A large number of residents are thronging the Entertainment City and various Qatar Summer Festival (QSF) venues to spend their Eid al-Fitr holidays in the country this year, it is learnt.
Many families who usually travel abroad for long vacations have chosen to stay in Doha this time, taking their children to several attractions, entertainment shows and festive activities organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
Speaking to Gulf Times, Indian national Bhushan said he decided to cancel his plan to travel with his family to Europe and India this summer and instead visit tourism destinations in the country.
“I have already watched some of the shows at different malls in Doha and am now planning to take my family to Al Zubarah Fort. I haven’t seen this Unesco heritage site since I came to Qatar eight years ago,” he said. “In the evening, we will have dinner at Souq Al Wakrah.”
Bhushan added that he also planned to visit the Museum of Islamic Art and other museums before taking his children back to the City at Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre in the weeks to come.
He said he wanted his family to experience a different and unique summer vacation this time.
Like Bhushan, Filipino expatriate Rico D also dropped the idea of spending the vacation in the US this year, and instead decided to take advantage of the diverse festive offerings in Qatar this summer.
He said his children enjoyed the interactive and virtual games, as well as the BMX and skateboarding activities, at the City, which opened on Sunday.
The Entertainment City forms part of the nationwide QSF 2017, scheduled to run for more than two months in this edition.
Some retailers at participating malls are offering 50% discounts and special promotions. For every QR200 spent at any of the participating outlets in these malls, shoppers can enter the mega raffle draw on September 5, the final day of the festival, for a chance to win cash prizes or a super luxury car.
“We are seeing crowds of people enjoying the summer excitement, which this year has been coupled with the joy of Eid al-Fitr. QSF is off to a great start and we look forward to a colourful summer ahead,” Qatar Tourism Authority’s festivals and events director Mashal Shahbik said in a statement.
She lauded the close collaboration and support of Qatar Tourism Authority’s partners in the retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors in organising the nationwide festivities.
“As Qatar Tourism Authority continues with its efforts to diversify Qatar’s tourism offering and source markets, the collaborative spirit shown by our private and public sector partners gives us confidence that we can continue to grow and maintain a thriving tourism sector,” Shahbik added.
QTA has urged visitors and residents to watch a special event today, the third day of Eid, at Doha Festival City from 4.30pm. It will include a parade throughout the mall, culminating in an African Drummer performance, an Ardha dance, the Ice Age Show and a concert at 9pm by Qatari singer Saoud Jassim.
A performance in progress at the Entertainment City. PICTURE: Thajudheen