All photos by Chantelle D’mello
Spread over the seafront area and several buildings, the festival honors famous Muslim scholars and inventors, photographers and Qur’anic texts, and offers small local businesses the opportunity to sell their goods.
At capacity, the Ramadan bazaar on the Esplanade hosts some twenty businesses and Instagram stores selling everything from oud to Moroccan tajines to sequined baskets, mirrors, and jewelry that costs between QR30-150.
However, only a handful of the stores could be observed open for business over the weekend, and have largely been devoid of visitors.
Speaking to Doha News, several shopkeepers said that the market had drawn only a small crowd in the five days since its opening.
“We’re officially open until midnight, but sometimes we stay until 1am just to see if someone comes by,” said one of the ladies at a jewelry stall.
Other shopkeepers blamed a lack of advertising and half-empty shops for the dismal turnout.
The Ramadan Festival is also home to some eight different exhibitions spread over Buildings 19 and 22. Most feature large interactive screens with verses from the Qu’ran and other important Islamic texts.
Others highlight leading Muslim inventors through holographic and photographic displays, and focus on the history of certain items like the camera.
All exhibitions are free and open to the public and run from 8:30pm to midnight.
In the coming weeks, the Festival is slated to include an inflatable dome theater at the Katara Amphitheater, treasure hunts, workshops and lectures, puppet shows and other attractions. For more information, see the full schedule here.