As part of the Qatar Summer Festival 2014, which kicked off on Monday 4th August, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has converted the Doha Exhibition Center (DEC) into an indoor 10,000sqm entertainment city featuring activities and programs that cater to all ages; from extreme sports for adults, to soft play areas for kids.
The DEC is split up into zones, with dedicated games areas – ranging from professional skateboarding ramps to bouncy castles, a food court area, and a retail area. There are also specific areas set for shows such as a circus area and a Baraem TV stage for plays and performances.
Going to the entertainment city not only means endless fun, but it also provides a chance for visitors to get away from the summer heat. QTA has carved out a 'Summer Freeze' zone, which is the biggest zone, mainly featuring a ski slope for both skiing and also snow tubing. However, the summer freeze zone also includes smaller activities for children such as ice hockey and a snow globe for children to mingle with the artificial snow.
In addition, there is an "Interactive Sports" zone featuring a remote-controlled car race on an off-road race track, and a Segway course for 14-year-olds or over. Also on offer is an interactive simulator area with two F1 racing simulators, and a Zorb obstacle course, where children can get into a large clear plastic sphere and steer their way around a track of slopes.
And, for those who like to be on wheels, there is a dedicated skate park as part of the 'Extreme Adventure' zone for both beginners and professionals in skateboarding, bike riding, and roller blading. The 'Extreme Adventure' zone also features a circus school offering basic training in circus acts. The participants are coached by professional circus actors, who perform a daily show between 7pm and 9pm.
In between the zones targeted at older ages and the kids play area, is a dedicated food and retail section. The cuisine ranges from light snacks such as popcorn and crepes, to lunch or dinner meals such as pizza and pasta. In addition, there is a supermarket and two kids toy stores including the Al Bahhar Toys Shop.
As for the children's play area, there is a large bouncy castle, a mini race car court for kids and a balloon pool. Moreover, there are arts and crafts interactive activities such as face painting and balloon making. The children's area also includes a stage hosted by Baraem TV. The channel will be putting on a 45 minute theatrical play encouraging and educating children about social values, cooperation and goodwill, every weekend. The show will be on at 4:30pm and 8:15pm every Friday and Saturday from the 8th of August until the 27th of September. Also on the right wing of DEC are another two exciting activities; the rock climbing wall and the high rope garden.
The DEC entertainment city will be open from 3pm to 11pm on weekdays, and from 2pm to midnight on weekends. Although the entry is free, activities are priced between QR5 to QR30. Payment is only accepted through cash. A free shuttle service is also provided from the Q-Post office to DEC from 3pm to 10pm on weekdays and 2pm to 11pm on weekends. Inside the entertainment city, there are numerous clearly marked emergency exits to ensure the safety of all visitors.