Evening fireworks on the Corniche, classic car shows and boat tours are just some of the events that will begin next week in the run-up to Qatar’s National Day (QND) on Dec. 18.
QND marks the historic date in 1878 when Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed Al Thani rallied the tribes of the peninsula into a unified people.
Although Dec. 18 does not signify the establishment of an independent nation – which only happened in 1971 – it is meant to be the point in time when the concept of a Qatari people was created.
Since QND was established by Emiri decree in 2007, the country’s celebrations of the day have only been getting bigger and better.
This year, pre-festivities will kick off with the opening of the Darb Al Saai grounds in Al Sadd on Dec. 8, which has farm animals, games, food, performances and other features.
Also next Monday, firework displays will begin at the Corniche each night through Dec. 18 from 7:30pm to 7:35pm. Additionally, there will be two-minute firework shows at Darb Al Saai starting on Dec. 8.
A full list of event happenings is posted on the official National Day website here.
So far, no theme has been announced for the upcoming holiday, though the importance of following principles such as justice, honesty and the good example of Sheikh Jassim were stressed.
Last year’s celebrations centered around the idea of “One Love” between the majority expat population and Qatar’s native citizens.
But unity proved elusive last year after single men attempted to partake in some festivities like the Corniche parade and events at Darb Al Saai, which were belatedly declared family-only zones.
To be fair, Qatar’s demographics makes inclusiveness a big challenge. With a ratio of men to women of 3:1, organizers have expressed a desire to preserve the comfort of females at certain events.
Though there is no theme yet, during a press conference yesterday, Qatar’s Minister of Youth and Sports and head of the organizing committee for QND celebrations urged everyone here to participate in the holiday.
“The National Day is for all of us. Everyone who lives in Qatar, be they citizens or residents, is represented on the National Day,” Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al Ali was quoted as saying by the Qatar Tribune.
Stayed tuned for our National Day guide, which will be released next week.