National day celebrations to kick off at Darb Al Saai Saturday
December 08 2017 10:15 PM
Children performing the traditional sword dance at Darb Al Saai yesterday PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.
Children performing the traditional sword dance at Darb Al Saai yesterday PICTURE: Shaji Kayamkulam.

The country will officially mark the beginning of the festivities for Qatar National Day 2017 programmes with the raising of the flag at Darb Al Saai in Doha's Al Sadd area at 3pm Saturday.

The main venue for the celebrations will see the participation of several ministries, government entities and other leading organisations in the 10-day programme under the theme 'Promise of Prosperity and Glory', a quote from His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
Darb Al Saai will be open to visitors in two shifts from 8am to 12noon and from 4pm to 10pm. Next Friday the venue will receive visitors from 2pm to 11pm and on the occasion of Qatar National Day on December 18, from 8am to 2pm. December 13 is reserved for women.
Preparations have been completed at Darb Al Saai which was a beehive of activities on Friday. Most organisations have already set up their tents and several people could be seen engaged in a number of progrmmes and last minute preparations at the venue.
Riders on horses and camels were moving across the ground and children and elders could be heard rendering patriotic songs and performing the traditional sword dance. The entire area has been adorned with national flags and the whole ground has been set up in the grand traditions of the country. There are also areas for recreational facilities for children.
The objectives of the festivities are to achieve the Qatar National Day's vision by strengthening loyalty, solidarity, unity and pride in the national identity.
Elsewhere in the country, festivities and celebrations to mark the National Day are in full swing. Important and traditional locations in the have already been adorned with huge national flags with a number of programmes announced. Several activities will take place on the occasion, especially at Katara, Souq Waqif and Doha Corniche among other locations. A lot of different shows and activities are planned at these venues, showcasing the country’s rich culture and varied traditions
Meanwhile, there is a great demand for national day souvenirs as new stalls selling a number of items related to the occasion have come up at a several places including leading malls.
A vendor selling such items at Dar Al Salam Mall said that there is an increased turnout of people buying such articles compared to last year. “Last year also I was selling these articles. But this year, there is more response. We have also leased space in other malls such as Gulf Mall, The Mall, Landmark and some other locations. Right from November last week, we have been getting good response,” said the vendor.
“We are selling all sorts of national souvenirs, in addition to small and big size national flags. We have jackets, mufflers, pendants, earrings, several types of stickers, some types of garments for children and many more items in the national colour. We have also got large stock of all the items,” he added.  

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