On the heels of the critically-acclaimed Fashion Exchange in London, Qatar UK 2013 organisers announced a busy autumn schedule of events, emphasising that the best has yet to come.

British Ambassador to Qatar, HE Nicholas Hopton, said:

The Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture has been a tremendously eventful year to date. People in both Qatar and the UK have had many opportunities to share and experience first-hand cultural, sporting and musical events from each other’s nations. The British Embassy is very excited about the upcoming UK Season here in Qatar and we are lending our full support to the project.’

Building on the success of Qatar UK 2013 events in Qatar and the UK in the first half of the year, the autumn highlights announced include:

  • The first visit to Qatar by the BBC Symphony Orchestra (30 September – 1 October, Katara Opera House) conducted by Sir Andrew Davis, performing works by three of England’s finest composers: Elgar, Britten and Vaughan Williams
  • Damien Hirst: Relics Exhibition (10 October 2013 – 22 January 2014, Al Riwaq), the artist’s first retrospective solo exhibition in the Middle East
  • Ben Barbour Exhibition (23 October – 16 November 2013) Following Ben’s artistic journey from Qatar to the UK on a vessel transporting Qatargas’ LNG this summer, the Doha based resident artist’s drawings will be on display in Katara for three weeks.

In October and November, Qatar UK 2013 will also host a series of Café Scientifique – a series of informal events where scientists will host talks in public cafés and parks across Doha. Topics will vary from observation in human beings and animals to star gazing on the Corniche. The autumn programme will also include a ‘Women in Science’ day, in collaboration with Qatar Shell at the Qatar University on the 27 November 2013, with talks and workshops from leading and inspiring Qatari and UK female scientists.

Hamad Al-Eida, spokesperson for Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, said:

We are very pleased with the outcome of this collaboration in both Qatar and the UK to date. The Year of Culture has allowed us to experience and explore Qatari and British cultures in our countries, developing a deeper understanding for each other’s nations.’

For sporting enthusiasts, the Premier Skills coaching programme has been confirmed 19 to 23 October 2013, organised by Qatar Football Association and the Qatar Women’s Sport Association. Qatar UK 2013 will also be hosting an International Schools Football Tournament 12-18 December in Doha.

Forthcoming UK events include:

  • The much anticipated V&A Pearls Exhibition (21 September 2013 – 19 January 2014) exploring the history of pearls at the world renowned Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
  • Hey’Ya: Arab Women in Sport (until 13 October) exhibition at the National Football Museum, Manchester
  • Ferozkoh: Traditional Arts from a contemporary Afghanistan (14 November 2013 – 19 January 2014) exhibition at the Leighton House Museum, London

Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture recently produced a film, celebrating the strength of the bilateral relationship between the UK and Qatar and highlighting some of the collaborative projects created during the Year of Culture, in the fields of visual and performing arts, sports, and science.

Through events such as the first Arts and Disability Festival in the Middle East, the Ehtifal family day in Hyde Park as well as the artist Ben Barbour’s recent trip on an LNG vessel from Qatar to the UK, the enhanced cultural interchange has strengthened the relationship between the two nations, which will continue to flourish even when the Year of Culture concludes at the end of 2013.