Month-long British Festival in Qatar opens
Doha, March 10, 2014
The month-long British Festival 2014 in Qatar, a cultural and trade event, was launched yesterday (March 9) at the British Embassy in Doha by Britain's ambassador to Qatar, Nicholas Hopton.
The festival is the first of several flagship initiatives focused on building a legacy programme of the very popular Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, which engaged over 175,000 people through a programme of 80 events last year, said a statement.
This year’s British Festival will focus on education, commerce and culture.
The festival reinforces the strong bilateral bond between Qatar and the UK. It will involve participation of some of Doha’s world-leading British shops and brands and major shopping malls, with in-store events and promotions. There will also be trade missions of British companies visiting Qatar, led by two leading British trade associations - British Water (from March 22-25) and the International Visual Communications Association (from April 7-9).
Some festival highlights include:
* Study in the UK Exhibition - students interested in studying in the UK will have the opportunity to explore the wide range of courses available and meet representatives of 22 British Universities;
* Circle of Sound - renowned sarod player and composer Soumik Datta, a resident artist for the London-based Alchemy Festival and the Rich Mix cultural foundation will perform a live concert at the Al Rayyan Theatre on March 30. He is accompanied by Austrian drummer Bernhard Schimpelsberger, English singer-songwriter Fiona Bevan, and well-known Qatari artists. Datta has previously collaborated with Beyoncé;
* The Urban Playground - the UK’s leading ‘performance parkour’ group will showcase their skills at Souq Waqif from April 10-12, along with school workshops from April 7-10;
* Welsh Cultural Week - (March 9-12) includes a performance by the Welsh National Opera (WNO), along with photography exhibition, an event for alumni of Welsh universities and other trade focused events in Doha.
Hopton said: “We are delighted and proud to launch the British Festival 2014 in Qatar. Following the tremendous success of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture, this festival is a continuing celebration of the strong ties and ongoing cultural exchange between Qatar and the United Kingdom. The British Festival provides a platform for nurturing existing partnerships and forging new ones - in art, education, commerce and science. We want to highlight how British cutting edge design, quality, innovation and style can be found in the sphere of culture and also on the high street. We look forward to continuing our work with our partners as the festival kicks off and I hope that many British residents of Qatar will get involved."
Martin Hope, director of British Council Qatar, said: “We are thrilled to continue the strong legacy of Qatar UK 2013 Year of Culture through the British Festival. As the British Council celebrates its 80th anniversary, the cultural events which form part of the British Festival 2014 continue our longstanding work in creating opportunities for individuals and institutions to experience the unique cultural offering of the UK. We hope this festival will reach a wide audience, building on existing collaborations and creating new ones.”
Gareth O’Brien, director trade & investment at the British Embassy, said: “We are delighted to support British companies and iconic British brands in Qatar. The festival provides an excellent platform to celebrate the strength of Qatar/UK commercial partnerships and for forging new ones. Bilateral trade between our two countries is very healthy. It was worth more than QR30 billion in 2013, and is going from strength to strength. However we are keen to see even more British companies active here to support Qatar’s ambitious plans to deliver the Fifa World Cup in 2022 and the 2030 National Vision and beyond.” - TradeArabia News Service