Despite the heat and onset of Ramadan, there are a host of organized activities on offer in Qatar this weekend. Here are our picks:
Sports at Aspire
Aspire Zone is encouraging people to stay active this summer and keep busy in Ramadan by swimming, playing team sports and getting crafty. Activities include:
- Splash and Dash: From today until Eid, Aspire’s swimming pool and indoor athletics tracks will be open to the community every Sunday and Wednesday from 7 to 11pm. Facilities can be used for free, but registration is required. This can be done online here or on the day of using the facilities at the Aspire Dome from 7 to 8pm. While only two sessions (7:30pm and 8:30pm) show up on the online registration, Aspire has recently announced the addition of a third session from 9:30 to 11pm due to popular demand.
- Radio-controlled car race: Aspire and the Qatar Radio Controlled Racing Group will host a racing competition on July 4 that is free and open to spectators. Only drivers with their own remote-controlled race cars can enter the competition. Registration can be done online prior to this weekend’s race through the QRCRG.
- Ramadan Sports Festival: This two-week festival, which kicks off today, features 11 sports for men and women, including beach soccer, basketball, football, junior football, flag football, volleyball and table tennis for special needs. Competitions will be held from 9pm – midnight at Aspire. View the schedule of events online here.
- Kids art: From July 4-5, Aspire Dome is holding a slew of indoor activities for kids. Art sessions will take place for children, where there will work with stencil, crayons, and glitter, from 8:30 pm to 10:30pm. The sessions are free and open to children, and will also take place next weekend, from July 11-12.
Non-Muslims can try their hand at fasting in Ramadan by participating in Hyatt Plaza’s annual Fast-A-Thon on July 4 and 5. During the event, non-Muslims are encouraged to abstain from food and water during the daylight hours to sympathize with the less fortunate.
For every person who registers and fasts, QR200 will be donated to African people in need through the Sheikh Thani Bin Abdullah Al Thani’s Foundation for Humanitarian Services (RAF).
Participants are invited to break their fast at the mall’s food court on Saturday. There will be free henna painting, face painting, health checkups and other activities.
Participants can register via email to [email protected], in person at the customer service desk at Hyatt Plaza, or by calling a customer service representative at +9874 4499 9666. Registered participants are asked to attend an orientation session on July 4 at 4pm at the food court.
However, a Hyatt Plaza spokesman told Doha News that people can also register and fast on a different day. “Once they complete their fast, they just have to send us a confirmation email and the donation will be made on their behalf,” he said.
Additionally, the mall will place a donation box at Gate 4 next to a small exhibition with photos of people in need so that people can help.
Astronomy and Quran Festival at Katara
In light of the holy month, Katara will host a festival that includes numerous exhibitions of the galaxy, Quranic verses that deal with creation and the universe, a dhikr session and a social media competition.
There is also an outdoor gallery that will serve as a social mural of Qatar residents, and organized boat trips under the stars that are free and open to the public, starting July 5.
For children, there will be a planets workshop and a fine the treasure competition (which is open to all). More information about the festival can be found online at Katara’s website here.
DFI movie screenings of Khaleeji stories
Over the next few days, join filmmakers from Kuwait as they screen four short films at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).
The event, which will be held today (July 2) and tomorrow, (July 3) at 10pm, will span a range of genres, and offer a glimpse into life in Kuwait, including a bedouin who is fired from working at a fast food restaurant.
The filmmakers will field questions and answers after the screenings. The event is open to anyone over 13 years old. Children aged eight to 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets can be bought online here or at the DFI ticket booth across from the MIA Auditorium from 8pm to 10pm.
- NFL star Husain Abdullah of the Kansas City Chiefs visits Aspire: This athlete will hold two sessions on July 7, giving attendees a crash course in American football. Young people ages 10 – 18 years old will train with Abdullah from 9:30am to 10:45 am, while those above 18 years old can train from 11am to 1pm. The event is free, but prior registration is required as spaces are limited. Abdullah will also be signing autographs on July 8 and 9. To register, email [email protected]
- Story-telling: Ezdan Mall is holding a story-telling session for children on July 4 at 8:30pm. More details can be found here.
- Brazil 2014 FIFA Fan Zone at Katara: This purpose-built facility, which is testing Qatar’s cooling technology ahead of the 2022 World Cup, will be open for the next few weeks, and appears to have impressed many football fans. See the schedule here -and be sure to take a sweater!
What are your weekend plans? Thoughts?