Updated to reflect that the Gwen Stefani concert will proceed as scheduled.
With reporting from Chantelle D’mello
Out of respect for the death of Saudi Arabia’s patriarch, several activities and events have been canceled in Qatar this weekend.
This was done after officials declared a three-day mourning period here over King Abdullah’s passing. However, questions have arisen about what this period entails.
So far, many local entertainment-related events have been postponed or canceled. That includes:
- The cancellation of tonight’s UB40 concert at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters’ golf tournament. Organizers said that ticket-holders will be entitled to a partial refund. The order of play will continue tomorrow as scheduled, and bars in the refreshment areas will remain open until further notice, a spokeswoman confirmed to Doha News.
- The postponement of Saturday morning’s 5km Color Run.
- The scaling back of the Souq Waqif Spring Festival, which was supposed to kick off today. Organizers there told Doha News that they are canceling the festival’s musical performances out of respect for the people of Saudi Arabia and the death of their king. After the three-day mourning period, the head of the souq said activities for children and families, including Shaun the Sheep performances at Al Rayyan Theater and the dolphin show, will resume. However, Doha News observed tonight that the children’s activities appeared to be in full swing, with performers being moved from the more public area to the kids’ section.
The postponement of Saturday night’s Gwen Stefani concert at the Men’s Handball World Championship, according to a sports journalist for Doha Stadium Plus.Organizers are now saying the concert will go ahead as planned and that matches would continue to take place as scheduled.
Questions also arose about the availability of alcohol at hotels and bars, but many who spoke to Doha News tonight said they remain operating as normal.
Meanwhile, some have been expressing confusion about whether Sunday will be a work and school day:
@dohanews does this mean everyone has a day off?
— ??? salmon ??? (@kosher_salmon) January 23, 2015
Barring any official announcement, Sunday will likely not be a day off for most people. In the UAE for example, the mourning period is being considered as a time when the national flag flies at half mast.
Meanwhile, several of Qatar’s local radio stations – including QBS, QF Radio and Oryx FM – have been playing Quran today instead of their regularly scheduled programming.
QF Radio has also canceled all programing through Sunday, an employee there told Doha News.