Immerse yourself in Qatar culture at the many cultural and sporting events that take place in Doha. Golf, tennis, festivals and fun await you.
Qatar’s capital has a full schedule of sporting and cultural events each year. Starting with international tennis and golfing championships in January and February, cultural events and festivals in March and the international film festival in November. There are even exciting camel races from November to February that are worth checking out.
Doha Cultural Festival
One of the most exciting and anticipated festivals in Qatar is the Doha Cultural Festival. It is especially interesting for visitors wishing to learn a little more about the culture here, as it is a presentation of the creativity and traditions of the country’s people. The event is held in March and includes photography and art galleries, music, poetry, dance and fashion. It can be difficult to find information on the event, however if you are planning on visiting in March, contact the hotel and ask about some places to add to your itinerary.
Commercial Bank Qatar Masters
This huge tournament was first played in 1998 and is part of the European Tour. The Commercial Bank Qatar Masters will have top golfing athletes teeing off in January 2016 allowing spectators to get up and close with the players as they take each swing. In 2015, 2.5 million was up for grabs in prize money, which brought in many fans and some of the world’s top 10 golfers. The course is both beautiful and complex, so if you are a golfing fan, be a guest at the Doha Golf Club and try these greens out for yourself.
Qatar International Food Festival
Also in March, you can throw your taste buds a party and attend the Qatar International Food Festival. This huge event is a celebration of all types of food and is free to attend. Music and dancing fill the stages and there is a cooking theater where you can see celebrity chefs create their masterpieces. For those who love culinary art, there is an amateur cooking competition, which is a blast to watch, and there have even been ice-carving competitions.
Doha Film Institute Festivals
The Doha Film Institute is all about nurturing and building a dynamic film industry in the country. They hold many different events throughout the year including the Ajyal Youth Film festival. This year it will be held from 29th November until 5th December and invites youth to come and watch, analyze and judge films. Watch shorts, full-length films and cartoons made across the world and join the Ajyal Family Weekend for a creative outing with the kids.
Qatar Tennis Tournaments
There is no shortage of sporting events in Doha, with several tennis competitions taking place each year at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. Two of the biggest competitions held here are the Qatar Total Open and the Qatar Exxonmobil Open, held in January and February. Your favorite tennis stars like Ferrer, Nadal, Murray, Willams, Azerenka and more have battled it out on these courts, so if you are a tennis fan then be sure to grab yourself some tickets.
An hours’ drive into the desert from Doha will bring you to the Al Shahaniya Camel Racetrack. This Sheik sport is an essential part of your trip to the Qatar capital as it is an important part of tradition and culture. Camel racers spend large sums of money on breeding and training, sometimes even going abroad to mate their camels with purebreds, considering this is a small price to pay for the possible winnings. The tracks are varied lengths but are at most five kilometers, so you can choose to stand at the opening gate to see them rush out, or to hop on a bus that drives alongside them as they race.
If you would like to see the camel races or want more information about events in and around the city, ask the receptionists at Radisson Blue Hotel, Doha. They can check out schedules for you and are sure to have some tips on the best things to see and do.