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Friday, January 21, 2022

Eight things to do in Qatar this weekend (Dec. 2-5)


Ajyal Film Festival
Ajyal Film Festival

From the re-opening of the MIA Park Bazaar to award-winning movie screenings at Katara to a huge book fair, falcon demonstration and a fun run, there is lots to do around town over the next few days. Here are the highlights:

Ajyal film festival

Eight upcoming local and expat directors will make their debut at the ongoing Ajyal Youth Film Festival tonight, Dec. 2, when the Made in Qatar selection of films open for a public screening at 7pm.

The event is free and open to the public, and will showcase some of the best short films made in Qatar, including several by students at Northwestern University in Qatar. A second leg of the program will feature the rest of the segment’s nine films at 7pm on Friday.

Both screenings will be held at the Katara Drama Theater (Building 16). To reserve a free ticket, visit the Ajyal Katara Ticket Outlet (Building 12) from 10am – 10pm tonight. Ticket sales will be discontinued 45 minutes prior to the opening of the show.

The full program for the film festival, which closes on Saturday, Dec. 5, can be found online here.

Dragon boat festival

The country’s second Dragon Boat Festival, featuring some 450 aquatic athletes competing on boats typically decorated to resemble a dragon and propelled with paddles by a large crew, will take place this weekend, Dec. 4, at the Grand Hyatt Doha.

Qatar Dragon Boat
Qatar Dragon Boat

Established a little over two years ago, this year’s edition is being organized by the umbrella community group Qatar Dragon Boat.

It is the first time that teams from outside of Qatar will compete. The event will be held from 8am to 5pm and is free and open to the public.

Maker’s market

The annual handmade market at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar will once again open to the public this weekend, Dec. 5, from 11am to 4pm, in conjunction with the university’s Animal Welfare Club.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Purchase some holiday gifts, clothes, jewelry and traditional Qatari garments from various vendors at the market, who will donate proceeds to PAWS Rescue Qatar. A full list of vendors can be found online here.

Entrance is free and open to the public, but visitors are encouraged to bring a bag of animal food as a donation.

MIA park bazaar

After a months-long summer hiatus, the Museum of Islamic Art Park will resume its weekly bazaar this weekend, Dec. 5, from noon to 8pm.

MIA Park bazaar
MIA Park bazaar

A homage to the old souqs of yore, the bazaar features some 150 stalls selling clothes, accessories, arts, crafts, décor and the like.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held each Saturday until Dec. 19, and then again from Jan. 16 in the new year.

For more information, visit the event’s website here.

Falcon and saluki demonstration

As part of its ongoing exhibition the Hunt, the Museum of Islamic Art is hosting a demonstration of falcons and salukis tomorrow, Dec. 3, from 1 to 5pm at the MIA Park.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The event, presented in collaboration with Al Gannas, will feature the animals in action and educate visitors about their use in hunting, their care and their continuing importance in the life of modern Qatar.

Doha International Book Fair

The 26th annual Doha International Book Fair will open to the public tonight for a 10-day run at the Qatar National Convention Center near Education City.

Doha International Book Fair
Doha International Book Fair

During the fair, publishers from more than two dozen countries display and sell tens of thousands of copies of titles in numerous languages.

While most books at the fair are in Arabic, this year promises an increasing number of English language titles.

This year’s fair is being opened by Turkish President Recep Erdogan as Turkey is the “guest of honor” for this edition of the event.

Doha College 5K and 10K Run

Get your sweat on this weekend at the annual 5 and 10k Doha College Run, which will be held from 5:30am onwards on Dec. 5 at the Aspire Zone. The race drew some 1,000 participants last year, and is open to all residents ages 12 years old and above.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Residents can choose to complete one or two laps of the track, and can compete in some eight different categories based on age and gender.

Race kits for registered participants can be collected on Dec. 4 from 7 to 9pm at Aspire. The race costs QR200 per person, and interested residents have until the end of the day to sign up online here.

Show jumping championship

The fourth annual national show jumping championship will be held this weekend, Dec. 5, from 3pm onwards at the Qatar Equestrian Federation’s main arena.

 International Equestrian Sword Festival
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The free event will showcase the best in local equestrian talent, with participants held across three classes. More information on the event can be found here.


  • Remodeling workshop: Katara Cultural Village is hosting a remodeling workshop for children ages nine to 15 years old, during which attendees will make artwork out of found materials. The free session will be held from 5:30-6:30pm from Dec. 6-7. It is being held by artists Fatma Al Naimi and Mona Boujassoum at the Katara Art Studios (Building 16). To register, email your name and number to education@katara.net.
  • Saranggola Festival: The United Filipino Organisation in Qatar and the Kulinarya Doha Qatar group are hosting a kite-making and flying festival this weekend, Dec. 4, at Al Wakrah Family Beach Resort from 7am to 5pm. The annual event is part of the UFOQ’s month-long year end Filipino community fiesta. The festival will run from 8am onwards, and will also feature fun games like sack races, tug-o-war sessions, and numerous other activities.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

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