housands of faithful yesterday gathered at nearly 300 mosques and prayer grounds across the country for the early morning prayers at 5.42am, marking the start of the four-day Eid Al Adha celebrations.
The historic Eid Prayer Ground located at Msheireb Downtown Doha, which opened to the public after many years, saw hundreds of people including members of various expatriate communities.
The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani received yesterday morning at Al Wajba Palace Eid Al Adha well-wishers including their Excellencies the Sheikhs, the Ministers, Advisory Council members, heads of diplomatic missions, officers of the Armed Forces and police, heads of national institutions and citizens.
Festive mood could be felt all over Qatar as people thronged popular venues to spend the first day of Eid with relatives and friends sharing with them the spirit of the joyous occasion.
The malls pulsated with life as performers presented colourful shows as part of the ‘Eid Celebrations in Qatar’ programme organised by Qatar Tourism Authority. City Centre Doha, Lagoona, Hyatt Plaza, Landmark, The Mall and Al Khor Mall offered shows and activities many of which have been brought to Qatar for the first time.
Among the shows and activities that enthralled audiences in the malls included Dora’s Ballet Adventures, face painting, freestyle football, traditional Arda dance, Fritters show, Shaun the Sheep, Tannoura dance, Oriental Parade, Adventure Time, Steve Kaos, Bubblez and Balloonz show, Dan Druff Circus show, Mr. Potato Head, speed painting show and Sweets for Kids show.
Hundreds of people also headed to Katara to witness the Big Bang show capped by a 15-minute spectacular fireworks display, something that was missed by many last Eid Al Fitr when Katara cancelled all its events in solidarity with the Palestinians suffering in Gaza.
More people are expected to throng to the Cultural Village starting today as ‘Dreams On Ice’ circus and acrobatic show opens. In addition the educational and entertaining ‘Angry Birds’ exhibition will soon open adjacent to the circus show venue.
The West End Park and Al Khor Sports Club saw hundreds in attendance for ‘Eid Al Adha Fest 2014’, an entertainment and cultural event for expatriates organised by the Ministry of Interior.
Games and cultural performances were held for single workers and families of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese and Indonesian communities.
Restaurants and cafés in Souq Waqif were also filled with customers yesterday and more visitors are expected in the most popular souq in Doha starting today as a number of shows begin, including Cinderella, circus and games starting at 5pm. Sout Al Rayyan’s music festival will also start its six-day nightly concerts starting at 9pm tonight, featuring some of the finest singers in the region.
The Corniche and parks were also filled with many visitors who enjoyed meeting friends on the first day of a long break from work.
More than usual police were seen deployed at places frequented by people while traffic police personnel were also stationed at major intersections in the city to ensure smooth flow of traffic.
Meanwhile, many passengers complained of taxi drivers cashing in on the Eid holidays and demanding more than the regular fare.
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