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Posted On: 15 August 2013 09:38 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:13 pm

Qatari youths want change in festival focus

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A considerable number of young Qatari men have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Eid festival organised by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), saying that the fare on offer was only fit for children and it overlooked the needs of others. They pointed out that the activities organised by the body ignored the particular interests and preferences of young people and focused more on children and families. “Most of us have to escape to Sealine and Al-Khor coastal areas for fun and adventure during Eid holidays or alternatively spend the Eid holidays chatting with friends at various cafes scattered around the different shopping malls in the country,” they told the local Arabic daily Arrayah. Some of them complained that the Eid festival programme had been repetitive and not innovative enough to attract young people and amuse them, as these were mostly limited to folk dances, fireworks and acrobatics, “lacking the material required for fun and adventure”. Most of the entertainment shows were just repetitions with the same or similar items being staged for years now, they said. “Such events are not suitable for young people. They cannot attract them or sustain their interest. The result is that most of the young people are forced to spend Eid holidays outside the country as the local fare fall short of our expectations,” the report quoted the youths as saying. Contrary to an “exciting programme” promised by the organisers, the festivities were generally traditional and focusing more on children, said Ali Mubarak, hoping that the tourism bosses would follow the experiences of neighbouring countries in future. Fahd Omar, another Qatari youth, said that it was necessary to put new vigour into the activities every year and these should take into consideration the particular needs of each age category. He called for more focus on Gulf and Arab concerts. “Entertainment facilities are absent from the scene in the country. There should be permanent entertainment facilities open all year round besides water parks. We need to enjoy such things here in Qatar instead of having to travel abroad to spend the holidays,” said Hashim al-Yafiai. Abdulla al-Haji pointed out that more Eid activities should be organised in areas outside Doha instead of them being mostly limited to the city as now. The present arrangement, they complained, created traffic congestion and generated a feeling that the other areas were neglected by organisers. Mohamed Fakhro suggested that holding activities at open-air locations was not suitable to Qatar because of the high temperature and humidity at this time of the year. “These festivities should be held within closed air-conditioned facilities and conducted mainly at night,” he felt. Similarly, many young locals said they preferred to spend the holidays at the Sealine beach with their peers, practising their motoring skills and driving on the sand dunes. Many of them have renewed their demand to introduce more services in the area, especially toilets which, according to them, are scarce in the vicinity.