Embrace Doha gearing up for National Day Festival

 07 Dec 2017 - 10:01

Embrace Doha gearing up for National Day Festival
Officials and sponsors pose for a picture after the ‘Labaih Ya Amir’ press conference organised by Embrace Doha at Katara yesterday. Pic: Qassim Rahmatullah / The Peninsula

By Raynald C Rivera | The Peninsula

Embrace Doha, a Qatari company specialising in cultural events, is gearing up to launch an eight-day National Day Festival aimed at showing support to Qatar amid the current blockade by offering a unique blend of events and activities to visitors at the Cultural Village Foundation – Katara.

To be held from December 12 to 19 at Katara Esplanade, the festival called “Labaih Ya Amir” (Here I am at your service, O Emir) will comprise four sections namely Culture, Education, Entertainment and Local Village. This is the second consecutive year that Embrace Doha has partnered with Katara for the National Day event which has a number of new features including the presence of Qatari startups.

“Last year it was purely cultural, but this year we are including local startups in response to Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s speech to build the country’s economy and protect its security. We want to show through this event that Qataris can be more creative and independent through creative ideas. There have been a lot of initiatives that appeared in the last six months that support Qatar and try to make it more independent,” said Amal Al Shammari, CEO of Embrace Doha, responding to a question by The Peninsula.

A major highlight and the latest feature of the festival, the Local Village section will witness a rich showcase of local products by Qatari businesses that help bolster the country’s economy in its drive to self sufficiency amid the present situation. “We are offering them space to market their products and a stage to share their success stories. We are also bringing Qatar Business Incubation Center closer to the audience with their own registration desk. All these are geared toward inspiring people to follow their dreams by starting their own businesses,” explained Al Shammari.

An important feature of the festival, the Culture section will include VIP and welcoming tent where visitors will experience authentic Qatari hospitality, a handicraft section which show a live demonstration of how Qatari handmade products are made, ardah performance and a henna section.

The Education section will see a calligraphy booth, a photoshoot corner where people can have photos taken wearing traditional Qatari outfits, and a stage where high profile guests will speak on important subjects in relation to National Day.

There will also be an Entertainment section which consists of a stage where families can take part in fun activities and watch military show, poetry, and traditional dance as well as a Kids Club which art and crafts, face painting and films for children.

Last year’s Embrace Doha National Day event was a huge success with around 32,000 visitors during the three-day celebration and with an expanded edition, the upcoming event is expected to see increase in footfall. Key to the success of last year’s event was the fact that everything was taken care of by Qataris from the concept to volunteers, said Al Shammari. “I do believe that during National Day, it is our duty as Qataris to explain Qatari culture and take care of every single detail of the event. Last year, it was a knowledge-based event. We wanted to showcase and explain to expats important elements of our culture, what they actually mean and represent,” she added.

Representatives of the event’s sponsors and partners also spoke at yesterday’s press briefing including Dr. Nadia Abdulrahman Al Mudahka, Director of Research and Studies Department at Katara; Nahar Al Mutawah, Chief of Operations and Services at Qatar Cool and Dr. Sherif Sabry Mohamed Abdalla, Medical Director at Health Assistance Medical Services.

Other event sponsors and partners include Elan Group, Qatar Business Incubation Center, Gulf Warehousing Company, Nando’s Marhaba, iLoveQatar.net, GoExplore.City and The Peninsula.