|This Ramadan guide is presented by Vodafone Qatar.|
With reporting from Riham Sheble and Reem Saad
Holidays for the public sector have already started, so expect most government ministries to be closed all week, with offices re-opening on Tuesday, July 12.
Since school break coincides with Eid vacation for many people, it’s now peak travel season. To help passengers cope, Hamad International Airport (HIA) has issued some advice.
Still, there is no shortage of people staying in Qatar, and there are plenty of events going on around town to cater to this crowd during the festive season.
That includes daily fireworks shows, a tribute to Muhammad Ali and the opening of a new ride at the Aqua Park.[toc]
Here’s what you need to know about spending Eid Al Fitr in Qatar this year:
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!
Eid prayers will be performed on Wednesday at 5:03am at 298 mosques and prayer grounds in various areas of the country, including 35 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.
It’s July, so it’s going to be hot. Expect temps to be in the mid-40s, and it to be sunny out.
According to local forecasters, it shouldn’t be too windy or dusty in the middle of the week, but they still advise people to avoid direct sunlight during the day.
— عبدالله محمد المناعي (@MetQatar) July 3, 2016
From July 4 to July 11, the Ministry of Interior’s General Directorate of Nationality, Borders and Expatriate Affairs, General Directorate of Traffic, Criminal Evidence and Investigation Department, will work abbreviated hours, from 8am to noon.
The Qatar Central Bank has said it and all financial institutions in the country will be closed for three working days for Eid. This means they will be closed from Wednesday to Sunday (because of the weekend) and reopen on Monday, July 11.
However, some banks will be open for abbreviated amounts of time during the holiday. Here are their timings:
Qatar National Bank
QNB’s mall branches (The Mall, Villaggio, City Center, Landmark, Lagoona, Medina Centrale and Gulf Mall) will be open in the evening on the second and third days of Eid. They will resume normal hours thereafter. More information is available here.
Qatar Islamic Bank
QIB’s branches in the Gate, Dar Al Salam and City Center malls will open on the evening of the second day of Eid, from 3:30pm to 9pm, and run throughout the holidays. However, on Friday, the bank will be open from 4pm till 9pm. For more information, check out their website.
Masraf Al Rayan
The bank’s branch in City Center mall will be open on the second and third days of Eid from 3pm till 9pm. Their branches in The Mall and Wathnan Mall will be open from the third day of Eid, from 9am to 9pm. Normal business hours will resume from Sunday, July 10.
Mall branches (City Center, Dar Al Salam and Lulu Hypermarket) will be open on the second and third days of Eid from 5pm to 9pm, after which the banks will resume normal working hours. Doha Bank’s Bulk Cash Center will open on the third day of Eid from 5pm to 9pm.
Mall branches (City Center, Hyatt Plaza, Villaggio, Landmark, Dar Al Salam and Gulf mall) will open on the third day of Eid from 4pm to 9pm.
All HMC emergency services will continue to be open 24/7 throughout Eid.
Outpatient departments and clinics in Hamad General Hospital, Women’s Hospital, Al Khor Hospital, Al Wakra Hospital, Cuban Hospital, Heart Hospital and National Center for Cancer Care and Research will be closed from Tuesday, July 5. They will reopen on Sunday, July 10.
Rumailah Hospital’s OPD will be closed from Sunday, July 3, and will reopen on Monday, July 11.
At Women’s Hospital, high-risk clinic appointments will continue as scheduled on July 3 and 4, and July 10 and 12. The pharmacy will remain open 24/7 throughout the holidays.
All mental health services will close from Tuesday, July 5 and reopen on Sunday, July 10.
The Hamad Customer Service Center will be closed from Tuesday, July 5 and will reopen Saturday, July 9 from 10am to 6pm. Patients requiring any information can call 16060 during these times for any inquiries or changes to their appointments.
For more information, see HMC’s Facebook page here.
Primary Health Care Cooperation (PHCC) Centers
The following hours apply from July 3 to 11: Within Doha, the main health centers (Al Rayyan, Madinat Khalifa, Rawdat Al Khail, Umm Ghuwailina, Abu Bakr Al Siddiq, Omar Bin Khatab, Airport, West Bay, Leabaib and Mesaimeer) will operate from 7am to 2pm and 4pm till 10pm.
Health centers in Umm Salal, Al Daayen, Al Thumama, Al Gharafa, Leghweriya, Al Karaana, and Abu Nakhla will be closed throughout the holidays.
Outside of Doha city limits, health centers in Al Khor and Al Shamal will be open from 7am till 2pm and 4pm till 11pm.
Al Shahaniya and Al Wakrah’s health centers will operate in straight shifts, from 7am till 9pm, and from 7am till 11pm respectively, while Al Jamiliyah, Al Kaaban, Al Ghuwairiya and Umm Bab’s health centers will work on an on-call system around the clock.
For more information on PHCC hours, see here.
Performances and activities will take place at Hyatt Plaza, City Center, Landmark, Ezdan, Dar Al Salam, Lagoona and Al Khor malls for five days, starting with the first day of Eid.
Many of them will be geared toward children, with performances from Alice in Wonderland, Sleeping Beauty, Little Mermaid, Iftah Ya Simsim and Dora The Explorer. Other acts will include traditional dances such as arda and dabkah, magic shows, parades and more.
All shows will run from 5pm to 10pm, and more details can be found here or below:
Royal Plaza will also be hosting competitions such as bean bag throwing and snakes and ladders, along with clowns, stilt walkers, face painting and other attractions, from 7:30pm to 10pm on the second and third days of Eid.
Adult and children’s plays will be held throughout Eid at both the Qatar National Theatre and the Al Rayyan Theatre in Souq Waqif.
“Tar Al Wazir,” an Arabic comedy about social issues in Qatar and the Gulf, will run from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at the Qatar National Theatre, with ticket prices ranging from QR50 to QR500.
And children’s play “The Fisherman and the Pirates” will run daily from 4:30pm to 6:30pm at the Al Rayyan Theatre. Ticket prices range between QR30 to QR300.
Families can also visit the Al Bidda Hotel in Souq Waqif where various activities such as face painting and henna will be available from Tuesday, July 5 to Sunday, July 10 from 6pm to 10:30pm.
Muhammad Ali tribute
The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) will be opening an exhibition titled, “Muhammad Ali: Tribute to a Legend,” on the second day of Eid.
The temporary photography and memorabilia exhibition, set up on MIA’s fourth-floor gallery, will hold a unique collection of artifacts from the boxing legend’s career.
It was curated by Qatar Museums’ 3-2-1 Olympic and Sports Museum, which will open in a permanent home as part of the redeveloped Khalifa International Stadium.
The MIA will be closed on the first day of Eid and resume normal operating hours after that: Open Sunday, Monday and Wednesday from 10:30am to 5pm; Thursday from noon to 8pm; Friday from 2pm to 8pm; Saturday from noon to 8pm; and closed Tuesdays.
Along with launching a new attraction called Sting Ray Surfing, Qatar’s only water park will host three days of activities starting with the first day of Eid, and will be open from 10am until 10pm.
Activities for kids will include mascots and a balloon animal maker. There’s also entertainment including oud players and tannoura dancers, and special art and board game competitions.
Tickets bought online cost QR155 for adults and QR105 for children. Tickets bought at the park cost QR180 for adults and QR 130 for children.
Domestic workers and special needs persons’ tickets cost QR70. To ride the new attraction, however, visitors will be charged an extra QR50.
A Maqtoora Market will be set up at the Pearl’s Medina Centrale during Eid from July 6 to July 8 from 4pm to 9pm.
According to the Pearl’s website, there will be face painting, a photo booth, balloon animal making, a coloring station, game booths and free popcorn, ice cream and cotton candy.
Qatar National Convention Center
The Eidieh Festival at the QNCC is open daily now from 9pm to 1am during Ramadan. From Eid to July 30, it runs from
10am 4pm to 10pm (according to an update from organizers).
The family-friendly venue has heritage halls with henna decorators, weavers and fishermen, fun/educational activities for children and cultural performances.
There’s also a bazaar with 200 kiosks from 15 countries, face-painting corners, a bouncy castle, a photo booth, a 9-D cinema, a maze and other features.
Katara Cultural Village
Katara will host four days of festivities starting with the first day of Eid. Under the theme “A Child’s Dream,” activities will include three daily performances in both Arabic and English followed by traditional Eid gifts (Eidiyya) after the first two shows.
The first Arabic performance will start at 7:30pm, followed by one in English at 8:30pm. The last Arabic show will be at 9:30pm. The entertainment will include a group of acrobatic and circus performances, as well as clowns, ribbon dancing and a mime show.
Each night will culminate in a firework show after 10pm.
The Ministry of Interior is organizing community events during the first and second days of Eid near the cricket stadium.
All are invited to enjoy cultural performances and musical shows from the Indian, Sri Lankan, Nepalese and Korean communities from 5pm to 11pm on both days. Entry is free and there will be a prize drawing for audience members.
Additionally, Qatar Stars will be playing a T20 cricket match against Pakistan Stars at the Asian Town Cricket Station on Friday, July 8. Gates will open at 3pm. Tickets cost QR25, QR35 or QR200/person, and can be ordered by calling 77880877 or at the venue on the day of the match.
Dragon Mart is holding a festival that includes authentic Chinese food and activities. The week-long celebration has already begun and lasts through Eid (until July 9).
It is being held at the store’s location on Barwa Commercial Avenue, opposite Al Watan petrol station. For now, food is available from 8pm to midnight, though we’ll keep you posted on if that changes after Ramadan.
Filipino celebrity basketball
Qatar’s Filipino community is holding a celebrity basketball tournament this Eid featuring famous actors such as Jomari Yllana, Joko Diaz, Rocco Nacino, among others. Former Philippine Basketball Association players will also compete.
The match will be held on Friday, July 8, at 9am at the Hamad Al Attiyah Sports Complex. Tickets cost QR50 each and can be bought online.
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Philippine School Doha (PSD) for the construction of their new building and to the chosen charity of the Alliance of Filipino Journalists in Qatar (AFJQ) in Manila.
Sheikh Faisal museum
Displaying ancient artifacts of Islamic art, Qatar heritage, vehicles, coins and currency, this museum will offer tours to visitors from the first day of Eid onwards.
Opening hours are from 8:30am to 6pm, and the museum is located in Al Rayyan. Tickets are free for children below 8. For those aged 9 – 18, tickets cost QR10. For adults aged 18+, tickets cost QR15. More information about it can be found online.
Al Samariyah Equestrian Center
According to QTA, this equestrian center will offer visitors horse riding sessions throughout Eid, from 8:30am till 6pm.
But stagecoach riding will cost QR50 while a tour of Arabian horses costs QR100. The center is located near the Sheikh Faisal museum.
Qatar Foundation will host an evening of arts and crafts as well as an Eid festival at the Education City (EC) Clubhouse in the EC Community Housing on Wednesday, July 6 from 6pm till 9pm.
The event is free and open to public.
The Qatar Air Sports Committee will also offer aerial paragliding tours at Sealine for the five days of Eid, from 3:30pm till 6:30pm. The activity is only legible for those aged 18 and above, and costs QR250 per person.
How will you be spending your Eid? Thoughts?
All information presented here was sourced by Doha News staff. Vodafone Qatar did not contribute to the content of this guide.
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