Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) organised a press conference on Tuesday to unveil details about the upcoming 2nd Aspire International Kite Festival, due to take place from 6-9 March 2018 in Aspire Park, Doha.
The press conference was attended by Mr. Mohammad Khalifa Al-Suwaidi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of AZF, Mrs. Kholoud Al Hail, Chairperson of the Event’s Organising Committee, Mr. Essa Al Hitmi, General Manager of Al Kass Sports Channel, Mr. Nasser Abdullah Al Hajri, Director of PR and Communications at AZF, Mrs. Fatma Al Nuaimi, Communications Director at the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy along with representatives from the event’s sponsors, including Katara, Ooredoo, Qatar Airways, Salam Stores and Virgin Megastores.
Mr. Nasser Abdullah Al-Hajri, Director of PR and Communications at AZF delivered a welcoming speech to local and international media representatives in attendance, emphasising their vital role in bringing to life this highly anticipated festival. The 2018 edition of the festival is expected to attract thousands of visitors, building on last year’s success with more than 40,000 community members of all ages attending and enjoying the festivities.
Members of the organising committee then displayed a short video showcasing some highlights from the success of last year’s festival, dubbed as one of the biggest and most diverse festivals of its kind in the world. The organisers also put up a behind-the-scenes video displaying AZF’s preparations for this year’s event.
AZF has become a key host for Qatar’s various activities
Speaking during the press conference, Mr. Mohammad Khalifa Al-Suwaidi, CEO of AZF, said: “The Aspire International Kite Festival offers an ideal blend of sports and entertainment and has become a key annual event on AZF’s sporting calendar. We are sure that the 2018 edition will build on last year’s success and engage even more local, regional and international audiences.”
He added: “AZF constantly seeks to provide community members of all ages with rich experiences and unique events that cater to various interests, ranging from sports to arts and culture, with the aim of bringing nations closer and connecting the East with the West. The second edition of the event also demonstrates Qatar’s growing position as a global sports hub and shows how AZF plays an integral role in helping achieve Qatar’s vision and boosting the tourism and sporting sectors in the country.”
More countries participate in this year’s event
This year’s event will witness a growing number of participating countries, with more than 102 participants from 23 countries set to take part in the 2nd Aspire International Kite Festival. This compares to the 40 participants from 13 countries that took part in the festival last year.
Visiting countries participating this year include: Austria, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Spain, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
Qatar creates its first-ever national team
For the first time ever, Qatar has brought together a number of local and expatriate community members who will be representing Qatar at the international competition. To prepare the national team for the competition, members of the organising committee set up a number of workshops, delivered by international renowned kite flyers with extensive experience in the field, in the months leading up to the main event.
Categories of the 2018 International Kite Flying competition
This year’s event will witness professional top kiters compete across three categories: the Largest Kite, the Best Innovative Design and the Best National Flag.
Morning and Evening activities for all
Mrs. Kholoud Al Hail, Chairperson of the Event’s Organising Committee, noted during the press conference that the four days of the 2nd Aspire International Kite Festival will be split into morning and afternoon sessions. The morning sessions will run from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM, and comprise various workshops for students who are taking part in a local kite flying competition, organised on the side-lines of the main international event on a smaller scale for local schools’ teams.
Meanwhile, the afternoon sessions will run from 3:00 PM until 11:00 PM, and comprise various entertainment activities and more than 28 food and beverage outlets.
Valuable prizes allocated for schools’ competition winners
The Festival organiser has designed a dedicated schools programme to introduce children to the sport of kite flying through a friendly inter-school competition, with teams representing 15 local schools vying for a range of cash prizes – 50,000 QAR for first place, 30,000 QAR for second place and 20,000 QAR for third place.
Along with the International Kite Festival, AZF, in collaboration with the Qatar Photographic Society, will launch a photography competition for amateur and professional photographers in Qatar. Entrants can compete by posting their photos on social media under the hashtag #AspireKiteFest for a chance to win valuable prizes and the honour of being crowned the 2018 Aspire International Kite Festival Photography Competition winner.
First place winner of the 2018 Aspire International Kite Festival Photography Competition will win a 20,000 QAR cash prize. Second place winner will win a business class plane ticket to a destination of their choice. Third place winner will receive two economy class plane tickets, whilst fourth and fifth place winners will each receive a professional camera.
Best children poster competition
A poster competition for children, aged between of 5-13, will also seek out the best illustration of a kite in the skies above Aspire Park for a chance to win valuable giveaways from Virgin Megastores.
All images courtesy of Aspire Zone Foundation
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