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Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

From a World Cup qualifier match to concerts to a gymnastics competition and a spring fair, there’s lots going on around Qatar over the next few days.

Here are our picks:

Qatar vs. Iran

The highly-anticipated 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers match between Qatar and Iran is tomorrow (March 23) at 7pm at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium (Al Sadd Sports Club).

Reem Saad / Doha News

Qatar National Team

Match tickets will only be sold at the venue itself and go on sale starting tomorrow at 4pm. They cost QR50 for category 1 and 2 tickets, and QR100/each for VIP.

The ticket booth will be located near the VIP and general spectators’ parking outside the general spectators’ entrance.

Access to the VIP section will be through gates 1 and 10. Qatar fans can enter from gates 4 to 9, while Iran fans can enter through gate 2. A dedicated family section is also available that can be accessed through gate 3.

The venue gates will open at 4pm and stadium gates will open at 5pm. A Fan Zone will also be located near the general spectators’ parking and will open its doors to the public from 4pm to 6:30pm.

Artistic Gymnastics

The 10th Artistic Gymnastics World Cup Series will kick off in Doha today, March 22, and run until Saturday, March 25.

The international event has attracted more than 120 gymnasts from some 30 countries to compete for US$50,000 in prize money.

Ray Toh

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The competitions are taking place at the Aspire Dome and run from 4:30pm to 7:30pm on all days.

Tickets can be purchased online and are free during today and and Thursday’s qualifying events. Prices on Friday and Saturday range from QR30 to QR100 per person. Children under the age of six years old are free.

Visit Doha Gym’s website for more information.

MotoGP Grand Prix of Qatar

The highly anticipated 2017 MotoGP Championships will hold its first grand prix of the season this weekend at the Losail International Circuit.

The event starts on Thursday, March 23 and runs until Sunday, March 26.

Losail International Circuit

MotoGP

Riders across the three motor racing classes (Moto3, Moto2 and MotoGP) will all take part in various events held over the four-day long prix, with finals slated for 6pm, 7:20pm, and 9pm respectively on March 26. A more detailed schedule can be found here.

Regular grandstand tickets for the weekend cost QR200/person.

VIP village tickets that grant attendees access to a hospitality area above the pit garages, a gourmet dinner, a paddock tour and a pit lane walk cost QR2,550 for one day and QR3,250 for two days. All tickets can be purchased online.

Esrar Race

Qatar’s first obstacle race, which has so far attracted over 500 participants, will take place at Aspire Park this Saturday, March 25 starting at 7am.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The race will feature Qatar’s Olympics champion Mutaz Barshim and include more than ten custom-built obstacles ranging from monkey bars, high wall jumps (6 and 8ft), high wall climbs, sandbag lifting, a vertical cargo net, and a balance beam, among others.

The race is open to women and men who are 18 years and older. A registration fee of QR365 is required and can be paid online.

Les Portageux concert

French-Canadian folk band Les Portageux will be performing in town this Friday at Katara’s Drama Theater in Building 16.

Les Portageux / Facebook

Les Portageux

Hailing from Quebec, the band name was chosen as a tribute to the lumberjacks who risked their lives chopping wood and floating timber on dangerous rivers.

Using various instruments including the banjo, guitar and violin, the band aims to recreate music from before radio and television, when people came together to sing in the evenings.

The concert will run from 7pm to 8:30pm and is free and open to all. However, registration is required and can be done here. Children below 10 years old will not be allowed entry.

Caribbean concert

In the mood for some Caribbean music? Head over to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Doha this weekend a Caribbean concert hosted as part of the Voyage en Francophonie.

Singer Ymelda Marie Louise will be performing on the Ritz-Carlton’s Garden stage alongside musicians from the Qatar Music Academy.

The event will take place both tonight and tomorrow (Mar. 22 and 23) starting at 7:50pm.

Entrance is free, but seats are limited.

Friends of DBS spring fair

The Doha British School (DBS) is having a spring fair this Saturday, March 25 from 10am to 2pm.

Several activities are planned for the event, including raffles, silent auctions, bouncy castles, henna and face painting, a bake off and a barbecue.

The event is open to all and cost QR5 per person, but free for kids under age of two years old.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

QIFF 2014

This year’s Qatar International Food Festival (QIFF) has moved to a new venue, but will still retain many of its usual offerings, officials confirmed this week.

For the first time, the annual event be held at the Hotel Park on the Corniche, from March 29 to April 8.

Previously, few details were available about the upcoming event. But more information was shared by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) yesterday.

Van Darren Martinez

Qatar International Food Festival

Perhaps most importantly to some, the QTA confirmed that fireworks shows will indeed be held each night at 8pm.

There will also be food trucks and Dinner in the Sky, as well as a live cooking theater from 5pm to 9pm daily.

The new venue means parking should be a bit easier than in previous years, as there is an underground pay-for-parking garage with spaces for 2,500 vehicles onsite.

What’s different

Besides the move from the MIA Park, this year’s festival has a few other new features.

For example, Qatar’s 2017 Year of Culture partner Germany won’t have a special pavilion to itself.

Mr. Taco

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Instead, it will showcase its cuisine and entertainment at a “Cultural Zone” that includes nine other embassies, such as Ethiopia, Mexico, the Philippines, the US and Qatar, among others.

Another new addition includes a garden picnic where families can buy a basket, collect a blanket and sit on the grass to eat their meals.

Food-related movies will also be screened outdoors from 9pm to 10pm, courtesy of the Doha Film Institute and Qatar Foundation.

And as previously announced, set menus will also be on offer from March 23 to April 8. Visitors can purchase at least three items for QR59, QR99, QR139 and QR179.

Brian Candy / Doha News

2016 Qatar International Food Festival

Meanwhile, kiosks, food trucks and stalls will continue to sell small bites for QR5 to QR35 a dish.

And to avoid wastage, unsold and “untouched” food will be given to Eid Charity to distribute to those in need.

The festival will go from 2pm to 10pm on weekdays and from 2pm to 11pm on weekends until April 8.

Who’s excited? Thoughts?

Ali Bandaying/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

A new low pressure system will cause a stir in Qatar’s weather over the next few days, according to local forecasters.

Expect conditions to be windy and rainy from now through Tuesday. The precipitation will range from scattered showers to heavy thunderstorms, the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET) said.

Windspeeds will also pick up today, reducing visibility as the dust blows. The MET has warned residents to avoid sea activities during this time.

Spring ahead

Inclement weather is a common sight during this time of the year, as Qatar begins the transition from winter to spring, a period called Al Sarayat.

According to the MET, this period goes from March 20 to mid-May. It is charactered by weather fluctuations, including warm and cold fronts, as well as dry and hot winds.

Tawfiq Raji/Twitter

Lightning in April 2016

The season is also associated with “severe weather such as violent lightning strikes, strong winds, heavy rain and dust,” forecasters added.

In its most recent climate outlook, the MET forecast rainy conditions for the next three weeks. It said most of this rain will affect the western and northern parts of Qatar.

It added that a shamal (sandstorm) could hit the country in mid-April.

Thoughts?