Photo for illustrative purposes only. Pixabay
Don't let the sticky summer weather discourage you from going out this weekend.
There's lots to do around town, including checking out an exhibition by photographers from the Philippines, playing or watching basketball and volleyball tournaments and testing your wits against Mindsports opponents.
Here are our picks:Mindsports challenge
If you are a chess champion, a Go gamer or are brutal at backgammon, then the 4th Mindsports World Championships could be for you.
For illustrative purposes only. Mamooli/Flickr
Starting Aug. 19 until Aug. 27, the event at the Doha Exhibition and Conference Center (DECC) in Dafna/West Bay will feature competitions for six different games, including Arabic and English Scrabble, e-sports such as FIFA and Call of Duty, as well as chess, bridge, backgammon and Go.
There are entry fees to participate, and cash prizes for winners. For details on event schedules and registration, see here.Filipino photography
Daily life in Qatar will be the focus of a new photography exhibition at Katara Cultural Village which opens on Aug 17.
Qatar Through Filipinos' Lenses Katara
The display, Qatar Through Filipinos' Lenses, is being hosted in conjunction with the Embassy of Philippines in Doha. It will include works by locally-based photographers.
The free exhibition at Building 19 will run daily until Aug 27. from 10am until 10pm daily.Volleyball battle
Qatar's expat volleyball league is pitting 14 of its best players against one another in the Battle of the Titans at Qatar Sports Club in Dafna/West Bay.
Battle of the Titans volleyball Q-Tickets
The exhibition games, on Aug. 18, include a men's match from 5pm with Josh Villanueva, Vince Mangulabnan, Marck Espejo,Tony Koyfman, Ish Polvorosa, Peter Tores, Isay Marasigan and Rex Intal.
The women's match, from 7pm, will include Rachelle Ann Daquiz, EJ Laure, Julia Morado, Sisi Rondina, Chie Saet and Royce Tubino.
Tickets cost from QR50 to QR150 per person and are available online from Q-Tickets. No reserved seating.Basketball challenge
Aspire Active is launching a Triple Threat basketball tournament at Aspire Dome on Aug. 19, with free registration for men 18 years and older.
3×3 basketball tournament Aspire Active/Facebook
Teams will be made of three players, and can be made on the day of the tournament.
The event takes place from 10am until 6pm and is open to all. See here for more details.Festival parades
Angry Birds, Smurfs and Disney's Pluto will take part in Summer Festival parades at DECC on Aug. 18 and 19.
Summer Entertainment City/Facebook
Parades at Summer Entertainment City Summer Entertainment City/Facebook
The life-size plush mascots will tour the venue, meeting and greeting with fans young and young-at-heart throughout the weekend.
The parade is free, but entry to Summer Entertainment City costs QR15, and games and activities cost extra.
Learn how to create your own artwork using fabric and the technique of applique during family workshops at Katara Cultural Center this weekend.
Applique workshops Katara
Classes will be in Arabic and English and are open to men and women. They are held in Katara Art Studio B19 from 5pm until 7pm. Places are limited to a maximum of 12 per class and cost QR200 per person. More information is here.
What are your plans this weekend? Thoughts?
(The post Six things to do in Qatar this weekend (Aug. 16-19) is from Doha News.)
All photos by Ray Toh
Its doors temporarily open to visitors, Qatar's upcoming National Museum has welcomed hundreds of curious guests in the past few weeks.
The museum is offering tours to Culture Pass members before it closes at the end of this year for exhibition installation.
It will officially make its public debut in December 2018, which is at least two years later than originally planned.The inside
Located across from the Corniche near the Museum of Islamic Art, the National Museum has been designed to look like a desert rose growing out of the ground.
Designed by architect Jean Nouvel, and is made up of several interlocking discs that mimic the crystal formation.
Qatar National Museum Ray Toh
According to visitors, the concept has made for a unique interior, in that it does not consist of one large space for exhibitions.
This will likely lend to some creative curation. There is also little natural light.
However, restaurant seating is slated to be outdoor and will face the sea, tour operators said.Other offerings
Eventually, the 40,000 sq meter structure will include 8,000 sq meters of permanent exhibition space and a further 2,000 sq meters for temporary, rotating exhibitions.
The centerpiece of the National Museum was restored in 2015.
Restored palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani QM
It is the palace of the former ruler and “father of modern Qatar,” Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani.
Al Thani lived in the palace until it became the country's former National Museum in 1975.
The National Museum will also house a 220-seat auditorium, two restaurants and a cafe, two shops, a food forum, a research center and laboratories and a park with indigenous plants, Qatar Museums previously said.
Have you seen it yet? Thoughts?
Vox Cinema at DFC Doha News
Updated at 2pm with new statement from Vox Cinemas
Less than four months after it opened, Vox Cinemas at Doha Festival City (DFC) has temporarily closed for health violations.
The 18-screen luxury movie theater was ordered to shut last Thursday (Aug. 10) by inspectors for flouting the country's food and hygiene laws.
The shutters are down at the entrance of the cinema complex and stickers issued by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME/Baladiya) are attached to the entrance.
Closure notice at Vox Cinema, DFC Doha News
The notices state that the premises were closed for “violating humans' food control,” in breach of municipal laws and regulations.
The MME usually posts details of such closures online.
But its site has not been updated with information of the cinema closure and it is unclear how long Vox will be remain shut.Murky details
Initially, some residents wondered if the closure was due to the ongoing dispute with Qatar's neighbors.
Vox is operated by the UAE-based Majid Al Futtaim Group.
But in a statement to Doha News, Vox Cinemas said its Qatar outpost is “temporarily closed due to essential work behind the scenes to improve the cinema going experience for our guests.”
It later added:
“We are working with the Doha Festival City mall team to correct some concerns by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment that were raised in their recent inspections, and have taken immediate action to ensure that the Municipality's requirements are exceeded at all times.
At VOX Cinemas, we are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable environment for our guests.”
It has not responded to requests for more details.
We are closed for a little while but we'll be back soon. Stay tuned and we'll let you know when we're back in action! pic.twitter.com/JIS3Lb2SSD
— VOX Cinemas Qatar (@VOXCinemasQatar) August 12, 2017
Publicly, Vox tweeted last week that its theaters had shut due to “maintenance” issues. But this post has since been deleted.
It later posted a more general notice about its closure.
Meanwhile, a DFC spokesperson told Doha News that there was an “operational issue.”
“At Doha Festival City, ensuring our visitors' have the best experience with us is of the utmost importance.
Hence we support our partner VOX Cinemas' decision to temporarily close while they resolve an operational issue. We look forward to welcoming guests back soon.”Food laws
The closure comes less than four months after Vox Cinemas opened to the public, on April 26 this year.
— VOX Cinemas Qatar (@VOXCinemasQatar) April 26, 2017
The multiplex has 18 screens, including theaters providing multi-sensory 4D viewing.
In addition to providing the usual cinema snacks of popcorn, chips and chocolate, Vox also has a private lounge where viewers can eat a meal with dishes created by Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes while they watch a movie.
It is unclear which of Qatar's food laws Vox violated to bring officials to order its temporary closure.MME's authority
Inspectors from the MME regularly undertake spot checks of all food establishments across the country, from local grocery stores and warehouses to mall restaurants and five-star hotels.
They have the power to order penalty closures of between a few days to two months if they find serious breaches.
The MME typically shuts establishments if they are found to have had expired foodstuffs, are selling food unfit for consumption or have been preparing food in unhygienic conditions.
Lodz Restaurant MME
At least three other establishments were closed this month, according to MME's website.
Yasrib Cafeteria, which serves affordable Indian fare in the Souq area, was closed on Aug. 9 for one month, for preparing food in unhygienic conditions.
On the same day, Indian eatery Lodz restaurants in Al Thumama was ordered to close for 10 days, also for unhygienic conditions.
Meanwhile yesterday, the butchery department at Big Bazaar hypermarket in Umm Slal Ali was shut for two weeks after inspectors found meat without an expiry date and with no information about its origins.