During Eid Al-Adha, Muslims sacrifice an animal (usually a sheep, goat, cow, or camel) as an offering to God as the Prophet Abraham once did. The meat is then distributed among themselves, family, friends and people in need.
Qatar’s public sector will take five working days off for Eid, from Sept. 23 until Sept. 29, while those in the private sector usually get three working days off.
All schools in Qatar will be closed for at least some of the holiday period, most for the same days as the public sector.
Although lots of residents fly off on vacation during this time, a great many also choose to stay at home to celebrate. So if you’re planning to staycation in Qatar during the break, here’s our guide to getting the most out of the entertainment on offer.
If you’d like us to add an event to this list, please shoot us an email at [email protected].
Speaking to Doha News, Steff Gaulter, senior meteorologist for Al Jazeera English, said while temperatures will only reach a high of 37C (99F), it will feel especially hot during Eid weekend thanks to the high humidity levels.
On Twitter, the Qatar Meteorology Department added that the weather will fall to 28C (84F) at night:
— أرصاد قطر (@qatarweather) September 21, 2015
The timing for Eid prayer will be 5:38am, and will be held at 296 mosques and prayer grounds in various areas of the country, including 33 mosques and places reserved for women.
Each year, Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) advises prayer-goers to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion and to park their cars properly.
According to a memo circulated to bank staff today, Qatar’s financial institutions and banks will be closed from Sept. 23 to Sept. 28, reopening on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
Some banks will be open during the holidays, including:
- Qatar Islamic Bank: Branches at the Gate Mall, Dar Al Salam Mall and City Center will be operational beginning Friday, from 4pm to 9pm. All branches will resume normal hours in the morning and evenings on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
- Doha Bank: Branches at City Center, Dar Al Salam and Lulu outlets will be open from 5pm to 9pm on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26. It will resume normal hours on Sunday, Sept. 27.
Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) hours
All HMC emergency services will be open 24/7 throughout Eid.
Hamad General Hospital outpatient department OPDs) are closed from Sept. 23-Sept. 26. On Sunday and Monday they will be open from 7am to 3pm (no evening clinics), and resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, Sept. 29.
At the Women’s hospital, outpatient services will be closed on Sept. 23 and 24, and the newborn screening unit will be closed on Sept. 24. Clinics for high-risk obstetrics, gestational diabetes and feto-maternal care will be open from Sept. 27 to 29 from 8am to 1pm. All other women’s hospital OPD clinics will be closed from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29, resuming normal operations on Sept. 30.
Al Wakra Hospital’s General OPD, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Physiotherapy and Pharmacy will be closed from Sept. 23 to Sept. 26 and will reopen on Sept. 27 from 7am to 3pm until Oct. 1. Normal hours will resume on Oct. 4.
Al Khor Hospital’s OPD (including Obstetrics / Gynecology and Dental Clinics) will be closed from Sept. 23 to Sept. 28, reopening on Sept. 29. Additionally, OPD evening clinics will be closed until Sept. 27. Any patient who requires urgent care or refill of medications during the holidays is advised to proceed directly to the Emergency Department.
The Cuban Hospital’s OPD, Physiotherapy and Pharmacy Departments will be closed from Sept. 23 to 26 and will be open from Sept. 27 to Oct. 1 from 7am to 3pm. No booked surgical procedures have been canceled; patients are advised to contact the hospital if they wish to reschedule a booked procedure due to the Eid holidays.
For a full list of operating hours, see HMC’s Facebook page here.
The Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced a five day Eid festival under the theme “Capture Joy,” which features a number of mall-based family shows between 4pm and 10pm from Sept. 24. through Sept. 28.
The shows will rotate through six different malls: Hyatt Plaza, City Centre Doha, Ezdan Mall, Lagoona Mall, Al Khor Mall and Dar Al Salam Mall.
These shows include traditional Ardha sword dancing, Moroccan Arabs Got Talent finalist Snoopy performing balancing stunts, and a mini mime/circus stage show entitled Mr. Dropsy and the Bell-Boy.
Circus performers and balloon shaping artists will also be walking around malls interacting with shoppers.
In addition to these rotating shows, some malls will be putting on special shows. These are:
- Aladdin at City Center;
- Bob the Builder at Dar Al Salam;
- Dora the Explorer at Ezdan Mall;
- Cinderella at Lagoona;
- Play ‘Doh at Hyatt Plaza; and
- Kids Circus at Al Khor Mall
Fans of the Disney movie Frozen will also want to check out the Frozen ‘sing-along’ starring Anna, Elsa and Olaf – which will be rotating through all of the malls.
Dates and times for all of these shows can be found here on the QTA’s official Eid Festival website. All of the shows are free.
Meanwhile, the Gate Mall will hold its own activities on Eid, including face-painting, balloon twisting and a bouncy castle for kids at its multipurpose hall on the first floor of the mall. There will also be popular cartoon characters milling about, a Muppet show and interactive story-telling sessions.
Popcorn, crepes, cotton candy and ice cream will be available to attendees. There will also be a photo booth and a henna artist. The program runs until the end of Eid.
Finally, Ikea is also marking Eid with fun activities and free meals for kids from now until Sept. 26.
Here’s a list of events by day, from QTA:
Free children’s activities such as face-painting, cupcake decorating, balloon animals and art workshops will be held daily from Sept. 24 to 26 between 6pm and 10pm.
The celebrations, which will take place at the Tickles and Giggles play arena, also include cartoon mascots and unlimited popcorn and cotton candy.
Additionally, there will be a kids theater show, bubble show, wall drawing and arts and crafts on the Porto Arabia boardwalk, 20 La Croisette.
Between 6pm to 10pm from Sept. 24-26, Asian Town will celebrate Eid with entertainment including face painters, stilt walkers, jugglers and “fire dancers.”
At the cricket stadium, a dozen teams from across the GCC will complete in the 1st Hanan Premier League 2015. The tournament will take place on Sept. 25 and 26 from 6:30am to 10pm.
Community cultural events
The Ministry of interior will host cultural, recreational and sporting activities at five venues over the first three days of Eid.
For the Nepali community, Al Khor Barwa Workers Complex in the Al Khor Industrial Area will have a “mega cultural” event on Thursday and Friday between 5pm and 10pm.
For the Indian community, there will be bhangra and traditional dances and a thematic show on Qatar-Indian relationship, as well as songs in Indian languages by popular singers in Qatar at the MES Indian School Open Theater in Mesaimeer on Thursday between 5pm and 11pm.
For the Sri Lankan community, there will be soft music, traditional Baila songs, songs by Gayan, Evens and Priyantha in Sinhala and other languages and traditional dance at the Sri Lankan School near Midmac Roundabout on Thursday between 5pm and 10pm.
For the Pakistani community, artists and singers including Afshan Zebi, Noorjahan and Usman Bangesh will perform in Urdu, Pashto, Punjabi, Persian, Balochi and Saraiki at the Al Wakrah Sports Club indoor football stadium on Friday between 5pm and 10pm.
There will also be a comedy show by popular Pakistani comedian Khawaja Masood.
Finally, for the Bangladeshi community, there will be traditional dances and songs in different languages on Saturday at Al Wakrah Sports Club Indoor Stadium.
Qatar National Theater
Arabic speakers will be able to enjoy a special play at the Qatar National Theater from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30.
The play – The Wrestler – has been written by Teyseer Abdullah and is directed by Saad Burshed, and stars an ensemble of young actors including Nasser Mohammed and Najwa Al Kubaisi and Hala Al Turk.
Shows will start at 6pm every night and last for two hours, with tickets priced from QR50 to QR500.
Katara Cultural Village
Katara will once again hold nightly fireworks shows at 9:30pm from Sept.
Also during those days, there will be giveaways for children from 7pm to 8:30pm and three half-hour shadow performance shows from 7pm to 7:30pm, 8pm to 8:30pm and 9pm to 9:30pm.
Meanwhile, Katara Art Center is holding a magic show on Thursday, Sept. 24. The first show will be at 5:30pm and the second show will be at 6:30pm. It costs QR75/child, includes beverages and is free for adults.
The Aspire Zone is holding a variety of different activities from Sept. 24-28, including pony rides, kayaking and remote-control car races.
Families will be able to take out paddle boats from 4pm to 9pm daily; kids will be able to take pony rides from 4pm to 9pm every day; the Radio Controlled Car Races will take place from 4pm to 9pm near the Aspire Zone roundabout daily; horse carriage rides and the “Aspire Train” will also operate during the same hours, and bikes will also be available for hire.
Some of these events will carry a charge. More details can be found online here.
Aspire Zone will also open its fields and courts throughout the holiday period to the public, including the football pitches in Aspire Park and near Khalifa stadium; the tennis courts in the ladies’ club (click here to register) and the multipurpose facility for basketball and volleyball in Aspire Park (click here to register.)
Alongside these daily activities, on Sept. 25 visitors will also be able to watch a water sports show between 4pm and 6pm in Aspire Park.
Starting with the first day of Eid and continuing for five days, paragliding tours will be offered at Sealine Beach (prior to the beach resort roundabout).
The Qatar Air Sports Committee is organizing the trips, which cost QR100/person and run from 3pm to 8pm, depending on weather conditions. Participants must be 19 years or older.
Sout Al Rayyan Music Festival
During Eid, several Arab singers will perform at the Sout Al Rayyan Station in Souq Waqif.
The concerts are free and open to all and take place from 9pm to midnight. The schedule is as follows:
- Thursday, Sept. 24: Mesaed Al Blushi and Hatem Al-Iraqi;
- Friday, Sept. 25: Hassain Al Ali and Salah Al Zadjali;
- Saturday, Sept. 26: Ali Abdelkarim and Diana Haddad;
- Sunday, Sept. 27: Mizel Farhan and Khalid Abdulrahman
More information can be found on Facebook here.
From Sept. 24 to Sept. 28, Qatar’s only water park will stay open a bit later, from 10am to 10pm.
Aqua Park will celebrate Eid from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26 with kids games, stilt walkers, a live Arabic band, fire juggler, mascots and characters from Frozen.
Ticket prices are QR150 per adult and QR120 each for children. More information can be found on the park’s Facebook page here.
Sheikh Faisal museum
Displaying ancient relics of Islamic art, Qatar heritage, vehicles, coins and currency, this quirky museum in Al Rayyan will welcome visitors from the first day of Eid.
The museum is open from 9am to 5pm daily during Eid and is now taking bookings for tours during the holiday.
Children are also welcome to register for six artistic workshops and activities, including Children Legos, painting, calligraphy, clay sculpture and drawing workshops, all led by experts in the relevant fields.
Entry is free for kids under eight years old, QR QR10 for those aged 8 to 18 years old and QR15 for adults.
To book a tour, call 66874177 or email [email protected].
More information can be found on the museum’s Facebook page here.
Qatar Offroaders event
To mark Eid, this group is organizing an open drive to the Inland Sea on Friday, Sept. 25 from 12:30pm to 9:30pm. The event, which will include barbecuing and swimming, is free and open to families and singles, but no children under five years old are allowed.
The group will meet at Sealine and head out around 1pm. There will be two routes – one for experienced off-roaders, and the other for non-members who are less familiar with driving through the sand dunes.
Bring your own food, drinks and toys. For those who don’t have a 4X4, RSVP at the event’s Facebook page here to find a ride with someone else.
Clay target shooting
The Qatar Shooting and Archery Association is hosting clay target shooting for the first four days of Eid from 4pm to 8pm at the Lusail Shooting Club, which is north of the Doha Golf Club and near the Losail International Circuit.
The cost is QR100/person per 25 shots, and payment can be made only via card.
What are your plans for Eid? Thoughts?