Make the most of the city’s slower pace by trying something new this summer
Time Out Doha staff
June 26, 2014 7:54 AM
Celebrate Garangao Garang-a-what, you ask? The 14th day of Ramadan is known as Garangao, a unique Khaleeji (the Gulf) children’s holiday. Customarily on this day children don traditional clothes and head out to collect sweets, nuts and coins in special cloth bags, while singing time-honoured songs. Many venues and compounds in Qatar will host their own special Garangao events, with Katara Cultural Village typically playing host to family events to celebrate. It’s a great way for non-native kids to learn something about the local culture, and have fun doing it while making new friends.
Take on a 30-day fitness challenge Been putting off that new fitness regime for week after week? Did your New Years’ resolutions all splutter, crash and burn? The slower pace of the city and mood of cleansing in the air make the Holy Month an ideal time to reinforce some good habits by working out indoors in the evenings. All new recruits at the Six Senses Spa are invited to take on a 30-day push up challenge from the day they sign up. Free for members. Open daily 9am-11pm. Six Senses Spa at Sharq Village & Spa (4425 6999).
Check an acclaimed American sculptor’s work American artistic heavyweight Richard Serra – known in Qatar for his permanent vertical steel sculpture in MIA Park – is hosting two top Doha exhibitions this month. Al Riwaq’s ‘Passage of Time’ consists of two 70-metre steel curves that need to be seen from multiple angles. Meanwhile a sister show at the QMA Gallery provides historical context with four large drawings presenting the development of Serra’s work. Until July 6. Al Riwaq, next to the Museum of Islamic Art, Corniche (4452 5555). QMA Gallery, building 10, Katara Cultural Village, West Bay Lagoon (4408 1255).
Catch a clever movie Cinema’s a no-go during Ramadan, right, with all the big movies saved for after Eid? Wrong – the slower pace of summer actually means we get some of our most interesting films all year, as programmers are forced to stretch their creative muscles to fill the multiplexes. This July we’ve been promised leftfield regional releases including the Coen Brothers’ New York ’60s oddball tale Inside Llewyn Davis and acclaimed Chinese martial arts epic Flying Swords of Dragon Gate. Check www.timeoutdoha.com for latest listings and reviews.
Go kayaking by moonlight What could be more atmospheric than kayaking by moonlight? Well, this is exactly what Entalek EcoAdventures are offering with a series of summer itineraries at both sunset and twilight around Dhow Harbour, different areas of The Pearl-Qatar, or calming excursions at Al Thakira Nature Reserve. Find out more at www.entalek.org, email@example.com or call (3023 3207).
Find out more about Islam Based in the spiral mosque you see along the corniche, just next to Souq Waqif, the Fanar Islamic Cultural Centre reaches out to non-Muslims with lectures about Islam, tours of religious sites and Arabic language classes. The month of Ramadan is the ideal time to find out more about the faith in Qatar. Call 4425 0164.
Camp in the desert It’s a quintessential Qatar experience – a night under the stars. And the Holy Month is a fitting time to experience the open sands, when everything comes alive after night. Plus, of course, it’s only late at night when temperatures cool enough to spend much time out of doors. Organise a trip through Regency Travel and Tours (www.regencyholidays.com) or, if you own a 4x4, be brave and hit the dunes yourself.
Learn the art of calligraphy With or without a grasp of Arabic, there’s no denying the beauty of traditional calligraphy. Connect with the culture by picking up a brush. To get a professional kickstart enrol in a course at the Museum of Islamic Art – check www.mia.org.qa/en for the latest schedule.
Take up a new sport Think working out is off the cards during the sweaty season? Stop kidding yourself – more and more indoor gyms and sports complexes open every year in Qatar, and the detoxing of summer is a perfect time to get stuck in with a new discipline. Squash, yoga, zumba, Thai boxing...? All available indoors in Doha.
Take a break Less work landing in your inbox over summer? Dramatic discounts on hotels and resorts across the region? For many Doha-dwellers a cut-price luxury escape to our GCC neighbours is a no-brainer for summer.