The first weekend of the 11th Katara Traditional Dhow Festival saw a large number of visitors enjoying various shows and competitions. The event was launched last week and coincides with the FIFA Arab Cup™.  

This year’s festival is spread out on a large expanse of the Katara beachfront and features cultural shows, craftsman’s market and pavilions of participating countries, in addition to participating museums, bodies and ministries such as the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Municipality and Environment, the Engineering Office, Qatar Museums, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Museum and artists doing live painting.

Al-Nahma competition

The first weekend also witnessed the Al-Nahma competition, with locals following with great interest and passion. The event is one of the most famous marine arts in Qatar and the Arabian Gulf, closely related to fishing trips and pearl diving.

The Nahman takes turns to sing a number of marine mawwal that many visitors love. The singers move the audiences with their masterful performances between the art of the Nahma, its various sights and its many melodies, which differ if a ship is at sea or when a ship is docked.

This Al-Nahma competition in this edition of the festival featured seven participants from Qatar, three from Iraq and two from Kuwait. Meanwhile, the operetta featuring performances by schoolchildren continue to be a big draw on stage. The traditional storytelling competitions and stage shows are still on and will continue throughout the festival. The Haddaq Al-Saif fishing competition is also being held on all days of the festival.

Qatar’s maritime tradition on display

For those interested in the maritime history of Qatar, Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum offers books that narrate tales of the past, including stories about guns, the discovery of oil and marine navigational tools, trade and life in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Deep-sea diving and precious pearls, which are native to Qatar, are also on display. The Qatar Museums pavilion has showcased some of the rarest and finest pearls, both fresh water and deep-sea pearls, with a short description of how they are found and the marine life surrounding them.


Visitors can also see some fine and precious pearl jewellery on display by Al Majd Jewellery. They also have artisans working live on pearls and a showcase of how pearls are curated and crafted to blend with jewels.

Visitors will also enjoy a cinematic presentation of the Fath Al Khair – Qatar’s famous traditional dhow boat which has made trips around the world, in addition to the many dhows on the waters of Katara that people can actually take for evening rides or visit the Floating Café, which can be accessed through the free water taxis on the beach.



The festival will run until 18 December and is open to all. For more information, please check our calendar listing here

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