All photos by Chantelle D’mello
One of Qatar’s first outdoor garden exhibitions has drawn thousands of residents since it opened on Thursday with a fantasyland-like showcase of local and international flowers and landscaping displays.
The 2014 Doha International Flowers and Garden Exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art Park closes tonight, and response has so far been “unprecedented,” according to Ahmed Saboni, general manager of Classic Dream Advertising, the event’s main sponsor.
Some 8,000 people showed up on Thursday, and over 17,000 more residents and visitors from across the Gulf were expected yesterday, he told Doha News. The show is free and open to the public.
Among the visitors were the ambassadors of Bahrain, Turkey, Japan, the Netherlands and India.
A range of booths are selling flowers, food and other materials.
Six countries – France, Italy, Sri Lanka, Canada, The Netherlands and Qatar – are represented at the exhibition, with booths showcasing a wide range of products from exotic flowers to gardening machines to patio furniture.
The exhibition also features several stalls by local governmental organizations like the Ministry of Environment, and that of the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning. The Qur’anic Botanic Garden and the Friends of the Environment Center also have booths showcasing Qatar’s diverse plant life.
The booths are spread out in several zones, each catering to a different audience.
Zone 2 features the main stage, a seating area and one of the two food stations at the event. Booths dedicated to landscaping, and that of local events management company, Carnaval, are at Zone 3. Zones 4 and 5 feature booths by local governmental organizations and local flowers and events companies, respectively.
Some of the more extravagant booths include a flower wall and a flower-covered car.
Elsewhere, there is a massive trumpeting faux elephant, and a miniature Qatari flag made out of flowers.
Numerous foodstalls pepper the MIA park, where the event is being held. Popcorn Girl and the Chocolate Factory sell sweet and savory items, while the MIA Park Cafe and Al Khayyam Cafe are selling sandwiches and drinks.
Activities on the main stage include regular performances by local Filipino band Steakystone, sessions on agricultural research, live shows on professional floral arrangements and wood carving by Gardenia, and a puppet show.
Two large play areas for children have been set up in Zone 5, which also features a free mini golf station.
For some, like Tendences Green, a three-year old local landscaping business, the exhibition is a platform to showcase new products.
The store, billed as an interior green designing agency, aims to introduce the concept of vertical green walls and soilless plants to a local market.
Speaking to Doha News, Malek Ben Said, an architect at the firm said:
“The market for these things for things is growing, and exhibitions like these allow us to show new products to people. There a lot of expats and locals that have started to take interest in greenery, and are trying to include it in their homes and offices.”
Their booth features numerous types of moss embedded in a special type of Chilean natural sponge in a holders shaped as words, books, and symbols.
These are then hung vertically on walls or as magnets. Also on offer are custom built moss covers and green sliding walls to cover up modern-day technology.
“The idea is to infuse old and new, outdoors and indoors, organic plants and new age technology,” said Ben Said, sliding open a green wall panel to reveal a TV inside.
Tendences also offers small portable, soilless plant boxes designed to bring greenery to an office space, and mummified moss covers for light fixtures and other amenities.
The event is open until today, Nov. 22, from noon to 10pm at the MIA Park. Residents are not allowed to bring their vehicles inside the museum, and are instead requested to park along the Corniche.
According to MIA on Twitter, parking is also available at the arrivals terminal of the old airport:
— MuseumofIslamicArt (@MIAQatar) November 21, 2014
Do you plan to check out the show? Thoughts?