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Monday, March 8, 2021

For visitors, Halal Qatar Festival is a blast from the past

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All photos by Baba Tamim

Those looking for a taste of Qatari culture and heritage may want to take a stroll around Katara Cultural Village this weekend.

There, the 10-day-long annual Halal Qatar Festival has been attracting crowds with events such sheep beauty contests, livestock auctions and traditional ardha dancing with swords.

According to organizers, participants from across the Gulf are in town to vie for awards ranging from QR5,000 to a whopping QR100,000.

During the annual event, which runs through Feb. 28, there are a range of activities that aim to highlight Qatar’s former agrarian past.

The offerings pertain to breeding and halal (which can mean livestock in Qatari Arabic dialect) processes.

To appeal to a wider audience of shoppers, there’s also a market of products for sale, including spices, perfumes, abayas, honey, Arabic coffee and supplies, swords, dates, dairy products, sweets and olive oil.

Halal Qatar festival
Halal Qatar festival

One popular feature among children appeared to be horse and camel rides.

There is also a collection of oryx, ostriches, falcons and other species of birds and animals on loan from the Al Kubaisi Reserve in Al Shamal.

The festival runs until Feb. 28 at Katara from 9am to noon and 3pm to 10pm. More information can be found online here.

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