Qatar Summer Festival (QSF) 2016 kicked off in a spectacular fashion last night, with a colourful opening of the festival’s biggest Entertainment City at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre (DECC) and was capped off with a breathtaking fireworks display on the Corniche.
Some street performers donned striking costumes while others, carrying giant inflatable mascots, roamed around the venue as dabka performers danced along the beat of the drums in unison, entertaining hundreds of children and families.
The huge turnout came as a pleasant surprise to top officials of the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) at the launch.
“Many people came to DECC looking forward to the opening of Entertainment City. We hope that they will enjoy and not go out disappointed,” said Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festival and Tourism Events, QTA.
Hundreds of multi-coloured balloons, along with silver confetti, were released marking the launch of the month-long festival. The festival is aimed towards driving domestic and inboud tourism and cementing Qatar’s position as a top family destination.
With a bigger and more accessible venue, QTA is hoping there will be an increase in the number of visitors to the amusement centre.
“Last year the Entertainment City witnessed 200,000 visitors. We hope the number will increase this year,” said Shahbik.
Located at DECC’s 29,000 sqm exhibition halls, the Entertainment City is divided into 11 zones offering inflatable play areas, skill-based and video games, and family and thrill rides, among others.
Among the new games are virtual reality games, karaoke, boxing, iPad gaming, remote-controlled car racing, Go-Kart, Candy Crush, Angry Birds and inflatable water games.
Daily multi-cultural performances will entertain visitors who can savour a mélange of international flavours at a food court featuring 26 stalls.
Other features of the festival are hotel and shopping promtions to boost Qatar’s hospitality and retail sectors during the off-peak season. 56 hotels have lined up special packages, including ‘pay for two nights and stay for three,’ and ‘pay for five nights and stay for six,’ in hotel apartments.
A number of Doha's shopping malls and complexes are also taking part in the festival and will be offering shopping promotions and weekly draws, which will give away over QR2 million worth of prizes, including four Jaguar cars and QR800,000 in cash prizes. Some of the participating malls and establishments include: Lagoona Mall, Landmark Mall, Gulf Mall, Ezdan Mall, Al Khor Mall, Hyatt Plaza, City Centre Doha, Dar Al Salam and The Pearl-Qatar.
Another highlight of the festival is the ‘Street Madness’ which is to be held on August 12 at Gharrafa Sports Club. There will be short football matches led by social media influencers and performances by artists and comedians.
Eighteen of the best Arab stand-up comedians are set to tickle the funny bone with a three-day Doha Comedy Festival from August 18 to 20 at the Qatar National Convention Center. Tickets will cost between QR145 and QR1,000 and will be available at Virgin Megastores.
The festival concludes on August 31, with a fireworks display on the Corniche. For more information about timings and entry fees, please visit the link at the bottom of this article.
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