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Nine things to do in Qatar this weekend (March 4-7)


Doha Dragons
Doha Dragons

From outdoor boating and racing competitions to film screenings to concerts in the park, there are plenty of things to do around town over the next few days.

Here are our picks:

Qatar’s first dragon boat festival

The Doha Dragons are set to entertain audiences this week at Qatar’s first dragon boat festival on Friday, March 6 at the Grand Hyatt Doha Hotel. The event, held from 9am onwards, will begin with an ceremony where team members dot the eyes of the boats’ dragons.

Founded in 2013, the team will be hosting demonstrations and mock races at the event, followed by a day of music and food with the aim of introducing dragon boat racing, an ancient sport practiced for over 2,000 years in southern China in which competitors race in boats the shape of dragons, to a Doha audience. The event is free and open to the public.

West End Park Cinema reopening

After being closed for more than a month for renovations, one of two halls at the West End Park Cinema is reopening tomorrow, March 5, according to the Gulf Times.

West End Park Cinema
West End Park Cinema

The cinema, located in the Industrial Area of Doha, will reopen with a screening of a Malayalam movie, “Fireman,” and a Tamil movie “Kakki Sattai,” at 2:15pm, 4:30pm, 9:16pm, 11:45pm, and 6:45pm, respectively.

The second hall is scheduled to open to the public in a week, the newspaper added.

Aspire kids’ race and art sessions

Aspire Park
Aspire Park

Get active this weekend at Aspire Park, where the final leg of a kids’ racing program will be held on Saturday, March 7.

The event features two races – a 2.5km race for children ages 10 to 15 years old and a 5km race for those aged 13 to 18 years old. Interested participants can register for the races prior to their start time at Burgerry in Aspire Park.

The 2.5km race will begin at 8am, followed by the 5km race at 8:45 am. Children who have participated in at least three prior races will receive prizes on the day of the events.

Aspire will also host the penultimate session of the Kids Art in the Park series on Saturday from 11am to 1pm at a special tent. The event will feature fun, educational and artistic activities for children of all ages, and is free and open to the public.

Qumra film screenings

The Doha Film Institute will host its inaugural Qumra event this weekend, in effort to support local filmmaking through creative master classes with budding regional talent.


The event, which runs from March 6 to 10, will also include several public screenings, divided into two series: “Modern Masters,” showcasing films by the so-called Qumra Masters, and “New Voices in Cinema,” featuring critically acclaimed films funded by DFI. Some 14 films will be screened over the course of the festival between 6:30 to 9pm on most days.

Tickets to screenings cost QR 35 for adults and QR 25 for students and can be bought online here or in person from 2 to 8pm daily at the DFI Katara Drama Theatre Ticket Outlet (Building 16, Katara) and the Qumra Box Office at the Katara Opera House entrance from 2 to 9pm from March 7 to 10.

All movies will be screened at Building 16 in Katara. A special ticket package of QR125/adult and QR100/student is available in person at the two ticket booths, and allows residents a choice of one ticket to one screening each evening of Qumra for a discounted price. For a detailed screening schedule, visit the festival’s website here.

MIA Park concert

Museum of Islamic Art Park Stitched Panorama
MIA park

The Museum of Islamic Art will host Friday Night Live, an inaugural concert series featuring upcoming young local artists and performers on March 6 from 7 to 10pm at the MIA Park.

The event is free and open to the public, and subsequent concerts will be held on March 20 and April 3 and 17.

CHI Al Shaqab

The third edition of CHI Al Shaqab, a prestigious equestrian event in which riders compete in vaulting, jumping, dressage and endurance, continues this weekend at the indoor arena at the Al Shaqab stables.

CHI Al Shaqab 2015
CHI Al Shaqab 2015

“CHI,” which stands for Concours Hippique International, is the official title given by the International Equestrian Federation (IEF) to international competitions with three or more equine disciplines. The Qatar edition is the only certified event in the Middle East and Asia, and is being streamed live online here.

This year’s event includes a new para-equestrian dressage category, and will see 250 riders from 33 countries compete across disciplines for prizes surpassing QR 5.9 million.

Tickets to the event cost QR35 for adults and QR15 for children and can be bought at Virgin Megastores or at the venue. For more information and a schedule of events, visit the event’s website here.

Halal festival

The Katara Cultural Village is set to host its 4th annual Halal Festival this weekend, from 9am to noon and 3 to 10pm from March 4 to 9.

Halal Hal
Halal Hal

The event celebrates livestock and cattle through a series of events including “a most beautiful goat and sheep competition,” a forum for breeders and owners to discuss rearing techniques, auctions, and various sheep and goat barns.

It also features several local handicraft makers and weavers, traditional folk dances and games performed by children, and a Qatari market selling local food, coffee, perfume, olive oil, dates, and spices.

The event is free and open to the public. For a schedule of events, visit the festival’s website here.

Qatar Challenge Cup

Head out of the city for some fast-paced action and watch over a dozen cars and 40 motorbikes compete at the sixth round of the Qatar Challenge Championship to be held this weekend, March 6 and 7, at the Losail International Circuit.

Previous round of Qatar Superbike Championship
Previous round of Qatar Superbike Championship

The event, an entry-level racing championship that allows amateur and rookie racing enthusiasts to compete at a national level, spans eight months, with seven races held intermittently from October to May.

Events this weekend will kick off practice sessions and qualifying rounds from 1:30pm onwards on March 6, and warm-ups followed by races on March 7 from 5pm onwards. The event is free and open to the public. A detailed schedule can be viewed here.

Origami workshop

Get your creative juices flowing and sign up for one of Katara’s periodic Origami Workshops on March 7 from 2 to 7pm at Katara Art Studios in Building 19.

The first of eight workshops spanning the months of March and April, this weekend’s edition will focus on animal origami, and costs QR100 to attend.

Interested participants can register by sending their names and phone numbers to education@katara.net, or by calling 4408 0233 or 4408 1357. For more information and a schedule of events, visit the event’s Facebook page here.


  • Tasmeem Doha: Under the theme of “3ajeeb,” which translates to strange and eccentric, the Virginia Commonwealth University will host their biennial international design and art conference from March 8-12 at the VCU-Q campus in Education City. The conference hopes to foster discussions on playful processes as a creative practice, and to generate new knowledge, technologies and discoveries in the field. The five-day long event will see international musicians, artists, and designers conduct some 25 workshops, presentations, performances, and exhibitions. For more information, a detailed schedule, and registration forms, visit the event’s website here.
  • MIA Park Bazaar: The Museum of Islamic Art Park will hold its weekly bazaar this Saturday, March 7, from noon to 8pm. A homage to the old souqs of yore, the bazaar features some 150 stalls selling clothes, accessories, arts, crafts, décor and the like. The event is free and open to the public and will continue to be held every Saturday through May. For more information, visit the event’s website here.
  • QatART Handmade Market: The next QatArt Handmade Market will be held at Katara Cultural Village on March 6 from 3pm to 10pm outside Building 19. Residents are welcome to shop at the event, which will feature jewelry, accessories, paintings, illustrations, graphic design, craft kits, bags, clothes, home decors and accessories, photography, handcrafted cards and boxes to party supplies and homemade food. For more information, see the market’s Facebook events page here.
  • Desert Cup in Qatar: The Qatar International Ice Hockey League will host the 10th annual Desert Cup, a weekend-long regional ice hockey tournament from March 5-7 at the Villaggio Ice Rink. The event will feature 12 teams from Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, and the Qatar National Ice Hockey team competing for the title. The tournament will begin at 6:30pm on March 5, and continue from 8am onwards on March 6 and 7. The event is free and open to the public, and attendees stand to win prizes at the games. For more information, visit the Qatar Hockey website here.

What are your plans this weekend? Thoughts?


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Abdulrahman Al-Thani
Abdulrahman Al-Thani
6 years ago

“The event celebrates livestock and cattle through a series of events including “a most beautiful goat and sheep competition,” a forum for breeders ”

Are you aware how many jokes my country is going to get because of that statement?

6 years ago

Do you know how many Welshmen are going to be there for that competition?

(im welsh, i can make fun)

6 years ago

I don’t think it is or will be a joke. There are a lot of western nations that celebrates animal pageants.

Germany’s cow competition in Saxony, poultry club national show in Telford – UK. And there are a lot more in the US.

The problem will be that you’ve just opened the floodgate on what really makes people laugh (or frustrated) about Qatar.

6 years ago

Its funny you say that but last year I did visit it and I don’t think they were really beautiful but some of them had very creepy faces with loonngg ears and they were crazy expensive.

6 years ago

Abdulrahman, those who understand the true cultural meaning will simply ignore it for a case of ‘Lost in Translation’. I assume in Arabic it is written much more eloquently. At least these traditions are not being lost.

Alok K Gupta
Alok K Gupta
6 years ago

No Celebration for HOLI festival……. ;( missing my Home

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