Qatar Summer Festival (QSF) will run for more than twice its usual length in the upcoming fourth edition, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) announced today. Held under the theme “Colour Your Summer”, QSF is a nationwide festival that celebrates the country’s family entertainment, retail and hospitality offerings.
In a significant expansion this year’s QSF will stretch beyond the usual month-long period, to run from Eid Al Fitr through to Eid Al Adha. The Festival’s shopping promotions will begin a few days earlier, allowing shoppers to enjoy QSF’s exciting discounts and offers during the last three days of Ramadan, as they shop in preparation for Eid Al Fitr.
Ms. Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festivals and Tourism Events at QTA, commented “The incidence of both Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha during the summer months this year created the perfect opportunity for us to merge the Eid Celebrations in Qatar and Qatar Summer Festival into a continuous, two-month long festival. In addition to having a longer QSF, tourists will also have more to choose from in terms of entertainment, shopping discounts and hotel offers.”
QSF is delivered by members of the private sector, with QTA’s guidance and support. Malls, hotels and destination management companies will provide entertainment events and special packages, while the QSF centerpiece and family-favourite, the Summer Entertainment City, will be delivered by local events management company, QSports.
Speaking at a press conference alongside private sector partners, Shahbik added “We are delighted that the private sector is participating so actively in delivering this Festival, especially after their involvement in making the inaugural Shop Qatar and the 8th Qatar International Food Festival resounding successes earlier this year. Their active participation in delivering QSF will ensure it is more competitive, and more reflective of the market’s needs. Looking ahead, we are excited to leverage the growing popularity of festivals to engage with more private sector partners in tourism events across Qatar, particularly in light of His Excellency the Prime Minister’s directive to review the Qatar National Tourism Sector Strategy in partnership with the private sector.”
Mr. Ahmad Abu Nahia, Head of Public Relations at Qatar Chamber commented: “Qatar Chamber does not hesitate in supporting these festivals and activities, which the tourism sector needs in order to prosper. The Chamber is also keen to enhance its strategic partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority, to support and develop this industry, in addition to directing the Qatari private sector to enhance its investment in the tourism industry. This has led to an increasing number of tourists visiting Qatar, which hosted close to 3 million tourists last year, half of whom were from the Gulf countries,”
“Qatar Summer Festival 2017 is now an important economic activity, aligned with the development strategy. It represents a partnership between the public and private sectors, and it is especially important as it coincides with the off-peak tourist season. It will encourage internal tourism and attracts tourists to Qatar, especially from the neighboring Gulf countries, where people believe that Qatar is a destination for family tourism in the region,” he continued.
He added that the success of such festivals depends greatly on the active participation of the private sector, stressing that the Chamber, as a representative of the private sector, supports all efforts to develop the tourism sector.
Mr. Ghanim Al Mohannadi, Deputy Chairman of QSports said, “We are proud to bring Qatar the world’s largest obstacle course, largest trampoline park, an exceptional food court, live entertainment, and 30 amusement park rides. There will be more than 100 activities for the whole family at Summer Entertainment City from 26 June to 5 September. Taking place at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) in the heart of the city, Summer Entertainment City will have something for everyone, including entertainment, sports, food, and fun on a level never seen in Qatar.”
Family Friendly Entertainment
QSF is reviving its collaboration with local comedy pioneers Doha Comedy Festival, who will reveal details of their showcase event in the coming weeks. Meanwhile Iconic Events will be presenting Hollywood comedian Marlon Wayans as he brings his live stand-up comedy special to Qatar for the first time.
Wayans will take the stage during Eid Al Fitr on Tuesday June 27 at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) alongside host Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon and an opening act by Saad Khan of Stand Up Comedy Qatar. Tickets range from QAR 199 up to QAR 999 and are available at Virgin Megastores throughout the country and online through the store’s website, in addition to PlatinumList and QTickets.com.
The festival months will also feature a music concert on August 18 by Nawal Al Kuwaitiyah and Saudi superstar Mohamad Abdo, courtesy of Rotana Group, the Arab world's largest entertainment company, which joins QSF this year as a key partner.
The fourth Mindsports World Championships will also be hosted at DECC between 19 and 27 August, allowing visitors to the Summer Entertainment City to enjoy the international skills tournament. The event is expected to attract 1,500 mindsports enthusiasts from over 40 different countries. Competitors will be vying for the Mindsport World Championship title in scrabble, chess, GO and e-sports, which will come with their share of a record $200,000 prize.
Special Travel, Accommodation and Retail Offers
Over half of Qatar’s hotel establishments have partnered with QSF to ensure a warm welcome to visitors during the Festival’s 2017 edition, representing a 35% increase from last year. Hotel partners are offering special packages, which include offers to pay for two nights and stay for three in hotels, and pay for five nights and stay for six in hotel apartments.
Select establishments will provide additional incentives covering a variety of options, including free transfers to and from Hamad International Airport, free breakfasts, late check-outs, free meals for children when accompanied by their parents (a maximum of three children per family), free return trips to cultural and retail landmarks.
And, to offer tourists the chance to conveniently travel, stay and shop in Qatar, QTA has partnered with Discover Qatar, Qatar Airways Holidays’ destination management company to offer discounted travel packages. Visitors to Qatar during the festival can also take advantage of a range of accommodation offers at Qatar’s globally-recognised hospitality sector, when booking through WeGo.
In addition, Qatar Airways transit passengers can also take advantage of +Qatar, a unique stopover package designed to give visitors the opportunity to discover Doha with free luxury hotel stays and complimentary transit visas. Launched earlier this month, the campaign continues throughout the summer season.
The Festival is set to kick off with attractive shopping discounts that reach up to 50%. In addition, shoppers who spend QAR 200 at any of the participating retail outlets throughout the festival can enter the QSF mega-raffle draw for a chance to cash prizes and a super luxury car on 5 September.
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