The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani greeting well-wishers who turned up to celebrate Qatar National Day on the Corniche yesterday.
DOHA: Qataris and expatriates joined hands yesterday to mark the National Day with a series of activities held in several venues around the country.
Thousands of people filled the 14,000 seats set up on the venue while thousands more lined up along the roadside to witness the sixth National Day parade on the Corniche which kicked off the day’s rich line-up of events.
The National Anthem was played, verses from the Holy Quran recited and an 18-gun salute was fired to signal the start of the spectacular pageantry. It was a rare sight to behold as parachutes descended on the venue in stunning maroon and white colours.
The hour-long parade showcased the country’s past, present and future starting with herds of thoroughbred and pure Arabian horses and camels which were played an important role during the pre-oil era.
The Qatari Armed Forces, the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), the Army, the Police and the Emiri Guards marched past in their distinct uniforms along with vintage and modern tanks and armoured vehicles.
In triangular and other formations, fighter jets screamed above the Corniche spewing smoke in the colours of the National Flag while traditional dhows sailed on the sea.
Young students from various schools and children from Shafallah Center and Al Noor Institute for the Blind as well as children dressed as soldiers joined the parade. Traditional Ardha dance by school students capped the event.
The Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Father Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani graced the event. The Emir’s Personal Representative H H Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani, H H Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Thani and Their Excellencies the sons of the Father Emir also attended the event.
Also present at the event were the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Speaker of the Advisory Council H E Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khulaifi, including ministers, heads of diplomatic missions and senior army and police officers.
After the parade, people came to see the three exhibitions along the Corniche which showcased the progress the country has witnessed through time.
Under the theme “One Love” various expatriate communities enjoyed a day-long celebration in four major locations highlighting the bond they share with citizens of their host country.
At the Al Wakrah Stadium, thousands of expatriates from Pakistan and Bangladesh joined a mix of cultural and sports events with much enthusiasm. It featured special performances by more than 1,000 school students and artists visiting from Pakistan and Bangladesh. Students from various schools competed in a singing contest in which Bangladesh MHM School was declared winner receiving a cash prize of QR 10,000. Bhavan’s Public School was first runner-up and DPS-MIS second runner up.
Other activities were folk song and dance, fashion show, skit, 400 –metre race, Harley Davidson bike show, and football and volleyball friendly matches.
Over 10,000 Indians and Sri Lankans attended the events at the West End Park comprising cultural and sports activities.
Students from Indian and Sri Lankan schools performed traditional dances and songs in addition to a drama.
Celebrations were also held at Al Rayyan Stadium for the Filipino, Indonesian and Malaysian communities and Al Khor Stadium for the Nepalese and the Al Khor community. The Fath Al Kheir with its 44 crew docked at Katara Beach after a 27-day journey around GCC.
A stunning 10-minute fireworks display on the Corniche capped the day’s events.