While some people lauded the efforts of Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) in organising a richer line-up of events compared to the previous year, some citizens felt there is still more to be done to improve the festival programme so that staying in the country would make a better option for people during Eid vacation.
Citizens, expatriates and visitors from GCC countries have conveyed their appreciation of the festival through Facebook and other social media sites.
They praised the organisers, saying the festival programme was catered to all segments of society with the multinational community in Qatar in mind.
They were impressed by the wide variety of programmes for children, many of which were spread in major shopping centres from Doha to Al Khor.
New programmes of international appeal such as ‘The Smurfs’, ‘Ben 10 Omniverse’ and ‘Made in the Ice Age’ were introduced this year for the entire family to enjoy.
Other attractions in malls included Carnival Dixie, Chicago Boyz, Talking Friends, Over Boys, Shaolin Martial Arts, Pink Panther, Carnival Samba, Lulu Caty, Magic Show, Bubble Show and Traditional Parade.
They were shown in major malls including Lagoona, Villaggio, The Gate, Landmark, City Center, Hyatt Plaza and Al Khor Mall.
In addition, some shopping centres had their own programmes such as Hyatt Plaza which launched the Royal Circus on the first day of Eid, featuring over 50 performers from various countries, including the UK, Russia, Spain, Ecuador, Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Brazil.
Katara’s Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, a first in the country, and a fireworks display which ran for four days enthralled thousands of people at the Cultural Village Esplanade.
Over 260,000 visitors, including citizens, expatriates and visitors from neighbouring GCC countries, enjoyed the most popular story from Medieval Arabic literature One Thousand and One Nights.
Malika Al Shraim, Director of Katara’s Public Relations and Communication Department, was not surprised over the huge turnout because the show was something new to Doha audience.
“Many visitors thronged Katara because this is a new programme.
“Katara is always keen to organise unique programmes during Eid, so that every one of all ages from all sections of the community can enjoy. Katara has been attracting many visitors as an ideal place for entertainment,” she said.