Shop Qatar 2020 gets off to a spectacular start
January 07 2020 11:34 PM
HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, HE Akbar al-Baker and other dignitaries at opening ceremony of
HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, HE Akbar al-Baker and other dignitaries at opening ceremony of Shop Qatar 2020. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed

Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) launched Shop Qatar 2020 with a spectacular ceremony featuring a magnificent fashion show and a Chinese lion show at Barahat Msheireb Tuesday evening.
In its fourth edition, Shop Qatar 2020, marks the start of a busy calendar of events, organised and supported by QNTC in its efforts to enrich the country’s tourism offerings. The opening show was a blend of opulence and tradition in a distinctly Qatari manner.

Models showcase creations by Qatari designer Hind al-Rumaihi on the ramp at the opening ceremony of Shop Qatar 2020

Prominent Qatari entrepreneur HE Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim al-Thani, QNTC secretary general and Qatar Airways GCEO HE Akbar al-Baker, other dignitaries including many diplomats, government officials and private sector leaders along with the festival’s host and partner organisations were in attendance at the launch ceremony.
Speaking at the event, al-Baker, said, “This edition of Shop Qatar will combine cultural authenticity with luxury and showcase our world-class retail and entertainment offerings in style. From haute couture designers, to globally renowned artists and entertainers, Shop Qatar brings the world to our country.”
“With almost 30 events and activations, held over three weeks, we will present offerings from France, the home of art and fashion to the best of the Middle East and Asia and then end on a high note with China where a host of immersive celebrations will usher in a Chinese New Year, marking our commitment to one of the largest visitor source markets in the world,” he continued.
Al-Baker noted there has been a huge increase in the number of tourists to Qatar last year. “In 2019, Qatar witnessed a double digit growth in the number of visitors to the country. With 2.1mn visitors, there was 17% increase in the number of visitors to the country compared to the previous year,” pointed out the secretary general.
The opening ceremony of the three-week festival witnessed a fashion show by Qatar’s own Hind al-Rumaihi, followed by the avant garde stylings of French fashion collective Faith Connexion, in a nod to the Qatar-France 2020 Year of Culture. A traditional Chinese lion show, symbolising good fortune, completed the cross-cultural experience at the event.
The first week of Shop Qatar boasts diverse offerings and products across retail, entertainment and culture, including in-mall musical entertainment, and children’s shows Masha & the Bear as well as Shaun the Sheep, while children of all ages can enjoy Disney in Concert with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra. Aspiring makeup artists can learn from the best – at Hanan Alnajadeh’s ticketed masterclass or through her free makeup class with Dior whilst Dalal al-Refai will offer a free makeup workshop.
Running until January 31, the festival provides shopping discounts of up to 70% with cash and car prizes worth up to QR2mn across 12 malls and retail partners as well as a platform for local and regional designers, with fashion shows throughout the festival as well as makeup masterclasses with celebrity artists and influencers. Malls will host a plethora of activities, and entertainment shows for children and adults alike. A host of live music concerts featuring renowned Pakistani and Indian artistes will take audiences to Asia, with a week of Chinese New Year celebrations ending the festival.

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