All photos by Chantelle D’mello
Saying they are frustrated with the increased police presence on the Corniche during the daily car parade that takes place in Ramadan, several participants have called for a change in venue.
That’s why starting this week, Katara Cultural Village’s main thoroughfare, Shakespeare St., has been jam-packed with a slow-moving motorcade of some of Qatar’s most exotic, colorful and expensive cars.
The procession takes place daily during the fasting month from 5pm until shortly before sunset.
The local tradition is usually held on the Corniche each year, but riders say they have grown tired of police surveillance and fines, so are moving the parade to a less trafficked location.
The move for a change in venue was initiated by a trio of Qatari social media celebrities, headed by Mohammed Al Dosari, who told Doha News there needed to be a “safer place” for friends to hold the daily pre-iftar parade.
Two days ago, Al Dosari, the star of Qatar’s first web series, the Doha Film Institute-supported “Dr. Hamood show,” sent out a social media blast. He explained:
“I sent a Snapchat out to all my followers, asking them to meet at Katara instead. At the Corniche, there is too much police. They fine if you don’t wear seat belts, if you stop for someone to take pictures, and other things. Some people here don’t have licenses and they’re scared of the police, so Katara is a better option,” he said.
With 199,000 followers on Instagram, and a similarly large following on Snapchat, Al Dosari’s call was met with widespread support.
Yesterday, hundreds of cars could be observed at Katara, partaking in the day’s parade.
In the past, Qatari leaders have lambasted the car parade as a waste of time and for being too ostentatious.
Others have criticized the procession for safety reasons, because of the participation of underage drivers.
Additionally, children are often observed to be hanging out of the cars without seat belts as the vehicles move along public roads.
At Katara, the procession also caused the venue’s main access road to become completely blocked, making it difficult for visitors to stop for karak.
But according to Al Dosari, the parade is not meant to be a social statement – it is simply a recreational activity.
“We do this just to pass time before iftar. People are hungry and need a distraction. That’s all it is,” he said.
“I sent a Snapchat out to all my followers, asking them to meet at Katara instead. At the Corniche, there is too much police. They fine if you don’t wear seat belts, if you stop for someone to take pictures, and other things. Some people here don’t have licenses and they’re scared of the police, so Katara is a better option,”
Fine for not wearing seat belts – correct
Fine for stopping on the main road in an unauthorised parade for pictures – correct
Fine for driving without a licence – correct
Police should go to Katara and fine you there too.
And the un-licenced drivers should be arrested, on the spot!
My thoughts EXACTLY! You mad ’cause YOU BREAKING the LAW! Qatari’s, sometimes they’re a real JOKE!
Starting with the dude texting in his little blue buggy whilst driving………..
The sense of entitlement in that quote is ridiculous, it’s like an alternate universe “ugh the police want to fine us for blocking traffic, driving without seatbelts and even fining those of us who don’t have licenses, they are so inconsiderate”
do they exist in some sort of parallel universe where the safety of children and fellow road users doesn’t matter ?
I think that that is the whole problem here in general. How many times have we all read about the death toll on the roads. People lack the will to follow the rules and when they don’t the police in general do not enforce them. In this case however the police are fining it seems. Well done to them for this.
“Fed up with fines?” It’s actually quite simple: follow the law.
The people replying in these comments don’t seem to appreciate that this is something unique to Qatar and is really something amazing to witness. I agree that the corniche is a little bit of an iffy location as it is a public road, but the cars would drive slowly for pictures on the far right and middle lanes only, leaving the far left lane for traffic to continue. As this happens between 4-6pm (time before iftaar), most of the general traffic are home and not on the streets. The children not wearing seat belts is something that I cannot condone but in the defence of their parents, they are within the confines of their vehicle and going at an extremely slow speed. I think the parade is a great social phenomenon unique to Qatar and the government need only regulate it in a location specifically for this purpose. Just my 2 cents.
Everyone here is complaining “Hey why aren’t they like my country?” completely ignoring the fact that this is a tradition that’s been going on for over 10 years now.
All they want to do is colonize, and doha news is helping.
Rubbish, see my response to Mamba9. Nobody said that it should be like our home countries but everybody says that it needs to be safe. You by what you are saying are condoning the breaking of the law. Even the ruling elite here have said that it is wrong.
Colonise??? We did, we left, we should have stayed. Roads would be safe if we did. 🙂
Should have stayed? Are you a white supremacist? Is this your father?
Why yes it is. Back row second from left. Thank you for the picture.
How is your hatred of all fellow expats coming along?
I only hate expats with an arrogant “colonizer” mindset, the ones who would jump on any occasion to tell you how civilized they are back home and how backward Qatar and other Muslim countries are. I always wonder why they made this huge sacrifice and left their civilized countries to come to a backward Muslim place. It seems like their morals and principles vanish in front of a nice tax-free package
So you retreat to the usual calls of racism, anti Muslim and tax free salary. It is old and overused.
It is way better than claiming that you “should have stayed” to make it a better place. Or do you want to come and insult people here with your colonialist attitude and get away with it?
It isn’t about considering Qatar backward, the comments here are about the illegality, the risk to other road users and the disregard for the safety of children who are the adult driver’s responsibility. I honestly don’t think my concerns make me a ‘Coloniser’. I didn’t personally make sacrifices to come here, I find Qatar on the whole very pleasant. What isn’t pleasant is an arrogant disregard for the law and its enforcers, and the frankly obscene display of excess at a time when one is encouraged to think about those who have little..
This picture is disturbing on so many different levels! If Britain and its allies take in a million more migrants and grant them citizenship it would still be not enough for what they did to these people and their land! Disgusting!!
Deleting for getting off track.
Yeah but now we have oil and you can’t wait to get your greedy grubby hands over it.
They’re driving at way beyond the speed limit. How is that not safe? You have clearly never been to one of these.
You don’t have oil, the Emir does. There is a difference.
Yeah but I get paid 40,000QR to basically go into the office and sleep. Close enough.
Lololol 1 – 0 for the Qatari
If it was done once every Ramadan, with the cooperation of the police, I would agree. As it is, it might be traditional to you, but it is a bloody nuisance to other road users, and unsafe to boot.
Personally speaking, I have zero wish to “colonize”(sic) Qatar.
How is it a nuisance or unsafe to other road users? Most people driving on the corniche at that time are there for the parade anyways. Plus, it was only on the corniche and specifically one stretch between the sheraton traffic lights and al bidda park lights. It seems to me that you haven’t been there, and if you have, haven’t taken the time to see what’s actually going on. It’s easy to be negative….
Not unsafe? Are you telling me some (if not most) of these guys won’t speed home to make it on time for Iftar?
That has nothing to do with what they’re doing. If they finished at 5 they wouldn’t be speeding. With this mentality we might as well have a curfew at 6 so no one speeds home for iftar.
Yes, but they don’t finish at 5. So no matter what they are doing at the event, the timing makes it unsafe when a large group of people will rush home (some driving without a license apparently). It is already a dangerous time despite most people trying to avoid that time.
So your issue is with the timing and not the activity?
Myrddin – “colonize” is spelt correctly. Why did you (sic) it? Just curious if I’m missing something.
‘Traditional` English! I understand it’s a buggeration, but we English are apt to get picky about these minor transgressions?
You are generalizing.
A tradition is a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past. Going on since ten years it is hardly a “tradition”.
How do traditions start? Just because it’s only been around for 10 years doesn’t mean it doesn’t count.
brothers, please don’t judge all expats by these whingers and winers here. we’re not all like this, and some of us love it here. I am old enough to remember a Europe were we used to have fun…. till these bleeding heart do-gooders got hold of it and wrapped everything up in cotton wool…. now kids can’t even run and jump in the school playground in case they fall. All UK men of a certain age messed about with cars and bikes as soon as we were old enough… took outrageous risks, flouted evey law…. its part of growing up, and I wouldn’t mind betting half of these desenters did the same. Now Europe is a cossetted shrink wrapped sell-by dated, safety belted, soft pillowy world were the nanny state tells me what is good for me – they misguidedly believe they are protecting me from myself. The USA is even worse. DONT LET IT HAPPEN HERE!
Excellent comment and I agree with some of it.
1) Not on Corniche which is an open public road
2) Get a closed road with police approval and supervision
3) Speed of the vehicle does not matter. Wear the belts. If that car is hit by a car travelling at speed then the children are dead. Simple as. Likely to happen especially as the road is open.
4) “I think the parade is a great social phenomenon unique to Qatar and the government need only regulate it in a location specifically for this purpose” – I agree 100%
Shame on you Doha News for giving a space for these morons!
The car parade is a tradition?! Maybe a fad, no more. It’s just another show of crass materialism “to celebrate” this spiritual time… Look what happened to poor Mo.
What a day, what a lovely day
Getting run over by an Aventador is a dream come true for many teenagers here in Qatar. A photo of a Lamborghini logo stamped on your left butt cheek is worth at least few hundred likes.
The Corniche Parade a Qatari tradition? What a joke. In a normal world he should be punished for insulting his real Qatari traditions. A parade of spoiled rich kids showing off their cars has nothing to do with traditions and is a result of the sudden abundance of wealth that the local population witnessed in the last decade or so. Saying that it is a tradition is like saying that Russian Oligarchs flocking to London and buying properties there is a Russian tradition. I don’t think there is anyone in Russia who sees it like that.
Forgive them, Yacine. Their first language isn’t English.
Not true. People have been going to the Cornish ever since the 80’s, and I remember as a small kid that there wasn’t that many expensive cars.
So is it a tradition, I think so.
If that is the case then dune bashing is also a traditional sport/activity. May be we should get Qatar Museums to document all these “traditions” and include them in the upcoming National Museum?
Again, I do not see this as worthy of the “tradition” label. Tradition for me means something that has been acquired through generations and that is a distinct mark of particular region/people. It can be clothes, it can be food, it can be some sort of celebrations, but not a car parade.
Y u mad huh?
How amusing,a car parade for those who do not like following the rules of the road. Usually I tend to see reason from all sides,but when this car parade somehow becomes a tradition and social media “celebrities” becomes the purveyors, then I will go put my head in the sand of times so to catch any other traditions I missed.
I would like to CONGRATULATE the Local Police for ONCE doing their JOB! Keep it up, we all need it.
The Katara area is the PERFECT place for this to be held every year from now on. It’s Long Enough, It’s Wide Enough, It’s Bumpy Enough, and it’s well, the H*LL out of my way. 🙂
The only country that has a pre-iftar parade.
I don’t have a punchline.
Before Shabinna can wield her sword against freedom of speech and facts…I’ve deleted my own comment for stereotyping……DN the upholders of repression.
Deleting for trolling.
These people have no lives. So silly and pathetic.
The only tradition I see is the tradition of letting children bounce around without seatbelts, and hang out of moving vehicles.
Fed up with being fined? Why not stop offending then…..?
“People are hungry and need a distraction”. After 15 hours of fasting are they capable of driving safely?
Great advice to hungry workers- distract yourself by flouting the law. Do it often enough and it will be a tradition,
Tell them to do something more productive ( read Quran , do dhikr or offer salat ) this is how you would pass time before iftaar . This distracts you from hunger and is productive . So why not try this !