From left: Rida Mousa, Representative from Qatar Museum Authority, Hasan Al Kaabi, Dhow Captain, Dr Khaled Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara, and Saleh Youssef Al Kuwari, Dhow crew member at the press conference at Katara yesterday.
DOHA: Fath Al Khair, one of the biggest traditional dhows in Qatar, is set to embark on a 27-day voyage across the GCC, as a highlight of the celebration this year’s Traditional Dhow Festival organised by Katara.
The 45-metre-plus dhow was built exclusively for the Emir of Qatar in 1983 by Amireya workshop to promote tourism trips for the Ministry of Information and Tourism. It is currently part of the cultural and heritage initiatives of Qatar Museums Authority (QMA).
Fath Al Khair will set sail on November 22 at Katara beach and make its first stop in Bahrain. After Bahrain, Fath Al Khair will make its way to Saudi Arabia then sail to Kuwait. The journey will then continue to the shores of Oman, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Finally Fath Al Khair will depart from the UAE to arrive on the shores of Qatar, in time for the National Day on December 18.
In the age of modern transportation, this is considered the first trip of its kind in the region due to the unavailability of dhows that have the capacity for such journeys and the lack of experienced youth in this field.
This journey aims at reviving and preserving the cultural heritage of Qatari ancestors’ travels and transportation across the world using dhows, as well as teaching the young generations about travel via dhows and promoting Qatari history.
“We are proud to announce the Fath Al Khair journey which will revive and bring back our strong cultural heritage. This voyage will provide us with an excellent opportunity to showcase Qatari history to the world and educate our generation on this unique field of sea navigation, whereby young Qatari sailors can meet their GCC counterparts to exchange expertise,” said Katara General Manager, Dr Khalid Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, at a press conference yesterday in Katara.
Rida Mousa, QMA Representative said: “QMA is keen on reviving and preserving Qatari heritage, especially the maritime legacy as the QMA’s collection of sailboats is considered one of the most important Arab traditional dhow collections in the GCC region.”
Hasan Al Kaabi, Dhow Captain, said: “I am very proud to lead this amazing journey and showcase Qatar’s heritage and history to the millions living in this region. The sea played a huge role in our past; it was the bridge of exchange between different cultures and societies in Qatar and the rest of the region, and we are here to bring this back to life once again with the support of our young generation.”
GCC citizens who have expertise in the field of sea navigation as well as Qatari youths who have a desire to learn about this kind of travel and adventure will have the opportunity to take part in this trip.
Under the patronage of the Emir H H Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Katara’s third Traditional Dhow Festival is one of the largest festivals in the region and the world specialised in maritime heritage.
To participate in the Fath Al Khair journey, call: 44080000/50123288.