More than 80 international kite flyers will turn the blue skies of Aspire Park into a 3-D artistic platform in the third edition of the Aspire International Kite Festival from March 6 to 9, it has been announced.
The participants will showcase creative designs and compete in four award categories: Best Design and Innovation Award, Biggest Kite Award, Longest Kite Award, and Best National Flag Award. 
Teams from China, France, Pakistan and Mexico had won each of these award categories last year and 2019’s edition is expected to attract even more international competitors, Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) has said in a statement.
The latest edition of festival will also feature more than 13 government and private schools competing in their annual schools competition, with hundreds of children also taking part in the festival’s lively activities, workshops and site visits.
“The Aspire International Kite Festival has turned into one of the mega 'sportainment' events hosted annually by Qatar in very little time. It’s a wonderful activity that introduces the local community to a new sport while also unleashing people’s kiting skills and artistic creativity,” the event’s organising committee chairperson, Kholoud al-Hail said.
“The past two editions have been a sweeping success locally and internationally, as demonstrated by the return of numerous international teams and the increasing number of schools participating,” she added. 
Al-Hail noted that the first and second editions garnered the respect and interest of local and international participants, saying: “We were, therefore, keen to develop the third edition further and build on the momentum of past editions. To do this, we will extend this year’s evening sessions with impressive lit kite shows, a unique addition to the 2019 event."
Last year, Oscar Academy, Muaz Bin Jabal Independent School for Boys and Halima Al-Saadeia Independent School for Girls were the winners of the kite flying competitions. 
Alongside the event, Aspire Park visitors flew an average of 1,000 kites a day, while kite sale points sold more than 10,000 kites in four days.
“In 2018, more than 550 boys and girls from Qatar-based schools took part in the kite flying workshops and site visits while 70 students took part in the kite flying competitions. This year we expect a significant increase in the number of participating school students following the positive feedback we received after the last two editions,” al-Hail noted.
The 2018 festival also highlighted AZF’s support for small businesses, with a number of local companies promoting their products and services to festival-goers. 
These included several Qatari small businesses serving a range of food and drink options, with food and beverage sales at the festival amounting to more than QR1mn.
AZF will also organise poster and social media photography competitions this year, to encourage youngsters to express their creative side during the festival. Further details for both of these competitions will be announced on AZF’s social media channels soon.
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