Qatar Tourism Authority’s (QTA) 2013 Eid Festival packed schedule of events saw unprecedented attendance of both tourists and citizens during the first three days of Eid.

The festival started on Thursday 8 August 2013, the first day of Eid, at the Doha Exhibition Center and in malls across Qatar. Activities continue at Doha Exhibition Center through 15 September 2013. Centred on the Wanasa Entertainment City, shows and activities are also at City Center, Al Khor, Lagoona, Hyatt Plaza, Landmark and Villaggio malls. In addition, a wide number of activities have been arranged by Ministries, institutions, and the private sector throughout Eid.

wanasa-entertainment-city

Wanasa Entertainment City

Around 20,000 people have visited the 15,000 square metre Wanasa Entertainment City on the first day alone and many more following over the course of the Eid holiday. Open from 10 am to midnight every day to the 15 September 2013, the city welcomes families to amusement rides, shows, a wide variety of food vendors and merchants to purchase household goods and specialty items. Rides like the Crazy Frog, Crazy Fire, mini theaters, a simulator ride and Snow World and roller coasters such as the Worm Train have been delighting children.

Through the 17 August 2013, shows and performance artists are travelling to malls across Qatar, featuring acts from around the world. Featuring six performances per day in each of the participating malls, thousands of shoppers have already experienced these shows.

monte-carlo-cirquesMonte Carlo Circus

The Monte Carlo Circus is also off to a great start with packed shows with hundreds of guests to watch the acts, which will continue with two shows each day through the 15 September at Qatar Sports Club.

Souq Waqif welcomed 15,000 visitors in the first two days. It has been bustling with activity thanks to a wide range of games, shows and entertainment. Kids have been enjoying water games, a playful animal circus, jugglers, string walkers, a bubble show and magic act, not to mention the popular play area with water games and bouncing castles. New this year is the ‘Ballet on Ice’ show (5:30 pm and 8:30 pm, daily until the Wednesday 14 August 2013) that features a purpose-built rink. Rounding out the attractions are artists from Russia and across Eastern Europe.

Tours of the State Mosque of Qatar, as well as museum tours at the Museum of Islamic Art and Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Thani Museum continue to draw large crowds looking for a taste of culture during the Eid holiday.

Zoo tours at the Al Dosari game reserve give families the opportunity to see some of Qatar’s wildlife up close and personal. And first time attractions such as the Qatar Shooting and Archery Association and Qatar Air Sports Committee are providing new ways of relaxing and enjoying the holiday.

To beat the heat, many families headed to Aqua Park Qatar for a break in the water and to be entertained.

katara-fireworks-show

Katara Fireworks Show

Activities at Katara Cultural Village included fireworks, laser lights and a musical water show that was viewed by thousands of people. Spectators lined the seashore and Corniche to get a glimpse of the last show was on Sunday 11 August 2013.

Residents and visitors to The Pearl-Qatar enjoyed activities such as face painting and entertainment, surrounded by the island’s magnificent views and food and beverage offerings.

The Eid Festival is a QTA initiative to elevate Qatar as a family tourism destination, that was supported with QTA’s launch of the Eid destination campaign in the GCC, the largest source of tourism to the country. Over the second quarter 2013 QTA announced experienced increased tourism across all categories. GCC visitors increased 15% over the same period 2012, and international arrivals increased 6.6%. Increases are attributed to a wide variety of unique activities on offer in Qatar, including family activities such as the first-ever Middle East performance of Disney on Ice.

Additional family-centered activities are planned for the remainder of the year, including the ongoing Eid festival, which will include Eid Al Adha and the return of Cirque du Soleil in September to Aspire Dome.

For more information on the continuing Eid festival activities, visit QTA’s website, or check out Marhaba’s blog post QTA Announces 35 Days of Eid Festivities.