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Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Souq Waqif Spring Festival 2016

From checking out Qatar’s annual Spring Festivals to cheering on triathlon participants to visiting Katara’s Magical Festival Village, there’s lots to do around town this weekend.

Here are our picks:

Spring festivals

The annual Souq Waqif Spring Festival opens tomorrow, Jan. 19, and runs through Feb. 3.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Souq Waqif Spring Festival 2016

One of the festival offerings will include Kingdom of Snakes at the Al Rayyan Theater. The show runs from Jan. 20 until the end of the festival and tells the story of a princess who gets kidnapped by a villain.

Regular tickets cost QR70 and QR100, while VIP tickets cost QR250.

Timings for the show and the festival have yet to be announced, but in previous years it ran from 3:30pm to 10pm daily.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Souq Wakrah

Souq Wakrah is also hosting a Spring Festival starting tomorrow. It runs through Feb. 13 and will include entertainment and games for children, according to the Qatar Tribune.

Magical Festival Village

Head over to Katara’s souq-themed recreational area Magical Festival Village for a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs show starting this Thursday, Jan. 19.

Fantasyland Station / Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The show will take place at the festival’s Teatro, located on the Katara beachfront. Snow White runs from Jan. 19-22, and Jan. 25-30. Shows will be held from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.

Ticket prices range between QR100 and QR350, and can be purchased here.

The festival will run until April 30 and will feature other shows including The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland and Aladdin.

Doha Triathlon 2017

The first-ever Doha Triathlon will take place this Friday, Jan. 20 at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) and The Corniche.

Qatar Chain Reaction

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The triathlon will run from 7am until noon and is open to all athletic levels.

The race will feature a 1.5km swim, a 40km bike ride and a 10km run along with a Sprint triathlon that includes a 750m swim, a 20km bike ride and a 5km run.

For more information, visit the Doha Triathlon website.

Mosque tour

A free tour of the beautiful Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies mosque at Qatar Foundation will be held on Jan. 20 from 3:30 to 6:30pm.

Ray Toh / Doha News

QFIS on Eid Al Fitr 2016

The event is being hosted by the Sheikh Abdullah bin Zaid Al-Mahmoud Islamic Cultural Center (Fanar). It includes an introduction to Islam, as well as “insight into a part of life in Qatar that seems obscure.”

To take part in the tour, meet at Fanar at 3pm. More information about the event can be found here.

Extreme desert show

Local eco-tourism company 365 Adventures Qatar is hosting an afternoon of dune-bashing, sunset watching and food this Friday between 1:30pm and 4:30pm.

Toyota Qatar

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The event will take place at both Sealine and Khor Al Udayd (inland sea), and will feature three hours of dune-bashing, a 30-minute “extreme desert show” and optional swimming.

Tickets cost QR150 per person. Pick-up and drop-off services will be provided by professional off-road drivers. The meeting point will be at the Hardee’s located on Old Airport Road.

For more information on ticket bookings and payment, check out the event’s Facebook page.


  • Free film screening: In case you missed it when it premiered last month, Dari Qatar: A Film By All of Us will be playing at the MIA Park this Saturday at 7pm. The documentary features human interest pieces that incorporate the day-to-day lives of Qatar residents. The clips all allude to themes of change, diversity, hope, family, tradition and adventure, among others.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

PHCC / Facebook

PHCC social media campaign

Healthcare officials in Qatar have launched a new social media campaign that uses a popular online meme to urge residents to eat healthier and think positively.

The campaign is loosely based on Bill, a cartoon who always chooses the sensible, pragmatic option when faced with a modern dilemma.

One of his earliest iterations was, “Bill is on the internet. Bill sees something that offends him. Bill moves on. Bill is smart. Be like Bill.”

Be Like Bill cartoon

Inspired by the meme, Qatar’s Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) has been using it to promote positive health messages in the country.

Rashid’s family

The group runs some two dozen health centers in Qatar, and has centered its new campaign around Rashid’s family (#rashid_family).

The cartoon Qatari family unit was created by the organization in 2014 to use on campaign posters.

In the first of the two cartoons shared so far, the youngest member of the family, one-year-old Hayat, is seen drinking plain milk, with the line: “Hayat is a healthy child, be like HAYAT.”

PHCC / Facebook

PHCC social media campaign

And in the second, 45-year-old doctor Rashid, Hayat’s father, is pictured at his desk.

Rashid has a “beaming smile” at work, apparently due to his optimistic approach to life. Readers are urged to “be like Rashid.”

The PHCC has not yet responded to Doha News‘ request for comment on the campaign.

But it comes as officials are working to improve the physical and mental health of the population.

Health concerns

Some 42.3 percent of adults in Qatar are obese – the highest rate in the Gulf (which has an average of 36.7 percent).

And an increasing number of children in Qatar are also obese, putting them at risk of getting a host of diseases, including diabetes.

Video still

Ministry of Public Health ad

Meanwhile, around 18 percent of people in Qatar suffer from depression.

A series of community mental health centers are in the works to help tackle the stigma surrounding mental health and boost care for residents.

What do you think of the posters? Thoughts?


Corniche fireworks

For those who want to end their weekend with some flash and bang, Shop Qatar will wrap up its weekend events with a final fireworks show tonight.

The event takes place at 8pm on the Corniche.

Also, today is the last day to check out the several food trucks and stalls set up on the Corniche. Expect to see them from 4pm to 10pm.

Who’s going? Thoughts?