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Kite festival

From watching your favorite wrestlers in action to enjoying Qatar’s first kite festival to cheering on local football teams or checking out some of the latest fashion trends, there’s plenty going on around town this weekend.

Here are our picks:

Kite Festival

Qatar’s inaugural International Kite Festival, which kicked off yesterday, will run through Saturday, April 29 from noon to 7pm at Aspire Park.

Aspire

Kite festival

Thirteen teams from around the world are competing in the event., including professional kite flyers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, the US and Vietnam.

There are also kite workshops, roaming entertainers, food trucks and F1 simulators, among other offerings.

Additionally, prizes are being offered for three separate competitions inspired by the event. These include a kids’ poster competition, a photography competition and a schools competition. More details can be found here.

Qatar Cup Final

Al Sadd will face Al Jaish in the Qatar Cup Final on Saturday, April 29 at 7pm at the Al Sadd stadium.

Al Sadd SC/Facebook

Al Sadd Sports Club

According to the Qatar Stars League, this is Al Sadd’s first appearance at the finals, which are usually between El Jaish and Lekwhiya.

Interestingly, the team’s captains, Xavi of Al Sadd and Seydou Keita of El Jaish, are no strangers. They played together on the same side for four seasons with FC Barcelona.

Tickets to the match cost QR10/person and can be bought online or at Gulf or Landmark malls.

Symphony

Conductor Elias Grandy will lead the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in performing Brahams’ First Symphony on Saturday, April 29.

DFI

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

The event will take place at the Qatar National Convention Center (Auditorium 3) at 7:30pm. Tickets cost QR125-QR175/person and can be bought online.

The symphony is open to anyone six years and older, and informal attire such as shorts or beachwear are not permitted. More information about the event is on QPO’s website.

Pro-wrestling

Celebrity wrestlers from across the world will gather in Doha this weekend for the QPW SuperSlam Championship.

QPW

QPW event

The event will be held on Friday, April 28 at the Ali bin Hamad Al Attiya Arena, with doors opening at 6pm and the show starting at 8pm.

For the first time in the Middle East, retired American pro wrestler Sting will make an appearance, organizers said.

Some of the confirmed wrestlers include Cody Rhodes, Booker T, Caprice Coleman, Ali Farhat, and for the first time, Qatari wrestler Ali Al Naima.

Tickets for the family-friendly event are now on sale. They cost QR50, QR150, QR350 and QR500 (VIP) per person and can be bought online.

Heya fashion exhibition

The 11th edition of the Heya Arabian Fashion Exhibition will kick off on Friday, April 28 and run through Tuesday, May 2.

Eight Heya Arabian Fashion Show

Heya

8th Heya Arabian Fashion Show

The event is considered Qatar’s most popular exhibition of abayas and traditional Arabic attire. This year, it will host Gulf-based designers as they show off their abayas, kaftans, jalabiyas, veils and gown designs. Accessories, belts, bags and shoes will also be on offer.

Visitors can enjoy daily fashion shows or learn from workshops hosted by industry experts.

Doors will officially open from 4:30pm to 10pm on Friday at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC). The show continues Saturday to Tuesday, May 2 as ladies-only from 10am to 10pm. For more information, visit Heya’s website.

Free DFI screening

As part of the Museum of Islamic Art’s Imperial Threads: Motifs and Artisans from Turkey, Iran and India exhibition, the Doha Film Institute (DFI) will screen Gabbeh this weekend.

The Iranian romantic-fantasy by director and screenwriter Mohsen Makhmalbaf tells the story of an elderly married couple.

While washing their gabbeh, a traditional Persian carpet, the figure in the design (that of a young woman) comes to life and spins a story about her history, her family and the man she loved but was forbidden to marry.

Doha Film Institute

Gabbeh

The screening will be held twice at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium on Thursday and Friday, April 27 and 28. Both screenings will commence at 7:30pm.

The screening is free and open to all, but those who wish to attend should reserve seats in advance here. For more information, visit DFI’s website.

Al Khor book fair

The Ministry of Culture and Sports is currently holding its first book fair in Al Khor Park.

QNL

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Some of the participating publishers include Al Sharq, Promo Art and Katara, among others. There will also be various workshops at the Al Khor Public Library to encourage reading among students in schools. Students from Abdullah Bin Ali Al Misnad Junior High school will be also be performing a play.

The fair will run until Saturday, April 29.

Bonus:

  • Pearl-Qatar festival: UDC is hosting an outdoor festival in Porto Arabia (La Croisette 2 to 6) from Thursday through Saturday. There will be performances, carnival games, coloring and an animal petting area. The event goes from 4pm to 9pm each day. More information is here.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

Google Earth

Visitors and residents interested in learning more about Qatar’s most popular venues should now find them easier to access on Google Earth.

The 13-year-old program, which offers satellite views of places and landscapes around the world, was relaunched last week in a more user-friendly format.

A search of Qatar highlights hotspots like Souq Waqif, the new Msheireb Museums, Katara Cultural Village and the Corniche.

London Eye, as seen via Google Earth

As part of its update, Google Earth is offering 3D tours of some landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the London Eye, a ferris wheel off of the River Thames.

But there don’t appear to be any cool such features for Qatar.

Museum of Islamic Art, as seen via Google Earth

That said, the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) does stand out more than other attractions when in 3D mode.

Street view

The MIA is also one of the only places in the country that can be seen via Google’s “street view,” which offers a panoramic look at each of the building’s three floors.

Charlotte/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

In 2015, the government said it had signed an agreement with Google to bring the street view tech to Qatar, but no timeline was ever given.

And privacy concerns continue to abound.

Google would need permission from authorities to take photographs of locations. This is usually done from cameras mounted on cars, and the photos are then stitched together in panoramic views.

Google Earth features

For those interested in planning vacations – or just satisfying their wanderlust vicariously – Google Earth now also offers a Voyager feature.

This takes people on interactive trips around the world, from big cities to rural parks.

Google has also teamed up with Sesame Street to present 10 “Girls Around the World.” These Muppet ambassadors share information about their countries, which include Afghanistan, China and India.

Finally, there’s an “I’m feeling lucky” button that take users to random locations when they click.

Google Earth is now accessible via one’s Chrome browser or on Android phones. It will be coming to iOS devices “soon,” Google said.

A new storytelling feature so that others can create similar Voyager tours is also in the works.

Thoughts?

Peter Lynn Kites/Facebook

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Thirteen teams from around the world will compete in Qatar’s inaugural international kite festival next week.

The event run daily from noon to 7pm at Aspire Park, from Tuesday, April 25 to Saturday, April 29.

Professional kite flyers from Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, the US and Vietnam will be in town for the competition.

Amateurs will also be able to get their hands on a kite during public flying sessions, as well as for lessons on building, decorating and handling kites.

What’s on

According to Aspire’s event schedule, the festival includes workshops, arts and crafts activities and competitions.

Aspire Zone

Kite festival program

In addition to kite-related activities, there will be food trucks and roaming entertainers, and an F1 simulator.

Entry to the event is free, and it’s open to all ages.

Competitions

Organizers are also offering prizes for three separate competitions inspired by the event.

Peter Lynn Kites/Facebook

For illustrative purposes only.

The first is a kids’ poster competition.

Children up to the age of 10 years old can go to the Arts & Crafts station, where they will be asked to draw a poster showing their kite flying in Aspire Park.

The artwork will be posted onto @aspirezone, the official Instagram account. Creators of the top 10 most liked images will receive gifts from Festival sponsor Kiddy Zone. 

The second is a photo competition.

Visitors are being asked to upload a photo to social media taken during the event, using the hashtag #AspireKitePhoto.  

First place winners will receive two business class return tickets to any Qatar Airways destination, while second place will receive two economy class return tickets on Qatar Airways to any of its destinations. Third and fourth place winners will receive equipment from Nikon. 

Fatimah Ashraf Khan

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Finally, there will be a Schools Competition. 

Teams of at least 10 members from any school in Qatar can enter the competition by registering their name until April 24 with Aspire, with the competition taking place on April 28 and April 29 in front of judges.

Each team must create and decorate kites following specific guidelines. Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three winning teams, with first place winning QR30,000, second place QR20,000 and third place QR10,000.

For more details on all three competitions, see here.

Do you plan to check the festival out? Thoughts?