Live, family-friendly shows, comedy acts, hotel offers and giveaways are expected to be some of the key attractions during this year’s summer festival, which begins this Saturday, Aug. 1, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced.
The month-long celebration, dubbed “Color your Summer,” will run through Aug. 31 and most events will take place at the Doha Exhibition Center, near Katara Cultural Village.
The DEC is being transformed into an “Entertainment City” for the festivities.
In addition to entertainment featuring popular kids’ characters such as Barney, the Teletubbies and Dora, there will be various rides and games.
The 15,000 sq meter festival zone will also have a food court and a mini trade fair, with handicrafts, clothing, perfumes and accessories for sale, QTA officials said during a press conference earlier this month.
Two ticketed concerts for adults are scheduled for Aug. 11 and 28, although QTA has not revealed details about the artists planned to play at these events.
And on Aug. 29, a “Doha Comedy Day” will be held at the Qatar National Convention Center, with several comedians performing their acts on stage – though names have yet to be released.
This year, there will also be a “shopping festival,” with major stores offering promotions and discounts, while malls stage weekly raffles that give away more than QR2 million in prizes. Four BMW 7 series and four Mini Cooper cars are expected to be among the most sought-after giveaways.
Meanwhile, more than two dozen hotels across Doha are expected to hold special offers for visitors during the festival, such as a complimentary extra night’s stay or free children’s meals.
Highlights of last year’s summer festival, which continued for nearly two months, included evening fountain shows on the Corniche, an inflatable aqua park at Al Wakrah beach, bike riding and kayaking at Al Khor and Disney on Ice performances at the QNCC.
The summer festival has become an annual event designed to attract tourists, particularly from neighboring GCC countries, at a time when visitor numbers to Qatar are low.
This year, Qatar is on track to bring in three million visitors, after recording some 1.5 million foreign visits in the first half of 2015.
That’s a 7 percent jump from last year’s visits, with GCC nationals continuing to account for more than half of overall visits.
Do you plan to check out this year’s Summer Festival? Thoughts?