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QTA

Cats

The “greatest musical in the world” will come to Qatar early next year, and tickets are now on sale for the show, organizers have announced.

Cats will run from Feb. 1 to Feb. 4 at the Qatar National Convention Center. One of the longest-running shows on Broadway, the award-winning musical involves a mix of songs, dance and verse.

It is based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and includes the popular song Memory, which was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

QTA

Cats

According to the show’s website, the musical involves some story-telling:

“The Jellicle Cats come out to play on one special night of the year – the night of the Jellicle Ball. One by one they tell their stories for the amusement of Old Deuteronomy, their wise and benevolent leader, who must choose one of the Cats to ascend to The Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a whole new Jellicle life.”

Ticketing info

Tickets are now on sale at Virgin Megastores and online here. They start at QR150 and go up to QR1,200/person.

Doors open 30 minutes before and the show starts promptly at advertised time. It is family friendly, but babies under two years old are not allowed.

Cats will close out Qatar’s first shopping festival, which kicks off on Jan. 7 and lasts for a month.

In a statement this week, Saif AlKuwari, Director of PR and Communication at the Qatar Tourism Authority, said:

“Family and urban entertainment is a priority area for tourism in Qatar and has been intricately woven into our plans for the country’s first ever edition of Shop Qatar…

The Broadway musical, Cats, comes as a welcome addition to the festival’s colorful live entertainment schedule, offering a rich array of cultural shows, performances by singing sensations and unlimited family-friendly entertainment.”

Shop Qatar will also feature discounts of up to 50 percent by retailers in various venues, including the new Mall of Qatar, Hyatt Plaza, Al Khor Mall, Lagoona Mall, Gulf Mall, Landmark, Dar Al Salam Mall, The Gate and The Pearl-Qatar.

Osarieme Eweka/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

There will also be two concerts featuring Arab singers on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. Tickets for this will cost from QR120 to QR1,250.

Meanwhile, the Doha Comedy Festival will run from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4 at the QNCC, featuring Arab and international comedians. Tickets will sell for QR120 to QR1,000.

More details about the festival can be found on its official website.

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Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A month-long shopping festival that includes various discounts, live concerts, stand-up comedy shows and even a Broadway musical will open in Qatar early next month.

Under the slogan “A brand new tradition,” Shop Qatar will run from Jan. 7 to Feb. 7, 2017, the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced.

It will feature cash prizes of up to QR4 million, special offers on flights and hotel bookings and entertainment that includes the Broadway musical Cats.

Cats/Facebook

Cats the musical

According to the QTA, discounts of up to 50 percent will be offered by retailers in various venues, including the new Mall of Qatar, Hyatt Plaza, Al Khor Mall, Lagoona Mall, Gulf Mall, Landmark, Dar Al Salam Mall, The Gate and The Pearl-Qatar.

Wooing visitors

Qatar’s tourism numbers dipped this year, despite efforts to woo visitors.

Officials are hoping to turn this around by starting 2017 off strong, focusing on shopping because visitors who come to Qatar spend more on this than on hotel stays or eating out, QTA previously said.

In a statement this week, Rashed Al Qurese, Chief Marketing and Promotion Officer at QTA, said:

“We anticipate that a festival during the winter months has an even bigger chance of attracting visitors, due to the offering combined with Qatar’s great winter weather.

Shop Qatar is also timed to fall within mid-year holidays for potential visitors in neighboring countries, which are our largest source markets.”

The event may take inspiration from Dubai, which has held a successful month-long shopping festival from the end of December until late January for years.

Schedule

In terms of entertainment, Cats will be shown from Feb. 1 to 4 at the Qatar National Convention Center. Tickets will start at QR150/person.

There will also be two concerts featuring Arab singers on Jan. 20 and Jan. 27 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center. Tickets for this will cost from QR120 to QR1,250.

Craig Piersma/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Meanwhile, the Doha Comedy Festival will run from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4 at the QNCC, featuring Arab and international comedians. Tickets will sell for QR120 to QR1,000.

All will be sold by Virgin Megastores soon.

More details about the festival can be found on its official website.

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The MSC Fantasia

QTA

The MSC Fantasia

Note: This article has been corrected to reflect the Fantasia will dock at Doha Port, not Hamad Port.

Qatar will welcome its first mega cruise ship tomorrow, when the 333m-long MSC Fantasia docks at Doha Port.

With 3,000 passengers and 1,300 crew, it’s the largest passenger ship ever to sail into Qatar.

Previously, QTA said the vessel was so big that it would not be able to dock at the Doha Port off the Corniche, which is set to be redeveloped into a dedicated cruise terminal and tourism destination.

In July, it announced that the Fantasia would sail into the new Hamad Port near Mesaieed, which is primarily used for commercial shipments.

The port became fully operational last month.

The MSC Fantasia

QTA

The MSC Fantasia

However, plans have since changed, the authority said, and the boat will be accommodated at the old port.

The MSC Fantasia measures the equivalent of three football fields in length, and has tennis and basketball courts, a mini-golf course, an aqua park complex and a cinema on board.

You can see a virtual tour of the ship here.

Busiest cruise season so far

Some 32 cruise ships carrying an estimated 50,000 tourists are expected to dock at Qatar’s ports this cruise season, which runs until April 2017.

That’s triple the number of ships that stopped in Qatar during the last season. At that time, some 4,000 tourist visas were issued to cruise passengers.

Passengers on the cruise ship Azamara Journey dock in Doha

QTA/Twitter

Passengers on the cruise ship Azamara Journey dock in Doha

The big cruise push is part of a larger effort to make Qatar an attractive destination for international tourists.

“It is our absolute pleasure to welcome the MSC Fantasia on its maiden call into Doha,” Hassan Al Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer at Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), said in a statement.

“This will be the first of many calls for MSC Fantasia, and marks the start of another exciting journey for Qatar’s cruise tourism industry.”

Cruise ship passengers are now eligible for free 96-hour transit visas.

These were only recently made available, but to Qatar Airways passengers transiting through Hamad International Airport.

Qatar is working to diversify its economy away from oil and gas, and aims to increase the overall number of visitors to Qatar to seven million by 2030.

Other ships making their maiden calls to Qatar this season include Azamara Journey, Crystal Esprit, Thomson Celebration and Silver Whisper.

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