All photos by Chantelle D’mello
Drivers-by curious about the growing collection of amusement park rides being assembled in the parking lot of the Qatar Sports Club in West Bay may not have to wait much longer to see what the fuss is all about.
According to organizers, the rides are part of an upcoming five-week-long Doha Fun Fair, which is scheduled to open later this month.
The event is a collaboration between local company Dania Events and Alan Crow Amusements, a UK-based company specializing in theme park rides that has previously worked at the Dubai Global Village.
Speaking to Doha News, Bilal Siddiqui, the project’s local operations manager, said:
“We’ve been at this for almost two months. The first shipment of rides started coming in on Feb. 2, and we’ve been building it ever since.”
While this is the first time that Alan Crow Amusements is featuring its rides in Doha, Dania Events, part of the larger Dania Group, has previously organized various shows here, including last year’s Dreams on Ice, which ran as part of Katara’s Eid offerings.
The fair is open to both adults and kids, though several of the rides are restricted to people over a certain height for safety reasons.
Among the more unique adult-oriented rides for Qatar include a “slingshot,” where riders fastened to seats inside a roll-cage are catapulted several meters into the air.
There’s also going to be a “Sky Flyer,” where riders are swung in almost free-fall circles, attached to a central column by a rope.
For children, there are roller coasters, swinging boat rides, a snow globe attraction and various other rotating and moving contraptions.
According to Siddiqui, the festival aims to open in two weeks, pending government approvals.
“We are still (waiting on) some Civil Defense and security approvals,” he said, adding that some objection had been made to the rides’ proximity to the road.
Once open, the area will run from around 5pm to midnight on most days. Rides will be payable via a card system similar to ones at numerous fun zones around Doha.