Artisans displaying their handicrafts at the Traditional Village being readied at the Katara as part of the dhow festival. PICTURES: Jayaram
By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
The Fifth Traditional Dhow Festival, which starts tomorrow at Katara Cultural Village under the patronage of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, will feature a host of events which have a bearing on the lives of the region’s people.
“The five-day festival will feature a traditional village, handicraft, and some competitions which are open to all,” Katara general manager Dr Khalid al-Sulaiti said yesterday. Many of the events are being held for the first time as a competition in Qatar.
The competitions include fishing, netting, fishing using cages, rowing, lifting the logo, and race of the traditional dhows. The festival will also feature competitions to select beautiful dhows, rowing, diving, and cultural shows.
A pearl-diving competition during the festival is one of the major highlights. Teams from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman are expected besides several local competitors.
“The response for competitions from outside so far shows the growing acceptance of the show festival elsewhere in the Gulf,” said al-Sulaiti.
Some 110 dhows have already been registered for the festival. Apart from the locally owned dhows, those from Oman and Bahrain will also arrive with competitors for pearl diving.
The festival’s traditional village will exhibit a host of items related to the maritime heritage. Alongside the beach, craftsmen will showcase their traditional professions such as dhow painting, pearl brokering and fish brokering.
Steve Martin, a well-known diver, will deliver a lecture on free diving where he will also talk on the joy and beauty of the life under the sea.
The maritime life that prevailed in the region in the ancient days will be showcased prominently at the village.
Considering the growing interest of the locals in the festival the organisers will operate a market for gold and pearl throughout the festival.
There will be stalls selling the handicrafts designed by the region’s artisans. Apart from contingents from Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, craftsmen of the Qatar Museums will also showcase their creations.
Troupes from Qatar, Oman and Saudi Arabia will present folkloric songs at the specially erected pavilion. The organisers have also planned daily field trips for children of the Arab and international schools with two dhows dedicated for the purpose.
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