Browsing 'Asian Town' News

All photos by Reem Saad

Undeterred by heavy traffic and humid weather, thousands of people gathered at Doha’s Asian Town last night to enjoy performances and cricket matches during the first day of Eid Al Fitr.

The event was a bit of a cultural hodgepodge, with Indian, Sri Lankan, Nepalese and Korean communities all showcasing their talents, as the crowd danced and sang along.

Most of last night’s attendees were blue collar workers, the majority of whom are away from their families during the holidays.

Asian Town Eid Al Fitr festivities

Reem Saad / Doha News

Asian Town Eid Al Fitr festivities

Previously, authorities have said the events, which are organized by the Ministry of Interior, were an attempt to make the Asian community feel more at home.

Missing home

Speaking to Doha News, Jayesh Chaudhary, an Indian driver living in Doha, said he hasn’t spent Eid with his family in three years.

Although that makes him feel sad, such events help him forget a little and have fun, he said.

“I like this because it bring back memories of my home in Kerala. There, we always sing and dance and we are all together. Today feels the same.”

At last night’s event, thousands could be seen dancing and clapping along as male performers took the stage. Many could also be seen filming the scene on their smartphones.

The performances, which were punctuated by prize drawings for the audience, began at 5pm and went on until 11pm. Another series of events will be held at Asian Town the same time today.

Asian Town Eid Al Fitr festivities

Reem Saad / Doha News

Asian Town Eid Al Fitr festivities

Also yesterday, many turned up to watch a friendly game of cricket with friends and family.

But more said they were looking forward to tomorrow’s match, where Qatar Stars will be playing a T20 cricket match against Pakistan Stars.

For those who want to attend, gates will open at 3pm on Friday, July 8.

Tickets cost QR25, QR35 or QR200/person, and can be ordered by calling 77880877 or at the venue on the day of the match.

Thoughts?


More Eid information here:

Sunny Leone

Sunny Leone/Facebook

Sunny Leone

A Bollywood concert featuring a film star known for her racy resume has been canceled after intervention from Qatar authorities, organizers said.

Some 7,000 tickets have already been sold for Mega Bollywood Night at the Asian Town Amphitheater next weekend with comedian Sunil Pal, dancer Nirmal Tamang and pop star Himal for a 3.5-hour show in the Industrial Area venue.

The evening was supposed to be headlined by Canadian Sunny Leone, a former porn and reality TV actress who most recently starred in “erotica horror” film Ragini MMS 2 and 2015’s Ek Paheli Leela.

11th March don't miss it

Posted by Mega Bollywood Night 2016 with Sunny Leone on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Organizers Arun Valley Entertainment said they had already secured the necessary permits from the Ministry of Culture before they started promoting the show.

However, they told Doha News that they were recently called into a meeting and told that Leone would not be allowed to be part of the program.

In a Facebook message on Sunday, organizers said they were pulling the plug on the entire show and that everyone who had already purchased tickets could receive a refund.

Project manager Ghimire Kalyan lamented the development:

“This is very bad news … We’re taking a huge loss,” he said. “I’m here in Qatar and follow the rules and laws … But (the government) had already given us permission.”

Atif Aslam concert canceled

Authorities in Qatar generally frown upon entertainment that contains explicitly sexual material and have previously banned screenings of movies, including Raaz 3 – a 3D Bollywood erotic horror film – in 2012.

Photo for illustrative purposes only

Vox Cinema/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only

However, event organizers previously told Doha News that there was nothing about the event’s program that would violate the Qatar’s norms or social values.

Kalyan said his goal was to give Qatar’s large South Asian population additional entertainment options.

Mega Bollywood Night is the second Asian Town show to be canceled in less than a month.

In mid-February, promoter World of Music scrapped a concert scheduled for Feb. 26 headlined by singers Atif Aslam and Shalmali Kholgade.

A spokesperson told Doha News today that it was due to “unforeseen circumstances” and that he was not authorized to divulge any more details.

World of Music declined to say how many tickets had been sold. The company said on its Facebook page that ticket-holders would receive a refund.

Thoughts?

Sunny Leone

Sunny Leone/Facebook

Sunny Leone

A well-known Canadian Bollywood actress and ex-porn star is scheduled to headline an evening of music, dance and other entertainment at the Asian Town amphitheater outside of Doha next month, organizers have said.

Sunny Leone is a reality television star in India who has also appeared in the popular Bollywood horror film Ragini MMS 2 as well as 2015’s Ek Paheli Leela.

The actress, who has 1.3 million followers on Twitter and more than 16 million Facebook fans, will be joined in Qatar on March 11 by comedian Sunil Pal, dancer Nirmal Tamang and pop star Himal for a 3.5-hour “Mega Bollywood Night” in the Industrial Area venue.

Authorities in Qatar generally frown upon explicitly sexual material and have previously banned movies including Raaz 3 – a 3D Bollywood erotic horror film – in 2012.

However, event organizers told Doha News that there was nothing about the event’s program that would violate the country’s norms or social values.

“I respect Qatar’s law and religion … We are doing an entertainment program (with) very good singers and a very good comedian,” Ghimire Kalyan, a project manager with show organizer Arun Valley Entertainment.

“We didn’t want to go into Sunny’s past … She’s a very talented actress in Bollywood,” he said, adding his firm had already received permission to hold the event from authorities in Qatar.

Entertainment in Qatar

Kalyan said the primary drive behind Mega Bollywood Night was to bring additional entertainment options to Qatar’s large South Asian community.

He also noted that many people in the Bollywood film industry are familiar with Dubai and will often travel to the UAE to film.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

DFI

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

He hoped that introducing agents and other organizers to Qatar could lead to them returning to shoot or work with the local film industry, which could also provide a boost to Qatar’s hotels, restaurants and other businesses.

“We want to support Qatar,” Kalyan said.

Tickets for the event can be purchased online via Q-Tickets or, starting a week before the event, at the venue. They start in price at QR50 and go up to QR1,000 for VIP passes.

Thoughts?