Qatar’s centuries old traditional market, Souq Waqif, hosted a variety of activities to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, drawing thousands of visitors, mostly families and children, during the holiday season.

The events, held for five days since the start of Eid al-Fitr from 4pm to 10pm, included a series of cultural presentations and magic shows by international performers.

Many children enjoyed other activities offered inside Souq Waqif’s air-conditioned tent, such as the virtual reality (VR) and video gaming area, as well as the kids educational activities section, where young children were able to play with building blocks, draw, and colour images.

Aside from the amusement rides, ball pit, and trampolines, one huge crowd drawer was the mini zoo, which showcased an owl, toucan, baby fox, and a kangaroo, according to one of the festival’s staff.

“The past weekend attracted thousands of visitors to the tent, and they enjoyed the attractions being offered by the Souq Waqif Eid Festival, especially the children who were instantly drawn to the animals,” the staff said.

“Many of the visitors also brought their families to watch the cultural performances and magic shows. The event was very successful. After visiting the tent, people could also enjoy a stroll at the traditional market or have dinner at the many restaurants inside Souq Waqif,” she added.

Aside from Souq Waqif, other traditional landmarks in Qatar, such as Katara – the Cultural Village and Souq Al Wakrah in the southern part of the country, also held their respective celebrations for the entire duration of Eid al-Fitr “with folkloric performances, parades, and fireworks,” according to the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC).

The celebrations were part of the ‘Summer in Qatar’ (SiQ), an initiative that forms part of the QNTC’s “strategy to enrich and diversify the country’s tourism offering, particularly in the area of family and urban entertainment.”

“SiQ is part of QNTC’s focus on developing sustainable, year-round tourism, boosting a traditionally slower season in Qatar,” the council said in an earlier statement.

QNTC’s Mashal Shahbik earlier said, “Thanks to their beautiful architecture, diverse cuisine, and enticing ambiance, Katara and Souq Waqif attract thousands of people who seek to immerse themselves in authentic experiences during religious holidays.

“This Eid, we are delighted to partner with Katara – the Cultural Village and the Private Engineering Office to curate exciting celebrations that will add an authentic flavour to this Eid, which also marks the beginning of our Summer in Qatar season.”

Souq Waqif manager Mohamed al-Salem added: “Souq Waqif is one of the most popular destinations in Qatar for visitors and residents alike.”

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