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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Qatar authorities to increase public security ahead of Eid holiday


For illustrative purposes only
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Security patrols will be stepped up around residential areas, shopping malls and other hotspots in Qatar in the lead-up to Eid Al Fitr this week, the Ministry of Interior (MOI) has said.

The increased police presence aims to discourage crimes like robbery, theft and “acts of sabotage,” Brig. Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, director of CID, said in a statement on QNA.

The official did not give any details about which areas would be fortified or what security methods will be deployed. So far, there has been no noticeable increase in arrangements at public places.

Parking closed at Church complex last year
Parking closed at Church complex last year

Last year, security was significantly upped outside Qatar’s church complex and at hotels and shopping malls as Eid approached.

Some venues began using metal detectors, while security guards at other locations checked underneath the cars of visitors before they entered underground parking lots.

Concerns in Kuwait

This year, there has been no talk of a possible security threat in Qatar.

However, the MOI’s announcement follows a move by Kuwaiti authorities to cancel Eid prayers in open areas due to security concerns.

According to Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA, Eid prayers will be held in mosques instead of outdoor prayer grounds “out of keenness for the safety of worshipers.”

Eid prayers in Qatar
Eid prayers in Qatar

Eid is expected to begin either on Tuesday or Wednesday this week, depending on the sighting of the new moon.

Dawn prayers are traditionally held in mosques around the country and many open-air prayer grounds also open up for the occasion to accommodate all the worshippers.

Safety advice

In addition to stepping up security, Qatar’s MOI has issued a number of other safety tips during the holiday period, citing senior ministry officials.

For those traveling overseas by plane, the advice includes:

  • Not carrying any prohibited objects in their luggage such as sharp objects;
  • Not helping strangers with their baggage;
  • Getting to the airport at least three hours before departure; and
  • Using e-gate if possible to save time.

A 2015 sandstorm caused flight delays and cancellations at HIA.
For illustrative purposes only

Meanwhile, undefined “measures” are being put in place at Hamad International Airport for the “safety and convenience of travelers,” Col. Mohammed Rashid Al Mazroui, Director of the Passport Authority, said.

Other common-sense tips included ensuring that passports are up-to-date, are valid for travel and are not damaged and that the requisite visas are procured.

General home safety tips such as locking all windows and doors, switching off gas bottles and unplugging electrical appliances before leaving were also given.

Are you ready to travel? Thoughts?

More on Eid here:

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

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