100 vessels sail in for Katara dhow festival
Doha, November 20, 2013
Nearly 100 dhows from across the Gulf region anchored for the opening ceremony of the third Katara Traditional Dhow Festival yesterday (November 19) in Doha.
The dhows sailed from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to celebrate the cultural and economic importance of these vessels, which were used by Arab sailors, traders, fishermen and pearl divers for centuries.
The opening ceremony was inaugurated by Dr Hamad Bin Abdul Aziz Al Kuwari, Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage; and Katara general manager Dr Khalid Bin Ibrahim Al-Sulaiti.
The programme features a series of heritage lectures, performances by renowned regional bands, live boat-building demonstrations, dhow cruises, light and fireworks shows, children’s activities and exhibits from museums across the Gulf.
There will also be a series of maritime races open to the public including sailing, rowing and pearl-diving.
The winners will be announced at a special award ceremony on November 23.
Al Sulaiti said: “This unique festival honors the importance of the seas in Qatari culture, the pearl diving era reflects our heritage and to this day we still value the true importance of our waters. The purpose of this festival is to showcase our Qatari heritage through a wide variety of traditional and cultural performances. It is a way to connect the Qatari people with their past and traditions.”
“The opening of the Third Traditional Dhow Festival started off as a success and I’m looking forward for the next couple of days,” said Ahmed Al Hitmi, Dhow Festival Committee manager.
“The Dhow Festival pays tribute to our ancestors who worked effortlessly to build a future for our country. This event provides a platform for cultural exchange, promoting Qatari history, educating and promoting our legacy with the youth of Qatar.” – TradeArabia News Service