Catching up with culture

Shereen D’Souza explores the city’s top cultural hotspots this month Discuss this article

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The Holy Month in Doha is very special – the entire city comes alive with so many incredible ways to immerse yourself in the local culture and be a part of festivities, irrespective of whether you’re a local or an expat. So we’ve scoured the city and found these top options to soak in some local art and culture during this wonderful time of the year.

Head to the drive-through Ghabqah Katara
This first-of-its-kind drive-through iftar concept has made its way into the market at the right time. It’s non-conventional and it’s fun and why not try an iftar in the comfort of your own car? If you’ve driven by recently, you’ve seen the incredibly beautiful light display and just below that, hundreds of cars driving around and people eating inside. It may be filling but it’s a brilliant idea, we must admit, and the best possible way to beat the heat. You can also watch matches on a large screen from inside your car by tuning in to a certain set frequency, sort of like a drive-in cinema. If only this market stays for all summer.

Open daily sunset-2am. Katara Cultural Village (6662 9715).

Explore the Ramadan Night Market
The Ramadan Night Market is taking place until the end of Ramadan and this is a market in the true sense of the word. It was about time we had one.

You can find hundreds of vendors selling everything from burgers and crepes to toys and clothes, including antiques and handicrafts. There are loads of retailers selling 100 percent Qatari products and if you want to support small local business, you’ll find the best and most exciting buys here.

The place is beautifully lit up and even has a funky graffiti wall at the entrance. It’s almost always packed, but that’s part of its charm. Did we mention there are loads of new coffee shops to try out? This is your chance to see Doha at its liveliest best.
Open daily 7pm-3am. Al Duhail Sports Club, Umm Slal Mohammed (5511 1248).

Take an iftar cruise

That dhow cruise you’ve been wanting to catch for a while just got better. You can now try a traditional iftar on-board a fully air-conditioned dhow (best news) and watch the beautiful neon lights across Doha’s skyline in a lush setting.

The first-class food is from Four Seasons, so that’s covered. All you have to do is sit back in luxury and enjoy panoramic views of West Bay and the Corniche while listening to soft, oriental tunes. They’re even serving shisha. You can also just do a tour minus the food for the lower price of QR100.
QR190 (iftar, premium package, Thu), QR225 (suhoor, premium package, Mon). QR245 (iftar, premium package, Fri). QR275 (suhoor, first class package, Thu). Sunset-1.30am. National Cruise Qatar, www.nationalcruise.com (6600 0926, 7799 9666).

Try a class at QF

Qatar Foundation (QF) is hosting several cultural, religious and health and well-being activities themed around local culture for all members of the community in different parts of Education City. This is a great way to socially engage and get to know more about the society we live in.

The Qur’anic Botanic Garden, for instance, is hosting a contest for children below 12. Throughout the month, is also hosting a range of sporting events, including adult swimming classes, artistic gymnastics, mixed martial arts for children, a women’s volleyball tournament and a men’s badminton competition.

There are music classes, exhibitions, a Garangao night (celebrated midway through Ramadan), workshops for Ramadan arts and crafts and so much more.
For the full schedule of events, visit next.qf.org.qa/events. Education City (4454 0000).

By Shereen D’Souza
Time Out Doha,

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