‘Summer in Qatar’ festival promises entertainment, shopping bonanza

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*Programme to provide a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages from June 4 to August 1

Qatar’s biggest summer programme is set to provide residents and visitors with a wide range of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages from June 4 to August 16, Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC) secretary-general and Qatar Airways GCEO HE Akbar al-Baker has announced.

The two and a half month long festival, dubbed as ‘Summer in Qatar’, will witness “a season of summer experiences, retail offers and entertainment” from the start of Eid al-Fitr to the end of Eid al-Adha.

“Our main objective for the summer season here in Qatar is to bring the public and private stakeholders together under one summer theme campaign that can be packaged to both citizens and residents of Qatar, along with attracting international travellers to showcase what our lovely country has to offer,” HE al-Baker told a press conference on Saturday.

He was joined by Rashed al-Qurese from QNTC, also a Board Member of Qatar Business Events Corporation; and Qatar Airways senior vice president for Marketing and Corporate Communications Salam al-Shawa.

QNTC gathered more than 30 partners to launch the summer programme, including the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, Qatar Museums (QM), Qatar Airways, Katara – the Cultural Village, Qatar Foundation, Private Engineering Office, Katara Hospitality, Al Rayyan Hospitality, Marriott International hotels, nine participating malls, and other event partners, including QSports, Social Studios, Alchemy and Radio ONE FM Qatar.

Besides ‘edutainment’, summer and sports camps, and special promotions on inbound travel, hospitality and shopping, the festival also brings together local, regional and international artists for the live entertainment shows, which will be held at various locations across Qatar.

“Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Qatar’s ever-growing public and private sector partners, we present the biggest, boldest summer season yet, offering everything from cultural excursions to world-class entertainment,” HE al-Baker said. “This is the first time we are doing a tourism promotion during summer of this magnitude.

“Our stakeholders bring an array of exciting new products and activities to ‘Summer in Qatar’, enabling us to provide tourism offerings to suit the diverse community of all ages, interests, and budgets and further develop Qatar as a year-round tourism destination,” he added.

Qatar Airways passengers can enjoy a 25% discount on all flights to Doha from more than 160 destinations globally starting May 15, for travel to Qatar anytime between May 30 and August 16.

Al Maha Services, Qatar Airways’ personalised meet and assist service for customers arriving, departing or transiting through Hamad International Airport, will also offer discounts of up to 25% on all their services during the summer.

Long-haul passengers of the airline can also avail ‘+Qatar’, a unique stopover package, in partnership with QNTC, aimed at giving transit travelers the chance to explore and discover Qatar with free luxury hotel stays and complimentary transit visas.

The festival will also see many hotels and hotel apartments in Qatar giving up to 25% discounts to guests between June 4 and August 16, along with additional incentives and promotions at facilities (terms and conditions apply).

The family-favourite “Entertainment City” at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Centre is expected to attract a large number of festival-goers, according to QNTC.

Members of QM’s Culture Pass Plus and Culture Pass Family will enjoy exclusive discounts on tourism products, outdoor, mall and retail activities, family entertainment, and access to Qatar’s cultural institutions.

Deals at various indoor theme parks and edutainment parks such as the newly opened Angry Birds World can also be availed throughout the festival.

Qatar’s top tourist destinations like Souq Waqif and Katara – the Cultural Village will host many family-fun and entertainment shows during both Eids.

Nine malls are taking part in the festival this year, offering special entertainment shows, exhibitions and free activities for different age groups throughout ‘Summer in Qatar’. Programmes for adults will include free makeup and fitness classes.

Besides sales promotions, shoppers will also have the chance to win in the raffle draws where more than QR2mn are at stake- from QR20,000 cash to McLaren 570S for the grand prize.

International superstars, Arab singing sensations and Bollywood artists will take the centre stage at the festival while movie-goers will have the opportunity to attend the South Indian International Movie Awards with well-known celebrities from the industry.

The Doha Comedy Festival is also set to entertain fans while young children can enjoy several wholesome stage shows such as ‘Hello Kitty’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘The Smurfs’.

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