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Posted On: 16 July 2019 05:09 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 10:18 am

Public holidays in Qatar

Arvin Garcia
Arvin Garcia
Content Writer
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Qatar is a Middle Eastern country that lies along the Northern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. A vibrant place to visit with a diverse culture and rich traditions. Doha is the capital city of Qatar and there are many interesting public celebrations that happen throughout the year. There are officially 9 public holidays set by the government and each day has many celebratory events associated with it. That’s why if you’re planning to come to Doha anytime soon, you might want to know this to make your travel worthwhile. The activities during each holidays might change annually.

National Sport Day- 2nd Tuesday of February (1 Day)

The first ever National Sport Day in Qatar happened in 2012. Since then, annually, the second Tuesday of February marks the beginning of the biggest sports day of the country. Qatar’s sports day is a much-awaited event for the people living in Qatar. The day’s main purpose is to promote sports and to educate the local population on ways to reduce health risks associated with an inactive lifestyle, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes, and to encourage awareness of a healthy lifestyle and the benefits of exercise. The whole community comes together in large outdoor spaces and participates in different sporting events and programs organised by The Sport Day Committee, a board formed by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Sport Day Logo

Here are some of the sporting activities that you can enjoy during National Sport day:

  • Team sports such as football, cricket, volleyball, basketball, etc. take place all over Doha during this time of the year. You can participate in sporting clinics and activities with friends and family.
  • You can go on Fun Runs on this day. Various sporting groups organise runs to promote health and wellness that usually take place in big and open places like Aspire Zone and Al Bidda Park.
  • Digital sporting activities are also a hit on National Sport Day. Shopping malls and large shops have indoor activities to get people into sports like a digital bike simulator that replicates real outdoor bikes, digital aerobics, Zumba and more.
  • Water sports like kayaking, jet skiing, kite surfing, sailing, and others are always encouraged by water clubs across the country.
  • Fun family activities like walking, running, barbecue breakfast, miniature golfing, ten-pin bowling, and tug of war playing are also organised by individuals.

Eid Al-Fitr (3 Days)

Eid Al Fitr is a major Muslim religious celebration that takes place at the end of each Ramadan. It customarily lasts for three full days. Depending on the actual start of Ramadan, the exact day of Eid Al Fitr is determined by the sighting of the new moon after the 29th day in the month of Ramadan. Eid Al Fitr is mostly referred to as a gift from Allah to Muslim devotees for fasting for the whole month of Ramadan.

Eid Ad Filtr

For people visiting Qatar, it is a good time to enjoy the festivities of this occasion because everyone is in high spirits and it’s a public holiday. During this time of the year, Muslims celebrate with their families, friends and relatives, bonding and enjoying their time together in their homes. Children receive money from family members and neighbors in a practice called 'Eidiyyah'. Though some establishments and businesses are closed, all of Qatar is filled with lights, banners, and displays with people and there is a grand fireworks display on all three days, among other festivities to mark this joyous occasion.

Here are some of the greetings you usually give during Eid Al Fitr:

“May Allah flood your life with happiness on this occasion, your heart with love, your soul with spirituality, your mind with wisdom. Wishing you a very Happy Eid.”

“May Allah bring you joy, happiness, peace, and prosperity on this blessed occasion. Wishing you and your family Eid Mubarak."

Eid Al-Adha (4 Days)

Eid Al Adha

Eid Al-Adha or the 'feast of sacrifice' takes place on the tenth day of the 12th month of the Islamic Lunar calendar. It begins 70 days after Eid Al Fitr and usually lasts for four days. Eid Al-Adha retells the story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and how he sacrificed his son Ismail (Ishmael) in the name of Allah (God). In Qatar, locals and expats usually honour this tradition by slaughtering an animal like a cow, goat or a camel and distributing it equally between family, relatives and even the poor. Just like Eid Al Fitr, this occasion is notable for food, prayer and clothing celebrations and is considered a public holiday.

National Day- December 18 (1 Day)

Patriotism at its finest! This is probably the best phrase to describe Qatar’s National day celebrations and the best time to come to Qatar. The festival is in the honor of the father of Qatar, Sheikh Jassem bin Mohammed bin Thani after his victory over the Turks. The holiday is celebrated annually on 18th December.

Qatar Flag

Here are some of the activities during this celebration:

  • National Day parade: Members of the general public, parade on the streets of Doha Corniche. A gallant display of Qatar's nationalism participated by officials from the Armed forces, ISF, Ministry of Interior and Amiri Guards.
  • Fireworks display that includes music and light shows.
  • Katara Cultural Village: Over twenty heritage-themed events are held here yearly.
  • Classic car show: Antique cars formerly owned by government officials are on display.
  • Family entertainment in malls for kids and kids at heart.
  • And, much more!

With all these important public holidays, we hope you'll be guided when you visit Qatar sometime soon. Send us your comments and suggestions below.