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Everything you need to know about spending Eid al-Fitr 2012 in Qatar

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UPDATE: If you’re looking for what to do on Eid al-Adha, check out our Guide to Eid al-Adha 2012 in Qatar.

With Ramadan wrapping up, Eid al-Fitr holidays are just around the corner. 

For those of you who are getting some time off and spending it here, here’s a guide to what’s happening over the break, including events and government and hospital hours.

Be sure to check back, as we’ll add more to this post as we get it.

WHEN IS IT?

Sunday, August 19 will be the first day of Eid, Qatar’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has announced. Saturday, August 18 is the last day of Ramadan.

WHERE TO PRAY?

The first day of Eid always begins with an early morning prayer. The prayer will be held at 5:24am on Sunday, Awqaf has announced. 

Prayers will be held in some 300 mosques and open grounds in neighborhoods across Doha, and elsewhere in the country.

WHAT TO DO?

The Qatar Tourism Authority has organized a bonanza of activities over four days to make it an enjoyable holiday.

Starting on either Saturday, August 18 or Sunday, August 19, depending on which is declared the first day of Eid, there will be:

  • Nightly fireworks at Katara Cultural Village, at 8:30pm.
  • Traditional Qatari games, crafts, food, music and other activities at the Heritage Village, from 4pm-11:30pm.
  • Arab singers will perform at the new Al Rayyan Theater at Souq Waqif, from 9pm-midnight.
  • The play “60% Qatari”, starring Abdul Aziz Jassim, will be performed at the National Theater, with an 8pm showtime on the first day, and shows at 6pm and 9pm subsequent days.
  • Aspire Park will be open to the public 24 hours a day, while the Museum of Islamic Art Park will welcome visitors from 10:30am-11pm.

There is also a bevy of performers who will be going around the various malls: Al Khor Mall, Hyatt Plaza, Landmark, Royal Plaza, The Mall and Villaggio (if it manages to open). 

Here’s QTA’s full schedule:

Beyond that, there’s several other bits to look forward to.

WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?

In the run-up to Eid, the Pakistan Women’s Association is organizing a “Chand Raat” bazaar on Thursday night at Al Wakra Stadium, featuring shopping, kids activities and more from 7pm-2am. There is a 5 QAR entry fee.

Film fans will be pleased to hear that the third and final installment of the Batman movies, The Dark Knight Rises, will finally be released in cinemas here on August 19, according to Qatar Cinemas. UPDATE: City Center mall started running DNR on Thursday, Aug. 16. More details here, courtesy of Doha Film Institute.

And those who partake in alcoholic beverages might be interested to know that the QDC shop in Abu Hamour will be reopening on August 21, after keeping its doors shut during Ramadan.

WHAT ARE OFFICIAL HOURS?

During the Eid holiday, government offices will be closed from August 16-27.

For the Ministry of Interior, the Immigration Dept., Criminal Evidences and Information Dept. and MoI Services Centers will be working from 8am-noon during the break.

Traffic investigation and vehicle confiscation offices in the Industrial area will continue to work as normal, while other Traffic Dept. offices will also work from 8am-noon.

Update: The Qatar Central Bank has declared three days of holidays for banks, starting on Sunday, August 19, Qatar News Agency reports. They will reopen on Wednesday, August 22.

Hamad Medical Corporation hospitals will also have special holiday hours, with outpatient department clinics closing until August 26.

Here’s HMC’s full schedule:

Credit: Photo at the Heritage Village by Simone Muscolino

What else is going on? What do you have planned for Eid?

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