Under the patronage of HH The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Katara’s 3rd Traditional Dhow Festival, which is one of the largest festivals in the region and the world specialised in maritime heritage, will take place from 19 to 23 November 2013 at Katara Cultural Village, in cooperation with Qatar Museum Authority (QMA).

As part of Katara’s 3rd Traditional Dhow Festival, Katara has announced the launch of the Fath Al Khair journey, where 40 young men and women will set sail on the Fath Al Khair Dhow on 22 November 2013 at Katara beach to the GCC seaports for a 27-day journey. Fath Al Khair will make its first stop in Bahrain. After Bahrain, Fath Al Khair will make its way to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) then sail to Kuwait. The journey will then continue to the shores of Oman, then making its way to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Fath Al Khair will depart from UAE and makes it way back to Qatar, arriving on the National Holiday, 18 December 2013.

The General Manager of Katara, Dr Khalid Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, said:

We are proud to announce the Fath Al Khair journey which will revive and bring back our strong cultural heritage. This voyage will provide us with an excellent opportunity to showcase Qatari history to the world and educate our Qatari generation on this very unique field of sea navigation, whereby young Qatari sailors can meet their GCC counterparts to exchange expertise. Katara is committed to nurturing and educating the generation of today by providing them with the opportunity to learn and discover different fields of art, culture, and science.’

The Fath Al Khair journey has been launched to revive and preserve the cultural heritage of our ancestors’ travels and transportation across the world using dhows, as well as teaching the young generations about this kind of travel via dhows and promoting Qatari history. In the age of modern transportation, this is considered the first trip of its kind in the region due to the unavailability of dhows that have the capacity for such journeys and the lack of experienced youth in that field.

The Dhow Captain, Hasan Al Kaabi, said:

I am very proud to lead this amazing journey and showcase Qatar’s heritage and history to the millions living in this region. The sea played a huge role in our past, it was the bridge of exchange between different cultures and societies in Qatar and the rest of the region, and we are here to bring this back to life once again with the support of our young generation.’

Fath El Kheir is a 45-metre-plus traditional sailboat built exclusively for the Emir of Qatar, Al Thani in 1983 by Amireya workshop in Qatar. Initially made to promote tourism trips for the Ministry of Information and Tourism, Fath El Kheir is now part of the cultural and heritage initiatives of QMA.

The Representative from QMA, Rida Mousa, said:

Qatar Museums Authority is keen on reviving and preserving Qatari heritage, especially the maritime legacy as the QMA’s collection of sailboats is considered one of the most important Arab traditional dhow collections in the GCC region’

GCC citizens who have expertise in the field of sea navigation as well as Qatari youths who have a desire to learn about this kind of travel and adventure will have the opportunity to take part in this trip.

On National Day, 18 December 2013, when Fath Al Khair arrives, Katara promises a vast variety of celebrations to mark Qatar’s National Day. Furthermore, Katara’s 3rd Traditional Dhow Festival will feature a display of Qatar’s traditional Dhows and a variety of water sports open to the public. More information will be available at a later date.

For more information or to participate in the Fath Al Khair journey, call 4408 0000 or 50123 288.