March 17th 2011: The eagerly-anticipated Qatar Marine Festival (QMF) opens to the general public today (March 17th) but last night, VIPs and local dignitaries got the first look at the exclusive events and performances that will make up the second edition of the annual event.
Ministers, diplomats and local dignitaries descended on the seafront at Doha’s Cultural Village Foundation (KATARA) for the invitation-only opening ceremony of the Festival.
Under the aegis of the Qatar Marine Festival Organising Committee (QMFOC), the Festival is an annual educational, cultural and water-centric event that seeks to promote and celebrate Qatari heritage. The festival sits on the five pillars of Culture, Education, Environment, Sports and Entertainment. By engaging participants in various activities from across these five pillars, the Festival seeks to educate residents and visitors of Qatar about its rich maritime heritage.
Mr. Hamad Al Tamimi, General Manager of QMFOC, delivered welcoming remarks to mark the opening of the Festival, during which he explained the background of the event and its societal purpose to enrich the lives of everyone living in Qatar. Mr. Al Tamimi encouraged attendees to “celebrate Qatar” and its rich history.
“Through this Festival we unite in celebrating the inspiring spirit of the beauty of the ocean, a culture that was intertwined with our heritage for generations,” Mr. Al Tamimi began. “Tonight—and over the next 10 days-- we invite each and everyone one of you to share this enchanting journey with us—join our grandfathers in celebrating their memories and welcome our grandsons in exploring the magic of the sea and its traditions,” he added.
Following his remarks, the world premiere of the exclusive musical theatre production Secrets of the Sea, the cornerstone of this year’s event, began.
After the performance, Mr. Al-Tamimi said, “Everyone connected with the festival is very excited about its debut. We are certain that when the public sees the myriad of activities we will have running for the duration of the event, open to the general public every day between the March 17th and 26th, they are going to feel that excitement too.”
“The Festival seeks to entertain – and with Secrets of the Sea I am certain it is going to do that – but also to enrich and to educate. It’s important both for locals and expatriates to understand the history of Qatari society, how it has evolved to where we are today and where we are going as a country.”
“We look forward to welcoming as many people as possible to the Festival. Remember, admission is free and the gates are open daily from 4pm until late. The Festival is not to be missed,” he added.
About Secrets of the Sea
Secrets of the Sea is theatrical musical show recalling the maritime heritage of Qatari people and touching upon past traditions and aspirations for the future, produced exclusively for the second edition of the Festival.
It will show in KATARA’s 1,000-capacity open air theatre every night from 7.30 to 8.30pm. The production is a Qatari/Italian collaboration with the Director Gino Landi hailing from Italy, composers Faisal Tamimi and Renato Serio coming from Qatar and Italy respectively and Qatari Wadha Al-Sulaiti acting as consultant for the traditional costumes which form a hugely important part of the performance.
Secrets of the Sea
• is the fruit of 15,000 hours of rehearsals
• has a staff and performance cast of over 300
• showcases over 300 traditional costumes
• would fill 20 shipment containers with its production scenes, and
• is the largest performance event ever staged in Qatar
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