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Friday, February 26, 2021

Wrestling, stilt-walkers and more draw crowds to Qatar’s Souq Waqif

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All photos by Chantelle D’mello

Thousands of Qatar residents thronged Souq Waqif last night during the opening of a weeklong festival that includes a wrestling competition, musical performances and circus-like antics.

Crowds of passersby gathered at a specially constructed arena at the Souq’s Al Ahmed Square, where renowned World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) performers and superstars threw down.

"Omen"
“Omen”

Inside the arena, six-time wrestling world champion Booker T introduced several of the night’s competitors, including current Qatar Pro Wrestling champion Chris Rabber, and demonic-looking Irish wrestler Luther Ward, also known as “Omen.”

Wrestlers took part in numerous scripted and choreographed matches, mimicking the style of the widely famous and televised WWE bouts, while the audience cheered them on.

Last night’s opener saw tag teams and one-on-one matches in a two-hour show complete with drama, lights, smoke and action. Subsequent shows will be held daily from 6:30 to 8:30pm until April 14, and will feature different performances each day.

Tickets to the event can be bought online or at the venue, and cost QR50, QR100 and QR300 per day.

Other entertainment

Adjacent to the arena, a traditional performance featuring young Qatari men singing Arabic songs, dancing and playing traditional instruments took place. Last night, residents quickly filled the sparse ground-level seats and the raised seating area behind it to take pictures, participate and enjoy the show.

Souq Waqif festival
Souq Waqif festival

Elsewhere in the souq, several street performers took to the alley on stilts and in elaborate costumes. Breakdancers moved to a marching jazz band of clown performers in a makeshift performance space in front of the Village, while other gymnasts and entertainers interacted with the crowd.

The performances are expected to continue through April 17 from 4pm to 9pm.

Meanwhile, at Al Rayyan theater, childhood favorites Scooby Doo and the gang put on an Egyptian-themed live show. Tickets to the shows, which run twice on April 11, 12, and 16 at 3:30 and 6:30pm, and once from April 13 to 15 at 6:30pm, cost QR50, QR100, QR150, and QR300, and can be bought online here.

Notably, when Doha News visited last night, parking seemed to be scarce.

Souq Waqif parking
Souq Waqif parking

Both of the Souq’s original above-ground parking spots have now been closed due to renovations and expansion.

Residents can instead park underground in the new Souq lot, or at the nearby Shioukh Mosque, and walk through the tunnel to get to the market.

There is also a paid parking lot next to Fanar, and another paid underground space a few buildings behind.

Have you checked out the festival yet? Thoughts?

15 COMMENTS

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Reem
Reem
5 years ago

When I think of the Souk, I have images of dying,diseased and abused animals — primates, reptiles, dogs and cats. Sorry, but I cannot bring myself to ever visit that place again.

LOl
LOl
5 years ago
Reply to  Reem

More parking space for us !

Reem
Reem
5 years ago
Reply to  LOl

No worries, I never take a parking space and do not drive.

I was just saying how I feel about the realities of that place. Festivals cannot clean away what goes on with the disease and abuse of animals there. Obviously authorities do not care. Probably some relative runs the biz.

Sorry about your cynicism and lack of humanity for the living.

LOl
LOl
5 years ago
Reply to  Reem

Thanks for being prejudgmental.

Reem
Reem
5 years ago
Reply to  LOl

You were the one who ridiculed concern about animal abuse at the Souk and was more happy only about the prospect of more parking instead of concern about what goes on there — dead and dying puppies thrown out, stuff like that.

Mocking others is intended to hurt, dismiss and damage and is more than judgmental. I did not judge anything, but only expressed pity in what you expressed — a concern for your parking over abuse of living creatures at the Souk.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  LOl

Deleting the rest of this thread as it’s not relevant to the article and devolving.

KK
KK
5 years ago
Reply to  Reem

I guess someone must like those chicks painted in all colors of the rainbow.

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago

I hope the pamphlet brigade was there to rebuke those wrestlers and their revealing outfits. Way too much visible flesh……

ThePattern
ThePattern
5 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

any suggestions on what should they wear appropriately?

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago
Reply to  ThePattern

Well, let’s come down on both genders equally for starters. The rule of thumb I’ve heard and abide by is covering from shoulders to knees while in public. I guess that’s my beef. Can you imagine a show being allowed in the souq that featured women in the equivalent of underwear? I’m not a fan of fake wrestling, but I don’t mind if people want to spend their money and/or time and watch it. This show just highlights the obvious double standard that is all too common in overly-pious Qatar when male wrestlers can get away with wearing those costumes.

Saeed Ahmad Khan
Saeed Ahmad Khan
5 years ago

Are these wwe stars for real. I mean are those fights scripted or for real.

Joson John
Joson John
5 years ago

They are all scripted….

Ali
Ali
5 years ago
Reply to  Joson John

It is scripted but the bumps they take are real.

Deepak Babu
Deepak Babu
5 years ago

Just as real as the Easter Bunny.

Green Hornet
Green Hornet
5 years ago

Topless men! Bah!

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