Doha 20th November 2013: The Third Katara Traditional Dhow Festival opened yesterday with the participation of as many as 105 dhows from all over the Gulf region.
The event, being held in cooperation with the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), aims at reviving ancestral heritage in travelling and navigation through sailing.
The five day festival featured different traditional and cultural shows such as band performances, live boat-making exhibition and display, lecture series on heritage, light and fireworks shows, dhow cruises, children’s activities and exhibits from museums across the Gulf region.
“The festival comes in the context of maintaining the Qatari heritage and as part of Qatar’s cultural strategy , and it also consolidates historical tradition not only in Qatar, but in the Gulf region as whole,” said Dr Hamad Abdulaziz Al Kuwari, HE The
Minister of Culture , Arts and Heritage, who inaugurated the festival.
Various cultural institutions in the country such as the Ministry of Culture, Qatar Musuesms Authority (QMA) and Katara are all work as a team in order to achieve the cultural strategy of the state by transfering Qatari heritage to the Arab world and worldwide, he added.
Katara General Manager Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al Sulaiti said: “We are extremely honoured to host this event for the third time in Qatar and proud to teach our younger generation how to travel by dhows, and educating them about the Qatari history.”
“This unique festival honours the importance of the seas in Qatari culture, the pearl diving era reflects our heritage and to this day we still value the true importance of our waters,” said al-Sulaiti.
The sailing competition will take place today. Pearl diving competition and a rowing competition are scheduled for Thursday. One of the most prominent events of the festival- Fath El Kheir journey will begin on Friday. An awards ceremony is set for Saturday.
The Fath El Kheir trip which starts on 22 November 2013 from Katara Beach will sail to its first station in the Kingdom of Bahrain, then heading to Saudi Arabia and to Kuwait, after that to Oman, then navigate to the United Arab Emirates, and finally leaving UAE to reach Doha on December 18 to participate in the Qatar National Day celebrations, crossing the estimated distance of 856 nautical miles.
The festival will be open to the public daily with the following schedules: Wednesday: 9am – 10pm; Thursday: 9am-11pm; Friday: 3pm –11pm; Saturday: 9am – 10pm.