American comedian and actor Marlon Wayans will perform in Qatar for the first time next month during the upcoming Qatar Summer Festival (QSF).
The star of Scary Movie and White Chicks will take to the stage during the Eid holiday on Tuesday, June 27 at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).
The event is just one of several entertainment offerings during this year’s extended Summer Festival.
It will run from June 25 to Sept. 5, twice the length of previous iterations.
This is because both Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha fall during the summer months this year, said Mashal Shahbik, Director of Festivals at the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
This created “the perfect opportunity” to merge the Eid celebrations into one continuous festival, she added.
Stand up comedy
Marlon Wayans’ stand up comedy show at the QNCC in June is likely to be a highlight of the festival.
He is however an unusual choice for a country as conservative as Qatar, and it is unclear whether he will tone down his jokes to avoid offending the crowd here.
Wayans will perform his comedy routine at 8pm on June 27 after an opening act from local comedian Saad Khan, of Stand Up Comedy Qatar.
Tickets for the event range from QR199 up to QR999 and can be bought from Virgin Megastore (in person and online). They are also being sold by PlatinumList.net and QTickets.com.
Please note that only those aged 15 years old and older will be allowed to attend.
QTA said it is also finalizing a Doha Comedy Festival “showcase event” to be held sometime this summer.
‘Something for everyone’
Other offerings during the festival include a “Summer Entertainment City.”
It will be set up inside the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) for the duration of the Summer Festival.
For many parents, the air-conditioned space is a convenient place to retreat during the hottest months of the year.
But last year, some visitors told Doha News they were disappointed that so many of the attractions were only aimed at young kids.
However, this summer, organizers are promising lots of activities for residents of all ages.
These include what the QTA is claiming to be “the world’s largest obstacle course,” a trampoline park, a food court, live entertainment and 30 amusement park rides.
Events company QSports will run the DECC venue.
In a statement, Ghanim Al Mohannadi, Deputy Chairman of QSports, said that Summer Entertainment City would have “something for everyone, including entertainment, sports, food, and fun on a level never seen in Qatar.”
The DECC will also host the fourth Mindsports World Championships between Aug. 19 and 27.
Around 1,500 enthusiasts from over 40 different countries are expected to compete in the event.
During it, they play each other at Scrabble, Chess, Go and e-sports for a share of a $200,000 prize.
If you want to take part, you need to register here.
The Qatar Summer Festival is an important part of the QTA’s efforts to increase the numbers of tourists visiting Qatar each year.
This is particularly important right now, due to a current lull in room bookings. Additionally, the hot summer months are typically Qatar’s quietest in terms of visitors.
Just last month, for example, managers from several leading hotels in the country said that urgent action should be taken to protect the future of tourism in Qatar.
To help draw visitors, many hotels and shops will be offering special discounts and deals during the QSF.
The QTA is promising “attractive shopping discounts” of up to 50 percent during the festival, and entry into a raffle for cash prizes and luxury car if shoppers spend QR200 at any participating retail outlets.
Alluding to a pledge to provide free hotel stays for transit passengers this summer, QTA said that free breakfasts and free transfers from the airport are also planned.
Are you excited about the upcoming festival? Thoughts?