The 8th Katara Traditional Dhow Festival will feature local, regional and international participants, including Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Turkey, India, Greece, Italy, and Zanzibar, among others, it was announced Wednesday.
To be held from November 20-24, at the Katara’s beach, the five-day festival is also set to hold a wide range of cultural events, sea contests and traditional shows, as well as a combination of fireworks display and laser show, according to Katara.
“This edition stands apart in terms of the number of participants, diversity of the competitions and related activities, the space allocated for the festival and the expected number of visitors,” Katara general manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti said in a statement.
Since its inception, he noted that the annual event has become popular, attracting many participants from a number of friendly countries and organising various traditional marine competitions which highlight Qatar’s rich heritage.
Katara’s beach department director and festival head Ahmed al-Hitmi echoed Dr al-Sulaiti’s statement saying that this edition will draw a large number of visitors due to its diverse attractions and offerings.
“We are very happy to see Italy taking part for the first time in the festival, as well as other countries like India. This year we selected the best dhows and focus in bringing unique shows,” he told reporters Wednesday.
Al-Hitmi said spectators will also have the chance to see spectacular fireworks on Thursday and Friday starting at 8pm, apart from the competitions and traditional performances.
He added that the organising committee expanded the scope of the activities to make them suitable for different categories and age groups.
The festival will see participants competing in eight marine contests: Shoush, Tafreesh, Bareekha, Hadaq, Sabaha, and Mijdaf (also boat races, rowing, pearl diving), among others, in addition to folkloric shows.
Besides showcasing an array of traditional dhows, the festival will also host food outlets for visitors. Tools, equipment and materials used to build dhows, as well as for fishing and pearl diving, will also be showcased.
“We will also have a special announcement on Friday after the show which is related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar,” he stressed.
Al-Hitmi said experts will gather for a series of lively discussions on sea traditions at a “cultural coffee shop” at the event.
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