Throngs of families and other visitors trooped to the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) Friday to make the most of the last day of the Summer Entertainment City (SEC), which opened its doors to the public on Eid al-Fitr.
Since day one, the SEC attracted a record number of visitors who enjoyed a wide range of entertainment activities, such as the ‘fan zone’ where football fans enjoyed live screening of the 2018 FIFA World Cup hosted by Russia.
Across a 29,000sqm area inside the DECC, the entertainment city also catered to many children, offering different types of games and activities. Kids of all ages engaged in assorted recreation at the “world’s largest” bouncy castle, mini golf, bungee trampoline, amusement rides, a synthetic ice skating rink, and other skills games, among others.
But many children, as well as adults, also enjoyed playing at the SEC’s virtual reality (VR) and video games section. The venue was also highlighted by regular on-stage and roving shows, as well as cultural performances staged by different embassies and expatriate communities in Doha.
Aside from the 75 activities and games, the SEC was also home to more than 40 food and 132 retail outlets. SEC project director Adil Ahmed earlier said the ‘summer souq’ concept was included this year to offer ladies with shopping activities while their children are playing.
This latest addition to the SEC attracted international exhibitors from Iran, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, China, Indonesia, and South Korea, among other countries, giving the entertainment city “international flavor.”
Ahmed also noted that the inclusion of international exhibitors will benefit the economy and will help promote the Qatar in other markets abroad.
Similarly, local entrepreneurs made brisk business at the SEC, which also served as a launch pad for many up-and-coming, homegrown food-related businesses. According to Ahmed, around 80% of the food and beverage businesses at the SEC are new brands and ideas by Qatari entrepreneurs.
The SEC promises to put Qatar in the global tourism map for being a family favourite among residents in the country as well as other visitors. Ahmed said plans are on the anvil for a similar concept to be organised by QSports in Oman.
Organised by QSports, the SEC is among the major offerings by Qatar Tourism Authority’s (QTA) ‘Qatar Summer Festival 2018’. As the longest and one of the most prominent events by the QTA, the summer festival aims to diversify the country’s tourism products, support local entrepreneurs, and stimulate domestic tourism.