QTA’s festivals and events director Mashal Shahbik (right) led the press preview of The Entertainment City on Thursday. The venue will open on Saturday. PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.
By Joey Aguilar
Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) will beef up safety and security at the Doha Exhibition Centre (DEC) for the opening of the month-long Qatar Summer Festival 2015 starting on Saturday.
At a press preview of The Entertainment City, a star attraction of the festival at DEC , QTA’s festivals and events director Mashal Shahbik said they want to ensure the utmost safety of thousands of visitors who will be coming to the venue.
“We are focusing on safety because of the turbulence in the region,” she stressed. “Safety is important really; if you don’t feel comfortable and safe you wouldn’t come. That is why we are focusing on safety,” she said adding that thousands of people were expected to take part in the month-long (August 1 to 31) celebration at the DEC.
All festival visitors (as well as equipment) and those who will be going in and out of the venue will pass through scanners, according to Shahbik.
She said “safety measures will be at the highest level” at the DEC and security personnel will be deployed all over the place. Only one gate will be open to welcome visitors.
The QTA official added that they were co-ordinating with the General Directorate of Civil Defence for the smooth and safe operation of the festival venue, which will be a major attraction for families.
QTA hopes to exceed last year’s record of 100,000 visitors to The Entertainment City with its region-wide promotion of the festival.
The Qatar Summer Festival, as well as other celebrations during the off-peak season, has been attracting a large number of visitors locally and from neighbouring GCC countries such as Saudi Arabia.
Eid al-Fitr celebrations organised by QTA had also been a huge draw from residents who watched family entertainment shows in major malls in the country.
The staging of various events and festivals is part of QTA’s efforts to attract more tourists and make Qatar the best destination for families in the region.