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Friday, February 26, 2021

A guide to spending Eid Al Adha in Qatar – 2016 edition

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Katara Eid Al-Fitr fireworks 2015
Katara Eid Al-Fitr fireworks 2015

Updated with new dates for Filipino family festival, official Eid prayer times and new events

The first day of Eid Al Adha (the festival of the sacrifice) falls on Sept. 12 this year.

Muslims traditionally slaughter an animal – usually a sheep, goat or cow during the annual religious holiday to mark the sacrifice to God made by the Prophet Abraham.

This meat is then shared with family and friends and those in need.

The livestock market in Abu Hamour
The livestock market in Abu Hamour

Those working in the government sector in Qatar are being given five working days off for for Eid this year, from Sept. 11 until Sept. 15 inclusive.

Taking into account weekends, it will mean a nine-day holiday for public sector employees, who will be back to work on Sunday, Sept. 18.

Meanwhile Qatar’s private sector usually takes about three working days off, though exact days vary depending on the employer.

Although many travel abroad for Eid, thousands will be staying here and can enjoy a broad range of activities across the country.

Here’s a guide to what’s on offer – and what’s open when – during the holiday.

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If you have an event to add to this list, please shoot us an email at editor@dohanews.co.

Weather

Although the weather has been less humid of late, this sadly won’t be the case over the Eid break.

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

Speaking to Doha News, senior meteorologist for Al Jazeera English Steff Gaulter said that sticky conditions are due to return in time for the holiday.

“By Monday, the humidity will be back. So for Eid, it’s looking hot and humid I’m afraid,” she said.

According to the Qatar Meteorology Department, max temps could reach as high as 43C (109F) by Wednesday, while the minimum will be between 23C (74F) and 28C (82F).

Prayer times

Eid prayers will officially be held at 5:33am, shortly after sunrise.

They will be held at 306 mosques and prayer grounds in various parts of the country, including 35 mosques with spaces for women.

Eid Al-Adha prayers in Doha
Eid Al-Adha prayers in Doha

Each year, Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) advises prayer-goers to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion and to park their cars properly.

Awqaf has also apparently asked imams to keep the sermons short due to the hot weather this year.

MOI hours

From Sunday, Sept. 11 to Thursday, Sept. 15, Ministry of Interior departments such as the General Directorate of Nationality, Borders & Expatriate Affairs, General Directorate of Traffic and Criminal Evidence & Information Department will function from 8am to noon.

Photo for illustrative purposes only
Photo for illustrative purposes only

Traffic Investigation offices will work around the clock.

Supermarkets

Lulu Hypermarkets will open late at 10am on the first day of Eid, and resume normal hours thereafter.

Photo for illustrative purposes only
Photo for illustrative purposes only

Lulu Express and Lulu Center will open at 5pm on Eid and resume normal hours for the rest of the week.

Family Food Center will be closed on the first day of Eid (Sept. 12) and resume normal hours from Tuesday onwards. The hours are Saturday to Thursday, 7:30am to midnight; and Friday from 7:30am to 10:30am, and from 12:30am to 11pm.

Bank hours

Many banks will be closed or operating limited hours during Eid week.

However, some have announced special hours for the holidays. For example, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) said that three of its branches – in The Gate Mall, Dar Al Salam and City Center – will open from the evening of Sept. 13.

QIB debit card
QIB debit card

It will then resume its regular opening hours, which for all three branches are from Saturday to Thursday, 9am to 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm until 9pm; and on Fridays, from 4 pm until 9 pm.

At Doha Bank, meanwhile, all branches will be shut on Sept. 12, and on Sept 13 only its branches in West Bay, Abu Hamour, and in Lulu stores will be open from 5pm to 9pm. For opening times on third and fourth days of Eid, see here.

Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC)

If you fall ill over the holidays, you’ll be reassured to know that all emergency services across HMC’s network of hospitals will continue to operate as usual during Eid.

However, all HMC outpatient clinics will be closed from Sept. 11 to Sept. 13.

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

After this, services vary. Here’s what’s open when:

Hamad General Hospital‘s outpatient clinics will re-open on Sept. 14 and 15 with a limited number of clinics. Patients will be informed of their appointment timings.  The pharmacy will open 7am to 3pm from Sept. 14.

Appointments in the Women’s Hospital High Risk, Feto-Maternal Unit and Newborn Screening Clinics which had been scheduled for 13 to 15 September and 18 September will still be held.  The Women’s Hospital pharmacy will be open 7am to 3pm from Sept 13.

Meanwhile, the office issuing birth certificates at the hospital will be open 8am – 12pm every day except the first day of Eid and weekends. The office issuing death certificates will open on the same days from 8am-11am and 4pm-7pm.

Radiotherapy services at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research will operate as normal.  Hematology and Oncology Clinics are scheduled for mornings only on 14 and 15 September but there will be no evening clinics. The Day Care Unit will be closed on Septe. 11 and 12. and the hospital pharmacy will open 7am to 3pm on Sept. 13-15 inclusive.

The Heart Hospital‘s outpatient and non-invasive procedure clinics will be closed Sept. 11-15 inclusive. The pharmacy will be open 11am to 5pm from Sept. 11 onwards.

All outpatient clinics at Al Wakra Hospital will be closed all week except for rehabilitation clinics. Other clinics will resume with a reduced schedule on Sept. 14 and 15. Patients will be informed of their appointment times.

The pharmacy will open on Sept.14.

Current Al Khor hospital
The Al Khor hospital

Al Khor Hospital‘s outpatient clinics will be closed all week and will re-open on Sept.18, however the pharmacy will open daily 7am to 3pm throughout.

The Cuban Hospital‘s outpatient clinics will be closed all week and will re-open on Sunday Sept. 18.  Pharmacy services will be available from the Emergency Department.

Rumailah Hospital‘s outpatient clinics will all close for the week, except for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, which will have ‘walk in’ clinics on Sept. 14 and 15 and Geriatrics, Maxiofacial, Physical Medicine Rehabilitation and Dentistry which will have daily walk in clinics between 8am and 1pm. The pharmacy will be open from 8am to 1pm daily.

Mental Health Service clinics will open on Sept. 14 and 15 as per scheduled appointments. The pharmacy will also open on Sept. 14 and 15.

The Hamad Customer Service Center (Nesma’ak) will be closed from Sept. 11-13 and will reopen on Sept. 14. Patients requiring any information can call 16060 during these times to inquire about or change their appointments.

Primary health care centers (PHCCs)

PHCCs in Doha (Al Rayyan, Madinat Khalifa, Rawdat Al Khail, Umm Ghuwailina, Abu Bakr Al Siddiq, Omar Bin Khatab, Airport, West Bay, Leabaib and Mesaimeer) will operate throughout the Eid holiday, Hamad Medical Corp. has said.

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

These centers will open from 7am to 2pm and then from 4pm to 10pm daily, apart from Leabaiab and Mesaimeer which will be closed on Friday mornings.

However, some health centers – including Umm Salal, A Daayen, Al Thumama, Leghweriya, Al Karaana, Al Gharafa, al Karana, Al Ghuwairya and Abu Nakhla – will close throughout.

Others, like Al Wakrah, will be open daily between 7am and 11pm during the holidays, and Al Shamal and Al Khor PHCCs will be open from 7am to 2pm. For opening hours of all PHCC clinics around Qatar during the break, see here.

Katara Cultural Village

Once again, Katara will be the venue of four days of Eid celebrations from Sept. 12 until Sept. 16, including a nightly firework display at 10:15pm.

A special Sinbad the Sailor show will be performed three times daily, at 7pm, 8:15pm and 9:30pm.

Photo courtesy of Katara
Photo courtesy of Katara

Katara have designed a special ship-like stage for the show, which organizers said will include “spectacular flying.”

Additionally, “Eideya,” a gift usually given to children during Eid, will be distributed during the first and second shows each evening.

Entrance to all of the shows is free.

Splash Water Park

A “waterpark city” with inflatables, pools, football fields, an entertainment stage, food vendors and Doha’s first-ever zipline is open at Katara’s beach.

Katara Splash Waterpark
Katara Splash Waterpark

Most activities at the Splash Waterpark can be accessed with a one-day pass of QR100 per person (children under the age of three years old are free). An additional QR100 is required to use the zipline, which is for people ages 10 years and older.

The waterpark is usually open from 3pm to midnight daily and will run until Nov. 8. However, during the Eid holiday, it will be open from 1 to 10pm (Sept. 12 – 15), organizers told Doha News.

Mall entertainment

Daily performances at malls are being planned for this year’s festivities.

Under the theme “Capture Joy,” the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has organized a week of shows at several malls around town. These include Hyatt Plaza, City Center, Ezdan, Lagoona, Al Khor and Dar Al Salam malls.

Mall show
Mall show

The live entertainment at these venues includes Tarzan (City Center), Beauty & The Beast (Dar Al Salam), Flying Superkids (Al Khor Mall), Alvin and the Chipmunks (Ezdan Mall), Pirates from the Caribbean (Lagoona Mall) and Sinbad the Sailor (performed in Arabic at Hyatt Plaza).

In addition to stage shows, malls will host indoor parades and popular children’s characters. For dates and timings of each show, see here.

Qatar National Convention Center

The Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) near Education City will host Fafa Saves the Forest from Sept. 11-17.

Fafa Saves The Forest promotional image
Fafa Saves The Forest promotional image

The family show follows the adventures of friends who try to rebuild their forest after a storm.

Tickets cost QR150 to QR490/person and can be bought at Virgin Megastores or online.

Souq Waqif

This year, the souq will host a fun fair during Eid. Located in the souq’s Al Ahmad Square, entry costs QR10, inclusive of one complimentary ride.

Souq Festival 2016
Souq Festival 2016

The fair opens on Sept. 12 and will run from 4pm to 10:30pm for six days.

The souq’s Al Mirqab hotel will also host special concerts from the 12th to the 16th, starting at 9pm every night.

Full listings of artists can be found on the QTA’s events schedule, below:

The Pearl-Qatar

Three days of fun family shows are being planned on The Pearl-Qatar during Eid.

There will be three different shows daily, running from 6pm to 9:45pm in the Porto Arabia area of the island, beginning on Sept. 12th.

Pearl-Qatar Eid Al Adha entertainment schedule
Pearl-Qatar Eid Al Adha entertainment schedule

There are more details on the flier above, and on The Pearl’s events page.

Museum of Islamic Art

The MIA is organizing a family treasure hunt in the museum at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 14.

Teams will compete to gain points, with the three highest scoring in the shortest amount of time winning what the MIA describes as “fantastic prizes.”

To take part, register by emailing rsvptreasurehunt@qm.org.qa, including your name and mobile number in the message.

Each group taking part can have a maximum of five people, including at least one adult and one child over the age of five years old.

You will then receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to pay the fee of QR50 per group, and how to collect your voucher for the event.

Registration will also be open from 10:30am to 11:30am at the museum on the day of the event for those who want to join the treasure hunt on the day itself. For more information, see here.

Treasures of China Exhibition
Treasures of China Exhibition

Additionally, the MIA has just opened an exhibition featuring 5,000 years of Chinese history, including a collection of soldiers from the first emperor of China’s Terracotta Army.

Called Treasures of China, the exhibition consists of 116 pieces, including potteries, bronzes, jades, porcelains, silver and gold, among others.

The MIA will be closed for the first two days of Eid but reopen on Wednesday. Entry to the exhibition is free and it will run until Jan. 7, 2017.

Community cultural events

Filipino food festival Kulinarya Qatar 2016 will be held at The Westin Doha Hotel & Spa from Sept. 12 to 14 13 to 15, from 10am to 10pm daily.

Family Day
Family Day

Filipino restaurants from around the country are expected to showcase their food at the event, which aims to increase awareness of cuisine from the Philippines, as well as provide fun entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior is putting on a variety of community events during the holidays.

There include a free event at Al Wakra Sports Club on Sept. 12th, and two others in Asian Town near the Industrial Area and the Barwa Workers Sports complex in Al Khor on Sept. 12 and 13.

MOI community events for Eid Al Adha
MOI community events for Eid Al Adha

The events will feature performers from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

More details can be found on the MOI’s Facebook page here.

Park fun

From Sept. 12 to Sept. 14, Dahl Al Hamam park near Landmark Mall will host free traditional Qatari dance displays and other cultural events.

Child at Aspire Park
Child at Aspire Park

The performances run from 6:30pm to 11pm.

Meanwhile, Aspire Park will allow visitors to rent row boats between 3pm and 6pm from Sept. 12 onwards, as well as remote-control car racing and biking from 4pm to 9pm daily.

Prices range between QR5 and QR35 for a variety of activities on offer.

Horse riding

Stagecoach and Arabian horse rides are being offered at the Al Samriya Equestrian Academy in Al Shahaniya during Eid.

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

The sessions run from 9am to 6pm, from Sept. 12 to Sept. 18.

Coach rides will cost QR50, and horse rides QR100.

Paragliding

The Qatar Air Sports Committee is organizing paragliding tours of the coast near Sealine from Sept.12 for a week.

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

Tours will take place between 3:30pm and 6:30pm daily (weather permitting) and cost QR250 per person. Those taking part must be 18 years or older.

Desert off-roading

The Qatar Offroaders group is holding an Eid celebration at a camping spot near the Inland Sea on Sept. 14, with the opportunity to swim and BBQ under the stars. More details can be found here.

The group, which teaches off-road driving skills and plans regular trips into the desert, is also holding a recruitment drive for new members on Sept. 16 at 8am near Sealine beach.

Event flier
Event flier

Experienced drivers, complete off-road novices and passengers without a car are all welcome at the event.

If you want to attend, you need to register in advance. Details here.

Sheikh Faisal Museum tours

Finally, the Sheikh Faisal Bin Qasim Al Thani Museum will open its doors for tours from Sept. 12 for a week, from 10am to 6pm.

Sheikh Faisal museum
Sheikh Faisal museum

Children under eight years old are free, while under 18s cost QR10 and adults will be charged QR15 for entry.

What are your plans for Eid? Thoughts?

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