*Retailers, food and beverage sector witness boom in sales

Eid al-Fitr celebrations, which forms part of the ‘Summer in Qatar’ (SiQ) programme, have benefitted retailers, as well as the food and beverage sector, across various locations with the influx of festival-goers.

From boutique shops and signature stores to restaurants and coffee shops, many business establishments at participating malls get a share of windfall from a large number of shoppers these holidays.

“This Eid is probably one of the busiest as customers, mostly families and children, throng our store looking for new dresses and accessories for the holidays,” an employee of a popular children’s apparel shop at Mall of Qatar (MoQ) told Gulf Times.

Besides the timing of the celebration this year, she noted that the various mall entertainment shows and activities have been attracting many people to visit the malls not only to enjoy the live performances but also to shop and dine.

Another scene from the musical

MoQ is featuring ‘Dora and Ice Age’ sing along events, superheroes costume competitions, and ‘Meet & Greet Justice League’ from 11am to 9.45pm until June 8.

“We are committed to provide our shoppers the best celebrations throughout the year,” MoQ CEO Stuart Elder said yesterday in a statement.

“This Eid Al fitr entertainment programme has proved to be very popular among visitors of all ages and nationalities. A total of 48 stage shows have been scheduled in total with the last performances on Saturday. Join the fun at Mall of Qatar and Eid Mubarak to all!"

It is learnt that other participating malls also recorded high footfall from morning to evening of the first two days of Eid.

This was also the case at Souq Waqif, Souq Al Wakrah, and Katara – the Cultural Village – three popular cultural tourism landmarks in the country – where seats and tables at restaurants and coffee shops are full of customers from early afternoon to midnight.

Several shops selling a variety of traditional items such as Arab dresses, jewellery (pearls in particular), carpets, souvenirs, recorded a substantial increase in sales compared to previous years during the same period.

A scene from Aladdin being performed at Lagoona Mall. 

According to an employee of a jewellery shop, a large portion of the population have stayed in the country waiting for the schools to close for summer and many of them decided to shop in Doha.

“Business is at its peak this time and the SiQ activities, especially the discounts, promotions, and a chance to win in the raffle draws, have been boosting this further,” he noted.

SiQ, organised by the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) and its over 30 partners, was launched on the first day of Eid al-Fitr with the opening of the Summer Entertainment City at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre.

In a statement yesterday, QNTC’s chief marketing officer Rashed al-Qurese said SiQ is part of their wider strategy to diversify Qatar’s tourism offerings and develop sustainable options throughout the year.

“This Eid inaugurates our biggest SiQ programme, and we are delighted to see so many people enjoying the wide range of activities,” he said.

“Festivities in Qatar’s cultural landmarks such as Souq Waqif, Souq Al Wakrah and Katara – the Cultural village have drawn large crowds, thanks to their traditional atmosphere, artistic performances and of course the splendid firework displays we all await every Eid,” al-Qurese added.

“With discounts in hospitality, retail and travel, and exciting entertainment options, there is something for everyone this summer — from fun for families to fun for all.”

The musical Aladdin, being performed at Lagoona Mall for five days from the first day of Eid al-Fitr has been attracting capacity crowds. The shows are at 3.30pm, 6.30pm and 9.30pm.

Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported that on Tuesday, Katara — The Cultural Village Foundation welcomed thousands of visitors from different age groups who chose the cultural district to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

Katara provided them with a number of activities.

This year's festive programme was rich and varied.

The celebrations began with military music performances by the Police Training Institute, the 'The Cake Vendor' play and cartoon characters, who distributed gifts to the children.

The celebrations also included the fireworks that have become a regular part of Katara's festivals.

Katara has dedicated a children's play area, which feature including several games.

The events of the first day ended at 10 pm with a dazzling display of fireworks, QNA added.

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