The first day of Eid Al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) falls on Friday, Sept. 1 this year.
Muslims traditionally slaughter an animal – usually a sheep, goat or cow – or pay to have one killed during the annual religious holiday to mark the sacrifice to God made by the Prophet Abraham.
This meat is then shared with family and friends and those in need.
Most government employees in Qatar will be off from Aug. 31 and will return to work on Sept. 10, the same day most schools also start their new terms.
Meanwhile, private sector employees usually get about three working days off, though this varies depending on the employer.
Many residents travel abroad for Eid, but thousands will be staying here and can enjoy a broad range of activities across the country in the coming week.
Gulf dispute notwithstanding, there’s tons going on. From prayer times to fireworks to cultural performances, here’s our guide to what’s on offer – and what’s open when – during the holiday.
Note: We’ll be updating this guide as more information as items come in. Feel free to leave a comment with anything you think we’re missing![toc]
Eid prayers will begin on Sept. 1 at 5:29am around the country, about 15 minutes after sunrise.
According to the Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf), some 338 mosques are being prepared to host the prayers, including 69 with space for women.
Eid is one of the busiest times of the year for traveling.
Cognizant of this, Hamad International Airport (HIA) has advised passengers to check in online ahead of their journeys and to arrive at the terminal at least three hours prior to departure time.
Remember, residents over 18 years of age can use the e-gates with your Qatar ID card to avoid queues at immigration.
Health officials have warned residents against over-indulging with sweet and fatty treats during the Eid holidays.
Hospital emergency departments often note an uptick in patients this time of year who seek treatment for gastric issues, such as nausea, vomiting, stomach upsets and severe indigestion.
For those with chronic health issues such as diabetes or heart problems, the effects can be more serious.
Raed Barakat, nutritionist at Hamad General Hospital, advises residents to only eat small portions of seasonal treats such as Harees, Thareed, Balaleet and Luqaimat. Avoiding too much sugar, fatty foods, caffeine and salt will all help, he added.
From Aug. 31 to Sept. 7, the Ministry of Interior’s service-oriented departments will be open from 8am to noon.
That includes the General Directorate of Passports, Unified Service Department, Traffic, and the Criminal Evidence and Investigation Department.
All emergency services across Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) network of hospitals will continue to operate as usual, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
But most outpatient clinics will be closed from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4.
Specific services will operate as follows:
Hamad General Hospital: Walk-in outpatient (OPD) clinics will be open on Aug. 30 for medical, surgical, and pediatric services. All OPD clinics will be closed from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4 and will re-open Sept. 5. The main OPD pharmacy will be open from 7am to noon on Sept. 5. The cashier and health card desk will also re-open at 7am that day.
Women’s Hospital: High Risk, Feto-Maternal Unit and Newborn Screening clinics scheduled for Sept. 3 to 11 will operate as per usual timings. The OPD pharmacy will be open from 7am to 3pm on Aug. 31 and from Sept. 3-7.
Al Wakra Hospital: The OPD will be closed Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. From Sept. 5-7, the following clinics will operate as per their usual timings: General Medicine, General Surgery, Trauma and Fracture, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Physiotherapy and Urology. The OPD pharmacy will be open during these hours. There will be no evening clinics during the Eid Al Adha holidays.
Communicable Disease Center: All OPD clinics will be closed from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4; scheduled morning and evening clinics will operate from Sept. 3-7 as per booked appointments.
Qatar Rehabilitation Institute: All OPD clinics will be closed Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. Clinics will operate Sept. 5-7 as per scheduled appointments. The pharmacy will be open 7am to 3pm on these days.
Ambulatory Care Center: All OPD clinics will be closed during the Eid Al Adha holidays and will re-open on Sept. 10.
The Cuban Hospital: All OPD clinics will be closed Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. From Sept. 5-7, scheduled clinics will operate and patients will be notified regarding their appointment. Pharmacy services will be available from the Emergency Department.
Heart Hospital: All OPD clinics will be closed Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. Morning clinics will be held from Sept. 5-7. The OPD Pharmacy will be open Aug. 31 to Sept. 9 for discharge prescriptions only.
Al Khor Hospital: All OPD clinics will be closed Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. Gynecology, dental, and evening clinics will operate as scheduled from Sept. 5 to 7. The PEC Pharmacy will be open from 7am to 11pm from Sept. 5 -7 and the main pharmacy will be open 7am to 3pm. Patients requiring medication refills should visit the ED pharmacy.
Rumailah Hospital: All OPD clinics will be closed Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. The Child Development Centre and Maxillofacial service will be closed from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7. The Plastic Surgery service will operate walk-in clinics from 8am to 1pm on Aug. 31 and from Sept. 3-5. The Dermatology Clinic will be open for walk-in patients from 8am to 1pm Sept. 5-7 and the Geriatric Clinic will open from 8am to 1pm on these days. The pharmacy will be open during OPD clinic hours.
Hamad Dental Center: All OPD clinics will be closed Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. Morning clinics will be open between 8am and 1pm from Sept. 5-7.
National Center for Cancer Care and Research: Radiotherapy services will operate as normal. Hematology and Oncology clinics will be open during the morning hours from Sept. 3-7. The Day Care Unit will be closed on Sept. 3. The pharmacy will be open 7am to 3pm from Sept. 3 to 7 incl.
Mental Health Services: The Mental Health Service will be closed Aug. 31 to Sept. 4. Patients who require urgent assistance should go directly to the Hamad General Hospital Emergency Department.
Adult Outreach and Older Adult Outreach will be closed the first day of Eid (Sept. 1) only.
The Hamad Customer Service Center (Nesma’ak) will be closed from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 and will reopen on Sept. 3 from 8am to 4pm. Patients requiring information can call 16060 during these times.
From Sept. 10, Nesma’ak will resume regular hours from 7am to 10pm Sunday to Thursday, 2pm to 10pm on Friday and 10am to 6pm on Saturday.
The Ministry of Public Health will receive applications for registration of and issuing birth certificates at the Women’s Hospital daily from 8am until noon during weekdays over the Eid holidays.
There will be no service on the first day of Eid (Sept. 1) or on Fridays and Saturdays.
Local health centers run by the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) located in Doha – Omar Bin Khattab, Rawdat Al Khail, West Bay, Umm Guwailina, Airport, Al Rayyan, Abu Baker Sidiq, Messaimeer, Madinat Khalifa and Leibaib – will be open from Aug. 31 to Sept. 7 from 7am until 2pm then 4pm to 11pm. Dental services at these centers will open 7am to 2pm then 4pm to 10pm. The dental clinics will be closed on Sept. 1 and the morning of Sept. 8.
Opthalmology clinics at Rawdat Al Khail, Madinat Khalifa and Al Rayyan health centers will operate in mornings only from Aug. 31 until Sept. 7. They will be closed on Sept. 1 and 2.
The ENT clinic will operate at Rawdat Al Khail health center in mornings only from Aug. 31 until Sept. 7. It will be closed on Sept. 1 and 2, meanwhile the dermatology clinic will be open at Rawdat Al Khail from Aug. 31 through to Sept. 7.
Health centers at Al Thumama, Abu Nakhla, Al Karana, Al Gharaffa, Umm Slal, Al Ghuwairya and Al Daayan will be closed throughout the holidays.
Al Khor and Al Shamal health centers will be open from 7am to 2pm then 4pm to 11pm.
Al Wakrah health center will be open from 7am until 11pm. Al Sheehaniya center will open from 7am until 9pm, meanwhile Al Jumailia and Alkabaan health centers will operate an on-call system 24/7.
Pre-marital examination clinics will be closed in all health centers over the holiday except Al Rayyan, where it will be open on Sept. 3 and Sept. 8 from 7am until 1pm.
Family Food Center: All outlets will be closed on Sept. 1, and will re-open from Sept. 2 with normal trading hours.
Al Meera: Al Qutaifeya and Al Mansoura branches will be open 24 hours throughout Eid. Gulf Mall branch will open on Sept. 1 from 1:30pm to 12am, and on Sept. 2 and 3 from 9pm until 12am. Other branches will open from 12:30pm until 10pm.
Geant (Hyatt Plaza): On Sept. 1 it will open from 9am until 11am then from 12:30pm until 1am. On Sept 2-4, it will open from 9am until 1am.
Carrefour: All branches will be open throughout the holiday from 9am until 2am daily (closed Friday for prayers from 11am until 12:30pm).
Lulu: Lulu branches will open late, at 1pm, on Friday (the first day of Eid). It will resume normal working hours from the second day of Eid.
Qatar Stock Exchange will close from Aug. 31 until Sept. 5, and will re-open on Sept. 6.
Many banks will be closed or operating limited hours during Eid week.
However, some have announced special hours for the holidays.
QNB: Branches at The Mall, Landmark Mall, Villaggio Mall, City Center, Lagoona Mall, Medina Centrale at the Pearl-Qatar, Gulf Mall, Doha Festival City and Mall of Qatar will be closed on the evening of Aug. 31 and will re-open for the evening of Sept. 2. All other branches will re-open after the Eid holiday, except those in government departments or ministries, which will re-open on Sept. 10. The QNB Marriott branch and the e-branch at Porto Arabia on the Pearl-Qatar will continue to be open 24/7 during the Eid holiday. The SME corporate branch at Al Shoumoukh Towers will be open on the evening of Aug. 31 but will close on Sept. 1 and 2.
QIB: Qatar Islamic Bank branches will close for the first day of Eid (Sept. 1). Branches at Dar Al Salam Mall, The Gate Mall, Al Gharafa (Q-Mall), City Center, Mall of Qatar and Doha Festival City will all open on Sept. 2 for evening service only (from 3:30pm until 9pm). From Sept. 3-5, these branches will open from 9am until 2:30pm, then from 3:30pm until 9pm. During the Eid holidays, these mall branches will only offer cash withdrawals and deposits. All 30 QIB branches will open as normal from Sept. 6.
Masraf Al Rayan: Gulf Mall branch will be open on Sept. 2 from 3:30pm until 9pm. Other mall branches will open from Sept. 3 from 9am until 9pm. All other branches will be closed during the Eid holiday.
Katara Cultural Village
Arabian tales that capture the magic of the past will be combined with modern day events in a series of performances at Beach 15 at Katara during the first four days of Eid (Sept. 1 to 4 inclusive).
Three free, half-hour long shows will take place each day, followed by Eidiyet, a gift usually given to children during Eid, after the first two shows.
Show 1 will be from 6:30pm to 7pm with Eidiyet from 7pm to 7:45pm; Show 2 will be from 7:45pm to 8:15pm with Eidiyet from 8:15pm to 9pm; and Show 3 will run from 9pm to 9:30pm.
Fireworks will then light up the sky every night from 9:30pm to 9:45pm.
The Ministry of Interior is hosting Eid celebrations for expats at six different venues during the first two days of the holiday.
They will be held from 5pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday at the cricket stadium car park in Asian Town, the football ground in Labor City (for residents only), at the playground at Barwa Baraha, at the football stadium at Al Wakrah Sports Club, Al Ahli Sports Club and Barwa Workers Recreation Complex in Al Khor.
The free events will include “musical, cultural, folklore and traditional shows by teams from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, performances by prominent orchestral troupes from Qatar and musical fiesta by artists from Pakistan and Nepal,” MOI’s PR director Brig. Abdullah Khalifa Al Muftah said.
There will also be awareness programs from different MOI departments, including traffic, Civil Defense, Al Fazaa police, human rights and the search and follow up department.
Summer Entertainment City
Special Eid activities for the whole family will be held at Summer Entertainment City at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) in Dafna/West Bay through Sept. 5.
Highlights include a concert by Filipino rapper Gloc-9 and singer/actress Jona Viray on Sept. 2. While Gloc-9 has performed in Qatar twice before, it will be Viray’s Doha debut. Gates open at 6pm and the event starts at 8pm. Tickets cost from QR65 to QR215 for the fan pit and can be bought online here.
Other entertainment for Eid includes a Star Wars cosplay from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 and a parade that will roam the venue from Sept. 1 to 5.
This is in addition to the 87 games and activities already on offer through Eid holidays, including BMX and skateboarding, the world’s largest obstacle course and paintball.
Entry to the venue costs QR15 per person, with additional charges for the activities and games. See here for more information.
The fourth edition of the Doha Comedy Festival is back at the Qatar National Convention Center this year on Sept. 3.
Iranian-American funny man Maz Jobrani will be joined by India’s Vir Das, NEMR from Lebanon and Palestinian-American stand-up Mo Amr, with Qatar’s Hamad Al-Amari as host.
Doors open at 7:30pm and the show starts at 8pm. Tickets have been selling out fast, and currently there are a limited number of QR45 tickets only for sale, through Virgin Megastore online here.
An acrobatic ballet troupe will perform at Mall of Qatar, Lagoona Mall and Al Khor Mall during the first five days of the Eid holiday.
Day 1 (Sept.1) at Al Khor Mall, performances will be from 4pm to 4:30 pm, 6:30pm till 7pm and 8:30pm to 9pm.
Day 2 (Sept. 2) at Mall of Qatar will be from 2pm to 2:30pm, 4pm to 4:30pm and 6:30pm to 7pm.
Day 3 (Sept. 3) at Al Khor Mall will be from 4pm to 4:30pm, 6:30pm to 7pm and 8:30pm to 9pm.
Day 4 (Sept. 4) at Mall of Qatar will be from 2pm to 2:30pm, 4pm to 4:30pm and 6:30pm to 7pm.
Day 5 (Sept. 5) at Lagoona Mall will be from 4pm to 4:30pm, 6:30pm to 7pm and 8:30pm to 9pm.
Meanwhile, an acrobatic circus group will also wow crowds at the malls over the first five days of Eid.
The half-hour long shows will be on Sept. 1 at Mall of Qatar at 2pm, 4pm and 6:30pm; on Sept. 2 at Al Khor Mall at 4pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm; on Sept. 3 at Mall of Qatar at 2pm, 4pm and 6:30pm; on Sept. 4 at Lagoona Mall at 4pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm; and on Sept. 5 at Mall of Qatar at 2pm, 4pm and 6:30pm.
Doha Festival City
All-time cartoon favorites Tom and Jerry will star in a daily family stage show at DFC during the first five days of the Eid holiday (Sept. 1 until 5).
The 30-minute musical act will also feature friends Toodles, Butch and Spike, with a dance-off, slapstick-chases and songs from the 1940s.
Performances are free and will be at 4pm, 7:45pm and 9:15pm at the center court, ground floor.
Meanwhile, on the Baraem stage, there will be family-friendly live shows around the theme “for good together.” It will feature Jehan with personalities Tila, Tola and Fafa learning about charity work to help families in need.
The interactive shows, at the ground floor center stage, will be from 5pm, 6:30pm and 8:30pm and will include popular Baraem songs.
Mall of Qatar
Daily stage shows featuring cartoon favorites such as the minions, characters from Madagascar, the Ninja Turtles, Frozen and Alice in Wonderland will keep the smallest members of your family entertained over Eid.
There are five, free shows daily from 5pm until 9pm at East Gate 1 on the ground floor. More information is here.
Meanwhile, the pop-up summer food market will continue at the mall’s luxury court until Sept. 15.
Open from 1pm until 9pm daily, you can support local entrepreneurs by buying sweets, chocolates and other traditional food.
Another pop-up event is the summer edition of Arabian fashion event Heya, which will run until Sept. 3 at the luxury court and will feature Doha-based designers and retailers.
The classic story of Peter Pan will be retold as a family stage show from Sept. 1 to 5.
There will be three performances each day at 4:30pm, 7:30pm and 9:30pm.
Souq Waqif and Souq Waqif Al Wakrah will host family events during the five days of Eid, starting Sept. 1.
Both locations will have air-conditioned tents with rides, games and toys particularly for children, with events running daily from 4pm until 10pm.
The Aqua Park will host Eid entertainment for visitors, who can also take part in lots of fun games during a three day Eid Fest.
Starting on the evening of the first day of Eid, visitors will be able to participate in a sack race, bash a Piñata, and take part in musical chairs and a tug of war, among other games.
There will also be daily parades and Mickey Mouse shows.
For timings and more details about the games on offer, see here.
The park will be open from 10am to 10pm during Eid.
If you want to escape the city for a bit, outdoor eco adventure, Entalek Discover Arabia is organizing kayaking trips at the Al Thakira mangroves from Sept. 1 to 8.
Kayakers should meet at 4pm at Al Meera in Al Thakira, before setting off in a group for the mangroves. American Coast Guard certified life-jackets will be provided and a paddling lesson will be given before setting off to explore the mangroves.
Portable toilets, changing rooms, water, juice and electricity will be available. Costs are QR80 for children under 6 years, QR120 for children under 12 years and QR250 for adults. Groups of more than 10 people get a 10 percent discount. See here for more information.
Faisal bin Qassim museum
From Friday to Monday, this museum will host special activities including tours of its unique collections, photos taken while in a Qatari majlis and arts and crafts workshops for children.
The museum is open from 2pm to 7pm on Friday, Sept. 1. On Saturday, it’s open from 10am to 6pm. On Sunday, it’s open from 9am to 4pm, and on Monday, Sept. 4, it will be open from 9am to 4:30pm.
What are your plans for Eid? Thoughts?