Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Qatar treated many residents and foreign visitors with fun-filled entertainment shows and activities at various locations for the last five days.
Some characters of Iftah Ya Simsim (the Arabic version of Sesame Street) led by Grover and Bert enthralled the audience with their final performance at Hyatt Plaza Shopping Mall yesterday.
The mall’s food court was packed with hundreds of parents and children who watched the show from 5pm to 10pm.
Hyatt general manager Feroz Moideen said the events and activities organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) annually create a festive atmosphere that makes Qatar a “wonderful leisure destination.”
At City Center Doha, a large number of children had the opportunity to interact and take pictures with the cast of Alice in Wonderland on stage yesterday.
Other ‘exclusive family entertainment shows’ such as Sleeping Beauty (Dar Al Salam Mall), The Little Mermaid (Ezdan Mall), and Snow White (Lagoona Mall) also captured the hearts of Eid visitors with their remarkable performances.
For five days, many families and Doha residents took time watch the Kids Circus Show at Al Khor Mall and visit the Al Khor Park.
The Eid festivity at Katara – the Cultural Village concluded last Saturday with a colourful fireworks display, as well as the last staging of the musical show “A Child’s Dream.”
Other Eid activities included free tours of the Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum; horse riding sessions at Al Samariyah Equestrian Centre; aerial paragliding tours at Sealine Beach by the Qatar Air Sports Committee; and a wide variety of entertainment offerings at some venues that include Aqua Park, Al Dosari Zoo and Game Reserve, the Pearl-Qatar and Aspire Zone Foundation.
Many residents who spent their Eid holidays in Qatar also had the chance to watch two QTA-sponsored theatrical plays: the ‘Tar Al Wazir,’ an Arabic comedy about social issues in Qatar and the GCC, at the Qatar National Theatre; and the children’s play ‘The Hunter and the Pirates’ played at Souq Waqif ‘s Al Rayyan Theatre.
“Festivals and events are one of several avenues through which QTA works on diversifying Qatar’s tourism offering. Other avenues include cruise tourism and business events tourism,” said QTA’s chief Promotions and Marketing officer Rashed al-Qurese in a statement.
QTA-organised events such as the Eid celebration and the annual Qatar Summer Festival (QSF) have been attracting an increasing number of visitors from neighbouring GCC countries each year especially from Saudi Arabia.
The celebrations this year dubbed as “Capture Joy” had seen huge crowds at popular venues across the country, including malls, sports arenas and museums.
Entertainment shows, cultural events, and unique activities form part of QTA’s strategy in promoting Qatar as a family destination.
In organising these events, al-Qurese said they want to further boost the hospitality and retail sectors, drive domestic tourism, and attract regional visitors especially during the off peak season.
“Estimates of attendance show a highly successful festival and we look forward to building on this success for the upcoming QSF, which is just three weeks away,” QTA’s Festivals and Tourism Events director Mashal Shahbik said.
She also thanked their partners such as the malls for helping QTA enrich indoor entertainment offerings.
Shahbik also lauded the efforts of the Qatar National Theatre, Souq Waqif, and Katara for hosting and organising fantastic performances and drawing huge crowds.
The QTA official noted that the festivities will continue from August 1 to 31 for the QSF 2016 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC).
She also expects local and foreign visitors to throng the Entertainment City (to be set up at DECC), see new attractions, and watch a number of cultural events and shows.
The Entertainment City will feature a range of new and interactive gaming and entertainment options for children and adults.
Hotels will be offering special room rates while renowned retail brands and shops at major malls are expected launch various sales promotions.
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