Over the past week, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and partners engaged families and individuals in Qatar, and from around the GCC, in one of the region’s largest Eid Al Adha Festivals. The festival, which began on the 15th of October, featured an extensive program of numerous art exhibitions, cultural experiences, outdoor activities and entertainment shows. The 12-day festival attracted more than 65,000 visitors from the GCC, and the hotel occupancy rates hit more than 90%.
Activities on offer included amusement rides, an international circus, music festivals, cultural and artistic sightseeing tours, theatrical performances, firework and laser shows, as well as outdoor activities including paragliding and shooting. In all, there was something for people of every interest and age in Qatar during the Eid Al Adha holiday.
Commenting on the festival, Hi Excellency Issa bin Mohammed Al Mohannadi, Chairman of QTA, said: “We are extremely pleased with the way the Eid Al Adha Festival has turned out this year, and also grateful to all those who contributed to its success. Sixteen organizations from the public and private sectors took part in this festival and we thank them for their support and contributions in spreading the festive spirit throughout Qatar”.
The Eid Al Adha Festival built on the success of the Eid Al Fitr Festival, which saw more than 75,000 visitors from the GCC countries visit Qatar to enjoy the festivities. In addition to shows in Qatar’s malls and partner activities, the Eid Al Fitr Festival also included the Monte Carlo circus.
“QTA’s strategy includes positioning Qatar as a preferred family destination in the GCC region via the facilitation of activities and events that appeal to all ages. This contributes to the larger aim of the strategy, to further tourism as a key factor that contributes towards diversification of Qatar’s economy,” added Al Mohannadi.
Hend Zainal, Public Relations and Communication Director of QTA, said that many hotels in Doha recorded higher occupancy rates during Eid Al-Adha Festival, with an average rate of more than 90% during the first days of Eid Al-Adha and the festival period.
QTA’s partners in the Eid Al Adha Festival included the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage; the Museum of Islamic Art; Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani Museum; The Pearl-Qatar; Souq Waqif; Katara Cultural Village; Qatar Shooting and Archery Association; Sawt Al-Rayan; Aquapark Qatar; Qatar Air Sports Committee; and Al Dosari Zoo and the Game Reserve. Several shopping centers across Qatar also participated in the festival, hosting international shows, traditional performances, concerts, children’s programs, contests, art exhibitions, and film screenings.
A number of events will continue to be showcased after the Eid Al Adha Festival. These include the “Hajj – Journey through Art” exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art, which will run until the end of the year, and Confusionism exhibition by Mahmoud Obaidi, at Katara, which will last until the 9th of November. In addition, shooting practice, organized by the Qatar Shooting and Archery Association, as well as international shows like the Smurfs, Made in the Ice Age, and Ben 10, will continue to run at City Center, Landmark, and The Gate malls until Saturday, the 26th of October.
The Eid Festival is an initiative of Qatar Tourism Authority to elevate Qatar as a tourism destination for families in the region, that was supported with QTA’s launch of the Eid destination campaign in the GCC, the largest sources of tourism to the country. Over the third quarter 2013, Qatar experienced increased tourism across all sectors. GCC visitors increased by 16.6% over the same period 2012, and international tourists increased by 7%. QTA has an important role to play in developing a sustainable tourism sector in Qatar so that tourism becomes a significant factor as a part of the national economy.