Doha has a brimming events calendar, and expats can experience the Middle Eastern city's blend of rich Arabic and cutting-edge modern culture all year round. Something is always going on that will allow expats to learn more about and enjoy some of the nuances of Qatari culture, while also offering more Western events such as golf, tennis and a motor show.
Below is our list of events and festivals in Doha that aren't to be missed.
Annual events in Doha
Qatar Open Tennis Tournament (January)
The Qatar Open Tennis Tournament is a world-class sporting event that draws top tennis stars to the Middle Eastern country every year and attracts many tourists to Doha who come to watch their favourite players in action.
Qatar Masters Golf Tournament (March)
The Qatar Masters Golf Tournament is part of the PGA European Tour and brings some of the world’s top golfers to Doha. The tournament is played at the Doha Golf Club, a world-class golf course that is known for its high difficulty rating. One of the world’s most popular golf tournaments, it is especially popular with tourists and expats living in Doha.
Qatar International Food Festival (March)
The Qatar International Food Festival is an annual event that turns the Museum of Islamic Art Park into a culinary playground for four days. Food-loving festival-goers sample some of the best food in Doha, the Middle East and the world, and can enjoy demonstrations and shows by celebrity chefs.
Qatar Motor Show (October)
This festival, normally lasting five days, is heaven for any car enthusiast. The Qatar Motor Show includes outdoor driving and motorbike events on the festival’s private circuit as well as exhibitions showcasing classic cars and futuristic designs. The dates of the Qatar Motor Show have changed over the years, though it has taken place in October in recent years.
Ajyal Youth Film Festival (November)
This festival promotes young filmmakers and their inspirational creativity, and ‘ajyal’ is Arabic for ‘generations’, highlighting how the festival encourages Qatar's residents of all ages to come together and attend the cinema. Following a different theme every year, it is one of the largest annual events in Qatar. The Ajyal Film Festival promises great family entertainment and the chance for parents and children to meet actors and directors, and even sit on judging panels.
Souq Waqif Spring Festival (December)
This is a family-friendly festival that includes circus performers, magicians, music, puppet shows and animal shows. There are also some quirky performers and even an opportunity to bungee jump. This is an event that expats with children shouldn’t miss.