Eight days of “fashion-forward” activities, entertainment, and cultural exchange kicked off Saturday with the launch of Shop Qatar’s Design District at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The opening ceremony was attended by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and Qatar National Tourism Council’s member of the board Akbar al-Baker, Hassan al-Ibrahim from QNTC, Abu Issa Holdings chairman and CEO Ashraf Abu Issa, and Indian ambassador P Kumaran.
The shopping festival’s new and unique concept, which will run until January 12, features an eclectic mix of fashion shows, workshops, masterclasses, design dialogue, and “a colourful showcase of local and international pop-up shops and cafes, among other offerings."
“Whether you are a fashion enthusiast or you are simply seeking a fun time out, you are invited to experience and enjoy the truly unique line-up of indoor and outdoor activities this District offers,” QNTC official Mashal Shahbik said in a statement.

A live art installation welcomes visitors at the opening of Shop Qatar's Design District

Various collections from local and international designers showcased at the Design District.

The District features a unique fashion runway at DECC.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and QNTC member of the board Akbar al-Baker with Indian ambassador P Kumaran at the opening of Design District

The District, which opens daily from 3pm to 10pm, offers design enthusiasts “a wide variety of artistic expressions” and the latest trends in the industry either at daily fashion shows or at Fashion Speakers’ Corner sessions, moderated by Qatari artist Fahd al-Obaidli.
A unique “360-degree immersion experience” awaits visitors at al-Obaidly’s ‘Fashion Meets Art’, a special interactive art installation which combines art and fashion. 
Online-famous make-up artists will also hold 12 beauty masterclasses and workshops, apart from over 60 pop-up shops showcasing varied offerings such as professional tailoring, customisable casual wear, handcrafted clothing, home accessories, and makeup. 
“In each new edition of the festivals we organise, in collaboration with public and private sector partners, we are always keen to provide exciting platforms for local entrepreneurs and home-grown talent to meet, learn from and engage with their industry peers from around the world,” Shahbik said.
Indian culture is also expected to steal the spotlight at the District with the participation of five renowned Indian fashion designers, which forms part of the 2019 Qatar-India Year of Culture.
From saris to couture to pret-a-porter beachwear, the latest designs of Raghavendra Rathore, Raw Mango, Tarun Tahiliani, Namrata Joshipura and Wendell Rodricks will take the centre stage during the fashion shows. Visitors can buy their collections at their pop-up stores as well.
“India is a key visitor source market for the country. Following on Bollywood Week's great success in the 2018 edition of Shop Qatar, we are excited to have Indian culture so prominently represented - whether it is the fashion designers participating or the food outlets - at the Design District providing some of the first platforms for cultural exchange for this special year,” Noor al-Thani from QNTC said.
The District’s ‘Art Avenue’ gives visitors the chance to meet prominent local artists such as Yasser al-Mulla, popular for his sketch drawings; Muna AlBadr, known for her canvas paintings; and Mariam al-Mulla and Radi al-Hajri, who will share an open space for poetry and art improv expressions.
Meanwhile, the Parisian-inspired étoile (star) layout has its six Avenues (Art – Tailors – Fashion – Design– Lifestyle – Beauty) come to meet at the centre stage which doubles as a fashion show catwalk.

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