The Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha (festival of the sacrifice) this year officially begins on Tuesday, Oct. 15, and is traditionally celebrated for three days.
Many in Qatar will already be on break though, as most government employees get the week off (and then some) and return to work on Monday, Oct. 21. Schools, too, are closed for the week, and private sector employees should get at least three days off.
If the chaotic scene at the airport yesterday is any indication, you can expect eased congestion on Doha’s under-construction roads as thousands of residents head out of town for the holiday.
For those staying – or visiting Doha – during Eid, the weather is finally forecast to be pretty decent, Qatar’s Tourism Authority has lined up a slew of activities, and there’s a bunch of other stuff going on around town, too.
PRAYER TIME: Eid prayer will be held at some 278 mosques and prayer grounds across the country at 5:47am, Qatar’s Ministry of Endowments and Islamic Affairs has announced.
BANK HOURS: According to Qatar News Agency, Qatar Central Bank will be closed for three days starting on Monday, Oct. 14. QNB and QIB will maintain special hours, with branches reopening on Oct. 16, according to Gulf Times. Meanwhile, HSBC Bank will remain shut from Sunday, Oct. 13 to Saturday, Oct. 19, reopening on Oct. 20.
HAMAD HOSPITAL: HMC says Hamad General Hospital will be partially functioning during the holidays. More details here.
QTA is organizing the usual slew of mall activities from Oct. 15 to 20. Participating shopping centers include City Center, Hyatt Plaza, Lagoona, Landmark, The Gate, Villaggio and Al Khor malls, as well as the Heritage Village in Al-Bidaa park.
Performances are scheduled daily from 4:30pm and 9:30pm, and include magic shows, martial arts, The Smurfs and Ben 10.
STATE MOSQUE TOURS: The Ministry of Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) will be offering guided tours of the Imam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahab Mosque (state mosque) all day (9am to 7pm) from October 15 to 20.
The old souq has scheduled its own set of Eid performances, including a Snow White show at the Al Rayyan Theater, which goes daily between Oct. 16-20 from 5:30pm-6:30pm and 7:30pm-8:30pm at a cost of QR40-60.
After that, it becomes the venue for Souq Al Rayyan’s Music Festival, from 8:30pm to midnight.
Elsewhere in the souq, there will be “live statues,” African circus performers, magicians, robots and more.
MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART
The MIA is open to visitors on Sundays, Mondays (though not on Oct. 14) and Wednesdays from 10:30am to 5:30pm, while Thursday hours are noon to 8pm, and Friday is 2pm to 8pm.
It boasts a new exhibit, “Hajj: Journey Through Art,” while next door lies UK artists Damien Hirst’s first Middle East show “Relics.”
In the MIA Park, there will also be jazz. Etienne Charles performs for free from 7pm to 8pm on Oct. 16.
The Katara Cultural Village will of course have fireworks at the esplanade at 9:30pm nightly from Oct. 15 to 18.
This year, they’re also busting out “giant puppets,” who will offer renditions of Ali Baba and 40 Thieves daily from 5:30pm to 6:30pm and 8:30pm to 9:30pm, as well as roam about the village.
There’s also been mention on their social media accounts of a “Katara Park” set up in the empty area to the south of the Cultural Village, where they’ve organized courts for basketball and volleyball, track and field events, and even something of a paintball yard.
And don’t forget all of the standing art exhibits on offer at Katara, including “Confusionism” by Iraqi-Canadian contemporary artist Mahmoud Obaidi at the Katara Art Center (Building 5).
Qatar’s largest manmade island promises live entertainers between Oct. 15-18 in Porto Arabia.
A Bubble Show goes from 8pm-9pm daily at Parcel 3, a kids zone goes from 6pm-9pm at Parcel 18, musicians perform from 6pm-10pm in Parcels 2 and 4, and water screen projections decorate the marina from 5pm-10pm.
AL DOSARI ZOO VISITS: The Al Dosari Zoo and Game Reserve has free tours between Oct. 15-20, from 8am-11am and 3pm-6pm, with the exception of Fridays, when they’re open 8am-6pm.
SHOOTING PRACTICE: Qatar’s Shooting and Archery Association is inviting the public to the Lusail Shooting Club from Oct. 15-26. Fees are QR100 for 25 shots (18 and older only), between 4pm-8pm.
PARAGLIDING AT SEALINE: Qatar Air Sports Committee is charging QR250 per trip between 12pm-6:30pm from Oct. 16-21 at the Sealine Beach Area (not inside the resort).
BOOKSHOP AT THE PORT: The Logos Hope, a floating book shop, is in town and docked at the Doha Port until Oct. 20, boasting a collection of over 5,000 titles. QR2 entrance fee is charged, and visitors need to take a shuttle from the port parking lot and have ID handy.
PRIVATE COLLECTION VIEWING: Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani opens the doors to his personal museum in Al Shahaniya from 9am-6pm between Oct 16-20 (except Friday).
WATER PARK FUN: The Aqua Park down Salwa Road is charging QR100 person from 12pm-8pm between Oct. 15-20, and promises Eid activities too.
Here’s the full schedule QTA sent us:
Did we miss anything? What will you be up to?
Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala
Beautifully laid artwork, in a beautifully integrated design by time on Eid. Congrats and keep the good work going.
Please add Eid Prayer time also. Thanks.