Qatar Tourism (QT), together with Qatar Airways, launched on Thursday (January 19) the ‘Feel Winter in Qatar’ campaign, the third edition of the Qatar Balloon Festival and revealed a series of events and festivals.
“This (Feel Winter in Qatar) is a seasonal extension of our central ‘Feel More in Qatar’ brand platform, which seeks to solidify the country’s position as the Middle East’s top destination for families," Qatar Tourism chairman and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker told a press conference.
"Our cool weather, abundant natural beauty, and unrivalled leisure and entertainment offerings make us the perfect choice for an extended holiday, a short getaway, and, of course, a winter break,” he stated.
Joined by QT’s Shared Services Department director Omar al-Jaber and marketing head Sheikha Hessa al-Thani on the stage, al-Baker announced QT’s new ambassador – renowned Qatari rally driver Nasser al-Attiyah – who later joined the panel.
With the conclusion of the ‘greatest FIFA World Cup tournament’, al-Baker said QT and Qatar Airways look forward “to maintaining the same rhythm of excitement for 2023 to continue working towards our 2030 goal”.
He noted that January alone has a packed schedule in store for visitors, including the Qatar Balloon Festival, which will witness more than 50 hot air balloons from 17 different countries soaring across the skies of Doha from morning to evening until January 28.
The 10-day festival will feature mesmerising sunrise balloon launches, the ‘Night Glow’, Tethered Lights, live entertainment and an array of mouth-watering cuisines at various kiosks and food trucks. All hot air balloon rides will launch during sunrise, giving the riders a spectacular view of Doha.
Visitors attending in the evenings will get to experience the fascinating ‘Night Glow’, where all 50 balloons lighting up the night sky with their vibrant designs. The festival also includes a variety of performances from DJs, singers and music bands, dancers, magic shows, violinists and much more.
However, due to windy weather, the balloons could not be launched yesterday. It has been announced that the balloons will be launched when weather allows.
Following the successful programme during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, QT’s ‘Feel Winter in Qatar’ campaign will see a dynamic line-up of live performances from acclaimed local, regional, and international artists through the flagship activation, Qatar Live starting January 26 and lasting through the season.
"From January 26 to 28, the Katara Amphitheatre will come alive with a production of Disney Princess – The Concert. For the first time, the performance will be supported by a live score from our very own Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO),” al-Baker said.
Some of Broadway and the West End’s most celebrated artists will perform this unique tribute to Disney Princesses, alongside a live orchestral performance by QPO. QT and Qatar Airways are bringing an exciting production in partnership with Disney Concerts and Broadway Entertainment Group.
QT and Qatar Airways are bringing a water-sport world cup to Doha. Fuwairit Kite Beach will house the Qatar GKA Freestyle Kite World Cup 2023 from January 31 to February 4.
The professional women’s tennis tournament, Qatar TotalEnergies Open is back for its 21st edition which will take place in the outdoor hard courts of the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex from February 13 to 18.
The Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition will take place from February 20 to 25 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre. This year’s edition will feature luxury watches, necklaces, rings, earrings, diamonds, gold and silverware. It will host 500 brands and 30,000 visitors from more than 175 countries.
The Qatar ExxonMobil Open will take place from February 20 to 25 at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. The first edition was held in 1993, and has since become an event regularly attended by some of the sport's top-ranking players.
Al Shaqab is starting Qatar’s 2023 calendar with breathtaking equestrian events, which started with the ‘Hayaakum at Shaqab’ event and will continue with the Commercial Bank CHI Al Shaqab, presented by Longines 2023. This will take place from February 23 to 25 at the Longines Outdoor Arena and Longines Indoor Arena at Al Shaqab, with Commercial Bank as the title sponsor, Longines the presenting partner and and ExxonMobil the main sponsor.
The 12th edition of Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) is set to take place from March 1 to 11 at the Hotel Park. Previous editions of QIFF featured special culinary experiences at scenic outdoor locations, a host of globally renowned chefs, live cooking shows, cooking competitions, masterclasses and other activities for both families and friends.
Shop Qatar, which celebrates the country's wide range of retail, beauty and entertainment options and unfolds around popular Doha shopping malls, will be held from February 23 to March 18.
Residents and visitors can celebrate the most important time of the year with QT’s Ramadan Bazaar, which features family-friendly activities around Qatar. Tourists will have the chance to learn about the wonderful traditions and festivities this period brings to the country and its people.
“Lastly, this year in October, we will be inviting car lovers from across the world to witness the latest innovations in the automotive industry as the Geneva International Motor Show comes to Qatar for the very first time in its history," al-Baker said.
"As you can see, we have an exciting and varied calendar of events, for both residents and tourists, that makes Qatar one of the best places to live and visit," he added.
Sheikha Hessa al-Thani, HE Akbar al-baker, Nasser al-Attiyah, and Omar al-Jaber at the press conference. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam