8th Katara Traditional Dhow Festival opens
November 20 2018 11:33 PM
(From left) HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada and Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sula
(From left) HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada and Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti tour the various stalls, including the Casa Italia, at 8th Katara Traditional Dhow Festival opening. PICTURE: Jayan Orma.

Cultural performances, a wide range of marine competitions and workshops marked the start of the 8th Katara Traditional Dhow Festival on Tuesday at the Katara beach.

HE Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada, along with diplomats, other dignitaries and senior Katara officials led by general manager, Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti, graced the opening of the event and toured the different stalls set up by participating countries.

“The Dhow Festival is the most distinguished among the traditional and cultural festivals being organised by Katara every year,” Dr al-Sulaiti said in a press statement.

Over the years, he noted that the festival has become internationally popular and respected due to the increasing number of countries which are participating.

“It has become a bridge between peoples and cultures, strengthening Katara’s mission to reach out to the world,” Dr al-Sulaiti stressed.

Apart from Qatar, other countries who are taking part and supporting this year’s five-day festival include Kuwait, Oman, Turkey, India, Greece, Italy, and Zanzibar, and will conclude on Saturday.

Dr al-Sulaiti noted that Katara prepared a well-thought-out programme for the much-anticipated event, featuring a diverse range of activities reflecting culture, heritage and traditions.

The festival’s organising committee head, Ahmed al-Hitmi, described this edition as distinct in terms of the number and variety of events, contests and other offerings.

“It aims to engage the younger generation with the customs and traditions of their fathers and forefathers,” he said.

More than 70 traditional dhows and vessels of different sizes are attracting large number of visitors at the festival while several stalls, including Casa Italia (organised by the Embassy of Italy in Doha in collaboration with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Qatar), offer handicrafts, souvenirs, sea instruments and equipment, as well as several items such as shipbuilding tools, ropes, sail and dredging machine, among others.
The stalls also showcase live demonstrations of pearl extracting from oyster and other sea-related techniques. Games and workshops for children are being held to familiarise them with sea traditions.

Katara visitors also witnessed the start of traditional marine competitions – Al Haddaq, Al Tafrees and Al Shoush – yesterday, which will continue until tomorrow.

Al Haddaq traditional fishing competition has a total of 63 participants while Shoosh features 24 teams, each comprising two members. Tafrees is an individual competition with 12 participants in total.

The festival will also hold more maritime competitions such as kayaking, breika, hoisting the mainsail, sailing and swimming until Thursday to entertain spectators.

Traditional sailing vessels at Katara beach, including the Qatari dhow, Fatih Al Khair, are also expected to attract a large number of visitors, in addition to an exhibition of marine products and paraphernalia.

School children will have the opportunity to visit the festival in the morning while Katara visitors will be treated to traditional marine shows such as Saliya, Kharkhour and Ghazal tomorrow and Friday evenings.

An art competition focusing on sea traditions will be held on the sidelines of the festival. The first prize winner will get QR30,000 while the second and third placers will take home QR20,000 and QR10,000, respectively.

A cultural cafe with interactive discussions on sea traditions will host experts, adding more colour to the event. A one-of-its-kind 20-minute fireworks display, themed on marine traditions, will light up Katara sky during the weekend from 8pm.

Last updated: November 21 2018 10:11 AM

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