Your guide to Qatar National Day 2018

Your guide to Qatar National Day 2018

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

Qatar National Day 2018 is around the corner, with the country gearing up for December 18th. As preparations reach their final stages, there is excitement everywhere. However, did you know that until a few years back, Qatar’s National Day was celebrated a few months earlier — on September 3rd? You can read on here to find out why!

In the meantime, the National Day Organising Committee 2018 announced that ‘As long as it was proven by our deeds’ will be the motto of this year’s celebrations.

Qatar Will Remain Free,’ a line from the national anthem, will also be used this year.

The Committee said that the line ‘As long as it was proven by our deeds’ is a verse taken from one of the poems by Qatar’s Founder Sheikh Jassim bin Mohammed bin Thani. The good work that builds the nation varies from era to era according to the growth of its needs, and it is a necessary condition of its renaissance.

Now for the good bit—the events and festivities across Qatar! Read on to find out what's going on where.


Darb Al Saai

'Darb Al Saai' is by far one of the largest and most anticipated events of Qatar National Day. Hosting a wide range of activities, this festival 'tent' is open from 12 till 20 December, and is organised by the National Day Committee.

Check out gallery images from Darb Al Saai 2017 here.


Celebrations at Katara Cultural Village

Katara Cultural Village has lined up nine days of celebration from 11 December to 19 December. There will be more than 45 events and activities, including fireworks, an opera performance, musical shows, parachuting, drawn shows, cultural shows and other spectacular activities. The activities will take place from 4 pm to 10 pm at different venues at Katara beach, amphitheater and Katara Corniche.

One of the major events is an opera entitled, 'Citizens and expats- we are one', which is to be performed on 17 and 19 December. Both days will feature two shows at 7:00 pm and 9:00 pm.

A high-tech planetarium, the first of its kind in Qatar, will also open on 18th December to mark the special day.

Qatari artistes Fahad Al Kubaisi and female artiste Anwaar will present a musical show during the celebrations.

Special forces participating in the celebration will display a parachute jump on December 17 and December 19 from 4:00 pm.

A 10-minute fireworks display will take place on 17 December and 19 December.

A band from the Police Training Institute at the Ministry of Interior will present national music performances, and the Amiri Air Force will also participate in the celebrations.

The Bidaya Center will set up a cultural bazar from 11 December to 19 December, featuring a wide range of native products such as clothes, perfumes and traditional cuisine. There will also be a screening of a documentary film highlighting the co-existence between different expatriate communities in Qatar. Art competitions and workshops for children, an exhibition of classic cars, art exhibitions, as well as traditional Qatari dances and cultural shows are among the planned activities.


Aspire Zone Celebrations

Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) will host celebrations from 13 to 18 December to mark Qatar National Day 2018.

Al-Adaam Flag Relay Grand Finale - 13 December 

The celebrations will commence with Al-Adaam Flag Relay as a partner with Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) which will culminate in a Grand Finale at Aspire park scheduled to take place on the 13th of December from 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm in the presence of VIP dignitaries. The Flag Relay is designed to unite and inspire audiences whilst encouraging them to share their pride.

Choosing AZF as the final-destination for the Flag Relay reflects the Foundation's pivotal role as the main sports hub in Qatar and is also indicative of the organisation’s continuous efforts to have Qatar’s flag represented in a wide variety of local, regional and international events.

AZF staff and Aspire Academy student athletes to perform Ardha

Included amongst other events planned at Aspire Park is a celebration planned for AZF employees that will take place on the 17th of December from 9-11am. The celebrations will comprise a range of cultural activities including the traditional “Ardha” sword dance that will be performed by Aspire Academy student-athletes.

A week-long programme of activities

The week-long programme will also feature 16 booths located in Aspire Park that will offer citizens and expatriates the chance to sample a wide of food choices as well as activities including live cooking demonstrations, pop up photo studios, henna designs, and games for children all delivered in collaboration with the Ministry of Administrative Development Labour and Social Affairs.

Military parade and parasailing performance

Audiences will also be treated to a Military Parade performed by members of the National Service, Qatar Armed Forces by the Lake at Aspire Park from 13-17 December.

Another highlight will be an intricate parasailing performance conducted by the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya), with members of the forces descending in different formations into the park behind the lake near Al-Furousiya Street.

Designed to promote a sense of solidarity, unity and pride in the country’s identity, a number of artists will also be located around Aspire park producing work that expresses their affection for Qatar, in collaboration with the Fire Station Artist in Residence.

And on the side-lines of the event, films produced by Qatari film makers will be screened for audiences to enjoy throughout the week, in collaboration with Doha Film Institute. For more information, please visit:



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Image credits:
Inline image 3 - Osama Bhutta/Flickr


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