Katara’s fifth Traditional Dhow Festival has seen hundreds of visitors throng dhows on display and see craftsmen working on aspects of dhow-making at Katara Beach.
The craftsmen around the venue are showcasing exceptional skills in manufacturing traditional crafts related to sea trade such as Qaraqeer, an oval-shaped cage for trapping fish made from palm trees.
One of the crowd drawers is two blacksmiths forging iron to make nails used in building sailboats and traditional dhows at the booth of Ibn Imran & Sons from Bahrain.
Another major booth is Amara, supervised by ship Captain Hassan Issa Al Kaabi. It sells all the needs of fishermen and sailors such as tools and hardware for maintaining and building ships and tools used by pearl divers.
Meanwhile, competitions and games for children which were held as part of the festival attracted many participants.
The games resembled the old days of Qatar and Gulf states which are known to the older generations.
Mubarak Rashed Al Hajri, a member of the festival organising committee, said the competitions are for children in the 6-12 age group to keep the authentic Gulf customs and traditions alive within the minds of the younger generation.
World-renowned free diver Martin Stepanek delivered a lecture on Wednesday.
The record holder in the sport of free diving spoke to a large crowd gathered along the beach about his exploits and the rudiments of free diving.
Stepanek admired the history of the sport and its origins in Qatar.
“Qatar is a unique place for free diving as the practice has existed here since the 1700s. The pearls, which were the prize for diving during this formative period, have been around for centuries,” he said.
He provided attendees with an overview of the sport, the importance of the ocean and how to safely approach free diving.
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