Amir Views Qatari Maritime Heritage At Dhow Festival

Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani during a visit to the Eighth Katara Traditional Dhow Festival at the Cultural Village Foundation (Katara), yesterday.

The Peninsula & QNA

Amir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani yesterday visited the Eighth Katara Traditional Dhow Festival. H H the Amir viewed the presentations on the Qatari maritime heritage, the maritime folklore of participating countries, traditional industries, activities and heritage competitions, exhibitions and markets that highlight the richness of the maritime heritage.

The Festival also witnessed an important announcement about the new voyage being undertaken by the famous Qatari dhow Fath Al Khair. Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, General Manager of Katara Cultural Village announced that Fath Al Khair will set sail from Katara beach on its fourth historical voyage in April next year.

The journey, titled Fath Al Khair 4 will cover Oman, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. From Tunisia the dhow will begin its return journey via Oman.

Katara beach has become the most favourite week-end destination, as thousands of Qataris and expatriates thronged the beach over the past two days to join the Festival.

Visitors, mostly families, were treated to a dazzling fireworks display themed on marine traditions that illuminated the Katara skyline last evening, for the second day, in a row.

In bright light and vivid colours, the mesmerising show narrated the story of life in the sea in the yesteryears. The crowd clapped and cheered as the fireworks drew incredible patterns and formations into the skyline.

What the crowd watched on the sky was the culmination of a rich cultural fiesta being offered down on the beach. The five-day festival, concluding today has showcased almost everything related to sea and maritime traditions.

In a festive and traditional atmosphere, the event has provided a rare opportunity to the visitors to have a perfect feel of and first-hand knowledge about the marine traditions in the Gulf region.

Visitors to the Katara beach have been treated to traditional sea-related songs and dances, fishing and rowing competitions, products, souvenirs, equipment and techniques associated with sea, pearl diving and shipbuilding, along with traditional cuisine, among others.

They also had the opportunity to visit different types of traditional dhows and vessels anchored at the beach and meet and interact with marine experts, veteran divers, seafarers, craftsmen and boat-builders from the participating countries.

The famous Qatari dhow Fath Al Khair has put up a painting and photography exhibition showcasing its past three voyages.

The “Turkish House” at the Festival is introducing shipbuilding techniques developed in the country over hundreds years, along with models of old and new ships. Representatives from the Bodrom Museum of Underwater Archeology in Turkey are also attending the Festival.

Stalls devoted to veteran Qatari artists and marine experts are also attracting a large number of people.

A major attraction for children visiting the Festival are innovative art workshops designed to acquaint children with sea traditions. P2

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