(MENAFN- Gulf Times) The Qatar Fan Zone (QFZ) has become a haven for thousands of football fans in Doha, offering live screening of matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and various entertainment shows and fun-filled activities, a senior official at Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has said.
'The (visitor) turnout has been truly outstanding and continues to grow day by day as the World Cup stakes get higher, QTA's public relations and marketing director Jawaher al-Khuzaie told Gulf Times. In a press statement, QTA noted that the fan zone at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena received 43,963 visitors since it opened on June 14, giving them a family-friendly atmosphere and a chance to take part in an array of activities.
The facility features dual screens to show two matches at the same time, apart from the entertainment shows, a designated zone for children and families and more than 40 food and beverage carts. 'Welcoming people from all around the world to enjoy Qatar's state-of-the-art facilities is at the heart of our sports tourism strategy, and we are pleased to work with key partners, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, and Ministry of Culture and Sports to realise these goals, al-Khuzaie said.
Live entertainment shows attract a large number of visitors
The Qatar Fan Zone offers visitors an array of games
Performers entertain the crowd at the Ali Bin Hamad Al Attiyah Arena
QTA announced Friday that the fan zone will open at 4pm and close at midnight throughout the knockout stage of the month-long tournament. Its new schedule accommodates the different match schedule for the remaining two weeks of the competition and opens on days when matches are being played. The fan zone, which was closed Friday for a break, will reopen Saturday with female football freestyler Raquel Bennett taking the centre stage for a 30-minute interactive show at 4pm. It will be followed by a fluorescent performance by an LED drummer troupe before the live screening of the 5pm match.
Organisers noted that matches featuring the Arab nations recorded the highest number of visitors, who had the chance to witness live musical performances by Moroccan star Hatim Ammor and world-renowned Rai icon Cheb Khaled. Iraqi singer Mohamed al-Fares will also perform live on July 6 and Lebanese artist Ziad Bourji on July 7, both at 7.30 pm during the quarter-finals stage of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Kuwaiti star Essa Almarzoug is expected to perform at the fan zone during the semi-finals on July 10 at 7.30pm followed by his compatriot star Ibrahim Dashti the next day. The fan zone forms part of 11-week Qatar Summer Festival, a nationwide celebration of the country's diverse retail and hospitality offerings, complemented by a host of entertainment and sports activities.
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