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Five things to do in Qatar this weekend (Dec. 3-6)


Swimmers compete last August in the Qatar leg of the FINA World Cup.
Swimmers compete last August in the Qatar leg of the FINA World Cup. Ray Toh

From craft stalls, to international sports tournaments, festive tree lighting to farmers’ markets, there’s no shortage of events on this weekend. Here are some of our top picks:

Swimming championships

The prestigious FINA Swimming Championships, featuring over 900 elite swimmers from 180 countries, will be held in Qatar from Dec. 3 – 7 at the Hamad Aquatic Center.

The event will see multiple world champions, including American Ryan Lochte and twelve-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin, compete for the title. Meets in the freestyle, backstroke, relay, and butterfly race will run from 9:30 am onwards, with finals for the morning’s events held at 6 pm daily.

Tickets to the heats cost between QR 10-20 and QR 20-40 for the finals, and can be bought online here. For a full list of the event’s schedule, click here, or visit the championship website here.

Farmers’ markets

farmer's marketQatar’s popular farmers markets re-open for the winter season from December 4. This year there will be three sites selling local, fresh produce.

The newest is in Al Wakrah, which joins existing markets at Al Mazrouah Yard, near the Umm Salal Stadium and the Al Khor market, which will feature produce from some 42 Qatari agricultural farms.

The markets, which are open from Thursdays to Saturdays from 7am to 5pm, run until mid-May. Read more about them here.

Tree lighting

Ritz tree lightingThe Ritz-Carlton Doha will hold its annual tree lighting event today, Dec 3, from 4-6 pm at the Fountain Courtyard.

Residents and their families will be treated to hot chocolate and cookies, a festive-themed market selling handmade ornaments and cards, and Christmas delicacies like mince pies and gingerbread cookies. There will be carol singing and a special appearance by Santa Claus and two elves. For more information, call 4484-8000 or visit the event’s Facebook page here.

MIA Park Bazaar

 The last MIA Bazaar of 2014 will be held this Saturday, Dec. 6, from noon to 8 pm.

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

The event is free and open to the public. Held at MIA Park on the first Saturday of every month, it will continue into the New Year.

Ajyal Film Festival

Ajyal Film Festival
Ajyal Film Festival

The second annual Ajyal Youth Film Festival runs through Dec. 6 at Katara Cultural Village. More than 90 movies are being screened at the festival, some for free and some requiring the purchase of tickets.

Over the weekend, there will be a family-centered game center and live performances by local and international young people. And on Friday, there will be a Cosplay competition with prizes for the best-dressed fans. Find out more about the festival and where to buy tickets here.


  • chess 2 - Jamie Beverly-FlickrChess tournament: The Qatar Masters Chess Open, featuring international players such as Vladimir Kramnik, Anish Giri and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, will continue this weekend until tomorrow, Dec. 4, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The total prize fund for the event exceeds $110,000, with the winner taking home $25,000. Round eight will be held today at 3 pm followed by Round nine tomorrow at noon and the closing ceremony at 7pm. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the event’s website here or look up the schedule here.
  • Varsity football: The University League – a coalition of 12 local colleges and universities – will host its penultimate match in its fall series this Thursday, Dec. 4, at 6pm. Winners will be recognized across various categories and ranks. Cash prizes, totaling more than QR100,000, will be awarded. The match will be played at Pitch 3 at Qatar Foundation’s Recreation Center in Education City. The event is free and open to the public.
  • Disco Funk Brunch: The Grill at the Grand Hyatt is hosting a disco-themed brunch this Friday, Dec. 5, from 12:30pm onwards at the Grill’s gardens. The meal will be set to tunes from the 70s and 80s spun by guest musical act DJ Hughie. The brunch costs QR295 or QR420 with special beverages. For more information, or to reserve a table, call 7798 2400.

What are your plans this weekend? Thoughts?

Note: This article has been corrected to note that food is not sold at the MIA Park Bazaar.


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6 years ago

QR 420 for brunch!!!!! Shoot me now!

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat


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