Browsing 'souq waqif' News

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Souq Wakrah

Qatar residents looking for something fun to do this weekend have their choice of two different festivals being held at Souq Waqif and Souq Wakrah.

Those having trouble deciding where to go tonight (Jan. 20) may want to head south.

That’s because Souq Wakrah is marking its inaugural spring festival with a “spectacular” fireworks show at 8pm.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The souq is also holding a regular operetta near the seaside that recreates what life was like in Qatar before oil and gas were discovered.

There’s also a kid zone with games and rides, and other entertainment.

Speaking to the Qatar Tribune, Souq Al Wakrah Manager Khalid al Suwaidi said some 10,000 visitors are expected to attend the event each day. He said:

“Souq Al Wakrah is quiet because many events are held in Doha. Through the festival, we expect to attract many visitors to Souq Al Wakrah, especially families.”

Other festivals

Meanwhile, Souq Waqif’s annual Spring Festival also kicks off this weekend.

It runs from 3:30pm to 10:30pm daily through Feb. 3 and includes several cultural festivals, a musical parade and concerts by Arab singers.

The controversial dolphin show has also returned to the Souq’s amusement park (aka Al Ahmed Square).

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Souq Waqif Spring Festival 2015

This will be held from 4pm to 5pm and from 7pm to 8pm each day. The area is also hosting rides and games for children.

And over at Katara Cultural Village, a winter festival is going on from Sunday, Jan. 22 to Jan. 26 from 4pm to 9pm daily.

The event includes interactive exhibitions on falconry and salukis, traditional food, cultural shows and games.

The program schedule for that festival is here.

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New Souq parking lot

QNA

New Souq parking lot

A second underground car park at Souq Waqif is due to open to the public today, officials have announced.

Its opening will likely come as a welcome relief to motorists. Many still struggle to find available spaces in the area, particularly during the weekends.

The lot has 650 spaces spread over two levels for vehicles, including dedicated areas for the elderly and those with special needs.

Each basement floor is 22,500 square meters in size and is topped by a ground-level plaza, QNA reports.

Shoppers at Souq Waqif

Ameer Abdul Razak / Flickr

Shoppers at Souq Waqif

This space will be used for festivals and public gatherings, Faisal Abdullah Al Dosari from the Private Engineering Office (PEO) said, according to Al Sharq.

There are two sets of entry and exit points. One is in front of the new National Archives building on Al Asmakh St., and another is next to the Falcon Souq.

A new camera system will help drivers find available spaces and payment for parking can be made by cash or by card in one of the machines around the new car lot.

Cinema screens

In addition to the parking, a five-screen, underground cinema is also being built on the site.

It is currently scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2017, and each theater will have capacity for 50-100 movie-goers.

Ten elevators have been installed in the complex, two of which are dedicated to the cinema, Al Dosari said.

Souq Waqif west car park

Peter Kovessy

Souq Waqif west car park

Construction on the parking lot began in June last year at the site of the former above-ground parking lot.

The underground lot adds to the existing 2,000 space car park between the Souq and the Corniche that opened last January.

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All photos by Reem Saad

Enticed by the frigid air and the free samples, hundreds of people crowded into an indoor tent at Souq Waqif yesterday to check out a new date festival.

The two-week long event, organized by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME), kicked off over the weekend.

Some 20 varieties of dates, all picked from 22 local farms, are on display. Prices start at around QR6-QR8 for a small 1kg box.

Residents who attend are invited to taste the dates and learn more about their nutritional value.

Variety

Some of the varieties on display include Ikhlas, Shishi, Lulu, the red Khunaizi, Barhi, Razeez and Hibri. They differ in taste, color, size, thickness of skin, and carbohydrate and calorie count, among other specifications.

Known to many as rutab, most of the dates are ripe and soft, and will be in season until the end of August.

Date Festival at Souq Waqif

Reem Saad / Doha News

Date Festival at Souq Waqif

Some of the types on display are available for sale at hypermarkets around Qatar, but most are rare species that are not yet produced commercially, an MME spokesperson told Doha News.

She added:

“The benefit of holding the date festival is to introduce Qatar’s local dates… There are several kinds here that you wouldn’t find in regular stores.”

The festival will run daily until Aug. 14, with the tent opening from 4pm to 10pm.

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