Ray Toh / Doha News

IAAF Diamond League opener 2016

Qatari Olympic high jumper Mutaz Barshim will be among several star athletes competing in the 2017 IAAF Diamond League meeting in Doha next month.

The event opens on May 5 at 6pm at the Qatar Sports Club, and includes both men and women’s races, as well as pole vault, shot put and other events.

Here’s the full schedule.

Barshim, who won Qatar’s first silver medal at the Rio Olympics, is one of 13 Qatari athletes who will compete in the season opener.

They will be joined by a host of world-class athletes from around the world, including:

  • Olympic champion Elaine Thompson of Jamaica, who will be competing in the 200m;
  • Three-time world champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya, who will run the men’s 1,500m; and
  • The “fastest man in Asia,” Nigeria’s Femi Ogunde, who will run the 100m.

If you’d like to see the stars in action, tickets for the event are on sale now online. Prices start at QR40 per person.

Home turf

In a statement, Barshim said that he is excited to appear in front of a home crowd during one of his first competitions of the season.

Mutaz Barshim/Twitter

Mutaz Barshim

“Competing at home makes it very special. It is such a great thing, a great atmosphere, especially in Doha,” he said.

However, the 25-year-old added that his “main focus” this season is the World Championships in London in August, where he’s hoping to win his first ever gold medal.

Qatar’s team

Thirteen Qatari athletes will compete at the meeting in all, including fellow Olympians Ahmed Bedeer in the javelin and sprinter Femi Ogunode in the 100m.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Ahmed Badeer

Qatar is also fielding some new talent at the event, with both 22-year-old Abdulrahman Samba and 19-year-old Mohamed Shaib competing in the 400m hurdles.

Samba, an Aspire Academy graduate, came first at the Sasol-NWU International athletics meeting in March in South Africa with a time of 48.31 seconds. So hopes are high that the 22-year-old will do well in Doha.

Do you plan to check out the competition? Thoughts?


Qarar zombie film

From off-roading action to checking out the latest car innovations to scary movie screenings and a Latin American festival, there’s plenty going on around town this weekend.

Here are our picks:

Horror movie screenings

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) will screen a series of horror/thriller films at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium starting tomorrow, April 20.

Titled Our Creators of Horror, the series is aimed to celebrate “the craft of eclectic filmmakers who have redefined the genre.”

Doha Film Institute


This weekend’s screening include: Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock (Thursday, 7:30pm); Jumanji by Joe Johnston (Friday, 3pm); Vampyr by Carl Theodor Dreyer (Saturday, 7:30pm); and The Orphanage by J.A. Bayona (Friday, 7:30pm).

The series will also feature a Made in Qatar program that includes four films made by Qatari nationals and residents, which will be screened consecutively on Friday starting at 5:30pm.

Tickets per screening cost QR35/person. However, those interested in attending all or most screenings can buy a “ticket package” for QR100, which grants buyers one ticket to each screening in the Creators of Horror film series. Visit DFI’s page for more information.

Qatar Motor Show

More than 21 automotive brands, including gleaming concept cars, new releases and bikes are showcasing their latest innovations and technology at the eighth annual Qatar Motor Show starting today.

Chantelle d'Mello

Qatar Motor Show 2015

The event, which will run until Apr. 22 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in West Bay, is showcasing its from 4 to 10pm on Thursday and Sunday, from 1 to 10pm on Friday and Saturday, and from 1 to 8pm on Monday.

Skyline Automotive, Hyundai’s official distributor, will be also be unveiling a new hybrid car – currently rated as the top performing in the segment – that will be coming to Qatar for the first time.

Interested visitors are requested to register for free online here. For more information, visit the event’s website here.

Snow and balloons at DFC

Though it’s ski slope isn’t yet open, Doha Festival City has introduced a monthlong set of attractions for children 5-12 years old.

Its Winter Wonderland event features two snow zones and will run from April 20 to May 20. Play is open from 4pm to 10pm Sunday to Thursday, and from 1pm to 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.


Larry Moss balloon sculpture

In another offering, renowned artist Larry Moss will create sculptures made out of thousands of latex balloons over a period of nine days. Moss is known for incorporating literary, art and pop culture references into his work. Up to 40,000 balloons will be used by him and his team to create the installations.

They will be on display until May 20, and live sculpting will take place from 3pm to 9pm daily.


Head over to Katara this weekend to explore some of the sights and sounds of Latin American culture at the newly launched festival Roots.

The festival, which began yesterday and will run until April 22, features exhibitions and daily evening performances by musicians and dancers from Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay and Cuba. 


Roots festival flyer

All performances commence at 7:30pm each night and are staged in Katara’s Drama Theatre.

The event is free and open to all. However, those who wish to attend will need to register here, and children under seven years old are not allowed. For more information about the festival and registration, visit Katara’s website. 

Cross Country Rally

Round four of the 2017 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup and round two of the 2017 FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship will run until Saturday, April 22 at Sealine Beach.


Sealine Rally

A route of nearly 2,000km will take competitors to the outermost reaches of Qatar in a dusty and sandy trail laid by officials at the Qatar Motor and Motorcycle Federation (QMMF).

When the rally concludes on Saturday, there will be a prize-giving ceremony at the Losail International Circuit starting at 6:30pm. There will also be a show of motorbike stunts and a car exhibition from Mawater. More information on the rally schedule and route can be found online.

World Anaqa Show

Fashion enthusiasts looking to revel in the latest trends should head over to Katara’s Multipurpose Hall in Building 15 starting today.

Chantelle D'mello / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The World Anaqa Show, which will open today starting 5:30pm, will be showcasing some of the most renowned local and international brands for men, women and kids.

The event is on daily from 10am to 10pm until Monday, April 24. A fashion show will take place between 6pm and 7pm daily, except for Thursday.

For more information, check out the event’s website.

Desert cleanup

A new environmental awareness group is organizing a desert clean-up this Friday from 9am to 10am, and is seeking volunteers to help.

The cleanup by Silent Volunteers will take place at Qatar’s Singing Sand Dunes, located approximately 40 km southwest of Doha.

Ricky Majit/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Large garbage bags, gloves and refreshments will be provided. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own sand mats, sun screen, hats and toys for children.

Participants are requested to confirm their attendance on Facebook or by email at [email protected]

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

Shabina S. Khatri / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Strong winds and sandstormy conditions are expected to stick around for the rest of the week in Qatar, local forecasters have said.

In some parts of the country, winds could reach up to 38 knots (70km/hour), the Qatar Meteorology Department (MET) said.

The ensuing dust and sand kicked up by the wind will cause visibility to drop to less than 2km, the MET added in a statement.

Jun Ong/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Residents should “be cautious” and avoid sea activities through Saturday.

On the bright side, temperatures have fallen back down to “normal” levels for this time of the year, and will reach a high of around 37C over the next few days.

Dust protection

With the rain behind us, now might be a good time to brush up on how to protect yourself and loved ones from all the sand that’s blowing around.

Health officials have previously advised those going outdoors to wear masks, avoid rubbing their eyes to prevent infection and to seek treatment if they have breathing difficulties.

Other advice includes:


Sandstorm health advice

Will the weather affect your weekend plans? Thoughts?