Excitement is mounting up in the country and football fever is seething through the population as Qatar is all set to host the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the countdown to the tournament is now in double digits.
Sword dance by the nationals
Enthusiastic football fans thronged the Mall of Qatar and other locations Saturday as the grand finale of the 100 days countdown of the mega event organised by the Supreme Committee for Legacy and Delivery (SC) took place with several activities.
Spread over three days and with a number of activities that took place at Doha Festival City, Place Vendome and the Mall of Qatar, Qatar has set the stage ready for the world’s biggest sporting event that will kick-start from November 20.
An Arabic cultural programme
At the Mall of Qatar, large number of people could be seen participating in the events that catered to all categories of people. Football enthusiasts spared no efforts to be actively involved in the programmes at the malls who included children, youngsters, ladies among others. They were also actively involved in the competition to score goals as the highest scorer will be rewarded with a ticket for the opening ceremony.
An African folk programme
In addition, there were some scintillating cultural programmes that entertained the football fans who had flocked the mall. Some cultural events by Indian, African and Arab expatriates took the fans to ecstasy as they joined the performers to dance along with them. To top it all, the the cultural programmes by the expatriate communities were followed by the traditional Qatari dance, Ardha (Sword Dance).
Football fans also flocked at other malls to join the countdown. Doha Festival City and Place Vendome had set up activities including football games, e-games, performance and special giveaways. The destinations witnessed participation of a large number of football fans who lined up for their turn to take part in the events.
A percussion performance by an Indian group
“The SC is offering a number of games for us to participate. This is a great opportunity for us to witness and participate in a lifetime event. I can’t even believe that I am going to witness and watch in person such a mega event. These activities are a big build-up for the real thing that will take place in November- December,” said Abdul Hashim, an Indian expatriate who was an eager participant at one of the games at the Mall of Qatar.
A dance by a group of expatriates. PICTURES: Thajudheen
Meanwhile, sports bodies, several government and semi government entities as well as other organisations joined the festivities through social media postings, photos or videos. Steadily and surely the nation is gripped by the football fever and everyone is swinging to the tunes the theme song of the tournament.
The SC has also announced that Qatar will host a vast array of cultural and entertainment options during the FIFA World Cup. The country-wide festival will include more than 90 special events set to take place on the sidelines of the tournament. The major events will feature match viewing areas, music festivals, cultural displays and street performances. While the six miles of Corniche stretch from Sheraton Doha to MIA Park will be the epicentre of the activities, there will be many places such as Al Bidda Park, Al Maha Island among several other spots across the country that will host several mega events.