Date and Venue: December 13 – 19 from 04:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Katara Cultural Village
Experience the sense of patriotism on National Day celebrations at Katara Cultural Village that is offering exciting array of cultural activities and artistic performances. The organisers promise first-of-its-kind events and activities, including performances by paratroopers, theatrical play by Qatari youth, a mosaic painting of Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, entertainment' train, dancing' fountain, stunning decorations and lots more.
Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of fun-filled gathering in ongoing celebrations.Qatar National Day celebrations at The Pearl-Qatar
Date and Venue: December 15 to 18. Daily from 06:00 pm onwards at 6 & 7 La Croisette, Porto Arabia, The Pearl
Qatar's National day celebrations are in full swing with various activities lined up for the next few days. The Pearl is decorated in glitter and glory, displaying cultural symbols. Various recreation and social activities are planned attracting large number of visitors.
The four-day event will include Arabic-style tents serving dates and traditional coffee, dedicated spaces for children to play and colour their faces with National Day-inspired designs, Mascots portraying traditional cartoon characters, falcons on display, Folkloric ‘Arda' performances and henna drawing. This is one of the most exciting times of the year and marks the beginning of celebrations that will last till the year end.Driven by German Design Exhibition
Date and Venue: October 13 – 14 January 2018. Daily from 09:00am to 07:00pm, except Fridays – 01:30pm to 07:00 pm at Qatar Museums Gallery, Al Riwaq
Driven by German Design opened in October as part of the Qatar-German year of Culture, 2017. The exhibition is organised by Qatar Museums, German Embassy in Doha and the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region.
The vast exhibition space was curated by renowned museum director, Prof. Dr. Martin Roth. It features marvellous sights of numerous design objects loaned from some of Germany's most significant cultural institutions, such as the Vitra Design Museum, Neue Sammlung, Porsche Museum and Museum für Angewandte Kunst Frankfurt.
The exhibition highlights development of German designs since 1950, from diverse fields, including product and graphic design, architecture, furniture, fashion and automotive design, including some of the rare sight objects like iPhones, cameras and most iconic cars ever to have been designed. Porsche 911 Turbo, Volkswagen Golf and Käfer as a major attraction.
‘Design laboratory' erases the difference between abstract and real, featuring interactive technologies and prototypes making victor's experience all the more entertaining.Exploring Expression by Fahad Al Obaidly
Date and Venue: December 16 – 16 January 2018. Daily from 09:00 am – 07:00 pm at W Doha Hotel & Residences
Abstract is an immediate relief from the realities we experience. It brings on a whole new world with no pre-defined discourse. If you are looking for such a line of flight, this may be your immediate choice. Set free your imagination with awakening vibrancy of colours by Fahad Al Obaidly, an artist who believes that art is a way to free world. He has put in efforts to underline ‘identity crises' in his work. His art brings about his urge to portray the instability individuals face in the contemporary globalised arena that has taken away the sense of true self, alienating them even in a crowd.Qatar Superstock 600 at Losail Circuit Sports Club
Date and Venue: December 15 – 16. From 09:00 am onwards at Losail Circuit Sports Club
Entry Free (for spectators)
If you are looking to increase the torque of your regular life, Qatar SuperStock 600 (QSTK600) is a perfect stop. The road racing championship organized by Qatar Motor Motorcycle Federation and Losail Circuit Sports Club is an exciting championship in which participants will use the best of their racing skills using one-make bike that will be used for the rest of the season. It will be a stocked 600cc bike.
This year, Qatar Superstock 600 Championship will have a new class QSTK Trophy that will be exclusively open to riders who achieve their best lap time of 2.09 minutes at the Losail International Circuit with a 600cc bike, or 2.07 minutes with a 1000cc bike, in five rounds. Join the thrill.Car Stunt Show at Aspire Zone
Date and Venue: December 8 – 6 January. Daily three shows: 2:30 pm, 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm at the Aspire Zone, New Driving School Park.
Entry Fee: 100 QAR per person and children under 5 have free entry
This is a walk-in event showcasing thrilling stunts by experts and participants. If you are looking for an exciting show of technique and speed producing stimulating visions of man and machine, this is the place to be at.Live Performance by Allan Pineda Lindo / Apl De Ap
Date and Venue: December 15 – 16 from 08:00 pm – 02:00 am at The St. Regis, Doha
Entry Fee: Regular -250 QAR and VIP -500 QAR
Performance by Allan Pineda Lindo, professionally known as Apl De Ap, is a Filipino-American musician, rapper, singer, and record producer. He is best known as a member of the Grammy Award-winning hip hop group, The Black Eyed Peas.
Join the night to Hip and Hop on energetic tunes of world class DJ and striking performance by the Filipino- American singer.
If you are in Doha, Katara is the place to be in. The National Day festivities have begun and the cultural village is awash with not just local, but foreign visitors, too. The 8-day event, from December 12 to 19, is meant to stimulate a feeling of nationalism and brotherhood. But there appears to be nervous energy beneath the celebration.
Performances by paratroopers from Joint Special Forces and military parades, a first-of-its kind event, reflects Qatar's changing mindset. Historically considered to be unassuming as far as its armed forces is concerned, it is now trying to beef it up with hi-tech weaponry. It is the effect of the continuing Arab blockade, which has gone on for over six months now. But it's only doing what the rest of its neighbours are doing – Stockpiling for any eventuality. Every country in the Gulf is arming itself to the teeth. It's an unprecedented phenomenon.
The arms rat race
Qatar has made two deals, with France and UK. Both came after the blockade took effect. It has signed a deal to buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets worth $8bn from the United Kingdom, the biggest order for the formidable Typhoon fighters in more than a decade. Qatar is also purchasing 12 Dassault Rafale fighter jets from the French in a contract worth $1bn.
The others have been scampering, too.
Saudi Arabia, in late November, agreed to buy approximately $7 billion worth of precision guided munitions from U.S. defense contractors. It was a transaction that many lawmakers were skeptical about, though. They feared American weapons could further contribute to civilian casualties in the Saudi campaign in Yemen. In October, the Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding on the purchase of S-400 air defense systems from Russia. In late May, just before the blockade began, the Saudis sealed a deal worth $350 billion over 10 years. It's buying almost on a monthly basis. It imported 144 per cent more arms from the EU since 2012 than it did in the five years preceding that.
The United Arab Emirates is not too far behind.
In very early August, the UAE condemned North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile launch into Japan's special economic zone. It described the rogue nation's actions as posing a real threat to international security. Despite this harsh rhetoric against Pyongyang, a leaked U.S. State Department memo revealed that Abu Dhabi purchased $100 million worth of weapons from North Korea in June 2015 to support the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. In May this year, the US approved a $2 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates.
Egypt spent the most on arms. The Arab republic, which spans North Africa and Asia, spent a grand total of £971.6m. Remarkably, it's a 118 per cent increase from the 2007-2011 period.
According to data, the Middle-East kingdom splashed £790.4 million on EU arms in 2016, making it the world's second-largest arms importer in the past five years.
Atmosphere of unease
While Qatar's need for weapons may be a reaction to its GCC colleagues' drive to weaponise, the fact remains that the Middle-East is heading for a paradigm shift, in which there can be no winners.
The Gulf has started looking at security in technological terms, wanting advanced surveillance, mechanized firepower, missiles, jets, drones and more. There is very little dialogue and mutual understanding. There is no meaning and hope.
An ancient lesson teaches that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. That remains true in a world of guns, bombs and fighter jets. An armed Middle-East is bound to escalate insecurity, anxiety and fear in the peoples of its region.
It's important to look for options to violence and the arms race. Security and peace entail more than military power.
(The post A lose-lose situation: The Middle-East arms race is bad news for the region is from Doha News.)