A bigger and better Aspire International Kite Festival 2018 is all set to welcome thousands of visitors at Aspire Park from March 6 to 9, featuring an array of competitions for professional kite flyers, students and enthusiasts, it was announced.
Last year, the festival concluded with a high note witnessing more than 40,000 people of all ages attending and enjoying five days of fun and excitement, according to Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF).
“The event offers an ideal blend of sports and entertainment and has become a key annual event on AZF’s sporting calendar,” AZF CEO Mohamed Khalifa al-Suwaidi told reporters on Tuesday.
The press conference was attended by the Events Organising Committee chairperson Kholoud al-Hail, Al Kass Sports Channel general manager Essa al-Hitmi, AZF’s public relations and communications director Nasser Abdullah al-Hajri, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy’s communications director Fatma al-Nuaimi, and Qatar’s kite flying team captain Saoud al-Mohannadi. Representatives from the event’s sponsors, including Katara, Ooredoo, Qatar Airways, Salam Stores and Virgin Megastores were also present.
Al-Suwaidi expressed confidence that this year’s edition will build on last year’s success and engage more local, regional and international audiences.
From 40 professional kite flyers from 13 countries last year, the 2018 edition will see more than 102 participants from 23 countries competing in various categories.
Visiting countries taking part this year include Austria, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Spain, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, the UK and the US.
Prizes for the winners have also been doubled this year, according to organisers.
“The second edition also demonstrates Qatar’s growing position as a global sports hub and shows how AZF plays an integral role in helping achieve the National Vision 2030 and boosting the tourism and sporting sectors in the country,” al-Suwaidi said.
The event will witness top professional kite flyers competing across three categories: the Largest Kite, Best Innovative Design and the Best National Flag.
For the first time, Qatar has formed a team of Qatari and expatriate community members who will represent the country at the international competition.
Organising committee members held a series of workshops to prepare and train the national team with internationally renowned kite flyers in the months leading up to the event.
Apart from the professional competition, the festival this year also features photography, poster-making and inter-school kite flying contests. Winners will be awarded cash prizes.
“AZF constantly seeks to provide community members of all ages with rich experiences and unique events that cater to various interests, ranging from sports to arts and culture, with the aim of bringing nations closer and connecting the East with the West,” al-Suwaidi stressed.