Ramadan begins this weekend, but there are still lots of things to do around town, including enjoying a lavish iftar, partaking in a Ramadan race and kayaking in the mangroves.
Here are our picks:
Iftar and Suhoor
Every Ramadan, hotels and restaurants across Qatar roll out special offers and packages for iftar (the breaking of the fast) and suhoor (the pre-dawn meal).
This year, at least 20 hotels are offering meals. They include Azraq at the Banana Island Resort, Aramede Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Hotel, and many more.
Several standalone restaurants are also getting in on the action.
Usually, iftar buffets open from sunset to 8pm or 9pm, while suhoor buffets run from 9pm to 2am. Many of those meals are accompanied with live Arabic music.
For a more detailed listing featuring offers, timings and costs, check out Marhaba’s guide here or I Love Qatar’s Ramadan page here.
Katara Ramadan Festival
The annual Ramadan Festival at Katara Cultural Village will kick off on the first day of the holy month (either Saturday or Sunday), starting with a cannon firing at sunset.
The festival, usually spread over the seafront area and several other buildings, honors famous Muslim scholars and inventors, photographers and Qur’anic texts, and offers small local businesses the opportunity to sell their goods.
Also featured are competitions, exhibitions, lectures, sports activities, and educational sessions, among others. For example, last year’s festival featured a series of 3D exhibitions depicting the Quran’s take on the human body and creation.
The festival runs daily until midnight and is open to all.
Ramadan race challenge
The Qatar Running Series (QRS) is putting together a Ramadan race challenge this Friday at Education City’s Oxygen Park.
The race, which is open to a maximum of 100 participants, will feature a variety of running distances between 3k and 10k. All races will take place from 7:45pm to 9:45pm.
There will be a total of four races throughout the month, all of which will be held on Thursdays and Fridays up until June 15. Each race costs QR150 for adults and QR60 for runners below the age of 16.
Trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers for 3k, 5k and 10k distances.
The race will also provide participants with water stations, race bibs, medical support, course marshals, custom designed finisher’s medal for all distances and public liability insurance.
To register for the race, visit Qatar Running Series’ website.
MIA Ramadan festivities
The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) will also host a series of events and activities throughout the holy month starting Saturday, May 27.
They include lectures by renowned speakers who will touch upon subjects related to the holy month and the history of Islam and Islamic art. The first lecture in the series is titled Ramadan and Family. Other lectures include topics on the significance of sports in Ramadan, healthy eating and architecture.
There will also be storytelling sessions for children, lantern-making sessions, rug-weaving out of paper and the well-known MIA Bazaar on Saturday evenings, which will run from 5pm until midnight.
For more information on MIA’s Ramadan program, visit their website.
365 Adventures activities
Local eco-tourism company 365 Adventures will host two separate events this weekend: a kayaking and iftar potluck; and a karaoke dhow cruise.
The kayaking and iftar potluck event will take place on Saturday, May 27. It will feature a 90-minute session of kayaking in the Al Thakhira Mangroves starting at 4pm, followed by iftar at sunset.
Two kayaking tour sessions are available, one before iftar (which starts at 5pm) and one after iftar (starts at 8pm). Tickets cost QR200 for adults and QR150 for children between six and 12 years old, which can be purchased here. Children below six don’t need a ticket. Those who wish to pay in cash must book here.
All activities end by 10pm. More details regarding the event can be found on the event’s Facebook page.
Separately, the karaoke cruise will take place on Thursday, May 25 from 7pm to 10pm. More details can be found here.
- Canapés cooking class: City Center Rotana Doha is offering a Canapés cooking class tonight between 6pm and 8pm. The class costs QR180 per person and will teach participants how to make four different types of canapés. To reserve, call 4458888. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.
What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?