(MENAFN- Gulf Times) The 13th Katara Traditional Dhow Festival was inaugurated Tuesday at Katara - Cultural Village under the patronage of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
The popular event, inaugurated by Katara general manager Prof Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim al-Sulaiti will continue until December 2. In addition to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, the UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Palestine, Portugal, Iran, Tanzania, and India are participating.
The opening ceremony was attended by several ambassadors and diplomatic mission representatives, who accompanied Prof Dr al-Sulaiti on a tour to explore the various sections of the festival. They reviewed the various traditional dhow displays, representing the participating countries, with sailors greeting the audience on the tunes of traditional music.
Prof Dr al-Sulaiti highlighted the significance of the festival, stressing it has become an annual event eagerly awaited by marine heritage enthusiasts to revive Qatar's marine heritage and culture, while providing an opportunity to learn about the impact of the sea on the customs, traditions, and lifestyles of other nations.
In this year's edition, the festival programme is more open to international participation, with Portugal joining for the first time. The festival includes various marine heritage competitions, cultural and artistic activities, and reflects the continuous efforts of Katara in preserving marine heritage and culture in all its forms. Further, this year's festival features a distinctive architectural design, as a small island was created on Katara Harbour that follows the old Qatari architectural style.
The festival features a number of marine competitions such as traditional rowing on December 1 at 3.30pm, and traditional sailing on December 2 at 3pm, alongside the artistic competitions that include painting and photography. It also features a number of exhibitions of marine heritage items and artifacts from the participating countries, some special sections for traditional handicrafts related to the sea, and shipbuilding workshops.
There is a special corner for Qatari artist Mouda al-Hajri to display her works. Katara Publishing House displays its prominent publications related to the marine heritage at the festival. In addition, there are a number of museums, various government entities, and different artists that display various related items throughout the duration of the festival.
The festival is open for visitors from 2pm to 11pm on all days until Saturday, except on Thursday when it is open from 9.30am to 11pm.
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