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National Sport Day 2016 Graphic

On behalf of the Doha News team, we wish you all a happy and healthy National Sport Day.

From Katara & The Pearl to Aspire and Education City, dozens of hotel gyms, lots of sports clubs, and so many other venues, there are more opportunities to get out and get some exercise than you can count on your hands and toes. (And the fact that most of us have the day off for that specific purpose doesn’t hurt either.)

Notably, forecasts for strong winds could lead to a dusty day, so do take some precautions.

If you’re out and about, we’d love to see pictures of how you spent National Sport Day – please share them with us via Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, email, or just in the comments below.

And if you haven’t figured out exactly what you’re doing today yet, have a look at our handy guide:

What you need to know about 2016 National Sport Day in Qatar.

National Sport Day 2015 graphic

Celebrated annually on the second Tuesday of February, National Sport Day (NSD) has been singled out by authorities in Qatar as a day for physical activity.

Former Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani established the holiday in 2011 to encourage residents of Qatar to be more active.

Every year, government ministries, institutions and private companies organize a long list of sports-related activities for employees and the public to take part in the spirit of the day.

This year, the new Ministry of Culture and Sports has asked that organizations not make gifts and free handouts a part of the holiday.

Here’s our guide on where to go and what to do to get active on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. As always, please let us know in the comments below if we’ve missed something.

Forecast for Feb. 9

Qatar Meteorology Department

Forecast for Feb. 9


Following a weeklong chilly spell, Qatar is starting to warm up a bit. Temps should be mild, ranging from 15 to 22C (62 to 72F). However, Qatar Meteorology is now forecasting Feb. 9 to be a windy, dusty day.

qatar exchange


National Sport Day is a bank holiday. That means most banks, financial institutions and the Qatar Stock Exchange will be closed, with business resuming as normal on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

The 2013 Doha Dash

Lance Cenar

The 2013 Doha Dash

Doha Dash

Since 2013, the Dolphin Energy Doha Dash has become a fixture of National Sport Day. The event at the Losail International Circuit includes 10km, 5km, 3km and 1km runs, as well as a 1km “Ladies Walk.”

Things kick off on Tuesday at 7am and run until 1pm. Make sure to register in advance at

A view of the Doha skyline from the Corniche

(CC) Ziad Hunesh / Flickr

A view of the Doha skyline from the Corniche


Unlike in years past, the Qatar Olympic Committee will not host a “Sports Village” beside the General Post Office. However, it is holding several events along the Corniche itself.

The Qatar Sailing and Rowing Federation will have a sailing race at 9am, as well as water skiing and “shaweef” rowing. Rowing machines and kayaking are available at 10am.

Meanwhile, the Qatar Weightlifting Federation is hosting weightlifting from 9am to 9pm. Fencing is scheduled between 10am and 3pm, while handball activities go from 8am to 8pm.

There’s also supposed to be mini golf, organized by the Qatar Golf Federation (no hours listed).

MIA park

Muhammed Salih/Flickr

MIA park

MIA Park

Ooredoo is hosting NSD activities at the park for the public starting at 8:30am. Offerings will include fitness classes for all ages and levels, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, a walking group, gladiator joust, circuit training, football and kayaking.

There will also be some professional trainers onsite to teach visitors exercise skills such as warming-up.

Aspire Zone

Aspire Zone

The Aspire Zone will be a hive of activity on National Sport Day. Planned events include “beach” soccer, judo, football and basketball – all starting at 8am.

There’ll also be a climbing wall, a family bootcamp, a fun run and four-seater bicycles cars.

Qatar’s Fencing Federation will have fencing in the park, from 10am to 1pm, too.

Here’s Aspire’s map and schedule of events:

(Click to view PDF)

Katara NSD 2016


Katara NSD 2016


The Katara Cultural Village is another NSD hub, and will have among other things karate demonstrations (9am-5pm), fast & slow chess competitions (9am-1pm; 2pm-6pm), wrestling (9:30am), weightlifting and sailing.

Additionally, the Qatar Basketball Federation will have 3×3 games from 10am to 6pm. Table tennis is on from 9am to 6pm and hand gliding will be offered from 7am to 9am & between 4pm and 5pm.

Qatar Boxing Federation also has “boxing for all” from 9am to 6pm, with an exhibition between 4pm to 5:30pm and sack races at 10am and 3pm.

Qatar Rugby Federation is hosting a 5×5 touch rugby challenge at Katara Beach (gate #4) starting at 8am and running through 5pm.

Sports Day at Qatar Foundation

Qatar Foundation

Education City

Qatar Foundation has an extensive list of activities that are open to the public on Sport Day, taking place at both the Student Center and the new Oxygen Park in Education City.

It all runs between 9am-4pm, with a walkathon at 10:30am, followed by group fitness classes (aerobics, zumba, crossfit), pony rides and tournaments for just about every sport.

Here’s an updated brochure listing all of QF’s events (in both English and Arabic), with a map as well:

(Click to view PDF)

Qatar Qartier Lido Beach


Qatar Quartier Lido Beach

The Pearl-Qatar

The Qatar Olympic Committee has planned over a dozen activities at the Pearl Qatar this year, all happening at the Lido Venezia Beach (in Qanat Quartier) from 8am to 4pm.

Alongside standard sports like football, volleyball, badminton, table tennis and basketball are other activities like an inflatable climbing wall, “human foosball,” sack races, egg and spoon races and an “inflatable bungee run.”

The Men’s Tour of Qatar cycling competition will also be passing through the Pearl between 1pm-3pm, and fans should be able to catch a glimpse of the action.

*Important Note: The entrance and exit to the Pearl, plus some internal roads, will be closed between 1pm to 3pm due to the cycling.

Hotel Events

The Qatar Tourism Authority has partnered with some 47 hotels for its #QatarInMotion campaign on sports day.

Participating hotels are offering free access to gyms & complimentary fitness classes, as well as discounted memberships and room rates and “healthy” brunches.

Here’s a listing of their offerings:

(Click to view in new window)

Other Events

Khalifa Tennis Complex: Qatar Tennis Federation will be offering various sessions on tennis basics from 9am until 8pm.

Lusail: The Qatar Shooting and Archery Association is hosting shooting, archery and fitness events from 8am to 7pm at the Lusail Shooting Club.

Mansoura: The Qatar Snooker and Billiards Federation will be hosting visitors at Rawdat Al Khail Street from 10am to 9pm.

Al Gharafa: Qatar Athletics Federation is organizing a 2km walk and kids activities from 10am to 1pm.

Here’s the Qatar Olympic Committee’s full list of events:

(Click to view PDF)

The Ministry of Culture and Sport has also sent us a map with a full listing of everything happening across Qatar.

Here are the details:

(Click to view PDF)

What are your top picks for things to do on #QNSD2016? Thoughts?

Sports Village

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Sports Village

As Qatar National Sport Day (NSD) approaches, the new Ministry of Culture and Sports has asked government bodies to avoid handing out free food and gifts on Feb. 9 and instead focus on the spirit of the holiday.

According to today’s Qatar Tribune, the ministry rcently issued a circular to various entities banning the construction of tents and “temporary sports housing.”

It added that organizations should focus on raising awareness about the importance of physical activity, and that shows, performances and other such offerings detract from this main message.

NSD was founded five years ago by the Father Emir to help combat rising rates of obesity and diabetes in the country.

Qatar National Sport Day 2015

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Qatar National Sport Day 2015

The official holiday is held on the second Tuesday of February each year, and private and public organizations across Qatar hold events to get everyone, regardless of their age or fitness levels, off the sofa and into their trainers.

In years past, some of the biggest draws for crowds have been the free fruit, hats, shirts and small toys and other swag handed out by supermarkets and government ministries.

In addition to staying on message, the ministry circular said that any sporting events planned for NSD should also follow safety and health protocols to avoid injuries.

Finally, all private and public sector entities have been asked to submit their programs and plans to a ministerial committee for approval.

Stay tuned for our Sport Day guide! Thoughts?