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QFA

Qatar national football team for illustrative purposes only.

From cheering on Qatar’s national football team to eating cake that looks like Sheikh Tamim to checking out Filipino week at the Qatar Summer Festival, there’s plenty to do around town this weekend.

Here are our picks:

Asian Cup qualifiers

After six weeks of intense training, Qatar footballers are ready to compete in this week’s AFC U-23 Asian Cup qualifiers at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Qatar will start off playing Turkmenistan tonight before facing off against India on July 21 and closing the tournament with a match against Syria on July 23.

Tonight’s match starts at 8pm. In a statement, organizing committee chairman Ali Hammoud Al Nuaimi said security will be strict during the tournament. But seats will be free for all.

“We want the fans to come and enjoy top quality football. That’s why the entry is free,” he said.

Filipino week at Qatar Summer Festival

Filipino-inspired entertainment is taking center stage at the Qatar Summer Festival at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center near City Center mall.

Cuisine from two Philippine-based food vendors, Jollibee Qatar and RED Butterfly Services W.L.L, will also be featured this week.

The festival is open daily from 2pm to 11pm until Sept. 5.

In addition to entertainment, there are dozens of other activities, such as the world’s largest inflatable human obstacle course, a retail court and games for children. Entrance costs QR15/person and special offers are available online here.

Tamim Al-Majd cake unveiling

Fouj Cafe is serving up a 5X5m cake decorated to look like the Tamim Al-Majd that has become iconic amid the Gulf dispute.

Simon Chan/Flickr

Emir’s portrait

All are welcome to enjoy some of the cake for free, which will be available at the Grand Hamad Branch on Saturday, July 22 from 5pm to 8pm.

There will also be cupcake decorating for children. More information is available online here.

Skate girls of Kabul

A portrait exhibition about Afghan girls who have taken up skateboarding will make its regional premiere in Qatar this week.

The Skate Girls of Kabul series was taken by award-winning photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson in 2013.

Copyright © Jessica Fulford-Dobson

Skate Girls of Kabul series

It debuts at the QM Gallery (Building 10) in Katara Cultural Village on Thursday, July 20.

The exhibition is based on the story of Skateistan, a local charity that set up skate parks for kids in Afghanistan. There, it is taboo for girls to ride bikes, but not necessarily skateboards.

You can check it out from Monday to Thursday, 10am to 8pm; Fridays from 3pm to 9pm and Saturdays from 10am to 8pm. The gallery is closed on Sundays.

Sunset dinner cruise

Local travel agency National Cruise is holding three-hour dhow cruises along the Pearl Qatar on Thursday, July 20 from 6 to 9pm.

National Cruise/Facebook

Dhow cruise

The trip includes an open buffet in an air-conditioned dhow and a view of Qatar’s skyline. The pick-up point is at Gate 2 of the Pearl.

The cruise costs QR175/adult and QR75/child (ages three to 12 years old). Call 50008830 for more details or see more info online here.

Bonus:

  • Casting call: The Doha Film Institute is seeking actors and actresses of all ages with a “Qatari look” who speak the local dialect for a new film. Auditions will be held between July 16 and Aug. 10. To apply, email [email protected]

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

Adventure Rooms

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Sweaty weather and summer holdiays notwithstanding, there are still some interesting things to do around Qatar this weekend.

From breaking out of an adventure room to checking out a play to salsa dancing, here are our picks:

Escape room adventure

A few escape room-themed venues have opened in Qatar in recent years. For those looking for a challenge, try your luck at breaking out of Escape Hunt, which is in Dar Al Salam Mall.

The international chain offers a Doha spin on its stories, with options like Kidnapped at the Souq, the Great Art Robbery and Reclaim the Cup. The game costs QR440 for two people. More information is available online or by calling 3306 1971.

Escape Hunt/Facebook

Escape Hunt

You can also check out Adventure Rooms in the new Salata Area. There, guests are locked in a room and given a puzzle, a set of clues and 60 minutes to escape.

The game is open to those nine years and older. Under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Prices range from QR100 to QR300 a person, depending on how many people partake in the game. Book online here or call 70500139 for more info.

Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves

This popular children’s play will be showing at the Qatar National Theater today (July 12) at 4pm and 8pm.

Orad/Wikimedia

Qatar\’s National Theater

The play will be in English and tickets cost QR150, QR200, QR220 and QR250 per person, depending on seating. They can be bought online here.

For more information, call 6697 0975.

Mathaf film exhibition

Take a surreal stroll through the “It All Started with a Map and a Picture of Scattered Little Houses” exhibition at the Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.

The display features four films by Basim Magdy, a leading Egyptian-born artist: No Shooting Stars (2016), The Everyday Ritual of Solitude Hatching Monkeys (2014), The Dent (2014), and Time Laughs Back at You Like a Sunken Ship (2012).

According to the Mathaf’s website, the films “are lucid and dreamlike visually in their exploration of solitude and collective will” and reflect the “reconciliation of tradition and ritual as we move towards futuristic, industrialized tendencies of existence universally.”

The exhibition is on until Sept. 14 and more information is here. Mathaf is open Saturday through Thursday from 11am to 6pm, and on Fridays from 3pm to 8pm. It is closed on Mondays.

Salsa dancing

This summer, Latin beats are taking over at the Irish Harp every Wednesday.

The bar, at the Sheraton Grand Doha Hotel, will hold Latin Moovz at 9pm tonight (July 12).

Salsa n' Candela

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Ladies enter free, and men pay QR50 at the door, which includes one drink. A QID or passport is required to enter. Call 44853000 for table reservations. More information is here.

Pirate and Treasure Island games

Doha Festival City is holding a series of pirate-themed events this month.

They include a workshop for kids to make their own pirate hats or mermaid crowns. The sessions are for children four to 12 years old and run from 3pm to 9pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays in the Clouds node of the mall.

Families can also try to find their way through a maze at Centre Court, which is open from 3pm to 9pm daily. Every hour, DFC will offer participants Nerf guns to ratchet up the intensity.

There’s also fishing for treasure “under the sea” and a building blocks section open on the weekends.

Bonus:

  • Kids’ cooking at IKEA: Swedish home goods store IKEA is hosting children’s cooking classes every Saturday from 3pm to 5pm. The event is free and located in the store’s restaurant.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?

DECC/Facebook

Summer Entertainment City

Now that the Eid Al Fitr holidays are over, it’s back to business as usual for many residents.

But there are still lots of fun things to do around town this weekend, from go-karting to meeting some of the world’s best football players to keeping the kids busy with art classes.

Here are our picks of what’s on:

Entertainment City

This venue is one of the centerpieces of Qatar’s annual Summer Festival, and is being held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC) in Dafna/West Bay.

DECC/Facebook

Summer Entertainment City

There are more than 60 attractions on offer this year. They include an obstacle course, paintball zone, an indoor zipline, trampolines, Bricklyn Lego and Timba Cars – which is a combination of bumper cars and giant football.

This is in addition to the arcade and other games, food and souvenir stalls. Additionally, this week is Bollywood themed, so international dance team D4Dance Qatar will be performing alongside Pakistani rock band Raakh.

The shows run from 5:30pm to 10pm on Friday and Saturday. More information is here.

Entry to the DECC is QR15 per person and attractions cost extra, depending on the game. A day ticket is QR150.

Entertainment City is open daily from 2pm to 11pm and runs until Sept. 5. More information about the summer fest is here.

Meet Barca stars

Three of the world’s top players from FC Barcelona will be in Doha today (July 5).

Mall of Qatar/Facebook

FC Barcelona players to visit Qatar

The stars from the Catalan side – center-half Gerard Piqué, defender Jordi Alba and midfielder Sergio Busquets – will meet and greet people at the Mall of Qatar’s Oasis stage (in the main ground floor food court) at 3pm.

Entry is free. For more information, see here.

Majlis life

If you’ve always wondered what happens at a Qatari majlis, or have any questions about Qatari culture and traditions, check out this free event organized by Abdullah Bin Zaid Al Mahmoud (Fanar) Center.

Alan Pix/Flickr

Fanar

The “Experience Qatari Majlis” event aims to give residents and visitors insight into local life, culture and customs.

It will be held on July 7, from 4pm until 6:30pm at the second floor majlis of the Bin Zaid (Fanar) center, next to Souq Waqif. The evening is open to all, but prior registration is required.

Interested participants should register in advance by calling 4444 7444 or 4470 1098 or emailing [email protected] More information is here.

Karting culture

Looking for an adrenaline kick? Try your hand at karting at the Losail Circuit this weekend.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Outdoor karting at Losail

Hurtle round the track at high-speed during one of the weekend sessions, which run every Thursday and Friday from 5pm until 10pm.

Residents over the age of 15 years old can take part (although those under 18 years need to have signed permission to participate by a legal guardian). The 15-minute sessions cost QR100 plus QR15 for helmet hire, if drivers don’t have their own.

Register at the circuit’s VIP car park. You can find out more here.

Art classes

If you’re looking for ways to keep the younger ones occupied during the long summer holidays, Katara Art Center is hosting twice-weekly Days for Coloring classes for children 5 to 9 years old.

Katara/Twitter

Art classes at Katara Art Center

Held on Mondays and Wednesdays from July 3 until Aug. 2, the classes run from 6pm until 8pm and cost QR120 per person, including all materials.

For more information, contact Building 5, Katara Art Center, on 7036 6332 or see here.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?