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Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Ramadan begins this weekend, but there are still lots of things to do around town, including enjoying a lavish iftar, partaking in a Ramadan race and kayaking in the mangroves.

Here are our picks:

Iftar and Suhoor

Every Ramadan, hotels and restaurants across Qatar roll out special offers and packages for iftar (the breaking of the fast) and suhoor (the pre-dawn meal).

W Hotel Doha/Facebook

Ramadan tent

This year, at least 20 hotels are offering meals. They include Azraq at the Banana Island Resort, Aramede Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Hotel, and many more.

Several standalone restaurants are also getting in on the action.

Usually, iftar buffets open from sunset to 8pm or 9pm, while suhoor buffets run from 9pm to 2am. Many of those meals are accompanied with live Arabic music.

For a more detailed listing featuring offers, timings and costs, check out Marhaba’s guide here or I Love Qatar’s Ramadan page here.

Katara Ramadan Festival

The annual Ramadan Festival at Katara Cultural Village will kick off on the first day of the holy month (either Saturday or Sunday), starting with a cannon firing at sunset.

Chantelle D'mello

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The festival, usually spread over the seafront area and several other buildings, honors famous Muslim scholars and inventors, photographers and Qur’anic texts, and offers small local businesses the opportunity to sell their goods.

Also featured are competitions, exhibitions, lectures, sports activities, and educational sessions, among others. For example, last year’s festival featured a series of 3D exhibitions depicting the Quran’s take on the human body and creation.

The festival runs daily until midnight and is open to all.

Ramadan race challenge

The Qatar Running Series (QRS) is putting together a Ramadan race challenge this Friday at Education City’s Oxygen Park.

Baba Tamim

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The race, which is open to a maximum of 100 participants, will feature a variety of running distances between 3k and 10k. All races will take place from 7:45pm to 9:45pm.

There will be a total of four races throughout the month, all of which will be held on Thursdays and Fridays up until June 15. Each race costs QR150 for adults and QR60 for runners below the age of 16.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers for 3k, 5k and 10k distances.

The race will also provide participants with water stations, race bibs, medical support, course marshals, custom designed finisher’s medal for all distances and public liability insurance.

To register for the race, visit Qatar Running Series’ website. 

MIA Ramadan festivities

The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) will also host a series of events and activities throughout the holy month starting Saturday, May 27.

Jameel Riaz/Flickr

The Museum of Islamic Art

They include lectures by renowned speakers who will touch upon subjects related to the holy month and the history of Islam and Islamic art. The first lecture in the series is titled Ramadan and Family. Other lectures include topics on the significance of sports in Ramadan, healthy eating and architecture.

There will also be storytelling sessions for children, lantern-making sessions, rug-weaving out of paper and the well-known MIA Bazaar on Saturday evenings, which will run from 5pm until midnight.

For more information on MIA’s Ramadan program, visit their website. 

365 Adventures activities

Local eco-tourism company 365 Adventures will host two separate events this weekend: a kayaking and iftar potluck; and a karaoke dhow cruise.

Jovanie Cabrera/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The kayaking and iftar potluck event will take place on Saturday, May 27. It will feature a 90-minute session of kayaking in the Al Thakhira Mangroves starting at 4pm, followed by iftar at sunset.

Two kayaking tour sessions are available, one before iftar (which starts at 5pm) and one after iftar (starts at 8pm). Tickets cost QR200 for adults and QR150 for children between six and 12 years old, which can be purchased here. Children below six don’t need a ticket. Those who wish to pay in cash must book here.

All activities end by 10pm. More details regarding the event can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

Separately, the karaoke cruise will take place on Thursday, May 25 from 7pm to 10pm. More details can be found here.


  • Canapés cooking class: City Center Rotana Doha is offering a Canapés cooking class tonight between 6pm and 8pm. The class costs QR180 per person and will teach participants how to make four different types of canapés. To reserve, call 4458888. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?


New Khalifa Stadium

From taking a look at Qatar’s first World Cup stadium to enjoying a Jay Sean concert to checking out the latest in wedding fashion, there is lots to do around town during the last weekend before Ramadan.

Here are our picks:

Emir Cup final

After three years of renovations ahead of the World Cup, Khalifa International Stadium will reopen to the public for the Emir Cup final on Friday, May 19.

During the match, Al Rayyan will face off against Al Sadd, which is led by former FC Barcelona player Xavi.

Opening ceremonies begin at 6:30pm, and kickoff is at 7pm.

Tickets are already on sale at Villaggio and City Center malls and cost QR30/person. They are also currently being sold at Souq Waqif and at the stadium during the day of the event.

Jay Sean concert

British singer and songwriter Jay Sean is set to perform weekend at The W Doha Hotel’s Crystal Lounge.

Known for his creative fusion of contemporary R&B, British hip hop and Indian music, Jay Sean will take the stage Thursday, May 18 from 9pm to��2am.

Entrance fee for males is QR200, but free for ladies. Only those ages 21 and above and with a membership card will be allowed entry.

For more information or reservations, see the event’s Facebook page or call 44535353 or WhatsApp 55003898.

Wedding expo

The 10th International Wedding Exhibition (IWED) and Fashion Show Doha will kick off on Thursday, May 18 at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center in Dafna.


Photo for illustrative purposes only.

The event focuses on the latest wedding-related trends and will be selling goods and services to shoppers. There’s also a pampering area where beauty tips and ideas will be offered by professional experts and stylists.

The exhibition is free and open from noon to 10pm on Thursday, from 3pm to 10pm on Friday and from noon to 10pm on Saturday. Fashion shows will be held from 5pm to 9pm each day. More information is here.

Calligraphy exhibition

A new exhibition featuring intricate calligraphic artworks dating from the 1960s until today is now open at the Qatar Museums (QM) Gallery Al Riwaq.

Currently, more than 200 works collected by the renowned Turkish expert Mehmet Çebi are on display.

Qatar Museums

Art from Contemporary Calligraphy – Mehmet Cebi Collection

The pieces include an assortment of Hilye-i Şerif (The Noble Hilya), which is also known as a form of classic calligraphic art. There is also a section of tasbih (prayer beads), which are used by Muslims for ruminative prayer.

The exhibition, called Contemporary Calligraphy – Mehmet Cebi Collection, will run until June 17. More information about it is here. 

Al Riwaq is open from 10:30am to 7pm from Sunday to Thursday (but is closed on Tuesdays); 2pm to 9pm on Fridays; and noon to 9pm on Saturdays.

Movie Magic concert

Qatar’s largest and oldest amateur choir Doha Singers will perform some of Hollywood’s popular hits this weekend at Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC).

Titled Movie Magic: Your Favorite Hollywood Hits, the concert will feature songs from films such as Dirty Dancing, An Officer and a Gentleman, Love Actually, Titanic, Skyfall and others.

The concert will take place on Friday, May 19 at 4:30pm. Tickets cost QR120 each and are being sold at Lagoona, Landmark, Villaggio, City Center, and Doha Festival City malls. For more information, email [email protected] or see the event’s Facebook page.

Free film screening

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) will screen The Poot this weekend, a 40-minute Iranian documentary about Persian carpets.

Doha Film Institute

The Poot

The documentary is being shown as part of the Museum of Islamic Art’s Imperial Threads: Motifs and Artisans from Turkey, Iran and India exhibition.

It demonstrates how carpets, in some place, are still intricately woven by hand, and follows the sequence of its making from start to finish. This includes grinding plants into a powder of a dozen different colors to the “weaving and the smoothing of the final product with a sharp knife.”

Four screenings will be held at the Museum of Islamic Art Auditorium on Thursday and Friday, May 18 and 19. Only one screening will take place on Thursday, which starts at 7:30pm. Friday’s screening times are 3:30pm, 5:30pm and 7:30pm.

The film is free and open to all, but those who wish to attend should reserve seats in advance here.

QPO concert

The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) will perform Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird this weekend at the Katara Opera House.


Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

Conducted by Dmitrij Kitajenko, the concert will take place on Saturday, May 20 starting 7:30pm. Other music pieces will also be played, with more information here.

Ticket prices range between QR75 and QR200 and can be bought here.


  • Community food market: The Strongbox Gym at Al Jazi Gardens is hosting a community food market on Friday, May 19 from 4pm to 8pm. Guests are invited to indulge in different healthy foods while their kids engage in arts and crafts. The event will also feature a barbecue, a swimming pool and will sell products from an organic farm. Entrance is free for all. More information here.
  • QMA End of Year Ceremony: The Qatar Music Academy (QMA) will perform its End of Year Ceremony this Saturday, May 20 at QNCC’s Auditorium 3 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm. Seniors will be performing a selection of both Arabic and Western repertoire. Entry is free of charge and seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?


American rapper Nelly

Whether it’s checking out Nelly live in concert, laughing it off at a comedy show, winning a Cluedo game or enjoying some Arab film screenings, there’s plenty of things going on around town this weekend.

Here are our picks:

Nelly and Fatman Scoop concerts

American rap and hip hop artists Nelly and Fatman Scoop are set to perform this weekend at the Hilton Doha’s Society Lounge.

Both artists will take the stage on separate days. Nelly’s performance will be on Thursday, May 11 and Fatman Scoop’s on Friday, May 12.

While Nelly’s concert requires an entry fee of QR200 for ladies and QR250 for men, Fatman Scoop’s concert will be free of charge. Both performances will run from 9pm to 2am. Prior table bookings and reservations are required and can be done by calling 55390937.

Only those ages 21 and older will be allowed entry. Passports or Qatar IDs must be shown prior to entry. More information about the Nelly and Fatman Scoop concerts can be found on Facebook.

Whose line is it anyway?

Alive Entertainment will once again host a “Whose Line Is It Anyway” comedy show on Saturday, May 13, from 8:30pm to 11pm at the Grand Hyatt Doha.

Four performers with no script will try to win over the crowd with an improvisational comedy show that features sketches, scenes, songs and more.

Reem Saad / Doha News

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

During the evening, comedians Stephen Frost, Steve Steen, Andy Smart, Ian Coppinger will perform improv in the spirit of the Whose Line show.

Tickets cost QR150/person and can be bought online here, or at the concierge desk. Call 4448 1234 for more information. Seats are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Only those ages 21 years and older will be allowed entry.

DFI film screenings

The Doha Film Institute (DFI) will screen a series of contemporary Arab films at the Katara Drama Theatre starting tonight until Friday, May 12.

Under the title A Window on Contemporary Arab Cinema, which mainly focuses on emerging talent from the Middle East, the series will feature a compilation of short films from across the region. There will also be films that have received DFI grants.

Doha Film Institute

Eyes of a Thief

Tonight’s program starts at 5:30pm. Five short films will be screened, including Maqloubeh by Nicolas Damuni, Selma by Mohamed Ben Attia and Waves98 by Ely Dagher, among others.

Also tonight at 8pm, the first of three feature-length films that will be screened this weekend will kick off with Eyes of a Thief by Najwa Najjar. More information can be found here.

Ticket price per screening is QR35. However, a ticket package of QR75 is also on offer, which grants entry for five screenings. More information on tickets can be found here.

Cluedo game night

The Radisson Blu Hotel is hosting a game night featuring the renowned murder mystery game Cluedo on Saturday, May 13.



The first round will commence at 3pm and end at 4:45pm. This round costs QR120 per person.

The second round, which also includes dinner, will go from 6pm to 9:45pm. This round will cost QR275 per person. Both rounds will take place at Radisson Blu’s Giwana Ballroom.

Those who wish to participate can reserve seats by emailing [email protected]or calling 55833298.

Kayaking at the mangroves

Take a sunset kayaking tour this weekend and watch the full moon rise over the Al Thakhira Mangroves Reserve with Discover Arabia (formerly Entalak).

Kayaking at Al Thakira

Discover Arabia/Facebook

Kayaking at Al Thakira

The group is holding a four-hour tour on Friday, May 12 in Al Thakhira starting at 5pm. The night will end with a barbecue set up under a full moon, but kayakers will have to bring their own food.

The group will be providing kayak paddles, life jackets, beverages, portable toilets and changing rooms.

Prices vary for individuals, ranging from QR250 for adults, QR120 for children under 12 years old, and QR80 for children under 6. All can be purchased here.

For more information, email [email protected] or call 30233207.

Bob Marley tribute concert

A tribute concert to the late Bob Marley will take place this weekend at the Oyster Beach Bar at the��St. Regis Doha.

The concert will feature soca musician Rupee along with DJ Teddy Jam, DJ Mubarak, reggae artist EarthKry and DJ Kraziebone.

Tickets cost QR120 when bought in advance and QR150 at the door. Doors will open at 8pm.

Only those aged 21 years and older will be allowed entry. Passports or Qatar IDs must be shown.


  • QPO concert: The Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony on Saturday, May 13 at the Katara Opera House at 7:30pm. The performance will be led by guest conductor Dmitrij Kitajenko. Tickets cost QR75 to QR200 a person and can be bought online. More information is available on QPO’s website.

What are your plans for the weekend? Thoughts?