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Sunday, May 9, 2021

For visitors, Qatar Dhow Festival a blast from the past

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All photos by Reem Saad

Thousands of people gathered at Katara Cultural Village yesterday to enjoy the sixth annual Dhow Festival, which kicked off earlier this week.

The five-day long event offers residents a unique glimpse into old-school Qatari life, and is filled with dhows, pearl-divers and fishermen.

This year, some 125 dhows, mostly hailing from Qatar, are anchored at Katara’s beach. The rest hail from Oman and Bahrain.

2016 Dhow Festival
2016 Dhow Festival

In addition to large dhows, there are also some small pearling and fishing boats. Residents can watch divers in these vessels shuck their daily haul of oysters, looking for pearls.

Climb aboard

Visitors are also welcome to climb into and have a look-around many of the boats on display.

Some belonged to Arab sailors, traders, fisherman and pearl divers from Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

In addition to dhows, the festival include basket weavers, jewelry makers and other craftsmen at work.

2016 Dhow Festival
2016 Dhow Festival

A small old-school supermarket, a traditional coffee shop, a fish market, a bakery and a gold and jewelry souq were also among the many attractions.

Additionally, folklore singers could be heard reciting renditions of old songs as the crowds sang along.

The festival runs until Saturday, Nov. 19, and is free and open to the public. It is open from 9:30am to noon and from 3:30pm to 10pm.

Who’s going? Thoughts?

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