A variety of kite flying competitions and activities are set to take centre stage at the opening of the 1st International Kite Festival Tuesday at Aspire Park.
Some of the best kite flyers from around the world are taking part in a series of individual and team sports, as well as synchronised kite performances from 9am to 7pm.
The festival, organised by Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF), will also feature night flights from day one to five, apart from public kite flying activities.
Whole-day workshops, which include teaching participants how to build, decorate and fly a kite; kite flying tips and tricks; and kite aerodynamics, will also start Tuesday at a dedicated area.
According to the organisers, the five-day festival is expected to attract a large number of people who will be spending their free time at Aspire Park either to watch or take part in the photography and poster-making competitions.
“The aim of the festival is to put Qatar on the international map, I want people to save the date and come to Doha,” Aspire Katara Hospitality CEO and the Event’s Organising Committee head Kholoud al-Hail said.
This year, more than 50 teams from 13 countries (Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, the US and Vietnam) are taking part in the event.
Al-Hail said international kite associations have approached and invited other teams but are currently engaged with some prior commitments and activities elsewhere.
She hopes to form a Qatar team, comprise of young and talented players, which will represent the country in the 2018 edition of the competition.
Al-Hail said the festival will also see many female kite flyers, including Qataris and young children (for the public kite flying), taking part in a number of the activities at the venue.
“I’m sure people will find a lot of surprises,” she stressed. Organisers have set up screens at Aspire Park for workshop presentations and entertainment.
For the inter-school kite flying competition, al-Hail said each team (open to all the schools from year 1 to 6) must come up with a 3x5mtrs kite that can fly for at least a few minutes.
“They have to be creative in designing the kite,” she added.
While the kites are expected to fly between 40m and 160m (maximum), AZF’s corporate communications manager Hussain al-Qahtani stressed that several safety and security measures are put in place at the venue.
He noted that Aspire Park has a total area of 880,000sqm and the spot chosen to hold the festival is in the middle.
“No houses around it, far away from the streets, and in case kites fall down it is safe,” he explained. The entire area for the festival is surrounded by metallic barriers and the public will not be able to get inside it,” al-Qahtani added.
“Ambulances and security personnel are in place, safety and security is on top of Aspire’s priority in hosting any event and other activities,” he said.
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