravagant fireworks displays.
Qatar International Food Festival
Are you a passionate cook or are you just trying to live to eat? The Qatar International Food Festival is a great opportunity for both.
You can also take part in a masterclass or watch an expert cook up a feat on stage. At the food festival Qatar, there is something for everyone.
The QIFF is a yearly food festival organized by Qatar Tourism. It highlights the country’s diversity in food and hospitality offerings.
The 11th edition of the QIFF is a celebration of food and hospitality in the country. It features various outdoor activities such as cooking demos, food trucks, and cooking classes.
This event also features various other activities that are geared toward helping guests enjoy the finer things in life in Qatar.
Doha Cultural Festival
One of the biggest cultural festivals in the Middle East is the Doha Festival. It draws people from all around the world.
There are many events happening in Qatar that cater to everyone. There are dance performances, poetry readings, and various other activities for kids.
The cultural festivals are a great opportunity to get to know the locals and their culture.
The Doha Cultural Festival is a yearly event that draws thousands of tourists to Qatar. It’s held under the patronage of His Highness the Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Various cultural programs are held during the festival, such as poetry, music, and theatre. Aside from these, visitors also get to experience different photography galleries and fashion houses.
Performances such as poetry and singing are very popular during the festival. They draw both locals and tourists.
The festival also involves the awarding of individuals who excel in the field of culture production.
International Kite Festival
The Kite Festival is a spectacular event that takes place in Qatar every year. The highlight of the festival is the thousands of colorful kites that fly in the sky above the city.
The event, which is held in Yokohama, Japan, features various competitions. Aside from these, kids can also participate in various workshops and face painting.
During the festival, people can indulge in various cuisines and take part in a photography competition.
Ajyal Film Festival
The Ajal Film Festival is a unique film event that takes place in the Middle East. It featured a wide range of films and provided a magical experience for spectators.
It has become quite popular amongst locals as it features movies from the Arab world. This is also beneficial for tourists as they get to see a different side of the region.
Qatar Marine Festival
The relationship between the sea and the country’s culture has developed over the years. This is celebrated during the Qatar Marine Festival.
This event features various attractions such as the dancing fountains, seal shows, and music performances. While enjoying the festivities, guests can also indulge in local cuisine.
Garangao Children’s Festival
During Ramadan, the children of the Middle East are known to celebrate Garangao.
During this holiday, children in Qatar dress up in traditional attire and sing folk songs. They then make their way around the neighborhood to ask for candy.
Garangao is a children’s festival that is celebrated in the Middle East following the breaking of the fast during the month of Ramadan.
The festival is known in different regions depending on the name that you use. Some festivals are known by Garangao or Garangaou in Qatar, Qariqaan in Saudi Arabia, or Karkee’aan in Iraq.
Garangao is believed to have its origins in the tradition of Qatar’s pearl diving. It is also known to have its own unique characteristics.
During the festival, children go around their neighborhood and ask for sweets from their neighbors. They then hang cotton bags around their neck to collect the sweets. Since people are more fascinated with the colorful bags and the characters that they have created, the prices of these products vary.
These bags are made of cotton and are hung loosely around the children’s necks. They are then seen singing a special song during the celebration.
Due to the designs of the bags and the characters that they have created, the prices of these products vary depending on the size and other factors.
The exact meaning of Garangao is still unclear. Some believe that the festival is associated with the sounds of large groups of people who are singing and dancing together.
Halal Qatar Festival
The celebration of Qatar’s culture and heritage aims to connect the younger generations to the country’s traditional lifestyle.
This festival, which is held in Qatar, teaches children about the importance of keeping animals and breeding them through live shows.
There are also various animal beauty contests held at the festival, where prizes are on offer.
The annual Halal Festival, which is held in March, celebrates the practice of raising and breeding livestock.
The event features various livestock sales and competitions, which are held in various locations throughout the country. The highlight of the festival is the livestock auction, which is held through various activities.
Various equipment and accessories used in the breeding and raising of livestock will be exhibited.
The festival aims to recreate the essence of the country’s past through the costumes and traditions that were associated with it.
The festival aims to revive the essence of Qatar by preserving its national identity.
The festival focuses on animal trade. Visitors can interact with shepherds and learn about their trade secrets.
Aside from these, the festival also features various auctions that will take place during the 10-day period.
Doha International Book Fair
In Qatar’s case, the national vision 2030 is already being implemented. Its goal is to become a knowledge-based economy.
The Doha International Book Fair will be held during this period as various changes are happening at the national and regional level.
Each year, the fair presents new titles that reflect the hopes and visions of the people. Also, artists and intellectuals visit the event to discuss their works.
This event is a must-visit for anyone who enjoys reading. It’s also a great place to get new titles for the holiday season.
The annual event is organized by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of Qatar. It is the largest book fair in the region.
Through the fair, the participants can promote cultural diversity and exchange ideas. In 2018, the event featured over 400 publishers from various Arab and international countries.
Souq Waqif Spring Festival
Souq Waqif is one of the most iconic places in Qatar to visit during the winter season. This is also the time of year when the Spring Festival is held.
During these months, people can enjoy various types of activities such as carnival rides, art exhibitions, and magic shows.
During this period, people can shop for souvenirs related to the festival. It is also a great opportunity to take in the sights of the city.
The Spring Festival usually takes place during the winter months. This event features various attractions and programs for the whole family.
The various cultural programs and activities featured during this period are designed to provide entertainment for the whole family.
Katara Traditional Dhow Festival
The Katara Traditional Dhow Festival is a highlight of Qatar’s holiday season. This event is held at a village in Katara Village.
The Dhow Festival is a yearly event that celebrates the traditional vessels that have taken sailors and passengers into the Arabian Sea.
The highlight of the festival is the various exhibitions and the firework show. Aside from these, visitors can also enjoy the Dhow cruises.
The various aspects of dhow boat-making, the history of deep-sea diving, the trade and the changing times were all highlighted.
The Katara Dhow Festival is a cultural event that draws thousands of visitors annually from all around the world. It is held in the Bay of Bengal.
Doha Tribeca Film Festival
The Tribeca Film Festival is one of the most prestigious festivals in the world. It brings together filmmakers from all around the world to present their best work.
It’s a partnership between the film industry and education institutions in Qatar. Its goal is to create a long-term film industry that can compete globally.
The festival was created in 2009 as a reflection of this cultural partnership. It aims to promote the importance of film and culture globally.
It has caught up with the other festivals in the region. It is a must-see event for anyone who is into film.
Art Festival of Qatar
One of the largest art festivals in Qatar, which takes place each year, features some of the finest artists in the country.
Qatar is a cultural country that presents a wide variety of artists.
Various events are held during the festival, such as an art exhibition, a live painting symposium, a master class, and a cultural tour.
The objective of the festival is to bring together art experts from various countries and continents to discuss and debate about art.
Art is one of the many expressions that can reach a wide audience. The international community has given birth to contemporary art.
The festival is an eye-opening experience for spectators as they get to interact with fellow artists and share common ideas.
Al-Shahaniya Camel Racing
Qatar is known for its camel racing, which is a part of its tradition. It became a professional sport in 1970.
It started as a form of entertainment for weddings in Qatar. Over time, it became a multi-million-dollar business.
The race track is about an hour away from the city of Al Shahaniya. Before the event, one should visit the area to watch the preparations of the animals.
One can enjoy the view from the grandstand or the horses’ own habitat. There are also various attractions in the area that can be enjoyed by spectators.
The highlight of the event is the interaction with the camels. There are also opportunities for people to watch the races from the comfort of their homes.
During the month of Ramadan, which is usually from June to July, Muslims in various Middle East countries start their day by fasting.
During the month of Ramadan, which is based on the Gregorian calendar, Muslims fast for 11 days. During this period, they are reminded of those who are less blessed.
Fasting during Ramadan is a requirement for Muslims. Certain people, such as the elderly and pregnant women, are exempt from this obligation.
On the first day of the month, Muslims are required to have a pre-dawn meal known as Suhur. This meal is usually eaten following sunset and is usually paired with water or dates.
As a Muslim country, Qatar also observes Islamic holidays depending on local moon observations. As a result, the dates shown above are simply rough estimates. It is recommended that you confirm the official dates with the local administration as the days approach.
What are you most excited about in 2022? Are there any activities that you’d like to pursue in the New Year that were postponed in 2021? Let us know what you think by leaving a message in the section below. We appreciate hearing from you